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Hunt removes HFCS from all products

There has recently been a movement to replace High Fructose Corn Syrup in food products with naturall cane or beet sugar.

Recently, Hunt has removed all HFCS from their product lines. Clearly they are doing this because of customer demand.

HFCS is very cheap, because the American government subsidizes corn. Why do they do this? Simply put, giant food conglomerates like Monsanto lobby the government to influence laws. Lobbyists have successfully put a HUGE import tax on sugar.

So sugar is expensive, and corn syrup is cheap. Following me?

This is the sort of things that make me want to firebomb corporate headquarters.


Gerber LMFII ASEK Survival Knife: Great knife for a chump change price.
Manufacturer’s Link

I like documentation. Out of the box it came with [i]two[/i] sets of instructions, but perhaps LAPoliceGear just slipped in two sets for me. The instructions came in the form of a 8×5″ piece of paper printed in Black and White. Scan up in the morning. Gerber’s instructions claim that it is a “HIGHLY ADAPTABLE 10″ SURVIVAL KNIFE”. I agree. The instructions give detailed step by step, AMERICAN ENGLISH (sorry you limey ZS Brits) directions on how to attach to PALS webbing, the calf strap, or Belt/Thigh attachment. Check the images below for the mounting options. It also provides 4 cool images on how to smash Plexiglass, use as a hammer, convert to a spear, and use the integrated sharpener on the sheath. Scans of both sides are below

This sheath is almost worth the $70 alone. It comes in two parts: the Kydex sheath that houses the knife, and a ballistic nylon backing to attach it using the methods described in the previous section.
The sheath has two small Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) straps with snap buttons. The snap buttons on this sheath, despite being made by commie Vietnamese, seem very strong. All of the stitching on the “ballistic nylon” (which I believe is 1000 Denier) is redundantly supported by two or three rows of threads. The two MOLLE straps are, if you haven’t figured out already, used to affix the sheath to the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) webbing.

It also comes with two thick, nylon straps for attachment to the calf. They have strong buckles (I heard from someone that they were Fastex, but I can not verify). The straps are impregnated with elastic in order to better grip your pants, although you’re going to need to tighten it just perfectly if you don’t want it to move around while sheathing/unsheathing your knife.

The MOLLE attachment strap also made it easy for me to affix the sheath to the shoulder strap of my back (Camelbak BFM). There is a little bit of movement, but I attribute this to my pack. I’m going to have to sew down the strap on my backpack so it can’t move. In the meantime I held it down with a safety pin.
One of the plethora of sweet features on this sheath is the fact that it is ambidextrous; you can position the sharp edge of the blade to your left or right. Good news for you leftys. Good news if you want to mount it upside-down, as well.

Another considerate feature is the built-in sharpener. To use this, you need to remove the sheath from the 1000 Denier backing. Simply stick the (non-serrated portion) of the blade into the hole in the Kydex sheath, and draw consistently through the hole. It came razor sharp out of the box (I cut myself shaving hairs off my arm). Just the way I like it.

The nylon backing for the sheath has two straps with snap-buttons that secure the hilt of the blade, although this is just another example of redundancy in this tool.

There is a strong plastic spring clip that clips onto the Guard. It holds the blade so tight that some weeny on Youtube actually complained that he got a boo boo from the clip when he bought it at the mall. Despite this guy’s classification of this feature as a con, all you have to do to remove the blade from its sheath is grasp it by the hilt, and push with your thumb, as you pull with your index finger. Your thumb should be on the clip, and it comes right out. Make no mistake, this blade will stay in its sheath until you want it to come out. Very well designed. +1

The Business End
This 10″ Drop-point blade is made of 12C27 Stainless Steel (which I believe is a specialty of Finland); this knife is sharp. As mentioned, I was able to shave a small patch of arm hair quite easily out of the box. That is, after I wiped the cosmoline off with an isopropanol soaked cotton ball. There was a bit of oil inside the sheath too, because after I cleaned it off, sheathed, then unsheathed it, there was a bit more on the tip. We’ll see how long it holds an edge with use, although I plan on keeping this on the hiking backpack.
The first 2.75″ of the blade is unserrated. The next 1.875″ is. The serrations slice through paracord like it was melting butter. I held a piece of 8.5×11″ paper taught and pulled the unserrated portion of the blade across it. There was not a single tear. It sliced through it, again, like a hot knife through melted buttery goodness (which makes me think of lobster…mmmm)

This blade is NOT full tang. It is separated from the butt end (which I’ll get to in a minute) by a Glass-filled nylon with TPV overmolded hilt. It has tiny circles on it, and gives a good grip even when wet (or bloody). The idea behind not being a full tang is that it is electrically insulated. If you click on the LA Police link at the top of this review, there is a story by some sniper in Iraq who cut a hot power cord with one. It arced and wielded a piece of the blade, but the soldier is still alive serving his country. The hilt is quite soft and easy to scratch. I’m betting that after a few months of use its going to be missing some chunks- but I think the strong grip characteristics far outweigh this.

