July 31, 2012

J. Greely Broke the Plane

...rather impressively I might add.

The plane is quite broke.

5 hours after our scheduled departure time from Detroit, Delta finally threw in the towel and cancelled the flight altogether. Given the havoc even a 3 hour delay is going to play with transfers this was likely the right call. We've been given meal, taxi and hotel vouchers. I'm in a hotel in Romulus courtesy of Delta, which has actually handled this situation pretty well. It's not every day an airline has to deal with J Greely's amazing jinx powers. After all, we've seen what he can do with tramp tats.

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July 28, 2012

Oh What the HELL is This?

I've just restarted Mysterious Girfriend X, and am now on episode 4.
Oh my.
This quirkfest is getting...creepy.
It's also damned interesting.


Oh crap...you caught my stigmata.

(No...really)

UPDATE:


"Girl talk" had always been a mystery to me.
Now it just disturbs me.

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July 25, 2012

Upon Reflection, Patti Was Right

...the song does have sort of a "Hari Hari feel".


discuss...
UPDATE: I had to double check...but the animation for this exercise in MADness does indeed seem to be fan made. 

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July 23, 2012

Sally Ride Has Passed

Americas' first woman in space has died, apparently of Pancreatic cancer.  She was only 61.

 In 1977 NASA announced that it was accepting civilian  applicants for the astronaut corps. Of 8,000 women who applied 6 were accepted.

Dr. Ride was one of those 6.

She flew in space twice, her third mission was scrapped by the Challenger debacle. She retired from NASA in 1987, was a physics professor at Stanford and eventually started her own company.

Her time on (and off of ) this earth was short, but she used it very well.


.
Godspeed Dr. Ride.

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July 22, 2012

Occupy Gothan



This was an exceptional film.



I did not expect a cross -over. Ending both the El Santo and Batman franchises was interesting, but seeing El Santo be so bitter and twisted in his old age was heartbreaking. Still, the team-up between Batman and Blue Demon at the end and the epic battle with them saving the orphanage full of Hispanic kids was a nice touch. It was inspiring to see Blue Demon taking up (and redeeming) El Santo's sullied torch.

That last paragraph may not be entirely accurate, but it has the virtue of being spoiler free.
more...

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July 15, 2012

Well, I Didn't Expect THAT Instrument to Figure so Prominently

...in a rave tune.



As for the A part of the AMV, I'd seen .gifs from this bit of animation around for years and was curious as to what it was from. I'd initially thought it was an ad or some such, but as this makes clear it's from something called Yogurting.

Wait...Yogurting? Well, with a name like that I was kinda hoping for a show from the burgeoning fermentation genre...like Moyashimon. Alas, it's a Korean  MMORPG set in a high school with a mystery emphasis and apparently no lactobaccillus at all.

So the video source is a bust as far as any interest for me. But damn! Points for the 'pipes..

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July 14, 2012

Bastille Day

Today in history, 7 Aristocrats were freed from a French prison.

The garrison consisted mostly of crippled veterans who wished to continue serving their country and who were sent to the Bastille because it needed guards and the aristocratic prisoners were not considered particularly formidable.
  In the politically charged July of 1790 a leftist revolutionary mob was protesting outside  when they heard one of the prisoners shout from the window that the prisoners were being executed. The prisoner, The Marquis DeSade was lying (as he was wont to do), but this greatly incited the crowd. Two days after he was removed they attacked in an attempt to seize the gunpowder rumored to be there and free the prisoners. They stormed the fortress and were driven off with small arms fire and suffered some casualties. 
   The garrisons commander, was quite inexperienced and, in any event,  had very limited alternatives available. Basically he could surrender or fire his cannon into the faces of a crowd of his fellow Frenchmen. Because his position was not strategically important, the prisoners were just 7 decadent nobles he entered into negotiations with the protestors. 

For his magnanimity he was dragged from the prison and he and  his garrison were butchered.

Regards the 7 prisoners :

Jean Antoine Pujade, Bernard Laroche, Jean Béchade and Jean La Corrège were forgers; they were recaptured and put back in another prison a few days later. Hubert de Solages and Whyte de Malleville were aristocrats imprisoned at the request of their own families; they too were back in jail within a week. Finally, Auguste Tavernier had been accused in 1757 of a connection with an attempt to assassinate Louis XV, and was undoubtedly mad; he was transferred to an asylum.


Umm...yay...

But look on the "bright" side. This was the first step to sticking it to those nasty fatcats...

...the definition of which got rather fungible rather quick.


Very fungible indeed...

Among those who initially went along with the revolution was the population of the region called Vendee.

Three years after the Bastille fell The Committee of Public Safety decided to impose ruinous taxes and a draft. The Vendeeans protested that this was in violation of the principle of 'Libertie'. They were informed that 'Egalitie' required coercion and thus trumped 'Libertie' ('Fraternitie' was, in actuality it seems, a punctuation mark) The Committee of Public Safety then decided to abolish the church and imprison those who would not renounce God. The good people of Vendee protested...then when their emissaries ended up a foot shorter (from the top) they revolted. 

