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Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Thursday - October 17, 2019

The One, The Only

THE UNIVERSAL POST: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE



10/17/19


A bit of whimsy, and an OC episode


A little snippet of music popped back into my head last night. It’s shown up before. I can remember the tune, but not the lyrics, other than a “will she won’t she” or was it a “will you won’t you”. There was something in there about fish and lobsters and other sea creatures. I’m pretty sure it was from an Alice In Wonderland movie. So I’m thinking The Walrus and the carpenter because I know there are crustaceans involved, and I’m not a big Lewis Carrol scholar. Also I’m pretty terrible at remembering actors and actresses, and my slightly fuzzy memory was telling me that this Alice was played by Alyson Hannigan, who starred in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later in How I met your mother. But I couldn’t find anything. Being a tenacious little terrier ... monomaniacal fixation ... possibly obsessive compulsive ... I had to find it. Looked up all the Alice movies and cartoons ever made. No Hannigan. Found a TV movie from 1999 with Whoopie Goldberg and Gene Wilder that had Tina Majorino as Alice. She was the little girl Enola in Waterworld, the one with the map tattoo on her back. Later she played Deb, the dorky girl selling cookies door to door in Napoleon Dynamite. Ah ha, maybe. I’m one of those people who can see a resemblance between two people that others can’t see.  So I dug a bit deeper and found a movie poster of it and some pictures of a younger Alyson Hannigan, and I don’t think I’m that far off the mark here ...


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Close enough for me. So I then had to find the song. In that film, Alice is all stressed out because she has to do a recital, and she can’t learn her music. So she has a dream escape ... to Wonderland ... and learns this song there, which she later performs instead of the song her father wanted her to sing, the little rebel, and is a big hit. Happy ending. I dug up all the songs from the film, and tried to listen to bits of all the ones that seemed to have appropriate titles. Nothing. Give it up.

Then this morning I re-remembered that the lyric was “will she (you) won’t she (you) join the dance? and it was off to the races. It turns out, just to confuse my poor little brain, that Lewis Carrol wrote this as a poem that seems to have two different titles. It’s both The Lobster Quadrille and The Mock Turtle’s Song. And it’s been set to music several times in several slightly different ways over the past 100+ years. And so I found it. And in the film clip, naturally, Alice gives it a 3rd title. It’s a happy bit of whimsy. A silly little song with a lively beat. But I found it, so I triumph over an aggravating micro-challenge. Woo hoo. I added another clip with Gene Wilder as the Mock Turtle, who does it better at an earlier point in the same film.

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Now all I have to do is impress this into my head so that the next time this tune shows up in there ... probably in another decade or two ... I’ll remember the name properly. At least one of them. Good enough.


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Red Flag garbage, or just standard Stalinism?

Waitress Overhears Part Of Conversation, Gets Veteran Hauled Off Job By Cops, Suspended, And Guns Seized

No Charges Filed, But He Will Not Get His Guns Back

A Korean War veteran who has served in some capacity with local law enforcement for a span of six decades had his firearms confiscated and was relieved of his duties as an elementary school crossing guard last month, after a waitress overheard what she perceived to be a “threat” in a passing conversation at a coffee shop.

Stephen Nichols, 84, of Tisbury, Massachusetts, was never charged with a crime, and was reinstated to his post at the crosswalk of Tisbury School on Tuesday following public outcry. But his guns are still to be sold.

He was sitting in a coffee shop talking with a friend, complaining that he felt it was a bad thing for the school’s resource officer school cop to be going out for coffee when the kids were arriving for school. He felt the cop was improperly leaving his post, and opined that this could make the children vulnerable to a madman at a time when they are crowded up and vulnerable.

The Times reported that “Nichols said he was unimpressed with the Tisbury School resource officer’s alleged trips to Xtra Mart to get coffee when children came to school in the morning,” and “told a friend about this and suggested somebody could ‘shoot up the school’ in that officer’s absence, which he described as ‘leaving his post.’”

Based on the waitress’s report, Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio and another officer pulled Nichols off the job while he was working his shift at the school. “He came up to me and told me what I said was a felony, but he wasn’t going to charge me,” Mr. Nichols recalled.

The officers then went to Nichols’ home and took his firearms as well as his license to carry — which the former Morse code specialist had held since 1958.

Nichols believed that he had been fired that day, but officials later disputed that and said his position was just under review until their investigation had been completed. Mr. Nichols was reinstated following public outcry, including a change.org petition where organizers pleaded for officials to put the beloved crossing guard back on the job.

Regardless, Nichols was never charged with a crime, the police have refused to release their report to the press, and Mr. Nichols maintains that he was never given any documentation relating to the seizure of his guns.

Another case of zero tolerance meaning zero intelligence. I think it’s time to fire the thought police. Period. Everywhere. And I hope that there will be several really large lawsuits over this. The not-bright waitress, the school, the cops. A few dozen million each.

Sure, “if you see something, say something” but try thinking for a second first. Same goes for those receiving the information. Stuck on stupid is no way to run a school. Or a town. Or a country.

And Tidsbury Elementary ... go buy a damn coffee pot.


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Elijah Cummings Has Died

Veteran US Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings, who was heavily involved with the Trump impeachment inquiry, has died at the age of 68. His office said he had died as a result of “longstanding health challenges”.

The congressman had experienced several health problems in recent years, and received treatment for a heart condition.

