Ok, look....I know my jokes are bad. I know I'm offensive. I know, (now), it's not a smart idea to paint 'Free Candy and Puppies Inside' on your van before heading to the local school. But really? Isn't that going a bit too far?

Okokok....how about this....

No no...Don't tell me....it's Prince, right? Is Prince even going by his glyph anymore? Or is it cool to call him Prince again? I mean, I never stopped calling him Prince. 'Glyph Boy' just didn't roll off the tongue easily. And I refused to call him 'The Artist Formerly Known As Prince' because I won't pander to freaks.

Anyway, I suppose I should explain the picture for today. Because for the first time ever, the picture has absolutely nothing to do with todays subject matter. Not even in a pound about way. I'll explain.

What you see pictured was what my original topic was going to be. The reason is, well....look at it! When you see it, Crocodile Dundee comes to mind. "That's not a knife....". And that's exactly what it is; a knife. I used this picture because of it's size. But this particular knife comes in many shapes and sizes. And it goes by many names. But the one most people would recognize, (and the reason I wanted to write about it is), Hunga Munga.

Even though most people will have only seen one on the TV show 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', it is in fact a real weapon. It was used by several tribes in Africa.

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The reason I ultimately decided not to write about the Hunga Munga is, that's not it's real name. Awwww, I know. But depending on the tribe that used it, it's called a Mambele, Kpinga, Danisco, Goleyo or Njiga. And when you take the name Hunga Munga out of the picture, it just becomes another throwing knife.

With my original topic out of the lineup, I had to go to the next item on my list. As it turns out, it was another weapon. And it's a historical weapon. So I get to pile more history on you, just in case you didn't get enough yesterday.

Don't worry, I'm not going to do a real deep dive into history today. Just a shallow dive. From the low platform! I'm not dumb enough to do a high dive into shallow water.

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The weapon I want to tell you about is called the Novogorod. You're probably wondering why there is a weapon named after a City and region in Russia. Well, that's because it's the same type of weapon virtually every nation names after cities; it was a ship. A ship commissioned by the Imperial Russian Navy, it was launched in May of 1873. It first saw action against the Turks in 1877.

She was a formidable ship, too. Her main armaments were two 26 ton, 11-inch guns. These were big guns for a naval vessel at the time. The could be swiveled together or independently of each other. The guns had a hydraulic recoil system that was designed to eliminate the effects of firing.

She had 6 engines that each powered it's own screw giving her a top speed of 7 knots. Designed for costal defense, she had a draught of only 13 feet.

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So what makes the Novogorod subject to one of my posts? How about the fact that she was as wide as she was long. Everyone knows that a square isn't the best design for a ship, so put that thought out of your head. The Novogorod was a circle.

And as a fighting ship it was about as useless as a rifleman in a floating bathtub.

On the way to her first engagement against the Turks, she proved to be much slower than the rest of the fleet. Also, it's not that easy to keep a circle pointing straight against the current. She had to be towed by other ships to the battle area which, as you can imagine, handicapped the other ships in combat.

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And when she finally fired her big guns, it was discovered that the hydraulic recoil suppression did, in fact keep her level during firing. It also, however, started her spinning on her axis like a top.

This first engagement was also the last time she was used in open water. After the battle was over, she was tied up to a dock and used as stationary defensive guns. Even though it wasn't very good at that either.

Another thing that makes this a worthy subject is, the Novogorod wasn't a one-off ship. The naval admiral who designed it convinced the Tsar that it was such a good design, they built two before they tested the design.

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In 1912 the Novogorod and her sister ship, the Rear Admiral Popov, were finally scrapped.

Well, would you look at that. My diner is done cooking. Just as I get done typing this post. What a coincidence. Or is it........maybe I planned it that way......you'll never know.....