Happy to announce the release of the full version of this little song! Sekai wa Koi ni Ochiteiru (The World is Falling in Love) from Ao Haru Ride/ ChiCO feat Honeyworks! I had a blast singing and writing this!
Another relatively unknown foldable French SMG. Apparently it was a thing back then.
MGD PM-9 smg
Designed by Louis Debuit, manufactured c.1954-55 by Merlin & Gerin. 9mm Parabellum 32-round removable MP40 box magazine, open bolt delayed blowback select fire with an interesting clock-like spiral spring. Total length folded of 35cm, from 65cm unfolded. This gun was in fact so concealable that later example have no markings of any sort, and not a single government or organization noticed them on the market. Way to overachieve.
Even before World War II, the French Army had experimented with military submachine guns. The French were perhaps more forward-thinking than the British Army in this regard. Both the French and the British had been offered the Thompson and both turned it down, but whereas the British Army dismissed the idea of submachine guns completely, the French began work on their own design called the MAS 35. It was chambered in 7.65x20mm. The prototypes were very basic and had simple tubular butt stocks with flat plates acting as shoulder pieces. The design was not adopted but instead improved upon as the MAS 38. The MAS 38 was unique in that the bolt actually traveled back into the stock at a tilted angle. The internal workings were very complicated and I will spare readers a full explanation.
The MAS 38. Designed at Saint-Étienne and chambered in 7.65mm. This was the standard French submachine gun in World War II.
Despite its unorthodox design, the MAS 38 was adopted as the standard French issue submachine gun. The low-powered cartridge meant that recoil was low and accuracy was good. The weapon was used throughout World War II by both the Free French and the Vichy regime, and would also be used post-war in France’s subsequent conflicts.
After the war it became apparent that submachine guns were more effective than most European militaries had anticipated. The Section Technique de l’Armée (the French equivalent of the Ordnance Board) commissioned the small arms factories at Châtellerault (MAC) and Saint-Étienne (MAS) to develop a new submachine gun in 9x19mm. STA felt that the 7.65mm cartridge was not powerful enough and opted for 9mm since almost every other European country had adopted it.
MAC developed their first prototype in 1947. It had a hinged magazine housing that would fold under the barrel. The magazines used were that of the MP-40. Internally, the return spring was actually located near the trigger mechanism and had a torsion action to it. The end of the spring was attached to a lever that came from a recess from within the bolt. When the bolt flew back, the return spring twisted and tightened.
The MAC 47. Despite a superficial resemblance to the Sten, it was internally nothing alike. The hinged lever underneath the trigger cocked the weapon.
The cocking system was also unusual. There was a lever that folded under the trigger on a hinge. Turning it downwards would cock the weapon. The folding buttstock was made of sheet metal and was considered very unergonomic because it was too large. The return spring system also lost tension after extended use. Another version of this prototype was made that had a wireframe stock and a perforated barrel jacket. The stock folded across the side of the weapon and a brace that ran across the middle of it would deliberately block the open ejection port to prevent it from being discharged in this configuration.
In 1948, MAC produced a new design. It had a cylindrical body and the internal action was based on the Sten gun, but with left-hand cocking. The magazine well was very long and doubled as a fore grip. MP-40 magazines were used. The safety was in the pistol grip and, rather unusually, the stock protruded from the bottom of the grip. Fixed to the side of the stock was a hinged steel plate that was designed for the firer to rest their right elbow on whilst firing from the hip. There was no fire selector on the initial prototypes but subsequent models had two triggers for automatic and semi-automatic fire. Ultimately the weapon was not all that accurate.
MAC produced a lightweight version of this weapon which was made almost exclusively from pressed steel. The wooden stock was replaced with a basic “tromboning” stock which was a simple retracting wireframe. This version was known as the SL and was produced in limited quantities. Those that were made were issued to French troops in Indo-China (now South-East Asia).
The MAC 48. The unusual stock did not align well with the bore and made aiming difficult. When fired from the hip, it was decent.
