Editorial: On grammar and spelling.
Travel: Top travel tip #6.
Technology: US Army 3D printed grenade launcher.
Stationery: Aussie Planner Chick.
Gadgets and Gear: R.A.T.S. tourniquet.
Books and Writing: The Door in the Wall and Other Stories Part 3.
Project of the week: Armored Leggings.
EDITORIAL: On grammar and spelling
PD tries to get things right, but even though he is a dog, he still makes "human" mistakes. An astute reader brought a couple of such mistakes to PD's attention, for which he is grateful. You may have noticed that PD quietly corrected them. If you would like regular snippets of grammar, you can "Like" Analytical Grammar on Facebook. The tips are great.
TRAVEL: Top travel tip #6
PD hopes that you have a fitness routine that keeps you in top shape, however even if you do, diarrhoea and nausea or vomiting can ruin your trip. You should always carry a basic first aid kit that includes things such as plasters for minor cuts, however it is an idea to also pack some tablets in case you do get diarrhoea and nausea or vomiting. Anti-diarrhoea tablets will slow down your gut but they do not fight the cause. Likewise, anti-nausea and vomiting tablets will treat the symptoms but not the cause. Depending on the country you live in, you may need a physician's prescription to obtain these. Do not forget to check the expiry date before you leave home. Happy healthy travels!
TECHNOLOGY: US Army 3D printed grenade launcher
3D printing is taking off and prices are coming down. PD believes that in the next handful of years home 3D printers will be as common as paper printers are now. 3D printers have a lot of uses, not just for making trinkets. With a 3D scanner you can scan a part and replicate it - good for replacing broken parts.
There are several different types of 3D printers. Most of the ones made for ordinary consumers use ABS plastic. The plastic comes like a wire on a spool. The printer melts the plastic and it is forced through a nozzle to add layers to the part being produced. More expensive are 3D printers that use liquid resin that is cured by LASER light.
Special 3D printers are available for food creations using things like chocolate.
Then there are the industrial type printers that use metals to create parts. Using such a printer, the US Army has produced and successfully tested a grenade launcher, according to Popular Mechanics magazine.
Every now and then you may hear in the news about "home-made" 3D printed firearms. PD would like to point out that it is very risky to try to do this on a consumer grade printer, as the parts produced by these machines are much too weak to withstand the tremendous forces involved in discharging a firearm, so you risk serious injury or death. The 3D printers used by the likes of the US Army are highly specialised (and very expensive), so do not be tempted to copy them.
For the curious: The 3D printer in the photograph is a resin type printer made by Formlabs.
STATIONERY: Aussie Planner Chick
PD will not balk at traveling to the ends of the earth looking for great stationery. Australia is just about as far as you can travel without leaving the planet (unless you go to Antarctica). If you use a Filofax-style planner then you will love these colourful inserts made by a young lady on the other side of the world. She uses good quality paper and has great designs.
GADGETS AND GEAR: R.A.T.S. tourniquet
A first aid kit is always handy, however there are some items that you hope you will never need to use, but should the situation arise you are glad that you are prepared. One such situation is being at the scene of an accident with a victim bleeding to death. Stopping the bleeding with a Rapid Application Tourniquet System may save the person's life.
This particular tourniquet was designed for the military and is small, light weight and easy to use, but PD suggests that you practise beforehand, so that should the situation arise, you are ready.
BOOKS AND WRITING: The Door in the Wall and Other Stories Part 3
NB: The illustrations in this segment are NOT from the Folio facsimile edition that was featured in parts 1 and 2. PD thought that he would add some illustrations from other editions for the remaining parts.
Last week PD wrote about the first story in the book, "The Door in the Wall". As PD said, this one is tame. In the second story, "The Star", the tension builds up as a star hurtles into the solar system and heads towards earth. The story deals with the effect of approaching doom on ordinary people, while the great mathematician constantly calculates its trajectory to determine its course. The whole event is also watched by the Martians.
(Illustration is from "The Graphic", which first published this story in 1897).
In the third story, "A Dream of Armageddon", a man is put in the situation of having to decide between two unpalatable courses of action. The narrator meets an unwell looking man on a train station platform and the two travel together. The man tells the narrator that he had been living parallel lives, one in the present and one when he dreams at night. The dreams are hundreds of years into the future. He is a famous politician who runs away to live with his beloved lady on Capri. He has to choose between leaving her and return to politics to stop a great war or to remain living in paradise and let war develop. It is a moving tragedy. How would any of us act if put in a similar situation?
Next week in part 4: The most horrifying story in the book.
PROJECT OF THE WEEK: Armored Leggings
This week's project of the week is for the girls. Lorica Clothing has taken inspiration from the knights of old to come up with these great looking leggings. What more can PD say that would be better than the photograph?
For the curious: lorica is Latin for a coat of mail or a breastplate.
Important disclaimer: Remember that crowdfunding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.
Note: photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.
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