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Favorite posts
halloween 2003 roundup (coming soon)
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)
20 favorite movies since 1980
second japanese culture link of the day (11/20/2003)
 

Recent posts at Destroy All Monsters
Check out today's news posts at Destroy All Monsters
 


Recommended:
destroy all monsters
megatokyo
sinfest
8-bit theatre
the onion
mac hall
penny arcade
twisted kaiju theater
this modern world
dilbert
giant robot
8bit joystick
retrolounge
teleport city
stomp tokyo
cold fusion video reviews
kung fu cinema
anime web turnpike
random abstract
radio paradise
neil gaiman
william gibson
greg costikyan
xeni jardin
nasa's astronomy picture of the day
techrepublic
u.s. constitution
the democratic party's blog
indiana democratic party
center for american progress
donkey rising
tompaine.com
fark
boing boing
metafilter
kuro5hin
the hoosier review
misleader
spinsanity
the daily howler
this modern world
the joe bob report
gamespot
quake 2
 

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nextblog (random)
blogdex
memeorandum
daypop
the truth laid bear
technorati
the lefty directory
indiana blogs

#!-usr-bin-girl
alas, a blog
altercation
andrew hagen
angry bear
annatopia
asymmetrical information
bertrand russel
blah3
blog left
blog of the moderate left
blue streak
body and soul
bookslut
brut4c
busy, busy, busy
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calpundit
charles murtaugh
chris c. mooney
collaboratory
confessions of a g33k
cooped up
corrente
counterspin central
critiques of editorials
crooked timber
cut on the bias
daily kos
daniel drezner
demagogue
democratic veteran
destroy all blogs
die puny humans
d-squared digest
electrolite
eschaton
etched in stone
fester's place
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
jack o'toole
juan cole
kieran healy
late night thoughts
legal fiction
lillianchan
long story, short pier
making light
mark byron
mark a. r. kleiman
matt welch
matthew yglesias
meryl yourish
min jung kim
modulator
monkeywatch
mydd
nathan newman
never trust a monkey
nitpicker
no more mister nice blog
notes on the atrocities
not geniuses
off the kuff
oliver willis
oni blogger
onye's livejournal
open source politics
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pacific views
pandagon
peevish
pharyngula
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p.l.a.
political aims
political animal
political wire
quaker in a basement
reachm high
roger ailes
royal blue
ruminate this
rungu
sadly, no!
scoobie davis
seeing the forest
self made pundit
semi-daily journal (brad delong)
shadow of the hegemon
sisyphus shrugged
sixdifferentways
slacktivist
skeptical notion
skippy the bush kangaroo
south knox bubba
swanky conservative
tacitus
talking points memo
talkleft
tapped
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terminus
testify!
the 18½ minute gap
the adventures of accordionguy in the 21st century
the agonist
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the avocado couch
the blog of chloë and pete
the campaign desk
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the light of reason
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the people's republic of seabrook
the poor man
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the right christians
the rittenhouse review
the road to surfdom
the sideshow
the talking dog
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thinking it through
through the looking glass
to the barricades!
to the point
tristero
uggabugga
unmedia
unqualified offerings
very big blog
very very happy
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whatever
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  xFriday, November 15, 2002

woo!


Automaker BMW has created a unique product-placement promotional proposition: Rather than merely have their cars featured in commercial hollywood films (a concept they've also embraced), they've commissioned a series of short featurettes depicting ace stunt driver Clive Owen at the wheel of a BMW Z8 Roadster.

One of their latest releases, The Hostage, was helmed by acclaimed Hong Kong action maestro John Woo (A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Hard Boiled, Face/Off). It's awesome. You can even download the 100MB-plus QuickTime movie to enjoy the film any time plus DVD-style director's comments. For a sample, you can check out the trailer in streaming-only format.

(via Destroy All Monsters, which has a review of the short film)




  x

regrettably removed from the blogroll


Letter from Gotham has ceased blogging. Good luck on all your future endeavors, Diane!




  x

my brain just melted


One of the funniest things about the Simpsons episode featuring the Japanese cleaning product "Mr. Sparkle" (whose logo bore an uncanny resemblance to Homer) was that the commercial it displayed was just about as wacky as Japanese commericals sometimes are.
I'm disrespectful to dirt! Can you see that I am serious?

What a brave corporate logo!
I accept the challenge of Mr. Sparkle!

But nothing beats this Flash-based Kikkoman soy-sauce ad for sheer insanity.

(via Destroy All Monsters via BoingBoing)




  x

another reason i never go


One big I reason I don't go to the movie theaters much any more is because of my daughters...after our first was born, we had precious little time. Another reason, frankly, is because most of the offerings just aren't that interesting any more. And then there's this: theater chains are increasing the amount of "pre-show" ads and program shorts to 20 minutes' worth.

