October 8th, 2007

KNM Norge at full speed trials

(no subject)

For anyone despairing about how all the cords associated with computers somehow seem to tangle themselves all on their own, be assured that science is looking into it: Science Daily: Physicists Tackle Knotty Puzzle. It is actually a fascinating article, and less whimsical that it sounds from the title. It also touches on reasons for why umbilical cords between mother and fetus rarely tangle, and a bit on how knots also apply to DNA.

In other news, I may have neglected to mention that a few weeks ago, I bought a sword. I was apprehensive before the sword arrived, as it is in the lower price range, but it turned out to be a good one. No rattling, and it looks right, with no "bling" (for lack of a better word) like one sees a bit too often on lower price swords. The blade is flexible, and looks sharp without actually being sharp (important for me, as I intend to use it when at work at the Viking museum - it simply won't do to accidentally slice open guests). The one thing with this sword that isn't wholly up to snuff is the scabbard, but one gets what one pays for - I'm informed that a truly good scabbard would probably come in the 200-300$ price range. The present scabbard is serviceable enough until I can get a proper one, in any case.

ETA: Now, I'm fully aware that the description of the sword contains quite a lot of nonsense - for instance, Ulfberht wasn't Nordic; the name probably originally was the name of a Frankish bladesmith from the Rhineland, whose workshop produced such good swords that it survived to use the name Ulfberht as a trademark for more than two centuries, and was pirate-copied as well in that time. The actual sword sold on that (and other) websites is pretty good, though, and it is based on a real sword, found probably in Spain and featured on pages 124-125 of Ian Peirce's book "Swords of the Viking Age". Now I do think the inlays on the sword I bought aren't laid in in the same way as on the original, but it is still pretty good. The producer Windlass Steelcrafts apparently has a good reputation in this price-range, beaten only by Generation 2 - but those tend to produced with razor-sharp blades, which of course is impractical when in cramped confines filled with paying guests.