Saturday, September 14, 2013

New report scales back global warming:

AlGore and the Hysterics hardest hit.
Very short version: "Oh my, we were wrong, but THERE'S STILL GLOBAL WARMING!"

Now this would be interesting to be part of:
Researchers are to go into battle using replica Bronze Age weapons to help them understand how people at the time fought.

Using imitation swords, axes, spears and shields, researchers at Newcastle University are to recreate Bronze Age combat.

The weapons will then be studied using sophisticated use-wear analysis techniques to see how the marks and damage compares with Bronze Age weapons in museum collections.
One of my first thoughts is answered in the article: they are using shields; as with bronze you'd be even more interested in not beating your weapons against each other than you would be with iron or steel, that bodes well for the research.

That's one of the things that annoyed hell out of me in the Lord of the Rings trilogy: seeing the Rohirrim ride into battle with their damned shields slung on the horses instead of being on their arm where they belonged.

It wasn’t ever seriously in doubt, but the FBI yesterday acknowledged that it secretly took control of Freedom Hosting last July, days before the servers of the largest provider of ultra-anonymous hosting were found to be serving custom malware designed to identify visitors.
Supposedly to try to track kiddie porn traffickers; however, being as out of trust as I am, I'm wondering what else they may have been doing, and to who?

Back to that shields thing:
Big constant in most every society that had swords was shields: the shield to defend, freeing the sword for attack.  Yes, you can kill with a shield and otherwise use it as a weapon but its primary purpose is to protect you so you can try to subdivide the other guy with your sword.

There's another purpose there, too: blocking a sword or axe-stroke with your sword is bad for its health.  Best you can hope for is a nick in the edge, and it goes downhill from there: small nick or BIG nick or crack or break.  So for most of the history of swords you made a point of not using it to block the other guys' blade.

Somewhere I have a magazine that includes a bit from a norse saga about a chief who took some men to a meeting with another chief.  Took along as part of his group a younger guy(about 17-18 as I recall) who was related.  During the course of the meet the young guy and a man from the other group took a serious dislike to each other and a challenge to duel was offered and accepted.

As a mark of 'This is my man' the chief loaned the kid his own sword.  The kid won, but near the end did use the sword to block the other guys stroke, and nicked the blade.  The chief congratulated him on his victory, then tore a strip off him for damaging his sword, 'especially since you could better have sidestepped to avoid the blow than block it.'

The things you pick up over time...

1 comment:

Phelps said...

It's also what made axe men so daunting, as well. They really don't care that much about the axe edge, because it is as much a smashing weapon, and they often carried a second axe (or a two handed axe) in lieu of a shield, on the idea that you spent 100% if your time attacking, forcing the sword and board guy to spend 100% of his time blocking.