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188 comments

It's made of magic (0, Redundant)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649358)

Pratchett said he had thrown in "several pieces of meteorites — thunderbolt iron, you see — highly magical, you’ve got to chuck that stuff in whether you believe in it or not". Pratchett has stored the sword in a secret location, apparently concerned about the authorities taking an interest in it.

Re:It's made of magic (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649374)

Pratchett has stored the sword in a secret location, apparently concerned about the authorities taking an interest in it.

Knife Crime.

Re:It's made of magic (0)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649908)

It is a knife or to be more exact oversized dagger, not a sword.

The balance is wrong. With a sword you need to be able to chop which requires the sword to have at least some weight towards the end so you can put a good whack onto your opponent. Otherwise it does not have enough energy to chop through armour or let's say chop a hand off.

That is why roman, greek and other armies who faught with a similar size short blades had leaf-shaped blades with the thin end on the hilt side.

Re:It's made of magic (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650052)

With a sword you need to be able to chop

Wrong [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's made of magic (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651080)

But rapiers were very specialized for a certain way of fighting/dueling that was in vogue with young noble men. They didn't were armor and in a lot of ways it was more about form and style than it was about killing efficiency. The statement does hold true for swords except for the very specialized ones like the rapier.

Re:It's made of magic (5, Informative)

thoromyr (673646) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651542)

Some rapiers were *very* stylized (the ridiculous blade lengths that became popular among courtiers, for example). But "deep bellied" or "broad bladed tip" designs are not the only form for effectual swords and chopping is not very efficient for defeating armor, thrusting is. And for thrusting a triangular blade is desired.

One place to start educating yourself about swords and the various types is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakeshott_typology [wikipedia.org]

You will notice that Type X "taper toward the tip" rather than becoming broader. Or the Type XII which is improved for thrusting. Or the Type XIII which, while not especially adapted for thrusting, fails to have the "broad toward the tip" design you aver is the only functional sword type. Note when and how common this sword type was.

In fact, you won't find much in the way of sword blade types meeting those limited criteria.

Re:It's made of magic (2, Informative)

Azarael (896715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650220)

It looks like a gladius to me http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's made of magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33651036)

That's because you always think about gladiusses.

Re:It's made of magic (1)

VickiM (920888) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651546)

A gladius has a dip in it. This one is more triangle-shaped. It looks like a standard fantasy short sword, maybe an arming sword.

Re:It's made of magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33651400)

The center of gravity of a well made sword is in the hilt - generally next to the crosspiece. Anything else, and you're wrist gets tired too fast.

Presumably (2, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649526)

As he

the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it

He'll need at least one old lady, dressed in black, to carry it for him...

Re:Presumably (2, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651068)

I wouldn't care about gender, age and dress color, as long as I don't have to haul the stuff.

Re:It's made of magic (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649708)

Pratchett has stored the sword in a secret location, apparently concerned about the authorities taking an interest in it.

Owning a sword isn't illegal, though carrying one in public usually is.

Re:It's made of magic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649818)

It's not illegal...YET.

Hiding the sword is a smart move on his part.

Re:It's made of magic (4, Informative)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650126)

Owning a sword isn't illegal, though carrying one in public usually is.

In Spain, carrying a sword in public is legal if it's not concealed. But you've got to have a reason to be carrying it, like "I just bought it and I'm taking it home", "I'm going to my bastard sword class" or "I'm going to the woods to take pictures of my sword collection".

You can also carry a non concealed hunting knife of any size or form, including two bladed.

What you can't carry is any pocket/concealed weapon over 11cm, two bladed or with an automatic aperture system based on internally stored force (mass, for gravity or inertial automatics is ok).

Re:It's made of magic (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650270)

Is "I'm looking for the man who killed my father" a valid reason in Spain?

Re:It's made of magic (5, Funny)

balbord (447248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650654)

That reason is inconceivable.

Re:It's made of magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33650812)

That reason is inconceivable.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:It's made of magic (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651682)

That reason is inconceivable.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Re:It's made of magic (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650670)

Is "I'm looking for the man who killed my father" a valid reason in Spain?

You would probably have to add "he was carrying a sword just like this one, so I was bringing it along for comparison".

Re:It's made of magic (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651396)

Is "I'm looking for the man who killed my father" a valid reason in Spain?

Only if your name is Iñigo Montoya.