Meanwhile Saint-Étienne produced a series of prototypes called the C1, the C2, the C3, and the C4. They were all basically derived the same design and differed only in very minor ways. Development started in 1947 and by 1948, the final version known as the C4 had been produced. The action was very similar to the later H&K G3. It had a two-part, L-shaped bolt that ran through a tube over the barrel. The firing pin was fixed to the vertical arm of the bolt. Fitted underneath the long horizontal arm of the bolt, and in front of the shorter vertical arm, was a light bolt head, which was attached to a rotating lever. One end of the lever touched the bolt body and the other end sat in a recess in the weapon’s frame. When gas pressure was applied, the lever rotated, which accelerated the bolt. There was no conventional fire selector. Instead, the trigger was pressurized to give single shots at a half-pull and automatic fire at a full press.
Neither the MAC nor the MAS designs were adopted by the French Army and instead the MAT-49 was chosen.
The MAS 48 C4 in 9mm. The magazine housing, like many other French designs of the time, was hinged and folded under the barrel.
The MAS 49. Chambered in .30 Carbine. Note the long barrel and bipod.
The MAT 49. This was the weapon that was adopted by the French Army. It saw use in Algeria and Indo-China.
Other post-war French designs included the Gevarm D3, produced by ammunition firm Gevelot. It was a very basic Sten clone with a wooden stock and was never manufactured in any quantity. More interesting was the PM-9 produced by Societe Pour l’Exploration des Brevets MGD in 1954. The PM-9 was a very compact folding submachine gun. It is very hard to describe the internal action of the weapon. The bolt was a sort of rod that was connected to a flywheel on the rear end and the front end was connected to a crank that revolved 180 degrees when the bolt moved forward. When it reached the end of its travel, it returned 180 degrees in the opposite direction, upon which the next round would be chambered. When this happened, the flywheel on the rear end of the bolt would oscillate, cocking the weapon, which would then cause a spiral spring to tension and the move the bolt forward again. Very interestingly, the weapon′s fire rate could be changed by adjusting the tension of the spring.
The Gevarm D4 by Gevelot. This version had a retracting stock whereas the D3 had a fixed stock. Not many were made.
The PM-9 produced by MGD and later Erma. The high cost and complex mechanism ensured that it was a commercial failure.
The folded PM-9. In this configuration it was incredibly compact.
The PM-9 design was sold to Erma Werke in Germany in 1955. Erma had difficulty selling the weapon so they instead used its production as a training exercise for young employees. Each unit cost about $150 so production ceased quickly.
[ a mix for some sad gay danes comprised entirely of showtunes ] aka one time i thought too hard about hamlet when i was listening to spring awakening and this spiralled from it
left behind // spring awakening //safer // first date //i don’t know how to love him // jesus christ superstar // all i ask of you // the phantom of the opera // fly, fly away // catch me if you can // come back // dogfight // i’ll cover you (reprise) // rent // with you // ghost the musical // not my father’s son // kinky boots // send in the clowns // a little night music
I was watching a trailer for Nintendo’s ARMS, and they introduced Twintelle who fights with spiraling spring hair. For some reason it got me thinking about weaponized anime hair, and how their should be a manga/anime that exploits that.
In the setting, hair is magical due to its deep roots. It not only connects the hair to the scalp, but also to a mystical/metaphysical world tree. What we see as the shaft is but a tiny portion of a massive metaphysical tree that connects the whole of humanity and grants them power through hair. Only the top of the scalp counts for hair magic, as the “portal” to this world tree is connected through the Chakra located at the top of the scalp (Sahasrara). The main characters would be hairdressers and stylists, called “Barber Surgeons”, going to a prestigious school to hone their craft and their favored hairstyles. Since hair requires another to work on it, the theme of the setting would be about trust and friendship, as a magic hair user must rely on another to maintain their hair for them, and vice versa.
Below are some common anime hair examples, or just general or funny hair styles, and what I think each hair type’s super powers would be.
Spiky Saiyan Hair: Controls fire or launches energy blasts.
Pompadour: Cannon that fires hair balls if it has a flat front, but a more pointed front could be used like a giant sword.
Ponytails and Twintails: Become prehensile whips or appendages.
Spiraling Hair such as some Twintails: Become powerful drills.
Bowl Cut: Defensive shield.
Afro: Gravity control, or maybe explosion generation.
Hime Cut: Healing powers.
Buns or Odango style: Some kind of food related power.
Mohawk or Punk Spikes: Mohawk would be an axe blade while the Punk Spikes would be stabbing weapons.
Stringy Ghost Hair: When draped over the body, the person becomes invisible or can phase through walls.
