October 10, 2010

Electronic solution to the cost of rifle training

Filed under: Military, Technology, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 11:33

Strategypage reports on an indoor shooting simulator:

The U.S. Marine Corps has saved over half a billion dollars in the last four years, by using indoor electronic firing ranges. IMST (Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer) has cost over $200 million, but the savings in ammo, wear on weapons, and running outdoor ranges were much larger. Nearly 200,000 marines have undergone marksmanship training using IMST. Unlike the similar U.S. Army EST system, IMST is wireless. A special magazine contains gas that provides a realistic recoil and a wireless radio device connects the weapon to the targets displayed on the screen and records how accurate the electronic rounds were fired.

Devices like IMST and EST have boosted the shooting skills of troops, while reducing costs. This gives American riflemen a big battlefield advantage. In most armies, the troops rarely fire their rifles. Ammo is too expensive (given the meager military budget). When there is combat, the troops are issued bullets, which they fire very inaccurately. Against a better trained foe, this leads to quick defeat. Happens all the time. But now cash strapped armies can train their troops to be effective marksmen without spending a lot of money, by using simulators.

Sure beats the “simulation technology” we used in my militia days: we ran around yelling “Bang!” to simulate firing the bullets the military budget couldn’t afford to provide us with. Ah, the joys of Trudeau-era military experience.

Amsterdam failing to protect its gay population from attack

Filed under: Europe, Law, Liberty, Religion — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 11:10

Ezra Levant looks at the worsening situation in Amsterdam for gay and lesbian residents:

If you think Amsterdam is the gay capital of Europe, you’re half-right, but 10 years out of date. Today it’s the gay-bashing capital of Europe.

Because Amsterdam isn’t just gay. Now it’s Muslim, too. A million Moroccans and Turks have immigrated to the Netherlands, and sharia law rules the streets.

If you doubt it, then you haven’t been paying attention. Actually, that’s not fair. Gay-bashing is front-page news only when it’s committed by a straight, white male.

The media is terribly uncomfortable writing about gay-bashing by minorities. It’s the same reason why Canadian feminists are so eerily quiet about honour killings of Muslim girls.

According to an “offender study” by the University of Amsterdam, there were 201 reports of anti-gay violence in that city in 2007 and researchers believe for every reported case there are as many as 25 unreported ones. Two thirds of the predators are Muslim youths.

The violence couldn’t be more brazen. It’s not in the back alleys in the dark, it’s in the heart of the city, often in broad daylight. It’s a direct dare to the Dutch government to show who rules the streets.

We’ve already seen how wary the Dutch government has been about protecting freedom of speech (when the speech offended Muslim sensibilities). Now we’re starting to see how little protection from violence the police can offer. The Netherlands have had a reputation for tolerance for decades, but it won’t last much longer if the authorities don’t start cracking down on this kind of flagrant criminality.

Calculate your odds of winning the lottery

Filed under: Randomness — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 10:09

By way of the ever-helpful Roger Henry, here’s a site that lets you simulate your lottery habits to determine how much you’ll win and how much it’ll cost:

Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator!

It is really hard to win the Mega Millions lottery. So hard that it can be difficult to comprehend what long odds confront its players.

Why not try for free on this Mega Millions lottery simulator? You’ll be able to try the same numbers over and over, simulating playing twice a week for a year or 10. You’ll never win.

I ran 1040 simulations. It would have cost me $1040. I would have won $243. Not a good return on investment. I actually “win” more by not buying a ticket at all: I avoid the loss of that $797 in ticket purchases.

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