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And don't use a gun for home improvement

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A careless American who blew a hole in his wall attempting to install a satellite dish managed to shoot his wife dead in the process. The news provoked arguments over just what kind of flimsy walls would allow this and which tools would have been a better choice:

Readers outside the US may not be aware of this, but the gun manufacturers have a sideline of powder-actuated nail insertion devices.

Basically it's a .22 cartridge which is put into either a contrivance which then fires the nail into whatever it is you are nailing. Different powder loads for different materials - I imagine your nail goes really deep if you use a concrete load on a wood surface.

Anyway, I wonder if this guy gained inspiration for his idea from this extraordinary piece of hardware. In fairness, apart from the consequences, it did apparently work.

Duncan Ellis


The tool is called a "Ram-set" (someone's trade name) and it works wonderfully well. I used one when I was building a small house - it would put a 25mm hardened steel nail right through a steel base channel and all the way into fully cured poured concrete. Bang. Bang. Bang. One bang = one nail all the way in. Think of it as a stapler for concrete. And yes, they are dangerous if not used correctly (safety glasses, gloves, and RTFM!!)

Miami Mike


Houses in America are indeed largely made of wood, with plasterboard inside and wood paneling (or vinyl) called siding.

It's entirely possible for a .22 to penetrate this flimsy construction and still have enough oomph to kill a person. .22 Calibre weapons are not air rifles, and a .22 pistol is more than capable of completing the task of knocking a hole through a US home.

One caveat, older cities - and by that I mean those colonised and constructed by the British - have brick houses.

Surprisingly, even in places like Alaska, these wood homes are sufficiently insulated to stay warm enough for most people. My own home is 30 years old and at the cost of around 80 quid a month during 6 months of winter (at least 2 weeks per month the temperature drops below -20 C) it stays comfortably at around 68-70 degrees F.

Unsurprisingly they have a lot more problems with houses catching fire. And apparently with idiots shooting their wives through walls.

Andy Bright


Having just decorated my back room, including laying a wooden floor (don't get me started), I can sympathise with wanting to shoot off handguns because everything isn't going your way. I live in the UK however, so I am glad that I can't own a weapon of this kind. I would have shot things if I had a loaded weapon next to me.

Fraser


The obvious question is what the hell does the guy use to put Rawlplugs in ? A crossbow ?

Anonymous Coward


A couple of years back, whilst in an indoor "range" (actually a ballroom) I had a go of a friend's compound bow. Never shot one before then though, oh, and I'd been drinking. A little.

Didn't get the hang of the trigger release so I mis-shot the thing at half-draw and put an arrow over a foot through an internal supporting wall. Could easily have fitted a rawlplug in that, if anyone had still been standing or willing to come anywhere near me until I put the bow down that was.......

Lee


The Register went on an exclusive guided tour of Heathrow's new Terminal 5 facilities. It turned out that the airport's design places a heavy emphasis on shopping since, as one BAA executive put it, "This airport has cost us over £4bn - we'd like to make that money back". There were also plans to fingerprint all passengers for security reasons - plans which have now foundered (see below) - and this predicatably brought out your ire:

"The walls of the double-glazed play area are magnetised - you can wrap them in a belt with a bit of metal in it and peg them up."

Lean up against them while your kids play. Then try and go for a relaxing massage or a bottle of cheap whisky to dull the pain, only to find out your credit cards are demagnetized? Someone's gonna get beaten to death.

Anonymous Coward


So, the Terminal sees Human Beings as Human Beings? The technologically advanced, all seeing, all knowing Terminal sees us, collects our fingerprints, checks our baggage, and determines that we are unworthy, "inferior meatbags". It watches while we succumb, with a typical biological lack of willpower, to the advertising and commercial brainwashing scattered all around It's facilities. It learns about us. Anyone else find this disturbing? Also, anyone else find the similarity between The Terminal and The Terminator a little distressing?

Skynet is born, and it is a shopping centre with airplanes! Run!!

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean the Terminal isn't out to get me!!

Black helicopter because they will be landing there too

Dr. Mouse


The secret to Terminal 5, they told us, is that it will treat human beings "like human beings".

Err.... surely some mistake ? The secret to Terminal 5, they told us, is that it will treat human beings "like criminals".

Anonymous Coward


Regardless of the privacy issues, look forward to lots of delayed flights where people check-in, have their baggage sent off then can't get into the boarding lounge because the fingerprint reader doesn't recognise the previously scanned finger. I am sure I am not alone in having fingers which refuse to scan reliably regardless of the scanning technology. I have been to a number of security exhibitions where manufactures boast of their incredibly low failure rates and have yet to find one which will match me against a previous scan without at least 5 attempts. I can forsee endless trouble if they introduce the ID card.

JassMan

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