Monday, November 20, 2017

Cutting Edge: What Happened When 3-D Printing Tech Collided with Gun Control

 by Nomad

Cody R. Wilson

The Fifth Most Dangerous Person on the Net

Free market anarchist and gun-rights activist, Cody R. Wilson of Austin, Texas, has a dream. He wants to end the gun control debate once and for all.

How? By giving every person who wants one the opportunity to own an unlicensed assault weapon. And he is using cutting-edge unregulated (and unregulatable) technology to make that happen.

As founder and director his non-profit organization. Defense Distributed, Wilson published open-source gun designs (CAD files) which can easily be downloaded and self-manufactured using 3-D printing and assembly tools.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Complicated Truth about Why So Many Women Go to Prison in Oklahoma

by Nomad

Photographer: Yousef Khanfar

Women Behind Bars

In the Sooner state, if you are a woman-especially if you are not wealthy- your statistical chance of ending up behind bars is far higher than in any state in the union.

In Oklahoma, 151 out of every 100000 women are in prison and that's twice the national average. In fact, according to a 2013 report, the state had the highest incarceration rate for women per capita in the world.

Are Oklahoma women more predisposed to crime for some reason? Are they just more inclined toward lawlessness than ladies in other parts of the country?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Diversion Time: General Knowledge Trivia Quiz

by Nomad

The art of hosting is based on knowing what your guests crave before they do. And based on the recent conversations on the blog, you need a something more than a steady diet of Trumpian politics. mass shootings and sordid scandal.
That's why I have devoted time to trivia contests, even if they are not strictly political.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gates of War: Donald Trump and the Temple of Janus

by Nomad

Keeping the decision to go to war out of the hands of a single person has long been considered a prudent policy, dating back to ancient times. History has plenty of examples of what can go wrong when this restraint on executive power is ignored.
And that's exactly what Congress is doing with Trump.

The Sacred Gates of War

In Roman mythology, the god Janus was always connected to the ideas of beginnings, of gates, transitions, but also conclusions and endings. This duality is usually the reason Janus is depicted as having two faces, with one face looking to the future and the other to the past.

The Temple of Janus in Rome had a sacred custom of opening its great double-doors during times of war and closing them again in victorious peace. Not too surprisingly, the gates of war were rarely closed. There were always wars being waged somewhere, first to expand and later defend the conquered lands.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sanity Sunday - The Music of Bill Withers

by Nomad

At age 79. singer-songwriter Bill Withers sums up his career like this:
I don't think I've done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia."
From 1970 to 1985, Withers dominated the pop music world with award winners like 1980's "Just the Two of Us" and Grammy-award song like 1971's "Ain't No Sunshine" and 1972's "Lean on Me."

And then something unexpected happened: Withers walked away- one of the few stars in pop-music history to abandon a lucrative career, entirely of his own volition. Despite his fame, Withers was never tempted to revive that career.

Wither's life began in a poor rural area in one of the poorest states in the US. The youngest of six children, his coal miner father died when Bill was 13. As if that were not enough, Withers was born with a stutter.

After a stint in the Navy, Withers traveled to California in the mid-1960s. And somewhere along the way, he conquered his stutter and picked up the guitar. While working at a factory, he was also writing his own tunes. 
"I figured out that you didn't need to be a virtuoso to accompany yourself."