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wFavorite posts
halloween 2002 roundup
the future of online gaming
star wars cereal review
japanese culture link of the day (12/6/2002)
japanese culture link of the day (12/23/2002)
reviews: hentai games sux0rz
anime term of the day (fan service, 02/17/2003)
retro gaming link of the day (battletech)
 

Recommended:
megatokyo
sinfest
8-bit theatre
mac hall
penny arcade
twisted kaiju theater
this modern world
dilbert
destroy all monsters
giant robot
8bit joystick
retrolounge
teleport city
stomp tokyo
anime web turnpike
radio paradise
neil gaiman
william gibson
greg costikyan
techrepublic
u.s. constitution
indiana democratic party
tompaine.com
fark
boing boing
metafilter
kuro5hin
the hoosier review
spinsanity
the daily howler
this modern world
the joe bob report
gamespot
quake 2
 

Blogs:
nextblog (random)
blogdex
daypop
the truth laid bear
technorati
the lefty directory

#!-usr-bin-girl
alas, a blog
andrew hagen
angry bear
annatopia
asymmetrical information
bertrand russel
blog left
blog of the moderate left
blue streak
body and soul
bookslut
brut4c
busy, busy, busy
byzantium's shores
calpundit
charles murtaugh
cogent provocateur
confessions of a g33k
cooped up
corrente
counterspin central
crooked timber
cut on the bias
daily kos
democratic veteran
destroy all blogs
die puny humans
disgustedliberal
d-squared digest
electrolite
eschaton
exploits and musings of heidi
flit
founding issues
geisha asobi blog
gorilla-a-go-go
how appealing
hullabaloo
insanekungfu
intel dump
interesting times
ipse dixit
it's still the economy, stupid
kieran healy
late night thoughts
lillianchan
long story, short pier
making light
mark byron
mark a. r. kleiman
matt welch
matthew yglesias
meryl yourish
min jung kim
modulator
mydd
nathan newman
never trust a monkey
no more mister nice blog
notes on the atrocities
not geniuses
oliver willis
oni blogger
onye's livejournal
open source politics
orcinus
pacific views
pandagon
peevish
p.l.a.
political aims
quaker in a basement
reachm high
roger ailes
royal blue
ruminate this
sadly, no!
scoobie davis
seeing the forest
self made pundit
semi-daily journal (brad delong)
shadow of the hegemon
sixdifferentways
skeptical notion
skippy the bush kangaroo
south knox bubba
swanky conservative
tacitus
talking points memo
talkleft
tapped
tbogg
ted barlow
terminus
testify!
the adventures of accordionguy in the 21st century
the agonist
the avocado couch
the blog of chloë and pete
the left coaster
the light of reason
the likely story
the people's republic of seabrook
the power pill
the rittenhouse review
the road to surfdom
the sideshow
the talking dog
the volokh conspiracy
thinking it through
through the looking glass
to the barricades!
to the point
tristero
uggabugga
unmedia
unqualified offerings
untelevised
uss clueless
very big blog
wampumblog
warliberal
whiskey bar
wil wheaton
worldgonewrong
 

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Friday, May 31, 2002x


anime attack


As many of you know, I dig anime (do either of my readers need me to explain that means Japanese animation?). Tuesday night I dropped by my local Video Vault to indulge in its 99-cent 7-day-rental special. I brought home Strictly Ballroom, which we haven't watched yet, two animes and a Disney movie for the girls. (The local branch's anime selection is pretty scant; there's hardly anything recent, and precious few subbed tapes).

So last night I finally watched the first episode of Bubblegum Crisis; I'd seen it before, years ago. I enjoyed it; I even watched the bonus material at the end of the tape, which consisted of a trailer for Riding Bean (another one I haven't seen) and a video of Oomori Kinuko, the seiyuu, or voice actress, for the character Priss performing the song "Tonight There's A Hurricane." The video really looks like it was made in Japan in the late '80s, too. Duly inspired, I set out to locate a copy of the song, and I was more successful than I'd hoped; I snagged an entired CD's worth of material, including "Blue," the closing song to Cowboy Bebop recommended by one of the correspondents at Destroy All Monsters.

So here's the contents of the "Anime I Mostly Haven't Seen Yet" CD that I burned:

  1. Tonight There's A Hurricane (Bubblegum Crisis)

  2. Mad Machine (BGC)

  3. Chase The Dream (BGC)

  4. Bye Bye My Crisis (BGC)

  5. Konya Wa Hurricane (BGC 2040)

  6. Tank! (Cowboy Bebop)

  7. The Real Folk Blues (Cowboy Bebop)

  8. Blue (Cowboy Bebop)

  9. Mushroom Hunting (Cowboy Bebop)

  10. Rain (Cowboy Bebop)

  11. Hateshinai Toiki (Gunsmith Cats)

  12. Night of Summer Side (Kimagure Orange Road)

  13. You Get To Burning (Martian Successor Nadesico)

  14. Watashi Rashiku (Martian Successor Nadesico)

  15. Rinbu Revolution (Revolutionary Girl Utena)

  16. Truth (Revolutionary Girl Utena)

  17. Strength to Carry On (Sailor Moon)


Between watching Bubblegum Crisis and finishing Tomb Raider at long last, I enjoyed quite a geek night last night.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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x


i stand corrected


Dodd of Ispe Dixit dropped me an email responding to an editorial comment I'd made in my friend Patty's discussion of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. In regards to the witty banter among Luke, Leia and Han in the original flick, I'd opined that "there are no zingers even close to that one in Episode 2." Dodd dutifully delivered a debunking:

I must dissent. There's one: Obi-Wan to Anakin: "Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?"


