Open Thread – March 2014

The AN-94 (Russian: 5,45-мм автомат Никонова обр. 1994 г. / АН-94 «Абака́н»GRAU designation 6P33) is an advanced assault rifle of Russian origin. The initials stand for Avtomat Nikonova model of 1994, after its chief designerGennadiy Nikonov who previously worked on the Nikonov machine gun.

The AN-94 was designed as a potential replacement to the AK-74 series of rifles currently in service with Russian Armed Forces. Due to its complex design and expense its adoption has been very slow and it is in limited use; and it most likely will never become general issue.[1] As of March 2013, the AK-74 (‘M’ variant) is still the general issue rifle used by the Russian Armed Forces.

The stated great advantage of the AN-94 system is its ability to delay the recoil force until the fired round/s have left the barrel. This, it is claimed, enables more ‘hits’ on target under the most adverse combat conditions.

The AN-94 offers a unique two-shot burst function at a stated 1800 rounds per minute rate of fire. The Nikonov mechanism fires the second shot in the burst quickly enough to allow it to escape before the recoil of the first shot is felt, thus potentially allowing the two shots to hit extremely close together, for example to aid in piercing body armor.

* * *

Armed Men Take Position at Two Airports in Crimea

Feb. 28th

One local resident who was at the airport said that he did not know who the men were. “They’re not talking,” he said.

Meanwhile, another confrontation was underway at a second airport, called Belbek, that is used for military and some civilian flights.

In a post on his Facebook page, the interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said that units believed to be affiliated with the Russian military had blocked access to the airport overnight, with some Ukrainian military personnel and border guards inside. Mr. Avakov wrote that the men blocking the airport were also wearing camouflage uniforms with no identifying insignia, but he added, “They do not hide their affiliation.”


161 Replies to “Open Thread – March 2014”

  1. spring in ansonia, ct: the melting snow exposes a winter’s worth of dog shit on the sidewalks.

  2. god, as much as i try to read the archdruid, just can’t do it. every week i get half way through his blog post, then walk away scratching my head, saying to myself: “wtf is this guy getting on about?”

  3. play on words, dave. “Last Tango in Paris” starring Marlin Brando as [some guy] and introducing Maria S—————– as the young Rose. There’s an anal sex scene with a stick of butter used as lubricant. It was controversial at the time of its release. a “must see” video rental for you.

    she shoots him at the end. i think he wanted it that way, being obsessed about Peak Oil and losing his pecker, i think.

  4. “god, as much as i try to read the archdruid, just can’t do it. ”

    do like i do, just ignore him. life is too short for reading or listening to long-winded blow hards.

  5. funny US propaganda story plant of the week:

    “We really don’t know” what Snowden’s got, Flynn said, adding that “we have to assume the worst case and then begin to make some recommendations to our leadership about how do we mitigate some of the risks that may come from what may have been compromised.” He added that the intelligence community also must assume that Russia either already has the information taken by Snowden or is trying to get it, adding “that would be very serious.”

    and who set him up so he couldn’t leave Russia when he tried to obtain assylum elsewhere? yup, yup, duhhhh…

  6. good times-not in California these days:

    “How can you flush your toilets? How can you take a shower? How can brush your teeth in the morning? It’s not a nice feeling knowing that your town could be completely turned into a ghost town because they don’t have a water supply.”

    just ask a wise Anasazi. oops, they left a long time ago.

  7. stupid, lazy bears. they’ve had just as long to evolve as us monkeys. they are obviously just as dexterious (well, almost) and improvising (see above). so how come we make the technology to film them in the wild with our nice color, portable, high-def telephoto movie cameras? where’s their stuff? how come we have the guns and scopes to hunt them, and not the other way around?

    in fact, if they weren’t so damn lazy and stupid, they would have techno stuff by now, too, and would be trimming our out-of-control, exponentially growing population by being good predators, just doing their job. but no, it’s all their fault, and now we’re all going away like the dinosaurs, just because none of our natural predators have kept up.

    i guess the painters and coyotes have tried some, sharks, too.

    shoots, even the tiny viruses and bacteria have done better than those iffn bears. the Black Death, now that was a formitable foe, made a real dent there for awhile, way back when.

