Archive for December 20th, 2007

Confined Spaces Entry

As an urban explorer, you often get to see – and enter! – what are technically “confined spaces”. Many even bear ominous warnings, like “Confined Space – Permit Required”. A certain dangerous mystique surrounds these places, and for years, I’ve labored under the illusion that the training “required” to safely enter them was incredibly complex, time-consuming, and difficult.

I may just have been wrong.
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Urban Exploration | on December 20th, 2007 | Comments Off on Confined Spaces Entry

A Mexican Invasion of Los Estados Unidos?

From the current NightWatch:

Mexico: The BBC, Press TV and other news services reported the findings of a Mexican Government study that over half of the Mexicans in the US are illegal. Based on the government’s National Population Council report, the majority of the 6.2 million Mexicans living in the US at the present do not have documents, according to the Mexican government. (Most US official and unofficial estimates double the total number.)

The survey also shows that the Mexican-born population living in the US has increased from about 800,000 in 1970 to more than 11 million in 2006. According to the report 68% of the Mexicans who migrate, or try to migrate, to the US every year do so without documents. Some 55% of them hire immigration specialists to get them across, The report, timed to coincide with the UN International Migrants Day, said almost 30 million people in the US were direct descendants of Mexican migrants.

In analytical terms, the data describe an invasion or a deliberate policy to use population to annex adjacent territory. Measured by effects in Mexico, the Mexican government has promoted the departure of the poorest 10% of its population in order to make them wards of the US. Data from the State of Texas indicate the price for illegal immigration includes each person carrying 100 lbs of illegal drugs in a knapsack across the border. The Texas data makes it clear that the illegal wave is also a drug wave.

Aside from having their numbers a little bit confused, it’s an interesting view of the “immigration problem” not often discussed. I’m sure groups like “La Raza” disagree with the assessments – but, then, they would, wouldn’t they?

Published in: General, Security | on December 20th, 2007 | Comments Off on A Mexican Invasion of Los Estados Unidos?

Two Coconut Shells… and a Raspberry

A couple months ago, Reece Shearsmith did a one-off program for BBC radio on the history of sound effects in radio. A very interesting behind-the-scenes look at the art of making things sound like other things, the half-hour program – ‘Two Coconut Shells, a Blow Lamp, and a Raspberry’ – makes for some very interesting listening.

The “coconut shells” refer to the quite ingenious method of simulating the sounds of horses’ hoofbeats – a longstanding tradition paid homage to in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

You can download a 21.5MB, 27-minute MP3 of the program right here.

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on December 20th, 2007 | Comments Off on Two Coconut Shells… and a Raspberry