We've stuck with RWBY for a while, despite the infinitesimal budget...
...the sometimes clumsy plotting....
...the breaks in production...
... and the dorks.
There have been some good characterizations to be sure...
...but this episode finally forces us to confront the fact...
...that reason we've spent spent 5 hours of our lives watching this damned show...
...IS BECAUSE IT ROCKS!
My oh my! They've got two more episodes to screw up this season, but damned if they didn't do good by this one.
It's particularly nice after all the side stories to see Ruby actually be the kickass heroine of her own show!
Of course our heroes are totally screwed. The villain's plan is coming to fruition, Pyrrha is about to get de-Phyrrafied, most of the main cast is wildly separated. Ironwood and virtually his entire command ARE dead, and Blake...poor Blake.
Also: As God is my witness I did not think that Shub-Niggurath could fly.
Aside from one awkward edit, the only gripe about this episode is that the next one is about 80 hours away.
Delilah was one of the beast-girl maids/bodyguards from Italica who was sent to Alnus to provide security and translation assistance. She stayed in Alnus and has since opened an inn and tavern, which she seems to own a majority stake in, though it is an open secret that she's Italica's unnofical eyes and really big ears in the town. Delilah has a reputation of being something of a hard-ass despite her cottontail. You see, she takes no guff from anyone and runs her employees hard in order to make sure that inn she is proprietor of is well run and free of creeps. despite (and partly because of) this she is liked and respected in Alnus and her fastidiousness has paid off; her inn being quite successful.
Today...It hit her.
Mere months ago she was a maid and bodyguard in Italica, which as a slave and member of one of the "subject races" was about the best she could ever hope for. Now she owns a business. She can own property, keep nearly all of the money she makes while living in a town where the food and water are safe. Alnus is also completely safe from raiders and monsters. The various demi-humans in town are treated as PEOPLE and the citizens are not worked to death in mines or other hard labor and peace is breaking out all over.
Reflecting upon this, Delilah, perhaps for the first time in the many years since her country of origin was conquered, finally relaxes...and skips through the streets of Alnus singing the praises of "the town the sky has smiled upon".
Life is good...
But wait...what is that on the desk there?
Could it be a bill?
TO: Delilah D. Bunny
New orders STOP Proceed to JSDF hospital in Alnus STOP Locate fmr sex slave recently freed from Imperial Palace STOP Target name is Noriko Mochizuki STOP Kill her STOPGood HuntingEND
Well. This is awkward...With a heavy heart, Delilah puts on her war paint.
Before leaving, she gives prayers and offerings to...well she's not sanguine about her chances so she is comprehensive...
Afterwards, she quickly finds Noriko and is tremendously relieved to discover that the despondent girl, having learned that her parents and her husband are dead, blames herself and now wants to commit suicide.
Unfortunately, Noriko states that she doesn't want it to hurt...this flummoxes Delilah, who spends time pondering with her prey how best to painlessly neutralize Noriko.
Into the midst of these deliberations walks Yanagida. He is quite chuffed at having just closed an extortionist real estate deal that would make the founders of New Amsterdam proud...until he notices that there is a crazy bunnygirl in warpaint on the grounds, brandishing a knife in front of a Japanese citizen. He and Delilah...tangle and they both end up unconscious in expanding, intermingling pools of blood.
Noriko is thus left to her own devices.
Meanwhile, Itami...wait...that's right; Itami left town last episode with Rory, Leili, Crazyelf & Yao to track down the dragon that is menacing Yao's village. In comparison to Delilah, Yanagida and Noriko, THEIR day is much more successful.
Though not without its pitfalls...
Well, this is certainly full of surprises...well except for the dragon. We were quite prepared for there to be a really big dragon in this episode.
This show is genuinely interesting. I am quite glad that, unlike some other people, I have not seen the manga, so I do not feel let down and this show's future is an unlit road for me.
I think now is a good point in the show for those of us who have not read ahead to ponder and speculate on what we know:
The show is ambiguous as to who Delilah thinks she is working for. We, the audience, know that this assassination order ultimately came from Tyuule, but it is also revealed that Delilah has sworn to kill Tyuule, and that Tyuule is fully aware of this and considers Delilah a traitor. "The warrior bunny who impudently seeks my life" and she is thoroughly pleased that she's got the potential to be killing multiple birds with one stone. She seems to be trying to implicate Princess PiÃ±a and thereby bring down the wrath of the JSDF upon the Empire. She refers to Delilah as her spy in Alnus, but I wonder if "unwitting" was omitted from that description...it appears that someone in Italica was working for Tyuule.
When Delilah pray's before hopping off to war, she presents offerings to three of the region's gods: They are Emloy god of war(naturally) Hardy, god of the underworld, Deldout, god of oaths (loyalty?) and Paripan god of vengeance. PiÃ±a alluded to a pantheon in an earlier episode when she expressed disapproval of Rory's god, but everything that gets a name in this show has turned out to be significant to one degree or another. Presumably there are others like Rory running around.
