This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months?
Why did you say five minutes?
Friday, November 11
Peter Costello, Treasurer of Australia and likely our next Prime Minister:
If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law.I wasn't sure he would measure up to John Howard's example, but I think I'm starting to come round.
We are a secular state under our constitution, our law is made by parliament elected in democratic elections.
We do not derive our laws from religious instruction.
There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law and if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your object you may well be much more at home in such a country than trying to turn Australia into one of those countries, because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not going to happen.
(via Tim Blair)
Thursday, November 10
Change the rules.
The Kansas Board of "Education" has adopted the anti-evolutionary "science standards" they have been pushing for some time. The standards are not even complete, but the six-member dingbat wing of the board pushed them through over the objections of the four-member sane wing.
In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.This will come as a surprise to every scientist and science teacher on the planet. Science is the search for natural explanations of phenomena. That's the most fundamental definition of science; science explains natural events in terms of natural causes - i.e. other natural events.
That the Kansas Board of "Education" (or at least the dingbat wing thereof) would redefine science in this way can mean only one of two things: Either they are ignorant - and, since the facts of the matter have most certainly been presented to them, ineducable; or they are willingly participating in an act of fraud against the state's schoolchildren. I'm not sure Hanlon's Razor is sufficiently sharp for this one.
Wednesday, November 09
Tuesday, November 08
Pixy's Law of Editing
In any document preparation system, the ease of spotting errors is directly proportional to the difficulty of correcting them.
Thus if you are preparing a highschool newspaper using electric typewriters and actual cut-and-paste, you will notice immediately that you have used "affect" when you meant "effect", but will let it slide because it's too much effort to fix.
On the other hand, if you are using a million-dollar WYSIWYG prepress and workflow system, you will not notice that you have inserted the last three chapters of Lady Chatterley's Lover - upside down - into Introductory Linear Algebra until after 50,000 copies have been bound and shipped.
Megumi is the most beautiful girl anyone has ever seen. She's also an abrasive tomboy who will fight just about anyone for just about any reason. She wasn't always like this; in fact, she wasn't always a she...
On the one hand it's long (50 episodes), somewhat cliched (a boy cursed to grow up as a girl), a bit silly, and relies too heavily at times on Megumi Hayashibara's talents. And Megumi (the one in the story, not Hayashibara-san) is somewhat funny-looking.
On the other hand, the characters definitely grow on you (even Keiko, who starts out as a stock miss-rich-bitch), most of the episodes are enjoyable in themselves, it has some interesting twists and turns, and it all resolves itself in a very satisfying way. Even when you see what's coming (and there's some nice foreshadowing if you know what to look for) what you get isn't quite what you expected.
It hasn't been licensed yet, so right now your only option (assuming you don't speak Japanese) is to download the fansub. Which is, I'll add, very nicely done.
Other reviews: JASCII, AnimeNfo. Some of the reviewers don't like it at all, by the way, often for exactly the reasons I do. I you can get past the unusually un-cute character designs at the start, though, there's a lot there to enjoy.
One thing I'll add: Megumi Hayashibara was in her mid-thirties when she did this part, and at first it was weird to hear her voice coming from a fifteen year old girl. But within a couple of episodes it seemed the most natural thing in the world, and Megu-san is very very good at bringing her roles to life. Be warned, it is her Lina Inverse voice, and if that's going to have you expecting Dragon Slave at least once per episode you'll be disappointed.
Thursday, November 03
I have them and you don't! Nya nya nya!
The Good: My laserdisc player, which I haven't used for, oh, a real long time, still works perfectly.
The Bad: My new video capture widget doesn't work at all well with NTSC. In fact, it craps it up completely. Of course, all my laserdiscs are NTSC. (I checked the specs and it said it supported NTSC. I didn't notice there were two different models.)
The Ugly: We've been really spoilt by the recent trend towards end-to-end digital transfers. Laserdiscs used to be considered high-quality video. Eh. Well, I guess my choice of test disc had something to do with it. (Slayers Next, which just happened to be handy.)
Back in the day, 80GB of disk would look like a warehouse full of washing machines.
The good thing was that this made it much harder to put it down somewhere and lose it.
Wednesday, November 02
I have a terabyte of fansubbed anime.
Okay, so a lot of it is crap. Still...
Time, I think, to get my other terabyte of disk working again.
The web is a big place, and full of unexpected treasures.
One such is the Meganeko Gallery.
For the unsubtle, there's also Being Upfront.
As quite a few lucky fellows can attest, the two are not disjoint sets.
(Click on the links if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about.)
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