Without a doubt smart speakers is the tech industry’s latest trend, where we’re seeing digital assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri move into devices that aren’t smartphones. In fact smart speakers appear to be so popular to the point where some have forecasted that they may very well overtake wearables in popularity this year.
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” So said Dale Carnegie in his 1936 self-improvement classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” That is probably true for a majority of the population — 79 percent like their names, according to a 2013 survey of 1,844 respondents.
Unfortunately, I am in the other 21 percent. I cringe a little whenever I hear someone say my name, and have ever since I was a child. One of my earliest memories is of a lady in a department store asking me my name and bursting out laughing when I said, “Arthur.”
Before you judge that lady, let’s acknowledge that it is actually pretty amusing to meet a little kid with an old man’s name. According to the Social Security Administration, “Arthur” maxed out in popularity back in the ’90s. That is, the 1890s. It has fallen like a rock in popularity since then. I was named after my grandfather, and even he complained that his name made him sound old. Currently, “Arthur” doesn’t even crack the top 200 boys’ names. Since 2013, it has been beaten in popularity by “Maximus” (No. 200 last year) and “Maverick” (No. 85).
One thing I constantly hear from people I meet for the first time is, “I imagined you as being much older.” I don’t take this as flattery, because at 54, I’m really not that young. What they are saying is that they imagined someone about 100 years old. Why? Because people actually tend to look like their names.
In a study last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers placed images of unfamiliar faces in front of participants and asked them to guess the person’s name from a list of four plausible-seeming names. The participants should have guessed correctly 25 percent of the time. Instead, they got it right 38 percent of the time. The researchers found similar results across eight studies.
In case you are wondering, this fact and others make up part of an entire field called “onomastics.” Onomasticians, who are trained in various scholarly subdisciplines, study proper names, and many of their results are fascinating. One of my favorite onomastic studies comes from the economist David Figlio, who found that boys with more feminine-sounding names tend to misbehave disproportionately upon entry to middle school compared with boys with more traditionally masculine names. So if your son is in trouble after beating up another kid, it’s probably your own fault for naming him “Robin.” (His victim is probably named “Arthur,” by the way.)
Another finding of note, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2002, is that people gravitate toward places of residence and occupations that resemble their own names. So, the researchers assert, a higher proportion of men named Louis live in St. Louis than would occur at random, and a lot of people named Dennis or Denise become dentists. It had never occurred to me that there were dark forces at work making me into Arthur the author. It all makes sense now.
One way to attenuate the impact of a name you don’t like is to marry someone with a name that somehow offsets yours — in my case, someone with a name that is a little more up-to-date. But I did the opposite: I married Ester. This was a pretty common name in her native Barcelona in the 1960s, but here in America it mostly predates World War I. To make matters worse, after we married, our first home was Boca Raton, Fla. We were aggressively pursued by telemarketers for burial plots and Medigap insurance.
I once heard that to have an aversion to a name is a condition called “nomomisia.” I suppose you would say I suffer from autonomomisia. Yes, I am an autonomomisist.
Still, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Like everything else in life, it could be a lot worse. Years ago, my mother and I were talking about all this. I asked her about her second choice for my name. How about David? “David Brooks” has a nice ring to it. After all, “David” was the second most popular boys’ name the decade I was born and was also my beloved father’s name. She thought about it for a minute and said, “Well, we thought about naming you Chester.”
You know, on second thought, Arthur’s not so bad.
The increasing popularity of electric vehicles may create a crunch for supplies of cobalt in the early-to-mid 2020s, miners and analysts say, adding that small operators trying to start up mines outside Africa could play a bigger role over time in satisfying demand for the metal used in rechargeable batteries. FILE PHOTO: A man prepares to drive a Totem-Mobi electric car-sharing vehicle parked at a charging station in Marseille, France March 6, 2018.
