Look Who's Back in the News
Well, it seems that a procedural discrepancy has resulted between one (Washington Post Article) and twelve (Drudge headline) lab techs being exposed to Ebola.
This difference in numbers is not just due to link-baitery on the part of Drudge, it appears that up to a dozen people were in close proximity to an Ebola sample with at least one being closely monitored for the next 21 days.
But wait there's more
The mistake comes after a series of incidents this summer involving the mishandling of dangerous pathogens at the nationâ€™s labs. An incident at a CDC lab in June potentially exposed dozens of employees to live anthrax because employees failed to properly inactivate the anthrax when transferring samples.
Ebola Tan sez: "You know what? I'm really starting to like those CDC guys!"
This grim number provides a useful means to test predictions against results...
A couple of months ago, there were predictions of 1.4 million infected by the end of next month. Of course there are still 36 days to catch up, but that grim forecast is unlikely to be borne out. Thus, one can take comfort from the fact that the doomsayers were sufficiently wrong as to be off by a bit under two orders of magnitude.
On the other hand, as the linked article notes, the doomsayers in question were the CDC.
A Few Random Links
The Guardian suggests that declining oil prices may cause the Russian Oligarchs to launch a sort of "palace coup" . Meanwhile, the New York Times suggests that Russia's oligarchs...at least those with meaningful political pull, are a myth and Putin is so firmly in control of his nation's elites that any threat to him will not come from that direction.
It's nice to know that there is some consensus on the matter.
Some good news on the Free Speech and CYA fronts: Sony has changed course yet again and is in fact releasing The Interview, albeit only through art houses. (Which, in fairness is all they CAN do, given that the major theater chains are still saying no.)
Much has been written about Keurig's asinine imposition of DRM on its users to crush the competition in the single serve coffee refill market. Well it is even worse than that. If you take D, R &M, rearrange them a bit and add a few more letters, you get MURDER! It seems that the little robot coffemakers are not only harassing their owners about what brand coffee they use, the monopolistic little Cylons from Planet Java are spraying them with boiling water.
There is this new show that , as near as I can tell, no one has gotten the rights to. It appears (despite having dubious art and being a shounen show) to be quite worthy.
Steven has been following The 7 Deadly Sins through his extensive network of underworld contacts and it does look like a hoot.
So, unable to watch it, I checked out the manga.
UPDATE:How can one screw up a manga review? One might have typos...people might disagree with one's conclusions...but to actually do the review WRONG is nigh impossible. Well, we here at Brickmuppet Blog pride ourselves in making the impossible happen....Responding to concerns expressed in the comments, I have flipped through the first volume and note that this online THING I blogged about bears very little resemblance to the dead tree edition of the manga, (which includes pigs, both talking and giant and seems to be much closer to what I've heard about the anime). I'm really not sure what the hell I reviewed here, but I SWEAR I read it..I've even got screencaps.
Perhaps it's a lost pilot episode issue...or something.
In any event, this thing exists and it might be of interest.
The questions at the end remain legitimate...well, actually there is probably debate on that too...
The premise is that some years ago in the Kingdom of Britannia (which is in or near the continent of faux-medieval-Europe), a group of 7 warrior adventurers consisting of swordsmen, wizards and even a fricking giant built a reputation of badass chivalry until they unexpectedly killed a whole bunch of innocents and began spreading seditious rumors such as "We was framed!" and "The Holy Knights are riddled with traitors who are trying to launch a coup d'etat and set themselves up as a Junta!" Well, the Holy Knights took care of this domestic terror group with extreme prejudice, reportedly killing them all (though there are rumors that one or more might have survived and fled to the wilderness). This band of nefarious villains passed into legend as the greatest most perfidious and terrifying criminals in the history of the kingdom. Now they are boogiemen used to scare children and are referred to as The 7 Deadly Sins.
That was years ago, our story begins in earnest when a disheveled, filthy and generally odd young lady staggers into a tavern on a dark and snowy night, asks for information on the 7 deadly sins and precipitates a bar fight which results in the bar being closed and the paying customers turned out into the snow.
After some initial confusion the non-paying customer confides to the barkeep the events that led to her being in such a state. It seems that, in a completely unexpected development, the order of The Holy Knights suddenly launched a coup d'etat and set themselves up as a Junta!
Furthermore, this filthy, somewhat odd street urchin is actually the only member of the royal family to escape their knightly wrath, Elizabeth Lioness, the third princess of the kingdom. She has set out on a quest to put together a force to liberate her people. Suspecting (due to recent events) that the 7 Deadly Sins might not have actually been, strictly speaking, evil, and taking the rumors that some of them survived in the wastes to heart, she decides to search for survivors of that extremely powerful group to help her in her quest. Her task has been complicated by the fact that, being the THIRD princess she has not been groomed for leadership and, having had a sheltered life, she is ill prepared for survival on the lamb. After getting cleaned up, she is mocked by the bartender, who insinuates that, being a bartender, and hearing things, he might be in possession of some of the information that she is looking for, but unless she can display that she has resolve he has no interest in giving her the time of day...
Well...It seems that our heroine is actually quite determined to save the kingdom and not in any way lacking in resolve.
