July 15, 2013
July 14, 2013
I was provided with giant robots fighting monsters.
As such my legitimate gripes are limited.
There were giant robots...fighting monsters....In a live action film with a budget.
Charlie Nunman does a perfectly decent job as the thoroughly conventional leading man but is somewhat outshone by the rest of the cast with Idris Elba and Max Martini giving good performances as veteran monster hunters. Japanese A-Lister Rinko Kikuchi is the female lead. Burn Gorman and Charles Day play the obligatory mad scientists and Ron Perleman just sort of struts into the film and chews the scenery for a bit.
Oh, there are minor quibbles, they could have shaved 15 minutes off the film and used less shakeycam. I'd have liked to see one of the big fights in daylight too, but you know what? None of that is important really...because we had Giant Robots...fighting Kaiju Monsters in a live action film on the big screen!
....and how many times does one get to see THAT?
Anyway, as a summer popcorn flick I found it to be top notch.
As I type this there seems to have been only the most sporadic vandalism, and then in locations where any excuse will foment mischief so that hardly counts.
This relative calm was despite considerable efforts by certain parties in the media and elsewhere to fan the flames of violence.
Those incitements were in vain and I feel pretty damned good about that.
UPDATE: The prosecution receives some harsh words from 'The Dersh'. WOW!
July 13, 2013
Pixy points out that it's a kickstarter project!
I'd actually like to see them do something else because that one episode was sublime, so they don't need to do any more.
On the other hand that short really WAS awesome.
Seriously woman...mispronouncing Mr. Fuk's name like that is unconscionable.
Via Chizumatic and CDR Salamander
Note that I can't find any confirmation for the widely reported allegation that this prank has been sourced to a 12 year old boy. The only confirmed link in the chain of comedy is a summer intern at the NTSB.
July 11, 2013
The occasion of course is to provide thoughtful discussion and real-time commentary on the ultimate product of thousands of years of human art, which will air on the Sy-Fy channel at 9:00 PM Eastern tonight...
A perfect metaphor for our age.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
As if today was not awesome enough, it's founders day at 7-11, which means free Slurpees from 11AM-7PM.
What I witnessed was twenty three minutes and fifty two seconds of the most depressing, painful and downright mean reliving of high-school hell I've ever seen. This was not funny, or insightful...it was just very sad.
Tomoko Kuroki is a painfully shy high school freshman who has terrible anxiety about speaking to people and yet longs for friendship. She tries changing her appearance, with disastrous results, she's called ugly when she's not ignored and even her own brother doesn't particularly want to talk to her. She descends in to bitterness and despair.
...at which point I started wondering "Well then. Where's the punch line?"
Thus far there isn't one. There is just the festering emotional pain of a broken, wretchedly lonely girl as she shuffles down the narrowing corridors of her sanity.
I found it so disturbing that I could not sleep last night.
I don't think I'll be following this, but I may watch episode 2 to see if the writers deign to provide any glimmer of hope for this poor girl.
July 09, 2013
Yes...yes we've found a weird one.
Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 concerns a painfully shy, but otherwise outwardly normal young lady named Yura who gets into a a very exclusive preparatory high-school. Due to an unlikely confluence of events involving a pillow, a DVD and a strawberry layer cake, she ends up enrolled in the paintball & survivalist club. This facilitates Yura getting in touch with her inner goofball.
Looking at the premise, this doesn't look promising. It is just a combination of elements from recent hits like Girls und Panzer and K-ON!
However, the first episode is genuinely engaging and this show looks like it could be quite fun. It has some some surprisingly interesting and likeable characters who enthusiastically revel in their oddness.
Bearing Drift is a conservative blog focused primarily on Virginia politics. Love or hate their views they have built a reputation as a bunch of straight shooters. Well, Friday one of their contributors, a Willie Deutch, announced that Governor McDonnell was resigning...and their traffic shot through the roof...and made the local radio station.
However, this story appears at this point to be utter bull squeeze.
