That’s just cruel—it’s like wrapping condoms in babies.
—Gizmodo’s finest review

Thursday, October 27 2016

Mikako Tabe

The first time I saw award-winning actress Mikako Tabe (多部未華子) was in the live-action adaptation of the manga Deka Wanko, whose subtitled episodes are still available on Youtube. She’s quirky and engaging in the role, with a very expressive face that’s a good match for the goofy role (a gothloli junior detective who can literally sniff out crime).

Mikako Tabe is Deka Wanko

Hybrid vigor apparently accounts for her unusual good looks.

Mikako Tabe

I hadn’t known about her more recent detective series, Do S Deka aka “Ms Sadistic Detective”; I’ll have to look it up.

Wednesday, October 26 2016

Natsumi Hirajima

Former AKB48 member Natsumi Hirajima (平嶋夏海) debuted at age 13, but I’d never heard of her until she was all grown up. Now 24, and quite easy on the eyes.

Natsumi Hirajima

(via (site banner NSFW))

I Am A Lonely Spaceman

Steven Den Beste liked harem comedies, but it wasn’t enough for the girls to be gorgeous; the story had to go somewhere, and the boy in the middle had to “get a grip”. Asobi Ni Iku Yo! hit all his buttons, and while his full review is currently offline, you can still read his many blog entries about the show, including the storytelling, and one of his more whimsical speculations.

And then there’s his favorite episode, which includes this sad little song:

[Update: it appears that you only get the translated subtitles if you click through to view it on Youtube]

Tuesday, October 25 2016

Remembering the best

Over the past few years, my email exchanges with Steven Den Beste dropped off, to the point that the only time he wrote this year was to tell me the comments were broken on my blog. As with most of his online friends, most of our interaction was in blog comments, here, there, and elsewhere.

The last long email I received from him was in March, 2012, and it was a technical question about photography. He’d come across some pictures and couldn’t figure out how the photographer was pulling off the trick focus.

In his typical way, he explained precisely what the effect was and how it would be accomplished with view camera movements, but he couldn’t figure out how someone had done it with a live model in a public place, as part of an otherwise unexceptional glamour shoot. Surely he hadn’t set up a heavy camera and tripod and gotten the naked girl to hold still while he painstakingly tilted the focus plane.

In answer, I sent him a link to Lensbaby, a product he hadn’t heard of.

I don’t think I still have those (NSFW) photos, but here’s something I was saving for a cheer-up-Steven day: the ultimate anime cheesecake figure.

(Continued on Page 4975)

Monday, October 24 2016

Dammit, 2016!

It is reported that Steven Den Beste has passed away. No further details at the moment.

There’s a hole in the Web where there used to be a friend.

[Update: I was saving this picture for a slow day when I wanted something that would amuse Steven. There will be memorial cheesecake later, but meanwhile…]

Bears and Panzer


Sunday, October 23 2016

Dear Sean Bean,

Tokimune does not rhyme with “Sailor Moon”. I’m sorry that the people who hired you for the Civilization 6 voiceovers didn’t provide a pronunciation guide for all the foreign words and names.

I wouldn’t mind so much, except that the load time is just long enough that I have to hear “tokimoon” every time I start the game.

Saturday, October 22 2016

Not a Kendo movie

I love the “exotic Japanese martial arts” vibe from this Sixties movie poster.

Goyokin movie poster


Thursday, October 20 2016

Savannah Cerberus



Wednesday, October 19 2016

Green Male Privilege

Why did the Frogger cross the road?


Tuesday, October 18 2016

Smoking The Man Pipe

Not a euphemism!

There are web sites where you can figure out the origin of your pipes, such as Logos and Markings and Pipedia, and both link to other sites where aficionados of a particular brand have gone into obsessive detail. Even that’s not enough, though, and sometimes you don’t even have a name to google. In the case of one of Dad’s pipes, just a stem mark that looked sort-of like a fish-hook.

