Stopping by for a moment

I’m alive again after an unpleasant two weeks. I’ve got a lot of cleaning and catching up to do, so I’ll continue to be scarce here.


A few things that caught my eye or ear recently:

Progress versus progress

I have a little list of words and phrases that tell me everything I need to know about the people who use them. So does J Greely.

Science, Roger Bacon and Robert Grosseteste.

Are the New York Disco Villains the Bonzo Dog Band reborn? (Via the Professor.)

Mozart and Chagall.

The Magic Flute – Chagall Animation from 59 Productions on Vimeo.

Mozart and Tonari no Seki-kun. (Via Wonderduck.)

There’s a live-action version of Tonari no Seki-kun. You don’t need to know Japanese to follow the story.

Bonus link: Vulcanologist Erik Klemetti counts down his list of the ten most dangerous volcanoes. If you’re thinking of investing in European real estate, forget Naples.

Memorial cheesecake

Wonderduck made a suggestion:

Those of us with blogs, we need to post cheesecake in [Steven Den Beste’s] memory. I think he’d like that.

Steven did indeed like pictures of pretty girls. However, I don’t share his taste for cheesecake. Instead, I grabbed several thousand of the pictures from the header at Chizumatic and assembled them into a slide show with music from Girls und Panzer. The pictures flash by at a rate of five per second; epileptics beware.

Not Tweety Pie

There are still a few glitches, but it looks like I finally have my website back after a botched migration. (Thank you so much, InMotion Hosting, for a most memorable weekend.) To celebrate, here’s Sylvain Chomet to show why I am not a twit, featuring a cameo by President Selfie.

Update: It seems InMotion forgot to repoint both nameservers. Within 24 hours — in principle — everything should be working properly. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Update II: See also Terry Teachout.

Rock and reel

When does a fiddle contest require a referee?

(Translation of the text at YouTube via a friend: “Annual competition in Pembroke which has about 25 fiddlers playing reels in turn without stopping and without playing a reel that has been played before. Towards the end, the fiddler must play only the “A” of a reel (which only lasts 10 seconds). This video shows the final minutes of the contest Sep 5, 2010, while there were only three participants. April Verch, Shane Cook and Danny Perreault. The contest lasted about two hours. Judge: René Dacier. Winner 2010: April Verch. In the end, Danny Perreault played one of his compositions (Breakdown at Rosary) and Germain Leduc accompanies on the piano in a funny way …”)

Continue reading “Rock and reel”


The Lavender Hill Mob by crazedigitalmovies

I stumbled across a few old favorite movies. Above is The Lavender Hill Mob, an Ealing Studio classic featuring Alec Guinness and his classic smile.

Interstella 5555 by pyke369

Probably the greatest AMV ever made. I’m not particularly fond of either Daft Punk or Leiji Matsumoto, but the combination works very well.

Yellow Submarine (1968) George Dunning with… by myfilm-gr

You have a choice of Yellow Submarines. Above is from a lower-quality source; below looks better, but the aspect ratio is wrong.

Yellow Submarine 1968 full movie by ursula-strauss

From the chariot boudoir

If you can’t find the video you want on YouTube, look elsewhere. (This is the complete recording of the song, not just the excerpt included in the eighth episode of Girls und Panzer (and censored on Crunchyroll). The missing section of the anime begins around 1:50.) ((Though the censored section is back on Youtube for now.))

So we’ve had girls with guns, girls as guns (or is that guns as girls?), girls with mecha, girls as combat aircraft, and now with girls with tanks. ((It’s actually not that new. See Those Who Hunt Elves — on second thought, don’t. It’s lousy; not even Kotono Mitsuishi could redeem it.)) It’s probably all just pandering to otaku, but perhaps there is something more sinister going on. If anime reflects reality, Japanese young men generally are either hapless dweebs or sparkly bishies and crossdressers. If you want to form an army, they’d be useless. You’d be better off drafting young women, who in Japan have talent for using the tools of war, and often magic, too. Girls und Panzer may be just the latest in a series of entertainments designed to accustom the Japanese to the idea of women as warriors.

At least one Chinese writer sees “evil intent militarism” in Girls und Panzer, though it’s difficult to follow the argument as interpreted by Giggle Translate. ((Giggle Translate insisted that the original language of the linked page was Irish.))

Insomnia and czárdás

Early this morning, after I had given up on getting any more sleep, I discovered that there are a number of full-length ballets on YouTube. Coppélia is a favorite of mine. The melodious score is worth listening to even if you are not interested in dance, and the story almost makes sense. There’s even a mad scientist (or magician). The video above is a Bolshoi Ballet performance.

Others I found include La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and more, often in multiple versions and occasionally in HD. There’s also opera.


And now for something completely different: Japanese Vikings, singing songs of [censored].

Update: And the video is gone. This is what you missed.