M31 Andromeda Galaxy (Visible Light) by NASA Goddard Photo. Whenever I see photos like these, I think – that’s one BIG black hole/singularity in the middle, spinning and holding everything together.




If You HAD to Choose

Aston Martin Valhalla production Vs concept. Which is nicer?


German Hand Grenades (historical)

Germany – and Serbia were the only countries that went into WW1 with a proper hand grenade, the Kugelhandgranate M1913, which is a straightforward fragmentation ball with a time fuse.

While the Germans used ball grenades (that burst in all directions), most other nations used a form of stick grenade that looked something like this:

It’s a pétard-raquette, or “the firework stick”.

Germans made some of their own, and this is what led to one of the most recognizable pieces of military hardware that ever saw use on the battlefield.

There’s one redeeming quality in this monstrosity, its handle, allowing for greater throwing range. This was thus adapted in 1915 to a conventional cylindrical warhead fitted with a modern friction time fuse.

The Potato Masher or Toilet Plunger grenade was armed by breaking the paper seal and giving a sharp tug on the cord, which applied friction to the primer allowing you five seconds to throw the thing away. There were disadvantages, not the least of which was its size. Although lighter than the Gugelhupfgrenade (baseball grenade-top) and incorporating the metal hook to fasten it to your belt, carrying more than two was like carrying as many toilet plungers. There is a stick grenade from that era with a ceramic head that looks like a toilet bowl with a contact fuse and a fragmentation sleeve. It passed from use because of a poor blast radius.

In the same year Germany developed a model with a contact fuse, research determined that often, stick grenades landed on the heads of throwers. They also tended to strike the back of the trench troops threw it from, a common accident which also plagued the British No1.

It featured the same spoon-like lever found on French P1 pear grenades.

The Stielhandgranate was upgraded in 1916 and again in 1917, with better more compact explosives, reducing the size of its head for the same if not a superior amount of concussive force.

It’s also in 1916 that it received its screw bottom plug rather than a cheap paper seal to keep the cord safe, with serrations to help the common muddy slippery infantryman.


The assault grenade design became part of the legendary pictures of Sturmtruppen crossing no man’s land, knowing their victory was assured with their trusty explosive toilet plungers. (h/t qsy)


This Article was passed to me. I read it and said to myself, “what’s unusual about that?” I noted some Navy ingenuity, but no more than would be expected from the average swab.


Front Toward Enemy?


  1. I like the meme-of-the-day.
    If I had to choose, knowing nothing about the car, I would choose the production model. The other looks too much like a toy.

    You all be safe and God bless.

  2. The first time I saw Andromeda thought some good lenses I was awestruck. It’s beautiful.

    I had an ultra-liberal “preacher person” agree with me about the original Hebrew meaning of the 6th Commandment. It was about the only thing we agreed on.

    I’d go with the production car. They usually have most of the bugs worked out of them.

    Thanks for the history lesson on hand grenades. I find it interesting to see how things evolved. And it’s a good reference for when TSHTF and we may have to make things by hand.

    Sounds like the Chief had a good Shore Leave.

    Yes, FRONT – TOWARDS ENEMY. I recall hearing stories about the VC sneaking in at night and turning them around…..

  3. Neither of those cars appeals to me, too low, too expensive, (purchase, maintenance, insurance) too cramped, did I say too low? And I would worry too much if it was safe outside of my armored garage…

    • I would have to execute a low crawl to get out of either one of them, this assuming I could get into them in the first place, which is questionable. Could I perhaps have the option for a 1970 Ford Bronco instead, please?

  4. Andromeda: Lots of stars there, I assume plenty of planets too. Life on any of them?
    I wonder.

    Camp Pendleton: Incident report seems kinda sketchy…

    I never saw matched potatoes. Similar maybe. But not identical.

  5. I’m with Cederq. Any knee motion past 90 degrees is a nogo, has been since I first started driving. Well, I’d take the production version and sell/trade it for a mini van or two and a pile of cash.

    Ah, grenades… Blowing up stuff, including the occasional tosser, since the Middle Ages (don’t even get me started on ‘Muh Chyna did it first’ because if they did, they did nothing with it and the Mongols wouldn’t have kicked their butts.) Sadly, there is a serious lack of ability to throw grenades in this current generation, from any country. Too many soy boys and girls.

    As to the current military, I trust the rank and file. The current crop of Flag Officers and Flag Officer-wannabes? Nope. Not a bit. It is more safe to assume that they are the problem and then be surprised when one or two actually are true to their oaths. Like, well, Mattis. What a piece of dog-squeeze. Sure portrayed himself as a general of the people, to only show to be a creature of the deep state way too late.

  6. I enjoy reading Kurt Schlicter’s books about the next Civil War.
    But the military leadership in the books has more integrity than it seems in real life.

  7. On the Aston Martin Valhalla, pardon my density, but I don’t know which is production and which is concept car. I’ll take the one in the top picture, not the white one.

  8. As to actually mashing potatoes, I do Devo. Whip them, whip them good, with a hand mixer. Nice and creamy.

    I contemplated using an actual potato masher (explosive variety) but Mrs. Andrew would be very peeved at the noise, the smells and, of course the damage to the kitchen.

    But whipped potatoes, with butter and pepper and milk, mmmmm…..

  9. Agree with the other old farts, to low for me. The grenades are interesting to see how far, yet not they have come… Re the drunk Marine, are you ‘really’ surprised??? 🙂

  10. Ah yes, the good old “potato masher.” And I’m with beans, I like them whipped, with butter, milk and black ground pepper. Tasty.

  11. Scary to see US politicians and Generals defining the citizens to be the enemy. The US is heading towards an uncertain future.

    I never thought it. But the US looks more like a swedish no-go-zone. Who wants to go there? It only took a few years time to make that happen.

Comments are closed.