Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jackie Stewart on Racing In Monaco in the '70s

Is he talking about a car, or a woman?

Surely you've heard the term, "flying by the seat of your pants".  It was coined back in the early days of flying (before or during WWI).  Planes back then had little or no instrumentation.  The only feedback the pilot received from the plane was the very physical feedback from the stick, the pedals (both of which were directly connected to the control surfaces via levers and cables) and the seat.  And since the seat was the largest point of contact, it delivered the most feedback.

Though F1 cars of the '70s were far more sophisticated than WWI planes, they still had no electronics.  The driver's most important sources of feedback were physical - the wheel, the pedals, the shift knob and the seat.  Many consider that time the golden age of motor sport because there was a lot more experimentation and artistry to it back then.

Source: Red Bull
I can't really comment on that, but I know that the human element is one reason I prefer
motorcycle racing to car racing.  In motorcycle racing, the rider is always fully visible.  The spectator can watch the rider shift his weight forward to resist a wheelie, or backward to resist diving, or to one side or the other to assist the bike in a turn.

Intellectually, I know the race car driver is just as active as the motorcycle racer, but it's much more exciting to actually see what is happening, and no, the cameras inside the cars' cockpits don't compare to watching a racing phenom like Marc Marquez correcting a line by pushing off the racing surface with his knee and/or elbow.

Electronic aids are great in everyday life.  Anti-lock breaks, traction control, etc. undoubtedly help us ordinary folk avoid accidents, but we watch motor sports for the same reason we watch other sports - to marvel at people vastly more talented than we are doing things we could never do.  Because of that, it's probably a good thing that most sanctioning bodies ban electronic driver aids.

Incidentally, Jackie Stewart reminded me of another saying I've only heard in military settings: "slow is smooth and smooth is fast".  I don't know where or when that one was coined, but I know it's often true.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

YiaYia* Doesn't Approve

These seem to be from 2012, so I don't know why I haven't seen them before, but they're hilarious!

And, just in case the gentlemen feel left out...

H/T Dalrock

*Apparently YiaYia means grandma in Greek.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors right now, and Ridley Scott directed some of my favorite movies (Alien, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator), but I have a really hard time seeing anyone other than Charlton Heston as Moses.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Apollo 11 Day!

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, here's a video of Buzz Aldrin punching out a dude who called him a liar.

A Tale of Three Restaurants (and Guns)

The Pit Authentic Barbecue restaurant in Durham, NC posted a sign that read...
no weapons, no concealed firearms 
Shockingly, three criminals paid the sign no heed.
Authorities said just before 9 p.m. Sunday, three men wearing hoodies entered the restaurant through the back doors with pistols, and forced several staff members on the floor. 
Maybe that was the problem.  The criminals must have missed the sign because it was posted at the front of the restaurant and they busted in through the back.
Officials said the suspects assaulted two employees during the crime, but they were not seriously injured. 
That's a relief, but that outcome depended 100% on the restraint the criminals exercised over themselves.  Does depending on a violent criminal's self-restraint seem wise to you?
Owner Greg Hatem also said there were a few patrons in the dining room while the robbery was happening in the kitchen area. Workers were able to ask them to leave, and got them out safely through the front door. 
“We’re offering $2,000 for the arrest and conviction of these guys,” Hatem said. “We take this very seriously. We want to make sure our guests and our staff are taken care of.” 
By rendering them defenseless against armed, violent criminals?

That event inspired another restaurant owner to do the opposite.
Gun control is a hot topic across the country, and one East Tennessee restaurant owner is making her opinion very clear by posting a 'Guns are Welcome' sign on the front door of her family-friendly establishment.
Floyd said she posted the signs about a month ago after reading a story out of North Carolina. 
"They had put up a sign that said 'No Weapons Allowed' and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The convenience store manager was shot," said Floyd. "And that got me thinking. I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn't allow weapons. But I believe it's ok to carry as long as you have a permit." 
The restaurant does not sell liquor, and Floyd said she asks anyone who orders a beer if they are carrying.

