His work was hugely popular worldwide and his shows were, of course, extremely popular in the UK. However, it may be that his most lasting artistic influence was in Japan, where the optimistic. high tech 'look' of shows like Thunderbirds and bits like the iconic stock footage scenes of vehicles launching were adapted to many anime and even Sentai Shows. Eventually the Gerry Anderson tropes became solidly ingrained in Japanese telefantasies to the point that many people today think of these things as Japanese altogether.
What Would the Prerequisite Even BE?
Back on the 15th I mentioned that I'd lost a few classes in getting
transferred to the new catalog. One of these was English 110...freshman
English, which I had taken many years ago at a community college, only to have it not be honored now by ODU. Well...imagine my surprise the other day when I attempted to register for the course online and was told that I don't have the prerequisites.
I'm a senior...I'm working towards (besides my actual major and minor) a TESOL certificate..more to the point ENG 110 is THE LOWEST LEVEL ENGLISH COURSE.
The next time you speak with them, use a fake accent and complain loudly in pigdin English that they are discriminating against you because you are not pure white. Not only will that clear your prerequisite problem, it might even get you full credit without taking the class...
Posted by: Siergen at Wed Dec 26 18:56:27 2012 (Ao4Kw)
Frankly I think these people have been jerking your chain with this stupid stuff for way too long. You shold not have to retake bogus courses just because they changed the catalog. I would take your transcript and mark off the rest of the courses you need to finish your degrees and got your advisors and tell, not ask her, that this is the end. If she gives you any guff, go to her boss. it's way past time you stopped playing the game they want and insist on what you have worked for. They work for you, you don't work for them.
Posted by: jcarlton at Mon Dec 31 12:38:11 2012 (i0RQw)
Actually the adviser is not the issue. She's gone to the mat for me against the department and the University. She helped me appeal a previous kick in the teeth (~35 credits) and last year got just under half of them back.
I can't formally apply to graduate until April, but I am now, for all intents and purposes done with the credit assessment. One of the reasons for the meeting was to find out NOW, for sure ,which classes were not actually going to be counted. It was important to clear out all the "maybes" BEFORE applying, because to do so after applying would keep me in limbo for a year. The ENG 110 class in particular had been rejected before and tentatively restored, but it was ultimately rejected again. I'm glad to find out about it now.
There is a time for courage and speaking truth to power in college. That time is after you have the sheepskin in your possession and locked away in a fireproof vault.
Things of Beauty
One of the Brickmuppet's crack team of science babes has just rolled in with some space related news, both historical and current. She looks quite...um...we're just going to go with 'pleased'.
First comes some follow up on a previous post here, namely that the Horizons newsletter of AIAA Houston has completed the second and third installments of their fully restored (and annotated), high res reprints of the iconic Colliers series on space travel from the 1950's. The series, Man Will Conquer Space Soon was an extremely important work in that it brought to the public the realization that space travel was possible in the near term. The two most recent installments focus on lunar exploration and while they diverge greatly in both architecture and scale from the Apollo program, the expedition envisioned in the articles are still largely sound from an engineering standpoint (though the procedure for setting up the shelter is not entirely practical). Von Braun and Ley worked out their endeavor in minute detail and provided sufficient weight margins for incorporating additional equipment should they be deemed necessary by subsequent discoveries. The Horizons team has provided high resolution versions which is especially important given that the articles were illustrated by Fred Freeman and Chelsey Bonnestell.
OMG I'm having a retrogasm!
There's a lot more in both issues ranging from a helicopter-space-capsule to a newly discovered, highly accessible Near Earth Asteroid.
One of the advisers on this project is Scott Lowther , who publishes Aerospace Projects Review, one of the best journals available dedicated to obscure, or poorly understood chapters in Aerospace engineering history. He also has a wide selection of interesting articles and documents for sale...go check it out.
The impressive architecture envisioned by the engineers who consulted for the Colliers symposium required the use of multi-stage reuseable rockets....
...which brings us to the current efforts by Space-X. That company, which has made great strides in low cost access to space, is now working on a reusable version of its Falcon launch vehicle. Rather than try for SSTO or recover stages in the ocean they plan on having the individual stages land vertically under power. This promises impressive cost savings with a more conservative design than most reusable rocket proposals if it can be made to work.
