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If you're interested in learning a (human) language or two, the US Govt's Foreign Service Institute's courses for several languages are now online and in the public domain. ^_^

Try this for size: Unnovations, episode 3. (Should be PSP and iPod compatible, but I've not verified that) It's a spoof of home shopping channels, though with sharper - and darker - humor than you might expect. The first two segments, with the vacation and the luxury tinned food, are perhaps the best.

Running until Saturday, in Regent's Park: an open air production of Babe. ^_^

The cutest antenna connector ever.

Musical discovery of the week: Four Tet. Sort of similar to Bonobo, by way of Fatboy Slim and Boards of Canada. As an example, here are two sample tracks: High Fives from "Everything Ecstatic", and Glue of the World from "Live in Copenhagen".

Kris Kristofferson's "In the News" is a video worth seeing; be warned, it's not exactly uplifting.

As for anime, Welcome to the NHK continues reasonably well, though the pacing feels a little awkward. xxxHolic remains a top favorite, with the recent Demon Parade episode positively magical. On the new front, however, Kemonozume looks like it'll be one to follow, from the director of Mind Game. It opens with a brief introduction, wherein a man saves a woman from being sacrificed to the gods, only to find them both smitten with a curse as a result - they're turned into monsters driven by blood lust. Zoom forward to the present day, where their descendents have intermingled a good deal; in a café, one discusses with another his passion for devouring cute women. Nothing's shown - it's all as a calm conversation at their table.

Problem: people playing in fountains. Solution: signs proclaiming "high levels of hydrogen".

Not quite a Network moment, but still quite damning: Cafferty on CNN (Flash video) expounds on the extent to which a Federal judge ruled the NSA's warrantless surveillance to be illegal, on several grounds.

It seemed to me that austin_dern might enjoy the Comics Curmudgeon column, offering a daily take on those comics which exist outside of any continued justification.

Amusing - SL's seeing its first formal hotel open, courtesy of an RL hotel chain, owners of Sheraton and Westin, amongst others. Of more enlightening interest, however, was the word of NOAA's presence there. Though with the "griefer" problem apparently rising from "rare event" to "routine annoyance", it can only be hoped Linden Lab will actually take the matter seriously, lest they begin draining the world of its real inhabitants, not to mention financial supporters. If you're on there, what's been your experience of late?

If you want to live dangerously online, here's Firefox 3.0a1, codenamed Minefield. =:)

Star Trek and the Holy Grail.

And the icon is courtesy of bunny_soul's kind generosity. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm a bit edgy about NHK's pacing - the way it's shaping up suggests it's going to be a fairly slow-moving series, as far as actual developments go. I still like watching it, but I'm beginning to feel a need for the story to progress. On the other paw, I suppose this pace is more realistic - some sudden revelation or fundamental change of character wouldn't be easy to fit in without seeming forced.

xxxHolic has its better episodes, but it's never a bad way to spend 22 minutes. The Demon Parade ep is definitely amongst my favorites; the one following (19, ISTR) was a bit more of a filler, but still enjoyable. And featured a bunny of sorts, which always helps. =:) And there's still quite a bit yet to be revealed about some of the characters, it seems.

And Kemonozume.. hoo! Does seem to hold promise of something rather less predictable than most. The art style takes a little getting used to (like xxxHolic? Egad, those spider arms), but it somehow manages to gel in context. Very good handling of atmosphere - there's very little gore (if any), despite the creatures' violent natures when in demon form. Rather, it's handled through suggestion and implication - much of the episode instead looks at those dedicated to fighting the demons. Not at the combat, of which there's only one scene following the conversation in the café, but the people themselves - the master and his two sons, for example, one the traditionalist, the other the businessman.