June 30, 2013

Wow!

This pic from AFP is of the demonstrations in Cairo.





More here and here. Reuters is putting the number of protestors above a million people....almost all Muslims, protesting against Islamism.

This is really a big thing,
There's even a slight chance it might overcome the odds and end up a good thing.

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Gargantia Ends

Well...now we know what that fountain in episode 5 was all about.



Well, what's there to gripe about?
There's a slight reduction in the animation quality in episode 11 & the first part of 12. There was a scene where one character was way off model and there was that gratuitous moment of yuck in episode 5....


"Dude...please..."

Yeah...I think that sums up all my complaints.... now the good points.

This has been one of the more enjoyable shows in recent years.

 It's nicely paced with likeable characters, gorgeous art, and at times, near movie quality production values.  It's a substantive show too, touching on themes of ethics, honor, redemption and the extraordinary and irreplaceable value of liberty.

 Gargantia goes to some dark places, but it never succumbs to nihilism. It is saved from that by the general decency of most of its characters and the fact that the show never loses its sense of hope.

When not dealing with challanges that range from the silly to the venal to the epic, it focuses on life in one of the most pleasant, visually interesting and from all appearances liveable fantasy/ sci-fi worlds in recent memory; a world that in almost every episode managed to surprise.


NOTE: Some surprises more consequential than others.



Beautifully presented, and well thought out, Gargantia on the Verduous Planet is inspiring, thrilling and ultimately quite pleasant. It also  manages to pull off a thoroughly satisfying ending which is a pretty rare thing.

This ones a real gem.
 
Gen Urobochi is the writer, Kazuya Murata is the director, Koji Tanaka is the art director, Naruko Hannaharu did the character designs and the Music Director is Taro Iwashiro. They all bear watching in the future.

Note that there will be at least one OAV( Released with the BD set)

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42 Years Ago Today


The crew of Soyuz 11 docked with the very first space station (Salyut 1) and stayed in orbit for 23 days, setting a space endurance record before they were forced to cut short their mission due to an electrical fire on the station.



During the re-entry of the Soyuz 11 capsule , there was a loss of radio contact, but the spacecraft landed quite normally in Kazakhstan.

Tragically, when the recovery team arrived however, they found that a pressure release valve had opened during reentry and exposed the crew to the vacuum of space. They were not wearing pressure suits. Despite the best efforts of the recovery team to revive them, Georgiy Timofeyevich Dobrovolsky, Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev and Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov had died on re-entry.

As terrible as this was, it bears remembering that if the boundaries of the future are allowed to be set by the, the timid, or far worse, those who would presume to forbid others from striving for great things...then our future will be a dark age. The human race is fortunate to have people such as these who will step into the breach and attempt great deeds.

They deserve to be remembered.

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June 29, 2013

I just....

I don't...

I'm not able...

What the HELL am I looking at?



I guess that as superpowers go this far from the worst....but I can't help but think that it comes with the vulnerability "already at bottom of  hill" ...which is probably way more common than Kryptonite.

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Strange Bedfellows

The quote of the week (anime division):


As we head into the climactic episode on Sunday, I have a few random thoughts on this weeks Gargantia installment.

Because there's just a lot to like....


more...

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June 27, 2013

There's Been an Ubu Sighting



His June has SUCKED.

Good grief. He had a VASTLY worse run-in with Annies theologist than I did. Damn cultists. Fortunately he's alive and recovering, but its looking to be a long road.

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June 25, 2013

"Wound"

Attack on Titan continues, and while our heroes don't accomplish much in the way of their goals this episode, an awful lot is happening. 



Yeah, things are not going well for our would be giant slayers. At the end of last episode, everything pretty much went to worms and this has  a sort of cascade effect, so they just cannot seem to get a break.





Nicely paced with an even better than usual score, episode 12 is an enthralling three ring circus and the show seems to be well and truly back on track.

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So...

...does this particular waterline kit of Hyuga come with the burning Liaoling?



I gather that "Operation Senkaku" is a new model line.

I note that this kit does not show up on their English language website.

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June 23, 2013

Have There Been Any Ubu Sightings?



These young ladies are getting worried.

His last post was 13 days ago and indicated that he had taken a turn for the worse after his back surgery and been readmitted to the hospital.  I tried E-mailing him but the messages bounce back with the error message that his mailbox is full.

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Well...THAT Was Unexpected

...and so was all that other stuff...


"...like MELTY of all people demonstrating such intrepidity and being so pivotal to the plot."

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is not quite the show we thought it was, it's in no way the show we thought it had become in episode 9, and given the amazing (yet perfectly convincing) surprises and misdirections the writer has thrown at us though the whole series, I'm unprepared at this point to predict what kind of show it will turn out to be. However,  It is looking really, really good right now.  My only quibble with this episode is that is that IGOTTAWAITAWHOLEWEEK4THENEXTONE!

They could still screw it up, but right now It looks like Madoka was no fluke.

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June 19, 2013

There Comes a Point

...when one has to conclude that they are just trolling us.


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Never Trust ANYONE Who Doesn't Believe in Money

This always bothered me about Star Trek...the whole "We have no money, we....ummm....uh....stuff" thing was always put out there but handwaived..

Of course there are all sorts of problems with this notion as it means that whoever is in charge decides what and who has value....and doesn't.  This may appeal to a certain type of control freak, academic or fanatic, but it is unlikely to work out for those not in favor with those who take it upon themselves to define value.