This summer, I only saw a couple of films in the theater, and was generally annoyed at the endless previews of endlessly uninteresting movies. But it's really infuriating to have to sit through commericials before the flick--and pay for the privilege, yet. if I wanted commercials with my films, I'd stay home and watch American Movie Classics.

Update: IssuesGuy has, um, issues with pre-movies commercials--and lousy popcorn--too.

(via BoingBoing)




  x

five will get you ten dodd doesn't lift this link


w00t and double w00t! Kaiju news site Monster Zero reports that Toho Studios is rumored to have plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Godzilla movie by matching the Big G up against another beloved giant-monster icon, Gamera.

Let the mayhem commence!

(via Destroy All Monsters)




  x

someone owes dodd five bucks


w00t! The BBC plans to air a previously unreleased episode of Dr. Who--one written by noted science fiction author Douglas Adams, who died last year--some 24 years after the project was shelved. And it'll premiere as a Webcast, no less!
The episode, called Shada, was described as "the greatest Doctor Who story never shown" and began filming in 1979 but production was halted by industrial action.

Following several false starts in attempting to bring it back, the drama will finally be premièred in a webcast on BBCi in the spring.

Paul McGann will star as the doctor, backed by a well-known cast including James Fox, Andrew Sachs, Hannah Gordon and Melvyn Hayes.

Director Nicholas Pegg hailed it as "a tremendously exciting project".


Groovy!

(via Ipse Dixit, who predicted I'd link this)




  x

canto-pop gallery of the day (part 2)


ekin cheng
In the interests of equal time, here are some galleries devoted to Hong Kong pop heartthrob Ekin Cheng, who costarred with Hsu Chi in Young and Dangerous, A Man Called Hero, and Storm Riders. Like Hsu Chi, Ekin Cheng has a lengthy career in both films and pop music; unlike her, I do not know if Cheng has ever posed in the nude.




  x

canto-pop gallery of the day (part 1)


hsu chi
This site features several galleries of Taiwanese model and movie and singing star Hsu Chi (Young and Dangerous, A Man Called Hero, Storm Riders, The Transporter). Although Hsu Chi has frequently posed in the nude (and no, I'm not linking to any), these galleries appear safe for work.




  x

congress okays webcasting deal


Excellent news! Small Internet radio stations will face lower royalty payments under a deal just approved by the US Senate and House of Representatives in a late-night portion of its lame duck session. Small Webcasters had feared that royalty rates set by the Library of Congress would force them out of buisiness, but the new regulations would enable a deal worked out between the Webcasters and copyright holders to take effect. Stations unable to afford the official rates could pay no more than $2,500 annually, or a percentage of their revenues. Nonprofit broadcasters such as college and religious station can also work out a separate deal under the legislation.




  x

hilarious


As you know, I think MegaTokyo is always funny, even (or especially) as it skewers computer game players and anime fans (hey, wait a minute!). Today's installment, however, is simply priceless.




  xThursday, November 14, 2002

idiot of the day


File this one under C for Clueless: A Wisconsin teen accused of boosting more than 100 cars blamed the popular Grand Theft Auto video game for his actions. Nineteen-year-old Micah A. Zoerner was caught red-handed breaking into a car in an apartment complex; at the time, he weas in posession of yet another stolen vehicle with a trunkful of hot goods to boot.
Detectives said he told them he had been inspired by the video game "Grand Theft Auto" in which the characters steal cars from parking garages and other places.

"He (Zoerner) said that actually going out and committing these crimes was challenging and fun," Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Brian Wagner said.

"A video game is fantasy and you can turn it off and walk away without consequences — there are no victims and no one gets hurt. Reality is not as forgiving."


It shouldn't have to be said that thousands upon thousands of people (including myself, with GTA2) have played these video games without developing the irreseistable craving to go out and jack someone's wheels. For a superb rant about idiots who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality, see Teleport City's review of the fine Japanese film Battle Royale (My DVD of which arrived about a week ago, and man, it is superb).




  x

happy 6 months


Congrats to Cooped Up, which is six months old as of yesterday. The six-month mark here passed unobserved in October, when I was concentrating on other things. I'm fairly pleased with the way things have gone, so far.




  x

john byrne: 'hipness' in comix sux0rz


Ace comic writer/artist John Byrne (X-Men, Fantastic Four, Superman, She-Hulk) ponders the over-use of pop culture references in modern comics, noting that it's quite different from the approach taken by the classic early Marvel comics (DC doesn't count because it doesn't pretend to be set in the "real world").
The result of the approach Stan [Lee] and the other guys used is to render those stories timeless. Sure, the dialog might be a bit hokey occasionally, and the monsters and other plot devices somewhat hoary -- but a civilian today could pick up an FF, or a Spider-Man, or an X-Men and not have to worry about understanding the popular culture of the time. It's there -- but it's there almost subliminally, as background noise.

