Quotulatiousness

November 20, 2017

Cambrai: The Tank Corps Story | The Tank Museum

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Tank Museum
Published on 17 Nov 2017

100 years on from the Battle of Cambrai, The Tank Museum presents a documentary on the moment the Tank Corps delivered one of the greatest advances of the First World War. This is the full-length version of Cambrai: The Tank Corps Story.

As the regimental museum of the Royal Tank Regiment, The Tank Museum is using the World War One centenary to draw attention to the struggle, sacrifice and ingenuity of the early tank men.

Vikings beat Rams 24-7 after a slow start

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

The Los Angeles Rams took the opening kickoff and marched down the field to score the opening touchdown of the game, and (probably like a lot of Vikings fans) I thought “Oh, no, here we go again.” Yet that was it for Rams scoring for the rest of the day. The Vikings were slow to start, but eventually reeled off 24 unanswered points (plus two missed field goals) to advance their record to 8-2 on the year.

(more…)

The Gunfighter (Best Short Film Ever) 1080p HD

Filed under: Humour, Media, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Tanvir Akhtar
Published on 1 Jul 2014

In the tradition of classic westerns, a narrator sets up the story of a lone gunslinger who walks into a saloon. However, the people in this saloon can hear the narrator and the narrator may just be a little bit bloodthirsty.

Director: Eric Kissack https://vimeo.com/79306807
Writer: Kevin Tenglin
The Narrator (voice): Nick Offerman

Stars:
Scott Beehner … Tommy Henderson
Shawn Parsons … The Gunfighter
Brace Harris … Johnny Henderson
Eileen O’Connell … Sally
Jordan Black … Sam
Timothy Brennen … Bill Jessup
Travis Lincoln Cox … Elijah Jessup
Schoen Hodges … Gabriel Jessup
Circus-Szalewski … Ned Schilling (as Circus Szalewski)
Chet Nelson … Farmer Valentine
Keith Biondi … John McCullers

WINNER Audience Award for Best Short Film – LA Film Fest
Best of the Fest Selection – Palm Springs Short Fest
Official Selection – Cleveland International Film Fest
Official Selection – Seattle International Film Fest
Official Selection – Traverse City Film Festival
Official Selection – Woods Hole Film Festival

H/T to Jordan Heron for the link.

QotD: The surprise of motherhood to high-achieving women

Filed under: Health, Quotations — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

Motherhood surprises women these days. Not the fact of motherhood. Many women meticulously plan their pregnancies. Certainly, women of advanced education plan childbearing, occasionally to a fault.

The fact of motherhood does not shock, but the day-to-day of motherhood and the intensity of motherhood do. As a culture we condition women to believe that having a baby is just a biological function and they will go back to their previous lives, albeit with babes in tow, after a few weeks of recovery.

[Insert gentle, hysterical, or bitter laughter from experienced moms here.]

Trained to be doctors and lawyers and such, today’s young educated women did not typically care for babies when they were growing up. College bound, they had better things to do than babysit babies and their mothers had visions of them doing “more” and wouldn’t dream of expecting their child to care for other children. Even now, many of the mothers I know — I’m in the highly educated and metropolitan set — think that expecting older siblings to care for younger ones is some combination of dangerous and unfair. And watching a young girl play with babies is almost pitiable.

In this domestic discouragement, we lay the foundation for the common motherhood shock. Unaware of even what should be the known knowns of motherhood, newly expecting moms tend to read books about pregnancy and childbirth. It is presently happening to their bodies and book learning comes easily to the modern woman. It’s how we made all those good grades and have out-enrolled men in higher education, after all.

Leslie Loftis, “High-Achieving Women Find They’re Not Prepared for Motherhood”, PJ Media, 2016-03-31.

November 19, 2017

Missing Argentine submarine may have been located

Filed under: Americas, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 10:35

The BBC is reporting some hope for the 44 crew members of the Argentine Navy submarine ARA San Juan, which went missing on a routine mission this week:

ARA San Juan in an undated photo at her base in Mar del Plata
Photo via Wikimedia.

Signals have been detected that are thought to have come from an Argentine submarine that went missing with 44 crew on board, officials say.

The defence ministry is now trying to trace the location of the seven failed satellite calls received on Saturday.

[…]

The ARA San Juan was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southern-most tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, south of Buenos Aires.

Its last contact with the navy command was on Wednesday morning.

An Argentine destroyer and two corvettes are conducting a search around the area of the sub’s last known position off the south-eastern Valdez peninsula.

