October 22, 2014

Ottawa Shooting

The story keeps changing, with announcements of other shootings being reported and retracted. What is known is that at least one gunman murdered a ceremonial guard at the Canadian National War Memorial before walking into the Parliament Building and shooting up the place before being killed himself. 

There were reports on the radio that Canada had just increased their alert levels due to intercepted terrorist "chatter".

There is a lot of confusion so I'll just link to the people on on the spot. CTV, CBC, 680, and the Ottawa Gazette all have updating pages with video. Small Dead Animals is a Canadian blog that is covering this here and here. She obviously has access to the local news outlets. 

There is some speculation  that the shooting may be tied to Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzi's being given Canadian Citizenship today, but while quite possible, and likely if this is indeed a Jihadist action, there doesn't seem to be any confirmation of that. 


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October 20, 2014

Congratulations to Nigeria and Senegal!

Astoundingly good news! Nigeria and Senegal seem to have licked Ebola for now. It still might flare up and refugees might reintroduce it, but both countries got on top of it by taking it seriously and acting diligently. 

Meanwhile, Ebola Tan discusses current events with a colleague .

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October 19, 2014

Well Then....

That was....a week.

Some folks can take solace in the fact that the vast majority of people are unremarkable.

However, it is indeed true that The Force is quite strong with a few individuals.

The rest of us seem to have donated our midichlorians to those remarkable people, that they might do great deeds.

I suppose it is nice to have a purpose. 

One other thing. I've been ignoring the computer for a few days so if I haven't returned E-mails it is due to....

....GHAAAAH! Seven hundred and sixty three!?

Brickmuppet Blog will be up and running in a day or two.  

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October 14, 2014


It's exam week. I can't really justify any time away from the books to blog or otherwise avoid studying. 

However, I can justify taking a moment to rectify (in a small way) the alarming lack of Princess Lanessia in the world. 

 Estal's eminent, elegant emissary to Akihabara and Log Horizon as rendered  by ジャン・ポポ

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October 11, 2014

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid Dvorak Keyboard is Stupid

On the other hand there are things like this, so life is not completely unbearable. 

A hat tip is probably redundant

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No one Would Have Believed

..at the end of the first decade of the 20th century that the war that would soon engulf the world was even possible. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. Then, not halfway through the second decade of the 20th century, came the great disillusionment.

Here is some recently restored film footage of that terrible, perilous time. 

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October 10, 2014

I Am Confused but Elated

Though it has some elements familiar to fans of the old show , this looks vastly different from any of the original series or films. However, Yamato 2199 was one of the best space shows of the last 10 years or more so this new project (due out in December) certainly bears watching. 

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Why the Publication of this Article is a Troubling Indicator of the State of Journalism Today

 I should have something substantive to say about this headline, but the derp is so strong with this one that I find myself without words.


The economy is doomed.

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Worthy Recipiants

The Nobel Prize for Peace has had something of a chequered history in recent years, but both the recipients this year richly deserved their title. In particular, Malala Yousafzai is awe inspiring. The youngest recipient ever, she took a Taliban bullet to the head in retaliation for demanding that women be allowed to go to school. 

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October 09, 2014

A Few More Random Links on Ebola

It appears that a UK citizen has died of Ebola...In Macedonia. More worrisome are reports that he had not been to the affected regions. 

More on this here

On a hopeful note. At this point,  none of those being monitored in Dallas have yet manifested any signs of the disease.   

There are persistent reports about scientists saying that Ebola could mutate and become airborne...well a lot of  things COULD happen, but this does not appear to HAVE happened. There seems to be nothing other than Niberuistic speculation and doesn't serve much purpose. In the vanishingly unlikely event it goes airborne, we're screwed anyway, so it seems better to focus on the matter as it exists. This short video shows what it takes to deal with the actual disease.  

Ebola is quite infectious as it exists now and even with its limits could cause some serious issues. ,  I suggest you read this whole thing.  There are further thoughts on how to protect oneself here. Both are very informative, neither is encouraging. 

So what to do?

I suggest that, if there is an outbreak, if possible, avoid mass transit, and don't shop or eat out (eat out of the hurricane chest..that's what it's there for).  In other words,  one should keep ones disaster stock current and be prepared to stay in ones home for a month or so in the event of a quarantine or lockdown. Above all, don't panic. 

