November 29, 2015
Heh. Coco has groupies...
From episode 4 of this season's RWBY, which seems to have really hit its stride. This episode's fight was still not up to the spectacular choreography that Oum was known for, but the pacing was superb and the tension was as intense as anything we've seen.
The last 9 of the 14 and a half minutes was spent with people sitting and talking while either drinking tea or playing video games. Those 9 minutes however, were very well paced and developed characters, moved the plot along, clarified plot points and answered questions.
While no explicit reference was made, we now probably have a very good idea of just what was going on in the "White" trailer and yes, it looks like that incongruously expressionist installment of the original 4 teasers is indeed canon. Even more surprisingly, it likely happened pretty much as presented (though some of it is a flashback).
Also: From this point forward, the heiress is on a budget.
One observation. One of the things the success of this series has made possible besides increasing the crew by 50% is that they have been able to hire additional professional voice actors (some with impressive resumes) to supplement the shows writers and animators, cosplayers and internet personalities that has made up most of the main cast. Interestingly this has resulted in the relative novices in the main cast being backed up by serious pros playing bit parts. The original cast has actually held their own pretty well and even those who started out a bit awkward have grown into their roles nicely. The additional money, however, is still well spent. Elizabeth Maxwell has hit it out of the park as Winter Schnee who, it turns out, is absolutely vital to understanding Weiss.
An Important Product Safety Announcement
When one observes one's plamos start doing this....
...it does not actually mean that one has been blessed with a Lilliputian moe' waifu, but is, instead, a rather strong indication that one really needs to get out more.
Some Quick Links While there is considerable concern being expressed about the Syrian refugee situation, Dustbury finds someone raising the alarm about a less appreciated invasion. He also helpfully points out that all of my problems stem from a parking fee. In retrospect, it's probably a decent trade-off.
Borepatch says all that needs to be said about Black Friday. He also manages to offend on multiple levels with only 9 words.
Tangentially related to that; while Wonderduck has been putting up a brave face yesterday and today, one should not underestimate the stress he will have to deal with until January 25th.
November 27, 2015
That is Some Truly Epic Sunblock
A vampire and her maid go to San Francisco.
Clip by Perry Street.
I linked to the unfinished version of this before, but the animator finished it yesterday and thoroughly succeeded in producing a cute and technically interesting little skit.
Adventures in Cardboard Work related banality lurks below the fold, so here is a Christmas Catgirl to tide you over.
The character's name is apparently Apricot, and is the creation of Yamai.more...
November 26, 2015
Enjoy the Day
November 24, 2015
A Welcome Respite From...Stuff.
Lilly Satou, the early years.
That I blundered into this gem is entirely Wonderduck's fault.
Oh Dear It looks like Turkey has shot down a Russian fighter. There are, naturally, conflicting reports as to where the Russian plane was, the Russians say it was over Syrian airspace, the Turks insist it was over Turkey.
This could turn pear shaped quick.
UPDATE: CDR Salamander has thoughts.
Reports differ if the Turkomen rebels have one or both Russian aviators from the SU-24. Regardless, watch how they are treated. If they are smart, they will turn them over, but being that Russia has been pounding them from the air, unlikely.
So, the fellows being backed by the Turks and who are allied with our proxies in Syria have just shot two Russian pilots dangling from their parachutes. They likely did so with our bullets, since they are working with the FSA.
This just gets better and better.
Admiral Josh Painter has thoughts....
November 23, 2015
Well Then. This Would Be a Bad Thing.
"Holy fricking crap!"
One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes reacts to what Volcano Cafe' has chosen as their final and potentially deadliest entry in their "Volcanoes That We Really Should Be Paying More Attention To because We Don't Know Nearly enough About Them But What We Do Know Is Pretty Scary" series.
The whole list is interesting as well as disturbing, but the last on the list is quite the doozy.
Already synonymous with misery for unrelated reasons, the worlds bloodiest porkchop may one day bring suffering and death to many far from its bleak shores.
November 21, 2015
Oh Look...The Sun is Up. Wait...
The sun is going DOWN!
This is incredible. Bethesda has invented time travel!
This game really is 'all that and a bowl of grits'.
Most surprisingly, despite the grim premise and post-apocalyptic setting, Fallout 4 gives off a remarkably optimistic vibe.
I find it really interesting how they integrated a first-person shooter quest game with a 'rebuild civilization' game. What's interesting is the freedom one has. The player can pursue the main quest like a regular adventure game, wander around and interact with the incredibly detailed world (usually via high powered weaponry) or focus on the second life aspect of building a settlement. The player can also build a series of settlements and thus rebuild civilization. I'm nowhere NEAR close to finishing the main quest...there's just so much interesting stuff to do.
Re-playability looks to be really high.
On the down side:
Mirelurks. Those things are tough.
Also: It's like clicking on a TV Tropes link that delivers crack intravenously...I predict the collapse of society by the end of the year.
