The final giveaway though was that, his name is Don. He probably didn't count on someone having spent their childhood playing with plastic toys that had names like Iguanadon, Trachodon and Deniedon..but I did and so I know!
While looking for info on the Ukranian situation I blundered into this,
It's an interesting post on penetration tests that the Soviets did matching their 14.5mm anti-tank rifles against captured German tanks.
First is a "heavy tank". I have no idea what it is, aside from that it's German. Here are the results with a 14.5 mm AT rifle:
Lower front plate (45 mm at 10 degrees): does not penetrate
Turret rear (28-30 mm at 10 degrees): penetrates at 200 meters, 100 meters at a 30 degree angle
Turret platform side (28-30 mm): penetrates at over 300 meters, 100 meters at a 30 degree angle
Lower hull side (28-30 mm): penetrates at over 400 meters, 100 meters at a 30 degree angle
This is a bit better than I would have thought.
The performance against what are described as medium and light tanks is correspondingly better. I would not want to face these in a Panzer2 or even some modern APCs, and certainly not in a Humvee.
The"rifles" are beasts of course, with the lighter, single shot version weighing nearly 41 pounds and being 79 inches long. I suppose if one put a bayonet on one it would be a serviceable pike. These were obsolescent later in the war, but it is apparent that they were still quite effective weapons if used well. I knew these guns were still in use around the world as antimaterial rifles, but the linked post gives a much greater appreciation of how fearsome they can be.
I'm unfamiliar with this site and unsure if it is reads as the Twenty Committee or is looking at foreign policy from a female perspective. However, it does have an interesting overview of Poland's current preparations for hostilities with Russia, which it increasingly views as possible.
...In other words, the agreement’s language lays out a blatant attempt to administratively annex Abkhazia into Russia proper. The Abkhazian separatist "parliament” was given two weeks to discuss the treaty. However, Moscow does not expect any negative reactions from Sukhumi about this agreement (vedomosti.ru, October 13). And indeed, it is difficult to imagine what Tbilisi can do to avert this looming annexation of Abkhazia—a region where thousands of Russian occupation troops are stationed.
...a Chinese attack sub—a so-called hunter-killer, designed to seek out and destroy enemy vessels—slipped through the strait above water and disappeared. It resurfaced near Sri Lanka and then in the Persian Gulf, say people familiar with its movements, before returning through the strait in February—the first known voyage of a Chinese sub to the Indian Ocean.
Iran of course is quite happy to use Chinese purchases get around the arms embargo it's suffering under because of its nuclear weapons program.
That nuclear weapons program seems to have some relationship to what on the surface are two completely unrelated stories
The North Koreans reportedly have developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead light enough to fit on a missile. (The original WSJ piece is here, but behind a paywall). This, of course, is of no use to them without a missile that could deliver it. In no doubt unrelated news, North Korea is building a test rig for a tube launched ballistic missile. This is odd as North Korea has no ballistic missile submarines...aside from the Golf class SSB they bought a few years ago...but using those 40 year old hulls is so far fetched as to be laughable. The tube test could be for a land based missile or some other project, though the Global Security report does mention sightings of a submarine firred out with a launch tube. Meanwhile Iran is also testing a similar type of launch tube, allegedly with help from North Korea. This aparrent technical exchange brings us to the buried lede in the story about the North Koreans small warhead.
Such nuclear warheads would be small enough to fit on a ballistic missile and would be a major improvement to Pyongyang’s weapons technology. Gen. Scaparrotti said he believed North Korea also had developed a launcher that could carry an ICBM with a miniaturized warhead…
Gen. Scaparrotti said North Korea may have gained know-how on warhead-miniaturization technology through its relationships with Iran and Pakistan
Pakistan makes sense, but if Iran does not have a nuke yet, how are they offering advanced technical assistance on nukes?
Which brings us to the Jeffry Goldberg piece in The Atlantic the other day which is notorious for quoting two senior administration officials as referring to Israel's Prime Minister as "Chick*****t". However, there is a much more troubling bit in the tirade by our administration against an ally.