True; that was a good one; I'd forgotten. And the dialog wasn't entirely bad; when I finally get around to posting my own comments, I plan to mention that C-3PO's comic relief is infinitely preferable to Jar Jar's.

// spoiler alert //



I also loved that Christopher Lee's Count Dooku explicitly told Obi-Wan that the Senate was under the control of a Sith, a premise Obi-Wan rejected flatly, and incorrectly.

Speaking of spoilers, is there really any point to keeping Darth Sidious' identity secret? If memory serves me right, the Star Wars novelization (penned by Alan Dean Foster but credited to George Lucas) explicitly identified the Emperor by name.

// end spoiler //



Regarding the Obi-Wan/Anakin relationship, for some odd reason I found their more strained mentor/student relationship less creepy than the relationship between the child anakin and the apprentice Obi-Wan; seeing them shake hands in the trailers brought a chill, knowing that child would eventually kill that man (or perhaps I should say, send him to be one with the Force).

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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alleged spammer sues anti-spammer


An alleged Austrailian spammer has sued an IP blacklist site, alleging its business was damaged.

(via Megatokyo forums)

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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x


marsh rips into ticketmaster


I don't go to a lot of rock concerts these days. Music writer Dave Marsh has written a piece that goes a long way to explaining why (other than the fact that I'm old and boring): Ticketmaster's egregious "handling charges" and "convenience fees," which can amount to up to 60 percent of the ticket's face price.

Specifically, Marsh opines why Ticketmaster isn't subject to antitrust action despite the conspicuous lack of competition it faces. Look at it this way: Customers are willing to be charged convenience fees--prices are higher at a convenience store, and gas stations near an Interstate. But they can't be too much higher or customers will shop elsewhere. McDonald's could charge a "convenience fee" and a "handling charge," (and you'd better believe that's factored into the prices of all fast food), but competition keeps the prices fairly regular. If McDonald's decided to tack on extra fees totalling 60 percent of the food's price, I bet customers would flock to Burger King. It's that supply and demand thing.

All this stems from something I was fairly late in realizing about myself: I'm a captialist. I beleive in capitalism. And I believe unregulated monopolies are anti-capitalist, because they don't provide the benefits in efficiency and price that competition does. Anyone looking at organized baseball can see how ugly unregulated monopolies can get.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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x


a different sort of morality


I had noted, without commenting here, a story CNN carried about a school's ultimatum to a Sacramento, California mother to quit her job as an exotic dancer or her 5-year-old daughter would be expelled. While I found it ironic that the job Silvas worked to afford the school's $400-a-month tuition placed her daughter's attendance in doubt, 24-year-old Christina Silvas had signed an agreement to abide by the school's Christian philosophy. Eventually, and the school and the mother reached a compromise whereby she left the job and the little girl would continue to attend until the end of the year.

Now I read that Ms. Silvas has posed for nude photos in an upcoming online edition of Playboy. While I'm not condemning her decision to do so by itself—come on, it's just Playboy—I can't say I approve of her decision to do so on the heels of the agreement she reached with the school.

I realize it's fashionable to characterise some religious groups as intolerant, but really, I feel the school has been more than reasonable in this case. Silvas signed an agreement to abide by the school's values for the privilege of having her daughter attend, and therefore the school is withing its rights to define what constitutes those principles. Now, so soon after the school made what I consider to be a charitable decision in her daughter's best interests, Silvas very publicly takes action once again in direct contradition to her agreement. And despite what could easily be construed as a slap in the face, the school once again turns the other cheek and has stated it will abide by the arrangement and not toss this woman's girl, an action I think they'd be justified in taking.

I'm not interested in debating whether exotic dancing or nude modeling is immoral, but I do think any sensible definition of morals and ethics would have to encompass keeping one's word. Silvas very clearly doesn't hold that value in great esteem—at least not more so than the paycheck Playboy offered. Score one for the Christians in this case.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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this is what i love about that game


Just this morning, I was hearing on NPR how the World Cup defendign champions, the French, were heavily favored to welcome the Senegalese to their World Cup debut by handing them a defeat. Well, in a stunning upset, the Senegalese team turned the tables on the French with a 1-0 victory.

Also typically of World Cup soccer, all the members of the Senegalese team play for French pro soccer leagues, while none of the French national team play domestically.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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x


a new life


Welcome to the world, Adam D. Pearl!

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/31/2002 //



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Thursday, May 30, 2002x


w00t!


