Idle Musings: Dark Secrets of the Japanese Sword

Early Japanese swords were straight and had two edges. You just think about that for a minute. Additionally, the famed beauty of nihonto stems almost entirely from Japan’s historically poor iron supply. In order to even out impurities so that the blades would harden properly and not snap the instant they hit something, Japan’s smiths […]

Those Who Forget the Past: Why Must We Relive Our Failures?

The year is 217 B.C, approaching the high point of the 2nd Punic War. Hannibal Barca’s mixed force of Carthaginian, African and Spanish soldiers ransacks northern Italy. He destroys Rome’s outlying towns, terrorizes their allies and deftly avoids confronting the Roman army. Finally, under pressure from the Roman people and unable to contain his own […]