The Meaning of Blog
In theory, Blog is a portmanteau of Biographical and Log, so below the fold is a bit of biographical banality. As a courtesy to our readers, the Walter-Mittyisms are below the fold and above it is a picture of Lum, that you might be surprised to learn is by Renji Murata.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sun Sep 13 20:48:47 2015 (jGQR+)
That was really surprisingly well done. The only problem was a technical problem with the rendering package in how it handled sparks from fuses. But as to the rest of it, that was really excellent -- and clearly a hell of a lot of work.
Important Product Awareness Tip
...from J.Greely; or more specifically, his sister...
Public Service Announcement for the uninitiated (and others, like me, who donâ€™t read labels on things like Bounty): They now make paper towels with dish soap in them. Donâ€™t use them to make bacon in the microwave. #justsayinâ€™ On the bright side, clean up was suprisingly easy â€¦.
Who thought that was a good idea?
Besides cooking, these paper towels are also pretty much useless for drying dishes, first aid, anything involving pets or whatever else one might use a paper towel for in a pinch..
Yes. Emergency backup coffee filters are right out...
Also, from the comments, it appears that the Russians may be ahead of some of us in bacon preparation technology.
The more I think about it, the dumber it gets, because once the wrapper is removed, they apparently look like ordinary paper towels. So if you see them sitting out, there's nothing obvious that says they shouldn't be used as napkins or for draining the grease after cooking hamburger. "Oh, wait, those are the special paper towels" is not compatible with most of the kitchens (home and office) I've been in for the past N years.
In the Latest Episode of PHOENIX WRIGHT: ACE ATTORNEY
Phoenix Wright is contracted to conduct delicate inter-dimensional negotiations while posing as a member of the Foreign Ministry, under an assumed name.
That title and entire first sentence is probably not true...probably.
In actuality, the screen-cap is from Episode 11 of GATE. The previous two episodes left such a foul taste in my mouth that I nearly dropped the show. With episode 11 this series appears to have gotten back on the rails and has gone a long way to cleanse the palette.
Further, as a result of the treaty with Italica/Itarica, isn't that whole region pretty much a free-trade zone now? As I cannot imagine that the Empire is known for their light tax hand, people woiuld be pouring into the Arnus area....
I'm not sure about that but it seems unlikely that the JSDF is collecting taxes on the refugees, so, as far as Arnus goes you are surely right. Italica is a major trading hub with at least two Roman style roads and a port terminating there, so while it is not at ground zero for this boom, the town is uniquely well positioned to profit from the situation, which is, after all, less than a days travel from them. The fact that the mayor and effective regent (the Housekeeper) sent several of their household's crack team of beastly praetorian domestics to assist with security was surely not entirely gratitude. They are protecting and helping to develop a potential cash cow. I note upon re-watching it, that Tomita explicitly stated that some of the aforementioned maids had opened up at least one tavern, so Italica is actively invested in and drawing money from the rapidly growing bazaar.
You are correct, good sir. My memories were a blend of the anime and manga. In the anime ep6 (that I shall fondly recall until I take my dying breath*), Hamilton reads out the treaty. Around 16:15-18 she lightly touches on the Alnus Community.
We can see a copy of the treaty in the manga, ch13 (scroll down about 1/3 of the way; no, I'm still to old and stupid to get hotlinks to work). To wit:
"The Alnus living community under guardianship of the JSDF is from now on exempted from all taxes raised on trading and money exchange within the city of Italica and all other areas within rule of Countess Formal."
As I'm sure the JSDF extended the same benefit to themselves, this creates a huge, new free-trade zone in the Empire's Southwest flank (begging the question of compass directions). I'd bet any ruler on the other side of this zone is fingering their worry-beads and thinking about where their allegiance will be tomorrow.
*At six months at one day of a BP of 155/98+, my wife threatened me with a weapon** this AM to call a doctor. I relented. Really: I'd hate to die before I see how all this ends!
**Not telling. Brickmuppet runs a family blog. It wasn't a shovel.
Italica is the nearest major city to Arnus, and most of the Japanese goods flowing in and being sold are being carried to Italica and redistributed from there. The goods are untaxed when they enter Italica, but there's nothing in that treaty that forbids Italica from taxing the goods as they leave for other destinations.
Besides which, there are other kinds of taxes. All that trade is causing a huge improvement in the GDP of Italica, and things like income taxes will be rising as a result.
