Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bullroaring for Communication and Dundee knife

First, I will talk about Bullroaring and my path to it. Second, I will talk about my interest in knives, particularly in bowie knives, like the kind that Dundee presents when he say, "Now that's a knife."

Lately, I have been looking into how I might communicate with someone beyond speaking distance without using electronic devices, or at least without using a device that requires the same device on the other end to receive and interpret the communicated information.

Before that I had looked into small Ham radios through which you would use Morse code only to send information, but the radio, license, and antenna were complicated, difficult, and bulky. Don't get me wrong, I think Ham radio is a good hobby to get into, but I am not the kind of person to get into it, unless someone were to give me a radio and antenna for free.

Next I looked into using LEDs to encode information, but taht did not pique my interest seriously enough for whatever reason. The only thing that had piqued my interest at that point was a means of encoding based on trinary with a fourth value for confusion. I would have the operator always switch between four styles of encoding, all based on trinary with a fourth digit for confusion of the enemy.

Next I looked at simply using the sun to reflect light directly at the target audience, but the amount of equipment to make such a dedicated means of communication that I dropped it altogether, only leaving me to carry a small mirror in my bag for those SOS signals to aircraft and boats.

Now that I had avoided both electronic and visual means of communication, I turned to auditory communication. This means would make auditory possible at greater distances than my voice is capable of. I would use what is commonly called a bullroarer. For those archaeology buffs, might recall the bullroarers were at the very least used for ceremony, having much bizarre usage in mystery cults, as well as tribal initiation for youths to become men. Bullroarers were seen as magical, and some researchers believe that that may be due to the very low frequency produced by the usage of a bullroarer.

Disregarding superstitious and cultural use of bullroarers, I reall watching Crododile Dundee using a bullroarer to "make a telephone call," to "get some help," from any nearby Aborigines. Such communication would only be practical in a society that has no common source of electricity, which is why bullroarers are no longer used for communication. That makes bullroarers even better for me, since I could teach all of my friends how to interpret particular patterns for bullroaring, as I now call it, and they could know what is being communicated.

Anyways, the three simplest codons, or letters, that you can make with a bullroarer are lasting, loud, and violent. Lasting is the lowest tone and slowest speed that is audible, Loud is the nest fastest and the middle tone, and violent is anything above and louder than loud. Violent is the easiest to distinguish from the rest, and it is also the most tiring.

You would be surprised how many days my right arm was soar after just thirty minutes of randomly bullroaring. I have been playing around with my bullroarer for the last week or so, and so far the easiest place to practice is on the roof of my house, specifically where the roof meets at about a 60 degree angle.

Bullroarers are easy to make, though the best ones are those that are made like primitive peoples made: oval-shaped or eye-shaped flat pieces of wood. Then you tie a string to one end, give the plank a spin, and spin the wood around in a circle, like a bucket on the end of string. The spinning of the wood is what causes the low pitched sound, and the faster you twirl the contraption, the higher the tone you get.

I have come up with a simple means of writing the three codons I mentioned above: - lasting, | loud, + violent. That is simple trinary, so if you only use three codons per message, then you can make a total of 27 messages, or even the entire English alphabet. Four codons triples that, so I might stick with three for now.

So far I have:

Calling the wind: | - + (the source of the three codons, which is obviously a spell of some sort, which you repeat many times)
Help: + - + (like SOS = shortest longest shortest)
I, me: | - +
Need: - | +
Have: + | -
Come: - | |
Leave: + - -

To communicate, "Come to me, I need help", you would sound out, - | |__| - +__- | +__+ - +. That literally translates to "Come [to] me, [I] need help". Repeating "I" would be pointless, and the __ means a gap to separate each word.

Because of the nature of Google, I am not going to put more than this here, though if you want it, I would gladly print off what I do develop when I am done. One more thing, to make sure that no one heard a whirling of a bullroarer mid message, I wait at least 15 seconds between each set of three codons.

Along with the Dundee interest, I have found that the way Mick carries his knife to be quite convenient. Since I live in Texas, I can legally carry a fixed blade knife in public as long as the blade is less than 5.5" long. I have a Ka-Bar short version, which has a 5.25" blade, and so I get my with that, for now. If I lived IN Alaska or Montana, I would carry something like Dundee carries.

Anyways, I like the blade that Dundee has, for several reason. First, the blade is shiny, making presentation to muggers very obvious. Second, the blade is about 11" long, making its presence most intimidating, plus I could say that it is a real knife. Third, the blade is an excellent weapon; the knife is a bowie knife, the carrying of which is illegal in most states in America, which sadly shows the long-lasting scars of the Civil War.

If I had a ranch, then I would spend a wad of cash on a fancy diagonal, tip up, bottom of the back, sheath and a bowie knife similar in size and features to Dundee's knife. That would be an excellent Christmas or birthday present, by the way. I will keep an eye ought for such a knife next time I go to a gun and knife show.

That is all for now, I hope you enjoy what I have said, and I hope you enjoy life at least a little bit more,