It does appear that, regarding oil reserves in Elbe, that they are geological deposits as opposed to sunflower plantations. Yanagida drives a hard bargain and it is a pretty dickish treaty, with King Duran forced to give the Japanese mineral rights (excluding gold and diamonds) and refrain from taxing Japanese businesses at all. There were Banana Republics that got better terms. The conference with the general reveals that the Marco Polo Bridge school of international relations is official policy here, and not just Yanagida's machinations. I do note that this dopes not appear to be presented in at all a bad light. However that might be premature since it puts Yanagida actions regarding the Itami suicide road trip in a slightly different light, especially since Yanagida seemed unenthused about his meeting with the King.
"You melted your plane!"
"He breathed fire on me!"
"You were playing chicken with a dragon the size of a frigate...What did you EXPECT was going to happen."
One other thing: Steven has had some complaints about how the animal women have been toned down quite a bit from the manga. In general this hasn't bothered me since most of them have been domestics and so were specifically groomed and dressed to be nonthreatening. (The better to surprise with their formidable combat abilities). Some of this is obviously playing to the audience, but but it still works.
However, I must say that I'm in agreement with Steven in one respect. Delilah's war paint and ninja outfit in the Anime looks like...
Oh, for crying out loud.
I guess we'll see a lot of cosplayers in this outfit at Comiket...
A ceremonial outfit maybe, perhaps in anticipation of her eminent death...It fails at ninja though. It fails at combat utility worse. (Hell, an actual bikini would make more sense.)
It also does not give the impression of "formidable tribal warrior".
Compare what appears to be her war paint in either the manga or the LN
This is by Sao Satoru who did the manga (I'm unsure if he illustrated the LN). It gives a really good impression of ferocity and hints at a fierce warrior culture that existed beyond the frontiers of civilization which, of course, is that the 'Warrior Bunnies' were. After all, it has been mentioned that they were renowned as mercenaries and their kingdom was only recently conquered...by Zorzal.
I've seen all kinds of anthropomorphic designs, but I have to say, this is the first time I've seen one where only the arms and legs are furry, but not the body, hands and feet. That's kinda odd.
Posted by: Mauser at Sun Jan 31 23:18:26 2016 (5Ktpu)
@ Steven: Is this information from the manga? I don't remember any reference to Leili being involved in the tavern. I got the distinct impression that Delilah was running it and was at least a part owner .
You've mentioned the stylistic changes and the fact that the story is moving faster in the anime, but have there been big changes to the story in your view?
This graphic is from January 3 and purports to show that there were no commercial ships in transit on January third. This is not quite true. Close inspection of the map indicates that there were some vessels underway (but not yet in mid ocean). Today the map looks much less stark. Such alarmist stories tend to cause the very real drop in shipping to be dismissed.
How can this possibly jive with the record number of parcels I mentioned we were getting over the holidays? Online shipping. Whereas we previously delivered boxes containing multiple products to stores, we are now delivering many more individual parcels dispersed to peoples houses, so it is entirely possible that the amount of "stuff" we shipped, was smaller in aggregate than in years past, though the number of parcels and physical volume taken up was greater. Additionally, we now have the highly publicized Sure Post service, where our company is handling a huge number of post office packages. I won't give even ballpark percentages on this as such information, is, of course privileged and confidential, but I can say that this additional business (that was already extant and shifted to us, not a net gain in the larger economy) was a non-trivial factor in our volume this year.
Aside from that, there is one possible leading indicator I have noted being shipped quite a bit recently...
There are a lot of reasons to expect a huge collapse soon. For one thing, the Fed cannot keep interest rates at zero forever, and as soon as they start raising then significantly it's going to shake the foundations.
But more importantly, China's bubble is about to burst.
In the latest episode of Myriad Colors Phantom World, our heroes discover why Reina's parents have absolutely forbidden their daughter from ever going to an all you can eat Korean Barbecue.
The episode seemed a bit off, and not like the previous three in tone or plot. It was a completely different sort of story, focusing as it did on one character's existential dread of parents that may or may not be tyrannical. We are also reminded that some Japanese toilets can do the darnedest things.
This episode did do a bit of character development and further established that Minase keeps showing up where the protagonists are willingly, if furtively. Her stated reasoning behind not rendering further assistance is, in her anti-social way, probably a gesture of respect for our group of goofballs.
On Jan. 25, a new update from the Comex vaults shows a massive decline in registered physical gold assigned for potential deliveries, making the number of paper contract claims against that gold a record 542 to 1.
I don't either, but if I'm reading it right, it turns out that one of the big gold depositories in the U.S. was revealed to have 542 vouchers for an ounce of gold for every ounce of actual gold they have. That seems...bad.