Re:It's made of magic (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651166)

with an automatic aperture system based on internally stored force (mass, for gravity or inertial automatics is ok).

Not familiar with the terminology, are you referring to something like a switchblade?

It's a shame that a lot of places have banned those, because I find that they are VERY useful. I have one and it became my favorite knife to use while working in places where my hands are occupied. I can get it in my hand, disengage the safety and open it with my thumb, do the work, and then close it again easier than a typical lockback knife.

A typical folding knife can be nice, but I hate how loose the ones with blades you can open with one hand are. The awesome thing about a spring loaded knife is that the spring keeps positive pressure on the blade (even after you release the lock to close it) This positive pressure, combined with a dull 'back' to the blade (not double sided) lets you do the following:

To close the knife:

1. Hold the release to unlock the blade
2. push the back of the blade against a convenient surface
3. It locks in place, re-engage the safety.

With a typical folding knife, once you release the lock on the open blade, the sharp side is free to move and, in my opinion, is slightly harder to manipulate in a safe way, especially with one hand. If you have ever had the chance to use a quality switch blade (Not double edged), they are damned useful tools.

The only other thing I've used that fills this need is a box cutter, which is easy to open and close, but the razor blades aren't that great for the type of work I do and will typically shatter or chip after a few uses. When I'm in a place where a switchblade is illegal, I use box cutters, but I burn through the blades like crazy.

Re:It's made of magic (3, Informative)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651382)

Not familiar with the terminology, are you referring to something like a switchblade?

Yes.

It's a shame that a lot of places have banned those, because I find that they are VERY useful. I have one and it became my favorite knife to use while working in places where my hands are occupied. I can get it in my hand, disengage the safety and open it with my thumb, do the work, and then close it again easier than a typical lockback knife.

There are other kinds of folding knives that can be opened with one hand, the only difference is whether they'll stab something on the opening movement, which is not justifiable for a tool, thus the internally stored force limit that includes springs and even bullet cartidges (without the bullet).

A typical folding knife can be nice, but I hate how loose the ones with blades you can open with one hand are.

A good knive can have a perfectly firm and locked blade that you can open with one hand. They may be expensive, though.

The awesome thing about a spring loaded knife is that the spring keeps positive pressure on the blade (even after you release the lock to close it) This positive pressure, combined with a dull 'back' to the blade (not double sided) lets you do the following:

To close the knife:

1. Hold the release to unlock the blade
2. push the back of the blade against a convenient surface
3. It locks in place, re-engage the safety.

With a typical folding knife, once you release the lock on the open blade, the sharp side is free to move and, in my opinion, is slightly harder to manipulate in a safe way, especially with one hand. If you have ever had the chance to use a quality switch blade (Not double edged), they are damned useful tools.

I own several Benchmades, Spidercos, etc and I've never had a problem handling them with one hand but I think what you want is a fireman's folding knife, made to be opened with one heavy gloved hand. You may want to lock into CRKT's kind of assisted opening.

Having said that, I'd use a fixed blade if at all possible.

Re:It's made of magic (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651762)

I'll look into the fireman's knife, thanks. I also agree about the point first method of force assisted opening, I wouldn't touch one of those as that would be dangerous to me and of marginal benefit.

I just get tired of tools being demonized because they get featured in movies or become the latest media fear fad.

Re:It's made of magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33651412)

or with an automatic aperture system based on internally stored force (mass, for gravity or inertial automatics is ok).

What is essentially worse in carrying switchblade which has to be cocked to spring, instead of carrying some other sort of quick-drawing edge?
Does stored force switchblade allow for faster attack, or for concealing the fact that incoming "hit" will end as a stab (which, admittedly, would be quite perfidious)?

Of all the author's out there (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649426)

I'm the least surprised that it was Terry Pratchett that made himself a sword.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33651754)

fueled with damp sheep manure

So... the sword stinks?

Original Article (5, Informative)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649446)

The article on which this news story seems to be based, complete with picture of Sir pTerry and his sword is at
http://www.paulkidby.com/news/apr2010.html [paulkidby.com]

Re:Original Article (4, Informative)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649800)

It appears to be in the Gladius Style (Roman Legion) and is a Short Sword. Keep in mind, this isn't the size of Excalibur or what Conan would use. Instead it's based on a practical design developed by the roman legions for use by Centurions in their shield wall formation. Practical and short enough not to interfere with your neigbors sword.

