February 28, 2013

A Dream of Mine

I want to start a band with a Harpsichord, a Ukelele, a Dulcimer, a Clavichord, a Theremin, an Armonica, a Calliope and a set of Bagpipes.

















I might need to invent an electric ukelele or an electric base dulcimer to make it work though.

Oh...they're already invented!






"This could be the next Nightwish!"

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Tankery!

Via Ace of Spades: There is an article on tankery in the Wall Street Journal.


"Best...article...EVAH!"

Enthusiastic young lady is Yukari Akiyama from Girls ind Panzer.

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Kind of Like the Civics Test in the Post Before Last

...the tweet being mocked here is depressing and not a little frightening. 

Bob Woodward of course is one of the reporters who took down Nixon. This is major 20th century history, and history it seems is at least as poorly understood by our polity as civics.

Of course one might ask why Bob Woodward came up in casual conversation and then one would find oneself in the middle of something even more disturbing.



Worse it involves  #politics.....so we'll continue this below the fold.

 
more...

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February 27, 2013

Alamo Blogging

Ben at Midnight Tease just revealed a dark secret about himself. However, we won't hold that character flaw against him as he has been doing an interesting day by day post of the battle of the Alamo. He's up to day 5: here, here, here, here and here.


If I had Photoshop working I'd put them on Jim Bowie!
UPDATE: THANKS Wonderduck!

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That Civics Quiz

...that's making the rounds, is here. Everybody else on the starboard side of the blogosphere seems to be missing two, which is much better than most Americans.

  • Full Civic Literacy Exam (from our 2008 survey)

    Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.



Yikes!

Pete and other immigrants should do very well as they have to take a civics exam as part of the naturilization process, yet with most of the country getting an "F" ...well this is a serious problem that explains rather a lot.

How'd ya'll do?
more...

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February 26, 2013

Ghost Division

Despite the music choice this AMV is actually surprisingly faithful to Song of the Sky....and yet it is COMPLETELY misleading as to what sort of tale this thoughtful and inspiring show is.




It's also pretty awesome.

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A Slight Chance of "BOOM!"

As one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes points out, "Boom!" does not do justice to what may be coming to the planet Mars.



"2x1010 Megatons is hard to visualize so think of it as being about this much 'splody."

It seems that recently discovered fast parabolic comet C/2013 A3 is going to pass pretty close to Mars. Exceedingly close. Best guess now has it passing within 63,000 miles of Mars. However the margin of error in plotting its course due to uncertainties about it's mass, its extreme speed and the limited time this object has been observed mean that the cone pf probability extends from 74,000 miles out from Mars to 0.000 miles.  This is much closer to Mars than the moon is to Earth.

The comet is moving exceedingly fast and is a retrograde orbit to boot so its relative velocity is around 35 miles per second, or 5 TIMES Earth escape velocity!

Since C/2013 A1 is a hyperbolic comet and moves in a retrograde orbit, its velocity with respect to the planet will be very high, approximately 56 km/s. With the current estimate of the absolute magnitude of the nucleus M2 = 10.3, which might indicate the diameter up to 50 km, the energy of impact might reach the equivalent of staggering 2×10¹º megatonnes! This kind of event can leave a crater 500 km across and 2 km deep. Such an event would overshadow even the famous bombardment of Jupiter by the disintegrated comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 in July 1994, which by some estimates was originally 15 km in diameter. - See more at: http://spaceobs.org/en/2013/02/25/comet-c2013-a1-siding-spring-a-possible-collision-with-mars/#sthash.SS7W2n7v.dpuf
The comet is 50 clicks across (by comparison the "Dinosaur Killer" was only 10 clicks in diameter). This would be a planet changing event.

Scott Lowther has thoughts on what the (admittedly unlikely) impact might mean for ambient Martian atmospheric pressure. Assuming it didn't blow the atmosphere clean off, it could be interesting indeed.

In any event, with a magnitude of 8.0 as seen from Earth, the comet should be visible with the naked eye in rural areas, which means we get a neat show regardless of whether it hits.