Prominent Democratic lawmakers have paid tribute to Mr Cummings following the news of his death.

“He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity,” Maya Cummings, Maryland’s Democratic Party chairwoman, said in a statement.

Mr Cummings worked as a Maryland state delegate and lawyer before his election to the House of Representatives in 1996.



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10/16/19


Woof !!

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I think the “healthy dialogue” should be “Do we fire her now, or do we fire her now and strip her of her pension and all benefits?”

Rhode Island City Councilor Approves Of Vandalizing Columbus Statue

A city official in Rhode Island has said she agreed with the vandalization of a local Christopher Columbus statue.

Providence City Councilor Katherine Kerwin said Wednesday that she supports removing the statue, which was doused in red paint Monday and had a sign placed at its base that read: “stop celebrating genocide.”

“I don’t know who did it, but they created a really healthy dialogue in Providence,” Kerwin, who serves on the council’s committee on city property and the committee on public works, told WPRO News.

She said she doesn’t know who was responsible for the vandalism, but that “I stand with them.” The city’s Democratic mayor, Jorge Elorza, has said he would consider moving the statue to another location.

The statue was targeted by vandals on Columbus Day, a federal holiday to celebrate the famed Italian explorer. The figure was one of several vandalized nationwide on the day.

I bet she’s a pinko too. That would make her a Rhode Island Red, right?


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Safety Reminders: Don’t tailgate logging trucks. Overhanging trunks may obscure brake lights. Pull over if you have to rescue something you’ve dropped, like your coffee.

Only Minor Injuries??

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WHITFIELD COUNTY, Ga. Whitfield County Fire crews pulled a driver from a vehicle after an accident in Cohutta involving a logging truck Friday morning.

The fire department says the accident happened on Cleveland Highway, sharing photos of the incident on their Facebook page.

The photos show logs rammed through the windshield of the Nissan Xterra - all the way through to the rear hatch and shattering the glass.

Fire crews say fortunately, the driver had only minor injuries.

Family members(?) on Facebook say his injuries were more than minor: 7 hours of surgery so far. One person says he had dropped his coffee and was bending down to get it ... while still driving ... when the accident happened.

The pulpwood logs were hanging so far off the back of the truck that on impact they went all the way through the SUV and popped the back hatch open. And then the SUV hit the back bumper of the trailer. See the pics on the Facebook page. A Nissan XTerra is 15 feet long. Georgia truck regs allow a maximum OAL of 75’ including the tractor and the overhang. The driver did manage to miss the one grubby faded red warning flag tacked to one of the logs.


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10/15/19


Gunsplainin’ Temptation

I feel like writing an entire essay on how firearms actually work. I know that no one would read it, but I’m tempted just the same. Not the actual mechanics of the mechanisms, or the sequence of actions of the cartridge going off and how the case shifts around several times in the chamber, or how the barrel swells, twists, stretches, and vibrates as the bullet travels down the barrel, or even how the ejecta - the plasma hot burning gases behind the bullet - overtake the bullet as it exits the muzzle and can disrupt it’s path. I was thinking more about the recoil impulse, the movement of the firearm based on it’s design and how it’s held. The whole “drop at comb” and “drop at heel” thing and how that pertains to how much whack your shoulder gets when you shoot. All of this has been written about in exquisite detail by so many other people before me. So there’s no point in my doing it again.

This is me, with my brain going down a tangent as usual, because there’s a misleading news story about a criminal case against some guy supposedly building AR15s without a federal gun making business license, and selling them without the proper federal and state paperwork. And that got me thinking about the AR design, which I’ve always considered to be somewhat flawed. But I consider many firearms designs to be flawed in one way or another, and recoil management is one of those flaws. The AR15 gets away with a lot there, because the cartridge it uses produces very little recoil. If they were chambered for hard kicking hunting rounds, like the .338 Winchester Magnum, the way the rifle is built and shouldered would put most people in the hospital after just a shot or three. Whatever.

Hold your rifle tight to your shoulder. Lean into it, with your offside foot forward and your weight on it. Grasp the forend firmly with your off hand and push it away from you. At the same time, wrap your shooting hand around the rifle’s wrist, and pull it back towards you. This locks up your whole upper body, and gets some of the recoil impulse sent down your arms, while the forward lean uses the whole mass of your torso to absorb the recoil. And a reasonable drop at heel stock design will let the muzzle climb a bit when you fire, which also absorbs some of the kick. Getting your face down on the stock - a “cheek weld” - helps too, but too much of that will give you a sore neck. A proper hold will eat up at least half the recoil.

Crivens, I wrote half an essay already, didn’t I?


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Ruh Roh

FBI Drops Gun Maker Case Against Joe Roh, CNN Blurs The Facts

He sold illegal AR-15s. Feds agreed to let him go free to avoid hurting gun control efforts

(CNN)For more than a year, Joseph Roh illegally manufactured AR-15-style rifles in a warehouse south of Los Angeles.
His customers, more than two dozen of whom were legally prohibited from possessing a firearm, could push a button, pull a lever, and walk away a short time later with a fully assembled, untraceable semi-automatic weapon for about $1,000, according to court records.
Roh continued his black-market operation despite being warned in person by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he was breaking the law.
But five years after raiding his business and indicting him, federal authorities quietly cut a deal with Roh earlier this year and agreed to drop the charges.
Why?