Now to my favorite part of the knife: the butt end. It has a plexi-glass punch, although I’m willing to bet that it will punch through all sorts of glass. Perhaps if I find some spare plexiglass in the garage I’ll put it to the test. But for now, you can view this video, again on Youtube.

The hilt has two holes, and the plexi-punch has a hole for lashing to a spear. I tied it up to one of my hiking poles. The holes are quite a convenience; perfectly shaped for paracord and they are positioned perfectly. It is pretty front-heavy, so I’m assuming it would be good for defense. I wouldn’t want to throw this knife in a survival situation. Not a chance that I’d want to be separated from this tool if TSHTF.
I have enormous hands ( size XL gloves ) and it fits just perfectly in my hand. If I put my thumb on the ridges on the guard, the meat of my palm hits part of the plexi-punch, but it’s against one of the tapered sides– not the point. It wouldn’t be a problem during intricate cutting operations.

Blade is 3/16″ thick, or about 5mm. I’d feel safe prying with it, although I’d personally hold it by the blade during prying, since its not a full tang.

The center of gravity is at about 4″; about 1.5″ below the guard. I don’t know much about throwing knives, but I bet you could learn how to do it with this blade with some practice.
Instruction page 1:

Instruction page 2:

The drop-point blade:

The Kydex Fire-Retardant Sheath:



The glass/zombie skull obliterating plex-punch

Showing the built-in sharpener. There’s a Phillips head screw to remove and clean the angled stones inside:

The Kydex sheath has holes for lashing, and 3/4″ slats for strapping:

Mounting options:
From pistol belt (no thigh strap)

Pistol belt with thigh strap (much more secure on the draw)

From shoulder strap:

On PALS webbing:

On calf:
Check out this bad larry. It's the Timex E Tide Temp watch. Lately I've been trying to get classy, and I'm a geek for functionality. I can't tell you how many comments I've had on this watch. It's huge, and it looks expensive, but it only cost $165.

Best yet, if you buy it from REI, you get  the benefit of the no-questions-asked return policy. I broke one somehow (probably carrying kayaks), and I got a replacement shipped to my door in a few short days.

What makes this watch stand out, beside the fact that it is a half inch thick? Well, for starters it has a thermometer. It never really works. Usually it reads ~98 degrees, which isn't odd because it's on my wrist 24-7. If I take it off and let it come to thermal equilibrium, then it works fine. -1 point, Timex.

So what, you say. Well this thing has a compass built into it. Even my droid has one of these built into it, but since it is mounted on my wrist, it's a badass tool for sea-kayaking. It has a rotating bezel on the outside, which makes it look even more scary. oooooh!

Speaking of sea kayaking, do you like the ocean? Well this sucker has a tide clock built into it. It's set to a rough estimate, and it doesn't take solar gravity or latitude into account, but it stays accurate within 1 hour of tides for about three days. Next stop, Ireland! That saves me from having to consult charts three times a day when I lead kayak tours.

Finally, the watch part... The rubberized band has a red stripe that corresponds to your heading. I have been really fond of tritium illuminated watches (I wore a Maratac Navigator for a long time), but this one just has regular glow-in-the-dark paint  on the hands and ticks. It also displays the date, which is a lifesaver when I write checks to buy hookers. I mean to pay my student loans.

Check it out in person, you might be able to be as classy as me someday.


Why Apple is a lying sack of...

