Then, you definitely don’t want to even look at these pictures of cliff paths. Some are simply amazing. Even contributions in the comments are wild, with bike riders pulling stunts on very narrow — guardrails-not-included — way-high-up trails.
Best comment, when asked if he had a fear of heights, was, “No, I have a fear of falling from those heights.”
This is a scary historical incident. From the Guardian:
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.
The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.
More at the link.
Spoiler alert: This story contains words and phrases that some people want to ban from the English language. “Spoiler alert” is among them. So are “kick the can down the road,” ‘’trending” and “bucket list.”
A dirty dozen have landed on the 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. The nonbinding, tongue-in-cheek decree released Monday by northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University is based on nominations submitted from the United States, Canada and beyond.
“Fiscal cliff” was at the top of the list.
I’ll tell you what phrase I hate hearing: “Not a problem.”
I especially hate it when I buy something at a store, thank the clerk (who really should be thanking me) and he replies, “Not a problem.” Well good, I’m glad it wasn’t a problem for you to sell me something so that you still have a job.
If someone says, “Thanks” then the proper reply ought to be a simple, “You’re welcome” or maybe, “My pleasure.”
Okay, enough crumudgeonism from me for one day.
I’m spending the day reading and should have some reviews up later or tomorrow. I don’t want to dwell on depressing news (such as the big push for a new “AWB”) as the New Year rolls in.
Have a happy and safe one, folks.
The reviewers at io9 have their list up.
Any opinions about that? I just got a $25 dollar Amazon Kindle Gift Card today from a friend and would love some suggestions.
Dealing with a family member’s mental illness must be one of the toughest things in life. From the Huffington Post, one mother’s disturbing tale.
Does it seem that there are more mentally ill these days then, say, 75-years ago and that there’s more fatal violence from them? It’s not the presence of guns, which have been around forever. Is it chemicals in food? The increase in broken families? The scrapping of the Ten Commandments? What?
The Daily Camera newspaper reports that since the University of Colorado’s Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses began segregating dorms for students with valid concealed-carry permits this year, not a single student has asked to live where guns are allowed.
Since they would have to be 21-years-old to have a valid CCW permit, and at that age they are (probably) already seniors living in apartments or frat houses, it’s not all that improbable. Or, just that nobody wants to be ‘the first’ or maybe declare that they are carrying, or have a stealable gun in their dorm room. . . .
This is kind of a sad story but has a good ending. From the Sky Valley Chronicle:
A King County sheriffâs deputy shot at a man holding a âgunâ made out of Legos Thursday in Duvall, officials said.
Luckily, the deputy missed the man, who had been waving what appeared to be a black handgun at passing cars and who, officers learned later, was developmentally disabled.
From another source, a picture of the ‘gun.’
From 20-yards away, it could easily look like a real gun and the man pointed it at the deputy.
If you read the first-linked story, it is shocking that a caretaker of the mentally ill man was standing nearby and said nothing when the confrontation took place. He should be fired.
Anyway, this gives me a chance to direct you to a review I did some time ago of LEGO Heavy Weapons for your pleasure. Just don’t build one and wave it at passing cars.
Over at io9, a reprint of their 2009 post, Science Fictionâs Presidents Of The 21st Century.
At the Daily Caller, 10-Things that Make a Tactical Knife.
. . . Because you can’t have too many best-of lists. This one is from io9.com.
Topping the list is 28 Days Later which I haven’t seen.
Second was the classic, Night of the Living Dead which I did see, actually have the VHS video of, but haven’t watched it in — maybe — 30-years. I do remember the last line of the movie, something like, “Nice shooting, bud” as the survivors in the shack kill the not-dead sheriff.
Most of the others I haven’t seen either as I’m not THAT big a fan of the genre. The all-time original, White Zombie starring Bele Legosi was #10.
Number 13 on the list was Re-Animator which I DID see in the theater and was also a favorite of mine. Still, that was also a long time ago. Isn’t that where “Pin-Head” came from? Or am I confusing it with another long ago seen horror movie?
*Sigh* It’s tough getting old and forgetting this stuff.
From some unnamed poll, Airplane has been voted the funniest movie ever. I actually don’t have a problem with that. I loved the film and saw it in the theater five times. Yes! Five times! I loved it so much I kept taking friends and family to it.
Second in the unnamed poll was The Hangover — which I never saw — and third was the first Police Squad, which was very funny indeed and, of course, came from the same crew that made Airplane.
No other results from the mysterious poll were given but how could Blazing Saddles not make the final three?
This post is here because I needed a break from politics and gun control. I’m sure that I will recover by tomorrow morning.
There’s no way to really condense the story line so just read the article here.
I know one thing: If I pay for and take an NRA certified course, I expect more than a photocopy of an NRA certification as reward. I want an original certificate.
But they’re fake ones. From MSN:
Bond girl Berenice Marlohe has revealed she used to pose with her own guns in her mirror long before she landed her part in Skyfall.
The French beauty has been preparing for her role as the mysterious Severine all her life, admitting: “I always felt I should know how to look with one… So I’ve stood a lot in front of the mirror with them.”