But so far there are no clues about its whereabouts.

It is thought that the submarine may have had communication difficulties caused by a power cut.

Navy protocol dictates that a vessel should come to the surface if communication has been lost.

Development of British Tank Tactics 1917 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 18 Nov 2017

The Battle of Cambrai 100 years ago was one of the pivotal moments for the British Tank Corps and tank combat in general. For the first time, the tanks were deployed in a way that they could play to their strengths.

The case for a “social” statute of limitations

Filed under: Randomness, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Megan McArdle recounts a few incidents and wonders if it’s rational or fair to apply today’s social rules to interactions that happened years or decades ago:

These events, after all, took place at least two decades ago. In some cases, cultural norms really have changed. I’d be shocked now to hear a really dirty joke told at work, but in my early twenties, I don’t recall even being mildly nonplussed. I’m not saying that the norms of those workplaces were right, but I am saying that the men who told them did not have mens rea: the knowledge that they were doing something wrong. And in general, it’s a bad idea to punish people for trespassing against rules they didn’t know. Or rules that didn’t exist.

But even if they had known, I still wouldn’t be eager to out and punish them now. I did a lot of things decades ago that I regret, and I would hate to be held accountable for them now as if they’d happened last week. And since I hope to grow and change a bit in the coming decades, I’d also hate to be punished in some far tomorrow for the norms — or even the folly — of today.

So it seems worth asking whether we need some sort of statute of limitations on these kinds of offenses in our culture, not just in our laws. It would not be a blanket pardon for anyone who manages to go unreported through the five- or 10-year mark. It would be a mitigating factor in deciding how to respond in the present to actions from another time: autre temps, autre moeurs.

The question when confronted with reports of decades-old misdeeds is not “Would this guy be a creep if he did this today?” Better to ask: “Was he better or worse than his environment?” And also: “Is there reason to believe he might have changed since then?”

Some cads and criminals would fail all these tests. And if the offense was last year, or if the accused attempts to intimidate the victim or explain away the transgression, then the answer to those questions is probably “No.” But if a man shamefacedly confesses that he made a mistake decades ago, through bad understanding or bad judgment, just how far are we willing to go in shunning him? To the same extreme we would for a recent, remorseless, serial offender?

If so, how many of us are willing to live under that standard — in which the sins of our distant past are ripe for litigation at any moment? In which the court of public opinion issues the same summary judgment immediately after every accusation? In which every defendant’s reputation and contributions are discarded into the same garbage heap, no matter what the age or nature of the offense?

Unique Ross Experimental A2 Pistol Prototype

Filed under: Cancon, History, Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Forgotten Weapons
Published on 13 Mar 2017

This is a very rare Ross automatic pistol, patented in 1903 by Charles Ross, of the Ross Rifle Company in Quebec. It is a short recoil, toggle locked design, made for the .45 Ross proprietary cartridge (although efforts were made, unsuccessfully, to make a .45 ACP version for the US 1907 pistol trials).

QotD: The Clintons

Filed under: Humour, Politics, Quotations, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

The Clintons? Hillary got rich, Bill got laid, republican virtue got screwed. Like the sickly leaders of late-Soviet politburos, both appear older and feebler than their years: once the star performer of the double-act, Bill staggers around like the Blowjob of Dorian Gray; the life has all but literally been sucked out of him. His straight-woman, once the reliably stolid, stone-faced Margaret Dumont of his cigar-waggling routine, now has to be propped up on street bollards and fed lines by her medical staff. When she shuts down and she’s out cold, who’s driving the pantsuit? Huma? Cheryl? Podesta? Bill and Hillary have been consumed by their urges. America would be electing the Walking Dead, insatiable and fatal to the touch, but utterly hollow.

Mark Steyn, “Hollow E’en”, Steyn Online, 2016-11-01.

November 18, 2017

Legalize Medically-Assisted Sex: Keep Government Out of Bedrooms and Wheelchairs

Filed under: Health, Law, Liberty, USA — Tags: — Nicholas @ 04:00

ReasonTV
Published on 17 Nov 2017

We should all be adults about sex and not deprive the disabled of services from which they’d benefit.

——

Nine out of 10 doctors agree sex is good for you, or at least better for you than smoking. But what happens if you have a disability that makes it difficult to engage in sex, or find a sexual partner in the first place? Enter sex surrogates, professionals who help the disabled work through their sexual problems (in large part by having sex with them). Although there’s a case to be made for the medical, if not psychological, benefits sex surrogates provide, they’re operating in a legal gray area.

