No culture in human history has been content beating its enemies with the most popular stick/sword/turkey decapitation arrow of the era. We put some serious effort into engineering our methods of mayhem, and as any inventor can tell you, coming up with awesome new things is a hit-and-miss process. For every effective fighter jet, there's a wobbly tank-plane. For every sane and functional crowd-control weapon, there's a foam that clings to you like a horny octopus. When we manage to invent a neat cannon, you can bet your butt some genius straps it on a scooter.
And, sometimes, when weapons designers watch a few too many cartoons, we wind up with stuff like ...
"Ha, look at those guys! They're fighting by throwing iron snakes at each other!"
... Is actually the least insane thing to say about the scenario unfolding in the above picture. The tool of dubious destruction those men are wielding is the urumi, an ancient Keralan martial arts weapon that is essentially a hilt with a razor-sharp bandsaw blade attached to it. Many consider urumi one of the most dangerous swords in the world, primarily to the user. Here, have some kalarippayat experts demonstrate why:
Hahahahahaha, look at that! They're like two helicopters locked in a mortal slap-fight. That's the kind of fight scene you don't expect to see outside a clunky anime with lots of screaming, or perhaps a video game, which incidentally is where most of you are vaguely remembering seeing a weapon slightly like this:
Namco Bandai Games
Along with a couple of other things.
The frankly insane design of urumi actually holds certain advantages over more conventional bladed weapons. Although it's unlikely to actually pierce armor or cut opponents in two (I think -- those guys in the video would probably gladly disprove this theory), it's very difficult to effectively defend yourself against. The length and bendiness of the weapon make it capable of thwarting most conventional parrying attempts: it can easily reach around unprepared shields and swords, dealing blade-lashes that are unpleasant at best and, presumably, disemboweling at worst. Also, damn if the murder-tornado it creates isn't enough to keep pretty much anyone at bay, if only because the opponent's "there's no telling what a guy crazy enough to wield that might do" survival instinct is bound to kick in the second someone starts swinging this thing.
Still, as artful as skilled urumi users clearly are, at the end of the day it's just a silly, metallic whip that Wile E. Coyote would dismiss as too far-fetched. Hell, some variations of the weapon even have more than one blade. Can you imagine? There's absolutely no way to wield that in an effective, badass wa-
3The Gun Ring
There are many things to take into account when purchasing a firearm. Does it suit its intended use? Will its size tend to your specific needs of overcompensation? Will it accidentally shoot you in the crotch whenever you're digging for your keys?
That last problem, while not much of an issue with, say, hunting rifles (and if it is, holy shit please stop using your rifle that way), definitely comes into play with the insanity gun that is Le Petit Protector. A 19th-century French invention, it hails from an age where cane guns, derringers, and other concealable self-defense firearms were all the rage, and is arguably the pinnacle of this trend. Its five- to six-shot revolver mechanism fires tiny, 2-mm pinfire rounds at the enemy or, more likely, the faces of your interested friends as they peer in to look at your cool new ring.
Great, now I want to see a remake of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly where everyone uses these instead of normal revolvers.
"Wait, tiny finger guns are a thing?" I hear you inquire. "Holy shit, I'll get six of those right now and use them to gain an advantage in my upcoming rage match against Rhotgar Bearmangler, Bane of the North!" Uh, maybe don't do that just yet. As a concealed firearm, this thing reaches ACME-levels of absurdity. It is almost impossible to hide, seeing as it's essentially a plain-to-see revolver chamber you wear on your finger. As for the "firearm" part of the equation, the punch a Petit Protector round packs is weaker than that of a modern pellet gun, meaning that you'd probably have to stick your hand in the attacker's pocket and fire it directly at his balls to efficiently stop him from coming at you.
Or you could just pummel them with the box this thing comes in.
However, if you have even the slightest inclination to fidgeting, the all-too-easy-to-reach positioning of the trigger makes the gun ring probably the best thing in existence at making you stop that shit. Incidentally, this would also make it a perfect safety-training tool for shoddy gun owners. As the wise man says: sometimes, accidentally shooting yourself in the dick for the sixth time is the best medicine.