December 11, 2007

My "Faith" in the Media Falls Every Day

So the Telegraph requested submissions for a revised Union Jack to appease some politician with his panties in a bunch. What they got were mostly jokes.

It's the Internet. What else can you expect?

So here's the winning submission.

 

"Flame-haired cartoon dragon" my ass. Don't any of these people do any research anymore?

"It represents shouting "UNION!" and joining together; kicking reason to the curb and doing the impossible; fighting the power, and piercing the heavens," said the Norwegian designer.

My lord in heaven, google any one of those phrases and you're bound to come across an image like this.

Either they really don't get the joke, or they know they've been caught with their pants down and only hope to salvage some small amount of dignity by keeping quiet..

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An Update too Big for the Bottom of Previous Post

Gurren Lagann meets the Transformers movie.

There are clips from throughout the show, so you could consider them to be spoilers.

GAR-formers

Oh Geez, another update below the fold.

more...

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December 07, 2007

Two Great Things, Together at Last

It took a while for AMV Hell 4 to grow on me. One of the things that really grabbed me was the song "Welcome to the Black Parade", played during the ending credits.

Now, My Chemical Romance is not the kind of band I would normally find myself listening to. The prevailing opinion of them is that they're an "emo" band, regardless of what the band members may think. To be honest, I probably wouldn't recognize any of their other songs.

"Welcome to the Black Parade" is not a negative song. It sounds negative at first. That is until they hit the first chorus and you figure out that it's nothing of the sort. And that's why I like it.

The theme is carrying on in the face of pain, fear, sorrow, and grief.

That got me to thinking about how well it would mesh with the themes from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

 

more...

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November 29, 2007

Getting an Early Start on Christmas

The kitten seems mesmerized by the new tree.

You're getting sleepy.

Will she leave it alone?

 Damn...

Guess not.

She's done worse.

She's a small cat. That's a small tree.

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November 26, 2007

Do you have The Knack?

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November 25, 2007

Contradictions, False Assumptions, and The Sword of Truth Finale

I'm agnostic, so two groups that really tend to get on my nerves are religious firebrands and evangelical atheists.

Having finally finished reading the last book of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, something didn't fit.

The events of the last few years seem to have caused Goodkind to blend the early socialist/communist ideals of the Fellowship of Order (his corporeal bad guys) with the death-cult mentality of Militant Islam.

I've already written about Goodkind's distinct distaste for socialism/communism, but in his last book (and an epic case of target drift), <hyperbole>he's decided to lump in anyone who isn't a God-hating atheist in with the rest of the commie scum.</hyperbole> I don't think he was paying enough attention to potential contradictions and false assumptions when he was putting the end together.

more...

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November 20, 2007

Well, I'd Call That A Moment In Time

I don't think of the Grand Canyon Airport as being particularly busy, which makes this image all the more rare.

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November 14, 2007

Brand New Hardware

I'm posting this from my brand-spanky new computer.

This build took signifcantly less time than my previous two builds. A) because I had a better feel for what I wanted to achieve, and 2) because I had enough money built up to get all the parts in a short amount of time.

Thermaltake Aluminum Case (power supply I had already)

Asus P5K-E board

E6850 Core 2 Duo

2GB PC 6400

300 GB SATA drive (I'll monkey around with RAID after doing a bit of research and getting a second drive)

8600 GT OC (didn't really see the need to buy an 8800 right now, they'll becoming down eventually, or I can SLI another 8600 in here)

DVD RW drive (not going anywhere near HD until the war's been won)

Wireless keyboard and mouse (The keyboard's a little touchy, or not actually. You have to fully depress the key to get a reading. The keyboard I'm used to is much more forgiving.)

All in all I clocked in at about $1200, which seems reasonable for what I've got. (1200 includes a new copy of Windows XP. I can upgrade to Vista later. I'm always a very late adopter when it comes to an OS.)

Now I don't have an excuse to pick up some newer games.

My wallet is screaming in pain.

Posted in Computers by: Will at 07:15 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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November 09, 2007

How have I not heard about Band of Bloggers yet?

Right now, I'm watching the tail-end of a show on History Channel called Band of Bloggers. How is it I haven't heard about this show yet? I follow enough blogs that I should have seen something... Was I just asleep at the wheel?

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Sketchbook OP & ED

I could just sit and watch (listen to, really) these all day.

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November 08, 2007

Kimi Kiss Pure Rouge - A Breath of Fresh Air

Oblivious male leads and hyper-shy female leads are a staple of anime. No genre is immune.

In a harem genre full of mediocre titles, the number of males capable of detecting and acting on the interests of a member of the opposite sex (rather than freaking out if/when they finally get the hint) is vanishingly small.

But never fear, Mao-neechan is here!

(It get's a little picture heavy below the fold)

more...

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November 07, 2007

Now that looks a little more like it.

Google maps finally updated that bizarre photography over the Vegas strip.

I should have kept a screenshot.

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November 06, 2007

Flash Portal

So... Lots of people have been yakking it up about Portal. Well, while the Orange Box is definitely in my future, for now a flash version of Portal will have to suffice.

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October 31, 2007

Minami-ke Episode 4

When this freak...