Re:Original Article (4, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650238)

Partly correct. The Gladius was favoured by the Legions because it was short enough for the scabbard to be hung on the same side as the wielding hand. This prevents the act of drawing the sword from taking any more room than one man standing upright, maintaining their tight shield wall formation.

Clever buggers, they were.

Re:Original Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33650410)

Clever buggers, they were.

They had less other distractions, and dieing was honourable. If you see people die often and notice a pattern of inefficiency, you upgrade your technology in order to live a bit longer and accumulate more honour and wealth in war.

Re:Original Article (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651388)

You might want to try that before spouting it as fact.

First, if you don't have room to draw a sword, how are you throwing the pilum that proceeds drawing it?

Second, you can draw a sword from the left hip, point down, raise your hand overhead, then either stab straight from there or rotate it point up without changing your grip. You can do this in the tightest close order shieldwall, with a sword in excess of the length of a gladius. Been there, reenacted that, many times.

Third, try drawing from your right hip. Go on, stand up and try it. If you draw in the natural orientation (thumb down), where does your elbow go? <Morbo>JOINTS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY</Morbo>. Alternatively, you can draw with your thumb up and then have to juggle the sword to flip it over. It's always a more awkward draw, under any circumstances, and never takes less room than drawing across your body.

Where this myth came from, I have no idea, but I've yet to see any real world evidence that it's anything other than a myth, and that includes demonstrations from Roman reenactors trying desperately (and often hilariously) to justify it.

Re:Original Article (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651752)

Where this myth came from, I have no idea, but I've yet to see any real world evidence that it's anything other than a myth, and that includes demonstrations from Roman reenactors trying desperately (and often hilariously) to justify it.

Ignoring the argument of why the Romans wore their scabbards on the right, there's plenty of conclusive evidence that they in fact did so.

Roman art is, as usual, our best source of information on Roman culture.

Look at this, for instance: http://www.romanarmy.net/images/Pages/articles/artweapons/artwep2.jpg [romanarmy.net].

Re:Original Article (1)

precariousgray (1663153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651486)

If the sword was short enough, couldn't the scabbard still be placed on the opposite side? Or were Roman warriors all like certain family members, whose arms bow out like they're attempting to take flight when they try putting on a seatbelt?

Re:Original Article (2, Interesting)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650428)

See also the "Katzbalger" sword carried by the Landsknecht mercenaries in the German provinces of the Holy Roman Empire (16th century). It also served the same purpose - a short blade for close combat when there no longer was room to swing pikes or the big two-handed jobbers. The hilt reminds me of some Frankish swords, though, so to me it looks like a modern version of an 11th century blade.

But yeah, it's an infantry blade, not a cavalry one. Also looks like it has just the right centre of gravity for actual fencing.

Re:Original Article (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33651606)

>>short enough not to interfere with your neigbors sword.

I try to avoid those types of parties

Re:Original Article (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650056)

You mean that article dated "April 1st"? :s Though he's a very smart guy, I'm sure he would be perfectly capable of making his own sword were he so inclined :)

Re:Original Article (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33650314)

Somehow, I don't think he wrote an article largely about the death of his mother and his thoughts on assisted suicide as a prank.

Re:Original Article (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650398)

Haven't time to read the article since I'm at work, but you have to admit he does have a warped sense of humour at times ;)

Alzheimer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649484)

This story is a complete fantasy. Pratchett has advanced Alzheimer and is not capable of making anything.

I'm not sure if this story is generated by his publisher to get a last moment of fame and sell more books, or that someone is playing a cruel joke on Terry.

Leave the man be, he has enough worries.

Re:Alzheimer (5, Informative)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649686)

Actually, the man himself told us during the recent Discworld convention that he did this. As for the alzheimer: he seemed remarkably strong and clear, and fortunately in much better (mental) shape than i expected him to be.

Re:Alzheimer (2, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649942)

in much better (mental) shape than i expected him to be.

Alzheimer's is degenerative & he's only been relatively recently diagnosed; he's had Unseen Academicals and I shall wear midnight both published this year - if you can have two books published you're bound to still be in good mental shape - it's when he stops publishing that we'll know his Alzheimer's has got his mind.

Re:Alzheimer (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650108)

I don't think he'll need to stop publishing, he can just start writing some books from the point of view of the Bursar* :)

*no offence meant, I'm as sad about the situation as anyone else here..

