In Flight Observation

by: the Common Constitutionalist

This is a departure from my usual political diatribe, but I thought I’d share it none-the-less. If it bores you, tough crap.

It’s early Sunday morning. My plane just took off from Ft Lauderdale, Fl., on my way back to New Hampshire.

We quickly get to our cruising altitude of approximately 35,000 feet . I’ve always preferred a window seat;  this time was no different.

I look out my window and see nothing but cloud cover. The earth below me is literally blanketed by clouds as far as the eye can see .  Yet strangely, they don’t look at all like clouds .

It appears as if we are flying over one of the polar regions .  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear we were suspended above a massive glacier.

The smooth glacial cloud cover was interrupted everywhere by what looked like large crevasses all pointing in one direction, as if cutting through a valley.

I’ve never been to or seen a glacier up close and personal. We have all seen them on various nature shows and what I was witnessing was eerily similar.

In  distance I view what appears to be a mountain range jutting out from the otherwise flat glacial landscape.

It was frankly mesmerizing, and I had to remind myself that these were merely cloud formations springing up from the cover.  If I didn’t know better, I couldn’t make that distinction.

I find myself just staring for several minutes at the mountain range suspended thousands of miles above the ground.

There are wisps of clouds moving rapidly up and over the mountain peaks as if it were snow being forced up the mountains by high winds.

I’ve also never flown over the Himalayas, but by the documentaries I’ve seen of Mount Everest expeditions , I imagine it is quite similar to what I am witnessing.

After several minutes, although it seemed a lot longer, my trance was interrupted by a break in the cloud cover.

There’s Atlantic, the coastline and intercoastal waterway.  That’s more like it.

When reflecting on what I just witnessed I can’t help but think of the dichotomy of two worlds, above and below the clouds.

What oddly came to mind was the final “Matrix” movie.  Two of the main characters are trying to reach this machine city in their flying contraption.

They are being chased by other flying contraptions trying to prevent them from reaching the city.  They are unable to shake their pursuers, at which point the main character, Neo, says if they are unable to outrun them, they must go over them.

They point their ship skyward. As they punch through the omnipresent cloud cover, they witness a brightly gleaming sun for the first time.

One says to the other, “It’s beautiful!”.

They’re right, it is.

I Now Support Barack, Because He Mad Cool, Yo

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Have you heard? Snoop Dogg is no longer Snoop Dogg. Now he’s Snoop Lion.

Snoop (Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. when he’s at home) announced the name change during a press conference in New York, recounting a sort of spiritual  awakening he had while he was in Jamaica to recording with Diplo (or is it Dipstick):

“I want to bury Snoop Dogg (not a bad idea), and become Snoop Lion. I  didn’t know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I  said, ‘Snoop Dogg.’ And he looked me in  my eyes and said, ‘No more. You are the  light; you are the lion.’ From  that moment on, it’s like I had started to  understand why I was there. […] “I have always said I was Bob Marley  reincarnated. I feel I have always  been a Rastafari. I just didn’t have my  third eye open, but its wide  open right now.”

No doubt the guy was the High Priest of ganja-mon.

Seriously, now that Snoop has been blessed by a Rasta Priest, he should have much more political credibility. And Lions are revered far more than mere doggs. He’s like the King of the urban jungle.

So when Snoop Lion publishes a contemplative instagram concisely stating why he will not be voting for Mitt Romney, we know it is both thoughtful and well constructed.

Here is the Lion’s post. The DNC should consider adding it to their platform:

Now that the Lion is Rasta, I’m surprised he didn’t call Mitt a “Blood Clot”. He could transpose number 6 or 1o, since they are the same.

I have learned some from the above list. I had no idea that a black nigga is cooler than a white nigga. Thanks for heads up, Mr. Lion.

I do however, have to disagree with one point. From the look of both Snoop and Barack, it seems plain to me that neither could beat down anyone. It appears that a stiff wind could blow them over . Maybe that was just the Ganja talking. Inhaled courage.

Other than that, I think is a well thought out and intentioned piece.