...started rambling on about adopting Haruka's "children" at about 21:23 into the file, I got the nagging feeling I'd heard that music before. Not on the accordion, but it was just too damned familiar.

Then it hit me.

I've played that before. That's the intro to Dvorak's Carnival Overture from the 2001 ASU marching band.

That's obviously an arranged intro. Here's the real thing.

 

more...

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A Real Head-Scratcher

My mission, regardless of whether I choose to accept it, is to figure out how to streamline the attribute extraction process we use in AutoCAD at work. Particularly as regards fastener counts, and lineal feet of various metal shapes and accessories.

The problem starts with a detail. In the drafting sense. A connection detail of several pieces of metal at the eave of a metal roof, for example. This connection may stretch for a couple hundred feet with a couple of different fasteners spaced at different intervals.

What I have to figure out is a means of automating the process of identifying which fasteners have been specified, calculating how many of each fastener will be required for the detail, count up the lineal feet of each metal shape (with associated part numbers), extract all that data, and put it into a format that can be used by Excel.

There is an attribute extractor built into AutoCAD, but it isn't capable of doing the math my boss wants it to do while extracting that data. As a matter of fact, it's really only capable of looking at the attributes contained in blocks (at least for our purposes, that's all it can do).

The tools available to me are a mix of AutoLISP, Diesel, and VBA. I've got a bit of the first under my belt. It's the latter two that I have no experience with...

Once I've figured out how to get all that information out of one detail, I have to get it out of the other 10 to 150 details. Some parts and fasteners will have been reused in latter details and I need to make sure they all get added up.

I know I'm going to have to build at least some of the tools myself. The problem I'm running into is the lack of tools required to build my tools. At this stage, I'm pretty sure I'm going to need access to object handles (which are persistent for the life of the file), but all I can seem to find are tools to work with entity names which are not persistent beyond the current session.

Posted in AutoCAD by: Will at 03:39 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Anime Night - Week 4

You know, I was all set to have this post ready to go on time a week ago. Then I made the rookie mistake of not hitting "save" before navigating away. Feeling more disgusted than angry, I've been putting it off until whatdayaknow it's another week later and it's time for the next viewing session. This isn't half the post it used to be.

This(last) week we had one addition to, and two losses from, our merry band. Crest of the Stars volumes 2 ane 3 were on the menu.

The first episode of volume 2 is a bit of a downer.

Crest can come across as extremely dull if you don't find yourself becoming interested in the Abh and the world building involved. I know a couple people were having trouble following the space battles. Plane Space combat appears very cluttered until you start to wrap your head around the concept.

(Something that has always bothered me is if/how they are able to resolve where exactly one space-time bubble will intersect with another bubble. There's an extra undefined variable that they shouldn't be able to magically predict. But then again, I don't remember Gosroth ever turning into a convergence point before "the glow" began to appear on the bubble's surface.)

Posted in Anime by: Will at 10:15 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 24, 2007

Temporal Insults

Having finally got around to seeing the Transformers movie, I found myself getting aggravated by the implications of one small bit of dialogue.

It made me think of that old saying, "Those that can, do." I wonder what percentage of sci-fi writer in Hollywood were, at one time or another, aspiring scientist or engineers. 

Millions of man-hours, oceans of sweat and tears, and trillions of dollars have gone into the development of the technologies we enjoy today. The fact that I can sit here avoiding work while plugging away at a piece of software developed in Australia, hosted in the US, and that eventually broadcasts my meager rantings to the rest of the world (am I banned in China yet?) over an interconnected system of integrated circuits, fiber-optics, and maybe even across some man-made chunks of metal orbiting in space, is a testament to the work done by millions of incredibly smart and diligent people before me.

 

more...

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October 22, 2007

And they ride off into the sunset...

I just finished off the last two episodes of El Cazador de la Bruja yesterday. I can't say it hit me in any profound or meaningful way, but it was at least semi-satisfying. Episode 26 is devoted to wrap-up and tying off a minor (inconsequential really) loose end. The real climax occurs in 25.

Novels have an excuse for this behavior. They can devote pages of text to describing what's happening without mucking up the continuity (I'm looking at you The Illiad, and your six pages describing a damned shield). But I can't be expected to believe the protagonists can carry on a two minute conversation without the villain chiming in to shut them up.

I need to see if they have a trope for this kind of thing already.

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October 19, 2007

Damned Avian Showoffs

Seriously...

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October 17, 2007

Tuesday Night is Anime Night - Week 3

This is about a week late, but because we had to cancel last night's get-together, I get a chance to catch up.

Crest of the Stars has gone over well so far. We only got through one DVD. There's not nearly so much mystery to the plot compared to Haibane Renmei, so I've had an easier time dealing with questions.

Everybody got a kick out of the prank Lafiel's father pulled on her about her birth secret.

I did have to do a bit of clarifying on the subject of Plane Space, because the explanation given in the early parts of the show leaves a lot to be desired.

We were short one person last week, and we're going to have an additional viewer starting next week. The prior isn't very concerned with keeping up on the plot, while the latter is a fiend about that sort of thing. I hope I can find a way to get everybody caught up.

Posted in Anime by: Will at 08:53 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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