Re:Alzheimer (3, Informative)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650174)

Alzheimer's is degenerative & he's only been relatively recently diagnosed; he's had Unseen Academicals and I shall wear midnight both published this year - if you can have two books published you're bound to still be in good mental shape - it's when he stops publishing that we'll know his Alzheimer's has got his mind.

Not just that, but it seems to be mainly progressing in parts of his brain that aren't needed for producing stories. (Before watching a TV programme about TP's Alzheimers, I didn't know that it could differentially affect different areas of the brain. Just goes to show that TV can be educational after all.)

Re:Alzheimer (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650392)

Careful reading of his more recent works, not just the two you mentioned but going back 5-10 years, you do notice some things in his works degrading; not enough to hurt the overall quality of the book, but enough that you can tell something is happening. The largest change is a reduction in vocabulary, but there is also the fact that tend to be more straightforward, with less metaphors and colorful language.

Like I said, the ideas are all still sound, the humor is fun and entertaining, there are no gaping plot holes left unfilled, but I suspect that you could make a pretty interesting study on the effects of Alzheimer's on language by studying his books. And you'd certainly have a good sample of his writing (what is he up to now, 30 books? 40?

Re:Alzheimer (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651090)

Were you at the con in ireland last year by any chance?
(He talked about it then as well, this isn't very up to date news)

Re:Alzheimer (2, Interesting)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651332)

Yeah, he looked good. Says that the condition is progressing very slowly -- slower than expected, or words to that effect. Aside from the fact that he no longer reads out the bedtime story (part of an unreleased book) at the Discworld Convention himself (Rob, his PA, did that), he seemed, if anything, much more cheerful than he was in 2008. Which is awesome.

MozeeToby's comment later in the thread, suggesting that someone make "a pretty interesting study on the effects of Alzheimer's on language by studying his books," reminds me of Pratchett's comment that he throws away drafts for fear of what English Literature researchers might theorise in future. Although I am now strongly inclined to test the hypothesis by comparing actual vocabulary used over time, because it does not seem to me that there has been a marked reduction in the complexity of language used. That said, there may very well be changes in structure due to using dictation software and so forth, as well as in punctuation and in the use of concrete poetry/structural games, footnotes, etc.

Re:Alzheimer (5, Insightful)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649732)

This story is a complete fantasy. Pratchett has advanced Alzheimer

No, he's got a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's; it's still in it's relatively early stages so he's still quite in control of all his faculties & capable of making a sword - as evidenced by the fact that he had not one, but two books published this very year. However as Alzheimer's is degenerative how long he will remain free of dementia is not something that's been made public knowledge (if his doctors have even been able to give him a reliable estimate).

Re:Alzheimer (2, Interesting)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650012)

My Organic Chemistry professor had a similar diagnosis when I was in college. He was still fully able to function to the point of lecturing and running a lab, he simply could not answer any questions. As long as he had a day to prepare his notes, look off his notes, and not get interrupted he was normal. When people asked questions mid-lecture (or any time) he would get off-track and get confused. He lasted for two years like this before he had to stop teaching.

It was particularly sad, because he knew what was going on - he still knew his chemistry and left to himself could still function, research, etc. It was mostly bad in any social setting where long lengths of time aren't given to wrap your head around a particular thought or go through a problem several times before giving an answer. He could still cook quite well on his own, but if you asked him what the ingredients were or what he was doing while he was cooking, it would throw him off course and he would be confused for a while until he could retrace his steps to figure out what he was doing.

Re:Alzheimer (2, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650268)

He didn't make the sword; He contacted a swordsmith. He did smelt the unrefined ore into bars himself, though, using techniques from a friend with an interest in ancient smithing arts.

Re:Alzheimer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33650532)

No, he's got a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's; it's still in it's relatively early stages so he's still quite in control of all his faculties & capable of making a sword - as evidenced by the fact that he had not one, but two books published this very year.

I apologize in advance if this comes across as trolling (honestly, it's not intended to be), but... have you read those books? I'm really quite a fan of pTerry, and I've got more than 8 feet on my bookshelf dedicated to his novels and secondary Discworld literature alone, but in all honesty, the last couple of books he wrote (pretty much everything since "The Truth") stank, to varying extents. If he were a new author, it'd be enough to make me stop buying his stuff, but, well, he IS pTerry, so I'm still hoping that there'll be a better one again some time.

