May 14, 2014

We're BAAACK!



As some of you may have noticed, there was something of an issue here over the last few days. If you didn't...then I need to up my blogging game rather dramatically. 

As I understand it, this is what happened.
A large number of razorback hogs with beehives straped to their backs were set loose by unknown parties in the Texas bunker containing our RAID server, sucsessfully distracting the staff long enough for a number of trained Ghost Faced Bats to plant their C-4 charges in the facilities fire control computer without being noticed which precipitated the destruction of the buildings point defense system thus allowing a low flying UFO to fire an asteroid into the server building with the following results...


Actual footage from the Mee.Nu Zeppelin which was arriving with a shipment of Vegimite at the time.


So yeah...aliens.

Despite this, our crackerjack team of antipodean tech unicorns have restored everything except for any images or files uploaded after mid-March. Restoring some of those will be problematic as the frame grabs were discarded. In any event I've restored the images on the front page as I type this.  

In all seriousness, Kudos to Pixy (our Antipodean tech unicorn) who has been working his Aussie posterior off the last three days rebuilding everyones websites despite a disasterous hardware failure and the difficulties inherent in being upsiode down all the time. 


In possibly (but probably not) related news, my Twitter account got hacked yesterday as well, sending all 45 of my followers 150 solicitations to invest in a bitcoin enterprise. Between this and the spoofing a few weeks ago it's been a bad month for me and tech. 

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May 11, 2014

They Couldn't Just Hire A Couple of Russians?

The Girls Und Panzer DVD has been sitting on my shelf for months and I suddenly realized I have time to look at it.

The dub is a bit uneven and rather rough at the beginning (Miho pronounces Oorai as O-O-R-I amongst other things) making it look like it was done on one take. To be fair, the voicework rapidly gets a lot better as the show progresses and Molly Searcy absolutely NAILS IT with her portayal of Mako. After about episode two the dub is pretty decent.

Then...suddenly.

They'd avoided the temptation of wacky accents...until the Pravda battle at which point there is an ill concieved attempt...from time to time...to affect something that probably sounded Slavic to somebody late one night in the studio when they were all strung out on Red Bull and Mountain Dew. 
It gets worse...There is that moment in the Pravda battle that Crunchyroll edited out the Katushya song. Crunchyroll just cut the scene...the dub keeps the footage (minus the mouth movements) and replaces Katushya with an unrelated accordion solo.

" Well...THAT was regrettable. "

The accordion solo is present on the subtitled track too, indicating that they were not able to resolve the rights issue. However, it's unclear why the scene wasn't simply cut (like Crunchyroll did with the sub) as the result is most jarring. 
Wait...
Can someone explain to me how a commie song from before 1945 is a copyright issue anyway.


Sentai has done some pretty good dubs (and Highschool of the Dead was absolutely superb) so this is more galling than it ought to be. 


UPDATE: The dub on OAV  release is actually excellent. Even when a silly accent raises its head, it's intentionally silly and fits perfectly. 

I'd not seen any of them previously. They are entertainingly odd.

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May 10, 2014

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb


Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions was an absolutely superb series, being both hilarious and poignant. It also had a satisfying ending that quite effectively wrapped things up, so I've been ponsdering the sequel with some trepidation.

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb is set just a few weeks after the end of the previous show and pretty much takes up where it left off. There is a bit of hand waving regards the progress Rikka seemed to make in the last episode and some hand waving to explain why a class concious climber like Nibutani is still hanging with these whackadoodles, and further hand waiving regards Dekimori's hair, but it otherwise continues the story, and, well, two episodes in, I've laughed out loud a few times. 



It certainly seems to be worth the time thus far. 

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May 09, 2014

Their Texture...

...has always been a source of speculation for me. However, now that I seem to have discovered where Pringles come from, I find that I rue my foolish curiousity. 




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May 08, 2014

Perhaps It's Just My own Insecurity...

...but I have come to the deeply disheartening conclusion that all those complementary comments from Michal Kors and Oakley may not, in fact, be entirely sincere. 



Also: If you haven't  already, you should go watch Nichijou. It makes the bad news bearable. 

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier


This film has a lot on it's plate. It's a sequel, a prequel, and a fairly pivitol stand alone thriller that moves the overall plot of the Avengers tie-in franchise quite a bit.  It could easily have become a mess, but Captain America: Winter Soldier is a surprisingly solid film. 