  8. trophy pool, trophy house, trophy kids (one of each sex), trophy wife, trophy suit, why not a trophy car to match? i’d like to see the same commercial with the guy getting into a real beater, then saying something like “i’m not into status cars”. that would be hilarious.

  9. “I fell for you jivin’ and I took you in. Now all you got to offer me’s a drink of gin”…best line in the Peggy Lee version.

  10. from cluborlov:

    “The US State Dept. gave 5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis who used some of the money to hire mass murderers who massacred protesters, policemen and bystanders in order to provide a rationale for overthrowing the democratically elected government of Ukraine and installing an anti-Russian puppet government.”

  11. EE does not prefer the dark wallpaper here, as it hurts her eyes to read it. i think she’ll return when JR fixes that.

    hey, how about a new banner photo? are you looking for suggestions?

  12. Catton’s Overshoot Wins… Hubbert gets boobie prize for picking oil peaks.

    Gail Tverberg says:
    March 12, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Thanks for your explanation of what is happening. As I see it, it is not the physical shortage that stops our current system. The shortage slows economic growth, and the slowed economic growth makes debt less possible. It is the turn around in the debt situation that makes the downturn much more severe than it otherwise would be. Thus, Hubbert Curve is not the right model–the correct model is overshoot and collapse, although not necessarily all at once.

    Exactly how this plays out is not entirely clear (fortunately!). I agree that heavily populated areas seem to be more of a problem than less heavily populated areas, but I am not sure how important this is in the final analysis. If we cannot transition to actually using these resources, given the financial and political problems we encounter, then we still have a problem. I would not volunteer to move to London at this point, though.

  13. god, i was actually able to finish reading the archdruid today, not that he had much to say. solar good, other stuff bad, something like that.

  14. i used to like to summarize the archdruid back in the CFN daz. i would see if i could convey the same meaning that he uses paragraphs to get across in a few sentences. verbal diarrhea in printed form, so less smell, i guess.

  15. hey dave, i notice that if the stock market takes a dive, you disappear for awhile. what’s up with that? making money on the volatility?

  16. what that video does not convey is tortugas can hump that way for hours. at least the ones in the Galapagos did. we used to fall asleep in our tents to the loud moaning of humping wild tortugas. the only thing they do fast is snap their beaks.

  17. it’s kinda funny. i’ve been holding some food commodity index funds for years. you’d think with all the talk about spiking food prices, i’d be fucking rich. nope.

  18. the video says he was “culling” lion fish. why culling, i don’t know. it seems stupid to try imitating nature’s ecology, at least to me. anywho, nature almost got a last laugh in there. if it had, we of course would not have the video to watch.

  19. back in 1981, a shark chased a couple of expert divers out of the water off the island of Enjebe in Enewetak Atoll Lagoon. i was the scientist in the boat. they were trying to collect a sedient core for me. the hammering attracted the shark, a big gray reef (bigger than the one in the video). according to the divers, it circled them and did some classic flexes of its pectorial fins and arched its back. that is a sure sign of aggression from gray reef sharks. so, they abandoned the core they were collecting and the gear and headed up to the boat, about 200+ feet above.

    meanwhile, a storm had moved in from the northeast and the rain and waves were swamping the boat. so when they came up, they were very excited about the shark and asked if i had seen it. i was excited about the sinking boat, so was very glad they had come up early. i told them i had only seen the shark’s fins as it circled the boat.

    they both got in quick, we pulled anchor, and got the outboard started to move the boat forward and blow out the water. at anchor, i was losing the water war by lone bucket bailing, so was relieved that running the boat cleared the water, something i didn’t know at that time. also, i was told that particular boat could not sink, but there was only a few inches of difference between the water level inside and outside by the time the divers returned.

    we had a good laugh about it afterward. all the above true as far as i can recall.