Well another season of chaos has drawn to a close at UPS. At home relatives were dealt with. Gifts were exchanged. Food was consumed in vast quantities. For the first time in many, many years there is a child about, my 11 month old niece, which means that there is a stocking by the fireplace and Santa Clause is likely to visit tonight....at least I hope he visits...'cause these instructions aren't making any sense....
Yeah, there are times when the image processing library I use just doesn't like your PNG file. If you can email me the file, I'll see if it works any better with the very latest versions of everything. (I'm setting up the new development server right now.)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Dec 24 04:50:39 2012 (PiXy!)
Running for 44 episodes from 1976-77 Gaiking was one of the less typical Super Robot shows of the '70s and in some ways predated the later mech shows. Gaiking was one of several captured alien superweapons carried in a huge (Dinosaur shaped) mother ship that were being used to defend earth against an invading alien force (The Dark Horror Army) . Unlike many other super robot shows they did not fight the enemies right outside Tokyo, but engaged them all over the world and in space. The various robot weapons were crewed by misfits, nerds and in the case of Gaiking, a washed up baseball player because the original crew picked to figure out the alien technology was mostly assasinated by the invaders in episode one.
It wasn't a huge hit but it was quirky enough that it is remembered fondly and it's somewhat iconic. In the mid '90s video game Super Robot Wars Gaiking kit was a particularly awesome asset to acquire particularly the big carrier.
And so that was it for Gaiking except for a brief flurry of interest around a rumored movie that went nowhere about 3 years ago...
August Ragone reports that the film is a GO and Toei, has hired GALE ANNE HURD to produce the show. Danny Choo's ANEW is involved as well. Gale Anne Hurd is currently best known for The Wallking Dead, but she was the producer who produced all the good James Cameron movies. There seems to be a 1-1 correlation between a James Cameron movie not being a 2 dimensional over produced piece of hippie excrement and Gale Anne Hurd's presence on the production staff. (T1 T2 Aliens) She's done some other gems as well, like Tremors.
This is true sign of the end times...a Giant Robot movie one might actually look forward to!
When last we left our hero he was riding a bike all out... at night...in a snowstorm...trying to get to the hospital to check on his beloved.
As the episode begins, Kazuto is haunted by two visions, one of Asuna warmly greeting him,... the other of her glassy eyed corpse lying in bed, her brain fried by the log out kill switch which Sugo might have re-instated as a safeguard...
Arriving at the hospital he ditches his bike at the gate, gingerly makes his way across the icy parking lot, nearly collides with another pedestrian, almost falling over in the process, regains his balance, bleeds profusely as he approaches the steps and....wait.....what?
Oh...that lone pedestrian.
His name is Nobuyuki Sugo.
Perhaps you remember him. He's the villain who just got killed in the virtual world with the pain blockers set to zero. He hurt a LOT. He's not happy and he's not in the virtual world anymore. This is reality, and in the real world he's not actually a fairy king. He's the number two man in a major zaibatsu. He has people who will lie for him and a staff of people willing to carry out Block 10 type experiments on people minds for him. Whatever setback he may have had in a dippy VR game, there are only two things that stand between him and total victory right now. Those two things are Asuna Yuki and Kazuto and he aims to rid the world of them. Asuna, being in a hospital room will take some finesse, but Kazuto is a nobody, a gamer, sad little out of shape teenager who hid from the world in a VR game and who now stands before Sugo armed with nothing but his own clotting blood and his shattered delusions of adequacy.
It's Mad Doctor Stabby!
Sugo is armed with big ass diving knife (which is illegal BTW). Kazuto is a law abiding citizen in a weapons free zone. It SUCKS to be Kazuto. Kazuto tries "dodge" but it is ineffective. Kazuto slips on the ice and hurts himself. He gets a nasty knife cut to his face and Sugo uses "kicks the living crap out of Kazuto". It's super effective.
All those years of video games didn't actually prepare Kazuto for this.
"This boss-fight is serious business!"
