Sunday morning miscellany

Suppose the translators responsible for The New American Bible took on Shakespeare:

Existence or its opposite? That’s what I am asking myself.
Whether it be more or less dignified to put up with
The barbs and darts of brash Luck, or to use weapons
Against distress’s oceans, to stop them from happening.

More Shakespeare, sorta: What is the connection between Interstella 5555 and the House of Percy?

There supposedly is a genre of iyashikei, or “healing,” anime, such as Aria or Ikoku Meiro no Croisee. I find most such productions irritatingly bland, rather than soothing or refreshing. ((The only example of the genre I find rewatchable is Someday’s Dreamers, which has a serious story underlying all the niceness.)) If you seek therapeutic anime, the works of Tatsuo Sato are much more effective:

A rewatch of Nadesico helped me get through the first few days of living with a broken arm, and Shingu was good for a flu and high fever.

Update: I just watched the second episode of Mouretsu Pirates. It looks like it’s going to be at least as good as Nadesico. Whether it approaches the level of Shingu remains to be seen.

“You don’t have to rely on a healthy body image or self-respect any more”:

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Hmm. I have Adobé, but I’m as ugly as ever.

You’d think it’s obvious that creativity requires solitude, but evidentally the fact periodically needs to be restated.

Nyamulagira continues to challenge Etna for the title of The Greatest Show on Earth:

Cooking with gas is passé. Let’s cook with lava. ((Hey, Erik.)) Here’s a recipe for pahoehoe game hen. Prefer a steak?

I don’t know if you can “cook a tasty chicken on lava”, but I know you can cook a steak of meat on an Hawaiian lava flow! I did it! You just lay a sheet of aluminium on the lava; you spread some some oil on the steak, possibly with some herbs. Then, you put the steak on the aluminium sheet and let it broil a few tens of seconds on each side. I can assure you it is delicious, all the more with a glass of Californian wine! I’m French; I know what good cooking means!!

See this for the Icelandic version.

Jeepers creepers

Two weeks’ accumulation of curiosities and silliness.

I recently discovered that Tex Avery’s documentation of the big, bad wolf’s remarkable courtship behavior is available at the Internet Archive.

[flowplayer src=’—texAvery-RedHotRidingHood1943.mp4′ width=640 height=480]

More of Avery’s research can be found here.

Continue reading “Jeepers creepers”

Miscellaneous notes

I discovered this downtown this past weekend. I’m not sure what it is, but because it is big, prominent and ugly, it’s probably art.

Some perhaps not-unrelated art news.


Chinese science education might not be quite as rigorous as thought.


… Studio 4C has taught me that, if it’s pretty enough, I won’t mind if it’s nonsense


Election notes:

I like his attitude.

End post-mortem discrimination.


For guitar aficionados, a proposition from a thread on Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton:

Roy’s playing: like a funeral. Danny’s playing: like a carnival.

If Buchanan’s playing is funereal, it’s one hell of a service.

Bonus video: a twelve-year-old Joe Bonamassa plays Gatton’s telecaster.


The idea of a maid café is a bit creepy, but this one might be worth visiting for its name.

(Via dotclue.)


A couple of notes for volcano watchers:

There’s a natural jacuzzi near El Hierro in the Canary Islands.

Nyamuragira in the Congo is putting on a nice display of lava fountains.


More hot stuff

Robert Stacy McCain is angling for the ambassadorship to Vanuatu. Charles G. Hill mentions a few facts about the islands, but omits why I hope someday to visit them: there are numerous active volcanoes, including Yasur and Ambrym. The former has exhibited constant strombolian and vulcanian activity for hundreds of years, and is considered to be perhaps the most approachable of erupting volcanoes. The latter is one of the very few places on earth where you can find active lava lakes. ((The others are Kilauea in Hawaii, Villarica in Chile, Erta Ale in Ethiopia, Nyiragongo in the Congo and Erebus in Antarctica. To my knowledge, there are no lava lakes in Indonesia, Japan or Kamchatka, despite the intense vulcanism of those regions, or in North America.)) There are many videos on YouTube of the violently churning lake in Marum crater in the Ambrym caldera; they put me in mind of Mt. Doom immediately after Gollum returned the ring to its source.

