Wednesday What We’re Reading (Jul. 17, 2019)

Summer is in full swing, and speaking of things in full swing, I plan to continue my recent superhero kick by doing up a review of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

If the number of articles in this series were years of its age, we would now refer to it as over the hill.


Science and Technology


  • USPSA match video: me, last weekend – I bought a camera which clips to the brim of a baseball cap, so I don’t have to mess around with tripods or finding someone to record me2. The resolution is quite poor for an allegedly-720p video, but it does, at least, work.
  • Related to the above, Facebook reminded me of a fun CZ story. When I bought the P-09 originally, I got the night sights version, even though I was planning on taking the night sights off immediately, because it came with an extra magazine and the price delta was less than the cost of one magazine. In the manual, it said that the tritium gas, if it escapes, is mostly harmless, and “[…] in case of its inspiration it is recommended to increase the intake of liquids and eventually to take some diuretic (beer with low content of alcohol) for acceleration of the body water exchange.”
  • USPSA match video: one of the local fast shooters – Shared because he has a super-fancy Max-Michel-branded video app which analyzes your audio to find your shots, then lets you tag the intervening time with various activities, then gives you a breakdown of the result. Very handy—”I spent six seconds on transitions on that stage, but only three seconds on splits” tells you a lot about what you should be practicing. It’s the kind of thing parvusimperator and I might aim to recreate by hacking an open source video editor, so we don’t have to go out and buy an iDevice to use it.

Grab Bag

  1. Granted, the article is talking about a blockade (a piece of wartime strategy) rather than an embargo (a diplomatic lever), but the comparison’s just too juicy to pass up. 
  2. Open-source hardware idea: a cheaper version of those $800 tripods which turn to follow a radio beacon. I can’t imagine a stepper motor, a few circuit boards, and some RF voodoo cost nearly that much. 
  3. Some of the examples in the article remind me of my favorite thing about English: it’s a very easy language—not to be fluent in, but to be comprehensible in. No tones, very little formal grammar, and a long history of interaction with wild accents and local flavors make English a better lingua franca than French ever was. 

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