Wednesday December 6, 2006

Fencing in Germany

For the last couple of months, I've been fencing twice a week at the local club over here.  Everyone seems to be younger, faster, and more precise than I am, but they've been very friendly, patiently putting up with my terrible German and my slow, never-gonna-be-better-than-intermediate fencing.  What's impressed me the most, though, is how fencing is clearly a bigger deal over here than in the US, and that's reflected in the quality of the facilities.  For instance, the gravity controls are way more advanced than any I've seen in the States.

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03:47 AM in Fencing , Science Fiction | Comments (5) | Submit: | Links:

Tuesday May 9, 2006

Fencing Etymologies

Have you ever picked up a new vocabulary word in conversation, guessing its meaning purely from context, and then discovered later that you guessed completely wrong?  Stop looking at me that way, you know you have.  (Is there a name for the phenomenon?)  I've had this happen to me with two separate bits of terminology associated with modern sport fencing: homologated and maraging.

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05:17 AM in Fencing , Linguistics | Comments (12) | Submit: | Links:

Wednesday February 8, 2006

Flatworms in Action

The Wife just sent me a link to a short article in The Chronicle of Higher Education titled "8 Hot Tips for Wild Romance" that details oddities from the world of animal mating.  It's behind the subscription wall so I can't include a link, but it includes the following tidbit:

It's a battle of the sexes ... Scientists at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, recently discovered a new species of marine flatworm, Imogine lateotentare, that engages in penis fencing, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. Hopped up on oysters, the two-centimeter flatworms, which have both male and female parts, reproduce by stabbing each other with their genitals. The first to penetrate transfers sperm to the de facto female and goes on to joust with other flatworms while the "loser" lays and protects the eggs.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I'm able to provide you with the following link (NSFW if any of your co-workers is an invertebrate) to a video of flatworms penis fencing.  (You'll have to sit through a short ad.)  I'm not sure how they can tell that the flatworms are hopped up on oysters, but they're the experts, so I guess I'll take their word for it.

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07:10 PM in Fencing , Science | Comments (3) | Submit: | Links:

Tuesday July 12, 2005

Vancouver World Cup

This weekend The Wife and I had the pleasure of spectating at the Peter Bakonyi International Fencing World Cup in Vancouver, BC, which included tournaments in men's and women's épée, men's foil, and women's saber.  Some of the best fencers in the world were in attendance, along with a large contingent of local Candian and near-local American fencers.  The competition was fierce, and there were even a couple of linguistic incidents of note.

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05:31 AM in Fencing | Comments (2) | Submit: | Links:

Thursday July 8, 2004

Fencing Masters

Inigo: You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?
Westley: I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo: Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro!
Westley: Naturally, but I find that Thibault cancels out Capo Ferro. Don't you?
Inigo: Unless the enemy has estudied his Agrippa...which I have!

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03:26 AM in Fencing | Comments (0) | Submit: | Links: