Vaping – futuristic smoking or puffers on steroids?

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Legal Notice to Youngsters!

If you are under 18, sorry, but you aren’t legally allowed to do what I am preparing to write about, so don’t try. No really… don’t do it. Don’t waste your money. Go to college, get a good partner for life, visit Europe and Fiji and get a nice paying job and never ever EVER start smoking or vaping or chewing or snuffing. In fact, if you’re under 18, you have to leave now. Don’t read this blog entry. Shoo. Go do some homework, or wash a car, or have a taco, or something.

 

For years, people have been bugging me to quit smoking. My parents, my children, my friends, strangers (Not that I give a rat’s ass about some strange citizen giving me lifestyle suggestions. Pretty ballsy, actually. Quite rude, come to think of it. And kind of invasive, in a semi-fascist sorta way).

So, as I notice my hairline slowly creeping back, millimeter by millimeter, and my body isn’t quite as indestructible as it used to be, I have attempted to stop smoking (not “quit” – Nobody likes a quitter) on several occasions. My longest stretch was 2 years. My current job was actually what drove me back to smoking. Frelling stressful… working with a bunch of juvenile, illogical, unschooled monkeys.

Anyway, now my 3 year old grandson lives with us (I’m too young to have grandchildren! Gah!). And it occurs to me that I need to be around a lot longer than I previously thought I would be. I am basically his entire financial world, same as my youngest children that still live with me. So, I need to be around (acts of random chaos not withstanding) as long as possible. With that being said, I decided, after some discussion at length with a guildmate in the XIIIth Legion (SWTOR – Ebon Hawk), to try “vaping”.

Vaping is ‘smoking’ e-cigs, more or less. They have other mediums for vaping than just the electronic cigarette, but I wanted something to replace the feel and hit and taste of a traditional cigarette (or “analog” as they are referred to in the vaping realm).

After much deliberation and research, with a dash of trial and error, I decided upon Vapor 4 Life (http://www.vapor4life.com) , instead of Blu (http://www.blucigs.com) or eGo (by Joye) (http://www.joyetech.com/product/details.php?gno=7  )

I reached this choice only via the most stringent empirical means possible – because a friend gave it to me.  :P

So, Wunderbar! Now I’m vaping.

It’s different. I am still trying to make up my mind about it.

I enjoy smoking, I really do. I know it makes a person smell like smoke and slowly kills their lungs and other organs and has a terrible effect on the cardio-pulmonary system and even though it gives a fair neurological boost (via the nicotine) during the early years it ultimately begins to degrade and damage your grey matter en toto. Yes, I made that run-on sentence on purpose. Don’t make me do it again.

But smoking is enjoyable… before the ugly end, anyway.

So, since I like to smoke, I’m trying Vaping as a surrogate.

First thing I have realized, after the bitch of choosing what System to use (btw, I am thinking of switching to the eGO because it has a tank for the ejuices, and the cartomizers my system uses SUCK)… where was I… oh yeah, so, I have my system of delivery.

 

Next comes choosing what ejuices to buy and from whom.

I’ll tell ya Right now. Don’t get them from V4L. First and only order and they frelled it all up. In addition, the product tastes like shite. I tried several different flavors. Yuck yuck and Yuck.

Currently, I am buying from FreedomSmokeUSA (http://freedomsmokeusa.com) and Alien Visions (http://www.avejuice.com).

FreedomSmoke has a large selection (The coffee flavors are my favs), and the flavors are not bad at all (Except for “Cam-Blend”! YUCK! Tastes like your smoking a rank perfume. OMFG it’s bad!). I just have a hard time mixing them to get the right, well, Mixture, for maximum ‘smoke’ effect. Which is a Big part of the reason I smoke. When I take a big drag off of something and I feel it hit in my throat and taste the flavor and the heat of it, but then blow out… nothing? Yeah, that’s a suck-ass downfall for me. I would rather have something with little to no taste but makes Lots of smoke (or vapor, as it were). It is just as much a psychological as it is a physical habit for me. No smoke = no habit satisfying hocus pocus.

Alien Visions is a good company, too. They have a smaller selection, but make a solid attempt to perfect what they make. I gotta say, they have come closer (than any other type of ejuice flavor I have tried) to an actual Tobacco flavor. Their C&D, Flue-Cured, and Blend 4 flavors are very nice. The Gorilla Juice flavor is just fun. Tobacco with a spalash of banana? Weeeeird, but fun. Just not all the time, at least for me.

Boba’s Bounty flavor is… not sure… Not bad, but kinda… raisin bran flavored? Not sure how I feel about it. Not disgusting. But not a show stopper. And does No justice to the mighty Fett, for sure.

 

So… as far as the mixing & prepping, here is what I noticed.

 

 

First… if you overfill your cartomizer, you will get Dick for smoke. Nada. Just a lot of heating/popping noise, like sizzling water drops on a hot skillet. You’ll also get some ejuice leakage out the bottom or even out of the top airhole, which then gets in your mouth and yeah… this shite ain’t meant to be drank. *makes yuck face*

 

 

 

 

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Second… if you Underfill, you will vape a dozen times and then suddenly you make a LOT of smoke and your vapor tastes like antifreeze. That means you’ve run dry. STOP Vaping and refill, or you will destroy your cart and fill your lungs with burnt (whateverthefucktheymakecartomizerwicksoutof) antifreeze flavored yuckies.

**Here’s a link  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzfGMqzC_h4)  to a video that helped me figure out the Easiest way to refill my cartomizers (carts, for short). Thanx Kultflixxxster, for all your time and patience with the newbie vapers.

 

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Third… Make sure your batteries/atomizers are charged up. Otherwise, if they are too weak to heat the ejuice, you will see weak to zero results. I charge mine daily, and rotate through them with each time I change carts. This method may be different for the other styles of vaping devices, such as the eGO or the REOs, which appear to have larger batteries.