The Wig Party: The villains of the setting, they are people suffering from premature hair loss, and thus are losing or do not possess hair powers. They believe that the power of hair should belong to no one, and seek to turn the whole world bald, and sever humanity’s connection to the world tree. To reach this goal, they capture and shave powerful hairstylists, and make wigs that allow them to channel power for a time. However, they must replace these wigs frequently as they are no longer connected to the source of all magic. Their leader would be Cue Ball, a master manipulator who has severed all connection to the world tree. This has given him a reflective scalp, and should a person see their reflection in it, they temporarily cannot use their own hair powers.
fae dragons have a very complicated mating ritual that involves flying as high as they possibly can, and when they hit their peak, they entwine around each other and free fall until the last second, upon which they separate and proceed to repeat the process if the couple thinks it didn’t take. fae dragons typically mate in the beginning of autumn, and their eggs are laid by mid autumn and hatched by late winter; they build their nests with only the finest moss, grass and leaves they can find in the midst of a tight, secure tree hollow or in the middle of a tangled clump of roots and branches at the base of a large oak or pine. due to their small stature and a lifespan that is risky due to natural predators in the starfall isles, fae lay anywhere from five to ten eggs, which is a precaution developed naturally over time to prevent an entire clutch from dying out.
snappers, being as low lying to the ground as they are, have complex mating rituals to make sure the males (who tend to be much larger than their mates) do not harm the females. as it is, mating snappers tend to resemble tortoises while in the midst of it all. snappers mate in the late autumn; their eggs are laid in early winter and hatch in early spring. snapper females are rather like penguins in the fact that that they leave while their eggs are incubating to find food, whilst the male settles around them to keep them warm during the winter that they are gestating inside of their sheels. snappers normally lay two to four eggs; their hatchlings are quite sturdy, and it is very rare for a clutch to reach adulthood at a number lower than when they hatched.
coatls mating rituals are fast and uncomplicated — the male mounts the female and everything is over within a surprising amount of minutes. coatl females are extremely demanding and picky before they lay their eggs; everything about their nest has to be just right — the temperature, location, bedding, everything about it. many a coatl male is frustrated with their mate during the time before their eggs are laid. coatl females are like snappers in the fact that they are voracious after their pregnancy, and will spend much of the day hunting before returning to the nest and taking over their duties for the night so the male can venture outside. coatls mate in late summer; their eggs are laid in early fall and hatch in mid winter. coatls lay average clutch sizes of five to six eggs.
tundra dragons are very slow in their mating processes — the male’s penis possesses a mechanism not unlike a dog’s, in which it will knot inside of the female and keep them tied for upwards of an hour and a half; this process is to make sure that the female tundra receives an adequate amount of sperm to fertilize her eggs, due to the cold temperatures that they live in. tundras have communal burrows, and if a female does not spend enough time with her eggs (which happens all too frequently, due to their absent-minded natures), it is not surprising if another female accidentally mistakes one of her clutch as her own. tundras normally raise their hatchlings together in a large, communal group. tundras mate in mid winter; their eggs are laid in late winter and hatch in late spring. there are normally only one or two eggs in a tundra’s clutch — the eggs are large, well-guarded, and no tundra female needs more than two hatchlings distracting her at one time, anyhow.
imperial dragons take a long and hard process to finding their mate — it can take upwards of a hundred years to finally find them, and then another hundred to determine if they will actually settle down with each other or not! imperials often get married, just like a human would, and it is very rare that an imperial will find another mate after their own passes, no matter their age or the circumstances, and they always mate to produce young out of love. imperial dragons typically mate in early summer; their eggs are laid in mid summer and hatch in the late fall. imperials lay three to five eggs — the more the merrier, as they always say! and in almost every clutch, not a single egg or hatchling will fall to harm under their parents watchful eyes.
pearlcatchers are notoriously picky when it comes to mates — if one pearlcatcher doesn’t like another’s pearl, then no hatchlings or permanent bond will come out of the arrangement. when they finally do find the one, like imperials, they will typically get married, but in a far less formal and arranged manner. pearlcatchers always have jewels adorning their nests, and rumors fly that they do this because they hope that their hatchlings will be born with the most gorgeous pearls, outshining their parents and the other nests alongside them. pearlcatchers mate in the early summer; their eggs are laid in mid summer, and typically hatch in the early winter. for some unexplained reason, pearlcatcher broods always equal six. almost every hatchling reaches maturity without harm.
