Uncategorized

Twin Hooks

Tools of War

The twin hooks are a hooked sword pair used by the Shaolin monks of China. The twin hooks were wielded with incredible speed and accuracy, made even deadlier by the intense training of the monks. Every inch of these weapons were deadly: the hooks to pull away shields and slice enemies, the backs of the blades to slice as a normal sword, the crescent blades on the hilt to punch and slice, and even the spike on the bottom of the hilt for stabbing.

some might ask why Shaolin monks, who are peaceful by nature, create weapons? self-defense is the answer. The monks were constantly harassed by bandits seeking to steal what little riches the monks possessed. In order to prevent this, the monks put as much time into creating weapons and training with them as they did their study of Buddhism. This dedication to creating perfect weapons to match their legendary physical ability…

View original post 195 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

The Ballista

Tools of War

The ballista was an ancient equivalent of a mounted machine gun: it was stationary, accurate, fast, and deadly. very VERY deadly. It was created in ancient Rome but first became common under the rule of Alexander of Macedon and again later by Julius Caesar. The ballista was basically a large mounted crossbow (crossbows hadn’t been invented).

boltsongrass A set of the smaller dart-like bolts

Before the ballista, the bow was the main long ranged weapon which is why the ballista is very similar to one. The ballista has many advantages over the bow such as its range. Unlike the bow which was all one piece, the ballista has two separate arms powered by twisted rope torsion coils. These coils gave the ballista much more power and therefore range than a bow. This increase in power also enabled much larger projectiles. It fired bolts (spear-like arrows), either shorter dart like bolts for accuracy or larger spear…

View original post 199 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

What I Talk About When I Talk About Blogging

Sasha Dichter's Blog

I’ve had a lot of conversations in the past few months that start with people saying, “I really have been meaning to write or blog, but I just haven’t done it. Any advice on how to start and stick with it?”

Here are 12 things that I’ve learned since I started blogging in 2008:

  1. A structured time to write. Stephen King is famous for saying that step one in writing is to put your “butt in the chair.” Not glamorous, but true. 99% of my blog posts have been written on the train that I take home from work. And most of them come out very quickly – in 10-15 minutes. But I’ve discovered that when I don’t take the train, I don’t write blog posts. That’s when I write.
  2. Make a commitment. Commit to how much you’re going to publish / write / post. I’d suggest you aim high…

View original post 886 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

Best of The Blogosphere

4 Mothers

home-office-336378_640Photography is one of those art forms that seems easy . . .until you try to perfectly capture a moment in time with a camera. Good photography manages convey emotion and beauty with one click and for this very reason, I remain in complete awe of good photographers. Elena Shumilova, a Russian artist and mother, photographed her boys with animals on the farm that she runs and the resulting images are simply breathtaking!

Someone I know recently lost her husband to cancer. She is a mom to three young children and for the past few years balanced caring for them and caring for her husband. There were times that I would snap myself out of a funk by thinking of her family and being inspired by the courage they demonstrated while faced with such incredible adversity. Paul Kalanithi wrote How Long Have I Got Left for The New York…

View original post 408 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

thanks, mr. jobs.

I want to go buy my dad an iPad. Thank you for this story.

ACURIOUSWORLD

photo

‘Thank you, Steve Jobs.’

God, I never thought I would say those words.

For decades, I have been both infuriated and seduced by the man; alternating between curious and angry, enamored and resentful. I idolized and villainized him. His products have both helped and hijacked my career and personal life – devouring my time, my attention and my bank account. For all of his grand invention, he was at the core just a ‘dealer’, feeding society’s ‘more, please, now’ addiction. By blurring technologies with toys, he hooked billions with a ‘shiny new, faster, more colorful’ lure.  

Ironically, he considered himself Buddhist but masterminded products that disconnect us from our minds instead of settling us deeper into them.

Like many, I grew tired of his rhetoric and bravado, his secrets and sweatshops. But when I watched the now famous 60 minutes interview where he rejected his birth father as a mere sperm bank – and vowed to never meet…

View original post 1,310 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

Let them talk before they’re gone

Hannibal and Me: life lessons from history

In the winter of 2013, I attended the funeral of an aunt at an Alpine lake where she had spent much of her life and her final years. As the coffin was lowered into the frozen ground, I stood next to my godfather and whispered an idea to him.

Born in 1924, my godfather had been sent as a German pioneer to Italy to blow up roads and bridges as the Germans retreated and the Allies advanced, spending most of his time behind enemy tank lines, usually alone. He was captured by the British, spent several years in prisoner camps in Egypt and Libya, then returned emaciated to the bombed rubble of occupied Germany in 1948. He met another of my aunts (the sister of the one we buried in 2013), fell in love and wooed her. He married her in 1953, and thus entered my family, which at that time…

View original post 436 more words

Standard
Uncategorized

#WhyIStayed

Stories From the Belly

Several months ago I wrote, “Stopping the Violence,” a blog post about a verbally abusive relationship I was in. He and I were together for nine months—longer, if you count the times we got back together. While nine months might not sound like a long period, the emotional injuries I sustained from those months with him were significant. It took me years to recover.

Yes, I stayed. Even after he punched a wooden fence one night in a jealous fit because I’d said hello to an ex-boyfriend. Yes, I stayed. Even after he swung his fist at me, stopping just before making contact with my face.

I definitely have had my issues, some of which I was working out with him. For a long time, I used to think that it was all my fault. If only I had been stronger or tougher, or perhaps less broken. Maybe I wouldn’t have…

View original post 1,142 more words

Standard