And this is as far as most people will read the article. All they get is the scare tactics, none of the facts, and certainly nothing about the pertaining laws.

Some people like to build things. Some people like a good DIY project. Some people find machining and metalurgy quite fascinating. I know I do.

The modular design of the AR platform allows for endless customization, which is a billion dollar industry, and nearly every single part is completely legal for anyone to purchase with no license or background check needed. The only registered part, the part that makes a bunch of stuff an official firearm, is the lower receiver. To buy one of those, you have to fill out the government paperwork, do the NICS check, and get the part through your favorite gun shop. Everything else is over the counter, and the instructions are over the internet.

But the laws about firearms receivers are limited. It is not illegal to build your own. You don’t need a firearms manufacturer license, you don’t need to pass a background check. And the very nice thing about the AR platform is that the heart of the gun, the lower receiver, does not bear any of the weapon’s weight or contribute to it’s strength. I’ve written in the past about a digital friend of mine who built his own AR and made the lower out of wood. And it works just fine.

back to the news story ...

Under US District Court Judge James V. Selna’s interpretation of the law, convicted felons and other people prohibited from possessing firearms would be allowed to legally acquire all the parts necessary to assemble an AR-15-style rifle and other weapons, according to federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors and ATF officials declined comment for this story, noting that the case against Roh is technically an open matter because he remains subject to a deferred prosecution agreement.
Adam Winkler, a UCLA constitutional law professor and Second Amendment expert, predicted that Selna’s tentative order would have “broad implications” and would encourage others to challenge existing law.
“This case could open up a huge loophole in federal law” he said. “It could lead to an explosion in the number of AR-15s out on the streets.”

Yeah, because there’s a guy in every basement with a $30,000 machining rig, just like there’s a crazed gun builder with a 3D metallic printer in every office building. Riiiight.

As I said, it’s perfectly legal for anyone to buy every last part of an AR except for the lower, and the partially machined chunk of metal called an “80% Lower” is also legal for anyone to buy.

It’s perfectly legal to hire a machinist to instruct you how to do the proper necessary machining, even if that instruction is “put your chunk of metal here, and push that button there”. You’re essentially renting the tools. Perfectly legal. As is step by step assembly and adjustment instruction. I am not sure if it is legal to hire someone to assembe a bunch of parts into a functional firearm, but shouldn’t it be? They’re just turning wrenches, not creating things from scratch. Where’s the line? And I don’t know if Joe Roh was doing the assembly. The article doesn’t clearly say.

The FBI didn’t have a case against this guy at all. So they dropped it, but left a big old threat hanging on him, and came up with some smoke and mirrors BS to explain things to the undereducated media. But they only did that once a judge came up with the “wrong” interpretation.

Under federal law, the one regulated individual part of a firearm is what’s known as the frame or receiver — a piece that, among other things, provides a housing for the hammer and firing mechanism of a gun.

Though incapable of firing a round, the part is considered a gun in its own right and is subject to the same restrictions as a fully intact firearm. Manufacturers must stamp it with a serial number and licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers. The restrictions are intended, in part, to keep felons and other people prohibited from possessing firearms from acquiring them piece by piece.
AR-15s, however, do not have a single receiver that meets that definition. They have both an upper and lower receiver — two parts as opposed to the single part described in the law.
At issue in Roh’s case was whether the law could fairly be interpreted to apply to just the lower receiver of the AR-15, as the ATF has been doing for decades.
To rule otherwise “would sweep aside more than 50 years of the ATF’s regulation of AR-15s and other semiautomatic firearms,” prosecutors wrote prior to the judge’s order.

In other words, following the law made their case fall apart. “fairly interpreted” my pinky toe. That’s EXACTLY what the law says, and why it is only the lower that bears a serial number.

… often referred to in the gun world as “80% lowers” because they are roughly 80% complete.
The part, which surrounds the trigger area of an AR-15, requires some additional machining and drilling before it is considered a regulated firearm under the law.
...
The devices are controversial among law enforcement and gun control advocates because they can be bought and sold without restriction, but can be converted into finished lower receivers, and then a fully functioning weapon, with relative ease.

“Relative ease” if you are an experienced machinist with some highly precise milling machines sitting around. Preferrably the expensive kind with computer controls.

And the article goes on and on and on. Eventually, the case went to trial, which lasted 4 days. But the judge took more than a year to render a decision, and that decision was flawed. One more instance of poor reading comprehension: the regulations that define what a firearms receiver is say that “usually” the barrel is threaded onto it. His rendering was inside out, deciding that an AR lower wasn’t the magic part because it doesn’t carry the bolt or have a barrel threaded on. (come to think of it, neither does a 1911 pistol. The bolt is the slide, and the barrel is only loosely attached to the frame with a toggle link. Does that mean that these pistols aren’t actually guns?? LOL ) Faced with this kind of stupid from the bench, the Feebs dropped the case, because letting the verdict be delivered would set precident, and pretty much break every firearms designation law out there.

So are “Build parties” actually legal? The Libs sure don’t want to have to say so. OMG, no. But the truth is ... myabe.

And what if this case gets ATF to change the rules and declare that the upper and lower are now serialized parts? Would this make the trigger pack of a Ruger 10/22 a firearm in it’s own right? We’ve got a can of worms here folks.