**Tidbit about the batteries for V4L…  Ecigarette Reviewer 3 months ago  “Just so you know, Vapor4Life is compatible with V2Cigs, Vapor4life, Premium, White Cloud, EonSmoke, AIO, SmokeTip… they all use the same type of battery and threading called KR808D-1 so if you don’t like flavors from one you can try another and keep the same batteries ;)”

 

**Good reviews, advice, and of course random trolling:   http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum

Fourth… Get your mix right. This took some doing, and I am still not a master, but I am getting better. The basic formula parameters is (are?) more PG = more flavor and more VG = more smoke (vapor). PG is thinner, more watery and stands for propylene glycol. VG is thicker, oilier and means vegetable glycerin. (You can read more on the differences here – http://vapegrl.com/pg-vg-e-liquids)

So, depending on who makes the ejuice and what the flavor is, you may swing from 20%PG/80%VG to 50/50 or to 80%PG/20%VG.

Currently, I am between 50/50 and 20/80, because I have noticed that the PG gives me a headache. And vaping too much of the 50/50 tends to make me a bit light-headed. Not cool.

So, I am trying to find the right mix of smokeage with no dizzage and no weird aftertasteage.

I have read that some people do not react well to the PG. So… if you start feeling weird, or like your face is puffy, or you have a hard time breathing, or you get dizzy, then STOP VAPING. For a day or two, til it passes. Then, stay away from the PG stuff for good. If the VG stuff does it, too, then you need to NOT vape at all, and you might want to see your doctor, cuz they’re might be something already going on with your lungs that you are not aware of.

Also, if you have any lung, heart, or asthma problems… then I strongly recommend you do NOT start vaping (or smoking, for that matter). Just bite the bullet, quit cold turkey, and buy a pack of gum. Don’t screw around with an already broken oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange system.

Oh yeah… one last thing. The (USA) FDA deems the use of VG and PG as safe, but only in areas they have tested it. Those areas do NOT include inhaling. So, though many people consider it safer than smoking, there are no long term studies for this stuff. That means WE are all guinea pigs, ladies and gents. So, in 43 years, when our hair turns neon yellow and our genitals fall off, chances are we’ll know the effects.

Seriously, though. Becareful vaping. Even though many many forums say you can Vape all day and it’s just fine… you CAN overdose on nicotine. It’s called nicotine poisoning. Do it in moderation or buy the ejuices that have less than 8mg nicotine, so you do not overdo it. For people like me (using 24mg ejuices), we need to moderate ourselves or risk a stopped heart.

Be cool.

The Gree, Space Opera, and Visual Neatness

(The following has been dictated by Nexus 7 and it’s built-in speech to text application.)

 

   So I got this new Nexus 7, a few weeks ago, and I thought I would give dictation a try. I have read a lot of things about this application, and given that the Nexus keyboard is super f****** tiny it, only makes sense to me that I speak to it instead of type on it. I just have to make sure I am aware of children flying into the room, shouting and throwing strange words into my dictation. The app is fairly cool, although I have to admit some of the dictation is a bit messed up. I’m not sure if it’s the way that I speak, or the fact that my dictation program is just stupid, but sometimes it types out the craziest s***. Not to mention that the dictation program continues to censor my foul language, which really kind of pisses me off. I’ll have to find out where to turn that off.

 

   Star Wars The Old Republic has begun its next episode in weird encounters with semiannual events. The Gree have decided to show up and bring with them some missions and some blah blah rewards. I ran through a series of missions last night, twice. I dunno… to me it seems not really worth doing. It takes way too long to acquire the given reputation points that you need, with the Gree, in order to be able to access purchasable items or areas. The missions are Daily, so there is a reputation point cap for the day.

   At level 50, with my most powerful character running through all but the last 2 missions in PvP, I was able to acquire a meager 1710 reputation. It takes 15,000 just reach friend level with the gree, and who f****** knows how much it takes to reach champion level with the Gree, in order to obtain Gree weapons. And to be honest some of the weapons are kinda cool in appearance, but not something that should require this much work to acquire. I think that either the points you earn need to be raised, or the item costs need to be lowered dramatically.

   This is where I agree with HawtPants. This event only lasts two weeks, yet it will take much longer than that to obtain the required reputation points that we need to buy the items that are available from this event. How fucking stupid is that? (Yay! I found the censor button!) So, I’m really not sure if I even want to bother. I’ve been told that this event will repeat itself. I’ve been told that this event will be recurring. Of course, they also said that the rakghoul plague event would return. We seen how far that’s gone, haven’t we?

(End of dictation effort.)

   I think world events are a fair idea, but swtor seems to be banking too much on them and the cartel crap. “Hey guys! Let’s distract them with shiny shit, so they don’t notice our lack of content building!”

   We need more content. More species. More Space! Bigger PvP environments. I’m not talking flaggable areas we can get ganked in. I mean WAR. We are at war. Republic vs. Empire. We need world events of Battles. Often. We events where the Imperials flood Coruscant and put a server wide call out for the Republic to come defend the planet. Things like that.

   Probably never happen. But it would be interesting.

 

   So, I’ve decided to buckle down and begin doing hardcore research for a SciFi novel I have been mulling over for years. I love Astronomy, but let’s face it, compared to real Astronomers and Astrophysicists, I have a rudimentary knowledge, at best. I can’t exactly write a good Space Opera novel without understanding the fundamentals of stellar environments, gravity, magnetism, spatial physics, extra dimensions, spacetime, etc.

   Currently, I am reading Lisa Randall’s “Warped Passages” and loving it. She has a knack for helping non-math minded people (like yours truly) comprehend these basic principles. Go Lisa! After I have finished this book, I will definitely read the rest of her works. If anyone has other books that might help me in this endeavor, feel free to let me know. Just pop me a message on twitter (yes, I finally caved and made a twitter account). You’ll find me at @scottishguard

 

   Been so long since I have blogged… actually feel guilty. Not that anyone is just Dying to read what my semi-nuts mind has to offer, but yeah… just a bit of guilt. Maybe because I like to procrastinate. I dunno.

