Miscellany

Some odds and ends while I download Moyashimon:

Does anyone make shows about folks who can focus on saving humanity, or are we doomed to a diet of crappy sci-fi soap operas? If WWII had been like this, Roosevelt would have looked like Professor X and have been crippled years ago by his quasi-enemy, Super Seiyjin Stalin; Hitler would have been the lunatic madman out to conquer/end/dominate/destroy the world, Mussolini would have been the jilted bishie lover of both Roosevelt and Stalin, Churchill would have been an angsty teenager, and Hirohito would have been a cute female high-schooler in a sailor outfit trying to end world militarism in time for this semester’s finals.

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“Isn’t chocolate pudding… bad … for the violins?”

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I’m not a fan of Star Wars, but this was uncalled for. (Caution: causes severe ear pain. Blame the LLamas for this one.)

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Here’s an alternate history story: if MGM had said “yes” to Bob Clampett in 1936, would the Japanese now be fansubbing American animation? (Via Aliens in This World.)

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I may be wrong, but as I understand it, the “sei” in “seifuku” is short for “sailor.” I.e., its distinguishing characteristic is the sailor collar. Consequently, I think only one of the outfits in this poll qualifies as a proper seifuku. (Update: I was wrong — see Andrew F.’s comment. Never mind.)

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I’ve added Yumedamaya Kidan to my to-investigate list.

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The next self-help bestseller: Aerophobics: The Easy Six* Step program to end your exercise addiction. It could be helpful in maintaing a proper otaku lifestyle.

*”’cause let’s face it, twelve steps is WAAAAAAY too many.” —SR

Tuesday morning miscellany

dmt02.jpg

Cute and silly?

One of the pleasures of Dai Mahou Touge is watching Punie and Paya-tan, her mascot, instantly transform from cutesy and playful to utterly ruthless, and back again. Paya changes seiyuus when he makes the transition. I thought Dark Paya sounded familiar, and I was right; he is voiced by Jouji Nakata, who is Giroro in Keroro Gunsou.

I’m surprised at how little attention DMT has received, despite its being one of the better examples of animated black humor. Once again, if Steven hadn’t spotted it, I’d have missed it. Why has this been ignored, while Dokuro-chan, which you couldn’t pay me to watch, has been endlessly discussed and now has a sequel?

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Not anime, but geeky: U.N. Secretary General or Star Wars character?

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Also not anime but still geeky: A new idea for a first-person shooter.

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And finally, a word from Shunpei:

oedomath2.jpg

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Bonus link: Put down the duckie. (Via the LLamas.)

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Update: Congratulations to Avatar.

Character Death Bingo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the condensed version:

CHAPTER TWO: DURSLEYS’ HOUSE

HARRY does some room-cleanin’, some bleedin’, and some reminiscin’. He picks up the newspaper and gets a nasty shock.
RITA SKEETER: (in the interview) I’ve just completed a 900-page book on Dumbledore!
READERS: 900 pages? Jeez. She must have the same editors as Rowling.

By the same author: The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Update: another condensed version.

Toward more picturesque speech

From Thog’s Masterclass:

`Big boogers of uncertainty were beginning to form.’ (Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End, 2006)

Also from Ansible:

Martin Morse Wooster was deeply thrilled by junk mail from `a company called Hawthorne Village, which has the Official Lord of the Rings Express Diesel Locomotive. This heirloom quality train — richly adorned with scenes and characters from the movie trilogy including Elven text and a working headlight on the diesel locomotive — will have you reliving this epic saga every time the train journeys around the tracks. You know, when I mentally visit the rugged, primeval landscape of Middle Earth, I think to myself, “You know, these trees and rocks are OK. But WHERE are the toy trains?”‘

Not-so-new math

• If you believe in your heart or in your conscience that 2+2=5, does anyone else have the right to tell you that you’re wrong? Explain why we should avoid judging other people’s mathematical operations.
• Fractions are divisive. Can you think of better ways to express a quotient, without using divisive fractions? Is division something we should strive to do with numbers anyway?
• Explain why the labeling of numbers as either “positive” or “negative” is discriminatory, hurtful, and a manifestation of the bigotry of value-ism. How would you feel if you were labeled a “negative” number? What can you do to help end this kind of discrimination?

“… a frustratingly unrealistic effort at creating balance and strategy”

The latest offering in the rapidly overflowing strategy genre is hard evidence that strategy games need a real overhaul, and fast. Chess, a small-scale tactical turn-based strategy game, attempts to adopt the age-old “easy to learn, difficult to master” parameter made popular by Tetris. But the game’s cumbersome play mechanics and superficial depth and detail all add up to a game that won’t keep you busy for long….