"Science Babe" is Shizune Hachimaki, from Katawa Shoujo.
Since C/2013 A1 is a hyperbolic comet and moves in a retrograde orbit, its velocity with respect to the planet will be very high, approximately 56 km/s. With the current estimate of the absolute magnitude of the nucleus M2 = 10.3, which might indicate the diameter up to 50 km, the energy of impact might reach the equivalent of staggering 2×10¹º megatonnes! This kind of event can leave a crater 500 km across and 2 km deep. Such an event would overshadow even the famous bombardment of Jupiter by the disintegrated comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 in July 1994, which by some estimates was originally 15 km in diameter. - See more at: http://spaceobs.org/en/2013/02/25/comet-c2013-a1-siding-spring-a-possible-collision-with-mars/#sthash.SS7W2n7v.dpu

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February 24, 2013

This Might Matter to Some People

It seems that Seven Seas Entertainment has picked up several new titles including Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou.



I note that all the titles involve monster girls. I was unaware that this was "a thing" (I mean outside of 4chan and Pixiv ). This is a genre now?

We live in interesting times.

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Well, I've Been Sufficiently Shamed

While virtuously scouring the internet for content to further the causes of science and liberty, I, by merest happenstance, encountered this...




Her name is Jung Da-Yeon. She's Korean, married and is a popular fitness instructor in Korea and Japan.

Her popularity stems not just from her asthetics. Less than a decade ago she didn't look this way at all....


As one can see from the before and after shots she wasn't exactly obese but she was a bit zaftig. Then, 8 years ago....


Golly...

Oh...she's had at least 2 kids....
 

...and, she's 45...

It is vastly harder for women to loose weight than men, and I'm told it is particularly hard for them to do so after having kids and like everybody else it gets way harder to loose any weight after 35.

Here I am, a man, being all pleased with myself about loosing 35 pounds last year...despite still being about 60 pounds overweight. 

This woman lost 20 kilos (44 pounds) in three months (Though I assume the toning took longer). She did this in her late '30s after having kids and she's kept it off for 8 years now.

And did I mention that she's...a girl!
(If I needed to you may have monitor issues.)

That's it... no more Mountain Dew.

I'm 42. I blew up like a balloon after a steroid regimen following surgeries for service related injuries..but this woman has had two kids so mine is probably a comparable or lesser issue. As a guy I certainly should be able to do this. I'm already a third of the way there weight wise, but damn she's just embarrassing me.

...also inspiring...and stuff.

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February 19, 2013

My Response

I'm massively busy and may not be online for the rest of the week. However, I note that Steven Den Beste has made an argument  which, although, admittedly compelling, is nevertheless one I cannot allow to go unanswered.


Yamato 2199's Niimi Kaoru done by Toten (whose NSFW E-artbooks can be purchased here)

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Oh Dear

Just got this via twitter.

CNN.com is reporting this afternoon that NASA has lost contact with the International Space Station.


Please no.

UPDATE: Oh good. They are confirmed OK. It appears to be a com failure but they can communicate with Moscow via walkie talkie when they are overhead.

UPDATE 2: And it's fixed.


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February 18, 2013

How Bad can the Google Bubble Get?

The Google Bubble is is explained here. Note that it's basically an ad for Duck-Duck Go, but it does explain the problem succinctly.

How bad can it get?

I noticed hadn't cleared my search history or cookies all year when a recent search on my computer for BAD APPLE CHINESE resulted in Newt Gingrich vs. Piers Morgan  and a search for AMVs in general included Bill Whittle videos.

No doubt someone to the left of me would be getting Obama hymns and  such.

It can be somewhat mitigated by clearing ones search history and all cookies periodically.

 On the political level this means that getting people to change their minds about things political is going to be even more of a herculean task than is discussed here, here, here and here.

On a rather more profound level it cannot be good for the nations polarization or getting people to change their minds about important things like immunizations and GM foods.

This is a huge structural problem, but I'm at a loss as to what to do about it.

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Video Interlude

This works surprisingly well.



This one actually looks to be a test, but it's a very well timed test.


Also: Tsukasa LOL

Oh lord...I guess this was inevitable...




I don't "get" Touhou, but this fan-made video is very nicely done with a superb use of rotoscoping. I understand it's several years old but I'd never encountered it till last year.


That's Cristina Vee doing the vocals.

Here's a Chinese version of the song using a piano and a violin. It also has a clever take on the video...



