November 30, 2012

In these Divisive Times

...it is good to find that there is something we can all agree on.






"I...I..was..gonnagodosomething...but I'll just sit here and enjoy this."

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November 25, 2012

Blog Art Offline

Christmas hell is starting up at UPS. I've also got 3 papers due and my computer has helpfully reformatted my flash drive. I have to start over.

Blogging will be light for a bit.

I understand that the approved substitutes for content include robots, cats and ta-tas.

So here.


 Art by Diesel

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Seven Den Beste News

Only a little over a week after his stroke, Steven Den Beste has posted on his blog. He's still recovering but he seems to be making good progress.


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November 24, 2012

Mengeles in Cyberspace


Kirito and Leaf arrive in Arun, the vast metropolis at the foot of the world tree. It seems that the second life aspect of the game is at least as big a draw as the the games stated quest.  Arun is the largest city in the world of Alfheim by far, and is completely neutral territory. Our two heroes decide to scope out the bustling metropolis and the route to the Entrance of the World Tree when suddenly....

...they are informed that they have to log out as server is about to go down for maintenance between 04:00 and 07:00.

"Good grief! Whet time did you get to bed?" "Oh..'bout 04:00" "Huh..Same here."
 
What follows is a day in real life episode. Kirito KAZUTO (he's outside the game now) gets up, greets his sister cousin warmly and the two of them go about their day. She asks if he wants to spar and he tells her that he has a lot of things to do, including an attempt to visit to Asuna in the hospital.
Leaf
Suguha (she's outside the game now) asks if she can come along. They have a discussion on the bus about Kirito's plans. He's missed two years of school and his sister has leapfrogged him and is now in high school. Kirito is trying to decide whether he should spend the next year in cram school trying to catch up or try to cobble together some continuing education plan. There is another option however, The government is refurbishing an old abandoned school  specifically for school age victims of the Sword Art Online incident. Entrance exams will be waived for this school and students will be able to matriculate with people their own age. They'll graduate 2-3 years late but be able to take college entrance exams as normal. This seems to be a good option but Kazuto is unsure. He suspects that one of the schools functions will be to do brain and psychological studies of the effects of long term exposure to virtual reality on adolescent brains. He's pretty sure he doesn't want to be a guinea pig. He's less sure he'll have a choice.

The two arrive at the Hospital. Despite being warned off earlier by Sugo, they are admitted without incident (Sugo is out of town and Asuna's dad does like the boy visiting his daughter). On the way in, Suguha notes that Asuna is both the comatose girls'  real life and online name and observes that this is rare in MMPORGs. Kazuto is surprised that she knows so much about online games. The two of them thus miss yet another chance to clear up misconceptions and Kazuto ceremonially introduces his cousin to...


"Asuna, Vice Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Lightning Flash Asuna, whose speed an accuracy with Sword I was never able to match."


Suguha is polite, respectful, formal and all kinds of conflicted. She changes out Asuna's flowers as her cousin talks to Asuna. After some time the two leave. They both have "to meet someone this evening" and no doubt reflect upon how little they've seen of each other lately.

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November 23, 2012

Bugged

So earlier today,  at my folks house, I was getting of the shower when I heard a scream...not  an "eek!" a scream that could wake the dead. I threw a towl around me and ran out as my mom shouted in a hysterical pleading horrified voice..."GET DOWN HERE NOW"

I was halfway down the stairs when she ran into the living room and looked up at me with a face that could only mean someone died.

I was almost to the bottom when she said..."There's a stinkbug in the kitchen on the..."

...back up the...stairs into the bathroom, I quickly dried and put on pants as she began shouting stinkbug status reports with the urgency and intensity of Herbert Morrison covering a dirigible crash. "It's at the edge of the fan! It's right there. It's walking to the end! GET IN HERE!"
Oh the humanity..
She then ran into the living room and stopped me wanting to know why i had turned around to which I replied "...pants..."She explained that she couldn't reach the ceiling fan and the stinkbug was right over the cake mix and THANKSGIVING WAS GOING TO BE RUINED and I had to prevent the stinkbug from falling in the cake-mix (or the gravy) and....
I couldn't get into the kitchen from the dining room because she was standing in my way explaining so I went around and entered the kitchen through the hallway.