  20. “We have many researchers looking at these issues. Unfortunately, most of these researchers are focused on one small portion of the story. Without understanding the full picture, it is easy to draw invalid conclusions. For example, it is easy to get the idea that we have more time for substitution than we really have. Financial systems are fragile. The world financial system almost failed in 2008, after oil prices spiked. We are still in very worrisome territory, with many countries continuing a policy of Quantitative Easing and ultra low interest rates. We may have only a few months or a year or two left for substitution, not 40 or 50 years, as some seem to assume.

    Of course, if governments do understand the worrisome nature of our current situation, they may not want to say anything. It could make the situation worse, if citizens start a “run on the banks.”

    The other side of the issue is that if governments and citizens don’t understand the full story, they may inadvertently do things that will make the situation worse. They certainly won’t be looking long and hard at what collapse might look like in the current context and what can be done to mitigate its impacts.”

    Key phrase: “We may have only a few months or a year or two left…”

    Time to plan accordingly?

  21. yup, sounds like a woman wrote them. the blog comments are pretty critical, too.

    for example, what is jay lo doing on the same list as monroe, mansfield, loren and scarlett johannsson? they dug up some oldies-but-goodies that i’d forgotten. so that, he/she is forgiven.

  22. so how does one “mitigate its impacts” of societal collapse? right now, populations in the west are regulated by laws. those laws and a set of unspoken customs assure certain segments do better than others. in a collapse, if the laws and customs are suspended, then hoods/thugs become mayors and civic leaders, and those who are prepped and ready for hardship get their faces smashed and their possessions and goods appropriated by the hood’s friends.

    under a best case, a fair system remains in control, and the last remains of the food are rationed and distributed. hope remains a guide. when the last supplies are consumed, it’s a choice of soylent recycling or mass migration and starvation. too bad the maya and romans weren’t writing much down during their collapses.

    on its present course, the surprised and ignorant masses will probably riot when some trigger or tipping point is tripped. martial law is declared, cities become no-go zones, trust disappears, guns get cleaned and displayed.

    i assume BAU and willful ignorance/dilusion will lead to this outcome.

  23. yeah, i expect soylent won’t taste so bad, once folks get the idea that it’s a lot better than starving. also, recycling *everything* just makes sense, as the LTG kick in, plus it solves the sanitation problem of too many dead bodies laying around => putrification and plague. i know you like plague, so sorry to disappoint. i’m sure it will pop up somewhere on the timeline.

    someone with moron stomach for this than moi should calculate how long humans can last if say, one billion eat the rest of the “excess” 6+ billion. have to factor in the usual loses due to poor distribution, spoilage, etc. that is the essence of catabolic collapse to me.

  24. US microwave oven sales peaked in 2004 and have been dropping ever since. i think that this has moron to do with Peak conventional Oil production than changes in the personal taste of consumers. it is well known that microwave ovens save time cooking meals. when conventional peak oil hit, a few years before the big crash in the housing market in 2006-2007 and the Leyman Bros collapse in 2008, there were almost immediate effects on the US and global economy, such as peak miles driven (see chart below), rising unemployment, etc.

    people who stay at home, and are not hustling off to work, have moron time to slow-cook meals, etc. it’s back to Ozzie & Harriet time (late 50s), with Harriet as the never-worked-outside-the-home mom, and Ozzie as the, err, always around ’cause he’s either (a) independently wealthy crack-cocaine or meth dealer or (b) the under or unemployed dad. anywho, that’s my take on Peak Microwave Ovens.

  25. i’ve bought 2 microwave ovens in the last year. one as a replacement. another for a furnished apartment that i own. bucking the trend. i guess.

  26. i use my mw a lot. i make my morning coffee the night before, then heat up in the mw in the morning. i often use it to cook frozen stuff. as you probably know, mw’s cook from the inside out. i think.

  27. how do you keep the coffee from oxidizing? you could eliminate all air gases by pumping modest vacuum or by purging any headspace with dry nitrogen or similar. i would still be concerned about bitterness setting in overnight.