After reading this rather compelling list, I think I’m going to change my position and support Barack. Anyone who has sniffed Beyonce has my vote. And whom, in their right mind, would vote for man with no hoes. I mean…come on!

Hold it Properly

It’s a familiar sight seen in dozens of  Hollywood gangster films: the gangster aiming down the side of his pistol before pumping a volley of bullets into his victim.

But with most people knowing that the aiming sights are found on the top of a gun barrel, it’s also a counter-intuitive way  to accurately fire a weapon.

So why is it that gangsters are always shown  using their guns in this way? According to Jon Davis, a former marksmanship  instructor with the U.S. Marine Corp, there is a good reason, at least in theory.

Which is best? researchers have analysed the reason gangsters often hold their gun sideways - and say it can actually help aimWhich is best? researchers have analysed the reason  gangsters often hold their gun sideways – and say it can actually help aim

As a specialist in pistol marksmanship and a veteran of the war in Iraq, Mr Davis has fired these kinds of weapons thousands of times.

He explains that when aiming a handgun in the conventional, barrel-up manner, the rear sites must line up with the front sight in the horizontal and vertical planes to make sure the bullet travels a straight line.

This important technique, known as ‘building the castle’ since the gunman has to line up the three ‘turrets’ into an even position, ensures that the barrel of the gun is aligned perfectly along the trajectory he wants the bullet to travel.

The problem with ‘building the castle’ each time you want to fire your gun is that it takes time. Time you might not have in a combat situation – or alternatively when you want to quickly execute your victim and make a fast getaway.

'Building the castle': This graphic shows the conventional way to line a target up using the sites on the top of a handgun‘Building the castle’: This graphic shows the  conventional way to line a target up using the sites on the top of a handgun

Instead, gangsters – albeit unkowingly – use another method to get what’s called a ‘flash sight picture’ by quickly aiming down the side of the gun barrel without perfectly lining it up with the target.

The ‘flash sight picture’ is a way to quickly get an aim that’s good enough for combat but without worrying too much about  being totally precise with your aim.

Marines do it too, Mr Davis says, but they hold their guns the right way up.

'Flash sighting' - gangster style: Mr Davis explains that this method is a much faster way of aiming a weapon, but it is much less effective for aiming accurately‘Flash sighting’ – gangster style: Mr Davis explains  that this method is a much faster way of aiming a weapon, but it is much less  effective for aiming accurately

In answer to a question on quora.com Mr Davis explains: ‘The problem with tilt style shooting is that it is almost impossible to acquire a reliable sight alignment. The alignment in tilt style is achieved by making the weapon flat and aiming down the side.

‘In theory this works, but in practice you  can’t accurately measure movement left or right and you have absolutely no way  of knowing if the weapon is tilted down below your field of vision from the back  of the weapon.

‘This means that you never actually take the same shot twice since you are never actually aiming the same way.’

This, Mr Davis adds, shows that there is in fact a rational method behind why gangsters aim their weapon side on. However,  it’s not a particularly good method – and they probably don’t realize that there’s method to it at all.

The research sheds new light on why holding a gun sideways can help aim under pressureThe research sheds new light on why holding a gun  sideways can help aim under pressureAttribution: Damien Gayle

Cooking the Numbers

Newt Gingrich: Jack Welch’s Jobs Report Theory ‘Rings True at a Deeper Level’

by:

Newt Gingrich said former General Electric CEO Jack Welch’s contention that the Obama administration cooked the September jobs report numbers “rings true at a deeper level” because of the deep distrust of the president.

“It rings true at a deeper level, without getting into the conspiracy of it,” Gingrich said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.“ ”What’s interesting is you have a president who after four years — and by the way his last budget got zero votes in the U.S. Senate, not a single Democrat voted for his last budget.

He continued, “So you have a president of the United States so deeply distrusted by people like Jack Welch — who’s hardly a right-winger, I mean Welch is one of the most successful businessmen in America — that Welch instantaneously assumes this is the Chicago machine. I’m just — it’s worth looking at.”

