Being a Pompous Pinhead Throuought Time and Space
Well, the premiere of the latest season of Dr. Who was quite silly but it was great fun. This was a masterful bit of sadism in that it resulted in my eagerly looking forward to tonights episode so that the kick in the teeth was much greater.
The scale was off, the premise was dumb and The Doctor was in full pompous, provincial, left wing sneer mode.
I must be falling behind, I didn't know the new season was out. But I'm not sure if I want to see this, even if Clara is a damned cutie.
Posted by: Mauser at Sun Aug 31 05:10:16 2014 (TJ7ih)
Yeah, this one was kinda...yeah. I'm holding out a vague hope that they're going to do something with the Clara/veteran guy plotline, but I have my doubts.
Posted by: ReallyBored at Sun Aug 31 14:13:32 2014 (n3V1X)
My understanding is the next companion is going to be
the new teacher at Clara's school that was recently seen in a short ad.
Posted by: RickC at Sun Aug 31 14:44:02 2014 (0a7VZ)
Also--I haven't seen but the first few minute yet, but Moffat needs some kind of boot to the head, and then to be strapped into a chair like Alex from A Clockwork Orange and forced to watch the old series.
The Doctor was only the scientific advisor for UNIT for like three of his incarnations--and his hatred for the Daleks should easily outweigh any dislike of these soldiers.
Posted by: RickC at Sun Aug 31 15:16:52 2014 (0a7VZ)
The whole anti-soldier vibe felt very out of place to me. Even if they intend to pull a switch in future episodes and show us how much of a "great guy" the ex-soldier teacher is, there was no need to throw all the animus into this episode.
Posted by: Siergen at Sun Aug 31 18:16:41 2014 (Sn+fi)
I thought the premiere had too much Vastra and Strax, as well as a very awkward attempt to transition Doctors by having Capaldi attempt Smith-ish behaviors and physical comedy. And Clara's "anger" scene just didn't work for either actress. Jenny was really the highlight of the episode.
The second one was just... random. It felt like a collection of scenes in search of a story to tell.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Aug 31 18:51:23 2014 (1CisS)
Having seen the whole episode now, I can only assume it was a setup for Clara's final line.
The way she said *she* didn't have a problem with a soldier, it implied to me that she knew the Doctor's problem with Blue was bad. Plus it ties in to the whole "am I a good man" bit and the comment last week about fixing mistakes.
Oh god, another season(s)-long plot (regarding the dead people.
Posted by: RickC at Sun Aug 31 21:46:27 2014 (0a7VZ)
Trying to work my way through it, but it's tough going. I keep having to
stop when someone says something totally out of character. If it were a
drinking game I'd be dead now.
I mean, did Clara forget that she was there for the entirety of the
Doctor's life, helping in little ways, etc? You'd think she'd be used to
Regeneration by that point.
And the scene where she's introduced to Mr. Pink (what is this,
Reservoir Dogs?)... Nothing isn't done for a purpose, so why is Clara
prominently displaying a copy of The Guardian?
Posted by: Mauser at Mon Sep 1 03:44:39 2014 (TJ7ih)
Every time I try to convince myself to dip a toe into the Who-continuum, I see a thread like this and thing "you know... let's not after all."
Av, threads like these are the same as posts saying that the upcoming
anime season will be "the worst ever." They're almost never right.
We're now two episodes into the new Doctor's run, and people are already
proclaiming him to be terrible, awful, the worst one yet.
Yeah, and they said the same about Smith, Tennant, and Eccleston too.
Maybe Capaldi will prove to be the worst ever. Maybe the show has
finally jumped the holographic space shark (after 50+ years). Or maybe
we should give them more than a couple of episodes to figure out the
show's new voice.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Mon Sep 1 08:22:03 2014 (eNsTS)
Actually, 'Duck, so far I like him. I just don't like the rather rabid anti-military stance of this episode.
Like I said, though, the last line held some promise.
Posted by: RickC at Mon Sep 1 11:27:56 2014 (0a7VZ)
As I said, I'm continuing to watch and am actually hopeful.
Avatar, threads like this can also indicate that suckage is anomalous enough to warrant comment. In general it has been entertaining.
