September 30, 2012

Don Missed One

Don has collected a series of links purporting to document the decline of humanity.

He missed this

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More Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online, despite its stupid premise, continues to impress me.

Asuna, the female lead, is particularly well realized. She's not a shrinking violet. She does not exist to show how awesome the male lead is. Asuna is a full fledged hero in her own right who at this point has unambiguously saved the heroes ass once more than he's saved hers. Unlike Kirito, Asuna was not an experienced gamer and certainly not one of this games Beta Testers, yet she has through sheer determination become at least his equal. She helped form and is now second in command of a guild that is fighting its way through the upper levels, she is however quite close to burnout when she meets Kirito for the second time.

(She's so buff that she could even afford to buy up her cooking skill to the God, she's perfect!)

On the other hand, Kirito, the male lead WAS a Beta Tester and as such is something of a pariah. The beta testers were deeply resented by the other gamers because they knew where everything on the lower levels was, and they did not share with the other players or train them.  Kirito did do a bit of mentoring, but is haunted by the mistakes he made early on and at one point early in the series he abandons clearing the game to schlep amongst the lower levels where his skill levels (about 3 times what is common in those regions) make him almost godlike. He spends several episodes doing good deeds and trying to be a hero with decidedly mixed results before realizing that his place is on the "front lines" and heading back.
At this point he's far past any areas he covered in Beta and so has no innate advantages. Though far from perfect he's an interesting and decent person, however he is weary and close to dispair when he by chance, encounters Asuna for the second time.

Kirito has developed as a character quite a lot over the course of the series but its the relationship between the two that is most interesting.

Teamwork! The secret to taking down high level monsters.

These two people really complement and complete each other. They have one of the more realistic and mature relationships I've seen on TV. This is a sad commentary on something since it is a...cartoon...about a virtual a video game... but its damned nice to see.

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Bakemonogatari Continues.

Episode 3 almost entirely consists of a quiet conversation in a park. The dialog is interesting, though I'm not sure the subtitles are doing it justice. While intriguing, the episode really reinforces my belief that this show cries out for a good dub.

Compared to the previous episodes the character designs are occasionally off model in this one...

I almost feel shafted by this.

While mostly a character episode they did manage to work in some completely unexpected Kung-Fu fighting.

One thing that did not come out in the first two episodes is that our hero, while quite smart and well intentioned, is a bit of a doofus.

This is a seriously odd show.

I'm not sure that it's good.

But it is quite clever and I'm liking it.

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September 29, 2012

Simply Amazing

In the blogosphere, we frequently find links to stories like this, this and this, which are just damned appalling.

Its's important to remember however, that while rare, there are stories from the opposite end of the spectrum as well.

Read the whole thing. There's more here.

These are two really impressive people.

Hat tip to Cdr. Salamander .

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September 27, 2012

Oh Look..the Live Science Headline of the Year

Nazi-Acquired Buddha Statue Came From Space

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September 26, 2012

All is not well with this world.

Colleen Doran has a post on the importance of trademark and I must say that...I cannot unsee it.  To assure us that this atrocity IS personal she also links to this.

In other news, there is a pending bacon shortage. A BACON SHORTAGE!

Not only that, I realized that I'm fresh out of tar and feathers.

With the car in the shop, I'm unable to stock up so I decided to check on the Japan/China situation and blundered into this.

I then decided to put my bagel to the side indefinitely and just look for images to use for reaction shots and macros for the blo....


If you don't get this piece by Poly-M...Congratulations. It was a test and you passed.

We'll ask an artist for her opinion on these matters.

I think I'm in agreement with Mio on this.

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Another iPhone Problem

Art by Ramune

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Comics Can Have a Positive Impact

Wonderduck has a poignant post on the impact a well written comic can have. Go read the whole thing.

...then go buy Yotsuba@!.

It really is that good.

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Ninjas Needed!

Star Turtle Village is in Peril!

We don't have enough ninjas!

Now is a most excellent time to start playing Billy Versus Snakeman as Star Turtle Village needs Ninjas. With its huge number of options it is ideal for a beginning player and has all sorts of bonuses and perks for established players as well.

Just click on this here banner here
Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

For established players or new players that just want to be at a village from the very beginning, then Fractale Village is the place for you! Established and ruled by the benevolent Pixy Misa, Fractale is a quiet, serene village hidden deep in the heart of math.

...Oh and all the nonjas are cute girls (well, except for Archie).

Just click on this banner if you want to learn math ninjutsu...
Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

Billy Versus Snakeman is a simple browser based MMOG in which is set in a universe composed of offbeat parodies of anime shows. You start as a lowly genin, dreaming of ninja awesomenes. However, as you rise up the ninja ranks, you gain new goals that take you on bizarre adventures, involving, wasteland scavenging, soul reaping,  monster fighting.  hanafuda, majong and darts as well as exciting careers in the fast food industry. It has a limit on how much you play a day ( you have a very limited amount of stamina) so you are only on about 15 minutes a day. Thus there is no danger of one getting eaten by the game and becoming one of those online gamer after-school specials..unless one were to play multiple characters.

Oh, wait...

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September 25, 2012


Japanese Coast Guard cutters have intercepted Chinese fishing vessels and patrol boats making a run for the Senkaku islands and engaged them with watercannon.

However, the Chinese vessels were not PRC, they were ROC.

Yes, the REPUBLIC of China, better known as Taiwan, also lays claim to the islets. and a small task force of patriotic Taiwanese fishermen sallied forth to make sure that this unspeakable mess got even more complicated. Taiwanese patrol boats, which had been escorting the flotilla gave covering fire with their own watercannon.  It appears that no one was injured.

The Taiwanese fishermen are concerned because if the 200 mile EEZ around the islets is strictly enforced, they would loose the bulk of their fishing grounds. (The islands are just over a hundred miles from Taiwan. )

China Daily implies there was no intent to land, just a peaceful protest to assert fishing rights. However Want China Times says they expressly refused to rule it out..

China Post has been covering this since the protestors left Taiwan and has this to say..

Chen Chun-sheng, chairman of the Su'ao District Fishermen's Association, emphasised that the purpose of the operation is to protest Japan's "nationalisation” of the island chain and also to advocate the rights of Taiwanese fishermen. The operation was made possible with a NT$5 million (US$170,500) donation to subsidise fuel costs, Chen said.

(Emphasis added)

China Post link is via AMPOTAN, who has much more including  information on the individual who is suspected of chartering the fishing boats....a Taiwanese businessman who made his fortune on the mainland and who has (allegedly) been taking over Taiwanese media outlets and making them pro-PRC mouthpieces.

Taken by itself the Taiwan-Japan dispute is not too worrying and can likely be resolved with some fisheries treaty.   However, these things never happen in isolation and with Mainland China and Japan having such a high stakes dispute over the islets this becomes something of a spanner in the works.

In other news Korea is suddenly playing hardball with their erstwhile ally over a dispute involving  a completely different set of even more Godforsaken  rocks .

Interesting times...

UPDATE: I'm sure this means nothing. More (without the sensationalist headline) here.

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