Category Archives: Hodgepodge

When gun control “logic” seeps into other aspects of life

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When gun control “logic” seeps into other aspects of life

See if this sounds familiar; an individual does something stupid or illegal with a gun that is not representative of responsible, law abiding gun owners in general.  A knee jerk reaction by a skittish “we need to act” political body forces some nonsensical, worthless and ultimately pointless gun control legislation that does nothing more than infringe and harass people who would never abuse their right in the first place.

Welcome to New York.  Not too surprising that this knee jerk, micromanaging, Big Brother-esque nanny state mentality with gun control colors other aspects of the lives of its denizens.

Case in point, right outside of Albany is Green Island, NY.  Green Island, following the lead of the controllers at the Capitol decided to deal with a persons ability to have pets.

Because of a single person who happened to have 10 pets in one apartment (though no mention as to whether the animals were mistreated or malnourished) the powers that be decided that action was necessary.

Green Valley Island Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan parroted the mantra of gun control activists when the speak about sporting rifles,  “I can’t possibly see why anyone would need more than three animals in their home”.

Now, while I in no way support a person having more animals then they can properly handle or keep healthy and happy, who is McNulty-Ryan to dictate how many animals that a person should have based on his own opinion.

Furthermore, there are plenty of laws on the books that all ready protect animals from abuse and living in squalid conditions.  Adding laws limiting the number of pets only serves to punish everyone for the action of one person or the whim of someone in charge.

In the role of rights activist is Brad Shear who is the executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.  He brings the same common sense point to this matter as gun rights activist use to combat ridiculous gun control legislation:

“We want to adopt to responsible people and lots of responsible people can have more than three animals.  I don’t think it’s the number of animals in a person’s home that’s really the issue. It’s how those animals are being cared for.”

Because really…at the end of the day, there are tons of pets (and firearms) that just want a good home with responsible people.

Apparently in the mind of many New York politicians, being a responsible pet or gun owner is impossible without government control.

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The ballistics of SHARK WEEK

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The ballistics of SHARK WEEK

In celebration of Shark Week, I thought I would take a look at the ballistic reality of finding yourself in a Jaws like scenario and having to shoot your way out of it.

First of all I understand how ridiculous the notion of a realistic “Jaws like scenario” is, so I don’t mean a giant shark is eating your boat and its drunken captain.  But hey, maybe you’re on a boat and some friends are swimming and the dorsal fin comes and makes like its hungry.

Have you ever heard that sharks are bulletproof?

Bulletproof might be a bit of a stretch, but they are definitely bullet resistant because they come with their own body armor in the form of…well…their body.

Sharks are entirely covered by placoid scales, also called dermal denticles.  These scales are structurally homologous with vertebrate teeth (“denticle” translates to “small tooth”), having a central pulp cavity supplied with blood vessels, surrounded by a conical layer of dentine, all of which sits on top of a rectangular basal plate that rests on the dermis. The outermost layer is composed of vitrodentine, a largely inorganic enamel-like substance. Placoid scales cannot grow in size, but rather more scales are added as the fish increases in size.

While the thickness of shark skin varies depending on the species, the spotted skin on the back of a whale shark is the thickest and toughest in the world and can be up to 6 inches in thickness.  The denticles combined with ridges that run along its back make its skin phenomenally tough.

That’s a half foot of enamel covered body armor, I don’t think your gran pappy’s .22 is gonna get the job done.

But that is only taking into account that the shark is breaching  or basically on the surface.  Any amount of submersion only fortifies the bulletproof credentials of the shark and after 3-8 feet, depending on angle, your bullet will not even reach them.  Plus, the larger the caliber with it’s increased force, the less penetrative result it has since it’s that very force that destroys the bullet when it enters the water.

So coupled with their armor like skin and the bunker like nature of water, the likelihood of successfully shooting a shark to defend yourself is very slim.

This is one of the few instances where bullets first must yield to harpoons away.

I guess there was a reason it’s “from hell’s heart i STAB at thee” and not “shoot at thee”.

Though I guess it didn’t really work out too well for Ahab with the whale.

Lesson: Don’t harpoon whales or sharks if you don’t have too.

Enjoy Shark Week.

Happy Birthday America

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Happy Birthday America

I was initially going to use this time in order to remind us all of everything that we have lost in the past 237 years.  The loss of privacy, the loss of working without our labor being taxed,  the loss of freedoms as they were chipped away at etc.

But this is not the day for such things.  Today is a day to celebrate all that America is.  Even with terrible governance, big brother tracking our every move and a cowardly court system, America is still great.