Some refer to the star pattern often used among Native American peoples, in recognition of the importance of the star in tribal culture. Other reports point to the star pattern rising in popularity during the Western settlement, when pioneers from the East …
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- In recent years there has been this massive cry for innovation from the shooting community but when something that might qualify as innovative hits the market it often seems to be ignored.
Author’s note: Since I am a heavy handgun shooter, this article is centered on handguns, not rifles.
When I was writing the review on the Grand Power K100 MK12 I got to thinking about how pistols like the Grand Power are ignored by most gun buyers and Glock remains one of the best selling pistols on the market. There seems to be no real rhyme or reason for the abandonment of firearms that are outside the norm other than people being reasonably ingrained in their ways.
You see the same when it comes to accessories that enhance a pistol’s capabilities. All too often things like high output weapon lights and red dot sights are ignored for whatever reason. You will hear objections to these performance enhancing accessories like “Anymore than 200 lumens will blind you if you shine it on a wall” or “The batteries will die and I might get kilt in the streets.”
Funny enough the same objections were made when red dots on rifles started becoming commonplace, I don’t hear any of the same objections when it comes to long gun red dots or high output lights on a rifle. I guess the shooting community just needs to warm up to the idea of innovative accessories that enhance the performance of your gun.
Tell me what your thoughts are on the aforementioned pistol mounted red dots and 600 to 1,000-lumen pistol lights? What are your concerns?
So back to innovation in pistols. I have compiled a short list of firearms that could be considered as innovative that were launched in the last several decades. I tried to limit the time frame to the last several decades and not dive into anything that might be considered historical. Some of the guns on the list are still in production but seem to have rather low sales numbers.
I do want to note that not all of the pistols mentioned below are good firearms, they just had some innovative features.
Steyr M Series:
The Styer M series of pistols arguably laid the groundwork for the Sig P320, Beretta APX, Remington RP, and other pistols that have a removable chassis system. While the M series doesn’t reap the benefits of serializing the chassis, it is removable and can be transferred to another firearm.
So why does the M series not get any love? It is a wonderful pistol by all accounts and is just as reliable as you would expect a modern pistol to be. My guess? Steyr failed to market the pistol properly in America when it was launched in the early 2000’s and never was able to recover. The gun is popular with shooters that I might describe as gun hipsters and saw very limited adoption as a service weapon. Unfortunately, the popularity seems to end there as best as I can tell.
The Medusa M47 was able to shoot over a hundred different cartridges according to Ian and by that respect was rather innovative. How were they able to get such a wide range of calibers? Phillips & Rogers developed a cylinder with small spring loaded fingers that held the cartridges in place.
Ian even gets into the issue as to why innovative guns fail at the 5:11 mark in the above video. Only about 500 of these innovative guns made it into circulation before Phillips & Rogers closed their doors forever. Sadly no one has revived the design and the innovative cylinder died.
Arsenal Firearms Strike One:
While the locking system in the Arsenal Firearms Strike One wasn’t new, it was innovative when applied to a polymer pistol. The unique locking block that was reminiscent of the Bergman action keeps the bore of the pistol extremely low and makes the pistol very flat shooting.
I am not going to harp too much on why the pistol failed on its first go here in the US but will simply say that the importer that had exclusive rights to the Strike One in the USA did an awful job promoting the gun and getting it into gun shops. I have only seen one Strike on in person and that happens to be the gun that I own, that should tell you something.
Now the Strike One design is being revived as the compact Archon Firearms Type B to be released later this year. Archon also plans to offer a full-size gun that is more reminiscent of the original Strike One pistol as a Type A at some point, but no word as to when that might happen.
Heckler Koch VP70:
The Heckler Koch VP70 was the first pistol to use polymer as a frame material, beating the Glock 17 to market by over a decade. For whatever reason, the VP70 just wasn’t appreciated by the shooting public. It was introduced in 1970 so you could argue that the pistol was facing some pretty stiff skepticism as a result of the M16’s abysmal initial performance in Vietnam.