In the latest episode of School Live, the rainy season brings with it CABIN FEVER! This years strain of cabin fever is bad enough that it can only be delayed...and not prevented by ping pong balls.
Miki FINALLY finishes the foreign novel she's been translating, Now she must deal with the knowledge that hours of her life have been wasted as the book was rather overhyped.
"It was like...ancillary tendentiousness."
Yuki tries to boil water...with unexpected results.
"Dear God...Don't let me burn another kettle!"
Sakura Sensei's discussion of her haircut with Kurumi ends up having a profoundly unintended effect on Kurumi's outlook on life.
"You cut off a meter of hair...and kept the ahoge?"
Yuuri discovers to her considerable annoyance that pinky-swears can be used as emotional blackmail.
"My name is Yuuri..NOT Yuri...so your request is invalid. "
And of course...hi-jinx ensue.
I should clarify that by Hi-jinx I mean a Gatling gut-punch. The buildup and pacing on this show has been superb, and this episode is no exception.
So...it works different for dogs...they become FAST zombies...Fast zombies are unfair.
Even more, poor Yuuri...she did promise to do what needed to be done. In retrospect that was blatant foreshadowing. Of course, EVERYTHING is going pear shaped at this point. I was just squirming in my seat throughout the last half of this episode...and if it were not an ottoman, I'd have been underneath it.. This show is a genuinely well done thriller.
This series has been surprisingly well done and a considerable amount of interesting developments happened in this episode. While I'm eager to discuss them, I ask anyone who does so, out of courtesy to other readers who are not as far along, to please use spoiler tags as follows....
Well It's Better Than Nothing...WAIT! NO IT ISN'T!
With the refugee crisis facing Europe from hoards of persons displaced by ISIS, the Syrian civil war and a drought exacerbated by Turkey's shutting off the Euphrates, one might reasonably wonder what Saudi Arabia is doing.
Via the Secret Projects Forum comes information indicating the Russians have been developing a weapon system that involves an autonomous underwater drone intended to penetrate U.S. harbors. This is no surprise, but this drone is reportedly intended to carry a warhead with a yield measured in "tens of megatons". This weapon system has been given the designation KANYON by the Pentagon.
It's not exactly a new concept for the Russians. As we've reported here before, the initial delivery system contemplated for the RDS-220 (Tsar Bomba) warhead was a rather large torpedo, the T-15. This was initially intended to be the main armament of the project 627 submarines (November Class), though the concept was later abandoned.
KANYON would appear to be a completely terrifying interesting and logical refinement of the concept. Though not explicitly stated, it would seem to allow the weapon to situate itself much farther inland than could be reached with a simple torpedo shot. The article suggests that the weapon is specifically targeted at the U.S. Navy's SSBN bases in Kings Bay and Bremerton, the latter being a particularly challenging targeting problem as it is reachable only through a winding channel through an archipelago that is fairly far inland. This would indicate that other targets with inland deepwater ports would be within its reach. The junction of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers comes to mind, as does Houston which is a major port and energy center.
This weapon would, of course, precipitate all of the usual mayhem one associates with a high yield nuclear blast (and a ground blast to boot...so fallout would be horrific). However, there is one particularly interesting effect that this sort of unsolicited dredging operation would have.
Assuming use of the relatively new 20 megaton 8F675 warhead which the Russians recently removed from their ICBMs, the Nukemap online sum of all fears simulator suggests a crater depth of 800 feet. More importantly the crater extends for 1.05 km from the center, so there is a circular reef of trinitite glass completely blocking the harbor's channel. Here we see one at the mouth of Hampton Roads (home to the worlds largest naval base...and the Brickmuppet).
The harbor....isn't one any more. Even after the radioactivity subsides.
The expanse of the effect naturally increases (though less than linearly) with yield, so the 57megaton yield of the 1963 Tsar Bomba test would virtually close the whole harbor mouth.
Of course the more generally appreciated effects still apply....
From center out, little black donut=crater seen above, dark red circle=200PSI blast which destroys pretty much everything, green=radiation instant death which is redundant in this context because...light red circle=20PSI which corresponds to ground zero at Hiroshima, dark grey=5psi light grey=windows break with enough force to cause injuries, dark orange=trees burst into flames (weather dependent) light orange=people standing outside get third degree burns (weather dependent) Note that fallout is not shown, but I'd advise against eating the oysters for several decades.
