Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pistol lethality, and trancendent things.

Most important for a pistol round is hitting the target. You get zero to negative points for all rounds that miss.

Second most important is penetration. The important bits are at the back, and you may have to shoot through the bad guy’s arms.

Third most important is the size of the round, and the important parameter is area diameter squared divided by 4 times 3.14…. Because the target is probably movin, you don’t know exactly what bit of the body the bullet will destroy, so the advantage is to the bullet that destroys a little more.

The.380 is functionally the same as .357, .38 special, or 9mm. between 0.355 and 0.357 inches diameter. The .380 doesn’t have a lot of energy, so if your bullet expands, it won’t penetrate. If it penetrates, it must not expand. .357 magnum has more energy, so the bullet can be designed to expand a bit, and will still penetrate enough. A round that starts off at .45 inches diameter, aside from being heavier (which helps penetration) starts off with more area. An expanding .45 round (flying ash tray) can expand to larger than a 12 gauge slug.

Of course the best is not a pistol, but a shotgun. The 12 gauge, with number 1 shot puts (with 3 inch magnums) 25 each thirty caliber pellets through your enemy. That is 25 opportunities to cut a spinal chord.

Lavoisier, the discoverer of Oxygen dabbled in politics during the French Revolution, and was sent to the guillotine. His last experiment was to blink his eyes as long as possible after his head was severed. It took 16 seconds for that head to die, and another 1000 years will not produce another like it.

This was originally posted as a comment here:

Friday, August 08, 2008

John Edwards, et al.

Mr. Edwards has shown us that he is as sleazy in his personal life as he was in his professional life. Just as he had damaged defendents perform in front of juries, so that he could make money off them, he has had his wife, damaged by his own narcissism, and disregard of marital oaths, perform in front of the public, so that he could make what ever capital he could from her performance. In particular, her post at "Daily Kos" admits that she was lying to them, as she covered up her husband's philandering, in an attempt to further his pursuit of political power.

At some time we have to stop feeling sorry for the woman scorned, and start feeling revulsion for the performance. The scorning was a wound inflicted by Mr. Edwards. The damage from the recent stories about Mr. Edwards and his continuing liason with Ms. Hunter (and child) are caused by his continuing efforts to not pay a penalty of shame. It is his continuing sleaziness that strikes us, and his wife's continuing willingness to support his sleazy life. If it was an affair, and the child is not his, I suppose his visit (documented by the National Inquirer) was only to have one moreadditional illicit sexual liason. This is the behavior she admits to defending. This truly makes her Hillary's soulmate.

I really liked the old days better, when a cad was caught in an improper relationship that he would, or would not apologize for himself, but would never trot out his wife, child, or girl friend to protect him from the contempt that he deserved. This hiding behind the skirts of ones scorned wife is truly cowardly. That is exactly what we have learned to expect from Silky Pony or Slick Willy.

Labels: ,

Psychology, Its Uses and Limits

Humans are a social animal. We do our best work with others. We modify our behaviors based on the preferences of the people with which we spend time. This is natural and desirable. When we lose the people with whom we spend time, we care, and the loss hurts. Nothing fills the void, but new friends, loves, can paper over the hole. This papering over is what we have to do, to keep going. It is not a disrespect of those we have lost (or misplaced) but rather, it is an affirmation of the great love we have that we seek out others. We need Love.

Depression is tough. Now there is effective medicine to treat it. It is not something to take recreationally. When I took it, (A seratonin uptake inhibitor) I was expected to produce a great product, of significant importance, with minimal help, while I was in the grip of a legal battle with my ex-wife. I couldn't do it. My inability to perform was horribly frustrating, and made everything worse. The anti-depressants were lifesaving for me. Seeing a psychologist got the workload lifted. The antidepressants let me perform better, though not heroically. Then for a long time I took the antidepressants because it took the edge off my depression. That means that I didn't have to keep watching my train of thought, to keep from drifing into a sad pattern. Finally life was good enough that I could stop taking them. I am smarter without them, but must school myself to avoid getting back into trouble.

If life gets tough enough, I will take them again.

Psychologists make a living by keeping people on the string, coming back. They don't get paid for empty spots on their appointment book. The old saw is "If the only tool you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails." Lawyers are paid 300 dollars an hour and up to think of ways to resolve problems with legal papers, testimony, and documents. Psychologists are cheaper than lawyers (in part because they are not locked into opposition with other shrinks, as lawyers are in opposition to other lawyers.) Always remember, the psychologist does not fix the problem. Only you can do that. A Lawyer or a Psychologist may cut down on murder or suicide rates, but is no substitute for Love.

My advice: Get the help you need, but if you don't have a resolution in 3 sessions, find a different shrink. That doesn't mean you should stop going after 3 sessions, but there should be substantial progress. There are so many "schools" of psychology, that if one doesn't work, see someone else who uses a different one. Read Victor Frankl's book "Man Searches for Meaning". A slim book that did me more good than any psychologist. Worth rereading every 5 years or so.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

On the Anniversary of the First Use of Nuclear Weapons

It is important to appreciate that the Japanese nuclear physicists got samples of the dust, and determined that Little Boy was a Uranium-235 bomb. They had their own nuclear program, and knew that Uranium 235 is hard to separate from U-238. They reported to the cabinet that this was a catastrophe, but would not happen again. The Japanese cabinet decided to continue the war, with the intent of accepting 30 million Japanese deaths if that was necessary to cause 1 million US deaths. They were sure that the US would not accept that many casualties. They were certain that they would be able to force the US to negotiate with them.

Fat Man, dropped later on Nagasaki was a plutonium bomb, as shown by analysis of the dust. The Japanese physicists knew that plutonium could be chemically separated from Uranium 238, and mass production of nuclear bombs must be anticipated.

The US knew the Japanese strategy, due to masterful decryption efforts, grouped under the code name MAGIC. Fat Man saved a million US lives, and 30 million Japanese lives. It also prevented Soviet occupation of part of Japan.