July 15, 2016

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

I've been waiting all this week for the AT-X version of Ange Vierge but it hasn't come along. I'm not sure exactly when it'll happen but I suspect it's going to be late this evening.

In the mean time, someone pushed the "Live in interesting times" button, or more like started pounding on it with a hammer. Monstrous terror attack in France yesterday, and now there's been a military coup in Turkey.

Actually, the coup I've been expecting has been Venezuala but that keeps not happening. (If I was an insurance company I sure wouldn't be willing to offer a life insurance policy to Maduro.)

The whole world is going crazy, and all I want is to see Amane in the bath without fog. Is that too much to ask? (My luck, it'll turn out that the AT-X version isn't decensored.)

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Can the undead breed?

Apparently so! This may be the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse!

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July 14, 2016

Bastille Day

Bastille Day is often described as being France's equivalent of America's Independence Day (i.e. July 4), but it isn't really true.

Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was later delivered to King George by some amazingly brave men. (King George could have ordered them all to be executed for treason, after all.) That began the American Revolutionary War, which is unquestionably one of the most important political events of the last 500 years, one which completely changed the history of the World. So we Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence because our revolution was successful and established our nation, which continues to this day.

Such as not the case for Bastille Day. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a prison in Paris where political prisoners were being kept. This began the French Revolution, which is another major political event, in which the French people deposed the Bourbon monarchy. But it was a fiasco. The French Republic only lasted a few years, and then the French people got so sick of it that they turned everything over to Napoleon, who reigned as Emperor for about 10 years while plunging Europe into the biggest and bloodiest war there before World War I. Once Napoleon had been defeated and imprisoned by foreign countries, the Bourbon's once again took over rule of the nation.

Bastille Day was July 14, 1789. Napoleon took power May 18, 1804 and reigned until April 11, 1814. (Not counting the Hundred Days), which meant that the whole business lasted 25 years yielding nothing except a huge pile of dead bodies.

And since then they have changed governments an appallingly large number of times by their own will. Currently they're on their Fourth Republic (UPDATE: Actually, the Fifth Republic), intermixed with two bouts of monarchy not counting Napoleon.

Anyway, Bastille Day is theirs, and they celebrate it, and today during a fireworks display in Nice a truck driven by a Tunisian deliberately plowed into the crowd. As I write this the death toll is 77 and there are hundreds of injured. The death toll is sure to keep rising. After the truck stopped, the driver popped out and started shooting at such people as were still around, until police showed up and started shooting at him. He's been "neutralized" but whether that means he's dead or captured or seriously wounded we'll find out later.

It's a terrible tragedy. The Guardian says that the biggest concern now is anti-Muslim backlash. Of course. Obama hasn't said anything that stupid yet, but it's only a matter of time.

After the suicide attack last November Hollande invoked a National State of Emergency and there were a lot of raids in Paris and elsewhere to try to root out terrorist cells. Obviously very successful. This morning he announced he was going to lift the State of Emergency. The man's timing is impeccable.

I have a feeling that Hollande's name is going to be "Mud" fairly soon in France, if it isn't already. He's running for reelection, and good luck to him.

In the mean time, the Guardian not withstanding, our main concern should be the wounded in today's attack and the families of all the casualties.

And then maybe the French will consider nuking ISIS.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 06:37 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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July 13, 2016

Today's best question

I'm a regular on the Metafilter "Ask Mefi" subgroup, and today the best question in a long time came by:

I am fully aware that this is an obnoxious First-World problem, and yet... I've been an ethical vegetarian for over 30 years. I've felt that I want no part in farming or killing animals and I never wanted to eat them. Anyway, yesterday I accidentally ate bacon. I now love bacon and want to eat more bacon. My question SPECIFICALLY for people who didn't eat meat for ethical reasons but then started is how did you make it okay in your heart?

(I didn't post an answer but I've been sitting here chuckling for five minutes. So I thought I'd share.)

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July 12, 2016

Hentai x Hentai

Ubu has done a public service by delving deep into HxH, including reading 7 of the light novels. He has two posts about it (one, two) which convince me even more that I want nothing to do with that series.

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Dennou Coil redux

So you thought Dennou Coil was just a TV show, eh?

Pokemon Go is making people do crazy things. An American in Iraq who is fighting against ISIS captured a pokemon on his cell phone. People have been hunting for pokemon in the Holocaust museum in DC, to the point where the museum has publicly asked them all to stop. (Reportedly someone captured a poison-gas pokemon there, but other people are saying they think it's a hoax.)

I wonder who will be the first to capture a pokemon inside the White House? or the Pentagon?

Cell phone use in public places is already obnoxious, and it's about to get worse.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 09:40 AM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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July 11, 2016

Who's right?

Toys for the new Ghostbusters film are already in clearance, even though the film doesn't open for another four days.