I ran this notion by another senior official who deals with the Israel file regularly. This official agreed that Netanyahu is a "chickenshit” on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a "coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat. The official said the Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to keep the regime in Tehran from building an atomic arsenal. "It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”
So we have an administration official bragging about how they successfully pressured the Israelis not to take out Iran's nuclear program...then ridiculing him for being such a shmuck as to give into their pressure...and gleefully reporting that there is nothing the Israelis can do about Iran's nukes...because "it's too late".
Snowflakes Can Help Spread Ebola!?
Actually, they have to be precious, special ones.
The nurse who was quarantined after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa has given the State of Maine until Thursday to let her move freely, setting up what could be a test case of whether state quarantines are legal.
This is quite troubling. Ebola is not an unmanageable problem as Senegal and Nigeria have shown, but it is not to be trifled with.
It is said that doctors make the worst patients. Miss Hickox and her colleague in New York, (who lied to authorities about breaking quarantine ) are doing nothing to contradict that notion.
The reason we have coercive, non-voluntary quarantines is that we have learned through 4,000 years of recorded human history that people will not voluntarily self-quarantine, and will in fact act irrationally as willing agents of plague.
It bears repeating that Ebola spread to Nigeria, and very nearly Minnesota because an American named Patrick Sawyer decided that quarantine ought not to apply to his own special self. One of the problems America faces is a class of people who believe that they are above the laws they set for others. In the case of these doctors such aristocratic self indulgence could make a manageable problem a catastrophe. This would not be the first time political pressure screwed up a public health response, but it is far less excusable since this disease is far easier to screen for.
The thing I like MOST about the United States is that the hypocrisy and sense of entitlement that some of its doctors have are almost indistinguishable from negligence and stupidity!
In other news: It appears that Ebola Tan's pet skull is named Wilhelm. How this information might be of use is unclear to me at this time.
Layers of Fact Checkers...That Work
I haven't played online RPGs to any great extent and am unaware of the nuances of the cultural tics of those that do. Likewise, I've pretty much given up on dating because I simply do not understand the female of the species.
A couple of our readers have helpfully taken the time to intelligently fill in some of the vast amounts of context related to those matters that I missed in a recent review.
"Midlife crisis my arse"
See? The comments here are not just for practicing katakana and reading about knockoff footwear!
This Week, On a Very Special Episode of Log Horizon: Nothing Happened
Well almost nothing.
Akatsuki, the awesome, badass kunoichi spent the most of the episode being mopey and neurotic. This 27 year old woman who in her previous life was in graduate school, and in this world has established herself as one of the guild's most trusted and effective members is convinced that ...
A: She's been assigned royal escort duty because she's....weak.
B: She's being out competed in romance by a 13 year old.
Both of these fail the logic test. Regards A: It is blindingly obvious that Shiro gave her the (extremely vital) guard duty because he has confidence in her and trusts her utterly. If B were in fact correct then Shiro would, by definition, not be worth any of her time beyond that necessary to vivisect him for the good of humanity and therefore B should not be a problem one way or the other. Yet this generally awesome character spends the episode having some sort of midlife crisis, while the women around her eat cake and carry on conversations that for the most part fail the Bechdel test.
This near fiasco of an episode has actually given me a possible insight into the show. I shall call it the 'Cake Rule'.
Of course, like the last cake episode, inserted between the banality and the failure was what may well be a rather important development.
One of the lieutenants from the Harem Comedy Guild West Wind Brigade encounters someone who is able to initiate combat in the town (which has heretofore not been possible). She is defeated...but not in the usual way... That is, in fact, BLOOD on that sword.That stuff leaking out of our heroine isn't hit points...it's hemoglobin. This is the first time we've seen anyone bleed...she bleeds quite a bit and it doesn't appear that she is being reincarnated at the church. It looks like life here just got very real. ..and for her, I fear, tragically short.
Now, in fairness, not everything in the episode was disappointing or grim. One bit was not at all unpleasant, though it must be said that from a character perspective it also made little sense. However, I'm willing to cut them a bit of slack for it.