In the latest Mostly Weekly, host Andrew Heaton makes the case that we should all be adults about sex and not deprive the disabled of services from which they’d benefit.

“Mostly Weekly” is hosted by Andrew Heaton with headwriter Sarah Rose Siskind.
Script by Sarah Rose Siskind with writing assistance from Andrew Heaton and Brian Sack.
Edited by Austin Bragg and Siskind.
Produced by Meredith and Austin Bragg.
Theme Song: Frozen by Surfer Blood.

The two biggest problems holding back widespread adoption of electric cars

Filed under: Economics, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Warren Meyer explains why the current crop of electric vehicles are still only niche players, despite lots of overblown media hype and over-generous government subsidies:

There are two problems with electric vehicles. Neither are unsolvable in the long-term, but neither are probably going to get solved in the next 5 years.

  1. Energy Density. 15 gallons of gasoline weighs 90 pounds and takes up 2 cubic feet. This will carry a 40 mpg car 600 miles. The Tesla Model S 85kwh battery pack weighs 1200 pounds and will carry the car 265 miles (from this article the cells themselves occupy about 4 cubic feet if packed perfectly but in this video the whole pack looks much larger). We can see that even with what Musk claims is twice the energy density of other batteries, the Tesla gets 0.22 miles per pound of fuel/battery while the regular car can get 6.7. That is a difference in energy density of 30x. Some of this is compensated for by heavy and bulky things the electric car does not need (e.g. coolant system) but it is still a major problem in car design.
  2. Charge Time. In my mind this is perhaps the single barrier that could, if solved, make electric cars ubiquitous. people complain about electric car range, but really EV range is not that much shorter than the range of traditional cars on a tank of gas. The problem is that it is MUCH faster to refill a tank of gas than it is to refill a battery with a full charge. Traditionally it takes all night to charge an electric car, but 2 minutes at the pump to “charge” a gasoline engine. The fastest current charging claim is Tesla’s, which claims that the supercharger sites they have built on many US interstate routes sites will charge 170 miles of range in 30 minutes, or 5.7 miles per minute. A traditional car (the same one used in point 1) can add 600 miles of range in 2 minutes, or 300 miles per minute, or 52 times faster than the electric car. This is the real reason EV range is an issue for folks.

The Best Way to Set Up a Bandsaw!

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

The Wood Whisperer
Published on 6 Jul 2017

Back in 2007, I posted a video on Bandsaw Setup. The method I demonstrated was one I learned from other woodworkers as well as numerous books and manuals. While the method works perfectly, it overcomplicates things and employs a couple of unnecessary steps, namely achieving coplanarity of the wheels and eliminating drift. Four years later, I became aware of a video from The Woodworking Shows featuring Alex Snodgrass and his simpler (and nearly foolproof) method for bandsaw tuneup. I have since become friendly with Alex and asked him if he’d be willing to come out to my shop to film his setup method. He agreed and here we are! I can say without a doubt that this is the BEST way to set up a bandsaw.

Align the Blade

Install the blade and apply just enough tension to keep the blade securely on the wheels. Use the tracking adjustment while turning the wheel by hand to line up the deepest part of the gullet with the center of the top wheel.

Tension the Blade

You can usually ignore the tenon meter on most bandsaws as they are notoriously inaccurate. Instead, tension the blade until your finger is only able to deflect the blade by about 1/4″. This test should be done at the back of the saw where nothing can get in the way of the blade. The amount of pressure you apply to the blade shouldn’t result in turning your finger white. If that happens, you’re pushing too hard. After the tension is set, make sure the blade is still tracking properly with the gullet in the center of the top wheel.

Side Guides (Front to Back)

The front of the side guides should be located about 1/16″ back from the deepest part of the blade gullets. You don’t want the side guides to contact the cutting teeth of the blade since the teeth flare out at a slight angle. This adjustment is made to both the top and bottom guides.

Thrust Bearings

Adjust the thrust bearings carefully so that they do NOT rotate while the blade moves, but they DO begin to rotate as soon as light pressure is applied to the blade. Spend the necessary time to get this adjustment just right. Of course, you’ll do this adjustment to both the top and bottom guides.

Side Guides (Side to Side)

Just like the thrust bearing adjustment, the side guides should be as close to the blade as possible without actually touching. So when the blade moves the bearings should be stationary. When a slight amount of pressure is applied to the blade as its moving, the bearings should spin.

