Thursday, November 29, 2012

10 Arrows in 4.9 Seconds

I don’t shoot a bow very often, but when I do it is a recurve.  Here’s an interesting video of Danish archer Lars Anderson (4.58), who can fire 10 arrows in 4.9 seconds.  Not only that, but Anderson can shoot his arrows with a good degree of accuracy, sacrificing little speed, while on the move, and at moving targets.  Interesting.

Here’s a bit of discussion on Anderson’s technique.

Hattip to Curmudgeonly & Skeptical.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/29 at 05:01 PM
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Bespectacled Improvement

I’ve had to take up eyeglasses.  They take some getting used to.  I did not have to take them up for reading, which is the most common reason stipulated to me as to the why I’m now wearing glasses, though I have had my spectacles crafted as bi-focals, after attempting the wearing of single vision lenses, because of the way the gauges swam in my truck as I peered down at them to check my speed.

My spectacles are not an accoutrement I’m particularly fond of having to don, though I must admit the improvement they provide for my slight near-sightededness (20/30) is striking.  I’ve noted this striking improvement most notably in watching a size 16 dry fly floating downstream, in sighting a target down range, and gazing at the night sky.  Improvements most welcome.

Spectacles do take some getting used to.  I put them on, and take them off, quitely regularly.  I may have to purchase some type of lanyard to keep them close at hand, as I find that when I slip them into my shirt pocket they tend to tangle with the writing utensil I carry when I must pull the glasses out and prop them back on my nose once again.  Additionally, the glasses must be cleaned, regularly, which means I now must also carry a glass cleaning cloth around all the time, which in and of itself is not that much of an inconvenience as compared to say polishing the lenses clean of accumulations for clarity’s sake.

I’m also going to have to have made sunglasses, with my particular corrective lense prescription and polarized lenses, to better spot trout holding in the stream, which I’ll have to wait on a bit until I’ve accumulated the necessary funds for this additional expense.  They (the eyeglass folks) inform me that they should be able to utilize the existing sunglass frames I already own, which is good, because I’ve worn the same sunglasses for the past 20 years, and I’m loath to change them to something different.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/29 at 10:37 AM
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“Walking in Freedom” - Quote of the Day

This IS my country, and THIS is my land. I believe that as strongly as I believe that I have the right to protect it, to protect myself from those that would wish to take it from me to share the wealth with those whose days have not known such labors as I. Selfish? No. I am part of this land, and it is part of me. I have earned the right to be here, and I will rest my ashes in its ancient depths when I am gone, when all the light of freedom gathers in one fierce expiring inhalation, time to go home to glory.

From a post by Brigid at Home on the Range titled Walking in Freedom.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/29 at 10:04 AM
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“Consideration of a Simple Question”

Ed Rasimus, co-author with Christina Olds of Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds, after a short sabbatical from posting, considers the question of secession in a post titled Compulsory Attendance?, from which the following quote was obtained.

But what I am pointing out is that when the members no longer want to attend the party, then you had better pay attention and not simply dismiss the concept. A club in which members don’t want to be there is more than a Groucho Marx punch line.

Linked via Western Rifle Shooters Association.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/29 at 09:44 AM
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let Me Fix That Headline for You Phys.Org

Phys.Org has a newly posted article up regarding recent findings of the Large Hadron Collider which reads as follows.

Unexpected data from the Large Hadron Collider suggest the collisions may be producing a new type of matter

In actuality, the headline should read Unexpected data from the Large Hadron Collider suggest the collisions are producing a type of matter previously theorized but unobserved.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/27 at 01:05 PM
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Incrementalism and Living Lies

An essay titled Here’s How it Will be Done… discusses Americans’ acceptance of an incremental diminishment of their rights, with an eye on gun rights.

I’d like to point out that this incremental diminishment of Americans’ inalienable rights goes much deeper than simply gun rights, and with this in mind point to an Alexander Solzhenitsyn essay, first published in 1974, titled Live Not By Lies.  The two essays are not without close parallels, and Solzhenitsyn’s essay is penetrating.

Link to Here’s How it Will be Done… essay via In The Middle of the Right.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/27 at 09:36 AM
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Tribute to My Father - Why Not Me?


Five years ago, on this day, my father passed away.  His body, which had withstood a myriad of surgeries and failings of essential organs over the years, was too wearied to continue in this world.

As I talked with my Mum, earlier this week, about this bittersweet memory, she recalled to my mind a conversation I had with Dad as he lay prostrate prior to another surgery.  I asked him, “Dad, do you ever wonder why God has allowed all of these physical ailments to assail you?”

My Dad replied to me, “John, why not me?”  He continued, “There are so many other people in this world who are worse off than me.  People who do not have loving families or homes, who are hungry, and beat down by life, and I lack for nothing.  Why not me?”