What about my 1863 Springfield? It has no reciever. The barrel is screwed to the stock, and the trigger works sit in the stock. Is the stock then the gun? It’s a chunk of wood.

Perhaps by trying to split hairs, the ATF has cut themselves in the thumb.


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10/14/19

Wretched pun time


There’s a new Kansas restaurant that serves curry sauce poured over lost french fries. Comes with free green dessert.

The dish is called “Curry on my wayward spuds”, and yes, there’ll be peas when you are done.

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Did you hear about the farmer who had 3 sons who decided to start their own cattle ranch? They named the place Focus. Why? Because that’s where the sun’s rays meet.

This might be related to the one about the farmer named Len who had a son who had 2 sons and named them both Ray, who built a clubhouse under Grandpa’s house. Also named Focus. The place where the Rays of the son meet under the Len’s? Meh.


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Tiring, but true. Test your English speaking ability with this poem. I missed “victual” because I’ve never heard it said, and didn’t know it was the same as vittle. Same meaning too. Food. Hmm.

Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ok, I missed “Terpsichore” too, not knowing that she was the Greek Muse of dance. 4 syllables. I thought it was a word that had something to do with turtles. Her sister Melpomene too ... damn those muses. I had no idea; I figured Melpomene was some old kind of plastic. Melpa men ay.

Good thing “slough” wasn’t in there. That one has at least 3 ways to say it, depending on whether it’s a place in England, a swamp, a verb that describes how a scab slides off or how you let go of a minor insult, and maybe more.


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Taking Another PiS In Poland

Conservative Polish nationalists win another election, plan to keep country Christian, hetero, anti-commie, anti-jihad, and keep EU at arm’s length

Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party secured a second term in power in Sunday’s parliamentary election, partial results showed on Monday, but fell short of the landslide victory it needs to overhaul the constitution.

After four years in power marked by judicial and media reforms that Poland’s European partners criticized as subverting democratic norms, PiS campaigned on a promise to enshrine more Catholic and patriotic values in public life.

Partial results showed it winning 44.4% of votes, against the 37.6% it won in 2015, a result that gives PiS a narrow majority in parliament but not enough to reshape the constitution, its ultimate ambition.

Officials were quick to signal the party would continue its judicial reforms, which critics say amount to a politicization of the courts, but PiS says are needed to make the system more efficient and fair.

There was no immediate reaction from the European Union, which has taken Poland to court over its past judicial reforms.

Sunday’s results highlighted increased political polarization in Poland under PiS rule, with the liberal opposition scoring sweeping victories in some large cities where voters fret over the future of democratic standards in Poland.

Echoing opposition victories in local elections in Hungary and Turkey, Poland’s Civic Coalition, a centrist umbrella group, and a left-wing bloc won roughly 60% of votes in the capital Warsaw on Sunday against 28% for PiS.

In a further sign of deepening divisions, a group of far-right politicians and activists, the Confederation, won seats in parliament for the first time, securing 6.8% of the vote, just above the 5% threshold needed to enter the legislature.

Critics have accused PiS of fomenting homophobia during the election campaign, with PiS officials branding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights an “invasive foreign influence” that threatens Poland’s national identity.

“We saved Poland. … It is time to complete decommunization. It is time to stop the LGBT dictate!,” Deputy Digitalisation Minister Andrzej Andruszkiewicz, who is seen as close to far-right politicians, wrote in a tweet.

Throughout the campaign, PiS told voters that business and cultural elites should be replaced with people who espouse patriotic values, to weed out what it says is a communist-era web of influence that prevents fair market competition.

Good for Poland. Woo hoo!!  But it is kind of humorous how foreign acronyms don’t always work in English. Like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front down in the Philippines. MILF.


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Happy Columbus Day!

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In a brutal age Columbus sailed a few leaky little ships over to this side of the pond. hoping to beat Vasco de Gama at his own game and be the first to find a new, islamic-free route to the spice lands, like the good little capitalist he was. Instead he found a few stone age natives, tobacco, and chocolate. He wasn’t the first white guy to get over here, but he had great PR, so he got the credit. Later explorations would find a barbaric culture further west even more sadistic than the Spanish Inquisition, so they pretty much wiped them out, stole all their gold, took some as slaves, and burned all their books. Which was par for the course throughout the entire world in those days.

And the rest is history.  Maybe.

Recent research has pretty much proven that the “First Peoples”, whom are thought to have descended from the post-glacial Clovis Culture, weren’t the first people here at all, not by far.  It’s commonly thought that the pre-Clovis folks came up from Mongolia, crossed the land bridge into Alaska, and kept on walking, spreading out across two continents over 10,000 years or so. Problem is, people have been living way down South America for perhaps 50,000 years. Easily 20,000, with ancient sites being found all over, including a cave up in Oregon that was used as the men’s room at a Hess station for travelers who were NOT Clovis people. I guess they hadn’t found San Fransisco yet. Naturally “top scientists” are having shit fits over these ancient cave turds, coprolites, claiming that there’s too much vegetation in them and not enough meat for them to be human. But ignore the human DNA also found in them. Hey, maybe the hunting was really bad and that’s all they could find to eat?

But at this point, the proof is pretty irrefutable that the ancient progenitors of the First People weren’t first at all. Maybe not even fifth.

But we’ve got to celebrate “Our people got there” day somehow, and there’s no major proof yet of the Welsh, the Basques, or the Vikings setting up shop long term. But the Conquistadors, them we know about, big time. So Columbus it is.


