October 2004

Quick take: Seven of Seven (Shichinin no Nana), disc 1

This is a fluffy, squeaky clean little series about a teenage girl named Nana and her six personality-differentiated clones, who appeared after an accident that involved her mad-scientist grandfather, his latest experiment in high-tech prisms, a microwave oven, and a cherry tree. Our Heroine has one goal in life: to pass the high-school entrance exams so she can get into the same school as the boy she has a crush on. Unfortunately, her new sisters share that crush, and that’s not all…

It’s almost painfully cute, with an opening theme to match. Disc 2 just came out, and I’m going to have to buy it.

Update: apparently the associated manga is a bit more fan-service oriented. Obviously I’m going to have to confirm that…

Update: Oh my, yes. The manga version is definitely aimed at a male audience.

Update: Just finished watching disc 2. It’s still cute. I’ll buy the next one.

On the finding of weapons of mass destruction

Sometimes, it takes a hurricane or three to uncover leftover bombs. Left over from World War II, that is.

Least convincing spam subject line of the week...

As seen on CBS News!

’nuff said.

"Hey Rocky, watch me pull a foreign policy out of my ass!"

“That trick never works.”

John Kerry, International Man Of Mystery

Good news, bad news

Good: releasing Aladdin on DVD. Bad: including a video of Jessica Simpson singing “A whole new world”.

Zen koan nowhere

Creative Labs has announced their new iPod Mini killerclone, the Zen Micro. It comes in ten different colors (face-plate only, and they all have a blue border), is slightly shorter and thicker, adds an extra gigabyte of storage, and includes FM radio, voice recording, and a removable rechargeable battery, all for the same price as the Mini.

Oh, yeah, and it’s hideous:


Skinship gone awry

“When I was your age, ‘blowing off school’ meant something entirely different.”

And so every evening Haruki's studying was prefaced by a 15-minute maternal blow job. His concentration improved; his marks soared.
"Mothers do want their children to pass those exams..."

(via Peeve Farm)

T-shirt, please

This needs to be a t-shirt, so I’ll have something to wear when Celebrate Diversity is in the wash.

Kerryland Nuisance Advisory System

Random thought for the day

Dinner tonight was based on a curry mix I picked up at Mitsuwa. I think all packaged foods should include the instructions “break sauce into pieces”.

Mock election mocks Kerry

LGF links to the mock election held by Channel One (a satellite broadcaster targeting 12,000 middle/junior/high schools in the US). Their last two mock elections have apparently matched the actual results pretty well, so who did they pick for president? The picture says it all:

Teen Bush Landslide

That’s 73% of the electoral votes for Bush, 27% for Kerry. Personally, I’ve been betting on 60/40, but can you imagine how the wackier Lefties would respond to these results?

Traveller PDF mapping

Sunday was a pretty slow day, so I wrote a Perl script that generated PDF hex-maps for use in the Traveller RPG (we’re starting a D20 Traveller campaign soon). I also integrated star-system data from the standard SEC format that’s been passed around on the Internet for many years, and I’m adding an assortment of features as I find time.

Currently it prints at the sector, quadrant, and subsector level, in color and b&w, on paper sizes ranging from 4x6 to 11x17. All the heavy lifting is done with the PDF::API2::Lite module from CPAN, which has a straightforward interface.

Update: I seem to have pretty good page-rank with Google, so just in case there’s anyone else out there who’s trying to set a clipping region with PDF::API2::Lite, the magic words are:

#create some kind of path, like so
#clip to it
#start a new path

Note that this doesn’t seem to work with the alpha 0.40 versions of the PDF::API2 distribution. I’m using 0.3r77.

More iPod Roadkill

Pretty much every new portable music device that comes out is evaluated for its potential as an “iPod-killer”. I’m sorry, but as long as they keep building things that look like this, they’re not the killers, they’re just a flat patch of fur on the side of the road.

I've seen worse political quizzes

This one isn’t bad. It correctly divines that while no one truly represents me (“ideal theoretical candidate”, 100%), I’d generally be inclined to vote Libertarian (Badnarik, 69%), if it weren’t for my compelling interest in the survival of western civilization (Bush, 63%).

It puts Kerry at 44% for me, but it’s not clear how recently they’ve checked his positions on the issues. I’ll have to try again tomorrow and see if the same answers produce different results…

Snowball, Infernal, Improved Chances Thereof

What appears to be an op-ed in Germany’s largest newspaper is getting a lot of attention for endorsing Bush, and laying out the reasons he’s a better choice than Kerry.

My German is far too shaky for me to tell if this is the paper’s official endorsement or “the opinion of one of our columnists,” but either way I can see heads exploding on both sides of the Atlantic. This site appears to have an accurate translation of the reasons given in the article. It’s, um, refreshing reading, and far more sane than the hallway conversation I had today at work.

Anime update: Kaleido Star, disc 5

After watching discs 1-3, I described this as one of the best anime series currently running. Disc 4 cemented that opinion, and was so good that I didn’t want to say anything for fear of spoiling it.

On disc 5 it gets better.

Much of what happens is expected, and some of it is even predictable, but in the final scene of the fourth episode on the disc, they casually drop a bombshell that has the potential to change everything. And it makes perfect sense.

The only thing that kept me from spraying my drink across the room in surprise was the fact that I’d just finished it.

October Surprise

So if the new moveon.org ad bin Laden video is real, and current, and says what is claimed, then I think it is the most persuasive pro-Bush argument that has been made in the last six months. The only way it could possibly be positive for Kerry is if he can prove that it was written, directed, and produced by Karl Rove, with Bush working the camera and Cheney running the teleprompter.

I’m much more concerned with how much candy to buy for Halloween, though. Last year’s depressing turnout left me wondering whether I should go light and risk running out, or stock up and take any leftovers to the office.

And then I remembered The Bush Tax Cut, and stocked up. I’ve got about fifty pounds of assorted goodies in my big Igloo cooler, and I may run out to Costco tomorrow to buy some more.

Remember: Osama bin Laden is dedicated to the destruction of a society so decadent that it not only has four different kinds of Snickers bar (standard, Cruncher, Almond, and Marathon), but allows you to purchase them from an unmarried young woman who bares her face in public and knows how to read and write.

And he’s for Kerry.

Update: Walter Cronkite announced in a Larry King interview that he sincerely believes that Karl Rove “probably set up bin Laden to this thing”. I guess now we know what kind of smoke that whole “smoking gun” thing refers to.

Infectious song of the day

This one has been following me around since junior high school Health class, and for some unknown reason it once again popped into my brain. Google seems to have no record of it, so I might be the only one in the world who remembers this little ditty:

I got those V, VD blues,
careless love, what ya got to lose?
I got high, on two-bit booze,
careless love, loser's blues, VD blues.

(note that for full effect, one must picture a bad country-western singer, backed up by a banjo (if I recall correctly), serving as the title song for a Sex-Ed video made in the 1970s. And I can still sing it. These are the brain cells I wouldn’t mind losing as I get older.)

Lucas terrifies another generation

Wow, the eyes really are the windows of the soul.

The Soul of an Ewok

Dear terrorists,

When claiming credit for kidnapping and murdering an American citizen in Iraq on your propaganda websites, try not to pick a victim who is alive and well and living in Detroit, and who would be very interested to learn how you got her name and an old driver’s license photo.

Little monsters

Not a bad night for trick-or-treaters. 60 degrees and clear skies brought nearly twice as many kids to my house as last year, so I went through about 35 pounds of candy. I’ll try not to eat the remaining 15 pounds of the stuff myself.

Update: dumped the leftover candy in the breakroom at work. It’s all gone now.

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