This is explored extensively in episode 11 of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet which holds forth in part on how NOT to set up ones economy and society.

In Gargantia, the fanatical new-age commies parroting received wisdom from their "betters" are the BAD GUYS....I LOVE this show!



more...

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Starting to Make Headway


After the extended disquisition upon nothing that ground the series into a screeching, boring, mind numbing state of torpor with episode 10, Attack On Titan begins to resume, somewhat haltingly, it's story.



While most of episode 11 is discussing the need to get ready to do something, the discussions go into some interesting places.


more...

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That's Gonna Leave a Mark


"Huh. This politician seems quiet, calm and not filled with rage. That's kind of disarming."

more...

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The Best Song In the History of Everything

Is not available on iTunes or Amazon, it long predates CDs and of course all vinyl containing it was ordered destroyed by Nixon's FDA so my quest to add this to my MP3 queue is still unfulfilled. 



Via Moe Lane who uses it to one-up Geraghty's lame Ninja Turtle reference.

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"Very Truly Yours,"



I hope Mr. Cox got this potentially defamatory matter resolved . It could have damaged his reputation.

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June 17, 2013

Haiyore Nyarko-san Wanker


"You say Mee-Go, he says Mi-Go but all I care about is that away from here I go"

I dunno WHAT the "W" stands fore but I'm stikkin' with my theory. The original series was not exactly good, but it mildly amusing and occasionally clever. Every episode made me at least chuckle  once.

This sequel alternates between execrable and stupid.

I mean...odd numbered episodes are execrable. Even numbered episodes are merely stupid. Odd numbered episodes tend to have everyone out of character and have the show written as a straight harem comedy devoid of Lovecraft Jokes, or any but the most tendentious attempts at humor. Even numbered episodes are bone-crushingly stupid, have the characters acting in accordance with their frequently warped motivations and generally remember that the blonde, under all that moe' is a trap and the redhead is not interested in guys. The even numbered episodes also differentiate themselves from the odd,  by remembering that the protagonists three roommates are aliens disguising themselves as humans with vastly different biology, ...and oh yeah nerd jokes.

These differences are most visible across a two part episode, where it appears the characters are from two completely different series.

I really think there are two different writing teams one of which is using a harem comedy trope generator and is unaware of the actual characters or the fact that it's not actually a harem comedy, but is close enough to parody them...

Neither odd nor even episodes are at all good, but the even episodes are making me laugh occasionally....and groan often. Of course, even at that I can't recommend this show in good conscience due to the fact that it is objectively terrible and finding the less abominable ones becomes problematic after episode 8 when the two writing teams division of labor seems to have become chronologically inconsistent.


Stupidity on ice.

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Banality Intercedes

My Dad had a hernia operation Wednesday following close on the heels of mom's gall bladder surgery. I've been mister butler man for a bit, doing all their errands as well as the lawn and garden stuff. Dad isn't supposed to lift anything for a week and then has a gradually increasing weight restriction for a further five weeks. Thus, Friday, when I drove up in the van from work and noted my dad in the front yard hauling around a bag of pine cones, my response was...



...but in a rather less calm fashion.

He seems to be of the opinion that pine cones do not possess mass. Despite my lack of any formal credentials in physics or botany, I am almost certain that this is not the case.

On what Dad insists is a completely unrelated note, shortly thereafter, he became aware of considerable pain and there was concern that he might have to return to the hospital. Friday was consumed by worry to the exclusion of sleep.

At this point he does seem to be doing better and can now get in and out of bed unassisted. Today I got home to find he had driven my mom to the beautician. This was worrisome but it does indicate that he's improving well. Thus, I can relax and sleep without fear that every little sound might be a catastrophe.

In other news. I don't own a van. I was driving theirs because  my '82 Cressida finally had the radiator die. I can't actually complain about this. After 31 years it was pretty much due. I should be reunited with double the gas mileage, comfortable seats, A/C, MP3 and surround sound tomorrow.

Finally, I just got a letter from the VA indicating that as a disabled Veteran I'm to be paid $625.70 a month in education benefits and that these benefits have been accruing since 2009 when the VA lost track of me after I moved.

Well, given how tight money's been after all the medical bills and missed work, this would be a most welcome development aside from one awkward fact.

I'm not disabled.

I seem to have huge amount of money following me that should be going to people who, unlike me, were wounded in the service of their country. There's a number to a robot to verify my enrollment but no way to cancel or clarify the situation. I'll talk to the VA office at school Wednesday. Hopefully, they can resolve this mess in short order.

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June 14, 2013

Because...Flag Day



For about 20 years the flag did not have 13 stripes. In 1818 Congress looked at all the unincorporated territories and decided that to continue adding a star AND a stripe to the flag for each state would produce an unsightly mess in short order. Thus they mandated that the number of stripes revert to the original 13 to commemorate the original colonies.

Of course this was after 4 years after the most famous US flag had already flown and gotten punched full of beauty marks.



In any event whether ones US Flag has 13, 14 or 15 stripes there are rules* for handling them and one of those is that using them as tablecloths IS RIGHT OUT.

* Of course the first amendment trumps these but in general non-adherence here is considered quite rude and will not generally be an effective means of winning hearts and minds to ones cause.

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June 13, 2013

Well THAT Was Exciting

I thought it was an earthquake for a moment.

Oh wow...more excitement approaches.



Memo to Don and The Duck: Thank you so much for sharing your eclectic and stimulating weather with us, but we don't feel comfortable for imposing upon your beneficence any longer, so feel free to take it back at any time.

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