2/21/2005

The start of a post.

Sometimes I type to much. I wanted to make a reply at a BBS I started reading, but it ended up being a novel. I'll post it here for now and finish it up later.

It seems to me that in any survilist scenario the key requirments for any weapon would avalbility of ammo, durability, utility, and weight.. These factors are far more imortant then minor diffrences in power/performance/accuracy. I also think that not enough consideration has been given to a weapon as a means of food acquistion. People are not the only thing you are going to need to bring down. Given these considerations, I make the following recomondations in terms of weapon.

Primary Weapon.
A rifle. A rifle is the clasisic "all purpouse" weapon. It is highly usefull in both self-defense and hunting. And it has a huge advantage in range over anyother firearm type, while still being usefull at close and medium ranges. A rifle can also be used to hunt a wide varite of game (basicly anything that holds still long enough for you to draw a bead on it).

The disadvantages of a rifle are primarily theirs large weight and size, and to a lesser extent the lack of a single common amunition type. Due to their and weight a rifle (and it's ammunition) are more difficult to carry and bring into action then a smaller weapon (such as a handgun) this may be crucial in a tight situation, but in general is not likely to be to much of a factor. Ammunition is also a worry, as there are several popular cartriges, making the appropriet ammunitoin harder to come by.

In terms of what rifle to get, the first choice is decided what kind of reloading action you want. The three most common are bolt-action, lever action, and semi-automatic (automatic will be discused elseware). Generaly, the slower bolt and lever action methods are more reliable and accurate, but the relability and accuracy of modern semi-automatic is in generaly pretty good. Given their advantage in reloading times, that is what I would recomend. But rember, EVERY rifle needs regular maintence to perform correctly. If you don't maintain yours, you deserve every bit of malfunction and trouble that comes your way.

The secound decsion is cartrige type, there are MANY diffrent ones out their, but one should probably stick with the more common cartriges, to make ammunition easier to come across. The most common cartriges are probably the .22LR, 5.56x45, 7.62x39, 7.62×51, and .30-06. But there are alot more. Their are pros and cons to the various diffrent cartriges, but in general, the larger cartriges are more powerful, have longer ranges, but are heavier and bulkier. I'll discuss each and a good selection for a rifle in turn.

.22LR, many might scoff and disregard the .22 rimfire as a childs toy, these people would be incorrect. While the .22LR is the least powerful of all the cartriges discused here, it is still a decent round. It has a rather muzzle velocity of ~500m/s and is good out to about 150yd. While it delivers less energy than the larger rounds, no one getting a .22 in there chest is going to be happy. It is also a small and lightweight round and is very cheap, and very common. You could expect to serval times more .22LR than you would a heavier cartrige. It's excelent for hunting small game (rabits, squirls), but less usefull in hunting large game (like dear). Another advantage is that their are some pistols chamber to use this round, allowing you to get double use out of your ammo. There are many excelent rifles in the .22LR caliber, but one of the best is the classic Ruger 10/22. An excelent reliable and common SA rifle, with excelent accuracy. It can also be fed most of the common varients of .22LR ammo (.22 short, long whatever).

5.45x45 NATO or .223 Remington is the cartrige used by the US-Militaries M-16 series of weapons. Despite being of similar caliber as .22LR it is in reality a very diffrent cartrige, far more powerful than the .22LR. It fires a heavier bullet much faster with a mussle velocity of around 900m/s. This enables it to engage targets much farhter away, as much 800yds. The 5.45x45 cartrige is also signifigantly lighter and smaller then the later cartriges allowing more ammunition to be carried. The cartrige is also fairly common here in the US. While it doesn't have the power of some of the heavier cartriges, it has been proven more than sufficent for self-defense and all but the very largest of game animals. The most common rifle that fires this cartrige is obviously the AR-15/M-16 series of weapons. There are many diffrent varients, but they all have basicly the same attributes. It is a highly accurate rifle, but one that needs regular maintance to ensure it performance, not quite as reliable as the other recomendations. Other NATO nations issue weapons that fire the 5.45x45 cartrige, but none of them are as common (especialy in the US) as this series (I also know little about them). The other common weapon that uses .223 Remington is the Ruger Mini-14. Based on the armies M-14 rechambered for this cartrige, it is less acurate then the AR-15, but much more rugged.

Perhaps the most common "intermediate" cartrige in the world is the 7.62x39 "Soviet." The round used by the popular SKS and AK-47 rifles. This cartrige is both large in caliber and carriers a heavier bullet than the 5.56x45 NATO, however it has a slightly lower muzzle velocity of 700m/s. Theoreticly the Soviet round has about the same effective range as its NATO counterpart, but in the less accurate Soviet weapons typicaly have reliable accuracy of about half of that (400 yds or so). Despite it's lower muzzle velocity the larger heavier soviet bullet delivers alot more energy to it's target. So much so that it is not realy ideal for hunting small game (rabbits), but in turn more effective when dealing with larger game. The two above mentioned soviet rifles are ideal for a post-apocalyptic world. Both are common, extreamly reliable, and have good performance. Neither is exactly the most accurate rifle in the world, but in good condition either could be expected to reliable hit targets so far off that you would a scope to get maximum use out of the range. Another decent choice is the Mini-30, which is again a rechamber M-14. I don't have any experince with this specific rifle, but I would expect it to perform smilary to the mini-14.

