237 reasons to have sex

It’s mildly interesting and somewhat amusing but I hope it wasn’t funded by some government grant. As much as I’m interested in sex I don’t see much point in this study. I also find it annoying that some of the reasons are duplicates; Example, #7 “I’m addicted to sex”, and #9 “I am a sex addict”. Probably the most interesting part of the survey was this paragraph:

Another perspective comes from the literature on sperm competition (Baker & Bellis, 1995; Shackelford, Pound, Goetz, & LaMunyon, 2005). From this perspective, a man whose partner might have been sexually unfaithful might seek sex, which functions to displace the sperm of the rival male. Or a woman might deplete the sperm of her partner, leaving few available for insemination of rival women. None of these hypothesized functions, of course, need operate through conscious psychological mechanisms.

Posted in Sex

I’m honored

This is the first meme I’m actually happy to receive. A Brain Like Mine gave me a Thinking Blogger Award.

She even made me #1 in her post about it but I may be reading too much into that. It was my Jews In the Attic Test that did it for her.

Here are the rules:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

I don’t read that many blogs and most of them are not in search for food for thought. Hence there is only one blogger that I’m going to tag–Kevin.

Poetry in Motion

My son, Alex and I went to the range last weekend.  He wanted to confirm zero on his rifle before the start of hunting season, and I wanted to do the same with a 50 caliber muzzleloading caplock rifle.

I don’t know how explain this, but it wasn’t until we were half way home that I again realized the fact that I had any problems or concerns in life at all– they had completely gone away for the time we spent at the range.

I hadn’t experienced anything like this in, I don’t know how long. Talk about “Zen and the Art of the Rifle” which is the title of one of Oleg’s recent posts.

Alex had some of his custom ammo left over from the Boomershoot, and since the bullet manufacturer says their VLD is also a decent hunting bullet, he decided to use that accurized load for hunting this year.  I won’t tell you the size of his 200 yard group (he fired a total of four rounds that day– three at 200 and one at 50, to get a first-hand feel for the difference in POI) partly because it would be bragging, but mostly because you wouldn’t believe it anyway, coming as it did from a “mere” Ruger M77 MKII.  I had to explain to him that this was something remarkable, and yet maybe I shouldn’t have bothered.

It was one of those few days in life wherein one can truly say one was “at peace”.  But you don’t realize its happening until its over.

Quote of the day–Richard Cohen

The more guns you have, the greater the chance they will be used. But both common sense and the law of averages escape presidential candidates, especially Republicans looking to assert their conservative bona fides. When it comes to gun control, they not only have to be against it but they have to insist — in raging opposition to common sense — that the more guns around, the safer everyone is.

[...]

He is the True Republican — a credit to his party, a threat to us all.

Richard Cohen
July 31, 2007
Thompson on Horseback
[Cohen is referring to Fred Thompson. What Cohen apparently believes is that any gun use is bad. This only demonstrates the mental problems of Cohen because in the same opinion piece he talks about the occasion when he wished he had a gun to protect himself. Cohen also neglects to take into account that during the 20th Century more people were murdered by their own government than were murdered by their fellow citizens--but only in countries with strict gun control. So, indirectly, people like Cohen who advocate strict gun control are a greater threat than those that advocate recognition of our right to keep and bear arms.--Joe]

Update: Uncle and Jeff both commented on this same opinion piece.

Quote of the day–Kip Hawley

Screening ideas are indeed thought up by the Office for Annoying Air Travelers and vetted through the Directorate for Confusion and Complexity, and then we review them to insure that there are sufficient unintended irritating consequences so that the blogosphere is constantly fueled.

Kip Hawley
Head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
April/May of 2007 via an email interview with Bruce Schneier
[Yes, he said that. It was sarcasm. Not that I don't think there was a certain amount of truth in it as well. Reading the rest of the interview (part of one of five is all that is out) was interesting. As you might expect Schneier is asking the right questions but, at least so far, Hawley is avoiding some of the questions and Schneier isn't following up as well as I think he should. For example, Hawley gives a feels good answer to claims of 90% failure on weapons detection. But I don't think there have been any changes that can defeat certain, extremely simple, scenarios.

