Tags: pirates

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Links, Rotary Picnic Edition

My Rotary club is having a picnic instead of a meeting today, [insert missing logic here] so have some links.

A) Found via View From the Porch, cogent thoughts on the spate of TV survival shows. Money quote: In the end, regardless of what you think you might have learned via osmosis from TV, if you haven’t actually built a shelter from scratch, gathered wild food, butchered a critter, and drunk water you sanitized yourself, you haven’t yet graduated survival kindergarten.

B) Pretty pictures! 10 Beautiful Places That Actually Exist.

C) The world's oceans can be an unlawful place: murder caught on video but not prosecuted.

D) Presented without endorsement: states with tough gun laws have fewer gun murders. My state, Illinois, is (despite Chicago) below the national average.
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Link Salad, Pale Patriarchal Penis People of Power Edition

The title of today's post comes from a comment at this post. The short version is Somebody On The Internet Is Upset, this time over a black female pirate in fiction. Well, despite the fact that one such person really existed, the discussion has proceeded along the usual lines. Moving on to the links:

A) La Maupin, a 17th-Century opera singer, swordswoman (fought and won multiple duels) and bisexual (joined a nunnery to get into a nun's knickers). The things you learn on the Internet...

B) Something I really hope is a gag - a handheld flamethrower.

C) A theory on the cause of nearsightedness: not enough outside light. If true, it suggests Martians and other out-planet colonists might all be nearsighted.

D) Is Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage forcing restaurants to close? The owners say no.

E) A picture is worth a thousand words:

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Black Pirates, "Social Justice Warriors," and Sad Puppies

One of the many, many fine whines emitted at volume complaints of the Sad Puppies is that "social justice warriors" keep insisting on changing the races of people in order to advance the cause of social justice.

Then I was referred to this interesting article: black men and the black flag. Turns out that during the Age of Sail, lots of black men were pirates. Like, for example, Blackbeard's crew was 60% black!

Nor were these blacks just grunt labor. There was Diego el Mulato Martin (el mulato = "mixed race" in Spanish) who ended up a commissioned officer in Spanish service. Or Diego de Los Reyes, aka Diego el Mulato Lucifer. Or Black Caesar, who spent a decade terrorizing the Caribbean from his base on Elliot Key, then hooked up with Blackbeard.

In short, what happened is that history whitewashed (literally) the pirates of the Age of Sail. The "social justice warriors" are merely restoring historical accuracy to that era.

Yet Another Housing Update and Links

We (my realtor and I) placed an offer on the Willowbrook townhouse last night. I eagerly await the seller's response. If it goes through, I'll still have a two-week period of homelessness, which I'll probably solve by getting an extended-stay hotel room.

Moving on from "all homes all the time" here, have some links.

A) I've been following Jim Fallow's writings on a peculiar set of American police-state actions. Basically, pilots of private planes find themselves detained at gunpoint for several hours by heavily-armed police for no apparent reason. Today's article brings interesting theories as to why.

B) Via jaylake, an interesting article comparing China's cyberwar on the US to Elizabethan England's pirate wars against Spain.

C) The title oversells the article a bit by claiming This experiment proved that anyone could design a nuclear weapon . Still, it apparently isn't as hard as you'd think.

D) From Tobias Buckell, an interesting article on survivorship bias. Basically, to get a full understanding of success, one needs to focus not just on those who succeed, but those who fail.
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Two Quick Comments

Comment The First

From Jay Lake jaylake I get this: artificial leaf is 10 times as efficient as nature. The article makes a radical claim: the chip [the size of a deck of cards] could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day. Since the device works by generating hydrogen, it would allow the power to be stored for night-time use.

Obviously, the average house of the developing world uses less electricity than your house or mine, but still, this is a radical improvement. This device, if the claim is true, could make solar power even more competitive.

Comment The Second

Pirates in Somalia remain problematic - the Dutch amphibious ship HNLMS Rotterdam recently shot up a pirate mother ship (pictures at the link). Why the pirates elected to fire on a 12,000 ton warship with AK-47s is beyond me. They lost the election.
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Pre-Worldcon Link Salad

A few parting links:

1) There is a new review and giveaway of my first novel The Mars Run.

2) The blogger of Gin and Tacos says that, in his personal experience, most of the attendees of political conventions of either party are drunk. He calls it "adult spring break."

3) From The Edge of the American West, wisdom from FDR. Just because we're having a problem with government or corporations, it doesn't mean that we should abolish them.

4) Apparently, the Nigerian pirates are running a more traditional piracy mode, that of stealing the cargo of oil tankers.

Now, I am off to Worldcon!
Me 2

A Few Links Before I Fly

Travelling tomorrow, and Rotary today, so have a few links:

A) On the piracy front, I see that the European Union has attacked pirate bases on land. I've reported previously, in a life-imitating-art mode, that insurance companies are building their own anti-piracy navy. Well, the first seven ships of that navy will soon be at sea.

B) Presented without comment: Legalize Pot, Save Public Education, and end Student Indebtedness.

C) Definitely presented without comment: Invasion of the Austerians.
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Bullet Points For Friday

Because I have a few short and unrelated comments vs one big post:

A) Over the previous weekend, I viewed on pay-per-view the recent movie Cowboys and Aliens. I paid (the same money) for the "unedited" version, hoping to see more of Olivia Wilde. Alas, not so you'd notice, but I did find the movie a perfectly entertaining SF / shoot-em-up, with a side of blow-stuff-up-real-good.

B) Also on the entertainment front, I re-read the classic pirate novel, Treasure Island. I had forgotten a whole sequence where Jim steals back the Hispaniola. It was an entertaining romp with a classic.

C) Remember when ordering lobster was a big deal? I was at Red Lobster last night, killing two birds with one stone by finishing Christmas shopping and eating dinner, and noticed that they had three lobster and steak combos for under $20! Now, one will note that the steak is small and the lobster is neither fresh nor from Maine, but still, ordering lobster used to be a big deal. Not any more.

D) An interesting graphical link (you may have to click through an ad to see it) Correlation or Causation? Need to prove something you already believe? Statistics are easy: All you need are two graphs and a leading question.