Showing posts with label Asia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asia. Show all posts

February 17, 2015

The Ultimate "Prepper" Gun?

Check that store-bought hex nut.
At The Firearms Blog, Nathaniel F. reviews a Mongolian snaplock carbine owned by friend-of-this-blog Steve Bodio.
In Central Asian villages, even blacksmiths are uncommon, which means field-expedient repairs are common, and many percussion weapons get converted to the easier-to-maintain flintlock ignition. Purpose-built guns like these would be purchased by shops on rare trips to larger towns. The quality of the weapons would typically be fairly uneven, so patrons would not be allowed to fire the guns before buying, lest the shop be left with a bunch of undesirable junk guns. As a result, interesting superstitions about how to tell the quality of a rifle came to be, including putting a steel pin in a puddle of saliva on the barrel, and slowly rotating the barrel.  By watching the rotation of the pin in the saliva, supposedly they could tell which barrels were good.
It is no antique: Bodio estimates that it was made in the 1950s. Simple, reliable, easy to repair.

December 18, 2013

No Blog Stew, Please, We're Neanderthals

¶ Ongoing study of Neanderthal DNA genes in modern humans, including adaptation to UV light: 
Interestingly, the authors note, the geographic distribution of the Neanderthal genomic region suggests that UV-light mutations were shown to be lost during the exodus of modern human from Africa, and reintroduced to Eurasians from Neanderthals. “Overall, it is still very controversial whether there is more Neanderthal DNA contributions to Asians than Europeans, as we have evidence to argue against this,” said Lin. “Although in the case of the Hyal2 variant, it did indeed have a higher frequency in Asians.
¶  Another study suggesting that Neanderthal people did bury their dead, as opposed to the notion that modern archaeologists misinterpreted bone deposits:
The findings center on Neanderthal remains first discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southwestern France. The well-preserved bones led its early 20th-century excavators to posit that the site marked a burial ground created by a predecessor to early modern humans. However, their conclusions have sparked controversy in the scientific community ever since, with skeptics maintaining that the discovery had been misinterpreted and that the burial may not have been intentional.