Friday Links

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why cold weather really does spread the flu.

25 skills every man should know.

Say you're sorry, make more money.

Is this why wild monkeys are not allowed in the Northern Virginia and Maryland woods?

Common repairs made easy.

The story of Baikonur.

Undercover in the Apple Store.

How quantum cryptology works.

Character—not technology—is the solution to crime.

Or did the Clean Air Act lower crime?

The Nigerian child sex trade smashed.

Is OPEC the new Fed?


Knucklehead said...

OK, I've bookmarked the Common Repairs. As for the 25 skills... it starts with repairing a radiator hose. Do those things break anymore? In a long ago life I've done that repair - at least well enough to get home - with electrical tape (no duct tape available at the time).

A day or two ago a friend and I were chatting about stuff that young men used to know how to do. It started with a conversation about his young son who was having trouble fixing a flat tire on his "mini-bike" (can't get it off the rim.)

Eegads! Have some pride, Son! Can't fix a flat tire?!?! We started chatting about how, once upon a time in the ancient days, we'd need to be able to gap a sparkplug or set points in the freezing cold on a dark road using a matchbook or turn a distributor gently enough to coax a poor, old, wheezing engine to life long enough to get back home.

Popping tires off rims and using tire repair kits was just second nature. We surveyed our coworkers and not a single one of them can remember their children ever wearing out a bicycle tire. I musta wore out half a dumpster full of 'em.

Anonymous said...

I've inherited most of my Dad's and grandfather's hand tools. Way too much to describe, but there are spokeshaves of all sizes and ancient wooden planes and brace and bit sets and gimlets and center punches and spark plug gap gauges galore and - a fossilized tire patch kit. I consider myself reasonably handy. But if I knew half the stuff that my Grandad knew, I'd be a lucky man.

Knucklehead said...

BTW, yet another adorable niece, MHA. Your siblings deserve a great deal of credit.

Buddy Larsen said...

yes that niece is truly adorable. MHA has a large and notably fine-looking family.

Anonymous said...

And... Skookumchuk like!

Luther McLeod said...

I'm not quite sure why... perhaps the eyes. But the niece reminds me of...

Giada De Laurentiis

Oh, and yes MHA... enjoyed the links once again, a nice compendium of info...

chuck said...

or set points in the freezing cold on a dark road using a matchbook

And I remember replacing a timing belt, standing in the snow on the side of the road in a -30F coldsnap. Had to put a brazier full of burning charcoal under the oil pan of a friends truck so we could start it up and go get the parts...

But the general trend holds. My grandfather could draw up plans, frame a house, and make chests, just as everyday skills. He was born on an Ohio farm in 1868 and I suppose such accomplishments weren't unusual at the time.