“Oh, I see, NSFW stands for ‘Not Safe For Work’…”
—Scott Foster

Tuesday, July 29 2014

Man bites dog

In a shocking turn of events, a police officer who shot a family’s dog for no good reason actually got fired for it.

Thursday, July 24 2014

Inadvertent fortune cookie

I walked into someone’s cube to deliver a new document scanner (the excellent Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500), and found this little gem attached to her monitor cable:

Samsung Engrish

Tuesday, July 22 2014

Reasons to respect Beretta USA…

  1. Ending the cycle of abuse.
  2. Moving to a city named Gallatin.
  3. Having General Manager Jeff Cooper deliver the announcement.

I’m guessing El Neil is doing a happy dance right about now.

(via Ace)

Monday, July 21 2014

Politically incorrect bumper sticker

politically incorrect bumper sticker

Friday, July 18 2014

Dear Sarah Hoyt,

Amazon has a peculiar idea of what your science fiction short stories are about.

Sarah Hoyt's Chick Lit?

Who knew you wrote chick-lit?

Tuesday, July 15 2014

Marvel’s latest gimmick

Yes, I know the marketing mouthpieces are insisting that replacing male Thor with a woman isn’t just a gimmick, but yeah, it’s just a gimmick. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t have spent so much PR money to build buzz on it.

So, since it’s a gimmick, and there’s plenty of evidence of what real-life women think a female Thor should look like, I think the most important question is: will she have a thing for Sif and/or Jane Foster?

Most interesting result in that image search: Pikachu Thor.

[Update: …and in another diversity-pandering press release, Captain America will be black. Next week, I’m guessing they’ll announce that the Iron Man armor will be passed to a Thai ladyboy.]

Dear Hello!Project Costume Designers,

Apparently you’ve been replaced.

S/mileage, all dotted up

Tuesday, July 8 2014

Cargo Cult Science revisited

Jason Mitchell, professor of Social Psychology at Harvard, vigorously demonstrates Richard Feynman’s point about pseudosciences that adopt the appearance of science without the substance. By aiming the gun at his own feet:

“Because experiments can be undermined by a vast number of practical mistakes, the likeliest explanation for any failed replication will always be that the replicator bungled something along the way. Unless direct replications are conducted by flawless experimenters, nothing interesting can be learned from them.”

Friday, July 4 2014


Natsuki Kojima, All-American Girl

Natsuki Kojima, helping you celebrate Independence Day. The little speech bubble reads “smiles and swimsuits are free”, and she uses these freedoms well.

Friday, June 27 2014

Dear AKB48 Costume Designers,

Kinda tame, but I can see that you were raised in the same hell dimension as the Hello!Project designers. The Legos are a nice touch, though.

Sayaka Yamamoto

Tuesday, June 17 2014

Not that I need one, you understand…

…it was just one of those random moments of googling, and I was saddened to discover that while there are plenty of panther-claw t-shirts, there are no Panther Claw t-shirts.

Panther Claw disposable goons

Hmmm, what about a nice “Keep Calm and Honey Flash” poster?

Friday, June 13 2014

Dear Adobe,

In your lengthy Creative Cloud survey (in which you mistakenly addressed me as a former customer), I was struck by what was missing in the list of possible answers to the question “how did you learn to use Adobe creative tools?”: books.

Apparently the kids you’ve got running the game now are so hooked on the web that they’ve forgotten that Adobe software used to ship with manuals, and that third parties used to write entire books on how to use the stuff. Or perhaps they’re too young to have ever known.

Also, I was amused when the surveydroids referred to the process of installing the CC tools as “onboarding”, and then immediately had to explain their jargon, but what the fuck does this statement mean, which I’m supposed to rank my agreement with: “I have been able to meet the objectives I set for using Adobe Creative Cloud”? The correct answer would be “you stopped selling products, so I had to start renting them, which I’m not a big fan of”.

And I love this question toward the end:

“What methods would have been helpful to you in getting started to use Adobe applications or use the applications more?”