   Oh, I have also finally acquired a TV worthy of the name. For years, 32″ was the biggest thing we had (and could afford). Well, we decided to (I know… I know… bad bad bad) bite the bullet and rent-to-own a 60″ LCD HD TV and buy a Blu Ray (another first) player, and set up a home theatre surround system. I also bought the Farscape series and have been watching the great galactic love affair of John Creighton and Aren Sun on this monster of a television. Wow. That’s all I got. Just… Wow. Also been watching Star Wars (all of them) and Lord of the Rings. Very much the movie theatre experience (minus getting tea bagged on over-priced candy and popcorn). Next move will be to start the Buffy series on it.

   That’s right. I said Buffy.   :P

 

   Anywho… time for work. More soon.

Cheers.

You can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers…

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

“In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions concerning the Second Amendment. InDistrict of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia[1][2] and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment.[3] In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.[4]” – excerpt from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Points I wish to establish right off the bat:

1. Police are not there to protect each citizen. They simply clean up the mess afterwards. (Could lead to a Slippery slope line of descent in restrictions, regulations, and laws – can lead to thought crime or ‘suspicion of intent’ crimes)

2. Prevention of tyrannical government. (But how is this achieved in this day w/o being labeled a conspiracy nut and being thrown into prison?)

3. Self preservation. A single or limited shot weapon may be good against one adversary, but not many. What if you are attacked by a group?

4. Firearms are known as the great equalizer. Remove them, and you remove a weaker person’s ability to protect his/herself and/or their family.

5. A nation of armed citizens is an enormous deterrent to a would-be invading force. It was the primary reason Japan decided not to invade America during the Second World War. It is oft thought to be the reason the Soviet Union never attempted an invasion with us during the Cold War years.

6. Problem is not firearms. It is those mentally disturbed people committing these atrocities. But how do you address that problem in a nation where mental illness is not properly treated? Or in a nation where such a capitalistic greed enthralls would be healthcare providers, who’s concern is geared more towards monetary gain than actual treatment of people in need.

Concerning discussion of banning semi-automatic weapons… sadly many people do not understand what these weapons are. I have read many accounts where they are mistaken, by those ignorant of firearms, for automatic weapons (i.e. machine guns). These people fail to understand this means Any firearm that requires a clip or cartridge (even a tiny 5 shot .380 or .22 pistol).

“A semi-automatic, or self-loadingfirearm is a weapon that performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon’s feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon’s firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. Although automatic weapons and selective fire firearms do the same tasks, semi-automatic firearms do not automatically fire an additional round until the trigger is released and re-pressed by the person firing the weapon.” – excerpt from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-automatic_firearm

Recently, I have been reading comments on various news sites, regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy and other gun restriction articles and op eds. In the comments section of one, I read a number of stupid opinions. This puerile statement just killed me…

“(by) Anonymous:

‘You know Sniffit I have to agree with your earlier statement. It’s time to stop listening to and arguing with these so called gun enthusiasts. Most have probably never held a gun in their lives and are simply talking smack. I think that today alone has shown that all we are going to get from them in logic is more nonsense. It’s time to take the fight to our policy makers. The real shakers and makers. Not fantasy land video nuts trying to distract with their guns don’t kill logic. In video games guns don’t kill. In real life …………….. ?’

December 17, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm | “

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/17/new-poll-suggests-elementary-school-shootings-may-be-changing-public-opinion/?hpt=hp_bn3

‘So-called Gun Enthusiasts’… ‘Fantasy Land Video Nuts’… ‘talking smack’… ‘all we are going to get from them in logic is more nonsense’

*sigh* …I’d like to address this last comment first. To begin with, I support the 2nd amendment, as I do the entire Constitution of the United States of America. Second, I studied Philosophy for several years in college. One area of focus was Critical Thinking and Logic. So, expect a logical argument here, instead of ‘nonsense’. Third, I was raised around firearms. My family has heavy military roots. My brother served in the Air Force. Several cousins served in various branches of the Armed Forces. My father was a Marine during the Cuban Crisis and the beginning of the Vietnam War. My Uncles served in the Navy and Army. My two grandfathers were an MP in the Army Air Corps and a sailor aboard a destroyer in the North Atlantic during WWII. My great-grandfather fought in the trenches of Europe in the US Army during WWI. I proudly possess his steamer trunk from that conflict. Many of my ancestors fought in the Civil War (both sides), the Mexican-American War, War of 1812, American Revolution (both sides), French-Indian War, and many, many skirmishes and battles dating back to the early 12th century in Scotland, Ireland, England and parts of Europe.

A high school athletic injury prevented me from enlisting, one of my great regrets in life. But, it did not remove me so far from the sense of duty, honor, discipline, and tactical intelligence, that I cannot understand and relate, on a rudimentary level, what it means to serve or to defend. I am very proud of my family history and the contribution of those who came before, as well as the service and sacrifice of others in the military. I suppose in this sense, I am biased. I do not consider this a fault. Rather, it is a merit, and one too many people in this world lack, sadly. Particularly the sense of duty and honor.

Now, as for the remark “so-called gun enthusiasts” …I understand what this person was trying to say (snarky and ignorant as he/she seems) and who he/she thought he/she was directing it towards. Unfortunately, such broad statements usually encompass not only the enthusiasts (which I have no issue with collectors – I would be one if not for lack of financial resources), but also the normal everyday gun owner. Like me. I do own firearms. A .357 Magnum, Smith & Wesson, Nickel-plated service revolver and a 1931 Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm Soviet bolt action rifle. Both a bit old fashioned, but very powerful weapons. They are locked away, unloaded, with only one key to unlock and it is on my person at all times. I used to hunt when I was younger, but these days I just fish. The weapons are purely for protection. They are there in case someone ever makes the sad mistake of breaking into my home or threatening the lives of my family. The last statement is one I would like everyone to consider.

