July 17, 2003


Britainís harsh catapult laws obviously arenít working:

British police charged two men with manslaughter Tuesday following the death of an Oxford University student who was flung from a giant catapult.

Bulgarian Konstadin Yankov, 19, died last November when the stunt near the West Country town of Bridgewater went wrong.

"He had been thrown by a replica medieval catapult and failed to reach the landing net," said a police spokeswoman.

So now theyíll bring in new replica medieval catapult laws that will punish the 99% of us law-abiding replica medieval catapult owners who carry -- or drag -- our replica medieval catapults purely for personal protection. Bet on it.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 17, 2003 02:28 AM

Gee, I could almost do a whole post on the construction of that penultimate sentence.

Posted by: Tim at July 17, 2003 at 03:41 AM

Yeah. "Being" for "bring".

Bad. Will fix.

Posted by: tim at July 17, 2003 at 04:01 AM

Of course, as in all aspects of life, this story brings to mind a Simpsons reference. Catapulting was, of course, the punishment of choice for those violating Springfield's prohibition laws. Maybe this is just another one of those "TV made me do it!" cases - like the guy who caught his buddy on fire after watching Jackass, or the guy who suffered clinical depression after realizing that his friends weren't nearly no rich or good-looking as the cast of Friends, and that the mobile home they share in Receda isn't quite as nice as the flats on the show, either. If that last one hasn't happened yet, I'm sure it will. It just makes sense.

Posted by: Jared at July 17, 2003 at 04:14 AM

I'm probably not the first person to have this idea, but it sounds as though Konstadin Yankov is elegible for a coveted Darwin Award. Motto:

The Darwin Awards honor those who improve our gene pool... by removing themselves from it. These men and women gave their "all" in an effort to improve the human species. Of necessity, the honor is generally bestowed posthumously.

Posted by: Ernie G at July 17, 2003 at 04:54 AM

" He had been the sixth person that day to be launched from the "trebuchet" catapult."

was it a catapult or a trebuchet? two very different devices, really; my guess is a trebuchet with a bucket for the projectile, instead of a sling.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 17, 2003 at 05:25 AM

Catapults don't kill people.

It's the flaming pitch that kills people.

Posted by: Brian J. at July 17, 2003 at 05:55 AM

The trebuchet uses a swinging weight rather than taught ropes for power, and is generally quite a bit stronger than the catapult.


Posted by: mojo at July 17, 2003 at 06:11 AM

mojo, that's exactly right. the swinging weight would subject the body to less initial g-forces than the torsion on the ropes, i'm guessing, so the subject would survive the launch from a trebuchet. as far as surviving the landing, well, as tom lehrer said

"once the rockets are up,
who cares where they come down?
'that's not my department'
said wehrner von braun"

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 17, 2003 at 06:38 AM

Go to Trebuchet.Com to learn how to build your own. Amaze your friends...kill your friends!

Posted by: Wallace at July 17, 2003 at 06:44 AM

"Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam"
(I have a catapult. Give me all your money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.)

these guys are great!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 17, 2003 at 07:12 AM

If catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.

Posted by: Jared at July 17, 2003 at 07:58 AM

By rights that website should be using the Trebuchet MS True-Type font.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 17, 2003 at 08:46 AM

Heaqdmaster: Are you licenced, boy, to own a catapault.All very well slinging Snodgrass, Adams and Doolley over the bycicle shed and onto the rugger field but groundsman doesn't appreciate the bloody great dents in the turf.Iff you must get your thrills so, please aim them at French's
office window, that man gives me the creeps.
Carry on Jenkins.

Posted by: d at July 17, 2003 at 10:28 AM

He didn't die of cancer,
Or SARS from Deng Xiaoping.
A longer net's the answer
To dance this highland fling.

Posted by: Stephen at July 17, 2003 at 11:06 AM

We don't need to ban all catapults, only the assault catapults. The ones that come with bayonet mounts, pistol grips, etc.

Posted by: Dave T. at July 18, 2003 at 12:04 AM

Where do you obtain one Dave, an assault catapault. I'd like to trundle one up Spring ST. and catapault a few of the dribblers sitting on the treasury benches over the city roof tops.

Posted by: d at July 18, 2003 at 09:56 AM

Goddamn I missed out on some fun at uni!

Posted by: Evil Right-Wing Bastard at July 18, 2003 at 09:18 PM