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Rare Photo of Pundit Planet Co-Founder

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Our co-found and Editor-At-Large. Though this snapshot looks vintage, it was actually taken fairly recently, around 2007, back when he had a bit less gray hair, and long before he had a 3-D printer. But his hobbies are essentially the same. He’s currently heading up our Hong Kong Bureau, where his time and space doesn’t allow for recreational rocket building, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy this archival snapshot as a winsome reminder of a cherished pastime.

 

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Recollections of a Failed Criminal Assailant

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[PHOTO] Contrast: Cops in North America

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People from Other Countries List What Surprised Them About Coming to the U.S.A.

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With Helpful Commentary From An American, Yours Truly

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That’s quite a list!

First, lets touch on the ones that I, a native of the U.S.A., agree with, or can relate to. Then we’ll get to some corrections and minor disagreements. Lets begin!

Slang

Is slang unique to the U.S.A? That’s news to me! But, I can’t disagree. A product of diversity, poor public education & rich teachers unions, multi-linguistic confusion, terminal hipness, and bad manners.

Jogging

True! Not only does everyone in Boston jog — all 636,479 of them — everyone in America jogs. Every day. Even babies jog. Don’t you? We started in the 1970s, and the fad just never ended! We love it.

Huge serving portions, ice water, baby seats, baby strollers, giant cars, obesity, general safety, wastefulness, etc. 

Check, check, check, agreed, those are things many of us observe, too.

Sensitiveness towards race and religion

Those are two unrelated things, but linked by a common desire to not offend.

Sensitiveness towards Race 

Yes, it’s a touchy issue here. Well-intended people don’t want to offend, so extraordinary caution is the default position. The stakes are high. One could lose their livelihood, social status, apartment, friends, savings account, and library card, if they accidentally say the wrong thing. Especially when a recording device is on.

Additionally, the guilt narrative has been successfully transferred from one generation of innocent people to subsequent generations of innocent people, the actual guilty oppressors being inconveniently long-dead.

To complicate things, not-so-well-intended people sometimes like to indulge in fake outrage, pretending to be offended. Sometimes for self-amusement, other times to practice their grievance theater performance skills, other times to lay the foundation for serious litigation.

But the good news is, these rules only apply to native-born Americans. If you’re a first-generation U.S. citizen, resident alien, or visitor to the U.S., you’re granted honorary immunity. You can say goofy things that would otherwise be heard as loaded with offensive racial meaning, and it’s not taken personally. It’s a free pass. Enjoy it! Just don’t overuse it. They’ll eventually catch on, and make you feel guilty.

Sensitiveness towards Religion

Not so much! We’re quite free to mock religion! So long as it’s Christianity, Christianity, or Christianity. If it’s not one of those three, then we have to check with our cultural advisors first.

Okay, that concludes the agreeable things. Now, let’s get to work. These are things visitors should know!

Tipping

Even if it’s unfamiliar, or peculiar, by your standards, most of us are obligated to know some basic customs of places we visit. And enjoy learning that, as part of the travel experience. It’s elementary travel advice, and basic good manners.

Of course, you can do like many foreign visitors do, and pretend to be ignorant, as a perfect excuse to not tip. It’s worked for millions of our guests. Feel free to use this excuse.  Or, failing that, complain that ‘the math is too hard”, so you can tip less. Also, if you’re tipping the person who cut your hair, you’re getting your haircut at the wrong place.  Read the rest of this entry »


Footage Shows Launcher with Two Missing Rockets Being Smuggled Back into Russia


Self-Defense Final Score: Home Invader 0, Armed Wheelchair-Bound Man 1

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For The Daily CallerChuck Ross reports: A South Carolina homeowner would have been at a distinct disadvantage to a man who invaded his home early Thursday.

Orlandous Brown, 33, suffers from cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.

But the Easley, S.C. man had a gun and used it to defend himself against 26 year-old Atlanta native Darin Lowe, according to The Greenville News.

Both exchanged gunfire in Brown’s living room. Read the rest of this entry »


Demonstrating Restraint, Foresight, Leadership, and Common Sense, Governor Christie Vetoes Gun Magazine Reduction Bill

Faith And Freedom Coalition Holds Policy Conference

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a gun control bill Wednesday that would have banned ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

In his veto message, the Republican governor rejected the idea that limiting the number of bullets that guns can hold will put an end to mass shootings, calling it a “simplistic” and “trivial” approach. The bill would have reduced the legal ammunition capacity from 15 to 10 rounds.

(NEWARK, N.J.) — Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a gun control bill Wednesday that would have banned ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

In the bill’s place, Christie called for a series of reforms to mental illness treatment, including a new standard that would make it easier to commit people involuntarily…(read more) TIME


WIRED: No One Knows Who Designed These Products — But They’re Perfect


[VIDEO] Anti-Civil Rights: President Obama Praises Australia’s Gun Confiscation

Re: Obama’s Tumblr tumble, I had a feeling if anyone from NRO covered this, it’d be Charles C. W. Cooke. Read the whole thing here.