Railgun S Ends
Well, the second half of A Certain Scientific Railgun S has finally been released and arrived last Friday. Because of the spoiler tag issue, I'll conceal my shameful fanboy prattlings below the fold.
I'd wondered what that .gif was about...now I know.
I don't know if the creator realized the hot property he had in Misaka Mikoto when he created her, but she became so popular that I would not be surprised if the Railgun spinoff sold much more than the original Index series.
In the Light Novels, she is in every main story arc except one which has almost none of the standard characters in it, and serves mostly to introduce new characters.
Posted by: topmaker at Sun Aug 31 21:17:16 2014 (2yZsg)
China can build whatever it wants on its islands in the South China Sea, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, rejecting proposals ahead of a key regional meeting to freeze any activity that may raise tensions in disputed waters there.
Since the Chinese consider these to be new Chinese territory, they claim the 200 mile EEZ around them, which is most problematic for the Philippines as Scarborough Shoal is not just claimed by the Philippines, it is well within the Philippines' EEZ, only 150 miles from Luzon and has been part of the Philippines since the Spanish organized the islands against the Sulu jihadists in the 1500s. When, after the US annexed the islands, the Philippinoes voted for and were granted independence from the US, Scarborough shoal was explicitly included by the US in the deal.
My first week back from vacation coincided with the pre-labor day rush at work and the first week of school. After irresponsibly setting my circadian rhythm to getting up at AM:ish, the sudden need to awaken at 02:00 has been most unwelcome as has the requirement to lift boxes weighing up to 70 pounds in rapid succession for hours on end. The high tempo of work, school and multiple other annoyances has left me looking something like this...
...except rather worse as I'm a dude and not especially good looking on the best of days.
Fortunately, a 3 day weekend looms which should allow me to stay up about 48 hours, reset my circadian rhythm and thereby fix most of these self inflicted first world problems.
That is a great scene. (And the one that follows it, when most of Judgement turns out, was even more awesome.) I've lost count of how many times I've rewatched this episode.
It's genuinely awesome that Saten has accepted that she's level 0, and become comfortable with it, and knows that she can still make a difference. (Not that she has given up on her aspiration to become an ESPER, but it no longer eats her inside that she isn't.)
(For those not familiar, this is the last episode of Railgun S.)
Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.
Does anyone know of any arcane majiks that can convince Microsoft that the Windows 7 activation code in the box I bought before my hard drive was replaced is legit and my copy is not, in fact, pirated?
Is it failing on activation or just not letting you reactivate? If it's failing on reactivation, you can just call the 800 number the failure window provides. I've used it before (basically for the same reason) and it's an entirely automated process. You just need the product key and it'll walk you through the process.
Posted by: ReallyBored at Sat Aug 23 17:52:25 2014 (n3V1X)
I was going to say the same thing. Retail copies only seem to let you have one activation or so, without requiring you to use the phone number.
Just tell it "0" when it asks how many computers you have it installed on, because it means "already" but doesn't say that word. Fortunately you can just hang up and try again.
Also, the speech recognition is better than most, but still, over-enunciate the numbers, and don't try to talk over the voice, or it won't understand you.
Posted by: RickC at Sat Aug 23 20:40:44 2014 (0a7VZ)
Oh, for the days you could just buy Dynamite in the General Store.
(That would probably help with the Windows problem too).
Posted by: Mauser at Sun Aug 24 03:46:20 2014 (TJ7ih)
Posted by: RickC at Mon Aug 25 13:28:12 2014 (0a7VZ)
After 1 hr and 45 minutes on the phone with customer service they agreed that it SHOULD work but wasn't. The tech finally gave up and set me up an appointment to have a senior CS person look at it tomorrow. After that I went ahead and updated my copy of Parallels, restarted Windows 7 and all of a sudden everything was fixed, Steam updated successfully and my UR COPY IZ ILLEEGUL message was gone.
Aw Come ON!
I didn't put in any pictures, center anything or use an animated .gif inside the spoiler tag of the last post and yet the spoiler tag put every bit of text that was inserted into it, on the outside.
This weeks episode of RWBY seems to have been eaten by ants. Instead we were presented with a 2 minute 16 second slideshow explaining the show's main deus ex machina, 'dust'.