The ‘just in case’ scenario.

I think that we have a lot of angry, upset, hurting people right now. Justifiably so. I cannot imagine the loss… the agonizing pain of someone taken from me in this manner, whether it be one of my children or someone else I love. I have lost family and friends, but never in a circumstance like the Sandy Hook grade school tragedy. But we cannot, Must not, let these tragedies cloud our judgment and rush to a course of action that will only further debilitate us and diminish our liberties. We fought a war to be able to retain the right to bear arms. A WAR, people. Thousands and thousands of lives lost, in the pursuit of freedom from a tyrannical, oppressive, restrictive government. Some of my ancestors fought in that war, so that generations later, people like me would be assured of a means to protect themselves from harm, by bad governments or bad people. We cannot rely on the police to save us. Police come after the damage has been done. They come after it’s too late. You know, in Newtown, CT, it took the police 20 minutes to get to the elementary school after the first call to 911 that shots had been fired in a grade school. TWENTY minutes. Are you fucking kidding me? The first cop should have been on sight in less than 3 or 4 minutes. After 20 minutes, that nut could have wiped out the whole school, if he had kept going. Thank god he didn’t. But that illustrates one more reason why we need firearms to protect ourselves, and our children.

Just because many people in this nation live a comfortably ‘free’ life (from their perspective) – and feel relatively safe, in their particular neighborhood or town, from any threat that might equate to a gun – does not mean that this will always be the case. It is currently a rare thing in society, now, that we live in such times. Given terrible events of the past year, however, even that is an illusion. But, I am referring to a bit of history. No other time, but in the last century or so, has this nation lived in somewhat calm, semi-safe conditions. We have not been victim to invaders, a police state, a dictator’s regime, a civil war, and complete falling out of civilization – In the last century. We have been lucky.

*(Of course, there are places in this nation, in the larger cities, where safety does not exist, and those poor people live in an urban war zone, fearing for their lives and property from gangbangers, thugs, drug dealers, corrupt officials or organized crime.)

Although, simply because we have been spared the sword, for a brief point in history, does not mean that this was always so, or will always BE so. We live in unique times. Most of our planet’s history is rife with violence and war. When we weren’t shooting each other with steel, brass, and lead projectiles, we were doing it with arrows, bolts, spears, javelins, pila, and sling bullets.

If history is any sort of meter or indicator, our respite will be brief. With the rest of the world around us continually falling apart, going to war, producing revolts, rebellions, revolutions, terrorism, quickly running out of resources (oil, water, arable farm land), or electing greedy self-serving bureaucrats to political power, it will not be long now before the calm has passed and we are once again in the grips of a terrible storm.

Am I paranoid? No. Am I a conspiracy theorist? No. Do I see black helicopters over my house? I could give a rat’s ass less if they are up there or not. But I am an historian, philosopher, and realist. It is only a matter of time before we become as we were before. Humans are violent by nature. It’s a simple fact. Without the science to adjust our DNA to make us otherwise, we will likely always Be violent. The difference is knowing When to be violent and when Not to. Non-violent solutions are always better. But sometimes, there is no other recourse. The key is knowing When there is no other choice. Bruce Lee once said he studied the art of fighting without fighting. In layman’s terms… he uses his smarts to avoid fights and resorts to martial violence only as a means of last resort defense. How I wish this could always be the case for all conflicts. Unfortunately, it isn’t. More times than not, the aggressor will be violent before a non-violent solution can be had. It is in our nature. Most of us are wired this way. Probably from our early prehistory, when we had to hunt and kill to survive. When the world truly was ‘kill or be killed’.

And sadly, some people are wired wrong, and this primordial aggression is overriding the logical part of their brain. Or some people are just so screwed up that they are completely amoral and have no inherent sense of right from wrong. This is the most dangerous type of person, because you never know when or where they will get it in their head to do harm. This is the type of person they believe Adam Lanza was. Completely amoral (lacking a sense of morals).

Another point that people bring up, with regards to banning (certain) firearms, is that people do not need semi-automatic weapons to go hunting. Folks, it’s not about hunting. Hunting is just an added bonus of possessing firearms. The reason we have the 2nd Amendment is to afford us the ability to retain a weapon capable of fighting back in time of dire need, against a tyrannical authority trying to oppress/suppress the citizens of the nation, OR against an invading outside force. That’s why the Founding Fathers gave us this amendment to our Constitution.

Restrictions by the govt are a very dangerous line of thinking, because if they start with something so broad (as the 2nd Amendment – which the Supreme Court finally clarified and ruled on, in Favor of gun rights) then they will have the authority, by precedence, to continue picking apart the amendment, and before long, we will no longer have the ability to defend ourselves, let alone defend any other freedoms they wish to remove. The govt will have the power to tear apart other amendments, such as due process or reasonable search and seizure or freedom of speech, religion, etc.. We will be subjugated, as we once were, centuries ago.

Franklin said ‘Those who would give away liberty for security deserve neither’. He was right.

To be honest, I am very nervous about the potential knee-jerk reactions this tragic event might bring about. I have seen too many instances in history where this happened, and shortly after such instance, the citizens involved found themselves at the mercy of the ruling body. Two examples; firearms banned in Ireland in 1925. All weapons banned in Scotland, 1746 and 1782, when the Hanoverian Government banned weapons throughout the country. Some more examples, just to drive the point home:

Taken from a post (and I verified the accuracy of the content) at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1823003/posts .