Of course Sugo is not running at 100%. His painful virtual death burst a blood vessel in his right eye and his depth perception is shot. This causes him to miss his killing blow by a wide margin. Kazuto is not completely helpless either, he HAS been practicing ken-do all this time and as Sugo lunges again he forces the fiend to loose his footing on the ice. Kazuto finally gets the knife to Sugo's throat.... there is a quick flashback to Sugo molesting Asuna in the hospital bed, in the virtual world, of the pain he inflicted on Kazuto, of the sadism Kazuto and Asuna endured and.....the knife dances across Sugo's throat...
...but only just.
Kazuto, with great effort, refrains from killing the bastard, who visibly wets himself and collapses.
Kazuto staggers into the hospital only to find it empty. The receptionists, the nursing station, security....gone. No doubt Sugo has ordered them away...Sugo was already here.
He goes to the twelfth floor and stands outside Asuna's room in terror. He then hears the voice of Y.U.I. telling him to go in...he does of course and...
Well that was a nice ending. We...wait what? 12 more minutes?
What follows is some perfunctory narration and a few character bits as we learn the following:
*Sugo went to jail because one of his employees ratted on him.
*The whole virtual reality online gaming industry collapsed as a result of the ensuing scandal.
*The 300 "test subjects" awoke with no memory of their ordeal.
*All those in Japan who were in school at the time they were trapped in SAO, are indeed now in a special school just for them.
*Asuna and Kazuto are still dating.
*A few friends from SAO (the cast from the first cour) gather at Sigils bar from time to time to reminisce.
*Oh...and that world seed Kazuto received from Kayaba?
its a starting program for virtual worlds. Sigil and Kazuto put it online as freeware and now the web is full of many versions of VRMMORPGs run by small groups, tiny companies and even individuals. All are cross compatible and based on the world designs of a homicidal maniac using the same interface devices proven to have a nearly perfected mind control capability. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG!?
The last scene of the show is all the surviving cast gathering in Alfheim (which has been migrated to a private server ) for a momentous event. Someone has rebooted Aincard...the world of Sword Art Online and brought it into Alfheim to replace the rather empty world tree.
...and well....It looks like Kazuto and Asuna really want to LIVE THAT NIGHTMARE AGAIN. They ask "Leaf" to come along just to add a bit of squicky awkwardness to the proceedings. Then they all fly off thumbing their virtual noses at any thoughts of adjusting to life in the real world.
Asuna as a Fairy inviting "Leaf" on their quest, to clear all 100 levels This time fer sure!
So...while the first half of the episode was superb, it ends up being an uneven and rather forced ending to a very uneven series.
The second cour saw Asuna largely wasted (though she quite explicitly never gave up). It must be said that it had some really compelling moments too. The self reflection of Kirito as he contemplated the vast gulf between his online persona and his actual power occurred in a couple of episodes including this one and was neat. The fact that the heroes often got by by being clever was enjoyable too. There were some REALLY cool concepts touched on in the second cour as well, but none of them were really explored well. In particular the epilogue just seems waaay too pat and appears to have overlooked a major plot point of the series.
Yes the various Zaibatsu don't control the VR worlds
anymore, (Yay small developers! Stick it too the man!) but these vr worlds are more widespread than ever...and all use the same
architecture as SAO. If anything, there is more likelihood that some of
these worlds are actually set up to perfect mind control tech...and all the
players potential guinea pigs and slaves.
The show in many ways had a "corporate ending" with everything sort of reset and fan favorite characters re-introduced and no real development other than giving everyone the in game ability to fly. This will allow games, light novels, CDs and perhaps a sequel, but the show which wowed so many of us with it's character development largely tosses that development out the window with the ending of the finale. In the end the virtual world becomes not a reflection of the real world, but an escape from it...Now that could be a cautionary tale itself, but it is not presented as such here.
The show was at its best when it was playing against type.
The first cour (episodes 1-14) was remarkably unpredictable. It was particularly interesting as it became
an adventure/romance with a hero and heroine who were smart, dynamic, awesome and yet believable...and who complemented and completed each other in an unusually exciting but perfectly healthy relationship
...and that is how I'll want to remember this show.
