Still life with Marx and Engels

Fred recently discovered Komar and Melamid. I first encountered them half a lifetime ago when they made an appearance at Wichita State. Their schtick then was that they bought and sold souls. They were particularly proud of purchasing Andy Warhol’s. The business wasn’t as lucrative as they had hoped, though, so by then they only accepted souls on consignment.

They came to Fred’s attention through their fusion of musicology and statistics. By polling, they attempted to define the characteristics of the “most wanted” and “least wanted” songs, and then realize the songs. I’m afraid that I’m the in the 28% that dislike the wanted song. The unwanted song, however, is an amazing hodgepodge of accordion, bagpipes, tuba, banjo, operatic soprano and obnoxious kids, and it’s worth 22 minutes of your life. Once will probably be enough.

Oh, yeah, Komar and Melamid are painters, too.


Mr. Darwin is the son of a planetarium lecturer. He reminisces about the artificial skies here.

Dance and more

Let’s take a break from ballet and look at some other kinds of dance. Via Mark Sullivan comes this example of dance as a martial art:

Bonus points if you can identify the pianist.

Via Robert the LLama Butcher, an outstanding canine performer.

And there’s the dancing stormtrooper of Akihabara.


One more reason why I intend to remain the last person in North America without a cell phone.


If three women together mean “mischief,” what would, say, three geeks mean?


An epic win for the Japanese: the Gurren-Lagaan Jack. 

 Via Will.


Let’s get into the Olympic spirit: 

 Via the Rat

Pre-holiday miscellany

Congratulations to the LLamas, who turn five today.

Congratulations also to Angus and Sarah.

Final Fantasy A+ (Via Shamus).

One way to handle a telemarketer (Via Ken the Brickmuppet).

I found a website that makes Flash jigsaw puzzles from pictures on your computer. There’s one made from one of my photos below the fold.

Update: A memory from my days in the SCA that I’d like to forget.
Continue reading “Pre-holiday 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.


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


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


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.)


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.)


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


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


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?


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


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


And finally, a word from Shunpei:



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


Update: Congratulations to Avatar.

Character Death Bingo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the condensed version:


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.