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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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