One other possible source of her insecurity: She has mentioned several times that she has never completed a "raid" in the game. That means that she does not have access to the most powerful weapons and armor, and also lacks other items such as the flying griffin mounts that her friends have.
In many MMOs, raid-level equipment can allow a player to dominate a higher-skilled player who lacks the raid-level gear. With no raid-level gear of her own, she will always be "second rate" in the world.
Posted by: Siergen at Mon Oct 27 11:50:41 2014 (r3+4f)
Yeah, she's having a professional crisis, more than a personal one. (We're not used to thinking of "am I any good at this game" as a professional crisis, but that's what it is.)
Akatsuki is a classic RP player. She's more interested in her characterization than her character stats. Because of her particular role, she doesn't join up with others easily. A bit of plot contrivance and a sense of obligation that dovetailed perfectly with her RPing got her a spot in the Shiroe-party, and she's established a comfort zone there, and she's REALLY not comfortable outside of it.
To be blunt, aside from a bit of PVP, Shiroe did not get up to any great shakes in combat in the first season. They cleared a relatively low-level dungeon without a healer, they killed some mook goblins low-level enough that the Newbie Party could fight 'em, and... that's it, more or less.
Akatsuki has gotten the impression that raiding is the epitome of character advancement, and in a few ways that's true. She does not have the best equipment. She's got a serviceable set of weapons. But in another sense, she's completely wrong; the best players are NOT raid players. Anyone who's ever run a raid will tell you, you're going to have some really good and dedicated players along, and you're going to have some Demi-demi types who have the skills but not the brains, and... you've got a few slots filled with people who are just skilled enough to Not Stand In The Fire, if you're lucky. (Oh, sure, there's a handful of guilds who can field a good-sized raid full of "pro" players. But most everyone else makes do with what they can get!)
The biggest raid skill is to follow instructions properly and not get yourself killed. Don't Stand In The Fire. It's not topping the DPS chart (in fact, that's kind of a newbie mistake - it's more important to stay within the limits of aggro and, if you're lucky, sustain. The better your gear is, the easier the latter can be.)
It's in a small party that you have to know your stuff, because there's just fewer people to carry you. If there's twenty-five people and one of them Stands In The Fire, oh well, you can probably soldier on (especially if they're one of your newbies, contributing less than the average for their role anyway.) If there's only five and you lose one, it takes a GOOD set of four to keep things up.
The thing is, is Akatsuki worried about being good as a player? Not really - she's worried about not being good at her -character-, which is another thing entirely. And I'd be shocked if this arc doesn't hammer home the difference in a way that gets her over her funk. She's someone who spends a lot of time being a shinobi... which, recall, is not actually her character class, just her conception on how to play her mix of job and subjob. She's definitely using her skills in non-combat situations more than the rest of the cast combined. And if the script calls for someone who can hunt down and slay a crazed swordsman in the shadows of a snowy town, well... that should make for a good dose of self-actualization.
1. Given the importance of Shiroe and his guild to Akiba, given Akatsuki's personal and professional importance to Shiroe, and given Shiroe's notoriously encyclopedic knowledge of game mechanics, one must ask why the heck Shiroe wasn't making sure that Akatsuki got some raid experience/goodies (maybe partied up with some of their Crescent Moon or other guild friends). I mean, yeah, they're busy and it's only been a few months, but sheesh. Also, yes, money is tight, but they could have lent/paid Akatsuki money for a new sword. Sheesh. It's a lord's duty to equip his bodyguard, right?
2. Shiroe is apparently not talking to Akatsuki much while away, and actually he seems to have spent a lot less time talking to her ever since he finally realized she was interested in him. This coincided closely with his taking Minori as an apprentice and spending a lot more time talking with her. So yeah, rationally you could say, "Shiroe is just being a little shy with Akatsuki while he works out his own feelings, and he's busy with Minori but may not even notice that Minori has a crush on him, and certainly doesn't take it seriously if he does." But lack of talking and contact would make Akatsuki bound to be a prey to paranoia, romantic depression, and overthinking, unless she were an extremely secure and cheerful person. Which she's not.
