January 21st, 2007

Technicalities of sword fighting

Heya! First time poster here, hope you can help!

I am currently working on a short story where my character is involved in a rather unceremonious sword fight. The outcome is that my main character defeats his opponent mainly by dumb luck and having higher stamina. I want the opponent to leave the battle with a broken arm or an injury equivalent to that. My question is how the arm would be broken during the sword fight and not actually severed. Is there a possibility that the opponent strikes so hard that the bone breaks upon impact when the victor blocks the blow?

Is there a site online or a reasonably priced book I can read to gain some information about the technicalities of sword fighting?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

Update: Decided that my victor shall indeed be using a buckler, so that changes the situation and problem slightly. His opponent is wielding a monster of a sword.. Which leads me to the question if there is a significant difference between broadsword and greatsword. My understanding is that the latter is absolutely enormous and is comparative to using one smaller weapon and one considerably larger.

I'm going to Google and Wiki my tush off to find more information, but I'm still very glad to be linked in proper directions.

Thanks so far for your help!
  • Current Mood: hopeful

Motorcycles

While I do have a grasp of the workings of a motorcycle and how one drives it, I need an actual model for a motorcycle that a young Londoner, just out of school, could afford in or around 1978. Nothing too cheap, he's quite well off (inherited from an uncle), but not top of the line, oh my god, amazing, either. Something that's a bit of a classic without being...you know cliche classic.
Tags:

Wichita area harvest in August

Okay. I've tried everything I can think of. Maybe one of you knows right off.

What (if anything) is harvested in the Wichita, Kansas area during the first week of August?

I've looked in USDA sites, Googled various combinations, and looked on Answers.com and Wikipedia. There's a lot on when to plant, nothing on when you harvest.

My farmer is bragging about his harvest. I just want to make sure it's the right one for that time of year. Thanks for your help!
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MOD POST

Either this is a growing trend, or I'm just paying more attention: Members are frequently posting answers to questions that they have no clue about.

Before you comment, please consider where your information is coming from. Are you just guessing? Then say so. Are you just repeating folk wisdom? Then say so. I think you get the picture.

I'm going to start being cracking down on this. But don't worry, the most I'll do is embarrass you. Basically, if you state something as if it's fact and I suspect that you're just pulling it out of your ass, I'm going to ask you for your source.

And you will be required to answer.

Two more things:

* If you think someone is posting wrong information, feel free to question or correct them. If they throw a fit at you, contact me and I'll tell them to settle down. (But don't be an utter jerk, of course.)

* It's a good idea to let posters know what your qualifications are, if you have them. This isn't a requirement; it's just helpful to have that to take into account when judging the trustworthiness your info.
  • Current Music: Stevie Wonder - Superstition

Fermenting Hot Peppers

Hello!
I'm writing in a fantasy world which, in this area, is much like the classic medieval-Europe-type setting with swords and sorcery, but would prefer not to use magic for this, as that would be a cheap way out, and this is also a culture that doesn't really use magic.
Basically, I need to know whether hot peppers can be made into wine. Someone told me that the chemical which makes them hot is there to prevent things - like bacteria and fungi, such as yeast - from eating them, and that could mean that they can't ferment. These have to be hot peppers, not sweet ones - not necessarily the world's hottest or anything, but my aim is an alcoholic drink which is also hot. That's another question - how hot would the wine itself be? I was thinking, also, that the culture (which lives primarily in cold mountain areas, and thus can use the varying cold temperatures in different parts/heights of the mountains to help with this) could freeze-distill the wine to get a harder beverage. I have it on good authority (a chemistry professor who also brews his own alcohol, but who was unable to answer most of my more pepper-related questions, and suggested the fermentation problem) that this part itself is okay, but I wonder: would this distillation change the spicy-hotness of the drink? Also, what color would the wine be (assume the peppers are red)? The distilled drink (if at all different)? Finally, I know that the stuff that makes peppers hot is soluble in alcohol, because that's part of how they measure the heat of peppers (soak the pepper in alcohol, then measure how much water it takes to dilute the alcohol until the hot taste is barely perceptible), so: Is there any problem with bottling the distilled drink with a small, very hot pepper in the bottom (sort of like a tequila worm in a bottle) to add even more heat? Would this pepper need to be prepared in any way? Assume that the people drinking this stuff have very tough systems and can take the heat - but would any of these drinks have harmful (more than just briefly unpleasant) effects on normal humans?
Note: It's important that the drink be made of fermented peppers, not some other kind of alcohol with peppers added - it has to do with what the people have avaliable to them and their reasons for making the drink, and their beliefs about it. If yeast is going to have to be added, was there a way that people did that before the modern isolation of yeast, maybe before they knew exactly what it was that caused the fermentation - maybe by adding a piece of a plant that naturally has yeast on it (I believe grapes do, and would LOVE to hear of others which naturally grow enough yeast to ferment without having it added, and maybe to help other things ferment if they are added)? I could live with them adding some of another plant, but I don't want that to be where the drink comes from.
Many thanks!