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four gave postwar Americans a taste of what would happen if socialism prevailed over Europe after World War Three. It gained popularity rapidly, and because it was published in 1949, some 35 years before the year 1984 occurred; the storyline of the novel was exploited by Apple Computers for their 1984 release of the Apple Macintosh personal computer. The 1.6 million dollar television commercial was aired during one of the most popular television events in America, and used the tried and true marketing technique of highlighting basic attributes of human community in order to convince the viewer to purchase the unit.
            The television commercial first aired during a break in the third quarter of the 1984 Super Bowl. Owen Linzmayer, in his book The Mac Bathroom Reader, wrote that “A.C. Nielson estimated the commercial reached 46.4 percent of the households in America, a full 50 percent of the nation's men, and 36 percent of the women” (14) . Although no exact source or empirical evidence was cited in his book, the fact that Apple spent $800,000 for the 60-second slot of time and another $800,000 to hire Ridley Scott (director of Black Hawk Down, Gladiator) to develop it gives some substance to his claim. This was one of history's largest marketing developments.
            The commercial begins with a squad of law enforcement officers in full riot gear pursuing an unidentified woman. She is blond, rather busty, and wearing red shorts with a white tank top- a sharp contrast from everybody around her. Except for her, everyone is in uniform. It might be worth noting that she is wielding an enormous sledgehammer. The setting seems to be in some sort of futuristic underground complex, with much of the chase scene taking place in a brightly lit concrete tube. The unnamed heroine reaches the end of the tube and runs into a dark theater filled with seemingly robotic laborers watching a giant face give a speech on a mammoth display. The face on the screen, and even the setting of the theater, is reminiscent of Orwell's Big Brother giving a speech at the “two minutes hate”. She whirls the sledgehammer around in a circular fashion (accompanied by an appropriately lame 80's sound effect) to gain momentum, then lets it sail towards the large projected display with a very feminine grunt. The sledge slams into the face and an explosion of white emits from the projector-like screen, at which point the camera focuses on the dusty crowd of laborers, with gaping mouths of astonishment. The only words in the advertisement are now scrolled and narrated in a strikingly dramatic voice; “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'.”
            This advertisement is typical of Apple Computer's marketing ventures. They appeal to basic senses of identity, image, belonging, and security. Even twenty years later, Apple is still catering to the same appeals—an indication of its marketing strength in the industry.
            In Jib Fowles piece, “Advertising's Fifteen Basic Appeals”, he highlights marketing techniques in use by advertisers, one of them being the need to achieve. The heroine is one tiny blond woman, in the midst of a working army of men- yet she is the only one capable of an act of defiance against the state. This goes to show that people of all shapes, sizes and genders are capable of achieving something huge; it is effective even if only symbolic. This reflects one aspect of American community; the democratic state we live in affords an equal social opportunity to all.
            What of the slack-jawed drones who are seen marching into and then gawking in unison at the Big Brother-like figure in the theater? Their dust covered faces match the dull, gray uniforms they wear. They represent what sociologist Max Weber described as the “disenchantment of the world”. Weber explains that the growing bureaucratic administrations are creating a world that is more interested in the ritualistic process of the business machine rather than the creation of a life with emotional purpose and fulfillment. When the woman breaks the screen in a violent flash of white light, she is literally and figuratively showing the workers the light. What the viewer is to imply from the advertisement is that if he wants to break free from the dull and disenchanted community that has been brought about by globalization, he must buy an Apple Macintosh. The last lines of the advertisement “see why 1984 won't be like '1984'”, direct the viewer to believe that living in an Orwellian dystopian community can be avoided only with the purchase of a Macintosh personal computer unit.
            The Big Brother looking face on the telescreen was supposed to depict Apple's main competitor, the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), who caters computers to the business world. It is important to note that by 1982, IBM controlled the majority of the computing industry. The idea behind hurling the sledgehammer at the screen is to show that the dull, boring life where IBM computers are in the spotlight is about to be crushed by the artsy, entertainment based Macintosh system. In a sense this applies to the watcher's identity. Ted Friedman, professor of communications at Duke University described the commercial as Apple's solution to “combat conformity and assert individuality” in one of his essays (par.4). The advertisement tells the viewer that they have been forced to live in this rigid bureaucratic police state, and the only way to become free from the shackles of rationality is by purchasing a Macintosh computer.
            In some ways this is true- since the Macintosh advertised in the commercial was one of the first publicly available computers to utilize a graphical user interface (GUI). The user of a Macintosh will feel like an expert computer operator, since the GUI allows for point and click operation. Previous text based operating systems required extensive knowledge of thousands of different codes, and the main display on the computer consisted of little more than a green screen with sparse English and dense code. This newly available technology allowed people with little to no knowledge of computers to at least be able to communicate with the system. It makes the user feel as if he belongs to a certain community of intelligent, trendy computer operators- a direct appeal to a person's natural necessity to feel as if they belong to something important.
            Although Apple’s modern advertising campaign is far different then the commercial run during the 1984 Super Bowl, they still maintain a powerful marketing presence in the computing industry. Many of their fans have picked up Apple products because they were successfully marketed as trendy or fashionable- direct appeals to the things that affect people the most; their sense of community belonging. Apple has become the producer of accessories for a flamboyant crowd of trend-whores. Ironically, they are actually contributing to the rationalization and disenchantment of our community.  

Apple's 1984. Dir. Ridley Scott. Apple Computers, 1984.
Behrens, Laurence, and Leonard J. Rosen. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Brief ed.            Pearson Longman, 2007.
Blair, Eric A. Nineteen Eighty Four. London: Secker and Warburg, 1949.
Friedman, Ted. "Apple's 1984." Oct. 1997. Dept. of Comm., Duke U. 07 Feb. 2008             <>.
Linzmayer, Owen. The Mac Bathroom Reader. Sybex Inc, 1994. CurtMedia. 10 Feb. 2008             <>.
Weber, Max. Ancient Palestine: Society and Religion. 1917. Google Books. 20 Feb. 2008             <>.

Kim Jong Il promotes son, Jong Un

It's likely this guy will become the next leader after the Dear Leader kicks it.

If you dont know how psychotic this stuff is getting, check this out. Kim Jong Il's personal chef since the 80's defected to Japan after he saw how crazy things were. Now he's living in hiding, fearful of DPRK asassins. He's done some interviews and even written a few books.

Hopefully (doubtfully) he won't be as psychotic as his father is. I just feel bad for the Korean people...