After the September jobs numbers were released Friday showing a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent, the lowest since January 2009, Welch tweeted, “Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.” Welch subsequently admitted he didn’t have any evidenceto back up his assertion, but told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews it “seems somewhat coincidental that the month before the election, the numbers go one-tenth of a point below where the president started.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd said the it was a “bad trend” that “Donald Trump and Jack Welch, rich people with crazy conspiracies can get traction”

Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, also a guest on the panel, denounced Welch’s “absolutely crazy” comments.

“I assume…there’s a number of people who believe the real unemployment report is somewhere in a safe in Nairobi with the president’s Kenyan birth certificate,” Gibbs said. “The notion quite frankly that somebody as well-respected as Jack Welch would go on television and single-handedly embarrass himself…it’s incredibly dangerous.”

Ostentatious Europe

They were once filled with courtiers, kings, and other members of the aristocracy. But stunning images capture the silent galleries, corridors, and libraries of Europe in a whole new light.

Captured by Italian photographer Massimo Listri, the images span from Portugal to Sweden, France, and Italy, and show the intricate masterworks from ages past.

His images evoke a certain solemnity, both beautiful and isolating at once.

Included in his portfolio are pictures from the library of Wiblingen Abbey, which was once a Benedictine abbey and has since been transformed into housing medical facilities for the University of Ulm in Germany.

Another image shows the the Malatestiana Library, located in Cesena, Italy, which was the first European civil library that allowed everyone -including the common people – access to its books.

Sounds of silence: These images of grand halls have been captured by Italian photographer Massimo Listri; here, the Royal Palace of Stockholm in SwedenSounds of silence: These images of grand halls have been captured by Italian photographer Massimo Listri; here, the Royal Palace of Stockholm in Sweden
Royalty: Another vast room from the Royal Palace in Stockholm; the Swedish monarchy still resides here todayRoyalty: Another vast room from the Royal Palace in Stockholm; the Swedish monarchy still resides here today
 
Rococo: The Queluz National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal was built in the 18th century; the grand checkered marble floors are juxtaposed against a chandelier and and painted murals on the ceilingRococo: The Queluz National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal was built in the 18th century; the grand checkered marble floors are juxtaposed against a chandelier and and painted murals on the ceiling

WiblingenRoom with a view: Wiblingen Abbey, once a Benedictine abbey, has since been transformed into housing medical facilities for the University of Ulm in Germany; this is a stunning shot of the abbey’s beautiful library

Monochrome: One of two Medici Chapels, located in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy; the structure dates to around the 16th century Monochrome: One of two Medici Chapels, located in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy; the structure dates to around the 16th century

All made of marble: The Marble Gallery in the Ducal Palace in Northern Italy is a hauntingly beautiful reminder of times gone byAll made of marble: The Marble Gallery in the Ducal Palace in Northern Italy is a hauntingly beautiful reminder of times gone by