3. Actually, in Japan it's historically been pretty rational to worry about a nearly-middle-aged man deciding to romance a teenager (and of course many fannish Japanese guys at least say they want a schoolgirl). That used to be one of the main marriage patterns, for those who could afford it. Akatsuki has probably read ALL of the first Japanese novel, The Tale of Genji (where Prince Genji's true love is a girl he raised from childhood and marries at puberty, IIRC) , and she knows that there are way too many men and women drooling over her own schoolgirl-age appearance in the game. So while she is probably sure that Shiroe isn't after an underage girl, she can't be absolutely sure; and Minori's mind is as good as anybody's. (And rationally, there are a lot of underage girls who have been known to try seduction in moments of puberty madness, which is the other reason why chaperones are a thing.)
4. Akatsuki is a loner, and therefore probably has either little romantic experience or too much of the bad kind. Akatsuki is also a woman, and frankly, most of us are experts at being insecure and territorial. You can grow out of one and get more graceful at the other, but Akatsuki doesn't have any female friends or relatives in this world who are close enough to her to be able to talk her down at the moment. (I hope Lenessia takes on this role.)
5. If Akatsuki is almost out of college, she's almost on the verge of becoming "day-old Christmas cake," too old to marry according to society. The way Japanese marriage patterns go, she has a few more years yet, but it's more like three or five, rather than ten. Of course, any friend would tell her that her ageless looks will make age not so important, but it is a rational consideration. Depending on her family, she may have to deal with arranged dates/marriage mixers if she doesn't find a husband herself, and a sensitive soul like Akatsuki would probably die of the embarrassment.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Oct 29 10:53:01 2014 (ZJVQ5)
In Shiroe's defense, he's clearly working on the gear thing, just as a surprise (and a top-quality, raid-class katana with unique flavor text is obviously the perfect gift for her right now!) Just bad timing that he has to be out of town, etc.
Also, it looks like Shiroe and Naotsugu are in kind of a "been there and done that" situation for raiding, if Naotsugu slots into the main tank role when he's a visiting member for the raid. (In a lot of ways, that's an enormous professional compliment. Main tank is the one job you absolutely cannot finesse or carry - that guy has to have the best possible gear and absolutely has to have the skills too. You don't let someone you don't know main tank unless they're completely, obviously the better option; for a raid guild to let Naotsugu take that role means he is either geared within an inch of the best possible gear, or that he has a near-legendary reputation. Or we found a plot hole...)
And Shiroe's running strategy, not just as "okay, here's what we need to do to bust this boss", but as if he's run progression content before. It's one thing to say "okay, we have installed Deadly Boss Mods and it will show us where the fire will be so we can avoid standing in it" and another thing to say "okay, we need to learn where the fire will be so we can avoid standing in it, and also to get that info to the guys who make Deadly Boss Mods." MOST raiding guilds aren't the kind to soak up the casualties to learn that stuff.
All this might indicate a hole in Shiroe's thinking, though. If he's an ex-raider, he probably has very different opinions on raiding compared to Akatsuki, who's a non-raider. And, well... it's not beyond expectation that the topic just never came up, given that they're both quiet and somewhat unsociable. But if Shiroe thinks "she's already very awesome at what she does," it might not have even occurred to him that she has anything to be insecure about, much less that she actually might be insecure about it.
They can vastly improve a show, particularly a superhero show.
Season two of RWBY has taken that lesson to heart and run with it. The villains are genuinely frightening, with style, amazing choreography and snappy one liners...
"Pick any three."
Yeah...This show is not high art, but it is definitely a keeper.
First season was amusing, but occasionally painful to watch. However, the people making this have really honed their craft.
RWBY has been pretty good all season, but now, just over two thirds of the way into this season this show has really hit its stride.
My only complaint is that NEXT WEEK IS A WHOLE WEEK AWAY!
"We can wait!"