That conversation clearly illuminates why Psalm 16:6 was one of my Dad’s favorite verses.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

My father was a great man.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/25 at 09:48 AM
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Clueless - Polls and Political License

This headline, Polls offer little guidance for politicians tackling ‘fiscal cliff’, from the Washington Post, goes far in defining, quite accurately, why this comment on political license, appended to a PJ Media article, could also be referred to, quite as accurately, as political licentiousness.

“Poetic license” is the freedom allowed to writers for achieving literary effects by deviating from facts, conventional logic, or standard grammar and spelling.

“Political license” is the freedom allowed to politicians to make statements deviating from facts, logic, principle, or consistency to achieve electoral effects. Although sanctioned for politicians by long practice, this freedom is denied to ordinary mortals. When they say something silly, they expose themselves to immediate contradiction, derision or rude guffaws.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/23 at 11:09 AM
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Morning Food for Thought

Via Mike Soja, an enchilada of an essay, Statist Thugs And The Rocks They Crawl Out From Under.

At Keith Burgess-Jackson’s place, an appetizer of a quote from W.G. Sumner.

And at John C. Wright’s Journal, some thoughts to savor in a post titled The Other Side of the Picture.

There is much to be thankful for.

He enjoys much who is thankful for little; a grateful mind is both a great and happy mind.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/22 at 09:43 AM
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creative Government Checkpoint Manuever

At Karen DeCoster’s place, How To Maneuver a Government Checkpoint (0.33 video).

Posted by John Venlet on 11/20 at 02:07 PM
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beatles News

This has the potential to be interesting.

The Beatles Live! Project is a collaborative research project for a potential feature film: one that will tell the story of The Beatles’ concert tours through amateur media captured at the events.

We are interested in looking at your digitized copies of The Beatles concert-era materials, including photos, stories, and film and sound recordings. We will be reviewing the submitted films for possible inclusion in the potential film - we will be in touch if your material is selected for further consideration.

You can either upload a digital version of your material, or a link to a version that is already online.

We know that there are hidden gems out there. We are looking forward to working with you to find them.

The Beatles Live! Project

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 12:35 PM
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Sunday Thought

Even to the most perspicacious, history dissembles the fact that humanity goes on living and working like the silent sea over which the waves of cataclysm break.  Tradition lives in this humble unspectacular world and is therefore always present; to seek it in the past is to seek eternity in the past only, which is a form of death.  Genuine, unshakeable tradition resides in the persistent, inexhaustible rhythm of humanity which is ever fertile and provides the strength for victory and for survival in defeat.

Martin Nozick, Miguel De Unamuno * The Agony of Belief, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1971, pg. 77

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 09:57 AM
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Hostess Shrugs

Hostess Brands has shrugged.

Hostess Brands Inc. today announced that it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. Bakery operations have been suspended at all plants. Delivery of products will continue and Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products.

The Board of Directors authorized the wind down of Hostess Brands to preserve and maximize the value of the estate after one of the Company’s largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the Company’s ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities.

I applaud their decision.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/16 at 02:12 PM
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A Simple Enough Hypothesis to Test, Dr. Rowland

University of Miami philosopher, Dr. Mark Rowland, asks, in his new book, Can Animals Be Moral?

In the article noting this new book, filed under the headline Animals Are Moral Creatures, Scientist Argues, Dr. Rowland offers this question as an allegedly penetrating hypothetical.

In the case of the child-rescuing gorilla Binti Jua, for instance, “what sort of instinct is involved there? Do gorillas have an instinct to help unconscious boys in enclosures?”...

This reference to the gorilla Binta Jua is from a 1996 news story which reported, in fact, that a gorilla did protect an unconscious small boy which fell into its enclosure.

So, if Dr. Rowland is desirous of testing his hypothetical question; “Do gorillas have an instinct to help unconscious boys in enclosures?”; the hypothesis is simple enough test.  Knock some young boys unconscious, and then drop them into various gorilla enclosures in zoos throughout the country and observe what happens.  Also, try it in the wild, and consider captive gorillas’ behavior as control group data.  Or wouldn’t that be moral?

Posted by John Venlet on 11/16 at 01:15 PM
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Enlightenment According to Steven Pinker

Brian Micklethwait has posted an excerpt from Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of our Nature.

While I am not in total agreement with Pinker’s conclusions, the excerpt from Pinker’s book, posted by Brian, I think, is a sound analysis of the rise of enlightenment thinking.  Brian’s post is titled Steven Pinker’s description of The Enlightenment.

Linked via Samizdata, where commenter JohnB astutely notes the following in response to Pinker’s view that Christianity is a fallacy and illusion.

Christianity, as in that which Jesus came for in the first place, is actually about the individual, not the collective.

Individual freedom and responsibility before God.

Morally, you are on your own.

I know it all got politicised very quickly. And so it always does, it seems.

Our ability to see beyond that which we perceive as our limitations is always at risk.

And when we do the temptation not to see the spiritual, as different from that which is simply there but more or less unseen, also seems to lead away from the truth.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/15 at 09:09 AM
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