Yes MAM! The time is 01:06!
The barkeep pledges to help her and provide her with the informat.....
I'm with the government and I'm here to regulate!
It's the boss of the guys who lost the barfight! They were agents of the local EPA IRS NLRB Zoning Board ABC ATF EEOC Homeowners Association HOLY KNIGHT!
Well, the barkeep seems to be a bit more than an information broker. He is, in fact Meliodas, the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins...or at least he was before going into hiding. After the dust clears, the Holy Knight has been vanquished and Princess Elizabeth decides that this bartender is quite the useful ally. Due to her awkward circumstances, she takes the barkeep up on his offer of job as a waitress in his, ummm, traveling tavern, to pay for the damages she caused, build capital and network.
There are a couple of differences here between what I've read about the anime, most notably the lack of any talking pigs and it seems somewhat darker than the anime, based on descriptions. Still, it does look interesting and potentially fun.
The animated GIF of Elizabeth in Diane's cleavage isn't at their normal heights. The two of them were out in the woods looking for mushrooms and they found a big one which blew spores at them both and made them shrink. So Diane is now (temporarily) the size of Meliodas, and Elizabeth is the size of a doll. And (handwave) there's no guarantee that the mushroom-induced shrinkage affected them both identically.
I think the 35-foot estimate for Diane's height can't be right; I think she's taller than that normally (when not mushroomed).
Also in that GIF, the mushroom's spores didn't make their clothes shrink. So Diane's clothes are in a big pile out in the woods, and Diane is wearing Elizabeth's clothes. Elizabeth isn't wearing anything...
Man, the manga sure is different from the anime! Elizabeth doesn't stab herself in the anime, and Meliodas doesn't require her to prove herself. (She does prove herself, but not because he asks her to.)
Note that if one looks closely at the stabby bit, there are two hands. Meliodas inserted his hand at the last minute (with blinding speed....the first indication he was much more than he seemed). In so doing, he took the hit, though this was not immediately clear. The demonstration proves both that she's got sufficient guts and that Meliodas is not actually the sort of sadist who would stand by and watch that..
Usually when they make a manga into an anime they try to stay true to the character art, but they sure didn't in this case. The anime's Meliodas doesn't look anything like the one in your pictures. And Elizabeth is a lot different, too.
Oddly enough, Gilthunder is readily recognizable. (That scene of him bursting through the wall of the tavern didn't happen in the anime, but I know who it is.)
I wonder how the other characters look? Especially manga Diane?
North Korea and/or affiliated individuals have gotten a film's release cancelled by making terroristic threats. Sony knuckled under and pulled The Interviewafter a computer hack which revealed that Sony employs a bunch of jerks was complimented with a threat to do...something September eleventhy if the company released said film as scheduled.
However, in the larger sense, the implication that terrorism now works quite efficiently in achieving one's strategic (and artistic) goals is likely to be a much bigger issue. While there was concern about such precedents in the wake of the Bergdhal and Innocence of Muslims controversies, these two events are rather unambiguous in the total overwhelming victory achieved by the perpetrators of violence. Sony is not a government, but its actions send a message about the stomach society has for standing up for free speech. This message is unlikely to be lost upon those that would do us harm.
Of course the fruits one gets from resorting to violence needs to be assessed in comparison with how one is treated by peacefully using the political process to support one's beliefs or policy goals.
Only then is a full assessment of the messages being sent by the powers that be be able to be fully appreciated.
I fear today's double dose of Quislingisms will come back to haunt us for years to come.
The Venezuelan Oil argument is very interesting. Although one point about how this could turn out to be a good thing came up on another forum.
Let's say an adventuresome Putin decides to have another go around, and we get Cuban Missile Crisis 2 - Electric Boogaloo. With the current administration, the outcome is much more in doubt. Better to make friends first.
Posted by: Mauser at Fri Dec 19 03:12:45 2014 (TJ7ih)
While there have been rather more spectacular incidents involving Russian poking of NATO and nearby countries in recent months, this would seem to be one of the more worrying. If the Russian subs are are able to elude detection in the Irish Sea and Gulf of Mexico, then there may be a bit of a problem with our and our allies anti-submarine measures that warrants some attention.
Given that he was in Australia under refugee status, and given the letters and association with assaults, why wasn't his refugee status revoked once he started giving off jihadi vibes years ago?
This is not a criticism of the Aussies per se, Lord knows we in the USA drop the ball as badly or worse on these things, but it would seem, moving forward, to be a good practice to give this sort of thing a bit better scrutiny, wherever it may come up.
It appears that the Treasury Department is equipping its bank inspectors with survival kits.
The survival kits must come in a fanny-pack or backpack that can fit all of the items, including a 33-piece personal first aid kit with "decongestant tablets,â€ a variety of bandages, and medicines.
The kits must also include a "reusable solar blanketâ€ 52 by 84 inches long, a 2,400-calorie food bar, "50 water purification tablets,â€ a "dust mask,â€ "one-size fits all poncho with hood,â€ a rechargeable lantern with built-in radio, and an "Air-Aid emergency maskâ€ for protection against airborne viruses.
They are also being delivered to what is described as "every major bank".