If I understand that article, there is an exchange, where the entities that own large stocks of gold make them available for trade, and then the exchange allows trade at a multiple of the gold actually available, on the assumption that almost all trades are just paper and the actual gold is never delivered. Sounds iffy, but it's standard commodity market so far. But then, one of those depositors says "I'm taking my large stockpile out of the exchange" with little or no advance warning period to shrink down the open paper. That seems scary. Even if this instance is benign, what's to prevent somebody like China from doing that a strategic time, followed by other moves to force calls on the paper?
Posted by: David at Wed Jan 27 14:02:17 2016 (V4nC5)
One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us archival footage of shot "Cannikin" a test of the huge 5 megatonW-71 thermonuclear X-ray warhead for the Safeguard ABM system's Spartan Missile.
The largest underground explosion in history, it set off an earthquake that registered 6.8 on the Richter scale, and although the terrain of Amchitka Island was permanently altered, no venting (ie: radioactive release) was detected.
The W-71 warhead was really odd, in addition to being big. It was designed to produce vast quantities of X-rays and very little in the way of Gamma Rays and fission byproducts to prevent EMP or contamination since it was intended to be used in large numbers over the US and Canada in the event of a missile attack.
I hadn't realized the ABM warheads were so large. And if I'd seen that footage in a movie, I'd criticize the "fake" CGI. I had no idea the ground over such a wide area would be affected.
Posted by: Siergen at Mon Jan 25 21:45:31 2016 (De/yN)
The early ABM warheads were not, but this was orders of magnitude larger as it was intended to detonate in space and so it was designed to kill with a pulse of X-rays. I understand this was the inspiration for project Xcalibur a decade later (the bomb pumped x-ray laser).
This Week, on A Very Special Episode of RWBY...They took up seven minutes (and an entire episode) telling the same fairy tale they told in 15 seconds a month ago and not so much as a second resolving that cliffhanger from last week.
We have a show about high-school students who have part time jobs as superheroes and whose rapidly growing team has only one guy in it.
No..no...that's not what's surprising as that has pretty much become the default format for getting green-lit nowadays. No, the surprise is that this one appears to be good.
It's certainly tries to be smarter than most.
The premise is that some years ago a terrorist attack on a research facility run by a certain Alayashki corporation released a virus that allowed humans to perceive the supernatural stuff that has always been around (maybe: there is some ambiguity on the chicken to egg aspect of this). These phantoms and such caused considerable mischief until the first generation of children born to those exposed to the virus began coming of age. It seems that some of them have various abilities that allow them to deal with this new annoyance to varying degrees. Since this is a recent phenomenon, very few people with this ability are adults yet, so high schools, especially those that cater to students with these talents have set up clubs that have teams which do exorcisms and such as community service (in addition to their school work). Due to restrictive child labor laws they are paid in goods and services rather than cash.
At the wrong end of the effectiveness bell curve there are these two goofballs...
Haruhiko is bookish and not particularly athletic, but he is quite smart. He has the ability to seal away a supernatural entity in a drawing provided he has time to draw it and it can be brought into range. Mai is a top notch athlete who is proficient in martial arts and applied fluid dynamics. She has the ability to use elemental powers, the activation of which is rather fascinating. Her abilities are not particularly powerful and she must use her wits and stamina in order to buy Haruhiko time to...slowly....draw whatever monster they are fighting and set it up to be consumed by his painting.
This strategy has not led to great success and the two are considered a rather gimp team and something of a laughing stock. They try in vain to acquire talent until Haruhiko persuades...
...to join their group. She has the unnatural ability to EAT spirits without having to draw them and often without the need to have them positioned 'just so'...thus our male lead is pretty much superfluous at this point, or would be if having the two girls fire him would not play into the fears and insecurities of the target demographic.
Fortunately he has one other super-power. The best bedroom EVAH.
No...No...it's not THAT sort of show...er...Allow me to explain...
He has an awesome library and the brains to use it. He is working hard to develop his ability to seal away phantoms, into a summoning skill...and he is a vast treasure trove of obscure and occasionally useful knowledge.
Haruhiko also has a cute genie-like entity that hangs out with him for reasons not quite clear. Her name is shortened to Ruru (Lulu?) for the sanity of laypeople and she seems to have no particularly impressive abilities aside from being 12 inches tall and being able to fly.
Note that her full name is Rururaruri Rurararirararururirirari Rirararururararururararirari
Also in their circle of friends acquaintances is
...who is one of the most powerful people in their school. She works alone and does not particularly care for the goof troop, but they keep crossing paths and tripping on each other.
What saves this series is that it isn't simply the fact that it's not, in actuality, a harem show with regard to its interpersonal relations (at least not yet). It has also been surprisingly pleasant and even clever.
There is a rather large amount of philosophizing about the nature of reality, and quite a few open questions. On the surface this is a monster of the week show(or more often two separate monsters as its story has tended to be 2 bach to back 12 minute episodes). However every episode throws out one or two hints to other things that are or may be afoot.
Sinister things indeed...
