It’s Tuesday, December 24th.
As usual we bring you news and information and stuff from around the world.
Today we hear that the gun world has lost one of it;s father.
News flying around has it that Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man who designed the AK-47, a weapon that has killed more people than any other thing on earth is dead. He died at 94.
Mikhail Kalashnikov invented the AK-47 in his 20s.
The AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova and 47 stands for 1947, the year it was invented. It can also stand for Automatic Kalashnikov 1947.
It is one of the most widely used rifles in the world today
10 Things About Mikhail Kalashnikov
1. An image of the Kalashnikov appears on Mozambique’s national flag as a symbol of the country’s struggle for independence from Portugal, its former colonial master.
2. In some African countries the name “Kalash”, short for Kalashnikov, is a common boy’s name.
3. The AK-47 has only eight moving parts, can be broken down and reassembled in 30 seconds and will work in conditions that would render many other small arms inoperable.
4. In his youth, Mikhail Kalashnikov dreamed of becoming a poet and wrote poetry his entire life. “There are many bad poets out there without me,” he said 2009. “I went along a different path.”
5. While he was always proud of his invention, he once said he wished he had invented something that farmers could use, such as a lawnmower.
6. While he never made any money directly out of his invention, in his later life Kalashnikov franchised his name to makers of vodka, umbrellas and pocket knives.
7. Kalashnikovs are often handed out as part of the traditional compensation process in Yemen. Earlier this month, 101 AK-47s were given out to relatives of those killed in a US drone strike on a wedding convoy.
8. In 2004, Playboy magazine placed the AK-47 fourth on its list of Fifty Products that Changed the World. It was ranked less important than the Apple Mac desktop computer, the Pill, and the Sony Betamax video machine, and more influential than breast implants, crack cocaine and the Big Mac.
9. Rapper Lil Wayne has a hit with his song AK-47, and Tupac Shakur had one of the guns tattooed on his stomach. A popular song in Sudan ran: “Can’t get no cash? / You’re trash without a Kalash”.
10. Estimates put production of the AK-47 and its derivatives at 70 to 100 million.
20 Facts You May Not Know About AK-47
1. Mikhail Kalashnikov, who was a tank commander during World War II, began his career as a weapons designer after a shoulder injury during the Battle of Bryansk. While in hospital in 1942, he overheard wounded soldiers complaining about Soviet rifles and decided to change that.
2. The first Kalashnikov rifle was produced in 1947, bringing its creator the Stalin Prize and the Order of the Red Star. The AK-47 has been the standard issue assault rifle of the Soviet and then Russian army since 1949.
3. Durability, low production cost, availability and ease of use are the features, which assured AK-47 global success. Kalashnikov’s creation performs in sandy or wet conditions that jam more sophisticated weapons. The designer called it a “symbol of the creative genius” of the Russian people.
4. The AK-47 has made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the most widely spread weapon in the world, with 100 million Kalashnikov rifles currently in use.
5. Military and special forces in 106 countries around the globe from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe are now armed with AK-47s.
6. Russia not only distributes the Kalashnikov rifles all over the world, but also licensed its production in over 30 other countries, including China, Israel, India, Egypt and Nigeria.
7. It is believed that AK-47s have caused more deaths than artillery fire, airstrikes and rocket attacks combined. An estimated quarter of a million people are gunned down by bullets from Kalashnikovs every year.
8. But Mikhail Kalashnikov himself never experienced self-reproach about the blood spilled with the help of his invention as he created AK-47 for protection. “I sleep well. It’s the politicians, who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence,” he said in 2007.
9. Relative cheapness has always been one of the most important advantages of AK-47. The average global price of the assault rifle was estimated at $534 in 2005, according to Oxford University economist Phillip Killicoat. Though in African countries the price of AK-47 is on average $200 cheaper.
10. Osama bin Laden always had a Kalashnikov rifle with him during his video appearances. According to some reports, it was the US, which gave the Al Qaeda founder his first AK-47 to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
11. During the Vietnam War, many American soldiers gave up their M16s for the more reliable Kalashnikov rifles, which they picked up from dead enemies. Even now, the US marines carry AK-47 magazines with them because of how common the weapon is.
12. The image of AK-47 appears on the flag of Mozambique as well as coats of arms of Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso (1984-97) and East Timor. The Kalashnikov rifle is also present on the flag of Lebanese militant organization, Hezbollah.
13. The parents in some African states name their babies ‘Kalash,’ which is another nickname for the Kalashnikov assault rifle, according to a documentary by Russia’s Channel One.
14. Russia’s top basketball player, Andrey Kirilenko, born in the city of Izhevsk, which hosts the Kalashnikov rifle factory, has played under No.47 in the NBA and was nicknamed ‘AK-47.’
15. Egypt has immortalized the AK-47 by erecting a giant monument, portraying a barrel and bayonet of a Kalashnikov rifle at the Sinai Peninsula.
16. A gold coated Kalashnikov assault rifle was recovered by US troops from the weapon collection of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein.
17. Coins dedicated to Mikhail Kalashnikov and his creation were issued not only in Russia, but also in such a peaceful place as New Zealand, which marked the rifle’s 60th birthday with special two-dollar pieces. They came in cases shaped after the AK-47 magazine.
19. Mixing vodka, absinth, lemon, cinnamon and sugar is the recipe for the Kalashnikov shot drink. There’s also a Kalashnikov vodka brand, which has been sold in bottles resembling the shape of an AK-47 since 2004.
20. Colombian artist, Cesar Lopez, has transformed a dozen of AK-47s into guitars, with then UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, getting one of the musical instruments as a gift in 2007.