Narrated by "Mysterious Narrator" (playing herself) it tells us, the poor hapless viewers very little save for one tantalizing detail.
It does pose some interesting questions, certainly more than it answered.
Much we already knew:
Dust is an explosive or propellant that interacts with Human (and Faunus) "auras".
According to the large hadron collider, therefore, it can't exist.
So there is this stuff that can be induced to interact with an individual's 'aura'.
We can assume from Pyrrha's exposition in the first season that Aura is best described by imagining a point on a Venn diagram where chi, elan vitale, pneuma, "precious bodily fluids" and The Force overlap. A person with sufficient self awareness and discipline to exert control over their life energies can use this 'aura' to interact with dust in various ways.
There are 4 types of dust making for an easily memorizable periodic table. However, Madame Narrator did not provide us with the names. Going from the picture provided one can assume that they have the ptoperties of fire (or perhaps speed), ice (possibly water), burnination and spinach.
These 4 substances can be combined in numerous ways to make compounds that have a wide variety of characteristics, and this stuff can be used in shells, both as propellant and explosive depending on the compound.
We knew that there were items that were infused with dust. Weiss uses a dust infused rapier and also wields additional quantities of dust for further effect. The mention of dust infused clothing would therefore follow.
However, we also learn that some people have had dust implanted into their bodies. This is new info and makes for some interesting speculation.
A few characters possess a "semblance" a fancy dancy RWBY word for superpower. Ruby and Blake have super-speed (Blake may have something else going on there) and Pyrrha has magnetism. Yang has the power of a flywheel charged by punching and none of these are things that anyone can physiologically achieve so barring some other, as yet unmentioned deus ex machina, one wonders if they had dust implanted in themselves at a young age.
How? Was there a tragic dust accident? Were they given dust implants shortly after birth. Was this voluntary and when (RWBY is 15 and has been practicing for a while)? Did they get to choose what their semblance would be beforehand?
Dust is frequently used as a consumable (explosives, freezy-pop mass production techniques). However, the existence of weapons, clothing, and implants suggests that some dust compounds are not actually consumed as fuel but are, instead acting as broadcast and modulation antennae for the aura. Weiss's rapier seems to work this way (in part) and Cinder's dress is probably a weapon in itself. Blake wielded dust provided her by Weiss in the last episode, and did so with considerable skill using her chain-scythe-gun-sword-ribbon thingie as a focus. It glowed blue when she did so.
Given that dust is quite expensive and given that Blake comes from exceedingly modest means, if this line of reasoning is correct it is probable that Blake was implanted with the stuff by the White Fang because she was considered quite reliable. There's nowhere else she could have afforded it, been trained in it's use, or even permitted to do so. This makes her betrayal all the more galling to them, which, in turn, brings us to the fate of poor Tuckson in episode 1. Even if the "Blake is carrying dust implants provided by White Fang" is bollocks, Blake is a marked woman, and if her identity is revealed.
Hence the real reason for the bow.
(She should probably dye her hair and wear a less silly outfit too)
One other thing. The Planet is called Remnant.
It is quite possible that this is set in the far future on another world that contains the last remnant of humanity.
To my utter astonishment and joy, the car only cost 288 Sacagaweas to be resurrected after rolling an 18 on its "save versus ants" skill.
As I drove around performing all the errands I had needed to do this week, I listened to NPR's All Things Considered and one of their segments was a special on the 200th anniversary of the burning of Washington DC. Instead of just having some historians come and talk, they did a mock new report...as if NPR was covering it at the time.
"Boy howdy! Did they ever! "
The NPR reporter was embedded with the advancing British troops . They seemed to imply that the Madisons were having marital problems (not mentioning WHY they left the capital separately). To my surprise. they seemed to give fairly short shrift to Dolly Madison's heroics in getting certain national treasures out of DC .There was no mention of the one other bright spot in the debacle ( The President taking charge and turning what was a rout into an organized fighting retreat, as well as changing the direction of the shattered army towards Baltimore and away from the hinterlands). One of the embedded reporters noted a Redcoat carrying a decorative pillow as he applied gunpowder paste to the White House. Robert Siegel asked if she meant that they were looting and she said that was not the case, but rather, the British troops were just taking souvenirs.