The show is very well animated and the art is nice. The characters are competently written to boot. The humor runs the gamut, but is occasionally rather broad and physical, mostly at the expense of the dude. I'm enjoying the show as is and am seriously intrigued by the hints that it may be going somewhere rather darker. This is often a tough thing to pull off. The show could easily fall apart, but right now it is fun, engaging and surprisingly smart.
I particularly liked the fact that they deal with training as opposed to knowledge. In the latest episode Haruhiko, at the behest of their faculty advisor manages to access Mai's skill-set. He does NOT however, have the stamina, flexibility, and strength honed by years of disciplined training. He gets curb stomped.....the fact that he also had access to her memories as well has some creepy implications.. These are not explored in depth, but they are not ignored either. The fact that their advisor is a member of Alayashki reasearch staff and wants to publish a paper on this sketchy experiment is just tossed aside for now.
The Difficulties of Gauging the Publics Response
Reader comments are a poor method of figuring out what one's audience wants. Furthermore, if one is blogging as a hobby reader opinion is going to have necessarily limited (though non-zero) effect upon editorial decisions. For instance, if someone were to request, say, zorch videos, I would simply refer them to Gawker and probably block them.
Likewise, if no one comments on my visual media reviews this does not induce me to stop blogging about my interests and start blogging on topics that have recently inspired comments ie: about the weather, and language degeneracy.
These are extreme examples of course, one does want to cater to ones audience somewhat, at least as long as one can remain true to oneself. If this were strictly a business, other dynamics would come into play.
Why do I bring this up?
Well, if one wants to post something, then by all means do so. If one wants to solicit requests then do so. However, if one wants to (hypothetically mind you) post a disquisition on the pros and cons of the character-design choices associated with a generally superb show that some suggest is slightly diminished by the decision to put most of its female cast members (and only the female cast) in spray on skinsuits with integral heels (which might make sense in the context of depressurization hazard mitigation except for the one girl who is sporting Zettai Ryouiki) and you promise your audience a....ahem...comprehensive visual analysis and assessment of this theory...THEN POST IT. Do not tease us for three months and then declare that since no interest was expressed in your comments section you're just going to blow off those of us who are sad lonely neckbeards interested in thoughtful analysis of practical clothing choices in a variable gravity environment where exposure to vacuum is a nontrivial possibility.
Well....that probably didn't appeal to my core audience at all...
As compensation, I'll just leave this completely unrelated item here.
On the Outskirts of the Snowpocalypse.
Hampton Roads is right on the edge of where the snow and rain meet with this storm. Last night it actually warmed up and a torrential rain washed away the 2-3 inches of snow that we'd gotten during the afternoon. Forecasts called for much the same going into today, with high 30's and low 40's.
Around noon however the rain turned to sleet...these two pictures show, not a dusting of snow, but accumulated sleet.
With a storm surge expected, I needed to go and check on my parents sailboat so my dad would not be compelled to walk down the ice covered pier. By that time, it was snowing as well as sleeting and the wind had picked up quite a bit. It took forever to simply get into the van, which was quite efficiently encased in ice. I had to break the wipers loose (so they would not break when I lit off the engine as I'd stupidly left the wipers on when I parked). After an extensive defrosting and scraping I drove to the marina (just 5 miles distant) and took these pictures...
That is wet snow-slush...on top of ice.
Not pictured: just how slick this was...
The boat is still secured, and the lines did not need to be let in or out, which is fortuitous as given how treacherous the main pier was, fiddling about on the finger pier did not appeal to me at all.
After my brief foray into the otherworldly mess that Pete and Wonderduck would describe as "Saturday", I got home and noted that my footprints had been completely filled in. As I type this there is about 2-3 inches on the ground, it is dark, snowing sideways and the house is shaking from the wind.
Of course, this is NOTHING compared to what is happening north of us, but ice has a certain annoyance all its own. I'll be pleasantly surprised if we retain power through the night.
After living in Minnesota for two winters, and Illinois for many more, I've learned two things about driving in winter weather:
1) Snow holds no worries for me. Sure, I'm careful driving in it, and I'd rather not drive in a heavy snowfall, but I know I can drive safely in it if I have to. I'm more concerned about the idiots around me.
2) Ice is a whole 'nother beast. I'd rather get a foot of snow than a quarter-inch of ice... and I do NOT drive in an ice storm. That's just a fast way to the ditch... or the morgue.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sat Jan 23 21:00:42 2016 (KiM/Y)
About ten years ago we had an off-the-charts hail storm where I was living in Sydney at the time - the ground was was completely covered with ice, maybe an inch deep of quarter- to half-inch hailstones.
Lasted long enough that kids were sledding in the park opposite my house. Vehicular traffic didn't have quite as much fun...
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Jan 24 01:02:06 2016 (PiXy!)
It dipped a touch below freezing here, no snow (we don't often get any, not really expecting any this year either). Hoping that it warms up, relatively speaking, for next week, since I'll be in San Antonio for PAX.
Good to hear everything's on the manageable end up there.