A sharp-eyed youngster (under 40) at the local pipe shop thought it might have originally been a nearly-vertical “♂” symbol where most of the white paint filling the stamping had worn off, and careful inspection confirmed it. But searching for “male symbol pipe” is a bad idea, even with SafeSearch turned on, and I gave up after a while.

Until a few days ago, when I happened to be looking at the history of Laxey Pipe Ltd, which specialized in making African Meerschaum pipes for other companies. If you’ve seen a Peterson or Barling meer, it’s probably a Laxey, and they were located on the Isle of Man.

Sure enough, one of the sample contract pipes at the bottom of the page is Comoy’s Man Pipe, with the same distinctive bowl carving and ♂ logo as Dad’s:

Comoy's The Man Pipe
Comoy's The Man Pipe

Monday, October 17 2016

Warmest by how much, now?

NASA reports that September, 2016 is the new hotness, beating out September, 2014 by 0.004 degrees Celsius.

So, exactly how many different measurements taken with different equipment at different times and places do you have to combine to compute the world’s average temperature to 1/250th of a degree, which by my calculations is approximately the amount of hot air expelled by the opening sentence of a presidential debate?

If they hadn’t already convinced me that they’re just blowing (cool, dry) smoke up our asses, this would do it.

Yamato Nadesico

The quiet dignity of traditional Japanese fashion.

Yui Oguri


Saturday, October 15 2016

Roll her in flour…

Not Safe For Work Or Baking

(Continued on Page 4966)

Friday, October 14 2016

This works for me

Doctor Strange movie ad in Japan


Thursday, October 13 2016

Classification FAIL

Musical onahole

Yes, those are Tenga masturbation devices. Yes, at a Hobby Town in Japan. Yes, the label on the sign, 楽器, means “musical instrument”. Yes, the two kanji could be read as “fun+tool”, but only by a giggling 12-year-old.

(via; it dates back to at least October 2014, and appears to be legit)

Wednesday, October 12 2016

Not-so-mechanical Turk(ish) surprised me a bit today:

Google tells me it’s Turkish meaning “suggested for you”, and after several hours, it’s still there in a fresh browser session, despite the rest of the UI still being in English.

[Update: still there a day later, for several of my friends as well. I don’t see an easy way to contact Amazon to find out if they know.]

“So smart you don’t need a helmet!”

BMW is just a tad optimistic about the tech in their latest concept motorcycle:

The assistance systems in the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 will not only anticipate and advise when action is needed but also intervene, when required, to keep riders safe. Protective clothing such as helmets and padded suits will no longer be needed. Instead, riders will simply be able to enjoy the sensation of absolute freedom. A key assistance system in this Vision Vehicle is the Self-Balancing mechanism, which keeps the motorcycle balanced both while in motion and while stationary, and prevents it from tipping over. This technology consequently allows all riders of any level of skill or expertise to keep on pushing boundaries for an ever more positive ride experience.

Of course, “the sensation of absolute freedom” includes scraping your unprotected body across the pavement at 75 MPH after an accident, but the bike will still be standing!

Sunday, October 9 2016

Seasonal Sisters

Amazon Japan’s Halloween Store has a full range of theme costumes, including the always-popular Sexy Nun.

Cosplay nuns

Miko costumes come in Straight, Sexy, Sexy Anime, Sexy Maid, and Touhou (Sexy). Lots of zombies and schoolgirls, too, of course. Not that these are strictly Halloween costumes.

Saturday, October 8 2016

Idea for email spam

My spam folder has been filling up recently with subjects like “1 F*ckbuddy Request is Pending”. I doubt that anyone is falling for them, so if the spammers really want to go after a demographic that’s interested in sex and willing to pay for it, and get them to read past the subject line, they should just call them pull requests.

Friday, October 7 2016

Shocked, shocked I am!

Upon hearing the “news” that Donald Trump once talked dirty in a locker-room conversation, six women who would never have voted for him decided not to vote for him. Two million unemployed blue-collar workers replied, “that all you got?”.

I’d repeat some of the things I heard while working with the janitors at a public school district, but my keyboard would melt.

“Need a clue, take a clue; got a clue, leave a clue.”