Handmade Swords - Earil
- By Peter Lyon of Weta Workshop
- Edition Size: 1
- Measurements: Blade length: 915mm (36”). Overall length: 1217mm (48”). Weight: 1.94Kg (4 pounds 4 ounces). Balance point: 71mm (2.8”) along blade, measured from the shoulder of the blade
The sword has been made especially for the Weta Cave and Weta’s Online Shop to sell to the public. It is similar to late medieval European longswords, but with design flourishes transform it into a piece of art as well. A longsword is light enough and balanced to be used with one hand, but it can also be used two handed for powerful cutting blows. The blade is broad for much of its length, making for strong cuts, but comes to an acute point for effective thrusts, making this a true cut-and-thrust sword.
The individual parts have shapes and detail lines that blend into each other and continue into the next component, so that shapes continue even as the materials change, and the shapes of all the hilt parts draw the eye towards the diamond shaped bosses in the centre of the grip, filled with polished Paua (New Zealand abalone) shell each side. At the same time there is a strong central line through the hilt and along the blade, emphasising the straight and symmetrical shapes of the sword.
This sword has many nautical features which led me to the name, “Aearil”, which in Elvish means “Gleaming Ocean”.
The straight blade is ground from spring steel bar, and has been heat treated to give the best possible combination of toughness and edge hardness. Historically blades were forged into shape and to remove flaws in the steel, but the consistency and high specifications of modern steels mean this is no longer necessary.
The bevelled edge is blunted for safety and display, but could just as easily be sharpened for cutting tests. The tang of the blade is strong and wide, and passes through the cross guard, grip and pommel, and is peened over the end of the pommel for maximum strength.
The cross guard is cut from a block of mild steel. From the centre block it projects along the blade and towards the ends, which are split into a fork. This is an unusual feature which I don’t recall being used on a sword before. The cross is set onto the shoulders of the blade for extra strength and stability, as was done on medieval European swords to prevent the cross becoming loose and rattling through use.
The grip is made of beech wood, covered with leather. Thin cords under the leather create the designs, and the leather has been carefully tooled to fit into all the shapes created by the cords. The grip was mostly drilled out then fitted by heating the tang and burning out the remaining wood for a tight fit, and finally glued in place. It is a two handed grip; the foregrip is straight to give a strong gripping surface, while the waisted shape of the upper grip encourages the second hand to nestle into the inside curves of the pommel.
The mild steel pommel is also a counterweight for the blade. It is shaped somewhat like a fish tail, with curved and recessed faces to add interesting shapes, and also to remove weight and get the best possible balance for the sword overall. The pommel was set tight onto the tapering tang before the end was peened over.
Source: Copyright © 2014 Weta Ltd.
Scolopendra morsitans (brightly colored and being all maternal) and Scolopendra gigantea (darker colored, looks like the fucking devil) are the only two centipedes left in this genus, after it was discovered that all the other centipedes assigned to it secretly belonged to other, different genuses.
This actually happens a lot, thanks to the invention of things like “microscopes” and “cheap genetic testing” and “people giving a damn.”
Scolopendra giganteae, or the Amazonian giant centipede, doesn’t just look like the devil, though. It pretty much is the devil. These guys get up to a foot long, and they’re the ones you’ve probably seen on those terrifying nature documentaries about centipedes hanging from the ceiling and snatching bats out of the air. I mean, good news: it’s not “centipedes” doing this, it’s just one species. Bad news: The species exists and it’s fucking horrible.
Above: The doom of mankind.
Centipedes in general are arthropods with clearly distinguishable segments, one pair of legs per section, and a penchant for flesh. They’ve also got a pair of modified legs up front called forcipules (think “forceps”) that they use to fuck shit up and inject venom.
Above: For once, the horrible-looking things on that bug’s face are exactly as horrible as they look.
S. gigantea is a particularly dickish specimen, given that it will legit try to eat anything it’s got a shot at taking down, and it’s got an outsized idea of what it has a shot of taking down. I mean, it takes some series invertebrate gonads to climb a fucking cave wall, hang on by four or five pairs of legs, and then wave yourself around head-down trying to grab something bigger than you out of the goddamned air. I mean, this is like if you climbed a tree, dangled from your knees, and started a three-way fight with a sloth and a harpy eagle.
Only the centipede gets away with it, while you would probably die.
Centipedes are generally just sort of weird, even when they’re not being horrifically, death-defyingly weird. Even in species with compound eyes, their vision usually sucks balls. Some of them have evolved so that they can use that last terminal pair of legs (yes, those are legs, they’re not like pincers or a stinger or anything) like another set of antennae. A fair number of them also have glands along or near that last pair of legs that can secrete chemical defenses, which is less weird than turning them into butt-antennae but still pretty weird. Most of them don’t mate. The dudes just sort of jizz on the substrate, and females find their jizz-packs and use them to fertilize their eggs, which they then take weirdly good care of for invertebrates. Even the ones that don’t care for their eggs directly tend to lay them one at a time in egg cells in the substrate. I mean, seriously. Weird fucking order of arthropods.
Racism is alive and well in Canada
My boss came to the table at lunch today with a simple observation. As a Korean immigrant, he’d experience more racism in Canada then America. It’s unsurprising that this is the case. Waterloo region led Canada in per capita hate crimes for several years.
The discussion continued, as several of my colleagues expressed shock that this would be the case.
And then someone brought up Native Americans. What followed was one of the most stunning displays of open racism.
J’s observations were couched in terms that are familiar to anyone who has seen conversations about race from America. “I’m not being racist but…”, “They always attack each other”, “Why can’t they just get over what was done to them”, “Why do they blame me, I wasn’t there”.
A was more strident. “We brought them civilization!”, “They should just assimilate!”
He shared a story. When dirt bikes were stolen from his house, his brother went to the nearby reservation, and stole the first dirt bikes he saw that looked similar.
Everyone wanted to know how natives could still be poor with all the benefits the government offered them. Why couldn’t they just leave the reserve and get an education. Abuse happened centuries ago, they reasoned, plenty of time to heal.
They were surprised when I told them that the residential school system was closed relatively recently. They hadn’t heard of the rampant physical and sexual abuse in the system.
But still they reasoned, enough time had passed, and if they weren’t so lazy, then they would no longer be in poverty.
It was only later that I realized one of the questions I should have asked.
"If you believe it’s so easy for Natives to leave the reserve, how would you react to one moving to your street?" *
I think their answers would have been informative.
Thinking back to other conversations, with other people, I can’t help but conclude that when it comes to Indigenous Canadians, far too many Canadians are willing to engage in and condone racism that they would consider unacceptable if directed against any other group.
Anyone with advice on how to educate racist colleagues, let me know.
Careful, honey, it’s loaded,” he said, reentering the bedroom.
Her back rested against the headboard. “This for your wife?”
“No. Too chancy. I’m hiring a professional.”
“How about me?”
He smirked. “Cute. But who’d be dumb enough to hire a lady hit man?”
She wet her lips, sighting along the barrel.
it ok to not be ready
Please spread this shit like wildfire. People go on and sit through the whole experience and they’re uncomfortable because they just want to please their partner and they don’t tell them that they want to stop because they are not ready. It’s okay not to be ready.
i wish someone had told me this kind of stuff when i was younger… ಠ_ಠ