You are requested to lay your carry-on luggage "flat" on the belt for a reason. That reason is the X-Ray image is produced in the vertical direction. Laying the luggage flat gives the screener the least clutter in the image. It also means that you can present the screener with the most favorable profile of your weapon. Imagine what the profile of a knife looks like on edge and what acceptable carry-on items might look similar or camouflage the knife on edge. It is my contention that short of hand searching or complete emptying of luggage at the check points it will be trivial to get knives past security in your carry-on luggage. Firearms are only slightly more difficult. There may be some things they can do to detect ammunition via nuclear methods but I suspect even that can be defeated if you know what you are doing. It is my contention we would all be much better off if we explored different methods of security.--Joe]

Quote of the day–Tom Robbins

Hardly a pure science, history is closer to animal husbandry than it is to mathematics, in that it involves selective breeding.  The principal difference between the husbandryman and the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such, and the latter breeds (assumed) facts.  The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future; the historian uses his to enrich the past.  Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit.

Tom Robbins
[What reminded me of this is the Brady Bunch reading of the 2nd Amendment and related documents.--Joe]

Quote of the day–Burt Prelutsky

Jews tend to think if terrible things happened to their ancestors in 15th century Spain and 19th century Russia and 20th century Nazi Germany, it can and will happen here. It’s a form of paranoia. But it’s a very strange form. For as we all know, this is a nation of 300 million. So, wouldn’t you think a minority numbering a mere five million, and in constant fear of pogroms, would spend as much time as possible on the firing range?

Burt Prelutsky
May 4, 2007
What is it with Jews and guns?

Republican Machinegun Shoot/Fundraiser

Now here are some people who know how to have fun.

Tired of the usual chicken dinners, the Manchester Republican Committee is planning to arm supporters next month with Uzis, M-16 rifles and other automatic weapons for a day of target practice at a Pelham firing range.

“The thought just struck me one day: a machine gun shoot. What the heck?” said Jerry Thibodeau, the committee chairman.

We can expect the usual hysterics from the anti-freedom crowd, which of course adds to the fun.  They’re actually talking about firing sub guns and assault rifles at the fund raiser, but the term “machine gun” sounds more interesting I guess.  For myself, I’d like to fire a nice M2 at some old trucks and a few of Joe’s boomers.  Ma Duce is big, well-made, heavy, powerful, and loud as hell.  What’s not to like?

I find it encouraging that politicians on both sides of the turd feel the need to appeal to American gun owners.  We’ll see whose appeals are honest (or should I say the least disingenuous).

Bomb help request from the U.K.

I received a request for help making a bomb this morning:

—–Original Message—–
From: [someone] @hotmail.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 7:21 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Bomb making

Hi I have recently saw your website regarding bomb making.
I was pretty confused by it to say the least lol, so i thought i would send
you an e-mail.

I would like to know how to make a bomb, where the chemicals are easy to
obtain.

I saw a section where the people where not specifying the force of the bomb.
One which would maybe break or even crack a brick wall would be good.

Thanks.

My response, which was also Bcc’d to Scotland yard (the originating IP address resolves to a cable customer in Cardiff, Wales) with the email header:

—–Original Message—–
From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:50 AM
Subject: RE: Bomb making

That you were confused indicates you don’t have enough brain power for me to trust you with that sort of information.

The only people I would help build a bomb are the U.S. Military and our allies.

-joe-

Airport security–including FOUO material

Someone released a For Official Use Only (FOUO) document from the TSA and MSNBC posted it online. The basics are:

A surge in recent suspicious incidents at U.S. airports may indicate terrorists are conducting pre-attack security probes and “dry runs” similar to dress rehearsals. Past terrorist attacks and plots show that such testing generally indicates attacks will soon follow, according to a joint FBI and Homeland Security assessment.

It’s mildly interesting in that it seems to confirm people are probing our airport security system. My view is that airport security as it’s currently implemented is a lost cause (see also this posting from David Mackett, the president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance). Those resources would be far better spent on finding the bad guys before they ever arrive at the airport and implementing something else for on board security.

Update: Via Bruce–at least one of the reports was bogus:

The TSA bulletin said the ice packs were covered in duct tape and had clay inside of them.

Sanfilippo said they weren’t covered in duct tape and didn’t have clay inside of them. “It is a little bit off,” he said of the bulletin.

The chief said a Harbor Police officer found what appeared to be hardened old gel that had seeped out of the ice packs and dried, leaving a clay-like substance around the outside edge of the pack.

I wonder if it was incompetence or if the TSA was trying to justify their existence. Both are plausible.