From antiquity: The Malatestiana Library, located in Cesena, Italy, was the first European civil library, allowing everyone access to its books, and is more than 500 years oldFrom antiquity: The Malatestiana Library, located in Cesena, Italy, was the first European civil library, allowing everyone access to its books, and is more than 500 years old
Less austere: This room in the Palazzo Martelli in Florence shows a painted mural on the wall, but a room void of furniture, save for one lone wooden tableLess austere: This room in the Palazzo Martelli in Florence shows a painted mural on the wall, but a room void of furniture, save for one lone wooden table
Roman holiday: This is a corridor from the Capitoline Museums, located in Capitoline Hill in Rome; part of the piazza was thought of by none other than famed Renaissance artist Michelangelo Roman holiday: This is a corridor from the Capitoline Museums, located in Capitoline Hill in Rome; part of the piazza was thought of by none other than famed Renaissance artist Michelangelo
Hollywood aspirations: A room from the Chateau de Pierrefonds in Oise, France, north of Paris; it later became a filming location for the 1998 film Man In The Iron MaskHollywood aspirations: A room from the Chateau de Pierrefonds in Oise, France, north of Paris; it later became a filming location for the 1998 film Man In The Iron Mask
Wealth of knowledge: The stunning library from Kresmunster Abbey in Austria was built in the late 1600s, though the abbey's history predates the 9th centuryWealth of knowledge: The stunning library from Kresmunster Abbey in Austria was built in the late 1600s, though the abbey’s history predates the 9th century
Intricate: Sammezzano Castle, built in 1605, is in the scenic Tuscany region of Italy and features Moorish designs throughoutIntricate: Sammezzano Castle, built in 1605, is in the scenic Tuscany region of Italy and features Moorish designs throughout
Wide halls: The Palace of Caserta, located in southern Italy, was built for the kings of Naples, and has the honour of being one of the largest built in Europe during the 18th century Wide halls: The Palace of Caserta, located in southern Italy, was built for the kings of Naples, and has the honour of being one of the largest built in Europe during the 18th century
Other-worldly: The Gallery Grande is part of the Palace of Venaria, located in Turin, Italy, built in the later part of the 17th century; the stark contrast and diffused light gives it a ghostly glowOther-worldly: The Gallery Grande is part of the Palace of Venaria, located in Turin, Italy, built in the later part of the 17th century; the stark contrast and diffused light gives it a ghostly glow
 
Trade paths: The General Archive of the Indies, in Seville, Spain, was built in the 1570s; a lone cannon lays on the floor of the arched libraryTrade paths: The General Archive of the Indies, in Seville, Spain, was built in the 1570s; a lone cannon lays on the floor of the arched library

Michelle’s Food Gestapo

by: the Common Constitutionalist

A few days ago, it was football. Now it’s food.

Bring out the Nannies!

A Florida school district is considering installing video cameras on cafeteria trash cans so it can monitor what its students are throwing away.

The Lake County School Board is debating the extreme food-salvage method because of, as they claim, the thousands of dollars lost through food wastage, Fox News reported.

Officials claim that more than $75,000 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables have found its way from kids’ plates to the trash can since the Obama Administration (Michelle)launched a policy in January forcing schools to be more healthy. Or what? They send in the Gestapo or the Hall Monitors? “We order you to be more healthy”! And whom did they hire to rummage through the trash cans to obtain this valuable intel?

Actually, I’m sure there would be no end to the amount of liberal busy-bodies that would volunteer their time for such a worthy cause.

“It’s a fairly specific recipe of what they (or she) would like us to serve,” Lake County School Board member Tod Howard told NBC  News. Oh, we’re being served all right; a healthy dose of communism. So which one is it, member Tod? Is it, they would like us to serve, or are forcing us to serve? I’ll go with the latter.

“Unfortunately, much of it has to do with fresh fruit and vegetables and it seems to be going into the trash. And that’s not okay,” added member Tod.

I’ll bet member Tod is not only disappointed, but surprised that children, left to their own devices wouldn’t choose to eat healthy. It’s so unlike the little tikes.

Unlike the government politburo, not everyone is happy about the potential filming, including parents who do not want to see the trash cams adopted.

“So we’re going to spend how many more thousands of dollars to put cameras on trash cans to document the thousands of  dollars in food the kids are throwing away,” one parent wrote on ClickOrlando.com

I might add, many, many more thousands, as the “trash cams” get stolen, pilfered or otherwise tampered with by school yard delinquents. Although, knowing liberals as I do, they have most likely, not acccounted for that reality.

Another parent added, “This is a no brainer, kids are not going to eat the stuff served at school. Has anyone really looked at these lunch trays?”

Among objections are that kids and parents  themselves run the risk of being caught on camera themselves and personally penalized. No! That would never happen. You’ll just have to trust them.

“Because no matter what they say, they are going to try to identify the kids throwing the food away and then social workers  and courts will get involved,” wrote another disgruntled commenter.

Disgruntled continued, “If your child doesn’t eat his school lunch,  you, the parent, will face punishment. Think I’m wrong? There are cities and states that  punish the adults if the children are truant or get in trouble with the law in any manner.”