Doing this to Beaumont, Long Beach, South Louisiana, Houston and New York could permanently close those ports and would remove over half of the nations capacity for foreign trade for a very long time. In the case of Louisiana, it would shut down a good bit of internal trade as well.
UPDATE:The reason that something as whacked as a multi-megaton robot submarine nuke is is of any interest is that such a device is inherently a first strike weapon. It doesn't actually deter anything unless its deployed and if its deployed it will likely result in the balloon going up. Kanyon is a stupid concept if one is looking for deterrence rather than destabilization. The Russians aren't stupid. Thus, that a weapon like this is, apparently, being developed in a country that is rather strapped for cash indicates that this sort of attack is in the rolodex of options that are actually being considered by their war plans division.
Probably not, for one of two reasons:
1: We have other decent ports, not as convenient or deep, but decent. Some of these , like New Haven used to be ports but aren't anymore because of gentrification, and some, like Wilmington or Astoria, are perfectly decent ports but not currently central to the transportation network.
2: A hit this bad (5-10 ports obliterated, millions dead and possibly fires raging for weeks) would be such an economic and psychological hit that the country might collapse.
There's another bright side Pixy. After all those of us in the northern hemisphere died of radiation, nuclear winter and mutant chinchillas,. the southern hemisphere is unlikely to suffer physical effects much.
The world will be your...umm....crab.
Well, it might not be a good idea to antagonise people with great big, scary nuclear weapons to the point where they consider using them. The US has long had a policy of doing exactly that since WWII, so I suppose we should be used to it occurring. What annoys me though, is that Washington likes to play the victim when it's policies started the whole process off.
Posted by: Yowie at Wed Nov 11 20:56:15 2015 (5HFF0)
One Weird Trick For Getting the Local Archetectural Review Board Off Your Back
If the local ARB is giving you grief, just send them this or one of several similar pictures by Munashichi. Then they'll all have heart attacks and leave you alone.
I'm not an architect, so I don't know what sorts of things give them heart attacks.
However, it looks like there is an awful lot of steel in the construction and reinforcement of these buildings: Grey wrought iron/steel beams/columns/arches etc. If these buildings have a skeleton like that, you could probably get away with building the whole city like an inverted pyramid or cantilever bridge or wackier shape. You'd have to be more careful with concrete/rebar, because concrete is really only good in compression. As long as it's not in an earthquake zone, I'd give it a thumbs up.
Somewhere in that city is a very busy steel mill. :-P
Posted by: ams at Mon Sep 7 21:18:52 2015 (GtPd7)
Of course there's the rust aspect of it too. If it's mild steel, the exposed structural members are going to rust unless they've taken care with the paint/anodization/etc.
Posted by: ams at Mon Sep 7 21:22:23 2015 (GtPd7)
Nonetheless, I wish we actually had cities like that to live in.
Posted by: RickC at Tue Sep 8 20:07:51 2015 (FvJAK)
There seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going around this season.
In the picture above, Tuka is wondering why her dad is not greeting her as she returns from Earth to the D&D land from which she hails. There had been some foreshadowing of this in that she'd ordered 2 sets of clothes and double rations, but I had interpreted this a a mourning ritual. Nope! Tuka (Tsuka?) here appears to be insane. You see, her dad was evaporated in front of her eyes by a dragon in episode 4.
From episode 10 of GATE which was only 43% as stupid as episode 9 and was about 20% cooler to boot. I would normally be very likely to drop a show when it insulted me as badly as this one did but the first 8 episodes were EXCEEDINGLY good and the utter non sequitur of a plot thread that derailed the show seems to be completely over. Thus, I'll give it till at least next week to see if it has gotten back on track.
From the previews, it seems likely that it will, so I'm hopeful.
That was an excellent essay. I entered a Kirk v. Picard argument several years ago by pointing out the following: if there were an actual, honest episode of Star Trek made based on how the original series was written vs how TNG was written, Kirk would attack Picard as a Manchurian traitor smuggled in by Klingons or Romulans to take control of the Federation.
School Live Episode 9
In today's episode of School Live, Miki takes a break from analyzing the purloined papers they got from Sakura Sensei's office, and announces that she's made a surprising discovery.
"This dog...There's no.......IT'S A ROBOTI!!"
She discovers that her day is to consist of the sort of obligatory beach episode that almost always shows up in vapid comedies about cute girls in high school being nonthreatening. Thus her surprise at it happening in this series is entirely understandable.