No stinkbug.

I searched. I searched. No stinkbug.

She ran and got my dad from the garage and the two of us did a thorough stinkbug sweep...but the stinkbug had left.

Or had it?

She glared in horror at the cake mix, the sugar and the gravy.

There was a good 15 minutes of dad and I sifting and pouring before we could convince her that the stinkbug had not  buried itself in her ingredients and had simply flown away.

In fairness she'd been working on this for a VERY long time.

In any event Thanksgiving dinner was awesome...despite the knowledge that somewhere out there the stinkbug still lurks.

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November 21, 2012

Tiger by the Tail

I suspect that there is a story here....



Update: Actually, I think it's a Cougar.

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November 18, 2012

Well Then...

Today in Austin they held the first Formula One race in the US since 2007.
I completely missed it.
Wonderduck did not..


Art by Abubu

By all accounts it was an awesome race.

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Sword Art Online 20: General of the Blazing Flame

 Episode 20 picks ep exactly where 19 left off, being pursued by monsters at exceedingly high speed.


"So help me God, I'm gonna kill him"

Although Leaf is displeased with Kirito's rather slapstick method of monster evasion, it did save them considerable time on their way to stop the in-game assassination.



 This was actually a pretty good episode.

Kirito/Kazuto used his wits very nicely and what last week seemed to be a digression or side-story ended up moving the plot along quite a bit. Our party looks to be getting much bigger next week, and next weeks title suggests some additional revelations.

I was initially annoyed by the (kept his SAO stats!) device but it worked quite well in this episode, allowing several things to come together believably. The fact that this bug works is intimately tied into the larger goings on and the dark purpose behind Alfheim Online. With the loss of his treasury and being surrounded by high level players, this is no longer of any great beneffit to Kirito,

One interesting thing touched on in this episode is that Asuna, Kirito and Yui are the only people for whom this isn't "just a game" and they obviously can't quite convey the gravity of the situation to the other players (Asuna because she is not around anyone right now). Fortunately, those around Kirito and Yui are mostly hard core gamers quite immersed in the second life aspects of the world, so motivation is not as big an issue as it it might be. 

Finally, at no point was it necessary to utilize the emergency continuity consultant.

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I'm Hoarding JUSTICE!

While everyone else was denuding the Hostess displays of Twinkies I noticed a commodity that was ignored.


As we all know, villains are powerless before the real fruit filling of Hostess Fruit PiesTM. I'm now a prepared for the dark days ahead. A few more and I'll be able to fight crime.

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November 16, 2012

Oh Noes!




NOT THE TWINKIES!!!
THE TWINKIES!!!
"sob"


This is as bad as when that herd of butterflies swooped in and threw up on my waffles.

Ummm...what she said.
I think.
In the meantime, it's time to stock up! They'll last forever and with the world ending next month we'll need stuff to barter.

Appalled young twinkiephile is Rin Tezuka from Katawa Shoujo.
more...

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November 15, 2012

The Wonders of a Modern Education

I've been in and around colleges and universities off and on for 20 years. While this is certainly amongst the more crazy lecturers I've seen, I can say that yes, things are indeed getting this bad. This is especially true regards China/ Mao et al.

This is not below the fold because it's history.


Note the applause...

OK, actually it's the evil opposite of history but hey...

Via Legal Insurrection which has compiled some interesting related links.

This is closely related. It's deeply troubling and fairly accurate.

 


In my limited experience, it tends to be almost exclusively older professors (a rapidly dwindling demographic), or some of those from abroad that occasionally buck this trend, and they do so at their peril.


UPDATE: For those who did not look at the 3 minute video, it's a professor adamantly denying that Joe Stalin killed anybody.

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November 13, 2012

Out and Proud.

I don't shy away from expressing my views, but I generally put my overtly political posts under the fold because some of my readers get the vapors if exposed to opposing viewpoints in their fluff and in any event, the blog is usually about fluff.

Occasionally though one or two things pops up that  are political and yet need to be read.

This is one of those times.

Sarah Hoyt has generally stayed away from politics on her main blog but recently posted some things that made some of her views known.

This has caused some of her readers concern.

