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Friday Linkage

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OrlandoNightSkyline.jpg
By Bill Dickinson (websites [2][3]) – [1], CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14815966
Tomorrow I’ll be on my way to Orlando, the Happiest Place in the World if you’re on heavy drugs. Blogging will be even more intermittent than normal.  To tide you over, some links:
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  • A long, straight sword like the one shown in the graphic, made of bronze, would have been very brittle. Longswords were an iron-age innovation.

    The sickle-swords of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians were curved slicing weapons, not chopping or stabbing weapons. Blocking a stone weapon with a bronze one in the manner of a sword deal would likely chip or even break the bronze weapon unless it was short and stout.

    The article mentions a bronze sword found buried nearby. I wonder if that means it was a ceremonial item used in a burial.

    • wjts

      Which sword are you talking about? The one in the illustration? It seems pretty similar to most of the Bronze Age swords I’ve seen.

      • Vance Maverick

        If you click on the “sword” item in the illustration, it shows you a picture of an injured rib. In other words, they have evidence that some kind of sword was used, but not (in this case) an actual sword to look at.

      • Yes, the one in the illustration. Maybe I’m not correcting for the bronze-age height of the guy holding it.

        • wjts

          Bronze Age straight swords were, to the best of my admittedly fallible memory, usually around 60 to 80 cm long, sometimes a little over a meter. So call it two/two-and-a-half feet to three and change. Based on an exceptionally rigorous scientific attempt to replicate the illustration in real life*, it looks about right to me.

          *With my hand resting at my side, I extended a tape measure until it reached the middle of my shin.

          • Yeah, I was eye-balling the sword in the drawing as longer than that, from about hip bone to ankle.

          • Halloween Jack

            Wikipedia sez that “From an early time the swords reach lengths in excess of 100 cm”, although most of them are in the 60-80 cm range.

            • Lee Rudolph

              Fear my sword in excess of 100 cm!!!

    • guthrie

      The graphic one does’t look like a longsword, it’s waaayyy too short, although it does look at the upper end of bronze age sword lengths. Oddly enough there is evidence from damage that they were used offensively and re-enactors and experimental archaeologists have made all sorts of replicas for trial purposes. None have, to the best of my knowledge, reported problems with brittleness or suchlike. Of course they don’t last quite as long as iron swords, but were usable enough.
      Moreover people then had shields.

      As for a longsword, the colloqial term nowadays covers hand and a half swords of medieval and post-medieval vintage, usually with blades over 30 inches, usually about 3 feet in length.

      • guthrie

        Although having typed that I’ve read further down and they don’t seem to have found any shields. Nevertheless, I see no reason to hypothesise issues with bronze versus stone age weaponry the way Joe does.

  • D.N. Nation

    Duke got a Sweet 16 appearance and an awfully hilarious win at North Carolina out of this season, which going in most people accurately figured was going to be a transitional year. Not bad. They’re going to be back up to natty-contender next season.

    Just for nyuks, the past 10 years, this is who won the championship:

    2006: NBA talent and great college players (Florida)
    2007: NBA talent and great college players (Florida)
    2008: Great college players and Memphis missing free throws (Kansas)
    2009: NBA talent and great college players (North Carolina)
    2010: Great college players (Duke)
    2011: UCONN bullshit (UCONN)
    2012: NBA talent (Kentucky)
    2013: Great college players (Louisville)
    2014: UCONN bullshit (UCONN)
    2015: NBA talent (Duke)
    2016: Well, your leaders in the clubhouse look to largely be of the “great college players” sort (Kansas, UNC, Oklahoma, Oregon). There’s some guys in there that’ll get checks from the Association, but you’re not seeing the lotto-picks-a-plenty stuff like you did with Duke and Kentucky.

    My guess is that the eventual winner this year will be “(nobody)” once the NCAA dumps UNC for its program scandal can-kickery. At least until the NCAA’s overreach therein will force them to un-delete the wins a few years after that.

    • EliHawk

      That ’08 Kansas team also had some NBA talent on it, if not a ton of lotto picks. Chalmers, Rush, Arthur, Jackson, Kaun, and Aldrich all ended up getting drafted, and all but Jackson and Kaun have had long term careers (with Kaun realizing that, as a Russian national, he could make better bank playing there). Certainly about as much NBA talent as Carolina ’09. But it is fascinating just how much better chemistry and flow Kansas has this year than it had the last two seasons with NBA lotto talent in the starting line up.

      • D.N. Nation

        Yeah, re-looking, ’08 KU had more Association talent than I’m giving them credit for. Guess I overlooked that with Love and D-Rose playing in that same Final Four.

        I never felt like Self was fitting his system to the talent when the NBA guys were coming through. Think about how Coach K did it with last year’s team. “You guys just want to get out and run and not play a lick of defense? Sounds great. We’ll play some zone so you don’t get killed one-on-one and y’all can dunk and we’ll win some games.”

        • tsam

          GONZAGA FTW.

          • D.N. Nation

            Mmmm, not really. Gonzaga made an Elite 8 as a semi-Cinderella 10-seed in 1999. (It helped that they got to play Stanford in their Mammoth Choke Era.)