The next day Bearing Drift put up this post. They are not throwing Deutch under the bus...yet...as he may have been burned by a source but they do acknowledge that the story is at best dubious. As corrections go, it's pretty decent, being on the front page and all.
It also stands as a reminder that reputation is not easily gained once lost and there are a LOT of BS stories out there. We here at Brickmuppet Blog are not immune to getting stories wrong. It's easy to get burned if ones normally reliable source is on crack that day...but it's important to remember that much of what is out there is crazy. Theres a LOT of BS stories floating about now...it seems to be more than usual....I know of several bloggers who've had to retract posts when they found out that stories they got from normally reliable sources were tracked back and found to ultimately come from Alex Jones or something.
July 08, 2013
I had missed the disquisitions on this diabolical development due to my having been away from the computer today.
...the Obama administration has requested 15,000 Russian troops who are trained in disaster relief and ‘crowd functions’ to be pre-positioned to respond to FEMA Region III during an unspecified ‘upcoming’ disaster. FEMA Region III includes Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The report says it’s "important” to note this region because it could imply that that the Obama administration has lost confidence in its own military being able to secure the area should it be called upon to do so.
So....any thoughts come immediately to mind?
Look...it's bunk...utter bunk.
R.S. McCain discovered that this weapons grade crazy was a headline in his recently launched news aggregation site, which left him with two possibilities.
Well, well — what’s up with that, indeed? The most obvious explanations would seem to be either:
• One of our writers has bought into a fringe conspiracy theory;
• It’s time to start stockpiling ammo and freeze-dried food, before the black helicopters show up to take us to FEMA camps.
Actually the chicken in a can is not freeze-dried so answer B need not result in an outcome QUITE as dire as he implies, but as McCain documents in a very long post B is not the correct answer.
By all means keep hoarding the canned chickens...'cause you might need them for Chantal....
...but there is no evidence that there are any Russian troops coming to do riot control in the US.
McCain now has to deal with the two implications of A. One of his contributors either bought a story that even as conspiracy theories go, is just bone crushingly stupid, or one of his contributors is a Moby. Of course the correct response is the same in either case.
Anyway, if you see this story crop up please debunk it.
July 07, 2013
We're over two decades behind where we ought to be.
Doug Englebert died last Tuesday and it is a testament to how screwed up our media is that I learned of his passing from XKCD.
Englebert was one of the greatest computer pioneers of all time.
After returning from service in the Philippine theater of operations in WW2 he studied electrical engineering and worked for NACA. He then worked on computers at Ames, and with Hewlett Crane developing magnetic core memory. In 1962 he put together a hand picked team of researchers at Stanford's Augmentation Reasearch Center.
Between 1962 and 1968, he and his 17 person team developed, amongst other things, the computer mouse, cursor (which he called a "bug") hypertext, instant messaging, video instant messaging, audio files, dynamic file linking, keyword searching, modern computer word processing and the hyperlink.
Here follow this "hyperlink" to the video of his 1968 demo of the fruits of their labors at the 1968 joint computer conference. watch the whole thing. It's 90 minutes that changed the world...just a bit slower than it ought to have.
It was all there...all of it was demonstrated except cat videos and pr0n and it was demonstrated in 1968.
It was 40 degrees in July! So I ran back in put on a heavy workshirt and a hoodie and hurried off to work.
Ghaah! The heater in the van was broken!
I got to work and noticed that a bunch of crazy people were coming to work in shorts in 40 degree weather.
It wasn't the weather...it was me.
Well, I lasted about 3 hrs before I broke morale and asked to go home. Fortunately I looked horrible enough that management gave me no grief, but rather encouraged me to leave.
I was MUCH better by Saturday evening.
This afternoon I was well enough to notice that I hadn't actually published this post.
So all is well I suppose.
The following picture is unrelated to the text concerning my weekend. I am very grateful for that.
July 06, 2013
There are reportedly two dead and sixty six injured in what appears to be a bizarre crash of a 777 at San Fransco airport. I imagine the death toll will be a bit higher but it's really fortunate that the survival rate is so high.