An NPR reporter in a tavern tried to interview the American general who had just been defeated, but said officer was too inebriated to say much.
There was actually some credit given to Madison, though it was for the empty but quite inspirational gesture of having Congress re-convene in the burned out ruins of DC.
Finally, a pair of commentators (actually Historians) discussed what they thought was likely to follow and argued a bit before making different predictions, that, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight were nevertheless, both highly prescient.
Not able to be captured in this run-down is the palpable glee with which the whole catastrophe was reported.
At one point I was actually wondering if this was a parody, but no, it was completely straight, just not terribly self aware. At the end of the broadcast, they were happy and I was perversely amused, so a good time was had by all.
I guess that counts as some quality radio.
UPDATE: Duh...It's NPR so the actual broadcast is archived here. The whole episode, most of which lacked the spectacular levels of self parody is here.
Posted by: RickC at Thu Aug 21 17:07:10 2014 (ECH2/)
BTW, I'd like to report some silliness in the blog header. It says "tennant" "smith". I picture it going something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFFqwFv6j-Y. Having said that, the answer to the argument, of course, is "[Tom] Baker."
Posted by: RickC at Thu Aug 21 17:09:20 2014 (ECH2/)
Foley seems to have been quite highly regarded. A brief excerpt of a 2011 interview with him can be seen from 00:33 to 01:58 here.
It should be noted that the executioner has a British accent, which is not entirely surprising, but is worrisome. Likewise, the fact that Sotloff was taken prisoner in Libya and transported to Iraq indicates an impressive reach and logistical capability by ISIS.
The situation in the Ukraine has taken a hopeful turn as Russian and Ukrainian leaders representatives are set to meet negotiations next week. This comes as Ukrainian forces seem to be getting the better of the secessionists. This is a conflict with some very nasty ethnic components, so a diplomatic solution would be most welcome.
In related news; Apparently there is a group of American volunteers/mercenaries fighting with the Ukrainians and one of them was just killed.
On the Ebola front, the experimental drug tested on the three missionaries from the US and Spain looks promising. While the Spanish patient died, the two American aid workers seem to be recovering. The few remaining samples have been sent to Liberia, but the drug takes a long time to make, and there are regulatory hurdles. However, accelerated testing is being done of this and other vaccines.
While all this is going on the military is downsizing. That's not necessarily a dreadful mistake as there is a good bit of waste in the Pentagon. Particularly in the Army, after 10 years of war, one might well consider it good to weed out the people who in that time avoided combat and promote those who displayed out of the box thinking in time of war. One might especially want to retain those with awards for valor. Well, if one thinks that, then one is not in charge of the current downsizing process....
This is terrifying:
The derogatory information didn't have to be recent. Got a GOMOR as a 2nd Lieutenant for Dumb LT Tricks, eight years ago? Kiss your ass goodbye. Got an Article 15 as a private before soldiering your way back into the Army's good graces, and then getting a ROTC scholarship? You're gone.
A non-GO Memorandum Of Reprimand was also a career killer, if you got it for something the Chief of Staff doesn't like - like carrying a personally owned weapon. That sent one combat-vet with a Purple Heart to the Dreaded Private Sector.
Being overweight, or looking overweight in your photo: killer.
A more trivial career killer, but one the board actually used: having your official DA photo in the old Army Green service uniform, not the new blue Army Service Uniform.
Purple hearts and bronze stars seem to have no effect on ones assessment. Having no combat experience is NOT a demerit. This is how you build an Army of bureaucratic wienies. It is how third world dictators set up their armies, with yes-men and those who fear above all taking a chance or trying new things.
As to Ferguson itself...it's probably good to withhold judgement until the facts of the shooting are made public later this week. Like so many recent news stories most of the initial reports were wrong, and that trend seems to continue nightly. The near nightly looting, is, of course, unacceptable and ( conversely) there are many concerns, not unfounded, regards the militarization of police forces. However, I urge you to read Tamara K's thoughts on the issue in full. It makes no judgments but provides important historical perspective.
Finally, it should be mentioned that there is another demonstration taking place by individuals who are fed up and seek respect from the police. For some reason, despite being in the media mecca of New York, this is not garnering a lot of coverage...