Welcome to the online journal of larvatus. Stable texts are open to the general public. Squibs and sallies, schemes and stratagems, jaunts and taunts, are restricted to friends. Please note that locked texts subject to third party copyright are provided to my friends under the doctrine of fair use, subject to implied consent by all their readers to abstain from redistribution. Reciprocal friendship shall be extended to all sane, sound, and disinterested personae. Comments and critique are always welcome. Marriage proposals and death threats shall be entertained in the order received.
    The House Rules are few and lax. All anonymous comments are initially screened. They shall be revealed or answered at your host’s discretion. All signed comments are initially presumed welcome, until and unless they cause an affront to your host. Thereupon their author shall become banned from further contributions to this journal. Otherwise, anything goes.
                        SAY WHAT?

                                                                                         ÇA ?
                                                                      Tristan Corbière

A treatise? You don’t say! I haven’t treated squat!
A study? Slothful wretch, my culture fetid rot.
A volume? Random heap, sheets stacked in disarray.
Good copy? Not with me enmired in the fray.

A poem? Not today, my lyre is being cleaned.
A book? Of fusty tomes far better to be weaned.
A song? Would that it were, my ear is made of tin.
Fun pastime? Sordid den, dire boredom dwells within.

A cadence? Rhythmic flow is broken by dull grind.
A product? I divide what others multiplied.
A story? Handicapped, my lame and laggard Muse.
Clear proof? My mind is fraught by grief and lit by booze.

High fashion? Wealth and style inform nowhere my dress.
Grandstanding or grand mal? My spasms fail to impress.
Evicted from the hall, I lurk behind the stage,
In transit, poised to choose: a joy house or a cage.

Too old? But to retire, my tenure won’t suffice.
Too young? My hectic life will rid me of this vice.
A sage, a slob, an ace, a master, and a clown,
A stud without a flock, a king without a crown.

THIS is without pretense, and yet a blatant pose.
It’s life and nothing but, confessed in deathless prose.
A masterpiece? Could be, I never made one yet!
A farce? A waste? A bomb? Decide and place your bet!

I bet… and I shall sign herewith my humble name;
My child shall overcome each tainted libel claim.
Through chance it will prevail, its fate a stroke of luck
Art knows me not at all — and I don’t give a fuck.

                      — traduced by MZ, 6 September 2005

free counters

for the anonymous troll

Over sixteen twenty years online, I have received a broad spectrum of threats and pitches, and entertained a commensurate range of slurs and plaudits. This experience has crystallized two iron laws of online communications.

The first law is a corollary of Occam’s razor. No matter what you are promised or threatened on the Internet, the most you will get out of it is oral ministrations. In other words, there is no downside in moving virtual bluster to realspace. Yonder puffed-out sock puppet is as unlikely to escalate its verbiage to physical damage, as the heiress of an African potentate, to bestow her commission upon Americans paying their facilitation fees. By contrast, that virtual fellatrix yearning to reward your eloquence with expert suction may well come through as promised, especially if you overlook minor discrepancies ranging from mien to gender.

The second law of Internet intercourse is a corollary of the first. Only a clueless newbie responds personally to an anonymous troll. To illustrate its application, whenever one of the latter kind feels the urge to share its thoughts about anything but one of the former, it should take them instead to someone who can relate to its bogus persona. It makes no difference whether a figment of this sort touts itself as a public intellectual in mufti, or poses as a skank that services barnyard livestock for spare change. In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.

A final notice to the insistent incognito. When you surpass words in punishing my excesses, make sure that your hostile deeds leave me unfit to retaliate. My reckoning will define the remainder of your life. It’s happened to your betters before. Don’t let it happen to you.

i can’t even

In 1299, King Edward I of England ordered the sheriffs of Salop and Stafford to prohibit any one “from tourneying, tilting . . . or jousting, or making assemblies, or otherwise going armed within the realm without the king’s special licen[s]e.”

Some 18½ years after authorizing torture in the service of the War on Terror, Jay Bybee relied on this royal order yesterday in George K. Young v. State of Hawaii, to gainsay the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on behalf of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:

“The government may regulate, and even prohibit, in public places—including government buildings, churches, schools and markets—the open carrying of small arms capable of being concealed, whether they are carried concealed or openly.”