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10/13/19


Good grief. Friday the 13th comes on a Sunday this month. ( are you old enough to remember where this meme comes from? )

Bridge post fail. Sort of.

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10/12/19


He’s Baaaack !!!


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Well, at least half back. Cox & Forkum is now Margolis & Cox. Let’s hope the art and content stay similar to what we loved years ago. (OMG, a whole damn DECADE has passed since C&F quit!)

Matt Margolis and Jeff Cox.


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10/11/19
What, another bridge post already?

Da Vinci’s Bridge For The Sultan Would Have Worked

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In the early 16th century, da Vinci designed a lesser-known structure: a bridge for the Ottoman Empire that would have been the longest bridge of its time. Had it been built, the bridge would have been incredibly sturdy, according to a new study.

In 1502, Ottomon ruler Sultan Bayezid II requested proposals for the design of a bridge that would connect Constantinople, what’s today Istanbul, to the neighboring area known as Galata. Da Vinci was among those who sent a letter to the sultan describing a bridge idea.

Though da Vinci was already a well-known artist and inventor, he didn’t get the job, according to a statement from MIT. Now, a group of researchers at MIT has analyzed da Vinci’s design and tested how robust his bridge would have been if it were built.


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The newly analyzed design, written about in a yet-to-be-published study by MIT researchers, shows that da Vinci’s concept used a flattened arch tall enough to let sailboats pass underneath the bridge. It would also have been wide enough to use a single arch.

Most of the bridge supports in da Vinci’s time used semicircular arches, which according to the statement, “would have required 10 or more piers along the span to support such a long bridge.” The bridge would have connected Istanbul to the neighboring city of Galata, according to the researchers.


The group built a replica of the bridge, after taking into consideration the materials and construction equipment available 500 years ago and the geological conditions of the Golden Horn, a freshwater estuary in the Bosphorus Sea over which the bridge would’ve been built.

In his descriptions, da Vinci didn’t indicate the materials or equipment needed to construct the bridge, but the only material available at the time, that wouldn’t have collapsed under large loads on such a long bridge, would have been stone, Karly Bast, a recent graduate student at MIT who worked on the project, and her team found. The researchers also hypothesized that such a bridge would have stood on its own without any paste or material to hold the stone together.

To test the sturdiness of the bridge, the team 3D printed 126 blocks to represent the thousands of stone blocks the original bridge would have required. Their model was 500 times smaller than da Vinci’s bridge design, which would have extended about 919 feet (280 meters).

https://www.livescience.com/da-vinci-bridge-never-made.html
https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a29426711/da-vinci-bridge/

The thing about arches is that, the flatter they are, the more they push out at the ends. A semi-circular arch has no end thrust at all, but a very flat arch like this will probably express half its load as end thrust. So Da Vinci’s design would have needed some serious large hard rock abutments.
500 years ago he designed an arch bridge with wing walls. 500 years later we have a “modern” design arch bridge with wing walls ... the one that fell down a short time ago in Taiwan:

It is not known exactly where this bridge would have been built. And it’s possible the sea levels were a little lower in those days, which would have made the inlet called The Golden Horn slightly narrower. Unless you go quite a distance up the inlet, it’s generally several hundred feet wider than the dimensions given for Leonardo’s bridge.

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Looks quite similar conceptually, doesn’t it? Yes, that “ultra modern design” bridge recently collapsed. Or actually, the deck of it collapsed. The arch broke loose of it’s footings and dropped straight into the river, and it didn’t break even then.

If you look closely at his drawing, you can see the rather massive supports shown at the edge of the water. And the long approaches built with open arches. I’m not sure how much of the end thrust forces the approaches would have absorbed, but the more the better.

Hey, maybe in another 100 years or so people will find out that da Vinci also invented reinforced concrete and hollow section trapezoidal box girders ... in which case not only could this bridge have been built, it would be far stronger, lighter, and more earthquake resistant than just a pile of rocks squeezed into an arch. It could have been cast in place perhaps.


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10/10/19
Never should have taken them as prisoners in the first place

OrangeManBad: Won’t Take Tens Of Thousands Of ISIS Prisoners To Gitmo

The United States for months has been urging European countries to repatriate captured ISIS fighters and their families from northeastern Syria, to no avail, and the U.S. is not about to incarcerate them in Guantanamo Bay, President Trump said on Monday.

“We’re not bringing 50, 60, 70 – or even 10,000 people to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re not going to be paying them for the next 50 years – or paying to take care of them for the next 50 years.”

He characterized the European response to Washington’s appeals as another example of allies taking advantage of the U.S., and treating it as a “sucker.”

EUrope is smart to not take these people back. They made their choice. Besides, it’s a no-brainer that the vast majority of these “European” fighters were recent muzzie immigrants anyway. So they’re better off without them.

Meanwhile, Turkey is invading Syria, and one of their early strikes was to shell a prison where ISIS fighters were being held. Whether this is to wipe them out, or to break down the walls so that they can escape, I can’t say.

ISIS is a primitive, sadist, barbaric, psychotic group, and this Global War On Terror really is an all-or-nothing clash of civilizations. They reveled in publishing videos of their mass executions, beheadings, and burnings of their enemy prisoners. Why should anyone treat them any different? You can’t repatriate them; that would be like eating poison or volunteering to get cancer. There is only one solution, and it’s a final one. That’s a harsh choice, and morally upsetting, but it’s necessary. Just don’t make videos about it.