  28. it sits in the press overnight. i press in the morning. nice and strong, not bitter. do you have a coffee press? some people call it a french press. try it. you might like it.

  29. somewhere we have a French coffee press, and a coffee maker that uses metal filtration. however, i’ve read that filtering through paper is best for coffee taste and good health, as the paper adsorbs a lot of organic compounds.

  30. had percolator many years ago.

    i have a single cup drip filter cone type thing. but i hardly ever use it.

  31. did you use clean or used socks? did it make any taste difference?

    i never did understand the percolator. was it somehow a timer/indicator? my parents always drank folgers or yuban in them, so taste was not a major consideration. inefficient, but coffee was cheap. the grounds went into a landfill. we compost ours.

  32. I use an approx 1980s-vintage percolator still. I prefer it, and the perc sound and coffee smell is a comfort to me in the morning.

    It was a long time ago but for awhile I fed the grinds to my nightcrawlers, so they would be big and angry. An old timer told me to do that and I don’t know how much it helped but it didn’t hurt. I may go back to doing that when the grid goes down, as a back-up winter protein farm operation down in the mushroom cellar. Obviously coffee won’t be an option for me or the worms then. Its hard for me to think about that.

  33. Bif, i offer a solution: move to where they grow coffee. some good candidates are Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Hawaii. note that freezing in winter will also not be a concern in these areas. for me, a bonus is this is where fine cigars are made, as well.

    Orlov is scouting out “fincas” with the family in CR at the moment, calling it vacation. it would be a good move, as the country is organized against bandit-level aggression, educated and pro-american.

  34. looks like at least two things i will never want for here in the isles: good coffee and coconut pancake syrup. may have to give up the pancakes, though.

  35. from Jay Hanson’s America 2.0 blog list:

    This video is about a hypothetical social collapse from a global
    pandemic that begins in Asia. The only star whom I recognized was Joseph
    Tainter. It was mostly narrated by experts in the field of natural
    disasters who cited experience in other disasters, especially hurricanes
    Katrina, Sandy, and the California earthquakes.

    A couple of experts, including Tainter, mentioned that liquid fossil
    fuels were the indispensable key to our civilization – especially fuels
    for farming and commercial trucking. When the trucks cannot get fuel,
    it’s all over: no fuel for aircraft, no gasoline for cars, no food for
    the stores, no medical supplies for the hospitals, no communications for
    anyone, etc.

    I can’t recall for certain, but I believe the US death toll from the
    disease is over 100 million. Meanwhile, the hospitals are turning away
    patients because they have no room. We see dead people and pets
    everywhere. Roaming gangs of armed men loot food from homes, gas from
    cars, gain control of the warehouses, etc.

    Our hypothetical family (man, woman, boy) tried to stay put in LA, but
    ran out of supplies and left for friends in Idaho. Unfortunately, they
    can’t drive out of LA because all the roads are clogged with abandoned
    cars or barricaded by gangs. Eventually, they walk out of LA in the
    riverbeds, hot wire a car in the desert, and then drive/walk to a small
    town in Idaho.

    There isn’t any gratuitous violence in this video, it is all suggestions.

    This program was (apparently) on commercial TV: THE HISTORY CHANNEL. I
    found this video to be totally compatible with the collapse behavior
    that I expect to occur (hopefully after I am gone).

    Collapse is going mainstream.


  36. some poetry to go with dave’s photos:

    The Ruined Maid
    “O ‘Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
    Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
    And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?” —
    “O didn’t you know I’d been ruined?” said she.

    — “You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
    Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
    And now you’ve gay bracelets and bright feathers three!” —
    “Yes: that’s how we dress when we’re ruined,” said she.

    — “At home in the barton you said thee’ and thou,’
    And thik oon,’ and theäs oon,’ and t’other’; but now
    Your talking quite fits ‘ee for high compa-ny!” —
    “Some polish is gained with one’s ruin,” said she.