In this fairly epic post she responds to her "concerned" readers.

Oh, do read the whole thing.

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Terrible News

 Steven Den Beste, who was one of my inspirations to get into blogging and now runs the highly regarded anime blog Chizumatic  has reportedly had a stroke.

He is in the hospital and thankfully seems to be recovering. Go send him some good wishes.

UPDATE:
It's bad. However he is conscious and lucid enough to post this comment.


My brotheri s loaning me a laptop which I can use on the hospital's wifi.

Looks like Thursday morning, I'll be transferring to a rehab place where I'm probably going to be staying for a week. I'm not looking forward to it but I'm also not thrilled about being profoundly crippled for the rest of my life, either.



I don't know if I'll have wifi access at the rehab.

In the meantime, my left hand is useless and I'm typing this with one finger.


Get well Steven!
がんばて!

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Further Thoughts on Where to go From Here

Before I get to any solutions, it's important to look at the situation. Author Melanie Phillips looks at the situation from a UK perspective. 

So what now?
Now that more information is in, it appears that...
Wait.What?


"Please stop talking about politics. It's REALLY depressing me right now."

OK, how 'bout we put it below the fold then?
more...

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November 11, 2012

So..in Girls und Panzer..

This is what the shopping center in Oorai is called.


I wonder if any of the cakes in the cafe are Mullberry. I imagine that the Overlords of the town are behind the tournaments' Jubilee atmosphere.

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Thank You




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Sword Art Online 19


If only we could...FLY or something.

Our party gets bogged down with in-game politics.

No Asuna.

No Asuna at all.

This episode has more questions than answers. We do find out who is stalking our heroes, and it seems that they have simply run afoul of gamer intrigues. The VERY long battle that ensued was one of the less satisfying as he seemed to pretty much pull that monster out of his butt.

It is perhaps significant that the monster is from the SAO game. It may be that Yui is pulling some moderator tricks.

Not one of the better episodes, but it's interesting nonetheless. That is, for an episode  that mostly consists of a fight, they do manage a surprising amount of pretty cool character exposition.

Hopefully next episode will have less of an Asuna deficit.

UPDATE: J.Greely over at .clue. has some succinct thoughts on this.

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November 09, 2012

Well, Now the Week is PERFECT

Went to school..
Got called to pick up car.
Left School, drove van to my dads, had him drop me off at car place.
Paid for new power steering pump.
Watched dad drive away with all my books in the van. 
Pursued him. 
Had my battery choose the Suffolk/Portsmouth city line as the embarkation point to go to battery Valhalla.
Wasted hours.
E-mailed a research paper outline...from memory, via blackberry.
Went home.
Became ill.
Became very ill.


Where I spent the evening.
I just got discharged. 

It turns out the kidney stone precipitated a nasty UT infection. I have antibiotics and a painkiller I can't use because I need to drive to school in 5 hours. 


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November 08, 2012

A Few Quick Notes on Status and Such

Well, Tuesday/Wednesday was a bummer for other reasons. In addition to a funk I think I've been passing the last item in my kidney stone reserve. Wednesday evening I was assaulted by a plate of Szechuan beef which wrought chaos upon my digestive track.

My plans to graduate in the Spring or Summer, comes down to class availability. I was informed that one class I need is unlikely to be available until next fall. In the grand scheme of things a 4 month delay and a very light load last semester is not THAT big a deal, but it is highly annoying. I'm going to speak to my adviser next week about taking it as a topics course over the summer, but I'm told that is unlikely because....'Because.' Meh...I'm almost there.

Lots of papers this semester. I still have 12 page, 8 page and 5 page papers coming up in various classes over the next 2 weeks.

I split the B&tB clip from the assessment post, which started out as just a cheer-up post when I got to rambling,

I've started to...oh my...What is this?

It’s IJNS 無理ですsource unknown Click here to embigulate

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Dealing With Adversity

Sometimes, things unexpectedly fall apart.
When that happens it's vital that one be able to think on ones feet and improvise.

Here's an example of what I mean.


Also, if you're depressed for some reason, I strongly recommend The Brave and the Bold.

....
Actually...upon reflection, perhaps that's not strictly applicable to most of us.

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