Maybe the Turks will do this for us. Or maybe they won’t. But it’s not our job, one way or the other.


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10/09/19

This is great!


The Great Flamingo Uprising of 2010

I told this story to a few guildies a while back and decided to archive it in a longer format; so here is the story of The Great Flamingo Uprising of 2010 as told to me by my favorite cousin who was a keeper at the time.

Read the whole think. 6 minutes or less. You will laugh.


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HALLE SHOOTING UPDATE:

Yep, I was right. The shooting that is seen on the video happened in front of the The Kiez Doner shop at Ludwig-Wucherer-Straße 12, 06108 Halle (Saale), Germany. This is 3 blocks SW on Schillerstraße from the Synagogue, 1500 feet away. It happened AFTER the failed attack on the synagogue.

The shooter has been identified as Stephan Balliet. He is in custody.

The alleged perpetrator, Stephan Balliet, the attacks in the East German city of Halle an der Saale is said to have uploaded a video of the confessional in the social networks. In the video, which was distributed on Wednesday, you can see how obviously firing is taking place in the center of Halle. Among other things, the video shows how in a doner kebab several times shot at a man who lies behind a refrigerator.

You can copy/paste the whole article here into translate dot google dot com, but you’ll have to do it in 3 pieces.

He made his own grenade bombs and it looks like he made at least one firearm, a “zip gun” that worked poorly.

He live streamed his attacks to Twitch, calling himself a “loser” repeatedly during his anti-Semitic ranting.

He killed a woman in the street by the synagogue, then drove to the doner kebab shop and killed a man there. Others were wounded. He then shot at a police car.

After the fatal shots in Halle on the Saale, the police have confirmed the arrest of the alleged shooter. “The arrested person is the suspect,” said a police spokesman on Wednesday night. The man was injured. “He was taken care of,” the spokesman added. Whether he is in the hospital, he could not say.

I have no new information on a second gunman, or a denial of a second gunman. But the pictures do show one shooter get out of a stopped car, shoot 4 times, and leave ... and then the clips shows a shooter with a different gun walking down the exact same length of sidewalk by the kebab shop. Both video clips show a left handed shooter. For all I know these are edited and not in order. The one guy could have driven there, got out, gone down the street a bit, shot the people in the kebab shop, fired his gun again outside, then walked back to his car, got in it (to get the other weapon or more ammo?), then got out again and fired some more. Then he got back in and drove off.

The helmet cam video that was posted online was said to have been erased immediately. I would hope that the authorities have the original of both of these videos, unedited.

~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~


Trying to see through the bias and misinformation

At Least Two Gunmen Attack Synagogue, Kebab Shop, And Cemetery In Halle Germany

Please click the following link and watch the video in full screen:

FEARS that a far right terrorist is behind the gun and grenade attack on a synagogue in Germany today mounted as cops announced the suspect is a “white German”.

The maniac was filmed wearing a helmet with what appeared to be a mounted GoPro, repeatedly firing the a weapon believed to be some kind of adapted shotgun.

At least two people were killed in the attack in Halle, Saxony, as Jews in the city celebrated Yom Kippur, the Jewish festival of atonement - the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

Heiko Maas, Germany’s minister for foreign affairs, said: “A shooting at Halle synagogue on Yom Kippur hits us all in the heart.”

Worshippers were barricaded inside the synagogue as the attack unfolded with the perpetrator moving on to attack a kebab shop after he failed to gain entry to the temple.

Further shots were also heard in the town of Landsberg, which is about five miles away from Halle, it was later reported.

Today’s attacks happened on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism when Jews fast for more than 24 hours, seeking atonement

One maniac is said to have fired multiple shots with a sub-machine gun killing two and injuring several others near the synagogue with around people inside.

After failing to get into the holy building he is reported to opened fire in the street - killing a woman stepping off a tram

The suspect is then reported to have rolled hand grenades under the closed door into a Jewish cemetery.  The device caused a loud bang, but caused no severe damage, according to one witness.

Others said the shooter wore combat clothing and was armed with several weapons.

Ok, it’s early on in the news cycle, so expect the story to change as new information emerges.

However, most of the first attack was captured on hand held video. You can figure out where the kebab shop but not the synagogue, and it does look like there are two identically dressed “uniformed” assailants wearing helmets and body armor, at two different times on the same 50 meters of street.  And that’s the last part that makes any sense.

Google maps already has the synagogue location pinned. News sites all over the world have the story and loads of the same pictures. And that one videoHowever, I can not find the address of the kebab shop, nor match the architecture. Nor does the street seen in the video look like the paving on Humboltstrase.