Look at it from another direction: comedy. The Marx Brothers movies are considered comedy classics, even as they race toward being 70 years old. I'm not a big fan of the Marx Brothers, I admit, yet I can watch one of their movies and not find myself going "Huh?" at Groucho's one-liners. His comments are funny, not hip and topical. How many comedy films made in the last 10 years can make the same claim? Some people think the Austin Powers movies are hilarious. Will they be 70 years from now? Or will the audience of 2072 wonder what the heck the characters are talking about (while still laughing at the hijinks of Chico and Harpo)?

And now -- comics. Today, when I flip through the latest books I see so many topical references I cannot help but wonder what a reader of even a year from now will make of the fare. There are writers who seem so tragically hip they can't seem to get through a book without trawling in as many heavy-handed (and often inappropriate) references as they can.

Why? My guess: it's easier than writing good stories. Keep the readers entertained with a kind of cultural Where's Waldo? and many of them will, alas, come away thinking their money was well spent -- even when the "stories" go on for forty issues, largely because they are so full of extraneous fluff.


In related news, an independent comic writer speculated that '80s pop culture nostalgia is behind the recent revival of the medium.

(via Blog of a Bookslut)





  xWednesday, November 13, 2002

lee, marvel in tussle over profits


Ah, it's sad when the idols of my youth get down into the mud. Stan "The Man" Lee, creator of many of Mavel Comic's pantheon of classic super heroes--including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the X-Men, and Daredevil--is suing Marvel Entertainment Inc. on the grounds that the company is not sharing profits from the hit Spider-Man movie per an agreement. The company claims that, despite the film's reported US$400 million domestic gross, it has yet to see a profit as defined by the agreement.




  xTuesday, November 12, 2002

swank link of the day


Found via a Yahoo! search in my referrer logs...The Swank Pad. Lots of cool retro stuff, like excerpts from a 1957 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, examples of still-existing retro architecture, vintage postcards and a set of bachelor's pages.

And may I just say...it's good to be back!




  x

let me make something perfectly clear


Just for the record: Yes, Clinton lied. Yes, it was outrageous. No, I am not for a minute defending him. But for my Republican friends, this bit of perspective:

  • Nixon: Lied about Watergate. Lied about his "secret plan" to end the Vietnam war (to wit, send more troops)

  • Reagan/Bush I: Lied about the Iran/Contra scandal

  • Bush II: Lies about the economy and the Wars on Terror and Iraq

  • Clinton: Lied about sex


...yes, Johnson, a Democrat, kicked off the Vietnam War lies with the Gulf of Tonkin (non) incident. Which is exactly why the case for a war with Iraq must not be built on a foundation of "embroidering key assertions,""omitted qualifiers" and statements that are "dubious, if not wrong."

That's really the bottom line on the whole Iraq thing. Of course Saddam's regime is counter to our interests, and the world's. Of course Saddam has failed to live up to the terms of his Gulf War cease-fire. Of course Iraq should not be allowed to develop weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no confidence in the Bush administration to deal honestly with it. And the fault is entirely theirs.

Fortunately, as Talking Points Memo notes, the current policy seems to indicate that the Powell/Pentagon faction has prevailed, after all.




  x

bush baloney bashed


Eric Alterman notes a peculiarity of the so-called "liberal media:" a reluctance--if not outright refusal--to acknowledge that it, and by extension the American public, are being lied to on a routine basis by the current administration.
In the one significant effort by a national daily to deal with Bush's consistent pattern of mendacity, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank could not bring himself (or was not allowed) to utter the crucial words. Instead, readers were treated to such complicated linguistic circumlocutions as: Bush's statements represented "embroidering key assertions" and were clearly "dubious, if not wrong." The President's "rhetoric has taken some flights of fancy," he has "taken some liberties," "omitted qualifiers" and "simply outpace[d] the facts." But "Bush lied"? Never.

...Reporters and editors who "protect" their readers and viewers from the truth about Bush's lies are doing the nation -- and ultimately George W. Bush -- no favors. Take a look at the names at that long black wall on the Mall. Consider the tragic legacy of LBJ's failed presidency. Ask yourself just who is being served when the media allow Bush to lie, repeatedly, with impunity, in order to take the nation into war.


(via Blog Left)

Update: Here's Beyond Corprorate's excellent take on Alterman's article, via Body and Soul.

Update 2: Spinsanity notes that Bush's misstatements lies have hardly been limited to Iraq. And he accurately notes why it matters: "This dissembling is a betrayal of Bush's promise to restore honor and dignity to the White House. With so much at stake domestically and abroad, it's time to hold the president and his administration to a higher standard of truth." A higher standard, I might add, that Bush himslef promised as a centerpiece of his 2000 campaign.