  • In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Germany established gun control in 1938 (Though, originally instituted during the Weimar Republic, in 1928, the revision relaxed handgun restrictions somewhat, but outright banned possession of all by Jewish persons)  and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
  • China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
  • Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

Removing our ability to resist and defend ourselves is the first step towards state authoritarianism. Stalin did it. Mao did it. Hitler did it. Hussein did it. The Ayatollahs did it. Khadafi did it. The rouge army of Cambodia did it. The military govt that took over Burma did it. The Brits did it countless times, to suppress India, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and a number of African colonies…

Do I think people need machine guns? No.

Do they need cannons, high explosives, mortars, and landmines? No.

Should they be allowed to own guns that hold more than one round of ammo? Absolutely.

What if four armed men break into your house one night? Are you going to be fast enough, calm enough, and sure of shot enough, to fire four times and reload thrice? Probably not.

Switzerland has one of the highest firearms possession ratios in the world, after the United States, and they do not seem to have much of a problem with the sort of violence we do. Perhaps the weapons are not the issue? Perhaps it is the mentally screwed up person committing the terrible acts of murder and harm? The following is another bit of knowledge, pulled from the Wiki gods…

Switzerland does not have a standing army, instead opting for a peoples’ militia for its national defense. The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations; Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.[1]
The Swiss army has long been a militia trained and structured to rapidly respond against foreign aggression. Swiss males grow up expecting to undergo basic military training, usually at age 20 in the Rekrutenschule (German for “recruit school”), the initial boot camp, after which Swiss men remain part of the “militia” in reserve capacity until age 30 (age 34 for officers).
Each such individual is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm Sig 550 rifle for enlisted personnel and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home. Up until October 2007, a specified personal retention quantity of government-issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds 9mm) was issued as well, which was sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place.[4] The ammunition was intended for use while traveling to the army barracks in case of invasion.
In some 2001 statistics, it is noted that there are about 420,000 assault rifles (fully automatic, or “selective fire”) stored at private homes, mostly SIG SG 550 models. Additionally, there are some 320,000 semi-auto rifles and military pistols exempted from military service in private possession, all selective-fire weapons having been converted to semi-automatic operation only. In addition, there are several hundred thousand other semi-automatic small arms classified as carbines. The total number of firearms in private homes is estimated minimally at 1.2 million to 3 million.[7]” – excerpt from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland

I’m very, very worried about our course over the next few years. We have a war coming, in our lifetime, over resources (see second set of links below). It is inevitable. Water is becoming more scarce, precious metals are becoming scarce, weather is adversely affecting our food supply, we are quickly outpacing this planet’s ability to sustain a large human population. 9 billion people is the tipping point for having more people than available resources to sustain them. Estimates say we will hit that number in the next 15 to 20 years. If that long. With such shortages come mandated rationing, limited access to basic goods and services, further degradation of the world’s ecosystems, extinction of entire species of plants and animals, including those we use for food. I have watched things slowly get worse over the last 20 years, and rapidly, exponentially, get worse over the last 5 to 6 years.

Our capacity to adequately protect ourselves is paramount. If a civilization collapses, you are on your own. It’s as simple as that. Your weapons are the only thing that will give you a fighting chance to survive. People who think we are immune to such a collapse are, quite simply, morons. Our nation is still very young. No nation lasts forever. Sooner or later, they all go under. Greed usually helps to speed the process along, as does wastefulness, apathy, and false sense of security. America fits this model to a T. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is what it is.

Some people may think I am just a doomsayer… but I have historical text to back up my position. Tons of historical text. Coupled with current world events and the decay of society in general, along with the thinning resources issue and the population problem… you cannot deny the evidence all around us.

In closing, there are many different types of people in this country who own firearms. Not just rednecks. Most of us are normal, responsible, non-radical citizens, with normal jobs, lives, and interests. We pay taxes, we help our neighbors, we raise our children to be good and decent people, we give to charity, we stop to help the stranded motorist, we worry about our children’s education and how to get them into college, some of us go to church or temple. And not all of us are Republican/Conservatives. Some of us are Independents, Democrats, or other. And I guarantee if the world falls apart some day, it is us that the rest of you will come to for help and protection.

Gun Rights Advocate Groups:

Second Amendment Foundation – http://saf.org

Gun Owners of America – http://gunowners.org

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership – http://jpfo.org

U.S. Concealed Carry Association – https://www.usconcealedcarry.com

Gun Rights Radio Network – http://gunrights.us

Resource Wars:

“In a major London address, British Defense Secretary John Reid warned that global climate change and dwindling natural resources are combining to increase the likelihood of violent conflict over land, water and energy.  Climate change, he indicated, “will make scarce resources, clean water, viable agricultural land even scarcer”—and this will “make the emergence of violent conflict more rather than less likely.””
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/07/the_coming_resource_wars.php

“Water is a vital element for human life, and any human activity relates somehow to water. Unfortunately, it is not a renewable resource and in the future there will be lot of water problems. Moreover, some people state that future wars will be fought for water.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conflict

http://www.worldwater.org/conflict.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=103×197091

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/22/water-wars-countries-davey-warns

http://www.stwr.org/global-conflicts-militarization/blue-gold-have-the-next-resource-wars-begun.html

http://www.salon.com/2010/06/19/war_for_resources_afghanistan

http://www.examiner.com/article/states-begin-to-prepare-for-economic-collapse-the-us

Population Tipping Point:

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/06/06/scientists-uncover-evidence-of-impending-tipping-point-for-earth

http://www.populationmatters.org/2012/newswatch/earth-reach-ecological-tipping-point-2025

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120615-global-tipping-point

It’s the end of the world, and we know it.

No it isn’t.

Hi boys and girls, today we are going to talk about  *drumroll – dramatic pause* ….Doooomsday.

Yes, that’s right. Dec. 21, 2012 the world comes to an end. It explodes, or gets knocked out of orbit, or Jesus comes back, or the Cubs have a winning streak, or politicians give all the money back they’ve stolen or wasted each year in office.