And then it gets really weird. Watch the video again in full screen mode. The gunman pulls up in his little VW. Gets out, all geared up, with helmet and mounted camcorder, and some kind of short shotgun or rifle. He’s left handed. He shoots forward from behind the driver’s door, then walks back behind his vehicle and continues shooting in the same direction. Whatever his target is, he’s moving away from it and putting his car between them. Even though his gun appears to instantly eject the spent rounds, he has to stop to manually reload the thing after every shot. You can see the empties come flying out the gun when he fires, and you can tell from the cases lying in the street that he’s got a shotgun. Single shot shotguns don’t eject the spent hulls, and pump or semi-auto guns reload themselves. So that’s weird. Does he even know how to load it? You can see him digging around in his pockets for more ammo, and he reloads and fires 3 or 4 more times. Great clouds of smoke. Maybe it was a very humid day, or maybe he’s using black powder shells? Whatever. At one point he puts the gun down on the ground, and goes through all his pockets (0:55 in the video) but has no more shots. So he picks the gun up backwards and runs around to get back in his car. And then takes a nap in the street. Or was he shot? Or did he knock himself out getting into a mini-euro car while wearing a big freakin helmet? Whatever; the next thing we see he’s flat on his back in the street, not moving (1:00 mark). And he lays there for half a minute. Finally he arm flops a little, and he gets up, gets in, does a U turn and drives off. But notice the streetlamp with the two posters, the garbage cans with the yellow lids, and the white car parked just ahead of them.

The camera scene now changes, don’t know how much time gap there was, and we see some guy dressed the same way coming down the sidewalk from the direction the car guy was shooting towards. There’s a big puff of smoke (1:33) and here he comes around the parked white van. Even has the same lanyard thing hanging down by his leg. And there’s the white car, the lamp post with the two signs, and the yellow lids on the garbage cans. He’s just 4 car lengths down the road from where the other fellow was. In his line of fire? And he’s just walking along with his gun.

Now we see the police showing up while traffic drives through the scene. Then the camera shifts to the other side of the street, and we can see the kebab shop and all the police parked in front. This is where the guy in the car shot from, toward the left side of the picture. Same parked vehicles. The street has wide cobblestone sidewalks, some kind of ridge or curb running down the middle of the road, and what could be trolley tracks. This is not Humboltstrasse, and Google says their map picture is new this year.

I’ve been all over the area around the synagogue with the online maps. I can’t match the video to anywhere. It seems to me that at least as much shooting and “grenades” went on at the kebab shop as elsewhere; and I really doubt if anyone in that shop was Jewish. Not today, which is Yom Kippur, a fasting holiday.

The kebab shop “near the synagogue”. Near is a relative term. It could have been blocks away.

Where is this? What’s wrong with shooter #1’s gun? WTH happened to him when he got back in his car? Where’s this “machine gun” referred to in the headline? And how is it an anti-Semitic attack when most of the people dead or wounded aren’t Jewish? And why must they be “feared” to be right-wingers, when we’ve seen such a rise in anti-Semitic behavior from the Left these past couple years?



************


Almost But Not Quite Clear Of It


Only Two Cases Of Measles In All USA??

It looks like we can breathe a sigh of relief. Despite two new cases of measles being reported late last week in New York, federal and state health officials are confident the country’s measles-free status will stay in place. But the new cases highlight just how much a challenge lies ahead in controlling the spread of a disease that shouldn’t be here any longer.

Reuters reported Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had documented two new cases of the viral disease last week. Initially, there was little other information about the cases, including whether they were connected to an outbreak in Rockland County, New York that had been raging since October 1 of last year.
...
As it turned out, these new cases were found in Rockland County. But importantly, officials said that the first case involved an international traveler from Israel, who then infected another person.
...
From January 1, 2019 to this Tuesday, October 1, there have been 1,249 confirmed cases of measles reported, the highest yearly amount since 1992. And while measles is typically a flu-like illness for many sufferers, 10 percent of people sickened this year ended up hospitalized, and one developed a serious brain infection called encephalitis. Financially, it’s taken millions to control these outbreaks from spilling out further, including massive vaccination campaigns.

People who receive the full two-dose measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine are 99 percent less likely to contract measles. So understandably, 89 percent of reported cases were either unvaccinated or had an unknown immunization status.


I’m pretty sure nearly every single case of measles in the USA this past year can be traced back to an Israeli vector. WTH is wrong with our government, not immediately demanding that anyone coming here from Israel had to have prove of the double immunization? After the first dozen cases were shown to have that connection, it was a no-brainer.


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10/07/19


Trump Listens To Vizzini: Time To Leave Syria

image

““You fool!  You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is to never get involved in a land war in Asia.”

Kurds Feel Betrayed; How Will this Effect Their 2500 Year History Of Fighting Everyone?




President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw American forces from Syria, allowing Turkish forces to enter the country.

The White House revealed Trump’s decision Sunday night and the president also shared his thoughts on the issue on Twitter on Monday.

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump said he would allow Turkey to engage in Syria, despite the American alliance with the Kurds in the region. In return, he said, Turkey would take all of the captured Islamic State terrorists.

The White House announced the deal after Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

“Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial “Caliphate” by the United States,” the White House said in a statement.

Trump has tried to withdraw troops from Syria since destroying the Islamic State but has faced stiff resistance.

No matter what this President does, it will be wrong. At least according to the Dems, the MSM, the Deep State, and all the Never Trumper RINOS. So why not do what he thinks is practical?

Yes, we have some kind of alliance with these Kurdish people. And they’ve been betrayed by the West for over 100 years, and by the USA since Bush The First. I’d rather that we not betray them yet again, and I don’t trust this Erdogan guy in Turkey one bit.

