“We landed on Mars that day — why aren’t they talking about that?”

— Britney questions the newsworthiness of her marriage

No Man’s Sky: Pinky’s World


[note: Steam has a 60% off sale for Halloween. I think $24 is still a bit high, but a lot more reasonable than $60]

Out of the tiny number of people still playing No Man’s Sky on the PC, there exists an even-smaller number who have completed the main quest in Permadeath mode, and of those, a very small number of masochists who chose Raging Galaxy as their destination and ended up in Calypso.

So, for those dozen or so players, if you want to travel through a portal and visit someone’s base to either get the Steam achievement or pick up a decal, come to Pinky’s World:

Just watch out for the Bone-Stripping Acid Storms (not a euphemism).

Pinky’s World (PC, Permadeath Mode, Calypso Galaxy)
Portal Address 201103513B8C (038B:0082:0D12:0011)
Base is 3:30 due East.

(I also left a Comm Station with these instructions at the de-facto message-board portal 111111111111)

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What’s Okina Kamino up to these days?


The Asobi Ni Iku Yo novels ended at 20 (I haven’t gone back to see how/if he wrapped it up). Cattail Output (the spinoff featuring an undercover Melwin) only ran for 4. He had another long series Hashire, Ute that was up to 12 books, but I don’t know much about it, apart from the loli cover girls.

It looks like his current series are mutants and yet another boy-goes-to-fantasy-world story. And this:

At least I hope it’s a series. “Machinegun with Elf and Bikini” has clear potential.

Dear lyrics sites,


Since there are dozens of you endlessly copying each other’s errors, all focused on SEO rather than quality, I know there’s no chance of submitting a correction and getting it propagated, but here’s one anyway.

In the Jackson 5 song I Want You Back, his brothers have some solo lines (Jackie and Jermaine, if I can still keep them straight after all these years…). The first set is pretty obvious, “forget what happened then/let me live again”. The second one, as rendered on lyrics sites, is baffling: “spare me of this cause/gimme back what I lost”.

Not only is the rhyme off, it’s meaningless. When I asked Alexa to play it for me just now, there’s a faint-but-clear “t” at the end of the first line, making it “spare me all this cost”; also, “give back what I lost”.

Why was I listening to a song that’s nearly as old as I am? Because I just found out Little Glee Monster covered it, of course. There’s no music video, and the fan-taped versions have bad video, bad audio, or both, so instead I’ll link to them performing with Earth, Wind, and Fire.

…and embed the original Jackson 5 version after the jump.

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I taste bias


538 ranks Halloween candy, and I call chocolate-covered bullshit. Rolo, Krackel, Junior Mints, and Haribo Gold-Bears all beat Baby Ruth, and Bit-O-Honey didn’t even make the cut. I blame the DNC and Hillary’s campaign for funding this transparently absurd attempt to defame honorable American candies.

In other news, the staff of 538 has way too much time on their hands, and way too little legitimate data to crunch.

Padding and Distraction


Songs written specifically for the credits of an anime series tend to be so carefully designed for a 1:30 runtime that it’s difficult to expand them to full-length songs, or to come up with a fitting live video featuring the performer. Two notable successes are the OP songs from Kannagi (which I can only find in a low-res version on an obscure Chinese video site…) and Bakuon, both of which make full use of their quite appealing singers.

The folks responsible for the My Hero Academia ED song Dakara Hitori Ja Nai, however, clearly had no idea how to seamlessly expand 1:30 to 4:20, and the video director wasn’t content to rely on the appeal of the five pretty young women who make up Little Glee Monster. The result is… interesting. I count at least three kitchen sinks.

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Porch Cats update


(previously, previously, previously, previously)

Scrawny has become sufficiently comfortable that she not only accepts skritches every day, she leans into it. She hasn’t reached the point of initiating contact, but she keeps getting closer to it.

Whitefoot has been joined by another similar-looking cat who’s still not the white-socks-and-soul-patch cat from the original crew. This one actually has some bouncy kittenish behaviors, but is also dumb as a post when it comes to figuring out where the food is. His behavior has earned him the name Dumas.