Of course this is only tangentially related to his Alzheimer's at best; the books aren't bad *because* he's suffering from that. But they aren't exactly shining examples of how he's still a capable author, either.

Re:Alzheimer (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650748)

Additionally, there have been several breakthroughs in treating Alzheimer's in the last year or so that make it likely that medical science will allow him to delay the onset of dementia (and possibly avoid it altogether).

Re:Alzheimer (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649874)

I thought he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, but that it had not yet advanced very far yet. I had the impression of a man aware of the impending gradual loss of his cognition who was trying to make the best of what he had left.

Perhaps I'm mistaken.

Re:Alzheimer (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649998)

I thought he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, but that it had not yet advanced very far yet. I had the impression of a man aware of the impending gradual loss of his cognition who was trying to make the best of what he had left.

Perhaps I'm mistaken.

No, you're quite right, the GP is wrong

Advance Australia Fair (3, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649550)

From TFA: " Wiltshire, west of London..." I know we are a very small country and Australia is a very big one, but not everything in this country has to be defined by reference to London. Wiltshire, from where I am posting this, is in the South of England. London is East of Wiltshire, and nothing whatever to do with this story, which is about a (very) English author who lives (sensibly) in Wiltshire.

For the benefit of the rest of the world, Wiltshire is East of Redmond and West of Moscow...rant over.

Re:Advance Australia Fair (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650180)

"The South of England" is a pretty broad brush to use, I think "West of London" is useful.

I live in Aberdeen (North of London).

Re:Advance Australia Fair (0, Offtopic)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650406)

I live in Aberdeen (North of London).

So does my ex wife, I wish you condolonces

Re:Advance Australia Fair (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651220)

In my experience, most people in London would say they live in South East England -- at least if they're aware of anything outside the M25.

Officially [wikipedia.org], there's only a South West and South East, no South. Unofficially, when someone says "South" to me I tend to think of not-especially-west and not-especially-east, e.g. Southampton, Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Reading.

Re:Advance Australia Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33651644)

Wait... Wait.. Wait...

You mean there's something outside of the US?

Energy density of 'damp sheep manure' (3, Funny)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649640)

If I'm not mistaken coal is used in blacksmiths kilns to melt iron, at about 1500 Celsius. I'm wondering how he got those kind of temperatures with sheep manure. Maybe the manure had an octarine glow to it ;)

Re:Energy density of 'damp sheep manure' (4, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649994)

Coal is a convenience. Long before coal was widely available, they used to use wood, charcoal, and peat. In a pinch you could use anything that will burn. The trick is to add oxygen (air) with a bellows, without which it's hard to melt iron even with anthracite coal.

Re:Energy density of 'damp sheep manure' (1)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650308)

I think it almost certainly got garbled by the media.

If I remember correctly one procedure is that manure is used to add carbon to the blade to form steel rather than to actually heat the sword up: you put the blade in a air-tight box with a handful of manure and then heat the whole lot up to high temperature, and when you open the box after some time, the manure is apparently gone, but the carbon from it has soaked into the blade.

Re:Energy density of 'damp sheep manure' (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651346)

> If I'm not mistaken coal is used in blacksmiths kilns to melt iron, at about 1500 Celsius. You are mistaken, however, as blacksmiths do not melt iron, which makes cast iron, but merely heat it up until it is very soft. The contaminants usually do not soften, though, and are easily (if you are as strong as a blacksmith or mechanical hammer) beaten out. Before the use of coal, a major part of a blacksmith's skill set was in picking wood to use, and in converting the wood into charcoal, which burned hot enough to use to heat the iron ore properly.

Authors love forging swords and knives (2, Insightful)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649772)

I've read countless interviews from authors (especially fantasy authors) who make a habit of forging swords, knives and making bows and arrows. I suppose it goes along with the territory. Even Paolini who wrote the Eragon books has tried his hand at making weapons.

Re:Authors love forging swords and knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33650208)

Making things is fun. That's why we're all here, right? Well if you're a programmer anyway.

Made his own sword... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649816)

...and then sharpened it with the light of the morning sun

Re:Made his own sword... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33650162)

...and then sharpened it with the light of the morning sun

Did he have to tie it to the end of a stick to pretend it was a scythe?

I can't wait (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649906)

I can't wait for RMS [xkcd.com] to get knighted.