The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe. But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA! I said “NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials.” They again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything. The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their “neighborhood.” They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

Well yeah, but the Turks are going to go all Armenia on the Kurds, and all the ISIS prisoners that get transferred to their loving care will somehow escape their prisons, just like their progenitors did countless times during the Iraq debacle

Yes, let’s keep wishing for whirled peas, but the truth is, fighting and killing each other is what the people in that corner of the world live for. It’s been going on forever, it will continue to go on forever. At least until we get the gumption to nuke the whole place from orbit, just to be sure. Which ain’t gonna happen any time soon.

Meanwhile, every mugwump, back biter, and copperhead out there is pitching a fit over this decision.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/inside-the-us-turkey-kurdish-triangle
https://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-pulls-troops-from-northeast-syria-ahead-of-turkish-attack/
https://dailycaller.com/2019/10/07/republicans-trump-syria-troops/
https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/10/07/kurdish-forces-who-defeated-islamic-state-call-trump-syria-withdrawal-a-stab-in-the-back/
http://news.trust.org/item/20191007152713-1kbux
https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/1570477214-turkish-jets-strike-kurdish-targets-in-northern-syria-reports

Now bring our people home from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo too. If the pisslamic world goes up in flames, let it burn to the ground. Just don’t let any of them come over here. Ever.


***********

Dammit, I baked a brick. I don’t get it. The past 3 loaves of bread turned out pretty great. This one was the same recipe, but less instant yeast. A little. And it just sat there for hours, as if it was straight up sourdough. Beats me. I think I’ll stick to hybrid bread. It’s got flavor and lifting strength.


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10/06/19
Using that baker’s math

We’re off to visit her dad today, so it was “can you make some bread for all 6 of us?”. So I took the recipe for The 600, applied the math, and increased it by 50%. What I didn’t take into account is that I’ve been feeding and pampering my starter for the past few days, getting it warm and happy again. Too long a time living in the fridge slows it down too much. So I made the dough, and it took off like a rocket. What should have been a 90 minute rise was done in 38 minutes. The second rise should have taken an hour, but was fine at 45 minutes. So I formed it into a nice long baton and let it go for a cool third rise on the countertop. And it came along just fine. Except that when it was time to go in the oven, the loaf was longer than my baking stone is wide. And that stone is nearly the full width of the oven! So I had to place it diagonally, and then shift it to the other diagonal halfway through cooking. It’s huge. YUGE!! But it appears to have come out real nice. It’s cooling off now, so I have time to get in the shower and get cleaned up before we head off. And of course it looks like it’s going to rain.

When I was a little kid my mom’s oven was 36” wide. All ovens were that size back then. Now even ovens have been downsized, and a 30” stove is pretty much it unless you pay large to get something custom or high end. I guess it makes sense, as people don’t cook so much anymore, families are smaller, and darn near nobody bakes. But it would be fun to have access to a commercial baking oven, just to try making 30” long loaves.

Later, much later, this evening: There and back again. Had a good time. The bread was a big hit; there’s only a quarter of it left. Nearly the whole drive home we were surrounded by big trucks on the highway in the rain. Such fun.


image


10/05/19


A difficult Bridge Post

Burning Bridges, Behind Me

I wanted to post on early Pennsylvania through truss railroad bridges. The PA truss is a variation of the Parker truss, but uses half length struts between some of the lower verticals, and double length “Whipple” struts across adjacent but not overlapping pairs of verticals. The Parker is an arch topped variation of the Pratt truss. Pennsylvania truss bridges are very sturdy and were widely used by the railroads. Many still exist today. The earlier ones were built out of assembled sections of steel; this is before large scale factory forged I beam and H beam steel was available. Angle iron sections were connected with open latticework strapping and lots and lots of rivets. Around 1927 larger steel became common, and bridges made after that have a more solid look.

I found two nice examples, but by the time I got to the photos, one bridge had burned, and the other one had some scantily dressed nudie model cavorting all over it.

Between the flames and the skin, it’s hard to see the particulars that make this kind of bridge enjoyable and unique.

image  image

The Arizona & California Railroad’s bridge over the Colorado River caught fire late Saturday evening, Sept. 14. The bridge caught fire sometime around 10:45 p.m. The fire burned the southern end of the bridge (the Arizona side) near the entrance to BlueWater Lagoon. The bridge deck and pilings were both burned, and vegetation along the banks of the Colorado River was burned as well.

As of noon, Sunday, Sept. 15, small flames could still be seen and the bridge was smoldering. Fire crews remained on the scene. No injuries were reported.

Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services spokesperson Michael Williams told the Pioneer in an e-mail that the fire was still burning in hot spots as of Sunday afternoon, and railroad ties were being removed to keep the fire from spreading. Genesee & Wyoming is the parent company of the A & C.

“The railroad has begun mobilizing contractors and materials and expects a two-week outage,” Williams said. “But it’s early in the process and pending damage assessment. The railroad’s customers are all east of the bridge, so we are working to route traffic to the east.”

Williams said state and federal authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

It’s purely coincidental that this Parker-type bridge is in Parker AZ.

You can see the unburned bridge here where those lower half struts are really visible. As for “Sexy Melisa On The Bridge” you’ll have to search that one up yourself. But you can tell from the size and from the line signal tower that it’s a RR bridge, and if you look closely you can see all the riveting and lattice work, so you know it’s a fairly old rendition.


*********


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[ massive snip snip of old posts, now pasted below the fold. Sorry, I had to delete a big bunch of them too ]

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See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/17/2019 at 07:03 AM   
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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