For National Review OnlineCharles C. W. Cooke writes: Speaking to users of the blogging platform Tumblr, President Obama today praised Australia’s confiscation of firearms. Obama said:

Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.

Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country that would put up with this.

In other words, the president of the United States just praised a government for forcefully removing all semi-automatic firearms (i.e. a remarkable number of the guns in America and the majority of those sold today) from its citizenry.

Let me be clear, as Obama likes to say: You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun-laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law. Read the rest of this entry »


Rewind: City Pays $25,000 To Man Arrested For Bringing A Gun To Movies

Now that an official Harvard study confirms what we've been saying, and what other studies have shown, all these years, will gun-control advocates get the message, and admit their policies are a failure? Or will they double down, and continue to advocate the same dishonest anti-gun agenda?

For The Daily CallerGreg Campbell reports: A man who was arrested for carrying a holstered handgun into a movie theater a week after the Aurora shootings in 2012 received a $25,000 settlement check from the city of Thornton last week, according to Denver’s 7News.

Jim Mapes had a concealed-carry permit and said he’d carried his gun to the same theater several times in the past. Another theater-goer called 911, saying a man with a weapon had just entered a movie theater. He was originally charged with brandishing the weapon, which Mapes denied.

“It never left my holster,” he told the station. And although the gun was carried openly rather than being concealed, his lawyer said that’s never been against the law in Thornton. Read the rest of this entry »


Wireless Power from Across the Room

Charge it: An iPhone in an Energous case gets a charge from the transmitter in the background.

Charge it: An iPhone in an Energous case gets a charge from the transmitter in the background.

For MIT Technology ReviewRachel Metz writes: “Do you want us to charge your phone?” George Holmes asks. Normally, that would be an odd question. But Holmes is the vice president of sales and marketing for Energous, a company that is developing technology called WattUp that will allow you to charge smartphones, tablets, and other small gadgets from across a room without wires.

Energous hopes other companies will license this technology and build it into all kinds of products and places, so you can easily power your iPad while sitting on the couch browsing Instagram, or top off your phone while buying a coffee or playing Candy Crush in an airport. It will face competition, however, from a startup calledWitricity that uses a different method, and already has the backing of some major electronics companies.

For now, WattUp’s technology is still in the demo stage, which means it’s not very good-looking. But it works, and during a visit to my San Francisco office, Holmes wants to show it off. Read the rest of this entry »


Rachel Lu: I Lived A Completely Gun-Free Life. Until Now…

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For The Federalist, Rachel Lu writes: We just became a Second Amendment family. For the first time in my life, my home contains an object that is, by the manufacturer’s intent, a deadly weapon.

“There’s a reason I’m admitting to all of this. It’s a kind of public service.”

I received fair warning that this would happen. Even before we were married, my husband announced his general intention to own a gun. A year or so back he started researching the topic more earnestly, and then one afternoon there was a gun sitting on my kitchen table. It was unloaded, of course.

“The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms.”

We had extensive conversations about trigger locks and all the other safety measures. I know that the kids can’t get it, and are in fact far more likely to be injured by stairs or cleaning solutions or sporting equipment. Intuitively it still feels like a menace.

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Photo “Shots fired” by Hayden Beaumont

“Gun violence is not some mysterious malady that simply befalls us against our will, like a cancer or a natural disaster.”

The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms. Mind you, I was raised by conservatives, but Mormons trend towards a communitarian, good-government brand of conservatism. They’re rarely drawn to the more suspicious and individualistic culture of the N.R.A. If my parents had any gun-owning friends when I was growing up, I wasn’t aware.

Read the rest of this entry »


Alaska man uses Neosporin to treat gunshot wound to head, doesnt get help for 5 days

Neosporin-Warning

ANCHOR POINT, Alaska, May 16 (UPI) — Alaska residents are known to be very self-reliant, but one man took that to the extreme by waiting five days to seek medical attention for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“No treatment before today other than he put Neosporin on the wounds”

Instead of going to the hospital, an Anchor Point man treated his “serious but not life-threatening” wound with Neosporin and other supplies he had on hand.

Workers at South Peninsula Hospital alerted Alaska State Troopers when the 43-year-old man came in for treatment on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] How 3-D Printed Guns Evolved Into Serious Weapons in Just One Year

For WIREDAndy Greenberg writes: A burgeoning subculture of 3-D printed gun enthusiasts dreams of the day when a lethal firearm can be downloaded or copied by anyone, anywhere, as easily as a pirated episode of Game of Thrones. But the 27-year-old Japanese man arrested last week for allegedly owning illegal 3-D printed firearms did more than simply download and print other enthusiasts’ designs. He appears to have created some of his own.

