It surprised me what the world’s largest airport happened to be.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)!

Yeah, I am a Euro-centric snob with strong NE US tendencies. London Heathrow (LHR) is only 7th on the list! Amsterdam’s Schipol (AMS) is 11th right under Paris’s Charles De Gaulle (CDG) which is number 10. LAX (Los Angeles Airport) comes in at 4th above Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) which is 6th!

New York’s JFK and Newark’s (EWR) aren’t even on the list!

Actually, it depends on whether you are using passengers or airplanes since O’Hare has more planes go through, making IT number one for that calculation. International Airport Review, who came up with the ranking, has this methodology:

Airport terminal passenger numbers are calculated by summing the totals of departing passengers, arriving passengers, transferring passengers and direct transit passengers. A passenger who transfers from one flight to another is counted twice by the airport in which they make their transfer. A direct transit passenger is someone whose stops temporarily at an airport and then departs again on a plane with the same flight number. These passengers are counted once.

With the exceptions for my guesses being Asian Airports (Tokyo’ Haneda (HND) and Beijing (PEK)), none of the ones I would have guessed had the most travel did. OK, except for O’Hare.

BCC One/FX’s “A Christmas Carol”

It was painful to watch.  I don’t mind non-traditional, but this went way over the top. Other reviewers have gone into why this is over the top. So I won’t bother with that.

I did manage to make my way through it because of Vinette Robinson. She plays Mary Cratchit who is pretty much a non-role in the book. Not really happy with how she was portrayed, but Vinette’s being able to play the role is yet another example of how good an actress she is. My feelings are similar to her reviews for her performance as Florence, the maid, in Hampstead Theatre’s Darker Shores: she “copes admirably”

Vinette began auditioning when she was thirteen years old but didn’t get any big parts until later in her career; her first audition was for the role of Queen Amidala in the 1999 movie Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; a part which ultimately went to Natalie Portman

Vinette then was awarded a Laurence Olivier bursary from the Society of London Theatre. to study drama in the prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. She began her acting career in theatre performances. She loves being on the stage more than on set because, according to her, the rehearsals create a more cohesive world. She, therefore, kept auditioning for roles in plays even after making her career on television because she feels more at home on stage.

I have to admit seeing her more on television than any other medium, but would love to see her on stage. Vinette hopes to one day play Isabella in Shakepeare’s Measure for Measure.  I would love to see her playing that role or any of the other theatrical roles she mentioned in her BAFTA 60 Second Challenge.

I know she will play those roles some day.

Brexit

You might not think it from reading my posts at Penigma, but Brexit is far more of an issue for me than Trump. That’s because my right of free movement and residency are going away soon. Maybe it won’t be too much of a problem since the UK is not a party to the Schengen Area.

Citizens the only people who have a right to come and go into a country under international law. Let’s toss in that the right of asylum is covered under international law to make this an aside. So, I find the whinging by “liberals” about immigrants into the US to be amusing, but that is probably due to American Exceptionalism combined with the myth that the US has “always been welcoming to immigrants”.

Not really.

But as I said, that was a bit of an aside, but related to where I am going here. Brexit is going to screw up the residency of quite a few people of both the UK and the EU member states (with the exception of Ireland, but that’s a sort of). People who have been resident under the terms of the European Union membership are going to find they have to apply for formal residency.

Somewhat of a headache due to paperwork. Toss in that some places (E.g., Belgium) can be a tax headache if you are “self-employed”. Being retired is less of a problem since most places welcome retired people if you “aren’t going to steal jobs”. In fact most places welcome people who are willing to contribute to society.

That means going through some hoops to get in. Although residency usually isn’t hard. Citizenship is another issue: especially if you don’t want to get to the border and find they won’t let you in. Or hit you with penalties as is the case in the Schengen Area. Unlike the US, some countries actually have criminal penalties for violating the immigration laws.

So, what is the Schengen Area?

It was created by treaty and includes most of Europe. It’s basically a zone that once you don’t need a passport have entered it to move around. If you are a citizen of the Schengen nations.

OTOH, Nationals from some countries need to obtain a Schengen visa in order to enter one of its member countries or travel within the area. It is a short-stay visa valid for 90 days. It also allows international transit at airports in Schengen countries.  The US and UK aren’t one of those countries, but Citizens of non-Schengen countries which are not required to have visas still have to respect the infamous 90/180 day rule.

Another point where most multiple-entry Schengen visa holders get confused, as well as the nationals of the countries that are permitted to enter Schengen visa-free. Most people think that the 180-day period starts on the day you visa becomes valid, which is not true.

Actually, the 180-day period keeps rolling. Therefore, anytime you wish to enter the Schengen, you just have to count backwards the last 180 days, and see if you have been present in the Schengen for more than 90 days throughout that period.

And you are subject to a €1200 fine if you overstay your 90 days: even if only by one day! Loads of tourists complain that they were hit with a fine for leaving a day late! There are ways to avoid be in Schengen for more than 90 days in the last 180 days by jumping between Schengen and non-Schengen countries. Thus, stay in Belgium for 90 days, then go to the UK for the 180 days.