Which, when one thinks about it, is not a damning complaint at all.
For those who want an overview of the currently active plot thread, click here:
Over the last several episodes our heroines in team RWBY have been doing a bit of extracurricular work, investigating a criminal enterprise that Ruby stumbled onto way, way back in the series premier. Blake had discovered that this outfit is tied to the terrorist group she was associated with during her misspent youth, (when she was trying to kill Weiss's entire family). Weiss discovered (via Blake over-sharing in a moment of pique) that.... well, see point 2. Yang? Yang likes to punch things and is nigh invincible, so she is very happy to tag along. The girls discover that the villains are doing a recruiting drive for White Fang, a racial supremacist organization for "faunus" (the people like Blake who have animal features) and said terrorist outfit has pilfered a bunch of top of the line GIANT WARBOTS, one of which gives our heroines considerable trouble despite the fact that they wore much more rational and stylish outfits to that particular fight. They learn that the villains have a base in the abandoned town of Mountain Glen, but are unable to act on this since they aren't supposed to be doing the vigilante thing in the first place. Fast forwarding past the subplots about team JNPR involving dancing, awesome sparring matches, cross-dressing and true love, (as well as the one about Yang looking for her mom) finally brings team RWBY to Mountain Glen accompanied by DOCTOR Ooblek ostensibly on a class trip...though they are pretty sure that Ooblek knows that they know more than they are letting on.There they encounter, not crooks, but monsters that tend to sneak up behind them, and over the course of two days they find no indication of the base they were looking for until Ruby has the ground collapse underneath her and falls weaponless into the clutches of Roman Torchwick. Our heroes subsequently rescue her with the help of DOCTOR Oobleck's awesome thermos and pursue the neer-do-wells onto a (very wide gauge) train. The villains respond by blowing up the train cars as our heroes move forward, which DOCTOR Oobleck realizes is not actually about them, but a plan to draw in the manny GRIMM monsters in and above the caves in order to have them pursue the train which will lead them into the city of Vale. Our heroes are somewhat outmatched by the villains and after a series of awesome fights are unable to stop the train, which crashes through a blast door sealing off the abandoned rail line and well....mayhem ensues.
I do have a few questions for those who watch the show.
What is with the flaming corgi? Also: What is the villain's long term plan? Generally taking over the world involves having a world to rule...This episode seems to indicate there has been an oversight in the villains planning committee. Am I missing something?
Also, just who is that bad-ass looking
woman who saved Yang? After sputtering "Who the hell is that?" several times, my gut instinct says Yang & Ruby's missing mom, but I'm fighting a bug this week (not Ebola), and might not be thinking clearly...
I agree that it is better than last season, and eagerly await the next episode!
Posted by: Siergen at Fri Oct 24 18:50:49 2014 (r3+4f)
That person almost certainly is or is associated with Yang's mom. ( ISTR that Ruby's mom is pretty much confirmed dead. ) I note too that the individual in question is wearing an outfit and weaponry very reminiscent of Adam (Blake's mentor from the BLACK trailer. ) Neopolitan seemed to know who she was and appeared just as confused by her actions as she was unenthusiastic about sparring with the individual.
I didn't think last season was all that bad, but it drug in places and the animation was wildly uneven. This season has been consistently decent, though some of the backstory digressions were understandably off-putting to some people. This last couple of episodes have been really good. The fights in this one carried a genuine sense of danger. It was particularly interesting to see that
The villains are smart. Yang was established as pretty much invincible earlier in the series and yet Neo brings comes within a hairs breadth of actually killing her by refusing to play to her strengths. All were outmatched except Blake, who had gotten an unexpected power up from Weiss that the villains had not accounted for. Yang and Weiss, arguably the teams heavy hitters got defeated and were both seconds away from death at one point...now they're all exhausted and must deal with the pandemonium they failed to prevent.
This was at best a draw tactically and much a rout for the good guys strategically .
I also found it interesting that when Ruby tried to call for help, she was calling JNPR. I suspect that Jaune is actually doing a decent job despite his "issues".
