What a great use for old shell casings! I like it!
A problem I have with the article though is that the writer, as all too frequently seems to happen, doesnt know what hes writing about and uses incorrect terms and so imparts incorrect information. Mortars dont have a shell case that the shell is fired from, their very design prohibits it. It appears hes using artillery shell casings, a completely different critter.
A minor point that really has nothing to do with the story, but it bugs me none the less when incorrect information appears, especially when it comes from such a well respected news outlet.
Java "Get it right or dont publish it!" phile