June 03, 2014

Mt. Pavlof Goes "Boom!"

Quick! Someone call Don.

Alaska's rambunctious Mt. Pavlof is having a fit. Fortunately, the volcano is in a sparsely populated area and is unlikely to menace anyone on the ground with except unwary vulcanologists. However, it may well disrupt air travel between North America and Asia if the wind shifts and trends continue. The observatory page for the mountain is here. I was previously unaware that there are actually 4 Alaskan Volcanoes that have alerts issued for them right now. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:36 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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June 01, 2014


Not sure what happened, but there was a glitch in the post below.

We have called in an expert who is so good that he regularly fixes IT systems WHILE UPSIDE DOWN!.

In the meantime, we have provided a compensatory beach bunny below the fold.

UPDATE: Fellow MeeNuVians, Thanks to our crackerjack team of antipodean technophiliacs, we have been informed that some formatting and visible HTML issues associated with cutting and pasting can be solved by turning off smilies. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:27 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Liebster Award

We here at Brickmuppet Blog wish give our sincerest thanks to Don of Zoopraxiscope infamy fame for nominating this site for a Liebster Award.  This nomination brings with it many privileges...most of which are like those 'privileges' I'm constantly asked to check.

 The Quasi-Official Rules of the Liebster Award

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a "widget” or a "gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Don has helpfully provided 11 questions

1. Who should write your biography?

 James Joyce (in the style of Finnigan's Wake). 

2. Who should direct the movie version?

Ridley Scott: Seeing his choices in lighting, set design and camera angles  on the mobile home would be fascinating. 

3. Who should do the musical score for the movie?

The Puppini Sisters. 

4. Please tell a favorite joke (keep it tasteful, thank you).

[ insert joke here ]

5. What book should everyone read?

I'm gonna go with Animal Farm. It would be imprudent to elaborate at this time. 

6. What obscure movie is worth tracking down?

There are many, but the 1916 version of 20,000 leagues under the sea is surprisingly good. 

7. Do you have a battle song, i.e., a tune that you hum, sing or stomp your feet to while on the way to a difficult day at work or an unpleasant appointment?

No. But upon refection, the Benny Hill theme might serve to reduce tension. 

8. What fictional character do you particularly identify with?

Walter Mitty I'm afraid. 

9. Which mode of literature do you find most congenial: comedy, romance (in the Arthurian, high-fantasy sense), tragedy or satire?

Romance ( In the Arthurian Sense)

10. Who is a writer you once thought highly of but have since outgrown?

David Webber

11. What neglected writer, composer or performer deserves rediscovery?

Marguitte Harrison, a producer who's filmography is sparse, but who was a fascinating person people should know more about. 

I am now obligated to reveal 11 heretofore unknown facts about myself...which will be difficult given the sheer banality of my Walter Mitty lifestyle. 

1: I  enjoy spearfishing and SCUBA diving. But have done neither in 3 years. 
2:  I've been blogging since 2003.
3: In high school I was on the chess team, the track team and played the trombone.
4: The only rescue I participated in while on duty with the Coast Guard was assisting in saving a St. Bernard. 
5: I was a college DJ in 1990-91 and 1994-6.
6: The name of this blog is actually a Hayao Miyazaki reference....by way of a wild rose.
7:  I started following anime in earnest in 1987. The format debate at the time was not MP4 or FLV. It was VHS and Beta. 
8: After an Identity theft incident some years ago, I shut down my Facebook account. When I attempted to reactivate it I discovered that I am now banned from Facebook. 
9: #8 does not bother me in the least. 
10: I did community theater for 6 years. 
11: As a cub scout I once had to save a group of children including an infant from a herd of wild hogs.

Now to spread the gift. 

Listen up...


Here are your questions.
1: The number of states you have visited. 
2: The the number of countries you have visited.
3:What books are you reading now or are on your 'to read' pile?
4: Name a hobby you have that don't involve QWERTY or DVORAK keyboards?
5: You have 1 billion dollars. It must be spent within 3 days. The complicating factor is that it cannot be spent on any property or food for yourself. What do you spend it on?
6: If you had a chance to move off planet, to say the Moon, Mars or a NEO knowing it would take about 10 years to get beyond the "rustic" phase, would you?
7: If you were given (pinky under the nose) ONE MILLION DOLLARS but had to leave the US and never return...would you?
8: Jazz, Electronica or Symphonic Metal?
9: What period of history most interests you?
10:What city would you most like to visit if you had a week off? 
11: Which anime has the highest re-watch value for you?

Your only hope now is to follow the rules above or else an unexpected phone call will surely befall you. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:25 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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I had never thought of A Certain Scientific Railgun as a particularly cheesecake heavy series. Even the "beach" episode seemed pretty demur to me and the lead heroine's habit of wearing shorts under her skirt appeared to be a nice mockery of the squalid trend of gratuitous panty shots. 

It turns out that I must just be desensitized to this sort of thing.  Someone named "John" has summarized the entire series in two minutes and forty three seconds and t turns out that the series is nothing but cheesecake and violence (not necessarily in that order). 

Also dudes in wolf masks, which my desensitization caused me to miss on the first viewing. 
Seriously though...

Just over a month and a half after watching the first half of the series I finally got around to finishing it. 
My verdict: This show is pretty darn good. 
A lot of full length series fall apart towards the end. This one did not, and provides the audience with very satisfying conclusion.

Furthermore, Mikoto Misaka is one of the more likable female leads in recent years, being decent and well grounded as well as very smart. She's also believably written, as are three of the four leads. As for Kuroko...well she's quite entertaining, though she is....well....she's flawed*. 

 Don't whine Kuroko, you know it's true.

The series writer, Seishi Minakami was a protege of the late Satoshi Kon (and did the screenplays for both Paprika and Paranoia Agent) and he throws in little non-explicit bits that develop the characters with some subtlety. For instance, there is, occasionally, a mention of Mikoto collecting merchandise from some Sgt. Frog inspired children's show. In most shows this would be a bit of perfunctory 'cute' ticket punching. In this show, the little frog fobs actually come off as poignant. They speak of a girl who because of her power, had to grow up a lot faster than most and as she approaches college longs for the childhood she skipped. Saten is well intentioned, hard working and quite brave, but she's occasionally quite obnoxious to Uiharu. She's a teenager and the stress and anxiety of not having any powers (in a world where they often define one's worth) is causing her to act out a bit.  

Even the episodes that at first glance appear to be filler, (with one exception) manage, in retrospect, to develop the characters and/ or advance the plot. 

Note that if you clicked on the video above, it includes about EVERY bit of fan service in the 720 minutes of the series and removes some context in the process. 'Railgun is surprisingly light on the cheesecake. While it's not entirely kid friendly in that regard, Mikoto is an unusually admirable heroine, the show pretty much renounces nihilism and it extols the virtues of decency.

This series was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. 

Amongst all the teenage-superhero-highschool-cop-shows this is one of the best. Even without that significant caveat A Certain Scientific Railgun is well above average.  

(*She tries (and fails spectacularly) to drug and presumably molest Mikoto at least twice...I mean good Lord, she's pretty much horrible. The only reason she's a "good guy" is because she feels personally invested in her identity as a Judgement officer, likes the power she gets from the job and is the vector for getting Mikoto and the others involved in the larger story. Yes she's comic relief, but.... )

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:32 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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