Real Mjǫllnir
October 14, 2015 7:28 AM   Subscribe

 
Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy has the right fingerprints, shall possess the power of Thor.
posted by cuscutis at 7:42 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


...or he who kicks it off a metal surface first.
posted by dylanjames at 7:43 AM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


What's the provenance of the “ǫ” character? The link has the name as Mjöllnir; modern Germanic languages would (as far as I know) render the letter as ö or ø, and Old Norse was written in the runic alphabet, so whence the ǫ?
posted by acb at 7:46 AM on October 14, 2015


...or he who kicks it off a metal surface first.

Nobody tell Loki about that.
posted by codacorolla at 7:49 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Old Norse was written in the runic alphabet, so whence the ǫ?

Copied and pasted from the Wikipedia article: "Old Norse: Mjǫllnir", but yes, that's a transliteration.
posted by jedicus at 7:51 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's the o caudata, as used in Old Norse Latin script. Take it away, wikipedia!
The earliest inscriptions in Old Norse are runic, from the 8th century. Runes continued to be commonly used until the 15th century and have been recorded to be in use in some form as late as the 19th century in some parts of Sweden. With the conversion to Christianity in the 11th century came the Latin alphabet. The oldest preserved texts in Old Norse in the Latin alphabet date from the middle of the 12th century.
The O caudata of Old Norse (letter ǫ, with ǫ́) is used to write the open-mid back rounded vowel, /ɔ/. Medieval Nordic manuscripts show this "hook" in both directions, in combination with several vowels. Despite this distinction, the term "ogonek" is sometimes used in discussions of typesetting and encoding Norse texts, as o caudata is typographically identical to o with ogonek.
posted by zamboni at 7:55 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Old Norse was written in the runic alphabet, so whence the ǫ?

Old Norse was written in Latin script and runes. Just check out the Poetic Edda, for example: skeggǫld, skálmǫld/skildir ro klofnir. For those of a scholarly note, runes are generally considered to be Latin-derived.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:57 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great idea. I want one that's not keyed with a fingerprint scanner, but a small remote, just an on-off clicker. Because it would be great to make some people "worthy" and others, you know, not.
posted by aureliobuendia at 8:02 AM on October 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


... or they who are patient enough to let the battery run out.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:10 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Great idea. I want one that's not keyed with a fingerprint scanner, but a small remote, just an on-off clicker. Because it would be great to make some people "worthy" and others, you know, not.

At the Orlando Science Center they have one that is exactly that. There is a employee that stands next to it the whole time and hits a button in their pocket that turns it on/off selectively. They usually let the kids pick it up and the adults struggle.


Here's a picture of it.
posted by synthetik at 8:11 AM on October 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


It'd be extra fun to try and use it as an actual hammer. All that mass in the SLA batteries suddenly finding itself decelerating against its plastic housing, Bet the L and the A wouldn't stay S for long...
posted by Devonian at 8:53 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's got to be the first time in history of engineering that the requirement of massive lead batteries and a giant heavy coil turns out to be a plus. And I agree about having a remote clicker. It looked unnatural when he demonstrated how to pick it up — it would have sold the prank better if he was able to casually walk over and effortlessly grab it with one hand rather than carefully position one hand all the way at the bottom of the shank and then wait a few seconds.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:02 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gotta love how a post on an electromagnetic recreation of a cartoon weapon slides into a discussion of Old Norse typography.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:14 AM on October 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've got to agree that the thumbprint scanner was a misstep. Either a remote control so you can pick the "worthy", or a hidden switch on the handle so the occasional subject can prove themselves "worthy" would have made for a more entertaining prank.

Lovely gadget though, filming that had to have been a lot of fun.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 9:26 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's not the real Mjollnir.

The real Mjollnir is a neutral artifact war hammer that does 1d4 damage (plus 1 more against small creatures), but an extra 1d24 against non-shock resistant foes, making it one of the most desired of all weapons. Anyone can wield it, purity of heart has nothing to do with it, and most classes can get to Basic skill in war hammer, but a strength of 25 is needed, hard to achieve, to throw Mjollnir reliably at foes. If the thrower is a valkyrie, there's a 99% chance of it returning automatically, and another 99% chance of it being caught. But the problem is, if you throw it a lot, 1% chances aren't incredibly rare, and if you fail to catch it there's a 50/50 chance of getting hit, yourself, by it. Wielders of Mjollnir are likely to already be shock resistant, but even if they're resistant to the extra damage their rings and wands aren't, meaning slightly less than a 1-in-200 chance of losing valuable stuff per toss.

Fortunately I can draw you a picture of Mjollnir right here: ) That's the real thing, and any stories you hear about it actually being born from Marvel comics, or for that matter Nordic myths, should be shunned.
posted by JHarris at 9:26 AM on October 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


The whole time I lived in NYC I never got around to seeing "O! caudata!"
posted by lagomorphius at 9:49 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was super cool.
posted by KillaSeal at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2015


Let the golden retriever try! It is worthy!
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:20 AM on October 14, 2015


The real Mjolnir.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd have put a torsion sensor into the handle so you could input an unlock code along the lines of left-left-right-left-right or similar. Invisible to onlookers and highly unlikely to be triggered by the uninitiated.

(I'm also reminded of the way that the SOE created hidden bottoms on cans to stash secret stuff in occupied Europe. They unthreaded clockwise, the thinking being that the methodical-to-a-fault Germans looking for such things would only ever try to unscrew things counter-clockwise.)
posted by Devonian at 10:47 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh man it took me years to figure out how to properly take apart and clean my vacuum cleaner (as it slowly became less and less effective) because one of the parts unscrewed the wrong way. and I'm german.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:06 PM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


NFC proximity chip concealed in a bracelet would be cleaner, also. But it's a nice proof of concept. Also, is this Hawaii?
posted by a halcyon day at 4:02 PM on October 14, 2015


Also, is this Hawaii?

Venice Beach, California; which means there was a missed golden opportunity to get one of the jacked-up meat piles from nearby Muscle Beach to try to lift the hammer.
posted by aureliobuendia at 5:22 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


A hall sensor and magent ring would also have worked.
posted by ryoshu at 5:32 PM on October 14, 2015


Props for the "mewmew" tag.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:29 AM on October 15, 2015


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