That story reminded me of a previous one from Spokane.
Employees at a coffee shop in Spokane, Wash., are taking matters into their own hands after their store was robbed three times in less than a month. 
Sara Chapel, who owns Jitterz Java, is encouraging her employees to start carrying guns while on the job in order to protect themselves... 
“A couple of them bring handguns every day, no matter what shift it is. There is always a gun here now,” she said. “I would rather have it and need it, than need it and not have it.”
It's encouraging that in both cases in which the restaurants that supported the human right to self defense received mostly positive feedback from customers.
The coffee shop has so far received a flood of support on social media. 
“As long as the employees are well-trained in the use of firearms, I agree. Potential robbers will think twice before approaching them again,” Facebook user Mary Ann Gillispie Rohner wrote. 
“Citizens are the first responders in situations. I’m proud these ladies are prepared to protect themselves, like me!!” wrote Kelly Walker-Wincentsen.

The ladies of Jitterz Java also helped prove that armed self defense works.
On Sunday, a man aggressively tried to open a window at Jitterz Java and appeared to have a gun. The barista kept the window locked, grabbed her gun and called police. The man took off before police arrived.
To be clear, the owners of these establishments have the right to decide whether or not to allow guns on their property.  And potential customers have the right to decide whether or not to spend their money at those businesses for that - or any other - reason.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

If Ted Kennedy Drove a VW...

Via Instapundit:

"HEH", indeed!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Murder Rates Decrease as Concealed Carry Increases

As I pointed out before, violent crime in the US decreased from its peak in 1993...

Source: Pew Research

...even as gun ownership increased.

Click to enlarge.  Source: NSSF

That doesn't prove that more guns = less crime, but it does prove "Liberals'" assertion that more guns = more crime false.  Now, the Crime Prevention Center published a study that demonstrates that murder rates in the US decreased as the rate of Concealed Carry Permit holders increased.

The study also breaks down the rate of Concealed Carry Permit holders in each state.  The states with the highest rate of Concealed Carry Permit holders are...
South Dakota   12.03% 
Indiana            10.79% 
Alabama          10.21% 
Utah                9.75% 
Tennessee        9.35% 
Pennsylvania    8.67% 
Iowa                8.53% 
Washington      8.49% 
Florida             8.23%  
Georgia            8.00%
Alaska, Arizona, most of Montana, Vermont and Wyoming do not require permits for concealed carry within the state.  Residents of those states that obtain CCPs do so in order to carry their guns legally when they travel to other states.  This is called reciprocity.  I mention all that because, although none of the states that allow Concealed Carry without a permit (often referred to as Constitutional Carry) are in the top ten, the proportion of people that carry in those states could very well be higher than any of the top ten states.  We can't know the actual proportion in those states because their residents can carry concealed firearms legally without a permit.

Every time the issue of Concealed Carry comes up, "Liberals" claim that CC leads to more violent crime, more accidental shootings, etc.  The argument I keep hearing and reading is that Concealed Carry results in wild west shootouts and blood running in the streets.

Obviously, the data prove those fever dreams false.  

Source: WaPo

All 50 states now have some form of Concealed Carry - every single one.  And yet, not only have dystopian "Liberal" fantasies about wild west shootouts and blood in the streets failed to materialize, homicides committed with guns, non-fatal crimes committed with guns and unintentional firearm-related fatalities decreased.

In other words, this doesn't necessarily prove that Concealed Carry results in less crime and fewer firearm-related accidental deaths, but it definitely proves "Liberals" wrong when they claim that Concealed Carry results in more crime and more firearm-related accidental deaths.

So, if Concealed Carry does not result in more crime or more firearm-related accidental deaths, why do "Liberals" continue to oppose Concealed Carry?  Because "gun control" ins't about guns, or crime or safety.  It's a bout expanding government control over law-abiding individuals.