You know what else King Edward I of England ordered? Nine years earlier, on 18 July 1290, in one of the final so-called great statutes of his reign, he issued a royal decree expelling Jews from England.

Imagine the degree of judicial sophistication required to attribute more authority over today’s Americans to the former, than the latter edict.

the joys of approximation

In stark contrast to rightwing claims, 93% of demonstrations have involved no serious harm to people or property.
— Lois Beckett, “Nearly all Black Lives Matter protests are peaceful despite Trump narrative, report finds”, The Guardian, Saturday 5 September 2020

In related humanitarian developments, Sherlock Holmes’ 7% solution is nearly drug-free:
“Which is it to-day?” I asked,—“morphine or cocaine?”
He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume which he had opened. “It is cocaine,” he said,—“a seven-per-cent. solution. Would you care to try it?”
“No, indeed,” I answered, brusquely. “My constitution has not got over the Afghan campaign yet. I cannot afford to throw any extra strain upon it.”
He smiled at my vehemence. “Perhaps you are right, Watson,” he said. “I suppose that its influence is physically a bad one. I find it, however, so transcendently stimulating and clarifying to the mind that its secondary action is a matter of small moment.”
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four, 1890

korth revolvers and rebounding hammers

Korth revolvers feature the peculiar German implementation of the rebounding hammer, an international design that dates back at least to William Bardell and William Powell from Aston, Birmingham, with patent No. 2287 of 6 September 1866. However, Wolverhampton lockmaker John Stanton takes the credit for the type of rebounding lock found on most hammer guns encountered nowadays, as refined in three of his designs. The first, No. 49 of 8 January 1867, received only provisional protection and used an external spring to lift the hammer to half-cock. Very shortly after this Stanton secured a second patent, No. 367 of 9 February 1867, in which the return of the hammer to half-cock by the mainspring is achieved by lengthening one limb of the mainspring at the top in a bar-action lock and the bottom in a back-action lock, off which the tumbler bounces. This design was widely adopted, appearing in both new guns and as conversions to existing locks. In his third patent, No. 3774 of 30 December 1869, Stanton reverses the location of the projections on the mainspring limbs for bar-action and back-action locks, adding a characteristic curve to the end of the spring. But it was Daniel B. Wesson’s and James H. Bullard’s U.S. patent 198,228 of 18 December 1877, adapted specifically to “revolving fire-arms”, that served as the pattern for numerous subsequent designs.

While the British (e.g. Webley Mk I and its descendants), American (e.g. Colt M1889, S&W M1896, and their descendants), Swiss (e.g. M1872 and its descendants), and French (e.g. Manurhin MR73) rebounding hammer designs rest the face of the hammer on the frame when the trigger is pulled back all the way, allowing the firing pin to protrude from the breech, the German designs realized in the Walther PP and P38 autopistol, the ERMA ER777 revolver, and indeed every Korth revolver produced to date, leave a gap between the face of the hammer and the rear end of the frame-mounted firing pin, relying on the inertia of the hammer to transmit the energy stored in the mainspring to the firing pin, and thence, to the primer. When the hammer is released either in single or double action, the firing pin may fail to travel far enough past the breach to strike the primer. By holding back the trigger after the hammer releases, it should be possible to push the hammer spur further forward to make the firing pin extend past the breach. However, with the hammer strut and mainspring at full extension, the momentum of the falling hammer may not suffice to propel the firing pin all the way forward, resulting in light strikes. Given that the design of the revolver fixes the span of the mainspring compression by cocking the hammer in single and double action alike, the only solution is to increase the energy stored therein by upgrading its spring rate.

My tweets

  • Sun, 23:53: RT @daphnekylee: Learned a very relatable term today: “報復性熬夜” (revenge bedtime procrastination), a phenomenon in which people who don’t hav…
  • Sun, 23:54: Thus Chinese sloth meets Jewish guilt. Confucius say: relax and enjoy it.
  • Sun, 23:56: Jews be like: “What have the Romans ever done for us?” So here is what we’ve done to the Romans, never mind the Gre…