Madness and Machinations
In the latest episode of GATE Lt. Itami is pressed into service trying to help Tuka (Chuka?, Tsuka?), the blonde elf, deal with her grief issues.
That sounds so much more respectable than "Itami get's a gorgeous and exotic but mentally damaged teenager to call him "Daddy"'...."Though both are accurate.
Tuka is really broken, she cannot cope with the death of her father and has convinced herself that Itami, the closest thing to a father figure in the shattered remnants of her world, is in fact her dad. Tuka is proudly showing Itami off as her dad to everyone who doubted her protestations that he was alive and Itami, his command and the townspeople are going along with this co-dependant enabling of her mental deterioration because they are evil at a loss as to what to do.
Well...there is also concern that modern psychological knowledge does not apply well to elves. Certainly psychiatric drugs would not be advisable given that Elves are quite biologically distinct. This is eminently reasonable, and the concern about their different psychology is reinforced by the only other Elf present (Yao) who describes Tuka's physical symptoms as being typical of what one sees right before an elven psychotic break.
Yao is very familiar with Tuka's problem because she has deliberately forced the issue and pushed Tuka to the brink. Elves have a very profound need for closure and Yao, having observed that the Japanese are willing to go to great lengths to protect those in their circle of responsibility (like dropping a Paveway on the Imperial Senate last episode) is hoping that she can use this to her own ends. Desperation has not been kind to her mental stability either...
The fire dragon is still menacing her people. In a rather frantic effort to obtain assistance, Yao has revealed that her land is rich in diamonds and "oil" ( one assumes she has specified rock oil, but for all we know it could be sunflower plantations). To further sweeten the deal, she has also thrown into the basket of incentives, HERSELF as a lifetime concubine to Itami if he oversees the extermination of the dragon. Yanagida, the intel officer is quite intrigued with the mineral riches in the dark elves area and decides this may warrant some ...flexibility.
Yanagida seems to be from the Marco Polo Bridge school of Japanese strategy and diplomacy. He presents Itami with a set of orders tailor made for him to "just happen" to blunder into the Fire Dragon. Yanagida is unsure just what makes Itami tick, but he is confidant that Itami will jump at the chance to do good, achieve glory, or whatever flicks his bic.
However in addition to being a very poor psychologist Itami has other responsibilities that he takes seriously.
Itami has been quite pro-active heretofore, but in this episode he confirms to the audience that he has no interest in wasting his troops lives on a dubious errand with so little chance of success. (This is the kind of CO one hopes to get...not some Odysseus or Custer who is going to challenge the gods to take him down.)
Elsewhere, we touch base with King Duran, who had multiple limbs blown off in episode 1 and was seen to have survived later when he advised PinÃ£ from what appeared to be his deathbed. The JSDF has given him prosthetics and he in return dispenses sage advice.
Of course, stuff happens, things get complicated, our hero ends up incurring a debt and there is some indication of what's being hinted at in those silly closing credits.....
I probably should mention this...One other thing warrants some discussion: Roary Mercury invites herself on Itami's damned fool errand to go slay the dragon alone. She's joined by Leili who does not bite Itami, or suck his blood...which would be unworthy of mention if Rory had not done so. It seems that Rory has called "dibs" on Itami's soul so that when he dies she gets to feed on what she is confident will be a most tasty élan vital. It bears repeating that Rory is a demigod who eats souls...or at least guides them through her body to the afterlife. It is unclear if she's going to guide Itami's soul or digest it as the interaction of her digestive tract and heaven, hell and or samsara are not entirely clear. So yes,. at this point Itami is attempting to go out and fight a dragon that a recon unit could not handle with a crazy woman who thinks he's her father, a 15 year old mage, a fairly ruthless elf and a being who is eagerly looking forward to his death.
What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
As hinted last week, Zorzal, the thoroughly despicable Caligula wannabe prince, is going to assume the throne of the empire. In reality he is supposed to act as a figurehead, allowing the Emperor to maintain control, while the Empire is allowed to save face. In in an unsuspected and even more real reality he is quietly plotting to go for the whole ball of wax, and is sending out warnings to people to pick a side in the upcoming power struggle.
It appears that the of the theories we advanced in last weeks review of this show; number two is the winner (It was: She has a cunning plan). You see, the Rabbit Queen is making her move. It turns out that for some time, Tyuule has had way more on the ball and vastly more power at her disposal than anyone assumed. She sends word via a courier that things are about to fall into place.
It's hard not to sympathize with Tyuule, but some of history's worst monsters are those who have truly suffered and whose rage has some justification to fuel it. For those are the ones most likely to abandon mercy and most willing to see the world burn.
Ignorance, While Not Bliss, Is Sometimes The Preferable StateOver at Steven's place one of the great syndicated comic strips from the golden age of newspaper comics is referenced, with the result that in the comments section, the word "zorch" is mentioned. Now I remembered remembering "zorch" but didn't actually remember what it meant, thus, I accesed the Urban Dictionary so I could remember what I'd remembered long ago. Alas, I still don't remember what I remembered, but I can't unremember what I now know.