Yeah… not really.

As I am sure most, if not all, of you have heard, the Mayan calendar runs out this year, in just a couple weeks. There have been movies, documentaries, books… all about this date and the end it will bring.

Well, let me be the not-first person to let you all know that this is allll bullshit.

From the religious notion, Judgement Day is not upon us. Armageddon is not here. Ragnarok is not happening. Read your books. The signs are not coming to fruition. The seals have yet to be broken. No little town starting with the letter ‘M’ in the Israeli region has been wiped off the map. Frost giants do not walk among us.

Now, from the scientific aspect… many professionals have already tackled these, but I will summarize anyway, because today is redundancy day – didn’t you know?

Alright, first of all, let’s discuss this mysterious planet X that is supposed to be on a wild, extremely narrow-banded, 20+ thousand year elliptical orbit, and is going to plow through the inner solar system, crossing the orbits of the main 9 (that’s right, bitches… I said NINE) planets, and dragging at least one of them (some people say Earth) Out of said orbit to either hurl affected planet towards the Sun or deeper out into space.

*ahem*

planet-x-orbit

The following illustration is complete horseshit and not mine. It belongs to the nutty people at http://lilapara.in/blog/category/end-of-the-age

If this planet were actually on it’s way… we’d have seen it by now. Even a world black as pitch would be lit up like a Xmas tree as it passed Neptune’s orbital path and drew closer to the Sun, due to the increased solar bombardment and thus, temperature change of the Planet Xs atmosphere and/or crustal ice from spending alleged thousands of years out past the Kepler belt, in the deep dark void.

Another image brought to you by horseshit incorporated – http://churchofcriticalthinking.org/planetx.html

Another fun bit of humor is that the passing planet comes every 2000 years and simply knocks our planet off axis, tilting it terribly, causing massive earthquakes, tsunamis, tectonic slipping (this is where our giant crustal plates move hundreds or thousands of miles in the matter of a few hours or days, as opposed to the subtle millions of years that they actually wander about), extreme volcanic activity (makes Mt St Helen’s look like a burp),the worst storm activity in history, global droughts, new ice ages, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

Let us be clear. If this were to have happened in the past… humans would not be here today. Most, if not all, life would not be here. This type of astronomical event is called a global killer, for a reason.

Our last image is brought to us by Batshit Crazy Ltd. at http://all-about-doomsday.blogspot.com/p/why-to-believe.html

The third, and my last, notion that some people think will happen is the Sun, the Earth, the Galactic Core, and possibly the Moon and a number of planets (depending on who you hear the rant from) will all line up on the 21st, causing an increased gravitational pull on the Earth, resulting in massive tectonic slipping or a sudden yank on our axis, tilting the Earth several degrees more. This allegedly happens every 20 millennium or so. Again… Global Killer. We would not be here now to discuss this if it had happened in the past. As for a much more rare event, no… the planets are not lining up. Yes, the Earth, Sun, and Galactic Core are lining up, that’s true. And it’s true EVERY year at this time. It’s called the Earth’s Revolution around the Sun. Our Orbit around our star.

So, I want everyone to understand… we will Still be here, as a planet, as a species, after December 21, 2012. So, stop hoarding food and booze and bullets. For god’s sake, don’t snuff your whole family because you want to ‘save them from the horror’. Don’t sell off your home, quit your job, drain your life’s savings, or give away your baseball card collection. Life will go on, just as it did the day before. The only difference is you will be another day older. And a lot of people who wrote about these squirrely speculations will feel reeeeally really stupid.

Peace.

SWtOR goes Free To Play Today!! *ahem*

Yeah, so I am not very excited about this, but I have already blogged that discontent. Today, patch 1.5 is being installed, bringing the Star Wars the Old Republic F2P (or Free to Play) model into existence. They estimated 12 hours to do the job and get the servers up. I expect at least 24 hours, because I have been in other MMOs that went F2P and yeah… it Never goes according to plan. Always problems. What’s funny are the barrage of insults, curses, pleas, bitches, complaints, griefs, whines, and pissy fits that accompany an event like this, in the forums or tweets.

I mean Come On, people… like you didn’t KNOW this would happen? For fuck’s sake. First rodeo, is it?

 

So… since we can’t play SWtOR, let’s discuss something fun!

Like… secession from the union! LOL

That’s right… This week’s hot topic is Secession

Well, in a nutshell, alll the pouting republicans are in an uproar because they lost the presidential election. As such, many of them decided ‘Fuck this, we’re quitting being Americans’ (that was an awkward sentence structure) and filed petitions with the White House to secede. That’s right, boys and girls. Just like the Confederacy did 150 some odd years ago. And we see how That ended. Massive loss of life for no gain. Well, no gain on the part of the South. Now, don’t get me wrong. My entire family is Southern and Western. I consider myself Southern. I even let the hybrid Tennessee-Mississippi accent slip when I get around family or other folk from South of the Mason. But it doesn’t change the fact that the South made a bad move and paid dearly for it.

Now we have all these states (or rather, upset WASP citizens within them) madly signing these petitions to just quit from the Union and… do what? Be their own little country? The middle section of North America would be comprised of 48 little nations plus one City-State? Really, people? And your economies would survive how? You would protect yourselves from the up-and-coming not-so-nice superpowers How? You would allow the engine that keeps the global economy and world cooperation running How?

Dumbasses.

Now, I am sure this is meant for most… or at least Some… to be a ‘symbolic’ gesture. Symbolic of what? You got mad that you lost and want to take your toys and go home? That’s mature. 

Here’s a novel idea. How about you just try to fix the problems of our nation first. Romney wouldn’t have done it, believe me. Not even sure Obama can. Our current state of being demands that WE bring our country out of this terrible rut. Not leave it to One man to fix or a bickering Congress that couldn’t find their collective asses with both hands. BUT… instead of trying to come together and put bullshit party politics aside… let’s just leave the union. Yeah… That’s a problem solver. Don’t fight for your homeland… just quit. Our ancestors would be sooo proud.