All the reports I'm seeing and reading indicate that the tail fell off.
Pete, do you have any thoughts?
If this was not terrorism related (and thee are NO indications that it is as I type this) then this is the first major non-deliberate airline crash in the US since 2001.
UPDATE: Over at Chizumatic Steven mentions that some transpacific flights carry two crews. In my experience this has not been the case with the 14 hour flights to Japan, though I've been using super bargain basement airlines. It's my understanding that there IS a crew lounge in the tail of many of these planes, but even given a two crew arrangement I'm pretty sure that the stewards would all be in their jump seats during take off/landing in case of emergency.
This time it's their first with their new guidance system. On June 14th the rocket ascended 1066 feet high, thereby commemorating the Battle of Hastings...ummm...five months and a day early.
July 05, 2013
...comic book publisher Image Comics announced at its Image Expo convention that it will now sell all of its digital comics as downloadable via its website for both desktop and mobile users, making it the first major U.S. publisher to offer DRM-free digital versions of comics. Readers can even choose the file format they prefer: PDFs, EPUBs, CBRs or CBZs.
There is more on this happy development here.
It will also get you fired, 'cause it's TOTALLY not safe for work....and as for me? Well, I'm going to that special hell for linking to it.
That is, I figured that it could not possibly be as reported.
Because it's a story about a third amendment violation.
I mean REALLY. Is there ever going to be an issue with the government quartering troops in peoples houses?
So this had to be a mistake. It was surely going to be debunked and...
LAS VEGAS (CN) - Henderson police arrested a family for refusing to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic violence investigation of their neighbors, the family claims in court.
Anthony Mitchell and his parents Michael and Linda Mitchell sued the City of Henderson, its Police Chief Jutta Chambers, Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley, and City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister, in Federal Court.
Henderson, pop. 257,000, is a suburb of Las Vegas.
The Mitchell family's claim includes Third Amendment violations, a rare claim in the United States. The Third Amendment prohibits quartering soldiers in citizens' homes in times of peace without the consent of the owner.
"What is happening to the country?"
Ilya Somin has thoughts.
July 04, 2013
235 years ago today the 13
southernmost of England's North American colonies sent representatives
to Philadelphia to discuss what to do about the various political
disputes they had had with London...disputes that had been festering for
One of these representatives, Benjamin Franklin, had spent 11 years in London trying to resolve these disputes. He had attempted to, amongst other things:
*set up a process for the colonists to elect MPs.
*represent their interests in policy discussions
*relay the London perspective back to the colonies.
While he was in England, Franklin
was increasingly treated not as a representative, but an ambassador
from a hostile nation. Finally, in 1774, he received an audience with the Solicitor General ostensibly to try to resolve the issue, but in fact for a public humiliation before the Privy council. He was called everything but a
child of God, told his people were nothing more than subjects who were
not entitled to representation of any sort. He was summarily dismissed.
One of the most respected
Britons of his age had gone to bring the nation closer together and
returned convinced it was not possible. He'd seen firsthand how similar policies had ruined Ireland and he was determined not to have that happen to his home.
Things had already deteriorated in the colonies when Franklin got back. The battles of Lexington and Concord had come to pass and Franklin was appointed to join a group of Delegates to discuss what to do about the situation.
The various delegates
conferred and decided on a course of action. On July 4th they announced and published multiple copies of their
conclusion and the reasons they had reached it.
It bears remembering that
they did not come to their very difficult conclusion lightly .
Their statement is below.
Today is the day we celebrate their difficult, but demonstrably fortuitous decision.
It is also a time to
reflect on the fact that Washington imposes a far greater degree of
interference in our day to day lives than Lord North ever contemplated.
is equally important to remember that the founders provided us with the very
tool Lord North had denied them; the ballot box.
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Provnce, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
William Hooper Joseph Hewes
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Thomas McKeanNew York:
Robert Treat Paine
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