This accidentally fell out of her pocket when I bumped into her. Took me four goes.
Sunday, September 17
Rick And Morty
Alright, I finally watched this.
It's... Good. It's good. It's smart and funny and only about 80% cynical.
And it commits 100% to its premises and stories and characters. Every time you think, "Wait, what about..." they turn the thing you thought they'd forgotten into a plot point or character moment.
It doesn't reset anything out-of-universe. If there's an in-universe science-fictional mechanism to restore the status quo, that's fair game, but when they do that they also play with the consequences of the mechanism. Some of the best stories are entirely about the characters resolving the side-effects of setting things back to normal in the previous episode.
Another thing I like is that it's not just about Morty going on adventures with Rick while everyone else clings desperately to the idiot ball. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Phineas and Ferb.) Not much of a spoiler since the opening credits show other family members caught up in the insanity, though it takes a bit longer than that for it to actually unfold.
If you can take the art style and the fact that Rick is about 90% awful, recommended.
Rick and Morty can be seen on Cartoon Network in the US.
And the reason why Rick is 'only' 90% awful can be seen in one of the segments of Tales from the Citadel.
On another note...The creeping hand of progressivism is making their way into all aspects of entertainment, including localizing anime, with all the steady determination of the Blob. And having listen to the person supposedly responsible for one of the occurrences, I can safely say that the attitude displayed in person's personal beliefs fit exactly the attitude of the cant that was slip in.
How I long for the days when members of the R1 anime localization industry could demonstrate their progressive creds on their own time and dime (By singing a song about the British troops in Northern Ireland - which I mentioned either here or in the comments at Chizumatic many years ago.).
Posted by: cxt217 at Monday, September 25 2017 11:14 AM (kS3Mo)
Have to say I really like Summer's character development too.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, September 26 2017 07:52 PM (PiXy!)
This is perhaps the strangest book I have ever read. The premise is simple enough: Seth and Theo are newly graduated surveyors from the town of Baharabad. Their town has a problem - the River Orico is drying up, leaving them without a reliable water supply, and the next-closest river is already heavily settled and unlikely to welcome a new town. So it's up to the surveyors to head out and find a new place for the people of the town to settle.
First strange thing: Theo is a brain slug.
Second strange thing: Seth is blind to the north and south. He relies on Theo's use of sonar to ping things in those directions. In fact, everyone is blind to the north and south - they can see east and west, and up and down, but can't see anything in the so-called "dark cone".
Third strange thing: This is because light doesn't travel in those directions.
Fourth strange thing: Seth and Theo live on one side of a hyperboloid, infinite in all directions but with finite surface gravity. The Sun "orbits" that hyperboloid, slowly baking everything behind its orbital path to ash, so that all the world's inhabitants - even the vegetation - must continually migrate to new and more hospitable lands.
Then it starts getting weird.
If you read Flatland or The Planiverse, the authors make it clear that they're describing a universe with only two spatial dimensions. With Dichronauts, it's more complicated than that, because their universe is four-dimensional just as ours is; it's just that instead of three spatial dimensions and time, it has two spatial dimensions and two temporal ones.
That is, north and south are a timeline just as future and past are.
And that means, for example, that the people in the book can't turn around - they can't rotate left-to-right, though they can flip upside down and stand on their hands - any more than you or I can turn pastwards and walk into yesterday.
And in the entire book, no-one turns around.
The rest of it pales into comparison beside that, at least for me. Water flowing uphill, our heroes falling off the edge of the world, the sex life of brain slugs... In the entire book, no-one turns around. Everyone in the story is facing east the entire time.
Egan is a mathematician, and has created a web site explaining in detail the geometry involved. Little of this is given directly to you in the story, though the characters do know they live on a hyperboloid, and assumed it was infinite right up until they fell off it. They don't discuss north and south in terms we'd understand, only in terms they understand, and you're left to figure it out.
Oops, spoiled that. Sorry.
