September 08, 2014

Unidentified trope

I'm sure it must be a trope because I can think of three examples of it right off.

The description: the male lead has a very attractive girl who stays with him nearly all the time, including sleeping with or near him, but everyone accepts it because the girl isn't really a girl, and isn't even human. She just takes the form of a girl most of the time.

Example one: Eco from Seikoku no Dragonar. (She's actually a dragon.)

Example two: the white-haired loli in the currently-running Blade Dance series. (She's actually a sword.)

Example three: Falce in Magician's Academy. (She's actually a magical staff.)

I'm sure there are other examples, too. I don't think "Magical Girlfriend" is what I'm looking for because it isn't specific enough.

UPDATE: I think Liz and Patty in Soul Eater don't qualify. They aren't guns who transform into girls, they're girls who can transform into guns. Not the same.

UPDATE: Example four: the sword in Sacred Blacksmith. The difference this time is that she isn't hanging around with a guy; it's another girl instead.

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September 07, 2014


I admit it, it's a challenge I can't pass by. XKCD has one element each from seven different seven-of-a-kind, and I can't identify them all.

Sneezy -- the seven dwarves, of course.
Phylum -- ?
Europe -- the seven continents (only Europe isn't really a continent)
Sloth -- the seven deadly sins
Guacamole -- ?
DataLink -- ?
Colossus of Rhodes -- the seven wonders of the ancient world

So I got four of them, what are the other three?

UPDATE: When I was a kid and we got taught that there were seven continents, it never made sense to me that Europe and Asia were considered separate continents. They sure don't look like it on the map. I say there are only six: Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, Antarctica.

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September 05, 2014

The ultimate chopper


I'm not even slightly interested in the show, but nonetheless I have to admit that this is an awesome image.

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It's deja vu all over again.

A charter jet flying from Afghanistan to to Dubai was in Iranian air space and got intercepted by Iranian fighters and was forced to land at an Iranian airfield.

It was carrying about a hundred Americans (and a couple of Canadians).

For the time being authorities are saying, "Nothing to see here; just routine; they'll be on their way again soon..." but I won't be relaxed until that jet is out of Iranian airspace again.

A hundred Americans being held by Iran... where have I heard this before?

UPDATE: A couple of days ago, a young man in GB used a machete to hack off the head of an 82 year old woman. He was eventually taken into custody. The announcement about it said, "There's no terrorism involved in this."

I'm getting damned sick of being told "Nothing to see here, folks." They say that every damned time even when it's obvious that there is a terrorist component to it. In this case, later reports were that the perp was a recent convert to radical Islam.

The Obama administration has taken the euphemism game to a new high. Having painted yet another red line that no one takes seriously, in this case that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was completely intolerable, then when the Russians went ahead and did it anyway the US State Department refused to call it an invasion. It was an "incursion", I believe they said. An incursion isn't an invasion so we don't have to respond to it like Obama effectively promised he would.

Even after all this time, they refuse to admit that the crazy Arab military psychiatrist who shot up an American military base and killed 13 people and wounded 30 more was engaging in jihad. "Workplace Violence", folks, nothing to see here; move along. Never mind that recently he asked to be granted citizenship in ISIS. (Fat chance; he's in Leavenworth under a death sentence.)

Our leaders are less concerned with us being safe, or us being honestly informed, than they are with an imagined uprising of knuckledragging rednecks engaging in violence against Muslims.

Now never mind that there's never been any such thing happening. Not even after 9/11, which was Islamic terrorism, beyond any dispute. American rednecks did not rise up and reign reciprocal terror on American Muslims after that, nor has anything like that happened since. The ethnicity which has most often been victim of various kinds of abuse (including violence) was before, and still is, Jews. And a lot of that has been by Muslims.

So let's review two facts:

1. The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists.

2. The vast majority of terrorists are Muslims.

Americans understand principle #1. Authorities are trying their hardest to paint over #2, even though everyone knows it.