Whitefoot and Dumas are playing dominance games with the others, although no one has been stupid enough to challenge Scrawny over the cushions. They do try to take her food, though, which has led to some hissing from her and interference from me; there’s a good chance that her increased tolerance for affection is related to this.

Tubbs has been frozen out. The other three basically camp the porch all day, and he’s too skittish to approach when I’m putting out food, so he just sits in the bushes looking hungry. Haven’t seen Caramel for months, and Smoky hasn’t shown up since Dumas joined the crew a few weeks ago. I’m thinking of changing the timing of the automatic feeder to give them a chance to at least get some dry food, but I expect Whitefoot and Dumas to quickly adapt; they seem to always be close enough to hear my front door or car door, so they’ll definitely hear the noise from the feeder.

If I ever get some cover installed over the back porch, I could put a second automatic feeder back there, but I keep putting that project off (17 years and counting…).

Update

Found a dead rat conspicuously placed in the yard near the front door. Big healthy one, too, so the gang is earning their keep.

Also, Dumas turns out to be skritch-tolerant as well.

All three are showing signs of wanting to find out what’s on the other side of the front door…

Confessions of an Invisible Girl…


I tend to skip the OP and ED for most series after seeing it once or twice (or in the case of Noir, “frantically stabbing at the remote to escape that damn song”), but while watching the second season of My Hero Academia, I always watched the first ED. Great focus on the girls, with a matching song.

Between this and watching the two OVAs, though, it’s clear they haven’t thought much about Invisible Girl as more than comic relief. She’s always invisible, but objects touching her body are visible, so her hero costume is “full nudity with gloves and boots” (which she takes off for stealth). And there’s no hint that she has any sort of enhanced toughness as part of her quirk.

So, in the training scenes where they’ve all been running around and then an explosion raises a huge dust cloud, her sweaty naked body should collect a coat of dust. And when they’re getting bounced around by explosions or running through rough terrain, she should end up covered in (invisible) cuts and bruises.

Based on the condition of the other students at the end of the “Training of the Dead” OVA, she must look like a mummy from all the bandages they’d need to patch her up. I think she needs to have a chat with gadget-girl Mei about coming up with some transparent defensive gear; a sports bra and short-shorts, at the very least. That would also make her future hero career less of a gropefest.

No Man’s Sky revisited


After Shamus wrote up his one-year-later look at the ambitiously flawed No Man’s Sky, I decided to take another look myself. Before I’d even consider it, though, I made sure that I had workarounds for the most crippling of its misfeatures. The Pride of Euclid mod makes it possible to travel around planets at something other than a crawl, and nmssavetool allows editing save files to fix the ridiculous inventory limitations and reduce grinding by about 80%.

With the original nmssavetool, I had some canned jq scripts to do basic useful things: add cash, add an item to inventory, and report or change the current ship/multitool seed (a purely cosmetic cheat that changes their procedurally-generated appearance to something cooler).

The author has baked all those and much more into the new version, so that you can start a new game, save once, and then upgrade yourself to be capable of playing the parts of the game you like, whether that’s exploring new star systems, fighting pirates, or questing. There’s also a Java-based GUI save editor that makes it easier to do things like reorganize your technology in the inventory grid to maximize bonuses (a feature of the game that is still nearly impossible to use legitimately).

On that note, there are now two quest chains, and they’re not nearly as fragile as they were before (although one of them is broken in 1.38…); the new mission generator gives you some short-term goals, as long as you work around its bugs. They even turned the useless portal-ish items into a direct clone of Stargate’s stargates, complete with whoosh.

I can honestly say that, with mods and save tools, it’s now a decent $15 game. Unfortunately they still charge $60 for it, so unless you see a big sale, don’t buy it. And if you buy it, get some mods and a save tool, or you’ll find the fun parts separated by tall grindy mountains; Shamus’ articles cover a lot of that, and I agree with pretty much everything he said.

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