            Since then, the Zags made the Elite 8 in……well, last year, where they lost to Duke. That’s it. Wingnut welfare factory and now terrible basketball program George Mason has more Final Fours during this time period than the Zags, 1 to 0.

            What Gonzaga has actually accomplished is some epic collapses: the Adam Morrison Cries Game, losing to Wyoming in 2002 after complaining about their seed, getting blown out by Nevada in 2004 after pretending to be a Final Four team, losing to Davidson (albeit with Steph Curry) in 2008, losing to Wichita State as a 1 seed in 2013…

            • tsam

              I know–I’m just hopin’ wishin’ wantin’.

              They did beat all the shit out of Utah, who wasn’t exactly a crummy team, so I’m looking for more.

            • tsam

              Since then, the Zags made the Elite 8 in……well, last year, where they lost to Duke. That’s it. Wingnut welfare factory and now terrible basketball program George Mason has more Final Fours during this time period than the Zags, 1 to 0.

              Also, YA DON’T GOTTA RUB IT IN, MAN

        • EliHawk

          That whole Kansas team gets underrated, when they had to beat some great players / teams to win the title. Wonder how many national champions beat multiple future NBA MVPs in a tournament? Throw in beating next year’s national champions by 20 in the semi, and that’s a pretty great tournament run.

          Self’s had a few good one and done seasons (McClemore was good stepping in as a shooter/scorer on a team w/ 4 senior role players, The Wiggins/Embiid team was a good combo right up until Embiid’s leg problems flared up a few weeks before the tournament, and of course, Brandon Rush was a ‘one and done’ who ended up staying three years) but you’re dead right about him making them fit his type of basketball: If you don’t play tough defense, he won’t give you PT until you do. So there are plenty of ostensible one and dones who ranged from disasters (Alexander, Selby) to mild disappointments who still ended up being quality players and late lotto picks (Henry, Oubre) if not blowing the doors off the place. But Mason/Graham/Selden has been Kansas’ smoothest backcourt since at least Chalmers/(Collins/Robinson)/Rush of 06-08 if not Hinrich/Miles/(Boschee/Langford) of 02-03.

    • Arouet

      Excellent, at this rate we’re primed to bring some more UCONN Bullshit to a bracket near you next year!

      • D.N. Nation

        I thought we were primed for it this year, with UCONN hitting a 3/4-court shot in their conference tournament.

    • JKTH

      2011 Uconn had a great college player and some NBA talent (Walker and Lamb were lottery picks). 2010 Duke also had NBA talent (the Plumlees and Singler are rotation players).

      This year seems most similar to 2013 where the top seed is playing the best of anyone right now but isn’t exactly head and shoulders above anyone. I don’t know if Kansas is Louisville though, since they don’t have the microwave scorers that L’ville had with Smith and Hancock.

      • D.N. Nation

        “UCONN Bullshit” must override anything else. ’11 UCONN was 4-7 in the last 11 games of the year and entered the Big East tournament as its 9 seed. Then Kemba made about 30 step-back Js in a row and they won the Big East and the National Championship.

        (To be fair to them, the Big East was loaded that season.)

  • AndersH

    Giant Bomb, a videogame website, published a guest column about unions:
    http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/guest-column-now-youre-working-with-power/1100-5422/
    And naturally, some geek supergeniuses showed up in the comments (though it took a little while) to talk about how videogaming websites aren’t for POLITICS, and actually, the free market.

    I’m happy they’re publishing that kind of opinion piece, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they got a LOT of backlash for it, because the industry is still severely immature.

    • Angry Warthog Breath

      You’d think they’d be more amenable to the argument, given that the Free Market is Electronic Arts in a giant hat, on which “MICROTRANSACTIONS” is written in the tears of developers.

    • Pseudonym

      It’s not about politics, it’s about ethics in video game journamalism.

  • Obama should devote his post-Presidency to the search for Shakespeare’s skull.

    That’s the plot to the new flick, Indiana Jones IV: Iambic Pentameter Boogaloo

  • Brett

    2. Good to hear! Maybe they’ll make something good out of that ship after all (all I’ve heard about it were complaints).

    4. It looks like the effects of the Bronze Age Collapse were more widespread and severe than we thought.

  • cdevine

    Hmm, maybe all theaters’ Yorricks should be carefully examined …

  • Ronan

    Since we’re offering links. There’s a much circulated and quite sweet john McCain tribute to a communist in the nyt. I can’t link to it as my kindle doesn’t enable me to, but it’s worth checking out. The common reaction to it has been “whatever happened to this john McCain, he’s awesome.” I think this is ott, but people can decide for themselves.

    • Hogan
      • Ronan

        Thoughts, Hogan? Sweet , awesome, or meh?

        • Hogan

          McCain was instrumental in normalizing relations with Vietnam in the ’90s. This reminds me of that McCain.

          On the other hand . . . “Back when I was born, there were still good Communists–the ones who weren’t very bright. This one reminds me of a book I really like. Now he’s dead. The end.”