Other than the material used for the frame, there wasn’t much else that was revolutionary about the VP70. Sure, there was a spring-loaded striker, but let’s face it, that has been done before. The stock that turns it into a machine pistol? The Mauser Schnellfeuer 712 already kinda did something similar.
The pistol wasn’t really adopted by anyone and as best as I can tell was largely overlooked in the gun shops during its production run.
Taurus 180 Curve:
The 180 Curve is sort of innovative and sort of not. While the outside shape is different than just about any other gun on the market, it is basically a Taurus TCP shoved in a curved frame. The gun might have been rightfully ignored, but it did take a novel approach to the struggles of trying to hide a gun with tight clothing like yoga pants or something of the like.
While there have been some guns that have changed the market as we know it like the Glock, HK USP, AR-15, the Henry Repeating Rifle, the Gatling Gun, Maxim Gun, etc. The success of the Hudson H9 tells me that there is some hope for innovative design in today’s marketplace, but how much?
Why is it that so many interesting and serviceable firearms are left to rot in the dark corners of the gun case?
Are gun buyers serious about wanting to add guns to their safe that are truly innovative or are they just looking for something to talk about?
Tell me what you think.
About Patrick R.
Patrick is a firearms enthusiast that values the quest for not only the best possible gear setup, but also pragmatic ways to improve his shooting skills across a wide range of disciplines. He values truthful, honest information above all else and had committed to cutting through marketing fluff to deliver the truth. You can find the rest of his work on FirearmRack.com as well as on the YouTube channel Firearm Rack or Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.
“Kim Jong Un is just trying to buy time now.” But recent polls suggest opinion is beginning to shift. A survey by the Korea Research Center in the days after the historic inter-Korean summit showed that 77.5 percent of the 1,023 respondents said they …
Palais de Tokyo in Paris, invited guests for a clothing-free event. Indeed, visitors were allowed to peruse the gallery naked for the day.
According to the report, guests arrived clothed, but had the option to check their clothing at the cloakroom. In order to keep from startling other visitors, the naked affair took place before the museum opened to the public. Staff, fully clothed, were reportedly available to answer any questions that the naked visitors had.
The event is significant because it was the first time a Paris museum welcomed nudists. It is unclear if other famous museums like The Louvre Palace will follow, but last summer in Paris city officials reserved a space for naturists to enjoy themselves in an open grassy space in the Bois de Vincennes park. It was open daily from August 31 to October 15, 2017.
Like anything involving nudity and art, the symbolism behind the event was much more than simply wanting to go to a museum naked.
“Putting on clothing, or an armor, it’s a statement,” Vincent Simonet, a 42-year-old singing teacher who attended the event, told the New York Times. “Today, nudism is seen as a statement, but really it’s the opposite, it should be seen as a pure state.”
As for the New York Times’ reporter, Thomas Rogers suggested, being nude was a little bit of a distraction from the art.
“As for me, I was inclined to revisit the exhibition, especially its more political works, in a clothed context, when I wouldn’t have to worry about feeling insensitive,” he wrote.
The most uncomfortable part of the experience for him was feeling cold though, not exposed.
“A half-hour into the first nudist tour of the Palais de Tokyo, a contemporary art museum in Paris, I had gotten used to the feeling of exposure, but I hadn’t acclimatized to the cold air circulating through the cavernous galleries,”Rogers wrote.
In the U.S., checking your clothes at the door in the name of art has become a form of protest. In June 2017, over one hundred people went to Times Square, took off all their clothes, and painted a unique message across each of their chests to promote various messages of body acceptance.
“I think that human expression is something that is so important and it’s lacking in society today. It helps us to be together and to feel connected as a community, but there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to do it,” said Matthew "Levee" Chavez, the creator of Subway Therapy, which gained national popularity after the election and inspired the naked event in Times Square.
Nudism does appear to be making a comeback around the world. The American Association for Nude Recreation is hosting a Nude Recreation Week from July 9 – 14 this summer, and the first ever International Skinny Dip Day on July 14.
(Second column, 5th story, link)
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