Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.
Thursday, September 14
I'm in the market for a new camera.
I have a Sony DSC-S85, which is quite a good camera, but it's rather slow (really bad for action shots), has only a modest zoom range, and only supports Memory Stick cards up to 128MB.
I'm not a professional photographer, or even close, and for the most part I'm planning on taking outdoor photos for web use. I need a camera that is fast, easy to use, not overly bulky, not overly expensive, has a good zoom lens, and can take a decent sized memory card.
I'm thinking of getting the Panasonic FZ50. It's not a pocket camera by any means (it's bigger than my S85), but 10 megapixels and a stabilised 12x Leica lens? Works for me.
Yes, a digital SLR would be better. But a digital SLR with a couple of decent lenses would run twice the price of the FZ50. And I'm not going to be producing A3 prints of my photos; I'm going to be scaling them down, if anything.
Wednesday, September 13
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World? Where did that come from? I've never even heard of it.
Oh, KonoMini. Right. Never mind then. I couldn't even be bothered to watch the fansubs.
One cost of living in Australia: With one fifteenth the population of America, and effectively one anime distributor, we don't get sales like this. I could order it from Robert, but by the time I take into account shipping, customs fees, and Australian sales tax, it ain't so cheap any more.
Plus, I already have the Ah! My Goddess movie, Ai Yori Aoshi, Armitage, El Hazard, Lain, all of Mahoromatic, Read or Die, Sol Bianca, Sugar, Tenchi Muyo, Trigun... And two copies of Haibane Renmei.* There's Stellvia - I have the fansub, but haven't watched it - but apart from that the most I'd be doing is replacing VHS tapes (or in some cases laserdiscs) with DVDs.
Now, if it was $5 per DVD from a store here in Sydney I'd be right there.
* I did say I'd spent a lot on anime.
ARM 86KGuy can't make up his mind.
AWW 88KHate to tell him that it was discontinued in the early 90s.
Pete Zaitcev doesn't like Media Factory. He's not alone there, but I have to disagree with his reasons.
Media Factory was the first, and so far the only, anime studio to take any action against the fansub community. They didn't sue anyone, but they did request that people remove any fansubs or links to fansubs of Media Factory properties. Which is certainly their legal right, but does break with the idea that fansubs are tacitly accepted - as long as the fansubs are withdrawn from distribution once a series is licensed outside Japan. (AnimeSuki in particular is very good about this.)
Now, you can understand why studios might be willing to accept this. Their major market is Japan. A show airs on TV, they get paid, and if it's a success they stand to make the big bucks on DVD sales and plushies. Getting licensed outside Japan is always a bonus, and it helps a lot if there's a fan base outside Japan. The American anime distributors keep an eye on what the fans are talking about when they decide what to license. (Usually. Sometimes they seem to be thinking of something else entirely.)
And fansubs drive that base.
So what happened to change Media Factory's mind? Well, they had something of a hit with a TV series called Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. Which I really really hate, but that's beside the point. They followed it up with a DVD release called Akane Maniax.
And it was on the fansub sites practically the day it hit the stores in Japan. Including "raws" - direct rips of the DVDs.
One might understandably get a little upset at that.
I love my fansubs, and I sometimes don't worry too much if I decide not to buy the DVDs afterwards because I've spent, um, a lot of money on anime over the past decade. (Including at least 15 Media Factory titles, just going from memory.) And I have fansubbed some episodes of the original Dirty Pair series myself*, and might even get back to completing the task one day.
But if the studio asked me not to, I would think no less of them for that.
* From someone else's script. I just edited it and fixed the timing and stuff.
One slime at a time:
A bright yellow slime mould that can grow to several metres in diameter has been put in charge of a scrabbling, six-legged robot.Cool.
What's for lunch?
Monday, September 11
I remember September 12 2001. I awoke unaware of what had happened overnight, had breakfast, dressed, headed off to work.
And as I passed the newsagent, I saw the headline:
WORLD TRADE CENTER COLLAPSESAnd I thought, no, that's wrong, they mean "world trade talks collapse". Something like that. How could they make such an error on the front page?
Then the pictures, and the video.
It was not only America that was attacked that day; it was all of civilisation. We must never forget that.
Oh, and if you happen to meet an editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, please punch them in the face for me.
My iPod croaked again. But:
1. Toggle the Hold switch on and off. (Slide it to Hold, then turn it off again.)Worked.
2. Press and hold the Menu and Select buttons until the Apple logo appears, about 6 to 10 seconds. You may need to repeat this step.
I think I must have done that by accident last time. When in doubt, mash the buttons.
Friday, September 08
Oops. My brain just melted.
Little kitties set to music from My Neighbour Totoro:
Really little kitties set to music from Kiki's Delivery Service:
Warning! That second one is dangerously cute.
Thursday, September 07
I was trying a new iced tea today (Tetley Peach and Orange, very nice) and noted that it contained even more sugar than the Lipton tea I normally drink. After consuming an entire 1.25 litre bottle of it, of course.*
And then I wondered just how sweet they could make it.
The answer is roughly ten times as sweet.
I don't think that even I could drink that. It would be like drinking honey, something I hardly ever do.
And you know how honey never spoils?** Plasmolysis. Makes sense; I was wondering where this magical natural antibiotic effect came from. It's nothing fancy, it just dehydrates the little buggers.
* A 1.25 litre bottle of this from the minimart downstairs from the food court I usually go to costs only slightly more than a 500ml bottle bought in the food court. The only problem is that I then tend to drink the whole thing over the course of the afternoon.
** Well, now you do.
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