          On the gripping hand . . . he didn’t have to write it, and I can’t come up with a sinister reason for him to do that.

          • Ronan

            “he didn’t have to write it, and I can’t come up with a sinister reason for him to do that.”

            He’s seen the polling on self described socialists among the youth and Is eyeing up an unexpected third act?

            • Hogan

              They do seem to like them some old guys.

    • so-in-so

      He’s the same one who stopped a woman at a rally in 2008 to say that then candidate Obama was a good and honorable man.

      Unfortunately clearly subordinate to the one who’s campaign was busy smearing Obama every chance it got, and picked the Alaska grifter to do more of it.

      • Ronan

        When I was first becoming acquainted to US politics I remember him often being portrayed as almost a democrat in republican clothing. This , iirc, was by Andrew Sullivan though …

    • nixnutz

      Fundamentally that seemed to be about his romantic notion of brave soldiers fighting for righteous causes. He references Hemingway directly, it’s not too surprising. Anti-Fascism hasn’t always been controversial.

      I did like that he used quotes around “unreconstructed Communist”, I mean he was quoting the Times but I’m giving him credit for using them as scare quotes because fuck the Times for that.

      • Ronan

        Your first sentence was my reading aswell. Although I think there’s a nobility and sweetness to that aswell.( Although practically and morally not the best way of innoculating solidarity, understanding and love )

  • jeer9

    Misappropriation of things follows the Stratford man even unto death. The creative work and now his skull.

    “For my part, I do not lie in it, yet it is mine.”

    • wjts

      The works attributed to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by a number of different people. You can prove this beyond the shadow of a doubt and with geometric logic by rearranging the letters of the plays’ names. A partial list of the true authors follows:

      Heb Tcham
      Henry I.V. Tarp 1 and Henry I.V. Tarp 2
      Tom Couha Gintub-Anhod
      Culius Jaesar
      Cori O.L. Anus

      • jeer9

        That’s probably how they were pronounced in that sophisticated Warwickshire dialect.

      • Hogan

        Palin: And I believe you’re working on an anagram version of Shakespeare?

        Idle: Sey, sey – taht si crreoct, er – ta the mnemot I’m wroking on ‘The Mating of the Wersh’.

        Palin: ‘The Mating of the Wersh’? By William Shakespeare?

        Idle: Nay, by Malliwi Rapesheake.

        Palin: And what else?

        Idle: ‘Two Netlemeng of Verona’, ‘Twelfth Thing’,’The Chamrent of Venice’….

        Palin: Have you done ‘Hamlet’?

        Idle: ‘Thamle’. ‘Be ot or bot ne ot, tath is the nestquoi.’

        Palin: And what is your next project?

        Idle: ‘Ring Kichard the Thrid’.

        Palin: I’m sorry?

        Idle: ‘A shroe! A shroe! My dingkom for a shroe!’

        Palin: Ah, Ring Kichard, yes… but surely that’s not an anagram, that’s a spoonerism.

        Idle: If you’re going to split hairs, I’m going to piss off.

        • jeer9

          “And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them. For there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren
          spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary question of the play be then to be considered. That’s villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.”

    • rea

      Good frend for Iesvs sake forebeare
      To digg the dvst encloased heare
      Blese be ye man ty spares thes stones
      And cvrsed be he ty moves my bones

      • Ken

        Great, that’s all the setup we need for the SyFy original movie, Headless Zombie Shakespeare Meets Megashark. Or would this be better as an episode of The Librarians?

  • tsam

    Tomorrow I’m on my way to San Jose del Cabo, Baja California, Mexico!!!

    Goodbye, brain cells!

    • Linnaeus

      Do you know the way?

      • tsam

        To Mexico? The airplane driver probably gots that under control.

  • msobel

    Is it my imagination or does the Zumwalt look like the fucking CSS Virginia (nee USS Merrimack)?

    Is this some TIDOS homage?

    • rea

      No, it is attempted stealth

    • kenjob

      The word you’re looking for is “tumblehome”.

      • Pseudonym

        I’m not sure the TIDOS Virginia technically qualifies as a tumblehome ship, since I don’t think the sloped casemate was part of the hull. Feel free to correct me though.

        • kenjob

          The aspect of Zumwalt that makes it look like TIDOS Virginia is tumblehome rather than homage.

          The tumblehome on Zumwalt is reminiscent of the superstructure on TIDOS Virginia.

          I agree that TIDOS Virginia has no tumblehome; given that the Merrimack was cut down to the waterline, comparison of the beam at the waterline and the beam at the highest deck is moot.

  • koolhand21

    Elmo Zumwalt is/was my all time favorite naval Chief. He had the best policies evah! Got me home early. Loved the guy.

  • JohnT

    3. That Bronze Age article was really very interesting. It is always fascinating when archeologists find something that just shouldn’t be there (in this case a full scale multi-thousand person battlefield featuring vast numbers of people who came from hundreds of miles away. In an era and place wihich was thought to be barely above the hunter-gatherer level). That’s like finding a Roman-style legion in 5th century Madagascar or something.

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