Haven't watched the latest yet, but at a wild guess:
Faunus don't normally live in the human cities, they must have settlements (Ghettos) of their own, so killing the human population and destroying their cities won't necessarily hurt them, it might even leave the cities habitable and the Faunus could take them over.
Posted by: Mauser at Sat Oct 25 05:22:01 2014 (TJ7ih)
The Flaming Corgi? I'm really surprised you didn't recognize The Corgi-mite Maneuver.
Posted by: Mauser at Mon Oct 27 05:07:15 2014 (TJ7ih)
We Have Morons on Our Team
It seems that Craig Spencer, a doctor with Medicines Sans Frontiers, recently returned from the ebola hot zone in Africa. 10 days or so into his 21 day quarantine period he began feeling ill. This sad news, is, of course, not unexpected. It is why we have the quarantine for those who are exposed to this vile bug. Unfortunately, it gets worse. You see, he began feeling ill, when, as part of his..umm...quarantine...he had taken the subway to that bastion of solitude that is...a bowling alley.
Yup. That's what you like to see. Potentially infected people should really try to mix with as many random strangers as possible. They should try to wear as many rented shoes as possible, and stick their fingers into bowling balls that other people will be handling.
Also stand in line for food.
I understand, that he took an Uber home.
This was a fricking DOCTOR! He had just spent a tour witnessing up close what this dreadful pestilence can do, and he broke quarantine?! To go BOWLING!?
People gave grief to the late Thomas Duncan who was, at one point, told that he was clear and sent home, but this guy was a doctor with direct experience with this disease...he knew better. Presumably, he just decided that it wasn't going to happen to him.
Hubris kills, and it does not confine its wrath to the arrogant.
At this point, all medical personnel should immediately move, if exposed, to _enforced_ _mandatory_ quarantine, because the odds are, based on current experience, they'll decide "what the heck, let's go out in public!"
That's, what, 2 out of 3 exposed nurses and doctors deciding to spread the love?
Posted by: RickC at Fri Oct 24 18:39:11 2014 (0a7VZ)
He based this in large part on studies of artifacts and cultural aspects found on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Opinion of the day was that the Amerindians were incapable of such voyages and that Heyerdahl was a nut. The famous Kon Tiki expedition was intended to test the feasibility of Hyerdahl's theory and address his critics objections to it.
April 28, 1947 Kon Tiki sets sail from Callao, Peru
Kon Tiki was a replica of an ancient Peruvian balsa raft and constructed with no metal aside from a radio in the hut. It sailed from Peru all the way to Ramoia in 101 Though the voyage was successful, (and a huge, international sensation) Dr. Hyerdahl himself was quite clear that the voyage did not prove his theory but did indicate that it was possible.
Thor Heyerdahl's theory was widely criticized and fell out of favor, in part because it was misunderstood. He did not posit that Polynesia had been populated from South America, only that there had been some cultural exchange between the two.
Well, it appears that Heyerdahl, was, at the very least, on the right track.
Genetic data on 27 Easter Island natives indicated that interbreeding between the Rapa Nui and native people in South America occurred roughly between 1300 and 1500.
"We found evidence of gene flow between this population and Native American populations, suggesting an ancient ocean migration route between Polynesia and the Americas," said geneticist Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas of the Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, who led the study. ['quote]
What's more, at least one Native American tribe was originally completely Polynesian.
A second study, also published in Thursday's issue of Current Biology, illustrates another case of Polynesians venturing into South America. Two ancient human skulls from Brazil's indigenous Botocudo people, known for the large wooden disks they wore in their lips and ears, belonged to people who were genetically Polynesian, with no detectable Native American ancestry.
If this data pans out, then it sure looks like Thor Heyerdahl nailed it!
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.
First one was tanked by the Big Island - basically the entire bottom of the hurricane hit the island and sheared off, so we got bupkus for rain or wind. Second one is now incoming but might meet the same fate...
And full marks for the world's best NPC. You're a scholar and a gentleman, Mr. Brick.