[side note; the unclosed spoiler tag ended up taking out the entry trailer, including the comment button]
Yeah, I was afraid this was how it was going to end, based on what I read about the novels; they weren't willing to go for an original ending, and they should have. Worse, it seems the author doesn't really know what to do with the cast after getting them back together; there are two side stories that take place in Alfheim (one of which is centered on Asuna), but the rest of the novels have Our Hero going off into other virtual worlds alone. And, yes, the author has written a story in which all the girls gang up to marry Tenchi Kirito in an accelerated-time VR, although that one may no longer be canon.
In fairness to The Seed,
it's established that only people wearing first-gen VR helmets are vulnerable to Sugou's mind control; in fact, the impossibility of truly harming someone through the second-gen helmets is pretty much the plot hook for the next arc. (and, no, it doesn't make sense that they'd have added exactly the right safeties to prevent abuses that hadn't been invented yet, especially with Sugou on the team, but...)
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Dec 23 03:46:40 2012 (2XtN5)
2[side note; the unclosed spoiler tag ended up taking out the entry trailer, including the comment button]
Yeah...we're intrigued by that bug and we're working on it.
While I haven't seen the anime yet, I've read translations of some of the light novels. I'd agree that ALO is very much a low point in the series and I almost dropped at that point It does get better afterwards.
Two of the major side stories are pretty good. The Gale Gun Online (GGO) one introduces Shinon, another strong female character. Unfortunately it also raises Kirito's Marty Stu-ness to new heights. Mother's Rosario, however, gives Kirito the "more deban" sign to Asuna's lead. Both are setup to the Alicilization arc.
The Alicilization arc turns things around with Kirito being the one trapped in a virtual world and Asuna having to do the Real World (tm) leg work to get him back. Though Kirito still maintains a bit too much of his Marty Stu-ness, unfortunately.
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Sun Dec 23 16:07:31 2012 (5YSpE)
As an MMO gamer myself, I found the first cour to particularly satisfying. All of the player types and behaviors in SAO are seen in any popular MMO, but of course with much lesser consequences.
If I'd found myself stuck in SAO, and known that dying was fatal in real life, I'd probably try to lock myself in an inn - I die far too frequently in games to risk "leveling up" and beating the game...
Posted by: Siergen at Sun Dec 23 22:15:27 2012 (Ao4Kw)
Senator Daniel Inoue (D, Hawaii) September 7, 1924 â€“ December 17, 2012
A truly great American has left us.
He enlisted in the army as soon as the ban on citizens of Japanese ancestry serving was lifted. He served in the legendary 442nd Infantry a segregated Nisei unit that is considered the most decorated infantry unit in the history of the US Army. During the Italian campaign he was given a field promotion from Sergeant to Lieutenant for his incredible courage during the epic relief of the "Lost Battalion".
In 1945, while leading a charge against a heavily defended hill, he was gravely wounded but refused to be evacuated while his troops were under fire . He continued fighting untill they won, at one point taking out a pillbox with his last grenade...which he first had to extract from the death grip of his own severed arm.
Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by
extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San
Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important
road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon
through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift
enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and
mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force.
Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance
with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his
personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous
slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two
grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate,
he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded
by a sniperâ€™s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at
close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite
the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his
platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again
deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were
killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and
by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his
platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental
in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouyeâ€™s extraordinary
heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions
of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the
United States Army.
Despite the loss of his arm he remained in the Army until 1947. He was elected to the Senate representing Hawaii in 1962 and has served ably ever since.
In many ways, I am more disheartened by the so called
generic commenterâ€ than I am by the out and out spammer.
Why? you ask, Because at least the spammer is completely
open and honest about their intentions! We know what they are doing.
The so called generic commenter is a con man and also a charlatan You can probably tell that I have very strong
toward this group of commenters
Episode 24 of Sword Art Online brings the Asuna in a Cage arc to an end of sorts....maybe.
The biggest disappointment of the episode is that Lightning Flash Asuna doesn't get to do much except put on a brave face. This is terribly unfair to the character who has really been a very well realized female lead.
The journey of Y.U.I. and Kirito to Asuna's prison was almost anticlimactic, until it wasn't.
Sugo is an exquisitely wicked villain. A petty, venal yet brilliant man who is utterly devoid of conscience and on the cusp of controlling human minds. He is also present and has moderator privileges so they're screwed.