Menaces, pink and otherwise

Update: If an image of a pink pony playing a trombone might “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to you, do not click here:



I note with alarm that a corner of the otakusphere has been invaded by aliens more frightening than zombies or sparkly vampires. These creatures look superficially equine, but their fur and manes typically are colors that do not naturally occur on mammals. Their behaviors sometimes suggest intelligible sentience, but just as often reflect either hypertrophied reflexes or psychoses. Thus far these creatures have been primarily an occidental phenomenon, but they recently have been observed in Japan. Here is some video footage of these entities. (Caution: sit at least 0.6096 meter from the computer monitor while watching this documentary. If you find yourself repeatedly viewing any of the videos posted or linked here, seek professional help immediately.)

I would recommend summoning superheroes to deal with this menace, but I fear that they have already been compromised. I suspect that our only hope is a new corps of mahou shoujo.

Post script: What exactly is Pinkie Pie?


Kansas weather is sometimes a little too interesting for my taste. (The heat didn’t make it into the house, but the wind did wake me.)


Animation of a different sort: time-lapse photography of the beginning of the recent Grimsvötn eruption in Iceland:

(These are large files and might take a while to load.)

Although this might have been a larger eruption than Eyjafjallajokull’s last year, because of the prevailing winds and the composition of the ash, it was far less disruptive. Grimsvötn, incidentally, has a long and busy history, including the Lakagigar eruption of 1783, which was perhaps more consequential than Krakatau’s a century later.


A “zombie brand” is “a dead or dormant brand that have been revived or trotted out for second or third chances.” Anime has its share. I recently watched a soporific new Ah! My Goddess OVA, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last Tenchi Muyo spinoff. What are other zombie anime?


Yet another volcano in Kyushu is acting up. The Nakadake crater in the Aso caldera has been producing small plumes of ash and steam, and incandescence is visible on some webcams at night. Aso is the third volcano on the island to erupt this year. Shinmoedake/Kirishima put on quite a show back in January, and Sakura-jima has been puffing away since 1955. There are webcams here and here. Aso is currently tenth from the bottom in the box at right at the latter link. (Starting at the bottom and counting up by twos will give you a tour of some of the more active volcanoes in the south of Japan: Suwanose-jima, Satsuma-iwo-jima, Sakura-jima, Kirishima, Aso.)

Today, by the way, is the 31st anniversary of the VEI 5 blast at the American Fujiyama.


Here’s a different, practical approach to cosplay: superhero styles as everyday street wear. (Via Project Rooftop.)


Hobbes and Bacon.

(Via Pixy.)


Time travel is not merely impossible. In China, it’s illegal.


Romance novel covers, improved.

Sicilian fireworks

Viewing hasn’t been good for Sakurajima and its neighbors lately, and with a tropical storm passing by, it isn’t likely to improve in the immediate future. However, visibility is considerably better in Sicily, where Mt. Etna is currently displaying “modest” but pretty Strombolian activity. There’s a good chance we might see some nice lava fountains tonight as the eruption intensifies. You can watch the show here.

Update: a couple more cameras with good views: here (camera #6) and here.

Update II: The show’s over for now. Here’s a video of the eruption.

Update III: Another video:

Sicilian fireworks

Etna is doing its thing again. Watch the show here.

We might see some nice lava fountains tonight. According to vulcanologist Boris Behncke about 40 minutes ago, “It’s still quite modest Strombolian activity as of now, and might still take a few hours to reach its culmination – however, the increase in volcanic tremor amplitude is accelerating.”

Update: The show’s over for now. Here’s a video of the eruption.

Update II: Here’s another video:

Hot times in the islands

Suwanose-jima in the Ryukyu islands south of Kyushu is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. There’s a webcam on the island (the last listing in the box to the right), but usually it’s impossible to make out anything beyond a small orange glow just below the center of the image. This morning, however, visibility is was briefly good.

Incidentally, Sakura-jima, jealous of all the attention that Shinmoe-dake/Kirishima has received, has ramped up its activity. There’s a good chance you won’t have to wait long to see a substantial vulcanian eruption on a webcam during daylight hours, and if you’re lucky, you might catch some incandescence at night. ((For a better nightime view, try the fourth listing from the bottom of the right-hand box here.))

Update (2/28/11): After a week of good viewing, the camera image is back to the usual murk. I’d like to send someone there with a bottle of Windex.

Update II: And now the camera is gone.