Square the Table

Using a 2×4 or 2×6, make a partial cut into the face of the board. Turn the saw off, flip the board around and try to get the blade to slide into the cut slot. If it slides in easily and without resistance, we know the table is 90 degrees to the blade. If it doesn’t slide in, make adjustments to the table and cut/test again. The wider the board is, the more accurate this test will be.

Align the Fence

The fence can be aligned parallel with the body of the blade using nothing more than a ruler. Be sure the ruler is resting on the body of the blade between the teeth. With a long enough ruler you can easily align the fence by eye. Alex shows us the F.A.S.T system which is a simple and convenient way to do this same task.

Test Cut

Since the overall goal of this setup process is to prepare for resawing, a good test is to slice off a thin veneer from a jointed and planed board. In our first test cut we were able to slice off a piece that was .016″ or just over 1/64″. This is way thinner than anything I’d ever need but it’s pretty cool to see that the saw is capable of making such a delicate cut.

Special thanks to Alex Snodgrass and Carter Products for helping make this video possible. Happy bandsawing!

QotD: A key drawback of a cashless society

Filed under: Economics, Government, Liberty, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

When I was just starting out as a journalist, the State of New York swooped down and seized all the money out of one of my bank accounts. It turned out — much later, after a series of telephone calls — that they had lost my tax return for the year that I had resided in both Illinois and New York, discovered income on my federal tax return that had not appeared on my New York State tax return, sent some letters to that effect to an old address I hadn’t lived at for some time, and neatly lifted all the money out of my bank. It took months to get it back.

I didn’t starve, merely fretted. In our world of cash, friends and family can help out someone in a situation like that. In a cashless society, the government might intercept any transaction in which someone tried to lend money to the accused.

Unmonitored resources like cash create opportunities for criminals. But they also create a sort of cushion between ordinary people and a government with extraordinary powers. Removing that cushion leaves people who aren’t criminals vulnerable to intrusion into every remote corner of their lives.

We probably won’t notice how much this power grows every time we swipe a card instead of paying cash. The danger is that by the time we do notice, it will be too late. If we want to move toward a cashless society — and apparently we do — then we also need to think seriously about limiting the ability of the government to use the payments system as an instrument to control the behavior of its citizens.

Megan McArdle, “After Cash: All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses a Bank Account”, Bloomberg View, 2016-03-15.

November 17, 2017

The End Of Passchendaele – Fighting in Petrograd I THE GREAT WAR Week 173

Filed under: Europe, History, Middle East, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 16 Nov 2017

The Anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia are trying to fight back last week’s revolution. The Battle of Passchendaele ends after 3 months of fighting and at least 500,000 casualties on both sides. The British are still advancing on Jerusalem and the Italians set up defences behind the Piave river.

Canada is back in peacekeeping … sorta

Filed under: Africa, Cancon, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Ted Campbell is not happy with the government’s “decision” on peacekeeping:

It appears that today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced just about the “best thing” for him and his Liberals in the long, long, long run up to the 2019 election campaign; but it’s pretty much the worst thing he could do for Canada and the Canadian Forces and the UN. In fact: it appears to involve a handful of “penny packet” commitments ~ a “grab bag” one journalist said, none of which will do much good ~ being too small to even been noticed amongst the 75,000+ UN soldiers in Africa ~ and none of which will contribute materially to the Trudeau Liberal’s quest for a second class, temporary, powerless seat on the worthless UN Security Council.

Let’s be very clear: Canada is not “back” ~ this is a far cry from the sort of traditional UN peacekeeping that Canada did in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s and that Justin Trudeau and many, many Canadians imagined in 2015, and it is a far cry from what Canada could do if the government really wanted to help.

[…] I suspect that too many non-military voices in too many special interest groups argued for the “penny packet” and “let the UN help decide” approach. My suspicion is that the UN simply doesn’t know how to organize or manage a complex, logistical and/or air transport mission, and the “civil society” special interests that want Canada “back” in UN peacekeeping have no idea at all about military matters or how to get the most bang for the buck.

The good news for the Liberals is that it will the autumn of 2018, at the earliest, when “negotiations” with the UN come to some sort of conclusion and, probably, early 2019 before Canada actually sends anyone into anything like harm’s way … just in time for a campaign photo-op with the PM waving good-by to some female RCAF members in baby blue berets as they board a plane bound for somewhere. And, so long as the UN doesn’t send any home in caskets the Trudeau government campaign team will be happy. But it will give Team Trudeau another chance to smugly proclaim that “Canada’s back,” and that’s all that really matters in official Ottawa late in this decade.

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