    — “Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
    But now I’m bewitched by your delicate cheek,
    And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!” —
    “We never do work when we’re ruined,” said she.

    — “You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
    And you’d sigh, and you’d sock; but at present you seem
    To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!” —
    “True. One’s pretty lively when ruined,” said she.

    — “I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
    And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!” —
    “My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,
    Cannot quite expect that. You ain’t ruined,” said she.

  37. dave, ruined = deflowered, especially without marriage. example: the roman catholic nuns were ruined by the invading visigoths. their “marriage” to jesus was ruined by these rapacious sexual acts, especially if they enjoyed themselves.

    or, in this case, the poor woman was ruined for future marriage into society by perhaps seeking compensation (or not) for favors granted to some perhaps married (or not) man of high societal standing (or not). her chance at future societal standing has been ruined, but she gets certain benefits in becoming one of the town whores over her previous poor existence. this is what hardy is satirizing.

  38. here’s a good review by the energy skeptic of a recent paper on best/worst places to live in the lower-48 area of the USA:

    at first glance, it looks like all areas are screwed unless you want to live like the buffalo out on the Great Plains. then, it sunk in that one only needs to wait out the bottleneck in the cities, which should only take a few years, tops. then, move back into the best areas with much fewer resource competitors around. of course, there won’t be easy access to on-line advisories to read anymoron.

    of course, JHK had this worked out in his LE book about 10 years ago.

  39. i predict JHK won’t make it past the first winter up in his Greenwich doomsted. he’s not far enough away from the marauding mobs of metro meatheads that will want his preserved food and gold stash.

  40. Interesting maps Doom. So yes avoid the mega-regions if you don’t want to get snuffed in the first wave. Hole up in a non-mega-region and it just takes a little longer to arrive on your doorstep. Circumstances will vary pace of change and outcomes considerably. You may think you’re hedging your bets but cascading and random shit will rule. There’s no way to model it really, I say.

  41. There was a white deer in my backyard this afternoon. It appeared to not be albino, just mostly white. Kind of cool looking though.

  42. I bet you were wishing your yard was big enough to discharge a firearm (and for room in your freezer probably).

  43. uncle, that’s a great prepper idea–keeping an extra meat freezer handy–except for the grid being down part.

    marauding mobs of metro meatheads meets nattering nebobs of negativism. now that would be a great horror movie, starring spiro agnew as himself, a real-life zombie.

  44. “There’s no way to model it really, I say.”

    i keep saying that climate change is the wild card. you can hedge your bets in many ways, though, as these authors are saying, by keeping well away from the eastern and gulf coasts (mainly hurricane threats, with no resources left to fix the damage). the west coast is not recommended until well north of the SF bay area. that’s probably a bad combo of drought and too many people. interesting the the lower BC area is also not recommended, probably because of too many people in vancouver-seattle area. it will be nice there once the smoke clears and there are fewer people, i think. think new zealand without the sheep.

  45. Of course, not to be overlooked is the “who you are” along with the “where you are”. Individuals vary greatly in so many ways…some are more adaptable than others. Even in the most ill-favored mega-region some will thrive despite the circumstances.

  46. family and friends ( a clan of sorts) has traditionally been the most important factor of human survival. civilization, particularly industrial civilization, has kind of short circuited that requirement with reliance on state/government systems.

    being part of a gang of some sort is your best bet, no matter where you are. maybe it’s better to be part of a gang out in the country someplace, rather than in a city? not sure.

    anyhoo, carpe diem remains sound advice, no matter who or where you are. i’d say.

  47. supposed to be in the mid-to-upper 50’s all this week. time for carrots, cabbage, beets and lettuce to go in the ground. maybe some other stuff, not sure.

  48. Good point. Nobody can go it alone for long.

    Still have snow and ice covering the garden here.
    I grafted an asian pear tree to a different variety a week ago using a cleft graft.

