Intermission: miraculous healing/jumping power

This dude blew up his achilles tendon. A year later, he’s jumping all over the place.

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Yar, dis be yer reminder!

bordaxerifle1 450x726 Yar, dis be yer reminder!

Dis handy multitasker be jolly at cuttin’ below foes near ‘n far, (img Pirates & Zombies)

Just wantin’ to remind ye all that this day be International Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day, wit’ a wee wee bit ‘o scurvy pirate history.

That up thar be a boardin’ ax. If it looks like it fires like a musketoon, ’tis because ’tis a combination gun. So many thin’s ’bout life on th’ high Seven Seas involved makin’ one thin’ do lots ‘o thin’s, ‘n th’ boardin’ ax be no exception.

Th’ modern fire ax did bearn directly from it ‘n wit’ jolly reason, ’tis a true multi-device ‘o th’ the hour. Not only could ye swin’ it to murder someone, ye could shoot people wit’ it. And also ’tis an ax, fer all ye other choppin’ duties. Take a shiv to your load, no sense in shoulderin’ an ax an’ a whole ‘nother flintlock.

Th’ boardin’ ax was also jolly fer choppin’ apart doors ‘n chests, a necessary step in acquirin’ lovely booty. Truly, th’ boardin’ ax be one ‘o th’ greatest scurvy pirate inventions ‘n to ’tis day be somethin’ all ye pirates own. Because ye never be knowin’ when ye have to shoot someone, then hack at them some afterwards.

Special thanks to Post Like a Pirate for assisting with the translation.

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Build a computer… with Magic cards

2323057954 5be34291ed 450x337 Build a computer... with Magic cards

Every time you tap a land, you have to drink. No, really, this shit is educational. (img by Tom Longfield)

In case you didn’t know, you can totally justify playing shitloads Minecraft, because it’s educational and has more to do with building virtual computers than sculpting giant naughty things for your own amusement.

But let’s say your evil mom takes your computer away from you because she thinks you should go outside at least once in a while and maybe even interact with other humans irl. So she breaks her foot booting your tubby ass out the front door. What can you do?

You can take up Magic: The Gathering and spend a bunch of money collecting the most awesome and up-to-date cards! And when mom yells at you about how you’re just spending all your time sitting around with friends drinking sodas and fighting about rules (pretty much just like before), you can tell her that Magic is educational: you’re working on building a Turing machine with the cards, and this type of shit will bootstrap you into the next income bracket and you won’t even need to go to college.

Pro-tip: pour enough Turing on anything, and you’ve got yourself some education.

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Your own drummer

The De Havilland Mosquito is one of my all time favorite aircraft. I love everything about it, from the shape, the roar of the twin Merlin engines, the raw speed, or the bizarre armaments like a 6 pounder artillery piece, or 4000 pounds of bombs (about the same payload as the B-17), or radar and a slew of machine guns for night fighting. The Mozzy operated anywhere from 50 to 30,000 feet, and, depending on who you ask, was the fastest aircraft in the allied arsenal.

Watching gun camera footage of a a squadron of Mosquitoes flying so close to the ground that they have to climb to clear a brick fence outside of a French country house sends tingles up my spine. This plane caused the Third Reich so much trouble that Air Marshall Hermann Goring simply copied it and hoped it would wreak as much havoc with the Allies as had been wrought upon them.

ta154 450x291 Your own drummer

Eats bullets and shits tanks (img unattributed)

But all that aside, what really fascinates me about the Mosquito is its creator. Jeffrey De Havilland had been the man behind several revolutionary aircraft. But in an age where aluminum and special metallic alloys had taken over as the primary material in aircraft construction, the Mosquito was made almost entirely out of plywood. Lots of really smart people were telling him he was borderline brain dead for building a modern aircraft from turn of the century materials. In the face of this criticism he carried on, and ended up being the inventor of one of the fastest most versatile airframes in the RAF. His notions that a fast airplane was a safe plane were correct, so while B-17s and RAF Lancasters lumbered across the skies of Europe suffering staggering losses, the Mosquito could deliver the same payload and then simply out run any pursuit sent after them.

By flying below 50 feet they were undetectable by German radar, and nearly impossible for ground forces to shoot down. Jeffery De Havilland’s perseverance despite the criticism of his peers–that absolute faith that he was right, and they were simply not seeing what he saw–is what’s truly amazes me.

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Restoring a legend

I love land speed machines. Cars, boats, motorcycles, they all make my naughty parts tingle. It’s not just the raw speed. There’s a certain grass roots aspect to them, these machines are not typically big budget affairs with teams of engineers in immaculate facilities wearing lab coats crunching numbers on computers the size of a garage. They are more often some kook in greasy coveralls spending long nights in the garage communing with his bandsaw and metal lathe in an effort to eek out an extra mile per hour without turning them self into a grease stain on the salt.

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SpareOne Emergency Phone powered by a single AA

SpareOne Emergency Phone SpareOne Emergency Phone powered by a single AA

For when no one can here you for miles and miles…

The SpareOne Emergency Phone is a simple dumb cellphone, from the waybackwhen, the beforetime long long ago. People were forced to memorize sets of digits that replaced the identities of whoever they wanted to speak with in order to dehumanize each other. Another way they stripped away people’s individuality was by denying people their choice of ringtones, giving everyone the exact same alarum.

But knowing how to use these prehistoric communication devices could one day save your life, like knowing how to start a fire with early fire-starting tools such as the once-ubiquitous “matches”.

The SpareOne functions in every way identical to early “cordless” units, but has been modified to use modern SIM cards and interface with present-day cell tower systems. Even without a SIM card, the device can be used to contact emergency services along with your geolocation.

It is powered by a single AA cell, a simple, non-rechargeable type of power source that was once so common that landfills towered with discharged, worthless cells that cast long shadows over human habitats. This cell has been improved with a lithium core similar to current smartphone power supplies and is encapsulated to prevent parasitic power loss until the time you need it.

Being able to use primitive tools is a core Die < Less skill.

Get one of your own to practice with in case of emergencies here for sixty bucks.

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