The Finest Sword

The Finest Sword

It’s hard to explain just how far steel has advanced just in the past few decades, so that a $10 piece of hardware-store steel is going to be more impressive than anything produced centuries ago, the same way my stock Nissan Maxima could wax the most powerful muscle cars of the ‘60s.

I seem to recall reading a conversation about what swords would be made out of, if they were still in use in today’s militaries, as opposed to rifles.  It was actually a fascinating conversation.  One would have to take into account high-tech armor like Kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber body panels and all that whatnot.  What surprised me was the verdict, echoed by quite a few people who claimed to be insiders in the materials industry.  Apparently, a modern, military-grade, G.I. (non-specialist) sword would most likely not be some carbon-titanium alloy or magnesium polymer, but a simple, T20 high-carbon steel — the same stuff they use to make my ratchet wrench.

I just have to add, this video is entertaining.  The guy busts a classic samurai sword with a $10 piece of metal from the hardware store that he ground an edge on.  Though in fairness to the samurai sword, it’s hard to explain just how far steel has advanced just in the past few decades, so that $10 piece of hardware-store steel is going to be more impressive than anything produced centuries ago, the same way my stock Maxima could wax the most powerful muscle cars of the ‘60s.

And if you take the most advanced, most perfectly balanced sword in the world to the battlefield, you’d get shot, because nobody goes to war with a freaking sword anymore.

So here we are.  Hennessy is set to produce a new car that spits out 1600 hp.  The goal is to reach 300 mph in a production car that nobody can afford to actually buy, blasting the Bugatti Chiron and the Konigsegg whateveritscalled.  And I have to ask myself, why?  Give it a few years, and the most advanced internal combustion engines will be a thing of the past, just like swords on the battlefield.

Just watch this half-a-million-dollar Lamboroghini roar and thunder before getting smoked by a Tesla that costs a quarter of the price.  I mean, it sure made some impressive noise before it lost.  And the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon wowed the automotive world with its insane 0-60 of a mere 2.3 seconds.

And the Tesla roadster hit the same mark in 1.9.

Times change, and technology changes.  Tesla isn’t the only company making electric cars, either; it’s a growing corner of the industry.

Now, the electric car is nothing new.  The first one was built in 1828, meaning it predated the internal combustion engine by a few decades.  It fell out of favor because the technology wasn’t there — batteries weren’t as strong, materials weren’t as light, and so on.  But now, if you look at where the trend is headed, it would seem it’s here to stay.

We’ll see.


Michael Patrick Lewis is a teacher, and bestselling author of Preferred Rewards.  Check out my newest book, A Dance to Remember, available October 3.  You can also find him on Twitter @fakeMikeLewis.

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