In the late 80s I learned a drinking game by the name Zorch that involved sitting in a circle. If play came to you, you said one of 6 words: zorch, zoom zap, telefaro, bonk, or pfigliano (iirc). Which direction you faced in the circle had to match which word you said, and the result was play continued to the person beside you, skipped over to the next beyond them, reversed to the person on your other side, or reversed back two. If you played wrong you had to drink.
I took your advice and did not look for the current meaning.
Posted by: Steve S at Sat Jan 23 13:01:47 2016 (qUi3/)
I maintain that eventually UD will cause every word in English to have a "dirty" meaning and we will go back to a language of grunts and pointing.
Posted by: fillyjonk at Sat Jan 23 13:14:32 2016 (o5UlT)
All that comes to mind is some odd (hippie?) phrase "Be zorch, daddio", And I don't even know how young I was when I heard it. As to the meaning, beats me.
Posted by: Mauser at Sat Jan 23 18:12:49 2016 (5Ktpu)
the most popular new search term of 2015 on the naughty online portal PornHub was "Giantess."
ã‚¿ã‚¤ã‚¿ãƒ³ãƒ»ã‚¦ã‚·ãƒŽãƒ•who, for some reason, is Anglicized as "Rokka" gives us "Bucket" "2 Girls" "Pudding" "Knee High Boots" "Tatoo" One Piece" "Silver Fox" "Twin Tails" "Cross" and "Giantess" which I gather are now the search engine queries that bring all the boys to the yard.
I once had a tensioner seize on a newly replaced camshaft belt, and the knotted remains bent the oil pump pulley. Interestingly, the Newly Replaced business came from the other belt breaking, but since a Subaru has two, I was able to limp along on half an engine to get off the highway.
Posted by: Mauser at Tue Jan 19 21:30:00 2016 (5Ktpu)
It's the first time I hear about the van. It was the F-250 and Cressida before.
You know, there was an article at The Truth About Cars entitled "Why Poor Cannot Have Junk Cars" or something about the privilege of driving a clunker that's liable to shed a serpentine belt.
The "Pickup of Peril" is a 1984 Isuzu Pup Diesel (it runs fine, but the wood holding it together did not pass the new stringent inspection process so it now has antique plates on order so it can be used as an emergency vehicle).
The van is actually in pretty good shape. Aside from the safety brake cable it passed inspection with flying colors. It hasn't been driven much (except for that ONE trip to Nome...via the Grand Canyon....ahem). I read the article you referenced. It did not USED to be true but it certainly is now given that Cash for Clunkers massively depleted the stocks of spare parts for old cars and the electronics systems that are mandated make DIY maintenance increasingly impractical. I just need to last another 18-20 months, after which I expect to be in Japan teaching English. (I retire from UPS next August)
The young lady above is Pyrrha Nikos. She is having a dreadfully bad day,
...but not nearly as bad as some people.
Good GRIEF! The thing is, Pyrrha held it together, in spite of the mental assault and her own distractions but she did not reckon with...the wires.
One would think that a reboot would be possible, but with all the death imagery, the fact that the EMP looked like it gave her a heart attack just before her accidental dismemberment and that sickening sound coinciding with the deadening of her eyes, it looks like poor Penny's not just merely dead she's really most sincerely dead.
Thankfully Ruby's bad day doesn't hold a candle to Penny's. Still, while she fights valiantly to uphold justice, the public trust, and continuity.
(I bet you also thought this was just a one time cop-out to end that food fight 17 episodes ago)
Alas, all her efforts are for naught...
Now, to be fair, some people are actually not having a bad day at all...
Indeed, some people get their hat and cane back after being indisposed for 9 episodes...
...and even get to play with expensive toys.
Of course this has the unfortunate side effect that for most people the day just gets worse...
...and it's about to get worser still.
I'm guessing this is all just a distraction while Cinder runs to soul-suck "Autumn" but the sheer scale of the mayhem that's about to happen makes me doubt the efficacy of the villain's plan. One gains little from ruling over a world that's been obliterated.
On balance then it looks like bad days all around.
Your humble reviewer, however, is enjoying this immensely. This was a gatling gut punch and kept me on the edge of my seat.The season has certainly turned rather dark, I guess those lyrics actually mean something.
They have 3 episodes left in which to screw this up.
Haven't caught up on the series since Christmas, but regarding the lyrics and the OP, I figured the imagery of the primary eight characters desperately trying to hang on to each other as centrifugal forces tear them apart was fairly indicative of what we were in for.
Posted by: Ben at Mon Jan 18 10:05:12 2016 (DRaH+)
I know why she doesn't want to go through with the merge...
Pyrrha commitment. :-)
Posted by: Mauser at Thu Jan 21 06:53:15 2016 (5Ktpu)
From episode 14 of GATE which seems to have fully recovered from episodes 9&10 and now provides us with plot whiplash of an entirely different kind.