This film is a very interesting hybrid of superhero flick and spy thriller, with the latter predominating at first. The "superheroes" in this movie are not earthshakinglty powerful in comparison to a lot of others, being for the most part, just very skilled people. A good chunk of the movie has a sort of espionage vibe, but the threat the heroes find themselves fighting against is one of earth shaking gravity. Furthermore, the heroes are super-heroic, not so much in their power level, but definitely in their attitude. Three of the leads are fine examples of "The Cape"and the fact that they are decent, ethical people  becomes much more obvious as well as pivotal to the plot as the film progresses. There are also plenty of references reminding the Marvel fans in the audience that this is firmly "in universe".  

All in all, I was quite pleased with it. One minor spoiler; as with most of the films in this franchise, you'll want to stay for the credits. 

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May 07, 2014

Umm....

Yesterday my friend BOB! and I went to see Captain America 2. As there was no usher at the moment, we went roaming the Cinema Cafe multiplex looking for our theater and found something that needs an explanation. more...

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May 05, 2014

Solving the Millennials Employment Problem

This New York Times article indicates that we may soon find something for all of them to do.


 

Young Blood May Hold Key to Reversing Aging


To my considerable alarm, the article actually has all of the awkward implications the headline suggests. 

"Stop yer whinin'. We're payin' yer college loans!"




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May 01, 2014

OK

I'm drawing a blank.

What the HELL does this damned blimp say?



It is allegedly the Sapporro Beer Blimp of 1909...but that Katakana has me stumped. "Ru-bi ro bo sa su bi a ?"


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Happy May Day Everybody

In honor of the day here is an animated celebration of the third 5 year plan,



Note in particular the bit between 2:20 and 2:34, and remember that this is a propoganda film intended to put their best foot forward. 


more...

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Preparing the "SPLODY!"

These three videoes of nuclear tests are pretty dry, as they deal mainly with the preparations for the tests, but they are also facinating as they give a detailed oveview of how these test were conducted and how scientists were able to get a detailed picture of the progress of these horriffic explosions at intervals measured in millionths of a second. 


The first video (Tumbbler/Snapper) gives a very neat overview of the gadgets involved in monitoring these tests. It seems that a previous test had demonstrated vastly lower blast effects than predicted, indicating that their computer models, and more importantly their field manuals on how to use these weapons were completely wromg. The film goes into surprising detail about how they went about testing various theories on the cause of the anomaly and the mechanics of the devices used. Those smoke trails one sees in test footage...they were smoke rockets intended to give a visual reference for the blast wave...also the trees one sees getting all abused in test foottage are not native to the Nevada test site, but a transplanted forest. 


Two of these tests were very small (1 killoton) and aren't particularly impressive visually, but there is a satisfying 30 killoton blast at the end, so our tax dollars weren't completely wasted. Amusingly, there is a bit of audio censorship at 24:10 and 26:20. "We used a normal casing because of its...."



The second test, Teapot, three years later elaborates a bit on the techniques used to gather the data with 1950's technology and is also interesting because it is the test  that involved the metal sphere experiment that ended up inspiring Project Orion. (Stanislaw's Balls can be seen at 19:07) At the time the film was made no one knew the significance of this test and it's presented as a curiosity.



The final test lacks the engineering detail of the first two, but is also quite interesting, being a VERY elaborate civillian nuclear test by the civil defense authorities. Operation Cue was nominally one of the operation Teapot series of tests, but this particular test was administered by civil defense authorities and was intended to observe the effects of a nuclear bomb on civillian structures, provide a civil defense rescue and response drill under realistc conditions, and evaluate construction techniques to mitigate blast and radiation. Various civillian contractors were invited to test out their ideas. Operation Cue involved building a suburb and industrial park, populating it with manequins and dropping a 30 killoton bomb on it.  Cue followed on the heels of several military tests that investigated such effects as an aside and made use of lessons learned in those. 


One sobering detail is the somewhat more elaborate nature of the PPE in the Teapot tests.

One unrelated, but still interesting thing I noted thanks to Epic's tracking monitor is that when one looks at nuclear test footage on you tube one is beset by about an order of magnitude more trackers than  is normal for a you tube video. 




Hello!

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