October 2016

This doesn't work...


Chinese cosplayer/model Sevenbaby is very cute. More evidence here. And here (NSFW).

Sevenbaby as Maya Natsume
Sevenbaby noodling around

According to her blog, she has a DVD and photobook out, but apparently only in the Chinese market. I don’t see any importers listing it.

Note that search engines are useless for finding anything that looks like two words, so unless you want results like “7 baby names that…”, use her name in Hanzi, 柳侑綺. That was useful for finding this photoshoot.

Untitled (Anime) Concert

(from the show that produced the world’s finest cover of Smoke On The Water)

Dad's Ugliest Pipe

I’ve been sorting through the (partial) collection of my father’s pipes that we found in the basement of his house. They were in an open rack, and between the oxygen and the walker he hadn’t been down there in years, so they were pretty filthy. In many cases I couldn’t read the markings until I’d scrubbed the stummels in diluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, and I’m still cleaning and waxing them.

We know we haven’t found them all yet. For some people, 53 pipes would be a lot, but when the University was out for the summer, he’d often work at a local pipe shop, and the pipe cabinets he made himself would fill up a little more. Most of what we have now are those pipe-shop specials, an eclectic mix of minor labels, store brands, seconds, basket pipes, and red-headed stepchildren, and he smoked the hell out of them all. Even the one with the bowl so big I can fit my entire thumb inside.

There are a few “name” pipes in the mix. Two Savinellis, a Comoy, a GBD, a Barling, and two Ropps (including their trademark cherry-wood), and one hand-made that he must have bought in France when he was running the summer abroad program, a Pierre Morel from St. Claude.

And then there’s this, with the hand-engraved signature “E. OSG”. I swear it was rusticated by earthworms.

I’m sure there’s a story that goes with it, but it’s one we’ll never hear now.

Giffy Girl

No, not Jenny. I was just playing around with Gifify, and after fixing the broken framerate logic and adding options to clip the video to from/to timestamps (I suppose I should send a pull request), I made some short animated GIFs of “Ayumi Nagashii” and “Kanori Kadomatsu”, from my recent post on her.

First, a quick Wonder Woman twirl at 15:

(moved after the jump to improve page-load time)


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.

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.

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.

"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!

Not-so-mechanical Turk(ish)

Amazon.com 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.]

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)

This works for me

Doctor Strange movie ad in Japan


Roll her in flour...

Not Safe For Work Or Baking


Yamato Nadesico

The quiet dignity of traditional Japanese fashion.

Yui Oguri


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.

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

Green Male Privilege

Why did the Frogger cross the road?


Savannah Cerberus



Not a Kendo movie

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

Goyokin movie poster


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.

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


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.


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]

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))

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.

Skyrim Special Edition

The new 64-bit HD re-release of Skyrim for Windows is mostly a side-effect of updating the game to work on the PS4 and Xbox One. If you already own the game and all DLC on Steam, it’s free. Yesterday, the Spoiler Warning crew had an impromptu streaming session to show off how glitchy and unstable it was.

After skimming through their video, I gave it a shot, and my experience was completely different. The only two visual issues we had in common were excessively dark shadows outdoors (much worse for them) and a distant non-animated section of a river (which is apparently an initialization problem, because I later saw much more of the same river from a greater distance (up by Bleak Falls Barrow), and it was all flowing).

Josh is the bug whisperer, so it’s no surprise that he got crashes from attempting simple actions, but it was rock solid for me. And where he had terrible frame-rate pretty much everywhere, it was quite smooth for me at 1920x1280. The one potential explanation he mentioned is that he hadn’t updated his graphics drivers in a few months, whereas I did that a few days ago, but since this is the same engine as Fallout 4, that shouldn’t explain all of the problems he saw, and the forums are full of crash reports as well.

So, if you can get it for free through Steam, and you don’t mind playing the vanilla game with just the official DLC and no mods for a while (most importantly, without SkyUI!), then it’s a prettier Skyrim. Not as dramatically so as console players will see, but a definite visual upgrade. The “depth of field” effect that devs think is so cool is stupid, though; until games have eye-tracking, they have no idea what part of the scene I’m actually looking at.

In other news, there was a very small, unexplained patch to No Man’s Sky. The ~50 people who are still playing can’t figure out what it was supposed to accomplish, and no one’s heard from the developers in months.

Also, Civ 6 desperately needs some serious patching, for performance, balance, unit/city management, and fun. Between the intimately-close placement of opposing civs, zerg-rush AI, raging barbarians who upgrade their military faster than you can (I had barbarian anti-tank units show up while I was still trying to acquire the resources to create musketmen), and build times that obsolete your units before you even finish building them, you don’t have time to explore the game’s features. Your strategies are severely constrained, and they didn’t even bother to let you save preferred starting conditions; if you carefully set up the parameters for a game and get a terrible starting location, you’ll have to re-select each and every parameter to start over. And even “huge” worlds are tiny; the world feels like a county.

The AI is very sensitive to victory conditions, too. If, for instance, you want to focus on learning how all the military units work, and don’t want to spontaneously lose because of religion or culture, the AI will be laser-focused on a military victory, and zerg you even harder. Resource-starved? Don’t set the game to abundant resources, or the AI will… zerg you even harder.

There are also some really annoying bugs. If you research a military technology that obsoletes a unit, but you don’t have the resource to build the newly-unlocked unit, then you can’t build either. And at least twice, I unlocked a unit before unlocking the ability to see its required resource on the map.

The Schoolgirl Express

If our universe were like anime, what would these young ladies be rushing off to do?

Schoolgirl Express

And does it involve giant robots, tentacles, or both?


Memorial cheesecake

Catgirls after the jump.


Halloween 2016 prep...

I don’t think I’ll run out tonight. The forecast promises perfect Trick-or-Treat weather tonight after several days of rain, so I went out to Costco and Walmart to stock up. Each bag is 3-6 pounds.

Halloween 2016

[9pm update: even with good weather, I overbought. No more haunted house down the block, I guess. A fair crowd, but I only went through about 50 pounds of candy. The last three teen girls who showed up at 8:55 got extra so I could finish off the opened bags. That should keep me from eating any of the many pounds that are left. I should be popular at the office for a few months, anyway.]

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