2/15/2005

Nintendo and Inovation

I frequent the "News for Nerds" website/blog slashdot pretty frequently. Without fail, whenver a new story about gamming comes up, someone will make the same stupid post about how Nintendo is the leader in "inovation." I have to call BS on this, because it simply isn't that true.

Now to give Nintendo some credit, they do try to inovate. By trying and doing are not the same thing. People often site there new and "inovative" controlers as an example. While the controlers certianly are diffrent from anything out there currently, they are also complete crap. The nintendo controlers have been getting steadily worse evers since the SNES. Just because something is new and diffrent doesn't make it inovative, it also has to be superiour to what is already out there so that people want to use it instead, that is clearly NOT the case with nintendo.

Another example could be the ability to plug in a gameboy advanced to use as a controler. This is used to great effect in some of the recent Zelda games, but there is still a problem. To get the best use out of this, you have to buy 4!! seperate gamboy advances for each player to use. Just another trick to try and get more of our gaming dollars out of us. And it's not even inovative, Sega did this back with the VMU on the dreamcast, long before the Gamecube was ever launched.

Now there is some genuine inovation going in in the gamming community. But ninendo certianly doesn't have a monopoly on it. The Gamboy DS certianly is inovative, but so Sony's Eyetoy, and Microsofts use of XBox Live. Inovative games are out on all platforms, from Pikmin to Katamari Dynasti, to Fable.

Long story short, Nintendo's focus on inovation has resulted in 99% crap, and the same 1% improvment that all the other consoles have seen. I'm all for advancment of the gaming fronteir, but we all must live within the bounds of what is actualy possible, but that is a topic for another day.

2/14/2005

A great poem I ran across.

I was diddling around on the net and I came across a excelent poem, I'll share it here.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

"Invictus,"
by William Earnest Henley

Profound stuff eh? I'm looking for a good way to keep track of inspirational poems like this one that I like, so that I can peruse them at my pleasure. If there was some way I could conviently carry them with me it would be even better. Something for me to think on.

2/13/2005

Work is hard.

In addition to being a student, I am also a bartender/waiter. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of working in one of these occupations, let me tell you, it is hard work. Today I put in a 12 hour shift, working from 11 (when we open) till 11 (when we close) without break. No 15 minute break, no half-hour lunch break, no 10 **** secounds to sit down even. And today was supposed to get the evenning off. But no, I had to wait tables and bartend all day long. I guess I can't complain to much, I did make some 150+ dollars in tips today, but still, man work is hard work! Oh, and to bring up a point that is going to be a common theme on my blog, you waiter/server/bartender has a very hard and stressful job, tip them, they deserve it!

2/10/2005

My Place at Mars Society

One of the bulltin boards I frequent is the one at MarsSociety.org, also called New Mars. Generaly the conversation here is pretty good and well informed. Definetly a good place to go if you are at all intrested in the colonisation of Mars or space travel in general. I probably check it daily at least.

However, lately it seems as if things have taken a minor turn for the worse. Ad hominem (personal) attacks have gotten worse. In my last set of posts I have been mildly insulted by a poster here. These kinds of things can be tricky. It's important that when you rebut an idea, you attack the idea itself, and not the person who posted it. There is a fine line bettwen one and the other, and I'm not sure this guy crossed it, but the point remains. Always criticize the idea, not the person. My personal response to most insults to just ignore them. They aren't valid arguments and don't desrve a response. And in case, a retort only leads to escalation and hurt feelings, and is counterproductive to good debate.

In anycase, here is the thread I am talking about Articale about colonizing Mars

The Orgins of MaxMahem

I ocasionaly get asked, where does the handle MaxMahem come from. (Okay, nobody has asked me here yet, but I have been asked before). Can't I spell mayhem, did I steal it from somewhere, or whatever. I coined this handle for myself quite some time ago, when I was still in middle school, IIRC, sometime in the early 90's. Around this time the games I was playing were PC side-scrollers. I had a PC, but no console you see. Games like Duke Nukem and Commander Keen. So, in the same spirit I dubed myself Max Mayhem. Except I my spelling is horrible, so it came out Mahem. Some stupid mistakes stick with you for a long time, let that be a lesson to you/me.

As nicks go though I like it. When I play RTS games I sometimes dub myself General Mahem, cause I'm cool like that.

2/09/2005

Everything has a beggining.

Everything has a beginning, and I guess this is the begginning for this blog. My intent is for this blog to be a repository of my thoughts more for self reflection than public consumtion. But, since some of the things I think may be intresting to others, I decided to put it online. It will also possibly track some of my movments about the web and world as well.