Quote of the day–Daniel J. Solove

The “nothing to hide” argument speaks to some problems, but not to others. It represents a singular and narrow way of conceiving of privacy, and it wins by excluding consideration of the other problems often raised in government surveillance and data mining programs. When engaged with directly, the “nothing to hide” argument can ensnare, for it forces the debate to focus on its narrow understanding of privacy. But when confronted with the plurality of privacy problems implicated by government data collection and use beyond surveillance and disclosure, the “nothing to hide” argument, in the end, has nothing to say.

Daniel J. Solove
“I’VE GOT NOTHING TO HIDE” AND OTHER MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF PRIVACY
George Washington University Law School
[A rather "dry" intellectual essay. Some of the better points are that government survelance changes the power balance between the individual and the politically powerful and data can be used for purposes beyond what it was orginally intended for. For example (my example, not the authors) 4473's are intended to enable finding the user of a gun associated with a crime but can also be used to confisicate firearms from everyone. But if you want a snappy answer for someone who claims they don't have anything to hide tell them to drop all their clothes, you want a picture. Then you want to know all their sex partners and from this point forward you want a live video feed of all their sexual encounters.--Joe]

Golf anyone?

Get your golf ball launcher here. Teaser material from the site:

Each launcher fits ANY NATO standard 22mm flash suppressor or grenade launcher.—M-16/AR-15, Yugo SKS, FAL, CETME/G-3, PTR-91, Galil, MAS 49/56, FR-7, FR-8 and many more.

Lot of other interesting stuff on the site too. You can find videos of “reactive target” shooting also and what a one or two pound charge of explosives will do to a car.

I’m in the news

I sent an email to the reporter I had talked to a few times about my difficulties with PNNL with a link to my post saying I was dropping my lawsuit against the lab. He wrote a story which was published today.

Even with that post as a written reference the paper still managed to get a few things wrong.

  • The paper says, “Rather than argue about excessive personal use of lab computers, he chose to back down.” Apparently the reporter doesn’t understand that if the lab did an investigation that concluded I had 13 gazillion terabytes of child porn on my work computer (they did not, but they did claim this picture was “adult content”) and my computer was actually squeaky clean I would not have a case unless the motive for the false report was for something like me being of the wrong race, religion, etc. They could be as incompetent as a retarded monkey taking a calculus exam (pretty good analogy to what actually happened) and I would not have had a case. No law or court demands they be competent in their investigation.
  • The paper says, “A former cyber security analyst…”. My actual title was “Senior Research Scientist II”.

Oh well. What do you expect?

Quote of the day–Lethal Laws

The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition accelerated the Nazis’ achievement of an iron grip on Germany:

  • registration lists enabled the Nazis quickly to revoke firearms permits from anyone they deemed unreliable;
  • Permitting procedures under this “gun control” law doubtless had deterred many “reliable” persons from making the application.

Moreover, as the Nazis’ political clout grew – and as their violence grew – some of those who might have wanted to get a firearm may not have been able to do so. Those who felt threatened by the Nazis were the ones least likely to be deemed “reliable” by a police chief sensitive to the Nazis’ growing power.

Lethal Laws: Gun Control Is the Key to Genocide
Page 153
By: Jay Simkin, Aaron Zelman, and Alan M. Rice

Quote of the day–Physicians for Social Responsibility

PSR believes that the only way to reduce the number of women killed by guns, is to educate people on the true relationship between females and firearms. Physicians must work to educate people that guns do not offer protection, but actually put them at greater risk of injury or death.

Physicians for Social Responsibility
From: http://www.psr.org/women.htm (as of 02/19/99)
[PSR seems to have backed down some from this anti-gun position. At least they aren't quite as up front about it as they were. We are making progress.--Joe]

Quote of the day–Violence Policy Center

Washington, DC’s ban on handguns in the home has long protected DC’s residents as measured by the District of Columbia’s firearm suicide and overall suicide rate. The District’s handgun ban provides compelling evidence of how strict gun laws save lives by keeping handguns out of homes. The District of Columbia ranks 51st (last) in the country for firearms suicide for 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The District also ranks last for overall suicide. Maintaining the ban will ensure the health and safety of DC residents.

Violence Policy Center
July 16, 2007
Threat of Handgun Ban Repeal Puts Lives of DC Residents in Supreme Court Balance
[Apparently, according to the VPC, guns cause suicide. It's telling they don't compare the District violent crime, including murder, rate to states that honor our inalienable right to defend ourselves. See also this QOTD.--Joe]