There’s one episode left in ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department, which will determine whether the show is an analysis of federalism or the tale of a bureaucrat who would be king. It deserves more comment than I have time and patience for right now. For further information, see M.O.’s brief discussion of the show at its midpoint here (beware of spoilers). Here are few screencaps for the post I’m not writing.
ACCA is the only series of the winter season I managed to watch more than a couple of episodes of (other than the short Nobunaga no Shinobi). Nothing announced for the spring or summer seasons has caught my attention. However, in October there will be a new series based on Keiichi Sigsawa’s Kino no Tabi books. The original series is a minor classic and is on the short list of anime to recommend to people who think they don’t like anime. Now, would someone please license the books for North America, this time for real?
I missed the Okame cherry due to illness and gale-force winds. However, the Yoshino cherry is just starting to bloom and should be brightly white next Saturday.
Also blooming at the botanical garden yesterday: magnolias
Click to embiggen; right-click and open in a new window to see at maximum size.
I recently found a recording of the music from Girls und Panzer by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The OST to the anime in its various forms was probably generated in a digital audio workstation with sample libraries. It’s quite listenable, but virtual orchestras can’t compare to well-recorded real instruments played by real, living musicians. The bass drum alone makes the upgrade worthwhile, particularly if you have powerful speakers or good headphones.1 The only disappointment with the TSO CDs is that they’re missing “Yuki no Shingun.” 2
Incidentally, I ordered the CDs from Amazon.co.jp on a Sunday, and they arrived the following Tuesday. If you want the quickest delivery from Amazon, forget Amazon Prime. Order overseas.
I see that the Lords of WordPress have decided that I don’t need to see previews of my posts any more, unless I use their “visual” editor, which I dislike. I also don’t see a way to schedule posts for future publication, despite the claims in the “Help” tab in the editor. I’ve been using WordPress for about ten years now, but if there are many further “improvements,” I may look for another platform.
Update: the editing page is back to normal.
Another chapter argues we’re already living through a “soft singularity” mediated by the Internet and ubiquitous computing and communication devices. Humans with access to these technologies think and work in ways they could have hardly imagined even five years ago. When I’m putting together one of these posts, it’s not unusual that I’ll have as many as thirty browser tabs open in four or more windows for online resources which didn’t exist or were a major project to find when I joined Ricochet in 2010, and were science fiction in 1990. Our tools are changing us already, and maybe faster than many appreciate. We are in some ways, intellectually more than human as defined even ten years ago when we use them. What if the singularity happened and nobody noticed?
I have been writing since 2006 that it is more likely than not that we’re living in a simulation. This is a hypothesis we may be able to test: it’s unlikely any simulation will be perfect, and by precision investigation of physics we may be able to discover round-off errors and shortcuts in the simulation which aren’t apparent at first glance. Indeed, there are a number of nagging little discrepancies in physics and astronomy which are precisely the kinds of things we’d expect to see if living in a simulation implemented with the attention to detail we’ve come to expect from Microsoft. No red pill required, just Redmond slapdash quality!
It’s too windy today to do anything outdoors, so I spent a little time with the indoor garden. Everything here will eventually be planted outside. Once they’re in the ground, I’ll establish the real indoor garden, with cacti, mesembs and stapeliads.
I recently came across mention of the clinesterton beademungen. It reminded me of an old James Blish story, which is available online. Don’t move, count the seconds, and everything will be rodalent. (As I recall, Damon Knight wrote an analysis of the story that was stranger than the story itself.)
I shot a bit over 3,000 frames at a ballet rehearsal this evening. Here’s a preview. It’s going to take a while to go through them all.
I watched the first episode of Kemono Friends, the post-apocalyptic children’s show that allegedly is insanely popular in Japan. I didn’t dislike it as much as Pete did, but I doubt that I’ll watch more, even if it does feature baobabs (above) and tree euphorbias (below).
Although there are innumerable Alices in anime, the most Carrollian show of them all never mentions her. Instead, we have Ami, who finds a door to “Animal Yokocho” in the floor of her new bedroom. Things are done differently in AniYoko. Animal Yokocho is nominally a children’s show, and it’s okay for kids, but adults will better appreciate the absurdities. This celebration of friendship, nonsense and emotional blackmail probably will never be licensed for North America.1 However, I recently discovered that the first third of the show is available subtitled on youTube.
Here’s a helpful article that walks you through registering and making purchases at Amazon Japan. One important detail it omits is that you cannot download music to addresses outside of Japan.
Saturday I placed orders with both Amazon Japan and Amazon USA. Which will arrive first? This is how matters stood at 7:30 this morning:
I expect both will arrive tomorrow.
Update: We have a winner.
Yesterday Charles Hill posted an instance of musical hybridization. According to iTunes, that particular song is the third-most-frequently-played tune in my collection. I’m surprised, too.1
For the heck of it, here’s my top ten, according to iTunes.
Real history is nothing like school history. Oddly, real history is more like a swords-and-sorcery novel: evil priests, hair matted with blood, commit human sacrifices atop pyramids amidst a city built on a lake inside a volcanic crater; frenzied fighting ensues.
Post script: See also Conan the Librarian.
I visited the botanical garden for the first time this year today. Before that, though, I took a close-up of a bit of henbit from the yard.
… but I don’t see it.
Some years back, Amazon.com sent a package from its (now defunct) Coffeyville warehouse to Wichita, a distance of about 140 miles, by way of Austin, Texas. I didn’t understand that, either.
From the Heath Robinson calendar that I got instead of Ogdred Weary this year. (Right-click and open in a new window to see all the details.)