November 20, 2015
This post is ...bedeviled by banality, that bromidic bane of bloggery.
Naturally, we have decided to distract from the mundane with the "problematic".
So here is a Scandi in a cheongsam...
Nora Valkyrie being delightfully appropriative is courtesy of Iesupomore...
November 19, 2015
Art by Meow Neuron
November 18, 2015
The Russian's Strategic Situation Room is Much More Bright and Cheery Than Ours We cannot tolerate this lily gap!
This is all in Russian, but allegedly they are making a big show of the pounding of ISIS positions earlier in the week which saw the first combat use of the Tu-160 (Blackjack). Tu-22m(Backfire) as well as the ubiquitous 'Bears' were used as well. Additionally, according to RSNF, Putin orders the CO of the task force built around the big cruiser Moskva to co-ordinate with French forces.
November 17, 2015
The Christmas Imp Is Out Early This Year
Unhallowed Yuletide Yandere By Toropu
Despite, (or perhaps because of) the fact that the economy has been so-so and is looking uncertain moving forward, online orders are surging, with the result that a full week before Thanksgiving we are already getting the kind of hours we got in early December last year.
Blogging is likely to suffer a bit.
November 16, 2015
Pantheon ...is the word that J.Greely is looking for.
I should point out that what he is trying to find words for does indeed warrant some considerable attention.
"I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that there ARE other options available."
November 15, 2015
Meanwhile: In Worcester It looks like someone hit a National Guard Armory in Massachusetts. According to the article the thief or thieves made off with...
Six M4 assault rifles, 10 pistols, and several long guns
That isn't exactly going to arm a brigade but.....Wait...What?
What does that even mean?
The M-4 is a carbine, but it's still a rifle.
Perhaps, by longgun they mean sniper rifles?
"Who knows. It's reporters talking about guns."
In any event, even correcting for Gell-Mann, this is potentially noteworthy.
What ARE We Looking At Here?
From this season's third episode of RWBY which thickens the plot a bit by whisking some ambiguity into the vagueness and spicing it with a pointless fight made with apparently unseasoned ingredients that only serve to remind us how good things were when it was possible to get them made with genuine Monty Oum.
The fight choreography is not actually bad, and pretty decent in comparison to many other shows. However, despite increasing the size of the staff from around 15 to nearly 30 that particular aspect is not up to the standard set by the show's much mourned creator. Oum appears to have been a singular talent.
The story is proceeding apace though the shadowy council opposed to something bad talks in sufficient circuitousness that we still don't know exactly is going on. There is a big reveal, but I suspect that it is probably not at all what it seems to be.
On the other hand the character animation is really well done and the voice work is excellent. Lindsay Jones (Ruby) in particular does a really good job in this episode.
Also there is a drunken martial artist, so they've got that going for them, and in any event, I'm still enjoying the show.
The foreshadowing for next week seems strangely ominous.
I Suppose One Could, in Good Faith, Quibble Over Whether ...the following embedded video is THE sign of the end times or simply one of many. However, Steven's query has, as I type this, generated 7 responses, none of which definitively answer his question.
I'm going to say yes.
November 14, 2015
I Now Know What.... ...the "Planet Eater Building" is.
I have no idea WHY the Asahi Beer Building has a planet eater on top of it, but I can now at least explain what so perplexed me that day I walked from Skytree to Ueno, and I can do so without alarming people.
I know this only because I read The Arts Mechanical.
Regarding the specific linked post, which you should read in full and which so edified me, the answer to the question it poses, is, I'm afraid, yes.
This is not simply because some buildings with character are to be razed because a certain jet setting demographic finds them tacky. It's because people are being robbed of their property as punishment for not having connections, power or influence sufficient to forestal a most egregious utilization of eminent domain.
Lots of places pass asinine historical preservation laws that hinder people from improving their properties and destroy its resale value, but the same sort of people that pass those ordinances think nothing of razing a historic and character heavy area that is actually thriving.
It's not just the corrupt construction cartels. It's also well meaning Bureaucrats, who muddle though life with delusions of grand vision but have no concept of how a real city lives in the vast expanse of humanity and architecture that exist in nearly invisible symbiosis with its grandest and most recognized edifices.
Je Sui Paris The fog of war is slowly lifting from the city of light and it appears that last nights atrocity was every bit as bad as what happened in Mumbai 7 years ago.
A tremendous amount of carnage has just been wrought by what appears to have been a very small group. Reports are that there were as few as 8 gunmen, though whether this includes the suicide bombers is not entirely clear.
Some idea of how confused early reports were, can be gleaned by reading those who were live-blogging it here, here and here.
The facts are still a bit sketchy, but as horrific as this massacre is, it it not terribly surprising, and it is only a matter of time before similarly well coordinated attacks take place here.
In the meantime, if France invokes the NATO charter over this (as is to be expected) things in the Mideast may get really interesting....in the Chinese sense.
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