  • A call from customer support to provide more information
  • More emails explaining the benefits of applications
  • A learning game
  • Live chat online to provide more information
  • A five minute how-to video
  • A prominent 800 number to call Adobe customer support
  • Included access to a 3rd party training provider such as Lynda.com
  • A social network connection e.g. via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
  • Step-by-step tutorials (just text and graphics, rather than “how to” videos)
  • Online or in-product tutorials
  • Access to an Adobe learning resource center
  • Links to CC user forums
  • A 30 minute webinar/online seminar
  • Other (specify):
  • None/no other resources needed/none would be helpful

Odd how none of these options are related to the quality of the documentation, which defaults to online help pages these days. In fact, you have to manually download the actual PDF reference manuals separately from the CC applications; it isn’t even a clickable link in the help options.

Tuesday, June 10 2014

Dear Amazon US,

Please don’t tell me why the results of a search for the Bluray edition of The Seven Samurai included the Japanese edition of Kick-ass 2.

Even more baffling is the import of the Samurai Champloo box set that showed up in the results, for more than ten times the price of the US release. The product description suggests that this isn’t a case where the Japanese set had significant extras:

Draw a rare journey of Foo daughter of cafe Liquidambar genius swordsman Jin era drama action animation! Wild boy infinite Shinichiro Watanabe “Cowboy Bebop” and “Animatrix” time as director! 3-Disc Blu which recorded all 26 episodes -ray BOX.

Sunday, June 8 2014

Not ebooks yet?

Why not? Isn’t rescuing this sort of thing what modern technology is for?

MASH goes to Vienna

Thursday, June 5 2014

Pirate merchandise

Given the mid-August release, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a Blu-ray of the movie around then.

Bentenmaru ring

Also, in November, Marika bikini figure.

Friday, May 30 2014

Remo Williams Blu-ray?

It looks like there will be a UK release in July, at least.

Wednesday, May 28 2014

Skype auto-translation: this will not end well

Microsoft just demoed real-time translation in a Skype call. They wisely chose the relatively-compatible English and German languages for the demo, but there are so many ways it can go wrong even between such close cousins.

And when you think about expanding beyond the simplest cases, well, consider the following tray of meatballs:

Meatballs in translation

Saturday, May 17 2014

Is naked Satan cute?

Dear Hello!Project fans,

Apparently the folks who scanned Koharu Kusumi’s recent exposure in Cancam forgot to include the front and back pages of the insert. It’s obviously her, even before spotting the little beauty marks on her chin, so I wonder why they weren’t scanned. Then again, perhaps I don’t want to know…

I happened to be making a big order with Amazon Japan (~$500 in books and Bluray discs), so since that issue was still in stock, I threw it in. Lots of pretty girls pitching beauty products, as expected, so I’m not planning a subscription. By the way, the shipping for this order was a whole lot cheaper than expected, only $65; Amazon has apparently made some new international deals.

(Continued on Page 4417)

Wednesday, May 14 2014

Friday, May 9 2014

The Bloggess explains it all…

There are reasons to read The Bloggess. Here are several:

“It’s like when you were six and you were trying to get money out of your piggy bank, but it didn’t have a stopper so you just turn the glass pig upside down and shake it violently and loudly as each penny drops out of the opening, but then it would get jammed with pennies and you’d have to sneak a knife out of the kitchen to shove it up the thin opening, and it totally worked, but then you wiggle the knife a little too hard and suddenly the glass opening of your piggy bank shatters and you panic and try to put the pieces back together because you instantly realize that the bank was worth way more than all the pennies inside of it, but you slice open your hand on the broken glass, and that’s when your mom realizes it’s gone terribly quiet and she walks in to find you cross-legged, wide-eyed, holding a knife and covered in blood, and she screams “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” as if you might have murdered your little sister, but you explain that your sister is fine and that you just got stabbed by the piggy bank, and that you’re really sorry and will take any punishment she metes out but that “it sort of seems like being stabbed is punishment enough,” and then your mom is like, “JUST PUT THE KNIFE DOWN, JENNY” as if you’re some small, terrible mugger who murdered a pig for a bunch of blood-soaked pennies.”

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