In the movie, “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” Harold and Kumar run across a fictionalized George W Bush.  The boys tell Bush that they don’t think they can believe in their government anymore.  To this Bush replies:

Trust the government? Heck, I’m in the government and I don’t even trust it. You don’t have to believe in your government to be a good American. You just have to believe in your country.

So today…with all its problems, all its detractors and all its government leeches, I still believe in my country.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

Happy Father’s Day

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Let us take the day to honor, thank and overall appreciate all the sacrifices that our fathers and their fathers before them made in order for us to grow up happy and free.

It’s not always easy to raise a child and father’s rarely get the propaganda spin that mothers do.

So, think fondly on this day of all the lessons your father has taught you, the discipline he instilled in you, the knowledge he imparted on you and all the punishments he whipped into you in order to make it all stick when you forgot :o)

Being a father isn’t about being a best friend.  It’s about being a provider, a teacher, a disciplinarian, a mentor, a judge, a pair of strong arms to hold you up when you fall, and yes…a friend.  But first and foremost, your father.

Thank him for being that today.

 

And if you are a father who thinks that he’s too long in the tooth…take a page from Sy Perlis who just set a World Record in the Bench Press at age 91.  You’re never too old to improve and to keep teaching your kids something awesome.

 

 

Weekend Hodgepodge – Mummies

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Weekend Hodgepodge – Mummies

When I was growing up there were two distinct sects of monsters.  The old “classic” monsters who including Dracula vampires, Frankenstein monsters, Werewolves and Mummies.  These classics found their origins and mythos in oral tradition going back centuries as well as codified in literary works by Brahm Stroker and Mary Shelley.

In the past 50 years or so there has been the avant guarde of modern monsters which consist of vampires that twinkle in the sun or are more animal than man, werewolves that can control their transformation and have little to do with the moon, zombies brought on by virus instead of magic and killer cyborgs that have become more technical machine than biological abomination.

(There are also the second tier pulp fiction monsters such as the Thing from the Black Lagoon, Mr. Hyde, The Blob and the like but I’ll focus on the varsity squad)

I don’t want to delve too much into how the rules have changed for each.  What I wanted to talk about is a thought that came to my head while watching the mid season finally of The Walking Dead.

I remembered my childhood and the classic monsters.  I also remembered my childhood cereal, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Booberry, Fruity Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute.  If you don’t know the last two I don’t blame you, they haven’t been on shelves in 20 and 30 years respectively.  I never even heard of Fruit Brute but its mascot was the werewolf.

Anyways, from these cereals I was thinking of the classes of monsters that have basically stood the test of time…or have they.

The latest release of the teeny bopper phenomina that is Twilight lends credence the enduring love that people have for Vampires and Werewolves.  As do shows like True Blood, Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf.

For as long as there have been people there have been ghosts…I don’t foresee that changing too much.  What goes bump in the night keeps us enthralled in the theaters as well as beside campfires.

And while Frankenstein isn’t always created by a mad scientist, how many stories are written where mans’ pursuit of decoding life has led to horror?

That leaves us with the Mummy.  (Let’s try to forget the Brandon Fraser version and stick with the classic)

Is the mummy it’s own class of monster or was the mummy only the fist zombie?   Since George Romero codified the zombie in Night of the Living Dead, the interest and popularity in the genre has been strong through today with numerous movies and shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead.

But does that usurp the Mummy’s individual status?

The rules for beating both are different, mummies must burn while zombies need severe brain trauma.

Mummies rise and seek vengeance for tripping their curse while zombies only seek out flesh and brains to eat.

They both rise from the dead but zombies seem to, as often as not, die as a result of infection whereas the mummy dies and then is spelled.

They both stagger around (i don’t buy into the ninja/superpowered zombie) and are relentless if slow.

After giving it some thought I think I will, much like scientists did with Pluto, downgrade mummy status to that of being in the Zombie class.  No one says there is a Dracula class and a vampire class.  Dracula is a vampire and so to, do I think that the Mummy is just a particular zombie in the mythos and no longer deserving of its own  class.

Thoughts?

Monthly Meme Roundup

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With December upon us, here’s a rundown of all the meme’s I have created for GOA’s facebook page for November.

teddy-roosevelt-machine-gun

 

I know its a fanciful painting, yet I somehow like to imagine that this is a proper representation of Teddy Roosevelt (even if the gun was after his time).

 

 

samadams

 

This quote by Sam Adams ties into the picture below.  Just because someone is an American doesn’t mean they will necessarily ACT like an American.  It was true even in the Revolutionary War era…it’s even more true today.

 

 

sheep

 

If the choice is between Freedom and Safety, I will choose freedom.  Danger is one of the prices a free man must pay.  Servants and slaves pass the buck of their own survival and security to their masters.

 

oppression

 

Yeah…I quoted myself.  :o)