The girl in the picture looking in awe upon Kuryabashi's awesomeness is Noriko. She'a Japanese citizen who was captured and hauled off as a slave when the Imperial forces first raided Tokyo. Apparently, some of the initial force succeeded in making it back through the gate with captured slaves. Obviously this complicates things a lot.
It gets worse: Noriko's been kept by the DeSade-like prince of the realm who was torturing and and rapeing her until she was rescued. Moreover, it is strongly implied that Noriko's a runaway...and her parents died because they were passing out flyers looking for her in Ginza, thinking (correctly) that she might be found there...when the gate opened. Our heroes haven't told Noriko this yet, but but the backlog of bad news to break is piling up on this poor girl. Adding to her impending heartbreak is the fact that the boyfriend she was just given hopes of seeing again is revealed in a later scene to have been killed off camera. Also: they are not letting her go back to Japan.
...but she's alive....and there are presumably others.
A couple of additional things are revealed.
Tyuule, the Lepus Lady that was being tortured by prince Himbo Zorzal in the last episode is shown in a somewhat different light which speaks to multiple possibilities....
1: She's got a really bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.
2: She is plotting and biding her time to implement a particularly cunning plan.
3: She is a masochist.
4: She has simply given up, completely and utterly.
5: We completely misunderstood the interplay between her and Zoral, who was just indulging her appetite for men who truck...hard.
Additionally, Zoral is revealed to have been involved in the attack on Tokyo. AND HE GOT OUT. This speaks to a certain competence, even if only at saving his own skin. However, he did manage to bring back at least three slaves and some of his private guard. In a brief talk with his brother it is revealed that he is at least aware of his own limitations to a certain extent, and quite capable of compensating for them to achieve his goals...which are at once grand and venal. He does seem to be a particularly loathsome individual in any case.
Itami in the throne room. This was dumb, especially since all it would have taken for it not to be dumb would be a line or two...One does not simply punch the prince in the face. One asks politely to turn over one's fellow citizen, and when he says no, THEN introduce them to Kuribayashi.Yes...guns are powerful, but they do not make 4 people, three of whom are armed, invulnerable to swords or arrows or lord knows what animal people might be guarding the emperor. Additionally all those bullets flying in the throne room are highly likely to kill a V.I.P.
On the other hand, Kuryabashi cleaned up the mess quite nicely.
Alas, the Japanese government, upon learning that there are Japanese citizens being held captive, decides the best course of action is to blow up the imperial Senate building, thus endearing themselves to the main moderating body. This goes entirely too well, the utter lack of collateral casualties beggars belief and it's not like another show of force was particularly needed. It seems to be working, but not because it was a good or wise idea. remember, they have hostages of their own to exchange, peacefully, without destroying national cultural heritage sites. On the other hand, it was nice to see the show touch on the idea that the two cultures are so different that they have values dissonance. The Imperials simply can't conceive that the Japanese are genuinely that upset about their citizens.
This show is certainly full of surprises. It will be interesting to see if the JSDF's er, exuberance, opens a whole new can of worms or is just speaking to the power fantasies of its author.
Ultimately, the author's writing a war story. He's got to keep the temperature simmering, high enough to keep it from turning into one big happy economic exchange, but at the same time, low enough to explain why they haven't just come through and stomped the empire flat.
That said, doing it through this avenue ultimately hurts the realism of the scenario. It's almost plausible that the US would be willing to take a back seat for a while and let Japan handle the first contact, goofy spy drama from the first season aside. But the US is, shall we say, pretty damn firm on this particular topic, and the Japanese history on the topic is bad to begin with. This would be on the short list of things the US is not likely to trust Japan to handle; basically putting Japan in a situation where it might like to take a soft line on things, but where they're pushed into a hotter conflict by knowing that any pussyfooting around will be the justification for US intervention.
But... this author simply isn't going to write this kind of story, because in his fictional universe, the US has neither the moral authority nor the sheer throw weight to actually force that issue. And I'm a bit torn there, because on the one hand it does strain the credibility of the whole enterprise - but on the other hand, given what this guy does with our-world international politics, "maybe shut the hell up on the issue and draw Itami and cute girls doing things" is actually excellent advice!
but on the other hand, given what this guy does with our-world international politics
Oh...I dunno. His portrayal of the U.S. and its president may have seemed completely blinkered and unrealistic last year, but given recent developments in the primaries it could, in fact, be yugely prescient. Which might mean this guy is a time traveller....which in turn would mean....
Gloriously gratuitous Gate gals in bodacious beachwear are by Yuuichi Teraida
Thoughts About That Unexpectedly Underwhelming Blast
As we mentioned earlier, the North Korean government announced that they had successfully detonated a fusion warhead. Given the apparent small yield of the warhead, (6-10 kilotons) there has been considerable skepticism expressed. This skepticism is not unfounded especially given that getting such small yields are hard to get from what we normally think of as an H-bomb. There has been further speculation that the weapon is what is called a "boosted fission weapon". This does not get the majority of its explosive force from fusion, but it does set off a fusion reaction which causes the fission reaction to burn much more completely. This can as much as triple yields on fission warheads, or reduce the amount of fissionable material necessary for any given yield. This alone would be a big breakthrough as it would allow North Korea to make more bombs for the same amount of fissile material. An increase of 2 or 3 times the number of bombs in the arsenal is a very substantial benefit.
