Monday, July 10, 2017

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #151 - The Bacardi Episode

I drink a rum in the mornin' (yeah)
I drink a rum at night (gonna drink a rum at night)
I drink a rum in the afternoon (why?)
It makes me feel alright
I drink a rum in times of peace
and two in times of war (make love not war)
I drink a rum before I drink a rum
and then I drink some more (hey hey hey)
-- The Pyrates Royale, "Drink a Rum", 1999

  • After her recent visit to Washington D.C. with the D.C. Project, Beth reached out to offer firearms training to the representatives in her home state of Alabama. Will anyone take her up on the offer?
  • For Felons Behaving Badly,  Sean takes a closer look at a man arrested for a November shooting.
  • Barron’s back again, this time with a segment about ransomware that isn’t and friends who remind you why you don’t click on unsolicited attachments.
  • For those who have gotten the vapors about Dana Loesch’s nearly three-month-old video about fighting the violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth, Miguel has a simple question for you: Where have you been?
  • GunBlog VarietyCast Radio is proud to introduce Special Guest Charl van Wyk to our show. Mr. van Wyk was a member of the Saint James Church in Capetown, South Africa, when it was attacked by terrorists, and he was able to save the lives of many by returning fire with his pistol. In the first of a three-part interview series, we talk about the church massacre and its aftermath.
  • Tiffany is still on assignment.
  • What is "proprioception?" Erin not only explains it, she pronounces it!
  • Protect Minnesota is against a new bill that would bring Stand Your Ground to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Weer’d is back with part two of his three-part series on their anti-self defense press conference.
  • And our Plug of the Week is for Aiming for Zero.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play Music!

Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.

Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript -
Proprioception and Phantom Limbs
I hope that you’ve all been enjoying my segue into into physiological and psychological effects of survival. I realize that this is more abstract than what I usually do for Blue Collar Prepping, but I feel -- and I hope you do as well -- that understanding why we do things will help us prepare for, and ultimately cope with, our reactions when terrible things happen. This segment is really going to dive deeply into those waters, and I hope you’ll stick with me through all the science because there is absolutely a payoff at the end.

Today’s five dollar word is “Proprioception”, and it means “The sense of the position of parts of the body, relative to other neighbouring parts of the body.” If you want a demonstration of this, close your eyes and stick one of your hands out at a random angle. Then, with your eyes still closed, bring your other hand to it.

You didn’t have any trouble finding your hand without seeing it, did you? You knew where your hand was in space and found it immediately. That’s proprioception.

Fun fact: The principle is of “hand finds hand” is why the UZI was designed with a magazine that feeds through the pistol grip. This is why it’s so much more intuitive to load your pistol than it is to load your rifle -- unless, of course, your hand is gripping the magazine well.

This principle of your brain having a map of your body also explains the concept known as “phantom limb”, which is when a missing body part, such as an amputated hand, still feel present. This sensation is often uncomfortable -- sometimes it feels like there’s an itch which needs scratching, or the muscles are cramping -- but the end result is that brain insists the limb is still there and it requires stimulation of sort. Yes, this is another example of “All pain is in our brain” which I detailed last week.

But our brains can also be fooled, and this is the cure for phantom limb pain as well as other symptoms of loss. In 1998, V.S. Ramachandran - a neuroscientist at UC San Diego - conducted a series of experiments where people suffering phantom limb pain from missing hands or arms placed their functioning limb upon a table and then looked at a mirror reflection of that limb. By moving their healthy limb while looking at the mirror image, an illusion of moving the missing limb was created.

6 out of 10 patients said they could actually feel the movement coming from the missing limb! 4 of those could then use that visual feedback to relieve phantom limb pain by stretching, unclenching or otherwise doing whatever action the missing limb craved.

What’s more, you don’t even need to have a missing limb to experience this effect. There’s a trick called The Rubber Hand Illusion whereby participants have their real hand hidden from view and a rubber hand poised in nearly the same position. Both hands, real and rubber, are stroked in exactly the same way at the same time. Eventually the participants began to feel that the rubber hand was their own hand, so that when they were asked to touch their “missing” hand with the working hand, many of them indicated the rubber hand.

In effect, their nervous systems “grew” into the rubber hand, adopting it as their own. This adoption was so strong that when the rubber hand was struck with a hammer, threatened with a burning cigarette, or stabbed with a needle, the subjects actually reacted with fear and pain!

This neatly explains why frequently used objects - be they tools or weapons or even vehicles like cars and aircraft - can feel like part of the user’s body. This is because, to a certain extent, they are. Through constant use and identification of the item as an extension of the user’s will, the nervous system integrates them into its own proprioceptive “body map”.

This raises an interesting question: if an inanimate object can be considered part of someone’s body by the brain, then why not another living being? And in fact, this is exactly what happens with people we are physically close with. That loss, and coping with it, will be addressed in next week’s segment.

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