October 31, 2008

Happy Haloween!

Art, is, of course, by the multi-talented Ryu

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October 29, 2008

Put Down that Palantír!!

 The odds are indeed very long. The stakes of this fight are high.....but NOTHING is certain yet...

....except that in despair lies certain defeat.
Do not give up. Victory is not out of reach!      

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October 28, 2008

We Interupt Our Regularly Scheduled Below the Fold Obama Bashing

...to express our profound and sincere joy that the Secret Service thwarted an attempt by two walking, talking colostomy bags to assassinate Barak Obama.

Yes 2 Goddamned Nazi thugs were trying to kill the first serious black candidate for president of the United States.

As others have pointed out they are awfully pretty for Nazis. One wonders if they are part of the Ernst Roem wing of the party or perhaps some new, horrible type of Emo Nazis.
( I think Frank Miller foresaw this)

Their plan was almost funny....

Cowart and Schlesselman “planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows.”

“Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt.

Of course then there is the part about them killing 88 children to comemorate their murder of a United States Senator...soley because of the color of his skin. Rot in hell asswipes! I hope your prison experience is deeply unpleasant.

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October 27, 2008

The Politix of D&D

It really is all just a game...with a bad GM.

 Motivational Poster  not one of mine....was nicked from the late lamented MacroChan

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October 26, 2008

Science with a Capital "!"

One of the Brickmuppets Crack Team of Science Babes points out that Brian Wang has a huge roundup of really interesting technology advancements here.
Some have been touched on here before, but Wangs' got a lot more and links within links. Get a cup of hot chocolate, sit down and start clicking.

A few highlights...

Cardboard harder than cast iron.

Nuclear fuel from seaweed.

3-D printers...for buildings, that Caterpillar expects to be field testing by the end of the year.

As has been mentioned here numerous times, we are on the cusp of, or witnessing several breakthroughs that have the potential to greatly increase our quality of life.
The only thing standing in the way of most of them most of them are Luddites, and those who would unwittingly regulate them out of existence. That fact bears considerable pondering over the next 8 days at least.

The idea that great advances could just be shelved for silly, political reasons is not at all far fetched as the continued existence of Leon Kass outside of a pillory demonstrates.

Historically such decisions have had very bad results.Rome had very rudimentary steam engines. However the development of them for more practical applications was officially discouraged for fear that they would displace slave labor...and thereby create an employment crisis and subsequent social upheaval....the implications of the industrial age and the elimination of slavery...2000 years ago.....are fascinating, but rife with assumptions more the purview of Harry Turteldove.

China is the most commonly cited example, and unlike the Roman example above requires little assumption that necessary advances would have been made. In possession of the largest merchant fleet in history, the oldest and most advanced civilization  on earth decided in the early 1400's to stop exploring and engaging the world. The nation rapidly lost the applicable technologies and did not become a world power again until the 1960's...and was not a serious economic power until the early 90s.

The lead in economics and power the US currently enjoys is infinitesimal in comparison to the lead in technology, knowledge, and both hard and soft power that China enjoyed in the 1400s. Other nations were literally centuries behind, and yet a group of visonless bureaucrats, for reasons of both well intentioned but short sighted idiocy, and the most venal self interest, stymied through legislation (or simply outlawed) not only emerging technologies, but existing ones as well. China was leapfrogged and became the plaything of the nations who had put her inventions to good use. In a last fit of bureaucratic group think, the descendants of those who had brought this about, ended the modernization efforts of the Tang Dynasty solely because they feared that the new ministries and corporations focused on technological development  would threaten their power and relevance. The result was 70 years of blood, culminating in the worst mass murder humanity has ever seen.

The people who oppose nuclear power and other technologies occasionally do so out of good faith. Even so, following their tragically flawed path is a journey through despair and blood.

We cling desperately to the face of a precipice, but we are about to grow wings. There are those  who presume to know whats best for us, and think we should not posses wings. It is imperative that we not hand them shears.

(Science babe is actually Klan Klan from Macross Frontier)

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October 20, 2008

What Hapwened!!??

2 hours gone!
Curse you Steven you have ruined my night....

Warning!!...site is a Mandelbrot hyperlink set...which may be of limited usefulness as a warning....
...as it is a word I just made up.


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October 19, 2008

Gainfully Employed


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October 18, 2008

(Bumped) A Nail that stands up....

Gets beat down.

Updated... and moved below the fold....

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God...What a Beeotch

For the last 2 years, there has been one show that has exceeded all others in hype, discussion and adoration. It's alleged to be one of those "important" shows that in some ways marked a sort demarcation point in the history of fandom. Most distressingly, it is a show I had seen but one random episode of.

   Well, last night, I finally watched episodes zero, one and two of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumia.