I guess in closing, all I really want to say is grow the fuck up. Figure out what it means to be an American… not a Whinecan… and help your country.

By Mac

I, Jedi Master

*Warning – this is just some rambling that may bore the piss out of you*

So, after months of dragging my arse, I finally got my second toon, Tzev’rin, to 50 – though this is my first 50 on The Ebon Hawk server. I pounded out the last 8 levels with my pirate budette, Lomi. We dinged our final ding about 30 minutes apart.

Afterwards, we had a nice surprise waiting for us on Fleet. A PvP recruit outfit, with some very nice Expertise stats. Not the most comely outfit, but then again, Jedi attire is still in the suck category. It would seem only the Sith get to dress in style. I can attest to this, because even at only level 43, my Sith Juggernaut, Sanguina, is hawt.

 

 

Anyway… we informed our guildmates of our new coolness (being 50) and were duly inducted into the realm of “Dailies.”

One of the guild officers ran us through the Corellian bits (thanx, Feyad) and it was easy and quick. Just the way I like it. However, afterwards, I perused the comm vendor. HOLY FEK! The prices are outrageous. We’ll be doing dailies til we die. I couldn’t believe how many comms one needs to buy Anything there. My heart sank.

So, in the interim, I plan to collect monies and augment the hell out of my Recruit PvP gear. Not the best option, but prolly one of the simplest. Did I mention I prefer it easy?

I am vexed, though. See, my Jedi is a Sentinel. Which is fun enough… but I prefer ranged tanks. I actually enjoy my Vanguard a lot more. I did not make this realization until I had already pushed my main (Tzev”rin) to level 40 or so. At that point, I posited that it would be more beneficial to finish him out, just so I had a 50 on Ebon Hawk.

But my Trooper Vanguard is So much more fun (and fashionable!). Not to mention, he tears it up in the Warzones. Usually, after a few minutes, Master Sergeant John’Aeryn ends up being the target of the gank squad. Whereas Tzev’rin can hold his own one on one, but goes down quick in a mob. That’s just not fun for me. Oh look, I got two hits in before I died screaming like a little kid! Yay me!  *shakes head in shame*

In PVE, Tzev is quite the Billy. Against player mobs, he’s more of a … Patsy? Nancy? Elmer Fudd?

Thus, I am left with the decision… do I throw all my time and effort into doing all the dailies and weeklies with Tzev, to gear him out for… what? PvP?

OR… do I switch over and start grinding out my Trooper, whom I have more fun with, and get him geared up and Own PvP! At least in my own mind.

Things to ponder…

 

Oh Look! The Phallicban strikes again!

Warning! I’m on a Rant this morning. Angry positions, opinions, foul language, and thinly veiled taunts to ensue. If you are offended by infuriated “Man” talk, then you should stop reading now.

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You still here?
Cool.

First, I would like to just say “Hey Taliban! Fuck You!”
Oh… and “Hey, women-oppressing religious nuts! Fuck You!”
Hmm… I should be careful… that last statement Could actually include some republicans that I’ve met.

Taliban… what a bunch of retarded, goat-slamming, hate-filled, blood-sucking baboons. Actually, the Taliban reminds me of an evil clan of Jawas. They’re about as useful, too.

Education, sadly, is something many people take for granted in this country. It is oft forgotten how many human beings around the globe, particularly women, do not readily have access to an educational institution or even someone schooled enough to teach those around them.

I would like to repost an article from the internet (I did not write this, nor publish it, I am simply helping spread the word):

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“Malala Yousufzai’s condition satisfactory, vital organs intact: Military”
Published: Saturday, Oct 13, 2012, 17:37 IST
By Rezaul H Laskar | Place: ISLAMABAD | Agency: PTI

Pakistan’s teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, was still on ventilator at a top army hospital, though her condition was satisfactory and her vital organs were “intact and working properly”, the military said on Saturday.

The condition of 14-year-old Malala, who is in the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, continues to be satisfactory, a military spokesman said.

She is still on ventilator in the intensive care unit but her vital organs are “intact and working properly,” he said. A board of doctors is continuously monitoring her condition.

A special medical team, comprising specialists from abroad and civilian hospitals and senior doctors of the Pakistan Army, is also keeping a vigil on Malala’s health round the clock, the spokesman said.

Malala, who along with two of her school friends was attacked by militants on Tuesday in Mingora, the main town in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, was airlifted from a military hospital in Peshawar to Rawalpindi for better care on Thursday after doctors removed a bullet lodged near her spine.

Geo News channel quoted its sources as saying that the swelling in Malala’s head had subsided and that she had responded to painful stimulus.

However, her ability to move her limbs continued to be limited though this could be a side-effect of medication, the sources were quoted as saying.

People across Pakistan, especially school children, continued to offer special prayers for Malala’s recovery.

Protests were also organised in several towns and cities.

In the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, lawyers boycotted all courts to protest the attack on Malala. The protest was organised by the provincial bar council.

Lawyers held a meeting to condemn the incident and prayed for Malala.

A similar protest was organised by lawyers’ organisations in Lahore, the capital of the most populous Punjab province.

Lawyers hoisted black flags at court complexes and wore black bands to condemn the attack.

In Karachi, Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq said a school named after Malala would be upgraded to higher secondary level to honour the teenager’s dream of education for all girls. He made the announcement when he joined students at the school to pray for Malala.

Hundreds of students joined a protest organised by the Balochistan Private School Foundation outside the Quetta Press Club this morning and condemned the attack on Malala and her school mates. The students carried posters of Malala and banners inscribed with slogans denouncing the attack.

Teachers, who addressed the gathering, said the attack was against the teachings of Islam.