What follows is about 12 miutes of really disturbing sadism as he reduces or heroes strength to one, increases the gravity, engages and dials up their pain sensitivity, tortures Kirito, molests Asuna and taunts them with tales of how he will edit their minds. Kirito takes a moment from this agony to reflect upon the fact that for all his skill levels, he is a kid who plays video games and little else and has accomplished nothing in the real world. Yeah...utter defeat.
Fortunately for our heroes, Ubu Roi was right. Akihiko Kayaba is alive, or at least a copy of him exists
in the mainframe. It seems that he and Sugo have been rivals for some
time and he was most displeased when Sugo took over his game and
re-skinned it into Alfheim online. He gives Kirito HIS password, which as he designed the master game, Sword Art Online, trumps Sugos. Kirito "kills" Sugo, but does not do so quickly.
He then logs Asuna out, tries to log log himself out, but is informed by Kayaba that there is a price for his help. Kayaba gived him a shiny he refers to as the world seed and tells Kirito to plant it when the time is right.
Kirito puts it in his inventory and logs out.
Kirito awakens, thanks his cousin for her help and rushes off into the snow to see Asuna.
...And so that's how it ends. Not by wits, skill, determination or courage, but by sudden divine (or in this case debased) intervention. This was a vastly less satisfying ending than that of the first cour. Nevertheless it did not suck. The second half of this show has been fairly uneven in comparison with the first, but it has still been far above average.
Note that we HAVEN'T SEEN ASUNA AWAKE IN THE REAL WORLD YET and there are still at least 2 episodes to go.
Well, I was getting tripped up by the bug, back on Sunday, but maybe now...
My next prediction:
failure to account for Sugo in the real-world is about to bite Kirito in the a$$. I think that's where Asuna is going to have her chance to shine, when she denounces him in front of her father and pledges her life to Kirito. That should quickly resolve the problem and we can get on to an episode to deal with the seed.
Also, damn but Kirito got medieval on Sugo. He deserved it too.
Posted by: ubu at Wed Dec 19 17:08:06 2012 (SlLGE)
Oh, and it wasn't so much debased divine intervention as it was databased divine intervention.
Oh, I am so going to hell for that one...
Posted by: ubu at Wed Dec 19 17:12:34 2012 (SlLGE)
I'm not sure that Sugo is still a problem in the real world. Remember the comment that with the threshold below 2, Kirito's real world body would be taking damage. And then Kirito set the threshold to 0 before getting medieval on Sugo. It's entirely possible that Sugo is dead, or a drooling idiot.
Posted by: David at Fri Dec 21 14:58:39 2012 (I6iFS)
Some Quick Thoughts on Recent Events
No writ of law or regulation will banish narcissism and hatred from mans heart.
It cares not one whit whether you acknowledge it's blackness or you make up politically correct excuses for it.
Evil will always find a way to arm itself in some manner, and it will gravitate to those places where no one else is able to do so. For evil is not impressive, it is generally cowardly, venal and narcissistic.
Mass shootings take place in schools, movie theaters and workplaces in part because these are places where no-one is allowed to carry a weapon and options for escape are limited. The lessons from this are obvious, but they are not the lessons being espoused by those who want a nation of compliant subjects and not citizens.
No, the maniac in Colorado shot up the theater because he was a
pathetic weakling unloved by women and incapable of satisfying them and
so retreated into a twisted babydick world of power fantasy.
Same thing with this guy.
I'm going to go against my political team, here-- although
conservatives often say "Label evil as what it is, Evil, and leave
therapy and psychology out of it," I'm going to say No, not in these instances. Because Evil (notice the capital letter E) is powerful in these sad losers' imaginations, and they want to be called the Big Scary Man, the Shadow That Menaces At Midnight.
For an impotent, weak, ineffectual man, that is an attractive fantasy.
What they do not want and could not abide is an accurate assessment
of their psychology, their physical stature and shortcomings, their
ability to succeed in work or school, their loser history with women,
and so on.
Yes. Don't encourage the worms that might follow him in search of some affirmation of their value via infamy. This dickless wonder should not be a source of dread but beneath our contempt.