Monthly Archives: February 2014

U.S. Government solicits bids for 1,500 combat knives

Gerber’s Combat Fixed Blade is one of the knives the U.S. government is looking to purchase. | (Courtesy gerbergear.com)

The U.S. Government is soliciting bids for nearly 1,500 combat knives to be filled by small businesses.

According to solicitations on FedBizOpps.gov website, the federal government is looking to buy two types of knives: First, 982 full-tang, partially-serrated knives and second,  574 Aircrew Survival Egress Knives.

The response date for both solicitations are Feb. 13, 2014.

The Aircrew Survival Egress Knife, developed by the Ontario Knife Company, is the survival knife for Army aviation units. In a period between June 2004 to May 2005, the Army bought almost 12,000 of these knives, which suggests this solicitation of nearly 600 survival knives is something of a routine purchase.

The other solicitation for the full-tang, partially-serrated knives was interesting to me because the design of of the knives are elegant. Digging deeper into this solicitation on the Defense Logistics Agency’s Internet Bid Board System, it seems like the bid is between Gerber and Benchmade.

Both knives are made with 154-CM steel. Both sport a black finish. Both are partially-serrated.

However, Benchmade’s 140SBK Nimravus is slightly thinner and longer. It’s a drop-point blade with an aluminum handle.

Gerber’s CFB sports a tanto blade with a rubberized handle.

The differences between the two knives seems small. If you were in a combat situation, would you prefer one knife over the other? Why?

Feel free to comment below.

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Crumbs of The Internet No. 5: Pussy Riot, Demon Possession and Storytelling

'Pussy Riot Putin' photo (c) 2012, AK Rockefeller - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As I wrote this post, I’m sitting in a crowded Starbucks shop. I’ve been spending a lot of time in coffee shops this week, mostly trying to work through writing.

I would interview sources and ask very dumb questions. I collected too much information. And now, as I work on getting the rough draft of this story into something I would be okay showing another human being, I find myself working against writers block.

I attribute all of this to this one article by Poynter: What you can learn about video storytelling from the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial [Video]. Al Tomkins goes shot by shot through Budwiser’s commercial, “Puppy Love,” and shows why it’s a good story. Although he talks towards people telling stories through video, us scribblers can learn a thing or two.

You’d think crafting a story with all of the elements described in the video would be simple, but no. Gotta work with the material that’s given you, and it’s hard to compete with puppies and horses.

Another piece of “inspiration” I found was this video of Malcolm Gladwell in which he describes the strategies underdogs can use to succeed. And that’s why I’m pulling longer hours in coffee shops these last few days.

It’s purely coincidental that I read two stories about demon possession this week. The first one comes from Esquire Magazine where it profiles an exorcist in the Catholic Church.  On its own, the story is mildly interesting, but don’t you ever wonder why demon possession is never documented? Most of those accounts boil down to hearsay.

But the story in the Indianapolis  Star titled “The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons has some weight to it: it cites medical documents, third party witnesses. After reading, it’s hard to form an opinion about it afterwards. The comments at the end of this GetReligion blog post helped.

Let’s end this post with a true longform piece by Buzzfeed about the band Pussy Riot. The piece doesn’t just explain the origins of the “band” and why it’s music is almost nonexistant. It continues deeper to explore the connection of the Orthodox Church and government in Russia, and to explain the culture of Russia.

Now, if I can only write a longform piece like that…

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Crumbs of the Internet is a weekly post where I link to some of the interesting stories I read online over the last week. 

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