Of course, residency makes a whole lot more sense. Toss in the Schengen rules are a headache.

But that is going to be a major fuck over caused by Brexit. One of many fuck overs caused by Brexit.

The coolest Submachinegun ever.

Yeah, I guess this would be a surprise post from someone who is “anti-gun”, but you might be surprised at how much some of us know about guns.

Anyway, my personal vote is for the MAT-49 which comes from Manufacture Nationale d’Armes de Tulle (MAT) armoury for use by the French Army and the fact that it was first produced in 1949.  Forgotten arms has a great video on the MAT-49.

The reason I like the gun is that it is one of the more unusual guns out there in that the magazine well folds up to the body. There are only two guns I know that do this the Hotchkiss Universal and the MAT-49: both of which were in competition to be France’s submachinegun in the post-war period. That said it has connections to Vietnam and Algeria.

Although, I would be less inclined to want one for reenacting Vietnam. The French were using other countries weapons: especially early in the war. An M1 Carbine works just as well. An M1 carbine can also be used for Algeria, but the MAT-49 was standard issue for the French military by that time. Although, the gun was being used by French Paratroops: especially at Dien Bien Phu.

Let’s toss in that the MAT-49 retooled for the Tokarev round was used by the Vietnamese (as were 9mm versions).

Still, this gun is expensive as heck in the US, while one can pick up a deact/neutralisé MAT49 no problems! And the deact is a fraction of the price of the parts kits I’ve seen for sale in the US. There are few options for replicas in the states since I’ve seen movie prop resin versions sell out at a 4 figure price! Relics UK sells a wooden version which works for prop or display use.

The problem is that the action is what makes this gun so interesting. Toss in its popularity among collectors (these things are really pricey if you want one that WORKS!). They were designed for full-auto, so I’m not sure how easy it would be to make a semi-auto version.

35ak7ly

I’m putting this here as a guide to the missing pieces for the upper.

I’m surprised Denix hasn’t made one yet. I’m pretty sure they would sell. Especially since deacts aren’t legal in the US. And Deacts are getting harder to get in Europe.

I know I’m not alone in my interest in this weapon since doing a search on the MAT-49 will turn up a lot of material. Maybe we are just a small community out there.

BTW, if you have a parts kit that is missing pieces, the best place to get them is naturabuy.fr. Unfortunately, it takes knowledge of French to be able to buy there. Also, the people with the best prices usually don’t ship outside France.

Some vocabulary if you want to try shopping there:
Guidon=front sight
Oeilleton=rear sight
ressort=spring
verrou de crosse=stock locking pin
Carte bleu=Visa (the best way to pay outside of France). And yes, there is a difference between Visa and MC in France.

Just one person!

I believe in the six degrees of separation since I’ve seen it too many times in my life. Latest example is I was criticising an actor and found out his mother was an acquaintance!

OK, I’ve always been outspoken

But this isn’t a scholarly journal or something I want to make money from. It’s a platform for me to get ideas out there.

I am happy if someone sees something here and uses it for good.

I think the world sucks. I am not sure how to make it better (recycling isn’t working for me–my house feels like Alice’s Church). Altruism is hard.

But I hope that if someone sees someting which is useful and makes a better world then all this shit has been worth it.

The ultimate PFD

It’s a (very) rainy day with predictions of thundershowers making me sit out on the paddlesports. But that doesn’t stop me from shopping for gear. Which is where I saw the Kokatat Poseidon PFD.

This thing is probably way more PFD than I really need at a price points higher where I want to buy one. But the thing is one of the most impressive modular units I’ve ever seen. The radio pack is probably one of the more extreme accessories I’ve seen.

Check it out at https://kokatat.com/product/poseidon-lvupdn. The video is worth it!

Posted 22/09/2019 by lacithedog in Kayak, Kayaking, Outdoors, Paddling, Water Sports

Nest Hello is up and running!

OK, you like a challenge if you are reading this. And installing the Nest Hello Doorbell is definitely a challenge, but worth it in the end.  I found the real issues were more with the doorbell than the doorbell system.

Nest people: please come up with a way to set this up using a wired connection. The Bluetooth version had too many problems.  I was able to set this up, but there were far too many headaches associated with wireless in a highly congested frequency band.

But it was worth it in the end.

I can see events. So, if someone were to be a porch pirate, or worse, I wouldn’t have to scroll through hours of footage to find it. The segments would be highlighted. I also signed up to have my video stored for 10 days in “the cloud”.

Personally, I find that CCTV is far more of a crime deterrent than a firearm. Toss in how many people have been killed by CCTV as opposed to family members killed with a gun.

Two high profile crimes were solved through CCTV in my neighbourhood. I can name a lot more where the CCTV being backed up to a remote location foiled criminals (including bent cops).

So, keep your gun. I would rather have big brother watching out for me.