The Committee of Public Safety had an answer...45,000 troops. They did not fair well and were replaced with a larger force, which did not meet with success until the locals powder and shot became depleted. The leader of the punitive force wrote one of the most appalling requests for clarification of an order ever.
General Turreau inquired about "the fate of the women and children I will encounter in rebel territory", stating that, if it was "necessary to pass them all by sword", he would require a decree.

General Turreau's Infernal Columns marched across the Vendee and when it was all over another general, one General Francois Joseph Westermann penned another letter to the The Committee of Public Safety.
"There is no more Vendée... According to the orders that you gave me, I crushed the children under the feet of the horses, massacred the women who, at least for these, will not give birth to any more brigands. I do not have a prisoner to reproach me. I have exterminated all."

 Westermann had an inflated opinion of his efficiency, estimates of the death toll in the Vendee range between 117,000 and 400,000 out of a population of 800,000.  Given the nature of the perpetrators and victims I suspect that there is a tendency to minimize the death toll. Thus, it's probably a bit to the high end of the median of that estimate...far from everybody. Still, ...he tried....and besides...Westermann's fellow Jacobins spread this utopian joy throughout France and under Napoleon through Europe.
But WAIT There's More!
 The French revolution inspired Mao, Stalin, and many third world thugs with body counts that are by comparison mere rounding errors! So those hippies 222 years ago today REALLY made a difference...and isn't that worth celebrating!?

I won't be.

Libertie, Egalitie, Fraternite
These are incompatible principles.

For Equality to be enforced one must ignore the liberties of those who have that which others desire. Fraternity is loyalty and can't exist if one is asked to turn on those who fall out of favor in the name of equality.

While there are things one can do to enable social mobility enforced equality requires a bunch of unequal overseers to enforce it.

Freedom is not free.
Free men are not equal.
Equal men are not free.

These three things are the real lesson of the conflict that grew out of the fall of the Bastille.

...and yet there are still those who look to it as an inspiration and not a cautionary tale. Those people should inspire considerable concern in the rest of us.

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96P/Machholz 1

One of The Brickmuppets Crack Team of Science Babes comes to us with news of a most interesting comet.  How interesting you ask?


"It's THIS interesting." she signs.

It seems that this comet is distinctly lacking in some of the elements usually found in comets like certain carbon compounds. This has some interesting implications...

It must have had a very unusual origin and might even have formed in another solar system probably very different from our own.

 


Yes this comet may well have come from outside our solar system. 

Via Spaceweather, there is an essay here on this comet and a few objects that may share the same origin.

As for looking at it, Pixy and his fellow antipodeans have a good view via telescope if they so choose.

For Northern hemisphere observers, the comet is unobservable before perihelion, but is viewable near the end of the month when it also appears low down in the evening sky. It remains observable although rapidly fading in brightness into August.


In any event, it's viewable via SOHO and is being covered at Space Weather so you might want to take a look at this lonely traveler...it might be very far from home indeed.

'Science Babe' is actually Shizune Hachimaki from Katawa Shoujo.

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July 11, 2012

Those OTHER Shows

As I've mentioned previously, Bodacious Space Pirates was, for me, the runaway hit of the spring season.

Three other shows had piqued my interest, two of which I've finished.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san was mentioned here before. For most of its run this Magical Girlfiend/ Lovecraft comedy was worth at least a couple of laughs an episode, though only to  a very narrow segment of humanity that has read Lovecraft, still watches anime and who are sufficiently un-sociaized to get gags like this...


Despite its scattershot nature, the show built on each silly development and was fairly consistent with its admittedly stupid internal logic. I must admit though, that it did grate at times.

Towards the end there was considerable buildup to a story that was going to be set in the Dreamlands. This looked looked to be quite promising. Unfortunately, the last few episodes seem to have been replaced with a stock harem comedy ending  that came out of nowhere, derailed the plot and was sappy, cliched, boring and pointless.  I'm not sure what was going on there. The ending really feels like it belongs to some other show. 
Aside from the unfunny ending, I found it to be enjoyable fluff, but this show is definitely an acquired taste...

********

The original Queens Blade series, was refreshingly devoid of any pretensions of respectability. Set in a fantasy kingdom where the empress is chosen not by heredity but by the perfectly reasonable method of a gladiatorial catfight tournament, it did not take itself at all seriously, tempering its over the top cheesecake with a couple of interesting side characters. It was not a good show by any means but I watched it at a friends house a year or so ago and it was something of a guilty pleasure.

This seasons installment, Queens Blade Rebellion combines vulgarity, pretentiousness, a nonsensical plot, lots of lolis, faux futanari follies,  several unlikeable characters and a side order of sadism to produce one of the most execrable shows I have ever had the poor judgement to sit through. This is just dreadful. I cannot do justice in mere words to how wretched this show is and I refuse to go back and wade through that cesspit to grab frames to put behind a NSFW tag, so you'll have to take my word for it. It stinks on ice.

*********

Mysterious Girlfriend X is interesting but I've only seen 3 eps so far. I hope to catch up over the next week. If I'd watched this instead of that Queens Blade abomination I'd be current with the show and likely be a much happier person.

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