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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-12-13 11:47
  Subject:   UK bans cheap katanas.
  Music:Photek - Ni Ten Ichi Ryu

Imitation Samurai swords are to be banned after a spate of attacks in the UK, say ministers. The Home Office has confirmed plans to outlaw the weapons in England and Wales after putting forward the idea earlier this year.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said there was a clear danger to the public posed by easily-available swords. The proposal is expected to stop short of banning genuine Japanese swords held by collectors or genuine enthusiasts.


And the ban passed.

"Only 3 deaths in the last 4 years from samurai swords. They should ban scissors and bears as well."

- Digg.com comments

In other news, Ben Cantrick asserted that there was a clear and present danger to the skulls of the public because of the availability of cheap bricks. He then called for a ban on all inexpensive fist-sized objects made of stone.

(Insert tendon-snapping eyeroll here.)

I also find the "genuine" and "Japanese" qualifiers hilarious.

Let's start with "genuine enthusiasts" - am I a "genuine" "enthusiast"? Does having a single $300, 0.6% carbon blade sitting on a stand atop my bookshelf make me an "enthusiast"? A "genuine" one? The words "genuine" and "enthusiast" in this context mean... whatever the hell Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker wants them to mean. And therefore, they mean nothing.

Secondly, "Japanese". Yeah, we'd better make sure those blades come from Japan. Because if some master smith in Iowa is making katana blades out of the best steels known to modern science, those blades obviously don't deserve the same kind of respect as ones made in some other country.

The sheer wrong-headedness of this kind of law is simply mind blowing. Not to mention it's completely and utterly unenforceable. And the cherry on top? There's no rational way for this government (or any other) to draw the line between "cheap" and "non-cheap" blades. That line is entirely arbitrary.

This is, as always, punishing millions of people for the bad acts of a few. Judging by "3 deaths in 4 years," the bad acts of a staggeringly few.

Some people in this world just won't be satisfied until everyone is wearing strait-jackets, and denied access to anything more interesting than jello...
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-12-13 14:55
  Subject:   So the Hollywood writer's guild is on strike...
  Music:GWAR - A Short History of the End of the World (Pt. VII (The Final Chapter))

And all our favorite TV shows are being written by second-rate wannabes who couldn't get a job doing anything better...

Remind me again how I'm supposed to be able to tell the difference between this and regular TV?? ;]

Although not as epicly hilarious as the OPEC's recent Polish standoff, this little catfight between greedy-ass Hollywood studios who hate art, and pretentious Hollywood hacks who still believe that someone, somewhere actually gives a damn about the mindless drek they write, is funny as hell because it's a double Polish standoff. Or maybe I should call it a Polish gunfight?

THE SCENE: An old-west shantytown. Two men stand on the dirt road, facing each other. A tumbleweed blows by.

Stage left stands the Hollywood Studios. Gun pressed firmly to their own temple, shouting at the Writer's Guild: "GIVE IN! Or we'll shoot!!"

Stage right, the Writer's Guild, gun also pressed firmly to their own temple, shouting back: "NO, U!!!"

And here I stand, leaning against a post, watching, grinning, just waiting for a car to backfire...
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-12-13 16:42
  Subject:   Just in time - the most highly sought-after toys this christmas!
  Music:South Park - Christmas Time In Hell
  Tags:  humor

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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-12-13 18:27
  Subject:   Jetpack Intl says they have a turbine-based jetpack coming.

Estimated Flight Time: 9 minutes
Estimated Distance: 27 miles
Estimated Speed: 83 mph.
Max Pilot Weight: 180 lbs.
Fuel: Jet-A fuel
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gallons.
Power Plant: T-73 turbine engine
Retail Price: $200,000, includes training JPIC
Product Details: Currently being updated. Due to be released early to middle of 2008. Pre-Orders being taken. Please check back soon for more details


Don't bother searching for "T-73 turbine" - the only common aircraft turbine with that model number is the 4,500HP Pratt & Whitney T-73, two of which are used to power the CH-54 Skycrane. If I had to guess, I'd say that they were probably using a car turbo - perhaps a Turbonetics T73?

Edit: Could be a Solar T73. Whatever it is, they should have used a tj100 instead. (fully decked out engine 41.8 lb, generates 247 lb-f static thrust!!)

As for this actually being manufactured and sold to the public? I'll believe it when I see someone actually buy one.
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May 2015