Update 3: The Agitator has moved from the "undecided" to "anti" column, in part due to the "shady way the Bush administration has waged its public relations campaign." (via The Sideshow)




  x

gallery of the day


aishwarya rai
Haven't done one of these in a while*...here's another site celebrating former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. Many galleries, all safe for work.

(via FARK)

*I know, I know, I haven't done one of anything for a while. Sheesh.




  x

anime link of the day


Interesting...someone has created an anime birthday database; a huge list of the birthdays of anime and video game characters and seiyuu (voice actors and actresses).

Apparently I share a birthday with:
Rei Ijuin (Tokimeki Memorial)
Arc Eda Ricolne (Arc the Lad)
Ryoko (Tenchi Muyo)
Squall Leonheart (Final Fantasy VIII) (c00L!)
Temari (Naruto)
Cindy Sakurai (Sotsugyou Vacation)
Chizu Yonemoto (voice actor) Chie Matsuoka (Sentimental Journey), Raina (Lodoss TV)

(via #!/usr/bin/girl)




  x

sports link of the day


...yes, I do have them occasionally, and they aren't all about Anna Kournikova, either. Here's ESPN's list of sports clichés that need to go.

(via FARK)




  x

doublespeak of the day


Here's a juicy bit of doublespeak: A Wiccan's bid to be included on a list of clergy who say prayers before meetings of the Chesterfield County, Va., Board of Supervisors has been rejected. In a letter explaining the decision, Chesterfield County Attorney Steven Micas explained that the First Amendment-friendly policy of "nonsectarian" prayer shouldn't be taken too literally:
Chesterfield's nonsectarian invocations are traditionally made to a divinity that is consistent with the Judeo-Christian tradition.

A quick recap of the First Amendment's position on the subject:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [emphasis mine]


(via FARK, who sums it up rightly: "1st Amendment surrenders in disgust")




  x

cleese to pen superman comix


Musashi of Destroy All Monsters sent me this link: According to Ananova, Monty Python vet John Cleese is writing a version of the Superman comic that imagines what would have happened if baby Jor-El's rocket ship had landed in England instead of the midwestern United States.




  x

interplanetary


Courtesy of Blogger, I want to shout hey to yet another planet-named blog: Planet Roz.




  x

i'm back--no, really!


Sorry about missing yesterday, but Planet Swank is officially back in business!

So what have I been doing? Here's a quick recap:

  • Insanely busy at work finishing up a couple of big projects

  • Working on a couple of chores for our daughter's preschool

  • Playing Parasite Eve 2 and a little Final Fantasy Tactics

  • Attended a friend's wedding in Louisville this past Saturday; we drove down and back the same night

  • Fell totally ill Friday; spent a miserable day at work and more or less crashed as soon as I got home

  • Last but not least, I took the girls and their friends to the park Saturday aftenoon



I owe Musashi at Destroy All Monsters several pieces, so things may not be exactly full steam right away, but we're definitely ramping up. I should be posting a notice of new stuff by me there very soon, and of course Musashi has kept the content coming, so check it out.

(Update: Musashi has posted this morning's batch of news pieces by myself.)

On a very positive note, I was stunned and delighted to see in this Sunday's Indianapolis Star that the Hayao Miyazaki anime Spirited Away is actually playing here in town! I'm genuinely surprised; I never thought it'd play here in the theater. My lovely wife and I plan to see it some time this week. I'll let you know...in the meantime, check out this review at Destroy All Monsters, and here's Ebert's take.




  xSunday, November 10, 2002

severe weather


Everything's OK here, despite a line of severe thunderstorms that just rolled thru the area. In fact, we spent about 45 minutes in the basement due to a tornado warning affecting Indianapolis. We took some books, juice, Graham crackers and a radio, so the only hard part was keeping the girls still for the 45 minutes we were down there.
WFUS53 KIND 101956
TORIND
INC063-097-102045-

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDIANAPOLIS IN
256 PM EST SUN NOV 10 2002

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN INDIANAPOLIS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN HENDRICKS COUNTY IN CENTRAL INDIANA
MARION COUNTY IN CENTRAL INDIANA
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS

* UNTIL 345 PM EST

* AT 252 PM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 5 MILES SOUTH OF
CLAYTON...OR ABOUT 22 MILES SOUTHWEST OF INDIANAPOLIS...MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

* THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
SPEEDWAY AT 315 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS AT 320 PM EST
WARREN PARK AT 325 PM EST

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. IF NO
BASEMENT IS AVAILABLE...GO TO THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM. GET UNDER STURDY FURNITURE OR USE BLANKETS
OR PILLOWS TO COVER YOUR BODY.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT.

Update: Although several Indiana residents suffered minor injuries, Sunday's storms caused much damage and claimed 33 lives in various states. We were fortunate indeed.