December 05, 2013
At the end of the war, a number of Japanese submarines were captured by the Americans. Some of those were scuttled in Japanese waters, and 4 of them were brought to Hawaii and closely studied, then scuttled in Hawaiian waters. One of those latter was I-400, a submarine air craft carrier and lead member of a class of subs which were the largest ever built until the advent of boomers in the 1960's.
A few days ago it was announced that I-400 had been found. No one is talking about refloating it; it's in 700 meters of water, and it was originally sunk by torpedoes fired by USS Trumpetfish so it's pretty seriously ruined. But it's still historically interesting.
It's also anime interesting. Sister ship I-401 (sunk at the same time, and found in 2005 at a depth of 820 meters) is a central character in Arpeggio of Blue Steel, running this season.
Office Depot is bringing me something today, and they said it would be sometime between 8:30 AM and 7:00 PM. As Daffy says, Thanks for the sour persimmons, buster. At least Safeway gives me a 4-hour window, and if I was willing to pay more I could get a 1-hour window.
(It's a plastic floor mat to go under my desk chair. I've gone through three of those in the last few years, and my current one is a broken mess. This new one is going to be 1/8 inch thick, and I hope it'll hold up better than the others did. They were all thin and flexible. Each time I bought a new one, I thought I was getting something that would last more. The last one was polycarbonate, and it only lasted about 6 months.)
UPDATE: OK, 11:30. Not too shabby, and now I can take a nap.
UPDATE: The new one is much better at producing static electricity. Since it's on the floor next to my computer table, this could be a problem.
The League of the Perpetually Aggrieved has been hunting for things to be offended by, and they're getting more and more petty. Who cares about the name of a football team in Washington DC?
And every year at Thanksgiving, LPA comes out of the woodwork to talk about how the standard story of Thanksgiving is a myth.
There's a huge target they've been missing. I've been waiting for them to get mad about the name "America" and to demand that North America and South America get renamed.
The name "America" is derived from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian navigator who was the first to determine that Columbus was wrong, that the new lands he found were entirely new continents, and not in fact part of Asia. This was about 1502, and it seems that after he published his findings, people got into the habit of referring to the new lands as "America". I don't think anyone now knows how that happened.
But consider the injustice! The Euro-centrism! What a terrible thing! Let's get some demonstrations started! Clever banners! Giant paper-mache heads!
But first, we have to figure out what we want instead. That's kind of tough, isn't it?
UPDATE: Maybe we can find some obscure, unpronounceable, Aztec word for North America, and an equally unpronouneable Inca word for South America.
And while we're at it, why do the Europeans (Romans, it turns out) get to name "Africa"? What's with all these Italians planting names on things just because they happened to be the first Europeans to bother?
Bastards, the lot of 'em.
December 03, 2013
Like I need a reason? From Fight! Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!more...
December 02, 2013
If we're really going to get nerdy, there's an idea I've had for a long time now: Akane is truly a magical girl.
Vividred Operation is an exercise in Clarke's Law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Grampa has gone way beyond normal science and technology in designing the keys, but it is nonetheless technology.
More, and loads of spoilers, below the fold.more...
December 01, 2013
"I was for it before I was against it" has to go down in history as one of the stupidest thing a presidential candidate has ever said. It's been the butt of jokes ever since.
"If you like it, you can keep it" has now joined it as a major joke punchline. It isn't quite the same; the former was simply clueless. The latter is an outright and deliberate lie.
Still, now they've both become legendary.
November 30, 2013
Our current rocket technology is, needless to say, quite primitive. Because of inherent problems with using a reaction drive, space launch is very expensive.
But it doesn't need to be. A reaction drive (that's any drive that is based on momentum change caused by high speed ejection of propellant) can be extremely efficient if the exhaust velocity is high enough. Our current problem is that the exhaust velocity of our rockets isn't all that high, so propellant efficiency is terrible.
In Mouretsu Pirates they have direct conversion of matter to energy, which is able to provide the kind of power that current rocket engineers could only dream of. And they also have inertia control and gravity control.
I was trying to think about how their thrusters work, and it suddenly occurred to me that it might be a form of gravity control. If the propellant is subjected to several hundred G's, and achieves an exhaust velocity of one or two percent of C, the propellant efficiency would be very high, and you've solved the major problem.
They have single-stage-to-orbit shuttles, and if they were powered the way I think they are, then it becomes very practical to build large structures in orbit, like the docking station orbiting Uminoakehoshi. Combined with efficient FTL drives (which they also have) then bulk interstellar trade becomes practical.
We can only dream of such technology, but it doesn't cost anything to dream.
UPDATE: Of course, they couldn't operate that way all the time. If they were firing 0.02*C while exiting from a space dock, they'd punch a hole in the side of the station with their exhaust.
November 29, 2013
I watched the first few minutes of this, and got huge "filler" vibes. So I stopped, and went and looked at Aroduc's frame grabs, which is a good way to get a summary of an episode -- and yeah, filler.
I have no urge to watch it, and probably won't. The overall story was: it's payday, and Raul accompanies Fino as she goes shopping. At least based on Aroduc's post, there wasn't even any fan service.
And it ends with Fino crying about something. I'm not sure I even care what.
This series is the latest in a long line of shows which began superbly and then ran into a ditch. In this particular case the reason why is obvious: they decided to run the Amada-arc through to the end of the series, and it's dragging.
But a couple of days ago I realized something else: they're trying to make Raul be like Kyon in Haruhi. Only it isn't working. Haruhi had a unique dynamic. Yuushibu doesn't have the same dynamic. Haruhi was manic, and Kyon's dry commentary worked. Fino isn't nuts; she's just confused. Raul's commentary makes him seem petty and obnoxious.
Kyon's commentary was his way of coping with the fact that Haruhi was pushing him around constantly, and he didn't have the guts to tell her "no". Fino isn't pushing Raul around, and he's got plenty of guts, anyway. It's simply a mismatch.
November 28, 2013
To commemorate the destruction of comet ISON, I give you nudity from Maji de Watashi.more...
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