Of course I believe he'd have to become a subject of the Queen to do so, and given his predisposition, I doubt he'd be particularly inclined to do so.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650054)

Americans can be knighted, Ronald Reagan was knighted.

Besides RMS might not want one after Bill Gates got his

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/01/29/uk_knighthoods_for_foreigners_what/ [theregister.co.uk]

Though it was in recognition of Gates charity work, not computers.

Re:I can't wait (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650540)

but it's not full knighthood

Regan cannot be "Sir Ronald Regan" - he's not a citizen of the commonwealth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_British_Empire [wikipedia.org]

"Honorary knighthoods, given to individuals who are not nationals of a realm where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State, permit usage of the honour as a post-nominal but not as a title before their name. These recipients are classified as honorary members of the Order they receive, and do not contribute to the numbers restricted to that Order as full members do."

Re:I can't wait (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650156)

I can't wait for RMS [xkcd.com] to get knighted.

Of course I believe he'd have to become a subject of the Queen to do so, and given his predisposition, I doubt he'd be particularly inclined to do so.

He just needs citizenship of one of the Commonwealth realms [wikipedia.org] - these include Canada & Australia; I don't think he'd mind being subject to the Queen's jurisdiction in that sense, but I doubt he'd accept a knighthood even then. He wouldn't be the first [wikipedia.org]

fire is cool (5, Funny)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649944)

This past weekend I put a huge steel ninja sword I got for 12 bucks into a campfire we were having, and it glowed red after a short few minutes. I easily bent it into a full U shape.

This simple, moronic drunken act made me feel connected to countless other drunken, moronic ancestors before me, all equally intruigued by how fire is able to temporarily confuse physics. I suppose this is why alchemy makes sense, since some form of math has to work inside of a fire. Still, I felt very enlightened to hold one of the four elements so close to my will and desires.

somewhat appropriate (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650060)

- "I thought swords had to be straight."
- "Perhaps they start out straight and go bendy with use. A lot of things do."

(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)

I see a novel in this (1)

rlauzon (770025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650202)

Far future. Civilization has collapsed. A small band of likable people are fending off bad people.
One of the good people stumbles upon Sir Terry's home and discovers a magic sword allowing him to fend off the bad people, get the girl, live happily ever after.

Modifiers? (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650496)

What are the to hit and damage modifiers? Since its magical I assume it would be more than +1 in both categories.

I want to see pictures! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650646)

I should hope it's a really nice sword. I recall watching a national geographic or discovery channel thing that described how iron was extracted from pete moss. Fascinating stuff... okay almost completely unrelated, but using ancient techniques to make ancient weapons interests me.

Re:I want to see pictures! (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651464)

I don't know who this Pete Moss guy is. He seems to be either a DJ [discogs.com] or a rock musician [myspace.com] depending on which guy you're referring to. He doesn't seem to be into heavy metals. I'd say it would be far easier to use peat moss

Meteorite? (2, Insightful)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33650712)

Looking through the article, I'm seeing that he dug up iron ore; was the deposit meteoric in nature, or was there just nothing meteoric about it at all? Where do the meteorites come into play here? 81kg of meteorite is a hefty chunk of material...

lame (1, Flamebait)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651146)

Real swordsmiths have been doing this for years. You can easily order Damascus steel forged from the iron of meteorites at dozens of websites. Just do a google search. Just like his books he's taking the great works of others, copying them and pretending he's created something new. It's the one ring! I mean sword!

Re:lame (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651474)

Yeah, he could have ordered a sword online. But he didn't, he mined the ore, smelted the ore, and forged the bars into a sword (with help from a blacksmith). And, are you thinking of Terry Brooks, author of the highly derrivative Sword of Shanara series, which is basically LotR but with a sword? Seems like you are. Even if it was about Terry Brooks, greater curmudgeons than yourself have spent all day on Slashdot shitting on the work of others, work they could never ever do themselves. Try to be original.

The Black Sword of Nargothrond rises again!!! (2, Funny)

SengirV (203400) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651380)

Three cheers for Anglachel!!!

Sorry about your sister though, was she good?

I have much respect for this man (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33651776)

I always liked him as a comically kitschy author--I like really bad fantasy and skiffie.
He went out and did it.
Doesn't matter what "it" is (OK, maybe not infantaphagia or similar...)--kudos to anyone these days who gets off their butt and goes out and does it.

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