“Your kid threw away a carrot? Go to jail.  This is what we are coming to.”

But Howard, blinded by his liberal ideology , is adamant that the cameras will serve a quality purpose. What could possibly go wrong member Tod? This isn’t how tyrannical despotism begins or anything.

“If we just can’t get (you mean force) kids to eat broccoli, and 90 percent of it is going in the trash – that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars – and the federal government needs to look at their mandate,” he said. I’m sure member Tod doesn’t means to repeal the mandate, of course, but to strengthen it. One way or the other these kids are going eat healthy! Right member Tod?

“We have no choice in the matter. This is just a tool to help us document he issue.” A  decision has yet to be made.

You’re the tool, member Tod!

Attribution: Daily Caller, Mail Online

Molotov Cocktail

‘Don’t do this yourself… you would be an  idiot.’

With that friendly warning, the ‘Slow Mo’  team launches a Molotov Cocktail at the side of a typical house in  suburbia.

And thanks to their super slow motion capture – which can take a staggering 2,500 frames a second – we can see every moment of  this explosive and destructive attack in the kind of detail normally reserved  for Hollywood action films.

Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy, AKA the Slow Mo  team, have a track record for this sort of thing , having previously smashed  watermelons, popped popcorn, and dropped water balloons, all in the name of  science and fun.

This time, it is the side of a house which  falls victim to their destructive ways.

Scroll  down for video:

Get ready for the explosion: The Molotov flies through the air - in super-slow motion - as the Slo Mo team take great glee in educating their viewers

Get ready for the explosion: The Molotov flies through  the air – in super-slow motion – as the Slo Mo team take great glee in educating  their viewers
As the molotov cocktail hits the wall, the glass shatteers and the fuel begins to spread

As the molotov cocktail hits the wall, the glass  shatteers and the fuel begins to spread
It's time to burn! As the flames spread out, more and more fuel catches alight, leading to a blossoming flame

It’s time to burn! As the flames spread out, more and  more fuel catches alight, leading to a blossoming flame
The flames spread across the brick wall - luckily this was not thrown in anger as the ferocity of the flame is obvious

The flames spread across the brick wall – luckily this  was not thrown in anger as the ferocity of the flame is obvious
The burning liquid spreads down the side of the house - on slow-motion is looks spectacular, if savage

The burning liquid spreads down the side of the house –  on slow-motion is looks spectacular, if savage
As the liquid drops down, the flames lick across the floor, burning the pool of fire

As the liquid drops down, the flames lick across the  floor, burning as it goes

The flames 'drip' down the wall as the liquid burns. This whole sequence has lasted around a second, with the bottle not even landing by the time of this final image

The flames ‘drip’ down the wall as the liquid burns.  This whole sequence has lasted around a second, with the bottle not even landing  by the time of this final image

The Slow Mo team have millions of subscribers  to their YouTube channel and more than 60,000 Twitter followers.

Hollywood director Michael Bay – known and  lampooned for his high-octane super-slow-motion scenes in action films such as  Transformers – may well end up jealous of the pair’s camera.

They used a Phantom Flex camera to record the  action, which provided them with high-definition footage to keep for  posterity.

The video is part of a series of slow-motion  videos, more than 60 in total, posted by the pair on their YouTube  video.

What did we just do? Gavin Free (left) and Daniel Gruchy (right) enjoy blowing things up in the name of scienceWhat did we just do? Gavin Free (left) and Daniel Gruchy  (right) enjoy blowing things up in the name of science

Previously they have tackled a  computer with  a sledgehammer, played golf with an apple, and exploded  ‘bottle-bombs’,  capturing each moment at a fraction of the pace of real  life.

The pair do not go to lengths to  explain  their motivations or what the audience is witnessing. Instead they seem to enjoy nothing more than watching everyday objects explode in super slow motion.

But that is part of the beauty of  science –  sometimes there doesn’t need to be a reason, other than watching life from a new perspective.