  49. some of the wisest things my father told me were the reasons why he chose to live in southern california. he said he liked it there because the snow was in the mountains, where it belonged. if you wanted to play in it, we were just about 30 minutes away by car. if you wanted to smell the salt air at the beach and play in the ocean, it was about 40 minutes away by car. good hunting and lake fishing were about an hour or so away, in the surrounding mountains and the mojave desert up north.

    our home was built in a former orange grove. as a kid, i would dig up the occasional irrigation gate, made of galvinized steel, in the yard. back then, the water was from deep aquifers below the valley floor, up at about 1000 feet elevation. of course, too many people moving in ruined all of that.

  50. So we’ve spent how many tonnes of jet-a to find some old orange fishing gear in the ocean?

  51. at some point, such extravagance will no longer be tolerated.

    the list of no-gos is getting longer:

    no moron moon shots–check
    no mars or other planets for peopled missions–check
    no mars or other planets for robotic spacecraft–TBA
    no space program unless viewed from earth–TBA
    no ocean research except coastal and by satellite–TBA
    satellite studies of anything, except weather–TBA
    satellite studies of anything, period–TBA
    no science studies–TBA
    no grid–TBA
    no computers–TBA

  52. eh. if ya can’t eat it, drink it, wear it or fuck it, it’s really not all that interesting in the first place. i’d say.

  53. the goat provides milk to drink, cheese (and meat) to eat, fur to wear, and, err, something to fornicate with. therefore, the goat is of great interest to dave, i think.

    gosh, no wonder goats are so dern popular.

  54. george is dead. the rest of them, particularly bob dylan, might as well be. i think. maybe i just wish they were dead, not sure.

  55. It would be nice to move on from the 1970s. To hear something else when you turn on the radio. I would like that.

  56. the wilburys were just a moment in time, but not the 70s, they were later, like the 90s, i think. roy orbison died first. that’s supposed to be him in the rocking chair with the guitar. you hear him in the sound track. yes, george is dead now, too. he looks so young and alive in that video. dylan just plays or pretends to play and doesn’t even try to mouth the words to his track part. i’m not sure he could ever “sing” and certainly not now.

    the rest, including petty, are better as solo singers. in fact, they were all better alone. i’m not sure why they did the traveling wilburys. i don’t think it was for the money, so it must have just been fun to sing together, as a kinda club that got recorded, cause that’s what happened when they performed. maybe orbison needed the extra cash in his old age, dunno.

  57. God I watch these Youtubes and I’m thinking what the hell are we going to do with all the intellectuals and if we’ve peaked on that yet. I sure hope so. I’m thinking we’re past ideas and explanations now. Why not just go through the motions. I just want to dig holes in the dirt, find some worms, and go catch a fish. Fuck.

  58. roy orbison sings “pretty woman” on “the dukes of hazard”:

    next up, abbot & costello meet frankenstein, co-starring dracula (bella lagossi) and the wolfman (lon chaney, jr.), in color, of course.

  59. perhaps the most timeless item in that video are daisey mae’s breasts. i’ll let you decide for yourselves.

    fishing sounds like fun. beats hanging in the lab all day, for sure.

  60. perhaps this is one of the videos that Bif is referring to:

    one thing he forgot to mention: for some reason, many if not most of those science and engineering champs brought here on H1B1 visas want to stay here, and they usualy get to do so, if they’re really good.

  61. the USA works hard on super secret weapons and throws its mighty military around the world to secure vital resources so that americans can have the freedom to watch the dukes of hazard on TV. seems like a wasted effort to me.

  62. i “retired” (i’ve had a couple of brief bouts of employment since.) early, but not early enough. i was 51. i’m 58 now.

    at the moment, i’m working at a local greenhouse, probably for the next 3 months. it’ll be a long 3 months. but it’ll give me drinking money for a year, so…

    my entire adult life has consisted of trying to balance time and money…

    every man should retire by 50. i’d say.

  63. Every year I say this year’s garden is going to be the best ever and every year I’m right.

  64. i had to look up Togo, in west africa. looks like the entire country is just wide enough to house that strip mine in the link photo. surely i exaggerate, but probably not too much.

    i know, and don’t call you shirley.

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