ridgebacks, being one of the largest breeds of dragon, have dramatic mating rituals almost as big as their egos. male ridgebacks choose the optimum time to impress the females — usually during the biggest storm of the season — and perform aerial tricks and maneuvers to encourage a female to fly closer to them. like faes, they wrap themselves around each other and soar higher and higher, close to the eye of the storm itself, before dramatically plunging, almost into the sea. old ridgeback lore claims that the most powerful of dragons were conceived in the actual heart of the storm. ridgebacks are one of the few dragon breeds that will mate with multiple males in one go, just to see who’s sperm proved the most “powerful,” and so the female can see who was worthy of siring her clutch. ridgebacks mate in mid summer; their eggs are laid in late summer and hatch in mid fall. ridgeback eggs are gigantic — almost the size of the ostrich itself, let alone its egg! — and clutches number two to four in size.
wildclaw males participate in yearly races to see who is worthy to mate with the females — the winner gets first pick from his individual clan, and many of the females are entirely willing to allow these males to father their young. other dragons snicker at wildclaws mating, because the act itself resembles two rabbits humping violently for what seems to be a matter of seconds before the female excuses herself to go clean off. wildclaw clans take great pride in new clutches and hatchlings, and much like tundras, will raise their young together, with every set of parents teaching them all they can. wildclaws mate in late spring; their eggs are laid in early summer, and typically hatch in mid fall. clutches for wildclaws are unusually large, numbering eight to ten eggs that produce speedy, quick-witted hatchlings.
mirror dragons have extremely violent mating rituals — male mirrors have spines on their penises, like a male cat, and even after all of the physical fights have taken place to win a female’s honor, when he withdraws from mating, the spines will rake the inside of her vagina, which in turn leads to the female fighting the male to get him away from her. female mirrors have pseudo-penises, like hyenas, and laying their eggs is a laborious, sometimes fatal process; they will also not let the males near their clutch until it is about to hatch. mirrors mate in mid fall; their eggs are laid in late fall, and take an unusually long amount of time to hatch — their clutches typically produce hatchlings in late summer, almost a year after they were laid! mirror dragon clutches number one to three eggs, most likely to prevent the female from too much pain while birthing them that she is physically unable to lay anymore.
guardian dragons spend years looking for the perfect mate — almost as much time as they spend looking for their charge! they are extremely bonded to each other, and most do not find mates after their own passes, or in the rare event that they choose to separate. guardians mate in mid spring, and their eggs are laid in late spring, hatching normally in early fall. guardian eggs are rare in the aspect that, if they are accidentally knocked from the nest and into the water, they can survive for a short amount of time, until their parents come and fetch them — and believe you me, guardians are extremely overprotective of their clutch. guardian clutches typically number three to five in size.
skydancer mating rituals are extremely playful — two of them can gallivant through the fields and steppes for hours, singing and dancing and playing until they finally settle down and do the deed. skydancers are not particularly monogamous dragons — it is almost customary for a pair to find new mates for the next breeding season after they have raised a clutch until they can be on their own. skydancers mate in early spring; their eggs are laid in mid spring and hatch sometime in the early fall. skydancer clutch sizes are on the larger side of things; five to seven eggs can be expected out of a breeding pair.
spirals are the dragon breed that, perhaps, care the least about sexuality and proper mating practices. spirals regularly practice clan orgies, and if a clutch so happens to come out of one, so be it! maybe because of their odd body shapes, or their reckless existence in general, but spiral females have extremely low fertility rates. a pregnant female will be worshiped by her clan, and when the time comes for eggs to be laid, the clan’s resident healer and/or midwife, as well as whomever else she chooses, will be present in her den to assist with things. spirals mate in early spring; their clutches are laid in mid spring and hatch in the early fall. when a female spiral does manage to conceive a clutch, numbers are usually high; anywhere from seven to nine eggs can be expected.
Drawing of one of his first balance springs, attached to a balance wheel, by Christiaan Huygens, published in his letter in the Journal des Sçavants of 25 February 1675. The application of the spiral balance spring for watches ushered in a new era of accuracy for portable timekeepers, similar to that which the pendulum had introduced for clocks.