Of course there is the problem of the very low yield. which has led many to conclude that this was a fizzle. That's possible, but the last three North Korean bombs have had very similar yields, in the 6-9 kiloton range. Small nuclear explosions are actually HARD. This was a problem the US had with the W-54 program, where some of the intended the applications (a bazooka!and short range AAM) called for a sub kiloton yield but the tests kept overshooting it.
The North Korean's first test was very small and may well have been a fizzle, but the subsequent three have been very comparable in yields. Given the difficulties of getting a reliable nuclear yield below 10 kilotons this indicates extraordinarily consistent incompetence....or that it's by design.
It is possible that the North Koreans have had a string of fizzles, but this would mean that they thrice duplicated a design flaw that did not befall the Americans, Russians, Brits, Frenchmen, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis South Africans* and (presumably)Israelis.
Furthermore, given that a good deal of this program is aimed at chest thumping and deterrence, it seems logical that the North Korean's, if they were experiencing difficulties with an implosion system, would, have at least one very simple gun type weapon like Little Boy. Such weapons are so reliable as to not strictly need testing, so a respectable 10-20 kiloton blast could have been had for propaganda purposes easily.
They have not done this, and after their first detonations their tests have been fairly consistent in yield.
Thereâ€™s some speculation that this is an attempted enhanced EMP weapon. Thereâ€™s other speculation. Add to that that I have never worked in weapon design, and the last time I seriously needed to know about the minutia of nuclear weapons was more than thirty years ago, and you will understand that I am not going to speculate. We know that North Korea tested something, and they call it a sophisticated fission weapon; what they tested was low yield, and the last time I looked, low yield was harder to do than higher yields: particularly lower than 10 kt....[/quote]
Pournelle, caries on a discussion with Stephanie Osbourne (a retired rocket scientist who also worked on nuclear planning in the cold war) and they both reference, but do not link to speculation that this is fission boosted weapon designed to utilize the Compton Effect in conjunction with the Earth's magnetic field to produce a powerful electromagnetic pulse.
Note that both sources indicate that this kind of small fusion assisted warhead could allow a 10 kiloton warhead to produce comparable EMP effects to a more conventional warhead in the megaton range (with the tradeoff that it would have to be detonated lower and therefore cover a smaller area).
This tradeoff would double the number of weapons needed to blackout most of the U.S.A. and southern Canada.
"Well, maybe the Norks just want us to appreciate the night sky like they do."
This of course solves their targeting problems as the target area for this weapon is measured in states rather than meters. Additionally, it would make a small device of the type they can already deliver anywhere on earth (they can launch small satellites) an actual strategic threat.
A total power failure involving hundreds of transformers blowing up (that requires replacement from France, Finland or China) would take years to recover from. Add to that occasional widespread fires from overloaded wires and the collapse of the internet as well as the ancillary effects of no power, refrigeration, or heat and this could become a very bad thing.
If this is in fact what the DPRK is doing (and we have little way of knowing) it would be quite logical as it would give them a credible counter-value strategic capability that a few nukes, even very big ones would not provide.
Fortunately, the North Koreans have modest goals (clinging to power by the throats of their citizenry, possibly conquering the south, and killing every Japanese male on earth) . While the regime is odious, it's not like they want to return the whole planet to the 6th century...like some people.
Amongst the ranks of THOSE PEOPLE naturally are included the Iranians, who are working very closely wth the DPRK in the advancement of SCIENCE as part of their general pattern of good behavior in the wake of the nuclear deal that solved everything. One probably ought to assume assume that much of the North Korean nuclear expertise is shared by Tehran now.
Of course the notion that a nation using slave labor to put together a nuclear bomb might bollox it repeatedly should not be utterly dismissed, but the consistency of the yields and the potential payoffs, mean that this option ought to not be rejected out of hand.
Part of the process of making plutonium bombs is breeding the plutonium. That takes a special reactor (NK has one) and you put U-238 in it to be bombarded with neutrons. U-239 goes through a double beta-decay and becomes plutonium 239.
But... plutonium-239 absorbs neutrons more easily than U-238 does and becomes plutonium-240.
So there's an ideal breeding time which gives you a bit of Pu-239 without significant amounts of Pu-240. If you run longer, you get more plutonium but an increasing percentage of it is Pu-240.
For purposes of making bombs, Pu-240 has different characteristics than Pu-239. If your plutonium has a lot of Pu-240 in it (several percent) then a standard bomb design won't work properly. It detonates too soon, with much less yield.
Does that sound familiar? That's what I think happened; the NK's got greedy and ran their breeding period too long.