...rotoscoping the rotoscoping with sand.

 
Finally here is proof that less is sometimes more. The original vocals, same basic video exact same 'choreography'(it looks to be a re-skinning of the shadow vid) but this time done with Miku Miku Dance.



It's actually a perfectly decent video and a very impressive job by MMD standards....and yet...



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February 17, 2013

Burning Questions

One of our readers from Canada, Peter (TNSG), has some questions about US politics.

more...

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February 16, 2013

Asteroid Addendum

Well, that was exciting.

We had a near miss from an asteroid big enough to cause a 5 megaton blast if it hit. Over a thousand people were injured in Russia  this morning when a small meteor detonated above (and impacted just outside of) the town of Chelyabinsk. This afternoon, bolide exploded above Rodas Cuba causing minor damage and another bolide lit up San Fransisco this evening but did no damage.

The near miss asteroid has pretty much been established to be unrelated to the Russian meteorite, though its unclear if the two bolides were related to the Russian event.

2012DA14 which passed inside Geostationary Orbit got some buzz in the press over the last few days and Drudge, of course, hyped it like it was the Sweet Meteor Of Death. It was discovered by an amateur astronomer in Spain, not NASA or any other credentialed body, so if not for him we never would have seen it coming until it was upon us (if then). If it had been the tiniest bit off its actual course it would have hit. At this point we could have done nothing about it.

The objects that caused so much excitement in Chelyabinsk, Rodas and  San Fransisco, well, we never saw them coming.

This pic is making the rounds today....because it's true.



Next time the S.M.O.D. Squad comes visiting they may not be so congenial.

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February 15, 2013

Aiee. Aiee I say.

Doom. It is upon us.



....or Drudge is milking this for all it's worth.

UPDATE: 5 min Later




UPDATE 2:










But I did laugh...

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Meteor Strike!

One of the Brickmuppets crack team of science babes brings us news of asteroid 2012 DA14 which is going to pass incredibly close to Earth this afternoon. The space rock, about the size of....What?


 Spectacularly so!

...Oh! An asteroid, apparently unrelated to 2012DA14 and estimated to have only weighed about 10 tons, entered the atmosphere and came down on Russiaa bit before 9:30 this morning local time, but due to its small size it was not detected before entry.

The bolide spectacularly detonated over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and caused a surprising amount of damage. Nearly 1000 people are reported injured as I type this.






Pics via

Most of the damage seems to have come from the sonic boom and possibly the concussion of the explosion itself as the damage to the zinc plant above seems remarkable for a sonic boom. At least some fragments of the object impacted with the largest reported impact at this time being this neat hole punched in the ice of a nearby reservoir.
(Pic via RT)





Instapundit points out it's probably still a good idea to duck and cover when you see a flash of light in the sky. Here's why...



OUCH! Those poor kids! I hope no one was blinded.

UPDATE: Compilation of videos here:



UPDATE 2: I'm going out the door, but Scott Lowther has a huge roundup here, here and here.

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February 11, 2013

Something, ANYTHING Else

Tearful, fearful, Sayaka is giving me the creeps, so I've gotta post something just to get the creepiness off the top front post. 



Via

Wait...

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February 10, 2013

It is Vital to Remember That Dispair is a Sin...

...because it is the surest path to oblivion.

Do not give up hope.
Do not yield to anger.
Do not succumb to fear, for while the situation is dire, all is not lost.


"You don't understand! No one believes me, but I have SEEN the math!"

Oh...

Oh dear...

Well, I still prefer tilting at windmills to oblivion or serfdom so lets discuss this below the fold.
more...

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Things have been exceedingly busy

...of late. I missed 11 days of school (out of 20 so far) due to the shot-proof flu and subsequent pneumonia, combined with a violent reaction to an antibiotic. Also the alternator died. Thus I've been playing catch up.

I have a couple of unfinished posts on current events and tech...but they are depressing me and sapping my energy.

Additionally I haven't been blogging about anime much because nothing that's streaming right now interests me and Nisemonogatari made me feel quite unclean. 

So, gentle readers,  here's another random picture to tide you over till I catch up .


Art by Sabaku Chitai is a slightly off model representation of Anglerfish Team from Girls und Panzer...and yet is strangely awesome.

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