Tag Archives: video

Smithing in Vokhtah – how to forge the links of a chain

The creatures of Vokhtah possess many ‘skills’ that owe more to fantasy than sci-fi, but their world is as real as I can make it, so here is some real blacksmithing that I had to research today:

Those who’ve read the first book about Vokhtah will know that the technology of the iVokh is somewhere between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age of Earth. They have Smiths who work starrock – i.e. rock that falls from the stars – in firepits. Of all the items crafted by the Smiths, two play a vital role in Vokhtan culture – timepieces and shackles.

I introduced the concept of a water-driven timepiece in book 1, and the following is a concept drawing of what such a timepiece [with extra ‘alarm bell’] might look like:

 

In book 2, however, I’ll be introducing the idea of the shackles. Think old convict shackles like these:

If you go searching for images of shackles, please be careful how you word your Google search. I learned some eye-opening things about bondage before I found the above image on Ebay. Apparently you can ‘Buy Now’ for $25.97 USD…

But after all that research, how much actually ended up in the story?

Not much. The one thing that truly hit me from the video was that without that shaped anvil, the calipers and the hammer, the blacksmith would have been struggling to make anything resembling a chain link. So how about my Smiths. Would they have possessed such specialised tools? Probably not, at least to start with. So my research boils down to half a sentence, shown in bold below:

The silence of the small chamber was broken by the clank of starrock as Tatah strained against the shackles that bound her to the cot. Held aloft by her huge, red wings, she thrashed from side to side in a vain attempt to break free, but neither the shackles nor the cot showed any signs of weakening.

Exhausted by her efforts and still not completely recovered from the Cut, she slumped back onto her belly and lay there gasping as her wings slowly deflated.

She was bitterly disappointed at not being able to free herself but was not surprised. She had commissioned the shackles at a time when she thought she could conquer the world, so her Smiths had been ordered to produce nothing but the best. They had taken her at her word, spending a year just to craft the tools they would need to forge the shackles. Then they had spent another year refining the starrock and forging it into a set of bindings strong enough to hold even the strongest Vokh.

Tatah had been delighted. But, of course, she had never dreamt that the shackles would be used against her…

Happy weekend all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Meeks

 


Cat to the rescue!

I wasn’t going to post this weekend, but then my friend Scottie posted this, and I just had to share it:

I’ve watched the rescue three times already and I still get a lump in my throat watching that cat save one of the ‘enemy’. ๐Ÿ˜€

We humans could learn a thing or two from this amazing cat.

Still smiling,

Meeks


Augmented Reality – it’s just around the corner

Vuzix knows that people donโ€™t want to be embarrassed when they put something on their face. So the company is working hard to ship a pair of augmented reality smartglasses this year that will be thin enough to wear comfortably. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company unveiled its latest models, the Blade 3000 smart Sunglasses andย theโ€ฆ

via Vuzix aims to ship thin augmented reality smartglasses in 2017 โ€” VentureBeat

In Innerscape, Episode 5, I write about the NCTU agent following a digitally projected ‘map’ to his destination. In the trailer above, the guy wearing the AR smart glasses does the same thing. The details are obviously different, but the concept is the same. I am so chuffed. ๐Ÿ˜€

cheers

Meeks


Pressure points – research for Episode 5

This is not my normal fare, but I had to find out if it was possible to knock someone out using only a pressure point. I found my answer, and it’s ‘yes’.

In the video clip below, the instructor is demonstrating a four-step move that leaves the boy totally out of it. If you rewind the video to 04 seconds, you will see that the move which actually knocks him out is the third one. It pushes the point of the instructor’s elbow into a pressure point on the boy’s chest. You can hear an ‘oof’ sound as it happens.

The blow to the jaw is probably not needed, at least not against an opponent who isn’t actively fighting back.

I have to say this is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Many of the people commenting on the video try to pass the whole thing off as a fake, but if you watch only the boy’s face, you’ll see that he would have to be an Oscar winning actor to fake this reaction.

Youtube is an amazing resource. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

cheers

Meeks


#Dollhouse – Melanie Martinez

My thanks to the Offspring for this one:

I don’t normally listen to ‘pop’ but this video clip is so clever I just had to share. It tells a story, a dark one, while lulling the conscious mind with a melody that is almost upbeat.

Enjoy,

Meeks


#JohnOliver and #Ladybucks, with a little help from some monkeys

Yesterday I posted about Capuchin monkeys understanding the difference between cucumbers and grapes. Today, thanks to Mr Merveilleux [a.k.a. Pinky] I thought I’d share my new discovery – English comedian [?] John Oliver. Oh, and the solution to the gender pay gap – Ladybucks. Enjoy!

Meeks


The #fairness study with Capuchin #monkeys

Watch this video [from a TED talk] and tell me that ‘fairness’ is not hardwired in all of us:

My thanks to the Offspring for telling me about this. ๐Ÿ™‚

cheers

Meeks


This is a bus? New technology from #China

As a science fiction writer, I’m always on the lookout for unusual and innovative technology, and this ‘straddling bus’ ticks both of those boxes for me. Sadly,…it may not be sci-fi for very much longer. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Happy Sunday,

Meeks


Eurovision 2016 – congratulations Ukraine!

The Offspring and I just finished watching the scoring for Eurovision 2016, and we’re both knackered! So exciting but also incredibly nerve wracking.

Ukraine won at the very end, but out very own Dami Im led for most of the judging, and we couldn’t be more proud. Congratulations Ukraine and THANK YOU, Dami. ๐Ÿ™‚

cheers

Meeks

p.s. This is the people’s favourite – You’re the Only One [Russia]:

 


Vertical Farming, now and into the future

The key concept in the following video is that cities can become food producers instead of just food consumers…via vertical farming. But what is vertical farming? Is it the kind of inner city, urban farming that happened in Havana [Cuba]? Or is it ‘just’ hydroponics farming? Or is it something more?

The examples of vertical farming begin at about 11 minutes into this 13 minute video. Well worth the investment in time.

My thanks to A.C. Stark for introducing me to both the video and the concept of vertical farming. A.C. Stark’s site is full of interesting posts that range from politics to climate change.

cheers

Meeks


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