It would be a pleasant experience for our government to be honest with us for a change, wouldn't it? And to trust us?

UPDATE: The jet is now in Dubai. Whew!

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September 04, 2014

Kindle Fired

When I heard that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD was going to have ads, I was a bit worried. After I bought mine, it didn't turn out to be all that bad.

When you first turn it on, there's an ad displayed. And there are two "pull it" bars. One gets you to the regular bookshelf (or into the book you were reading last). The other gets you into an extended ad.

If you go to the bookshelf, you never see advertising again, which was what I was mainly worried about. It isn't obnoxious. The ads have been a mixed lot; some for cars, some for computer games that run on the Fire HD, various other things. But for the last month, it's been the same one: for Amazon itself.

It looks like a place holder. I wonder if they aren't having much luck selling the advertising slot?

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August 30, 2014


You might (or might not) have noticed that NyaaTorrents is down. It's being DDoS'ed, and they're waiting it out. Presumably eventually the attackers will give up, and then it will return.

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August 29, 2014

From the Land of Sky Blue Water...

That's the title of a post over at Powerline today. I hadn't heard it in years, maybe decades. I knew it was from an ad for beer, but I didn't remember which one. So I hit the old search engines, and found a youtube of the ad itself. Turns out it was for Hamms beer.

I got curious to see if that brand still exists, so I looked it up. It was acquired by Heublein, who sold it to Olympia Brewing. Which was acquired by Pabst. Which in turn was acquired by Miller. Miller was purchased by South African Breweries. Which merged with MolsonCoors to form MillerCoors.

Gad. Made me wonder which other classic beer brands from around here still survived. Blitz didn't, I know.

I went to a private high school, the ritziest in town. There were two kinds of students there: bright kids on scholarship (me!) and rich kids. The two familes who owned Blitz had their kids there when I was there.

Anyway, Blitz Weinhard was purchased by Stroh, who sold it to Miller. The brewery was shut down in 1999. (Sob.)

The Olympia brewery in Tumwater was shut down. The Rainier Brewery in Seattle is no more.

I never drank any of these, back before I quit drinking entirely 19 years ago. (It wasn't good for me; I couldn't control it.) But I do remember that Blitz and Rainier had some really clever advertising back in the day, and... you know... home team and all that.

Seems like the brewing industry has undergone some ridiculously large amounts of concentration while I wasn't looking. I know Budweiser isn't an independent company any longer. (Lessee... search search search... Owned by someone called "Inbev".)

My favorite beer was Anchor Porter. My god, Anchor Brewing is still independent!! So I guess there's hope.

Actually, while all this consolidation of traditional brands was going on, little bitty craft breweries were springing up all over the place like mushrooms. I bet there are more breweries and brewing companies now than there were when I was in college.

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August 27, 2014

Fall, 2014

So I decided to take a look at what's upcoming in the fall season.

Terra Formars: killer cockroaches from outer space! Right.

Grisaia no Kajitsu: Our Hero is the sole male student at a cloister. Uh-huh.

Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de: five members of the high school literature club have gained super powers -- only they don't have anyone to fight. Might be fun but probably really stupid.

Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu: Girls with twintails turn out to be key to the fate of the world. What, no glasses girls?

And a whole lot of other stuff that's even worse. I didn't see a single series which looked even moderately interesting.

The only thing of interest is a 3-ep Strike Witches OVA which fits into the continuity between the end of the second series and the movie. The first of the three episodes comes out in September and the others aren't even listed.

I tell you, it's gonna be bleak.

UPDATE: I don't even see anything that looks like it could be worth plundering for the top rotation. Sheesh.

UPDATE: Actually, the Mouretsu Pirates movie hits BD in November, so there's that to look forward to.

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August 20, 2014

Chooser 47

I'm going to come out of hiatus for a bit. If you've been watching the comments, I've updated the top rotation with grabs from five series, and I thought I'd write about those five. Spoilers below the fold.

UPDATE: Pete doesn't like my characterization of Locodol.


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