In a related development, President Asif Ali Zardari directed authorities to provide free medical care to Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Ahmed, the two other girls injured in the attack on Malala.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Zardari enquired about the health of the two girls, who were travelling with Malala in a school van when it was attacked by militants.

Zardari said the quest for knowledge of these children, despite threats, had “illumined the path for all.”

He added that the girls “represent the true face of Pakistan, are a national asset and have raised collective national consciousness against the barbarism of militants and extremists.”

Reports from Peshawar said Shazia’s condition had improved significantly though she continued to be in a military hospital.

Kainat, who is at home recovering from a bullet wound, told reporters that she would continue her education and fulfil her parents’ dream of becoming a doctor.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_malala-yousufzai-s-condition-satisfactory-vital-organs-intact-military_1752139

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The fact that these young ladies were attacked and shot – because they dream of knowledge and freedom for all women in their county – is appalling, at best. I understood that the Taliban are nothing more than zealot cowards… but to go to This extreme? Really?
Are they So insecure about themselves and their hold on women, in their backwards-ass culture, that this is the gutter they stoop to in order to spread their terror and hateful messages?

On a not-entirely unrelated note, Putin and some pretty old school hardline extremists in Russia are doing the same sort of oppressive horseshit with members of the band Pussy Riot (and a Whole lot of other Russian citizens, as well).

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Two band members are being sent to penal colonies (probably some fucking gulag in Siberia – gee, that would be different) for something that should have gotten a fine and maybe some probation time for disrupting the peace. I mean, they broke into political song in a church and used some naughty language. OH MY FUCKING GOD! Noooooooooooooooo! The Kremlin cannot Hope to stand against Such a Vicious onslaught! Whatever will they do!!
Gimme a break. Prison, guys? Really? You insecure little boys. Do these women truly scare your fragile little corrupt empire THAT badly?
If they do… you have Bigger problems than you think… and your little street corner won’t be yours for long.

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But all in all… I guess my message to these donkey-punchers is simply this…
Grow up.
Women deserve better.

If someone (such as in Pakistan or Afghanistan or any of the other terrified-of-their-women Islamic men’s-club countries) were to try something that stupid in the West… well… let’s just say we enjoy our freedom, as well as defending it and laying waste to those who oppose it.

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I think it’s about time the rest of the world got this same clue. Living with Tyranny is not living.

Nuff said.

Good luck Malala, Shazia, and Kainat.
You are in our thoughts and best hopes. May you find the freedom and peace you are looking for.

And may you all recover quickly, and fully, and live long, happy, healthy lives.

By Mac

Panda Fu – to sub or not to sub

So, a dear close friend of mine has been nudging me towards retrying World of Warcraft. Yes, yes… I’ve been making fun of this game for years, even though I played it for a time. However, in all fairness, I am willing to give it another shot.

This image totally belongs to Blizzard, not me. You can find it and their Massive Multiplayer Online Game at World of Warcraft

So, my friend – we’ll call her… Pandora – sent me a friend trial invite thingy. I accepted the offer, with intentions of (if I liked it) restoring my old account and moving my highest level toons to Pandora’s server. Expecting no fuss or muss, I clicked on the “Starter Edition” icon, from my Battle.net account. When last I played, there was no Lich King, Battle.net accounts, and Dwarves and Gnomes still shared the same starting area.

So… I clicked on the Starter Edition icon. Downloaded the game. Clicked on the setup file. Stared at a little white box on my desktop (for a few hours) that said “Updating setup files…”.

Stoopid me, I thought that meant the game was, oh, I dunno… downloading and updating. Turns out, it’s a common bug (a critical bug at that) since January or February and intensely worse since Mists of Pandaria was released.

So I have spent the last three days data-mining, trying to find the correct work-around, fix, compensation, crutch, patch, w/e.

I had all but given up.

But FINALLY, after Scouring the net for 3 days… I found my savior.

“Meldon
90  Night Elf Druid
Exordium
08/09/2012

The correct way to fix the updating setup files issue if you use windows 7 is:
Click Start -> Right Click on Computer -> select “manage” -> click on services and application -> click the submenu Services -> right click on “Secondary Logon Service” and be sure it’s set to automatic.
http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5208782559?page=3  “

So, in conclusion, all I really wanted was to spread this fix, for all windows 7 users, that are experiencing the “Updating setup files” stuck error.

None of the other shit worked for me. Not deleting folders, files, reinstalling, running as Admin, changing out Agent.db, running WoW.exe instead of Launcher… NONE of that shit worked.

But This… This worked.

Thank you Meldon… you’re a god among insects.

Hubble Telescope Reveals Farthest View Into Universe Ever

by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE.com Assistant Managing Editor

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I ran across this today, while doing my nerdy internet crawling. I am just in awe of the concept that we have a device which can see this far away, let alone give us such stunning photos. Clara did a wonderful job putting this brief exposure together. Watch the vid. Admire the photo. Dream of deep, deep, really deep space. Someday, humans may find a way to travel that far. Until then, we have a beautiful mural over our heads, every night, that allows us to gaze at the colossal vastness of the universe. I get chills thinking about it.

 

By Mac

Astronomical Event Coming – Harvest Moon

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_moon

 

Just a brief post about this. My adoration of our moon is something I rarely speak of, yet has always been of great interest to me. So, in repentance to the Moon for my being remiss, make sure you all check it out this weekend!

The Harvest Moon will rise Sept. 29th & 30th (Northern Hemisphere will afford the best view).

It’s the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox, and for me it officially kick starts the Halloween season.

 

As a side note, I would also like to draw your attention to something cool that I ran across on weather.com (which is also what prompted me to write about the Moon).

Space sounds. More specifically, chirps from the Earth’s magnetosphere. Watch the video/audio clip.

 

For more information about the sounds, the space craft used to gather them, or Other space sounds, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/rbsp/news/emfisis-chorus.html

http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/space-audio