Still, recommended if you like weird hypotheticals that play out as relatable stories and not just as mental exercises. If you're new to Greg Egan I'd suggest perhaps starting with Permutation City or Schild's Ladder instead; they're not necessarily better but are more accessible. (The middle part of Schild's Ladder is a bit dry, all research and politics, but the third part where the heroes finally enter the alien universe is a pure delight.)
Steam says I have a combined 95 hours in Sakura Dungeon, HuniePop, and HunieCam Studio. The rest of the bundle is at least amusing wallpaper.
Posted by: J Greely at Saturday, September 09 2017 01:25 AM (tgyIO)
I can endorse HuniePop, it's a blast.
I can... what's the opposite of endorse... Sakura Spirit.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Saturday, September 09 2017 06:20 PM (1zQhi)
I can also add that a few of the Steam achievements for HuniePop are actually challenging, and you can't get them in the same run (he says, having tried to score without booze, conversation, or trait upgrades...).
HunieCam Studio, on the other hand, was easy to 100%, and the only reason not to get all of the non-grindy achievements in Sakura Dungeon is that some of them are broken unless you have the beta 1.05 patch.
Posted by: J Greely at Wednesday, September 13 2017 03:03 PM (tgyIO)
Not a perfect Deadpool film, but quite a good one, and vastly more entertaining than the stifling Civil War. Being Deadpool, it is of course ultra-violent and utterly profane, so probably not one for the kiddies.
The main problem is that it's the origin story, and we've had enough goddam origin stories. Getting the gang together stories are still cool (Avengers, Guardians) but it's time for the origin story to be buried for good.
Apart from that it succeeds at what it set out to do, and showed it in the cinemas, making $750 million at the box office on a budget of less than $60 million. The Avengers made twice as much, but on four times the budget, so that's a pretty spectacular return.
Recommended - if you like that sort of thing. If you've read any Deadpool comics, you know what to expect, and you get it.
I had checked out of Marvel years before Deadpool was created, so I was only vaguely aware of the character. For that reason, Yet Another Origin Story didn't bother me.
Doctor Strange, on the other hand, could have been a much better film if they'd had the confidence to jump in at the deep end. I liked it for what it was, and most of the actors were terrific, but even setting aside the absurdity of "sling rings", going from zero to Dormammu in one movie was just too much.
Posted by: J Greely at Tuesday, September 05 2017 02:56 AM (tgyIO)
Be sure to check out the "How it Should have Ended" for Dr. Strange.
Posted by: Mauser at Tuesday, September 05 2017 09:33 AM (TYvUn)
Yes, Doctor Strange was another decent film that would have been much better without the origin baggage. The cast was fantastic.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, September 05 2017 10:11 AM (PiXy!)
I hadn't seen it before because it sounded tedious and stupid.
And I'm saying "stupid" in the context of a film series where past outings have included a giant flying alien mecha-snake as the chief villain.
This is a charmless, joyless, tiresome piece of crap; four hours of unlikable characters throwing the idiot ball back and forth.
At least it was on Netflix.
One star for.... No. Zero stars. Avoid.
I went back and watched the first hour of The Avengers. While it's also overlong and flabby with an indifferent plot, the dialog, characterisation, and action sequences are on an entirely different level to Civil War. Avengers is a fun film with some significant flaws; Civil War is drudgery.
Steve Rogers: I wanna know why Loki let us take him. He's not leading an army from here.
Bruce Banner: I don't think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.
Thor: Have a care how you speak! Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard and he is my brother!
Natasha Romanoff: He killed eighty people in two days.
Thor: He's adopted.
I found Age Of Ultron to be such a tedious slog that I still haven't gotten around to Civil War. It's like all the division heads at Marvel got a memo saying, "Suck Harder", and they forget to CC the folks making Deadpool and Logan. (just the movies...)
Posted by: J Greely at Monday, September 04 2017 09:28 AM (tgyIO)
This was significantly worse than Age of Ultron.
But thanks for reminding me that I haven't seen Deadpool.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, September 04 2017 11:17 AM (PiXy!)