March 28, 2012


Sometimes The Sun is a loving mother bringing life to the surface of the earth Sometimes it is a strict father bringing terrible trials. These trials, which have occurred many times since the creation of the earth have come once again. The land is dry, the oceans barren, what little life survives is on the verge of extinction, clinging to the thin atmosphere that remains. But some still live on in the dry seas of sand....

Thus begins Ozuma (Ozma?) a series set in a post apocalyptic future that has generated some buzz because it's a resurrection of a canceled early-80s Leiji Matsumoto project.

Although the beginning narration doesn't sound fun AT ALL, this show is rather more upbeat than its grim premise would suggest.

This show has a decidedly retro feel.. It's not just Matsumoto's distinctive art style, which is evident both in the characters and the very retro-futuristic mechanical designs, the story is a a throwback in a lot of ways with the dystopic 'future in a desert' so prevalent in the 80's.

In other ways the times have caught up to Matsumoto. He has generally had strong women to compliment his male leads and this series is no exception. Despite the grim backdrop, the characters are pretty likable, even admirable. The show has a somewhat whimsical, occasionally upbeat feel to it as well.

OZUMA also has a decent, somewhat catchy, theme song....

...In English.

The OP sounds God it sounds like it was translated from Japanese to English to fit the rhythm...(Like several US dubs in the 80's). I feel I should be watching this on a UHF channel in the late afternoon or at, like, six in the morning.

This is actually kind of brilliant!

Two episodes in, things are proceeding at a very decent pace. The story is actually engaging and seems to have a bit of depth to it. I'm really liking it thus far.

A quick collection of spoilers from episode 1 are below the fold.

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March 27, 2012

The Medicine Gun

I blundered into information on Meriwether Lewis's air rifle.

The gun is important to U.S. history because it served to deter attacks on the Lewis and Clarke expedition (they demonstrated it to the tribes they met...and implied that they had quite a few more than they did). It also reportedly took down a Grizzly bear at one point, though its unclear how many shots this took.

I had known vaguely about the Austrian use of repeating air guns, but I had not realized just how impressive their performance was.

It was equivalent to a .45ACP carbine, had 22 shots and carried enough air for ~30 shots in each flask! (There were generally three flasks per soldier) The flasks could be charged by hand with an ingenious pump the soldier carried with him (although it took 1500-1800 pumps to do so).

This is seriously impressive performance for 1790. Something like this would be a really cool survival gun today.

More here and info on the whole family of weapons can be found here here. The second link is particularly thorough and has this interesting tidbit as well.

Made in the 1940s during WW2, this gun doesn't look like a Girandoni, but examination shows that it clearly was built by someone familiar with the Girandoni repeating airgun system. Purchased in Europe, the story is that this gun was built somewhere in occupied Europe by a partisan bicycle maker during the Nazi occupation in WW2


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Skynet Could Not be Reached For Comment.

Via Cdr Salamander comes this interesting and somewhat disturbing TED talk on algorithms.

They're still dumber than bugs, but even ants and termites make war.

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March 26, 2012

It Must be an Homage to the Brown Hornet.

For some 11 episodes, Bodacious Space Pirates has been an intelligent, enjoyable and even inspiring tale. Each episode has built on the last one in a deliberate and entertaining fashion. Even the techno-babble has been thoughtful and contributed to the story. As an added bonus, despite the lowbrow temptations presented by short skirts, Zero-G and the state of the industry today, we haven't had a single upskirt shot yet.

The show has had some important and rarely touched on things to say about the responsibilities of command and leadership. Young Marika is actually in a position not unlike that of a green ensign or "90 day wonder" dropped in command of a small unit virtually every member of which has been doing their jobs longer far than her. She has had to learn to delegate, take advice and cope with the fact that the buck stops with her, and it is upon her decisions that the crew will live or die. This has been handled with far more intelligence and subtly than one has any right to expect from a show like this.

This interesting plot has been intertwined with a slowly but logically building story of interstellar intrigue that has gradually built into a tale that looked to be nothing short of epic.

Which brings us to episode 12 which saw the suspense build to a crescendo as events converge upon the crew of the BentenMaru and their passenger. Everything has led up to this point.  This episode in particular was brilliantly paced, so much so that 16 minutes in I was literally on the edge of my seat as...

I'm sorry...WHAT!?
Wow...that was really...umm...a surprise.

I'm gonna keep watching, it's been a really good show...but damn...episode 12 makes me feel like I've been mugged.

Hopefully some more satisfactory explanation of the WTFs will be forthcoming next episode.

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March 24, 2012

Ogilvy Assures Me There is Nothing To Worry About

Regards this.

Amateur astronomers are puzzling over a seemingly anomalous cloud that has shown up on images of Mars taken over the past few days. Is it really a cloud, or a trick of the eye? Does it really extend 150 miles up from the surface, as some of the observers suggest? And what churned up all that stuff, anyway?

The chances of anything living on Mars are a million to one he said.



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From Red to Purple to Blue : Those Appalling Poll Numbers are Likely Spot On

Over at Hot Air, they seem genuinely surprised that new polls seem to have Virginia sliding into Obamas camp. The only surprise to me is that it's not already solidly so.

Appalled girl is Shizune Hachimaki, from Katawa Shoujo..which is itself somewhat appalling.

Not JUST politics, State and local politics, the most appalling politics of all.

So as a courtesy to our readers we've hidden it bellow the fold.

Click to be appalled...

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March 17, 2012

2 out of 8 ain't bad actually.

I hope you all are having a happy St. Patrick's Day.

Art by Nayutaho

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March 14, 2012

About Last Night

Professor Jacobson has the most succinct analysis I've seen of last nights primary results.

Endgame assessment:  Big night for Rick.  Bad night for Mitt.  The Honey Badger don’t care (nsfw).

This primary thing might work better if we just got them all to put on masks have a 4 way Mexican wrestling match. It'd be over quicker and there'd be at least some surprise when the mask was removed from the winner.

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March 12, 2012

Hopeful Liscencing News.

Sentai has landed Unlimited Blade Works and K-On! season 2. This is hopeful because it indicates that some of the Bandai properties that were abandoned when Bandai USA dissolved may yet come over. ULBW gives some slim hope that there will be a version of Fate Zero available that is not....350 bucks.

Also the fact that they are putting out to have Bang Zoom do dubs for both is a vote of some confidence in there being a future.

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