Given the premise of the show, that the School Live Club is not to leave the school grounds (especially after that fiasco at the mall); a beach episode would strain credulity, but they get around this by having the girls clean the koi pond on the roof.
...of the school...
If you are pondering why there is a koi pond on the roof of the school, you are not getting into the spirit of things...or you've avoided the spoiler tags.
That a Japanese cartoon airs its summer vacation episode on Labor Day Weekend only adds to the overall unlikelyhood.
In any event, hijinks ensue.
...including a surprisingly epic water-gun fight.
Despite the fact that this is mostly a straight up 'day at the pool' episode the show remains engaging and intelligent, contrasting their determination to remain upbeat against the series of perpetual annoyances that is high school.
I do note that over the last two episodes point of view has changed to the extent that the narrator is now being less dishonest than your humble reviewer.
For one thing the discovery Miki makes when going through the "CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE" document is actually that there is a sub-basement-bunker underneath the school, that the other girls were heretofore unaware of. Of course in last week's episode we learned that the zombie apocalypse was anticipated and associated with a bioweapon, while the girls contemplate a reconnoitering of the basement to get supplies and perhaps more answers, Yuki's suggestion that they clean the koi pond derails the plan because, frankly, these girls need a break bad.
One bit I'd forgotten about from the mall episode.
The radio confirms that the outbreak is not confined to their town or valley. This had been implied as a possibility last episode, but no, the show managed to dash those hopes.
There is also discussion of the solar arrays and water purification system. The latter uses water from the river rather than the cistern which answers questions regarding their water supply.
Despite their discussion of their situation (out of earshot of the utterly insane Yuki of course) the episode was, in fact a much needed relief and change of pace.
Well until the end when the dog broke loose and ran into the basement and we saw this...
...confirming our worst fears from last episode.
So...what is that mound under the cross on the roof? (I'm guessing it's Kurumi's fiance?) Is there going to be another one for the dog?
Still, as grim as this show can be, it is remarkably engaging.
This is a really smart and well done show, surprisingly touching in that it is about dealing with life's little problems in as upbeat a way as possible and the benefits of persistence....
You know, in hindsight this is an even more meaningful development.
Despite its overdone premise, this remains, thus far, one of the best shows this season.
2 So...what is that mound under the cross on the roof?
ISTM that Sakura-senesi is partially transparent in that screenshot, i.e. she's a ghost (as ReallyBored speculated in the comments for Episode 6), and not a zombie. So it's still possible that the mound with the cross on it is her grave, after all. If that the case, then Sakura-sensei is dead, which (in a morbid sort of way) is a good thing--better dead than zombified, IMHO. OTOH, she isn't resting in peace.
Going back to RB's comments for Ep6: perhaps when Yuki is talking to Sakura-sensei, she isn't being (entirely) delusional--she may actually be talking to Sakura-sensei's ghost. That might be contributing to Yuki's insanity. The next question is, why is Sakura-sensei's ghost haunting the school? Is she seeking revenge on Yuki (who may have been partially responsible for her death), or is she trying to help Yuki and the other girls? (I really hope it's the latter.)
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Sat Sep 5 09:20:31 2015 (dzzLh)
Well, PTNSG, that would explain much
I'm not sure though. The implication seems to be very strong that she is a zombie, especially after the bit with the journal at the beginning of last episode. Of course, having been zombiefied her ghost might look as she did when she died. I don't know. This show has been less than straightforward at times.
I'm kind of surprised that this episode was almost upbeat (until the end) & even the end only confirmed something that had been hinted at last episode.
implication seems to be very strong that she is a zombie, especially
after the bit with the journal at the beginning of last episode.
I took another look at that screencap, and although Sakura-sensei still looks transparent (like a ghost) to me, she also seems to be shambling like a zombie, and she has what look like open sores on her left arm. The left sleeve of her dress appears to be torn, as well.
Of course, having been zombiefied her ghost might look as she did when she died.
That is a possibility. That also raises two questions, one of them potentially disturbing:
1. If Sakura-sensei was a zombie when she died, and she retained her zombie appearance when she became a ghost, did she also retain her zombie mentality, or does her ghost still have her human mind and personality?
2. How did she die after she became a zombie? The disturbing possibility is that the girls killed her, either in self-defence or as a mercy-killing. (Now that would have driven Yuki insane, I'd bet.) OTOH, killing a zombie would have been a very tall order for the girls, given their apparent lack of suitable weapons.
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Sat Sep 5 20:19:46 2015 (dzzLh)