February 11, 2016

The Night of the Judas Nachos

Never let it be said that Australians don't know how to have a good time.

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Coming soon to a futuristic anime near you: The Sky Mile Tower

There are plans and then there are plans. Sometimes "plans" are little more than trial balloons to see if investors are interested, and I suspect that's what this is.

If approved the huge tower would be the tallest building in the world, dwarfing the current record-holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is half as tall at 2,717ft (828m).

Located in Tokyo Bay, an inlet southeast of the city proper, the plan — dubbed Next Tokyo — wouldn't just be a single massive building, but if approved would emerge as a mini city designed to combat climate change.

The proposed high-high skyscraper would house up to 55,000 people - the size of a large British town.

Envisioned as part of Tokyo's effort to protect itself from rising tides, Next Tokyo would feature a chain of man-made, hexagon-shaped islands.

They would form a barrier to protect Japan's capital from flooding as well as provide the foundation for homes for some 500,000 people. They could be connected by Hyperloop, Elon Musk's high-speed transit system. (SCDB: Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it.)

The centerpiece of the plan, is the 5,577-foot-tall skyscraper slated for completion in 2045. It's currently being called the Sky Mile Tower and is similarly hexagon-shaped for optimal wind resistance.

The engineering challenge is obvious just from the proposed height. The fact that they want to build it in an active earthquake zone, which regularly gets powerful typhoons, makes it all the more interesting.

And some of the things they're talking about: As for elevators? They'll be ones of the cable-free variety, which can move both vertically and horizontally.

So I don't expect this thing to actually happen.

But it's a nice dream. How soon before it shows up in a fighting anime and gets demolished?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 06:22 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 10, 2016

Yay, Microsoft

I wonder whether Microsoft has done something to the Update Server that makes it respond more slowly now to Win 7 users? I'm updating one of my computers now. It took 15 minutes to figure out what patches it needed. Total 251 MB. Ten minutes of downloading and it's only half done.

I bet Win 10 users don't see delays like that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 03:44 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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Musaigen no Phantom World -- ep 6

This was excellent. This series may have real potential.

One thing that's kind of fun is that every episode begins with a 4th-wall-break. Haruhiko and Ruru give a sort of mini-lecture to the audience which includes information vital to the upcoming episode. It's a nice way to avoid lots of obnoxious exposition during the actual story (though there still has been some of that).


Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:57 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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February 08, 2016

Girls und Panzer Der Movie

The movie has been out for three months and someone created a Wikipedia page for it: So this is the summary:

Sometime after the 63rd sensha-dō tournament, the Japanese Ministry of Education decides to move forward with its plan to decommission Ōarai Girls High School despite the their recent triumph in the championship. In order to keep the school open, Miho and her team must win a match against a university sensha-dō team, but for this difficult battle, Miho and the others not only count with the help of their friends from the other schools they previously faced; Saunders, Kuromorimine, Anzio, St. Gloriana and Pravda, but also with the assistance from new friends from the Chihatan Academy and Keizoku High School, and together, they will join forces to save Ōarai.

That makes sense, based on the teaser we saw last year. Of course, it doesn't say why beating that college team would make any difference, and doesn't say who the college team is, but we can stipulate that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:00 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 06, 2016

I see a great possibility here

I see a great opportunity here for an anime:

One driver, in his 50s, related a story about a woman who got into his cab near Ishinomaki Station. The woman told him to take her to the Minamihama district. The driver then asked her "The area is almost empty. Is it OK?” The woman replied, in a shivering voice, "Have I died?”

When the driver looked back at his rear seat, no-one was there, according to the research.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 03:59 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Week 5


Things are still going, but slowly mostly, in the series I'm watching. We got 3 girl-of-the-week stories this time.

Luck and Logic ep 5 was about Mana, the sniper. If I didn't know better I'd think this series was based on a dating game, or maybe even an H-game. So she has a troubled past and in this episode she somewhat came to terms with it. yawn..

Musaigen no Phantom World was two girl-of-the-week stories sort of mixed together. One is Minase, the loner whose power is her voice singing. The other is Kurumi, the loli with the teddy bear. Minase has a troubled past (is there an echo in here?) and is starting to come to terms with it (Yodoladyhooo!). Kurumi is more interesting. She's a grade schooler at that school so ordinarily she wouldn't get involved in an anti-phantom team. But for whatever reason she thinks our team is pretty cool and is willing to cooperate. Her power?

Her teddy bear is named Albrecht and she can animate it, making it giant size, and it will fight for her. And it's pretty impressive. It's also a bit surprising that her power has developed so early. Usually people with power begin to manifest it at puberty, and she's only in 4th grade.

Anyway, as to who precisely is the one she thinks is cool, it's probably Mai. This is looking like a harem show, only it's Mai's harem.

Which brings us to Gate. This wasn't dull and boring; they took on the fire dragon. The highlight of the episode was Lelei's attack. This is the first time we've ever seen her really use her full power, and it was both cool and really terrifying. The motto of the Marines ("No better friend, no worse enemy") applies to her and I'm glad she's on our side.


The next ep teaser says that they're going to the city of Rondel next episode. If so, it sounds like they're going to skip the entire story line, which would really be a pity. It also means that they've caught up with the manga and will leave it behind very soon, because the most recent manga chapter is them arriving at Rondel.

They continue making occasional changes in the character art. Giselle wasn't at all what I was expecting:


The Gods seem to have a thing for fetish clothing.


I can't say this really bothers me much because Giselle isn't a very important character. My guess is that she's Chekhov's Henchman.

I should mention that Tuka's lightning bolt was pretty awesome, too. I bet that place reeked of ozone when she was done.



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February 05, 2016

Nature's Fireworks

Sakurajima volcano erupted explosively last night.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:22 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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February 04, 2016

An amazing picture

This completely SFW picture is awesome.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in linky at 03:25 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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A question of definition

I'm a big fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. About half the books in my Kindle are from that series. But just now I ran into something I'd noted before, and I'd like to ask your opinion.

In Too Many Cooks we meet Marko Vukcic's ex-wife. And she

In The Black Mountain Archie describes Marko as being a widower. So that's the question: if a man is divorced and his ex-wife then dies, does he count as a widower?

My initial reaction is "no". A widower is someone whose wife dies while he's still married to her. But that may not be the only answer. What do you think?

UPDATE: The dictionary says:

a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not remarried.

But he didn't lose his wife by death; he lost her by divorce.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 01:40 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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