 The buzz surrounding this show was actually a bit offputting,  with some  fans of the show giving the sort of coercive and evangelical salesmanship that leads one to believe that a negative response will be met by violence.
It is by all accounts an interesting show, and I had been looking forward to seeing it.
One of the reasons for my delay is that I was informed that it was exceedingly important to watch the show in broadcast order as opposed to actual episodic order.
The show was initially broadcast deliberately out of order and that is said to be important to the pacing of the story. Of course the broadcast order set is the delux set...and is expensive.

Last night my friend Allan announced that he'd watched it, enjoyed it and offered to show it to me...so I said "Screw it!" and we watched the show beginning with episode zero.....

My first impression was..."Lord what awful voice acting!" This is one of the worst dubs ever! Switch the audio!  

(Then I got the joke that is episode 0.)

Episode zero aside, three episodes in, the English dub is actually quite good. Wendee Lee  gives a great performance as the manic and bombastic Haruhi.

The show has unusually high production values. It is also unusual in other ways.

Haruhi Suzumia is bored...completely...utterly...bored. She despairs of her banal existence and wants desperately to do interesting and unusual things and by golly she is going to try to make said things happen!
This is, on the surface, a really cool character trait and certainly should be an excellent start for anything.
Unfortunately, Haruhi is not a particularly good person, in fact she is a borderline sociopath.

Haruhi is, you see, one of those obnoxious, pushy, psychobitch fangirls many of us have had the misfortune of encountering over the years, the manipulative narcissistic female bully to whom all people she encounters are nothing but disposable red-shirt bit players in the glorious Mary Sue story that she believes her life must be.  Unfettered with any ethical inhibitions and adept at avoiding any serious sanctions for her increasingly bizarre actions, Haruhi collects a likable but hapless band of  bit players through intimidation and kidnapping to join her highschool club ( the SOS Brigade) and help her achieve a state of not-boredom......

...beginning with Kyon, who has the painful misfortune of being seated ahead of her in homeroom, and who made the mistake of engaging this loon in a conversation....which to his considerable detriment did not bore her.

Kyon is quickly joined on the path to hell by one Yuki Nagato, a painfully shy, and rather odd girl . She is a very intelligent and highly literate girl who is...bookish...and glasses...and  and is....Umm...glasses and ...smart..and...I  she is......I...I....

... I'm back

Wait what?

Oh yeah...Mikuru Asahina is a quiet, and introverted young lady who was...ahem.. ...recruited...for the school club by Haruhi in part because of her ample bosom and all round Moe' vibe...  because, you see,  all leading ladies need a bimbo to act as their foils. Ms. Asahina is not actually stupid and is in fact a very decent person, but she is introverted and rather overwhelmed by Haruhis bullying.

It should be pointed out at this time that Mikuru Asahina doesn't generally dress like this and rarely ever shoots badly shopped beams out of her eyes.

There is no way the show could possibly live up to its hype, but it is in fact quite interesting, if a bit creepy.  How creepy? Well, watch this 2 minute clip...

This isn't escapism...or a sitcom....it's EEOC hell!
This girl is not precocious...she is evil.

Our three heroes....protagonists are caught in a vortex of whiteknuckle stress and high school peril as they watch the inevitable trainwreck that is Haruhi's  club...from the perilous vantage point of the train itself.

We viewers, of course can watch the trainwreck from the safety of our couch.

This show is more than a little schizo, but it has an exceedingly interesting set of characters and a story that is developing in rather surprising ways. Despite the exceedingly unlikeable title character, it has certainly gained and kept my interest at 3 episodes in.

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A Correction

In this post, I mentioned, in passing, a story that has been circulating that claims  Øbama has campaigned for a Kenyan politician who later had a non-trivial role in the ethnic strife that befell that country earlier this year.

Upon reflection it seemed a bit sketchy and tenuously sourced so I contacted the go-to-blogger for matters Kenyan ( Baldilocks) and today she graciously replied.

According to her,  the story is true to the extent that Obama traveled with the Odinga as part of an anti-AIDS initiative, but he was not in any way campaigning for the fellow.
She also pointed that this story actually grew out of the "Obama is a closet Muslim" smear which surprised me. This is because the Marxist Odinga  made some non-trivial concessions to Muslim interests regards Sharia Law amongst other things and that THIS was the angle pushed when the story was first broached....I'd missed it then, perhaps because the Obama as Muslim story is SO silly and dumb that I'd tuned it out.

It appears that unlike ACORN, his Marxist tendancies, and all the other crap in the above linked post, Obama did not in any way support a Marxist who had a hand in the long simmering Colonial blowback that erupted in Kenya in January. In fact given that he was there supporting an anti HIV initiative his Kenyan adventure comes off as pretty laudable.

The Senators  candidacy troubles me to say the least. However, while there are plenty of reasons to vote against Barak Obama. They do not need to be conflated with exaggerations.

I apologize for the error.

Teh crow..it is gamey.

UPDATE:  Juliet Ochieng kindly  gave permission to post her Email so I've pasted it below the fold unfiltered by me, in its entirety...


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