On the other hand, it currently scores 77% (53 to 16) on Rotten Tomatoes. Who's right?

We'll know for certain on Friday, but right now I'm inclined to trust the people who are gambling money on it. The stores have put that stuff in clearance because it isn't selling. So if I was a gambling man, I'd be betting against it.

I won't be seeing it, but that's no distinction. The last movie I watched in a theater was "The Matrix". And I think that newest American movie I watched at home (on optical disk) was "The Incredibles". Hollywood lost me a long time ago. (It didn't help that I don't own a TV. I haven't missed it, either. And when I had a TV, the last show I watched regularly was "Good Eats".)

UPDATE: Anyway, come Friday I'll be too busy watching the AT-X version of "Ange Vierge"...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 08:26 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Oh my aching bones and white hair

How many of you have ever even heard of TECO? Know what it is? Know how to use it?

For extra credit, what does the name mean?

UPDATE: And for extra extra credit, what command do you use to get out of it if you get into it by mistake? 

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July 10, 2016

USS Archerfish

In my never-ending search for cheesecake I ran into this post. It doesn't really count as cheesecake but I thought it was noteworthy anyway.


USS Archerfish was an American submarine in the Pacific during WWII, and it is particularly noteworthy because it sank IJN Shinano.

Shinano was the third hull of the Yamato series. Yamato and Musashi eventually became battleships but while Shinano was still in construction the decision was made to turn her into an aircraft carrier. She was commissioned in November 1944 and was being moved from Yokosuka to Kure when she was spotted by Archerfish.

Archerfish stalked Shinano for six hours and finally achieved a nearly ideal firing position. 4 out of 6 torpedoes hit, causing flooding which Shinano's rookie crew could not stop. She eventually capsized and sank.

So I think it's pretty remarkable that this Japanese artist honors Archerfish in this way, since although cartoony (and clearly based on KanColle) it's really rather respectful.

I guess you could claim that they do the same with USS Iowa, but that's not really the same. First off, Iowa is being drawn mostly as a fan service object. Second, Iowa is a ship you can get in Kancolle. I don't think there are any submarines in that game. (I could be wrong. There are no submarines in World Of Warships but there might well be some in KanColle. It's easy to get the two confused.)

That same post also includes a picture of USS Albacore, which is noteworthy for having sunk IJN Taihou during the battle of the Philippine Sea. Sadly, Albacore didn't survive the war and was lost with all hands (the most common fate for an American submarine). Her fate isn't known for certain but she probably struck a mine.

Time heals wounds and I guess a modern Japanese can look back and honor a gallant foe (by putting her in a stars-and-stripes bikini).

Other notes: CV-2 is the first USS Lexington, which was sunk at the Battle of Coral Sea. CV-16 is the second USS Lexington, which survived the war. The Japanese carrier they're shown fighting is Zuihou, which participated in Coral Sea and was sunk at Leyte Gulf by American carrier air strikes, including planes from the second Lexington.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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July 09, 2016

Ange Vierge -- ep 01

I'm going to hold off on a real post about this, so just a quickie for now.

It's about ⅓ Strike Witches, ⅓ Petite Princess Yucie, and ⅓ Pokemon, with lots and lots of nudity. About half the first episode was spent in bath scenes, all heavily censored with fog and rays of light, this being the MX version of the show. But it's also running on AT-X, so I'm going to wait until that shows up, if it does.

It's got a good voice cast, as it turns out. The basic concept: there are five worlds in five universes. One day something happened and opened a portal between the five worlds. At the same time it gave special powers some high school girls on each of the worlds. They've all collected together to fight a mysterious enemy called Neuroi Oroboros. It seems like the Oroboros opened the gateways, and there seems to be a tendency for all the worlds to eventually merge, which will destroy them all.

There are two kinds of girls involved in this fight. First are "Progress", front line girls who actually engage in combat. Then there are "Alpha Drivers", who sit in the rear and bond with the Progress, giving them power boosts.

Which is to say that this is based on a collectible card game and the Progress are cards and the Alpha Driver is the player. In our case our Driver is Amane and she has five Progress working for her, one from each of the worlds.

So more on this after the AT-X version of the show appears.

UPDATE: I might have known that Fapservice would be all over this (NSFW) and they say that it won't show up on AT-X for days, and it will still be censored. So I guess these are all Buy The BD's shots.

The most noteworthy thing for me was that Amane, the player surrogate, is voiced by Tamura Yukari, who does the voice of Nanoha Takamachi. She isn't actively trying to sound like Nanoha but she isn't trying not to, either, and it really does sound a lot like Nanoha.

Anyway, to the extent that there is any kind of story beyond "Hey, cute girls flying around firing energy blasts!" it seems to be about Saya, the magical girl from Earth who is in Amane's team. But it isn't much of a story, I suspect, and this is mainly going to be about eye candy.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:23 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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