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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #122 - Weekend Glory

"Some clichty folks don't know the facts, posin' and preenin' and puttin' on acts, stretchin' their backs."
  • Beth got a letter, and it wasn't a happy one. Is it so wrong to focus on women in the shooting sports?
  • There are no walls between the "Safe" university and the "Unsafe" town, and criminals don't respect your imaginary boundaries. Sean looks into the case of a man arrested for kidnapping and sex assault right near Duke University.
  • Barron is on assignment and will return soon.
  • In the Main Topic, Sean discusses his new SIG P320 and competitive shooting. Will Erin ever shoot an IDPA match?
  • Tiffany has a message for Erin, and she has to quote Maya Angelou to get that message across.
  • How many hours are there between now and sunset? Erin tells you how to use your fingers to measure things in the sky.
  • Did you know that more people bought guns than received permits to carry in Florida? Gasp! One TV station decided to try to make hay of this, so Weer'd mows them down in another patented Weer'd Audio Fisk™.
  • Our plug of the week is for the Streamlight Stylus Pro flashlight.

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Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks also to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript:
Finger Tricks
The other days I was walking our dogs with my mom when she noticed some rain clouds on the horizon and said “I wish I knew a way to look at clouds and determine how far away they are.” I thought this was a GREAT idea for a prepping segment and began to research it.

As it turns out, though, there’s no good way to estimate cloud distance, because it’s impossible to tell how large clouds are with the naked eyes. Objects without reference can be deceptively large, which is why the moon can look so huge when you see it up in the sky, but appears to get smaller when you see it behind some trees. It doesn’t actually change in size -- seeing the trees gives us a reference point and our brains can then estimate the scale.

But there are some cools tricks you can use to estimate things in the sky, and the best part is that you don’t need special tools to do it -- you only need your hands.

The first thing you can do is estimate the time until sunset using just the fingers on your hands.
  1. First, extend your arm in front of you with your palm facing you. 
  2. Put your index finger under the sun. Obviously, don’t look directly at the sun, dumbass. 
  3. Each finger width between the sun and the horizon is approximately 15 minutes of daylight. The closer you are to the equator, the more true this is. You should practice this now so that you know how many minutes each finger actually gives you in your location -- if you live very far north, you might have 18 minutes per finger. 
  4. When you have only 2 hours of sunlight left you should start making shelter for the night. 
(Sean) But Erin, you have tiny Hobbit hands, and I have large manly hands. Won’t your smaller fingers say that you have more time than mine will?

You’d think so, right? But you’d be mistaken. You see, nearly everyone’s fingers are proportional to their arm length, so my small fingers on small hands are attached to equally small arms. That means when I extend my arm out my hand isn’t as far away from me as yours is from you, and so because it’s closer my fingers appear thicker against the horizon. Neat, huh?

Now I mentioned that the time varies on how close you are to the equator. This is known as latitude, and you can also measure that using your fingers and the night sky.
  1. Again, stretch your hand out at arm’s length. 
    • A closed fist is 10 degrees. 
    • The distance between your index and little finger -- like if you’re throwing heavy metal horns -- is 15 degrees. 
    • The distance between thumb and little finger, the classic Hawaiian “hang loose” symbol, is 25 degrees. 
    • Your three middle fingers -- the classic Boy Scout sign -- measure 5 degrees across, and your little finger is a single degree. 
  2. So to determine your latitude, just find the North Star -- there’s a link on how to do that in the show notes -- and measure the distance from it to the visible horizon. That’s your latitude in degrees.
    Using this trick, you can not only get an idea of how far north you are, but you can also look at far away objects and determine how far apart they are in navigational degrees.

    You can’t use it to tell you how far away something it, but it’s a good way to tell how far apart two object on the horizon are -- and that will give you a good idea of their scale.

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