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Bad Day For Borepatch

Borepatch has apparently had a bike accident...

7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung. I was lucky that the lung didn't collapse or get punctured. They had me in the ICU for almost 24 hours. The guy in the next room didn't make it this morning. I guess it could have been worse. 

Well, not so bad when taken from a certain perspective I suppose, but still...OUCH! 
Send him your thoughts here

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China's New Path

Via Eaglespeak comes this interesting piece on China's current political direction. It's only 8 minutes, I strongly suggest you watch the whole thing. 

The most worrying bit is the mention towards the beginning where the guest mentions the current emphasis on an unsavory strain of Howard Zinnesque nationalism that focuses on China's victimhood. That tends to lead to rather dark places. Note though, that there are promising signs as well pointing to less bellicose influences. 

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October 08, 2014

Well, I Guess It HAS Been That Long

PowerPuffage by Tjota.

Good grief I'm old....

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Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

It is easy to despise the man who lied to authorities and in so doing, knowingly brought Ebola to our shores. However, it bears remembering that he was infected by an act of selflessness. Duncan helped carry his landlords stricken daughter as her desperate father went from hospital to hospital trying to get her medical help. 

There were no beds available at any hospital. No one could see her. 

She died that night. 

Duncan then was confronted with the fact that there was no way to get treatment in his country and he had just been exposed. At the same time, there was, no doubt, still in the Liberian press, news of the recovery of both missionaries who had been transported to the US for treatment. 

So, surrounded by death and a condemned man, Duncan took a chance. Because he had connections here and Liberia is a nation whose history is closely linked to ours, it is easy to get passage from there to here. Duncan came to the US and at the first sign of illness checked himself into a hospital where he explained his background. 

They told him he was clear, gave him antibiotics and sent him home. 

Why did he not get a second opinion?

That which we most desperately want to believe, we often believe. 

I can only speculate, but I imagine that Duncan, having been "cleared" by American doctors, allowed himself to believe for a few joyous days that he had dodged the bullet, the sheer elation would have made his symptoms seem to pass...until the cruel truth was made undeniable by stabbing pains and the blood that vomited forth from his mouth. 

Thomas Eric Duncan died in a most dreadful fashion at 07:51 this morning. Given that his actions have greatly endangered many who would not otherwise been at risk, he is certainly open to criticism. However, it is probably advisable to pause and reflect while denouncing this desperate man's actions. I say this not simply because of the charitable manner in which he became infected, nor out of empathy for the terror he must have felt in the hell-hole that Monrovia now is. 

I say this because he can teach an important lesson to those of us not too arrogant to learn from his mistake. Disbelieving terrifying truths or denying facts we find dreadfully unfair are types of self delusion that do not confine themselves to Fed Ex drivers from Africa.  Such wishful thinking can spread death amongst many, no matter the social status or education of the willfully deluded.

That judge mentioned in the linked piece, no doubt thought he was being decent and kind by not treating the family as unclean, that it was unfair that they, through no fault of their own could be infected and despicable that they be treated as plague carriers.
The problem is that they are almost certainly infected, this bug is extremely contagious in confined spaces, quarantine for the incubation period is the only rational option and the judge has endangered not just himself but his coworkers and his daughter.

Thomas Eric Duncan did an awful thing and endangered many for perfectly human (though not really justifiable) reasons.  Rather than simply cursing the man, we should learn from and endeavor to not repeat his mistakes. 

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October 07, 2014

Log Horizon 2: First Impressions

Log Horizon was huge surprise to me last year and a pleasant one. This season hardly feels like a break at all as the series starts pretty much where the last episode left off (actually a bit before that). It takes a somewhat different tack almost immediately and the looks like it will continue to be interesting. 

  It was successful enough to warrant a second season but not enough to get a bigger budget, or even a new theme song. However, this reinforces the feeling that the show is simply continuing. Marielle is one of a few characters off model, possibly in an attempt to add some detail, though like the first season, it continues to have mediocre art and animation at best. It has been the intriguing story and the characters that have really carried it and made this one special. 

This is starting out slow, but it remains clever.

 it's still available on Crunchyroll and I recommend it highly, hell in a week or so you can be caught up!


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