I finally finished Tomb Raider (the original game for the PlayStation, not the movie). I started playing it a month ago because I was getting burned out on Final Fantasy VIII. I only got to play in on- or two-hour bursts, at night after everyone else was in bed, and not every night. Still, I've been working on the insanely difficult last three missions for more than a week. I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

That said, it may be a while before I play another Tomb Raider title. My wonderful wife got me II when she gave me the PSX for Xmas several years ago, and I finished that. I'd played Tomb Raider before on the PC, but never made it past the Egyptian stages. I own Tomb Raider III and The Last Revelation (picked up cheap), but I sense that I'll be going back to Final Fantasy, and sparing myself that particular frustration for a while.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/30/2002 //



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patty sounds off on episode 2


I know, I know, I haven't yet posted my comments on Episode 2, which I was a good week ago. However, my friend Patty sent me an email "in the spirit of my informal movie review collection." In that spirit, I'm posting Patty's comments here.

Here's what is wrong with the latest Star Wars flick:

George Lucas's Star Wars movie-making mantle weighs so heavily on his shoulders, it even makes the actors' dialogue sound sluggish, stilted and awkward. I mean, c'mon, whatever happened to the crisp banter of the original movie? "Aren't you a little short to be a storm trooper?" or whatever Princess Leia says...


(Editor Greg: It's "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" Great line, that, and I agree there are no zingers even close to that one in Episode 2.)


Lucas needs a lighter touch (or someone else to write his dialogue--how about script doctor Carrie Fisher?) with his dialogue and his direction. He's got the Orson Welles syndrome: created a masterpiece early on and now struggles to recreate the magic, but the crown weighs so heavily, he can't loosen up.

One of the beauties of the first films was that Lucas played with all these film genres and storytelling conventions (the Western, the quest romance, etc) without taking them too seriously---he had fun with them, and so did we. His "mission" with these prequels seem to be VERY SERIOUS work for him and not nearly as much fun for us.

For example, the character Anakin (let's not even get started about the actor, who needs to go back to glowering and emoting on soap operas or wherever). Okay, Lucas, we know where we ends up, so why not sustain dramatic tension NOT by showing him as an arrogant, increasinly dissatisfied young man, BUT by showing us a young, eager Jedi Knight who has darker impulses that we know (from the earlier films) are going to be his downfall, but we don't know when or how it will happen. Show him struggling with his impulses and winning at first, but let us see the first signs of the dark side starting to take over and give the audience (and Yoda) the glimpse of this. Create suspense and dramatic tension, for God's sake! As it is right now, he's a spoiled hothead. Instead of Anakin slaughtering those people (still not clear on who they were, but I don't follow Star Wars stuff very much) who killed his mother, wouldn't it have been dramatically richer to see him wanting to do it, but feeling that as a Jedi he cannot do it, and then watching it eat him up inside? Give him a deep, inner life that leads him to becoming Darth Vader. I just can't imagine one of the best villians of all time being explained as merely a guy with natural Jedi gifts but has impulse control problems and a big ego. Maybe he'll expain it in the next movie...?

After all, the only real fun for me (besides watching dreamy Ewan McGregor) in "Attack of the Clones" was watching these characters get out of their scrapes. The action sequences are thrilling and since we know the main characters aren't going to die, it's fun to see them prevail with ingenuity and imagination and technology a la James Bond.



posted by Gregory Harris on 5/30/2002 //



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sw33t!


Seanbaby has a page on his site devoted to scans of the Hostess snack cake ads that used to run in comic books in the 70s. (Do they still have those things? Let me know!)

(via the treacherous Dr. Freex at the Bad Movie Report!)

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/30/2002 //



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Wednesday, May 29, 2002x


wireless blahs


If you ever succombed to one of those annoying pop-under ads and bought an X10 wireless camera, you should know that their signals can be picked up by anyone driving by with a decoder.

(via SixDifferentWays)

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/29/2002 //



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i gotta get me some of that


w00t! Elite Entertainment releases a special edition DVD of Re-Animator.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/29/2002 //



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big surprise


It's official: time is money.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/29/2002 //



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lost and found


Bob Ballard's at it again. The man who headed the expedition that discovered the Titanic believes he has located the sunken wreck of John F. Kennedy's PT-109.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/29/2002 //



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think small


Check it out: the world's smallest website.

(via usr/bin/girl)

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/29/2002 //



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i'm baaaack


Well, the Memorial Day hiatus lasted longer than I thought, but I am once again on the air...er, ether....er, Ethernet...whatever.

The Memorial Day weekend was sw33t! Crystal and I got to see many of our friends at little Cooper's shower. It was extremely enjoyable. We've made some wonderful friends up here, but the gang down in Louisville is very special.

Sunday we spent time with my family, including a very pleasant picnic at Waterfront Park. Cecilia played in the playground for a while, but then insisted on joining the football-toss game going on among the bigger boys. Naturally, she crashed once we got her in the car on the way home.

Memorial Day itself started in a delightful way, as my wonderful wife let me sleep until 8, and then there was coffee and the morning paper. We got some stuff done at the old house. And in the evening, I griled some nice salmon, which we ate on the patio. All in all a spendid weeekend.

posted by Gregory Harris on 5/29/2002 //



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