Before filming Skyfall, she jumped at the chance to finally shoot real ones. Can we agree that women who like guns are sexy? Or sexier?
I’ve been home with the Gout for a couple days. When that happens, the only radio talk show I really enjoy is the Howie Carr Show from 3-7 pm. It’s only carried on stations here in New England. He’s a conservative with a self-deprecating sense of humor. His flagship station (for the moment) is WRKO but you (elsewhere in the country) can stream him from either link above or from this Wikipedia list of stations. There’s history of the show there, too. WRKO (link above) is also streamed on iTunes. Note that on almost all stations, the Red Sox games can preempt the show. If you need a humorous break from Hannity once in a while, and don’t mind a local, New England focus, give him a try.
A pro-gun group in Illinois, Guns Save Lives, took advantage of Chicago’s guns for gift cards last week by turning in over 60 old, broken, rusty firearms and walking away with $6,200 dollars in gift cards. From the Chicago Tribune:
Police said the pro-gun group is taking advantage of a program intended to take firearms off the street. Officials from Guns Save Life, based in Champaign County, countered that they are putting the money to good use â to purchase ammunition and firearms for a youth program that teaches gun safety and marksmanship. The group also traded in a handful of BB guns and starter pistols.
“We just took advantage of Chicago’s induced, artificial market on rusty junk,” said John Boch, the group’s president.
It will be ironic that the money Chicago doles out to get guns off the street will go towards the purchase of guns and ammo. Heh.
I’m often seen with a book in hand and a few folks have asked me, “Who’s your favorite author?” I always think it a silly question because I have a lot of favorite authors.
Like, “If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three authors’ books would you like to have with you?”
Well, I’d rather have a serviceable speed boat with a full gas tank and GPS so I could get the hell off of it. Excluding that scenario, as well as Star Trek’s instant food creator machine, I suppose I would like some books (and sun block lotion) to while away the hours. Hopefully I will at least have my reading glasses with me!
Who would those authors be? My personal favorite of all writers is and always has been Agatha Christie. Long after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes series, Christie redefined the genre and pretty much nailed down almost every single, possible plot line and final denouement that could twist a reader’s sleuthing skills.
If I wanted quantity over quality, well, Isaac Asimov was pretty damn good and actually, so was the quality when you come down to it. Between both his fiction and non-fiction, I’d have months of reading material while waiting to be rescued.
For pure poetic vision and writing skills, and some very good plot lines, Ray Bradbury would absolutely be the third one who’s books I’d like to see stacked in the sand.
He had a youthful, mostly joyful vision of the future and wrote beautifully about it. My favorite book of his was a collection of stories titled, The Golden Apples of the Sun. Actually, I loved all of his stories. He was one of a kind and a piece of me has gone away today with his death.
There are a lot of other authors I’d love to have with me, to keep me company on that desert island, but Ray will always be one of them.
This Sunday: Many of Bradbury’s stories were turned into radio dramas and this coming Sunday I will put together a bunch of them for your listening pleasure. Please do check back here Sunday for an audio feast of Ray Bradbury fiction.
The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. Thatâs 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bearsâ ability to hunt.
[ . . . ]
The study shows that âthe bear population is not in crisis as people believed,â said Drikus Gissing, Nunavutâs director of wildlife management. âThere is no doom and gloom.â
Send the goons from PETA up there to care for the bears. They’ll bring the numbers down in a hurry.
Sometimes we on the ‘pro-2A’ side are our own worst enemies and provide plenty of fodder to the anti-gun side. This ugly incident occurred in a Florida Church yesterday afternoon. From Fox News:
Investigators say Moises Zambrana took two men into a nearby closet to show his gun to another church member interested in buying a firearm. Zambrana has a concealed weapons permit and reportedly took out the gun’s magazine, but did not know there was a bullet in the chamber.
The gun went off and fired through a wall, striking the young woman. She was critically injured and transported to Bayfront Medical Center.
This isn’t about CCW in churches. This is about stupidity. About ignoring firearm safety rules. And, this is about how there is a time and place for everything and how both the owner of the gun and the person interested in buying a gun forgot some very basic safety rules.
The gun didn’t just go off on its own.
First of all, the owner of the gun might have removed the magazine but he failed to — shall we charitably say, ‘remember’ — that he had a cartridge in the chamber of the gun. And, he didn’t check to be sure about that.
And, someone who handled the gun — the article doesn’t specify — didn’t check for himself that the gun was completely unloaded. Further, they apparently decided to have this show and tell in the closet of a heavily populated church. One of them stupidly pulled the trigger without pointing the gun in a safe direction which would certainly be difficult to figure out when they’re inside the closet of a church where (according to the article) there were about 40 people outside of that closet. They certainly didn’t figure in the backstop (so-to-speak) or whom might be behind it.
Now, a child is fighting for her life. Please say a prayer for Hannah Kelley.
I’m without an opinion on it at this time but it seems like a waste of both a good computer and ammo.