Weapon of Choice
Mikhail Kalashnikov has died. One of the small number of people whose names are instantly recognised around the world, and the even smaller number whee people know exactly what he was famous for.
"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer," said Kalashnikov. "I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery."
Wow. He actually beat his ploughshares into swords and his pruning-hooks into spears (and his seed drills into AK-47s).
I find it difficult to admire the man, though minimalist simplicity in any kind of engineering is a rare thing and one to be treasured. But few men have had such a great influence on the world we live in.