“With the Liberator we were trying to communicate a kind of singularity, to create a moment…”

Among the half-dozen plastic guns seized from Yoshitomo Imura’s home in Kawasaki was a revolver designed to fire six .38-caliber bullets–five more than the Liberator printed pistol that inspired Imura’s experiments. He called it the ZigZag, after its ratcheted barrel modeled on the German Mauser Zig-Zag. In a video he posted online six months ago, Imura assembles the handgun from plastic 3-D printed pieces, a few metal pins, screws and rubber bands, then test fires it with blanks.

 “…The broad recognition of this idea seemed to flip a switch in peoples’ minds…We knew that people would make this their own.”

– Cody Wilson

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The Reprringer, a tiny, 3D-printable revolver that fires .22 calibre ammunition. Image: FOSSCAD

It’s been a full year since I watched the radical libertarian group Defense Distributed test fire the Liberator, the first fully printable gun, for the first time. Imura is one of a growing number of digital gunsmiths who saw the potential of that controversial breakthrough and have strived to improve upon the Liberator’s clunky, single-shot design. Motivated by a mix of libertarianism, gun rights advocacy and open-source experimentation, their innovations include rifles, derringers, multi-round handguns and the components needed to assemble semi-automatic weapons. Dozens of other designs are waiting to be tested.

The result of all this tinkering may be the first advancements that significantly move 3-D printed firearms from the realm of science fiction to practical weapons. Read the rest of this entry »


4.7-Inch iPhone 6 Confirmed for Sept 2014 Release Date as Apple Orders 50M iPhones from Pegatron

More voices were added to the snowballing iPhone 6 discourse, its 2014 release date supposedly gaining more ground as a new render and fresh details defining the hotly-anticipated handset came out. (Photo: Nikola Cirkovic)

More voices were added to the snowballing iPhone 6 discourse, its 2014 release date supposedly gaining more ground as a new render and fresh details defining the hotly-anticipated handset came out. (Photo: Nikola Cirkovic)

For International Business TimesErik Pineda  writes: The iPhone 6 release date is fast shaping up to become real on September 2014 as mass production of the 4.7-inch version is reportedly already underway, according to new reports.

[See also: REPORT: APPLE ON VERGE OF BUYING BEATS FOR $3.2B]

Reports coming from Taiwan and Japan, which according to MacRumors were picked up by Industrial & Commercial Times and MacOtakara respectively, appear to indicate that Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron has started production activities for the tech giant’s 2014 iPhone thrust.

Pegatron is one of the iPhone maker’s two major mobile device assemblers from Asia. The one is Foxconn, which according to Apple Insider is slated to take up some 85 per cent of iPhone production duties this 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »


Japan Makes First Arrest Over 3-D Printer Guns

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YOKOHAMA – A 27-year-old man who allegedly made handguns with a 3-D printer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegal weapons possession, the first time Japan’s firearms control law has been applied to the possession of guns made by this method.

“I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”

–Yoshitomo Imura

Yoshitomo Imura is taken into custody Thursday in Kawasaki on suspicion of illegal possession of guns made with a 3-D printer

Yoshitomo Imura is taken into custody Thursday in Kawasaki on suspicion of illegal possession of guns made with a 3-D printer

The suspect, Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, had the plastic guns at his home in Kawasaki in mid-April, the police said. No bullets for the guns have been found.

The police launched an investigation earlier this year after Imura posted video footage online of the guns, which he claimed to have produced himself, along with blueprints for them, according to investigative sources.

One of Imura’s postings carried a comment: “The right to bear firearms is part of basic human rights.”

Police searched Imura’s home last month and seized five guns, two which can fire real bullets, the sources said.

Imura, who purchased a 3-D printer for around ¥60,000 through the Internet, was quoted as telling investigators during the search, “I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal.” Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. military spy plane leads to hundreds of flights being cancelled


[VIDEO] SR-71 Blackbird: How to Fly the World’s Fastest Plane

Colonel Rich Graham flew the Blackbird from 1974 until the mid-1980s, first as a mission pilot and then as a trainer. He later took command of all Blackbird detachments – in California, Mildenhall in the UK and at Kadena on the Japanese island of Okinawa. He has also written several books about the aircraft. Here he tells BBC Future about what made the SR-71 such a remarkable plane.

It was a plane which flew at the edge of space; so high that most other jet engines would seize because of the lack of air. A plane that flew so fast that its airframe heated and grew during flight. A plane that, if needed, could outrun missiles launched to bring it down.

[See Colonel Rich Graham's book: SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird, The World's Highest, Fastest Plane at Amazon.com]

The Lockheed SR-71 was a product of airplane maker Lockheed’s Skunk Works, a secretive project which came up with some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. It was designed after the loss of a U-2 spyplane over the Soviet Union in 1960 – a plane thought to fly too high to be shot down. The Blackbird would fly even higher, and at speeds of Mach 3.3 it would be fast enough to outrun any missile fired at it. Read the rest of this entry »


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