Where Are All the Missing Socks?

I had a good laugh when I read on Quora this brilliant answer by Jay Cashen, and just had to share! The question, of course, being what happens to all our missing socks… What happens to all our missing socks? Washers spin clothes at high revs. That generates...

Typography: What Is That Called?

Have you ever wondered why some parts of letters are called tails and stems, and what are other parts besides them called? As David Maier explains, a lot of the terminology seems to come from human and animal counterparts with roughly the same shape or position (eye,...

Bizarre Weapons: the Lantern Shield

Robert Arthurs reports on Quora first seeing this wonder of medieval over-specialization on display in Vienna, Austria: Doesn’t it look awesome? Well, looks can be deceiving. You see that small hole in the top region of the shield? That is where a soldier would...

Ancient Travels

I came across an interesting question on Quora the other day: What was the approximate travel time between London and Rome in the 13th century? As Frank Melling, author of “A Sixpence in the Settee,” points out, this is not a simple question to answer, as...

Unknown Medieval Weapons

Everyone’s heard of swords and spears. But how about the Goedendag, the Ahlspiess, or the Hussite flail? If you write historical fiction, you may appreciate this opportunity to spice up your weapons, courtesy of Quora. The Goedendag Essentially, the Goedendag...

Flame-Bladed Swords

Fantasy often sports unusual weapons like the flame-bladed sword: But how historically accurate are they? Were these actually ever used in battle? And if so, why? Murphy Barrett has the answer in Quora! Why a Flamberge? A flame-bladed sword – aka flamberge...

3 Hard Science Fiction Ideas

Many of my readers enjoy science fiction as much as I do. Jacob Baumgardner recently shared an answer about which emerging technologies may have the greatest impact in the near future. He identified three: fusion power, rail/coilguns, and pre-coolers. I imagine that...

Medieval Rules for Travelers: Here’s My Wife

If you watch any fantasy movies or any fiction taking place in the Middle Ages, you will probably think that travelers camped outside in the open with nobody around for miles. As Joanna Arman explains in Quora, this is not the case. So, if you’re a fantasy or...

Every Swordsman Cheats

When writing fantasy, we often have to describe fight scenes. Swordfights, in particular, make for great descriptions. But we often forget one crucial aspect of fighting: when it comes to life or death, everyone cheats. Even the good guys, as Martin Lloyd points out...

Who Could Build a Castle in the Middle Ages?

In my last post, I explained how a Medieval army could assault a castle. But who built the castle in the first place, and how expensive were they, anyway? Luckily, Helena Schrader and Quora have the answer. Before we move on, though, let’s answer a different...