Meet you back here in half an hour.
What are you going to do?
What I always do - stay out of trouble... Badly.

Wednesday, July 14


You Can't Make A Silver Tongue Out Of A Tin Ear

Via Insty, Mort Zuckerman gets slapped in the face with the cold, dead trout of reality:
The hope that fired up the election of Barack Obama has flickered out, leaving a national mood of despair and disappointment. Americans are dispirited over how wrong things are and uncertain they can be made right again. Hope may have been a quick breakfast, but it has proved a poor supper. A year and a half ago Obama was walking on water. Today he is barely treading water. Then, his soaring rhetoric enraptured the nation. Today, his speeches cannot lift him past a 45 percent approval rating.
Soaring rhetoric?  When he's on (which is rare these days) Obama is wooden.  When he's off (-teleprompter) he's simply inept.

To be fair, Australia's own not-late-but-decidedly-unlamented Kevin Rudd was not merely wooden but utterly leaden; his speeches were actively painful.

To continue:
The president failed to communicate the value of what he wants to communicate. To a significant number of Americans, what came across was a new president trying to do too much in a hurry and, at the same time, radically change the equation of American life in favor of too much government.
And they were right.

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Tuesday, July 13


Do Senators Make Bad Presidents?

I hold the U.S Senate of recent years in approximately zero esteem (unless esteem can hold a negative value) and it was some dismay that I watched the 2008 presidential campaign narrow to a choice of three senators.

But do senators intrinsically make bad presidents? Let's take a look at what jobs recent presidents held before election.

Bush, G.W
Bush, G.H.W


Roosevelt, F.D

Roosevelt, T


That leaves out three from the 20th and 21st centuries - Eisenhower, who was a five-star general, Hoover, who was Secretary of Commerce, and Taft, who held a number of roles including Secretary of War.

So, in the last century or so, three men have been elected from the senate directly to the presidency: Obama, Kennedy, and Harding.  So, one bad, one potentially great (if flawed), one incumbent.  Unfortunately I'll have to rule insufficient data here.

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Sunday, July 11


K-On! In Concert


Thousands of insane fans clutching handfuls of different-colour glowsticks representing the different characters.

Big cheers for Yui (though she did come first), Mugi (naturally), Ui, Azu-nyan (of course), and interestingly, Sawa-chan.


Update: What is that yellow thing?  It looks like she killed Big Bird and wore him as a skirt.

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Saturday, July 10


World Gone Unmad?

Peopleware is back in print.  Which sucks if you were a Peopleware speculator hoarding used copies as a retirement investment, but is great news for civilisation as a whole.

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You're Listening to Radiolab

The question is, though, what is the name of Zoe Keating's "new piece that doesn't have a name" (as was).  I just went to her site (cheaper than iTunes, offers FLAC downloads, and she gets to keep the money, or at least I hope so) and bought all her albums, so I guess I'll find it soon enough.

Meanwhile In C Remixed is $31.99 on iTunes Oz and they don't have their own online store.  I'll probably buy it anyway.  But they have Zinc (Zoe In C - Zoe Keating's contribution) as a free download, so naturally I grabbed that first.

Update: It's called Escape Artist.  I actually like the version she recorded for the Quantum Cello episode better than the album track, though.

Radiolab - from WNYC (C!) and NPR.

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Tuesday, July 06



Angel Beats is...  Not even worth ranting about.  The show only avoids being terrible by not having enough substance to be anything at all.  I don't think any of that supposed potential was actually there - rather just an illusion of potential.  It's pretty clear that no-one involved in the project had any concept of how to construct or tell a story, or how to draw faces or to animate, well, anything at all.

If they actually fed Haruhi and Shana into a Markov-chain Lua script controlling Maya and Vocaloid and streamed the results straight out onto TBS, then I give them a B for effort.  If there were, unlikely as it may seem, real live humans involved in production, then they should be prevented from ever reproducing.  You probably wouldn't need to put too much effort into that; just publicise the fact that they worked on Angel Beats.

I give it no nothings out of none.

Fortunately, there is K-On!!, which has a turtle.

Disclaimer: This review is based on watching only the first episode, since the show was cancelled immediately afterwards.  In my universe.

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A Thought Occurs To Me

If the major movie, television and music studios would just ditch iTunes and sign up with Steam, we could turn the global economy around inside of six months.

Today only: Every Humphrey Bogart movie ever made, just $1.99 for the set!  The complete anime and manga works of Osamu Tezuka, $3.74!

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Saturday, July 03


An Astounding Scientificy Breakthrough

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