September 21st, 2004

Porsupah smile by Djinni

In Which We Discover A Dearth of Avocados

With the recent visit, this one's going to be filled with creamy cinematic goodness. (Alternatively, deathly dull to the uninterested :)

Monday saw a little trip into town to meet up with akira114, and thence to the den of evil temptations, otherwise known as Wally's, where I intended to pick up some (sensibly priced) oyster sauce, but was reminded of my lack of wasabi - which, on being opened back home, promptly spurted out a teaspoonful into my finger. There was some mushroom soy sauce for a silly - in the good sense - price, and I had the notion of picking up some smoked paprika, where they were also able to oblige. Ahh..

Then, off to see The Motorcycle Diaries, a film of noteworthy authenticity, managing to capture the sense of their journey remarkably well. The care paid in that regard was indicated by several of those shown at the leper colony being actual former residents. It wasn't a political film, despite the proponents' futures - rather, it serves to offer some context for their futures. Very well worth seeing indeed.

If, as in this case, you ride the NYC subway, and are accosted by preachers.. you may want to consider this form of response.

For foofers, this 19th Century promotional card.

Hot German fruit sex!

Here's another furry Potatoshop contest; the ones on the first page are mostly the best, such as this skydiving collie. ^_^

From a Hurrican Ivan summary: "In Fort Walton Beach, Fla., a nursing home lost its generator power and reported that six patients desperately needed oxygen. An emergency medical crew drove through the 90 mph winds to deliver portable oxygen tanks." These are people who deserve respect.

And on the lighter side, there's this ad parody.

This ESA article points out a correlation between atmospheric methane and water vapor around three equatorial Martian regions. Whether this is a hint of subterranean life is still under debate, but it's unquestionably a curious phenomenon.

This.. is quite special. ^_^ It's a story from The Onion, from January 2001, with satirical proclamations galore, on Bush's plans for the future. The twist? Someone's linked real subsequent stories..

Here's a hefty summary of the nature of US polling in recent months, including a graph indicating average skew over the past four months. Amusingly, in a recent set of NYT/CBS Poll results, a question was included asking who the respondent voted for in 2000.
Answers: Gore - 28; Bush - 36; Buchanan - 1; Nader - 1; Voted, won't say - 1; Didn't vote - 32. This seems slightly odd, in light of historical records.

A comic you may not have come across: Namir Deiter, a slice-of-life tale.

Newsflash of the day: "Tens of thousands of Windows PCs are being hijacked daily to spread spam and viruses, a study shows." Still, at least they're clear on where the problem lies: Windows, not computers generally, nor the net itself. Bet the RAND Corporation didn't foresee that problem in making their prediction of a home computer in the year 2004..

On the cinematic front:

Outfoxed: I'd essentially concur with rabitguy that it was a considerably more effective, and worrying, documentary than Fahrenheit 9/11, for keeping its focus tight. Worth seeking out.

Code 46: now that was quite a special treat. There were various elements harkening back to several other films, including a near-future Blade Runner, the earlier portion of Until the End of the World, Endless Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and maybe a sprinkling of Soderbergh's version of Solaris. It kept its storyline close, mostly on the two central characters, to great effect, alongside some very intelligent use of locations. The film? As subtle, beautiful, and dangerous a romance as you could imagine, but without Hollywood's trappings, and all the more disturbingly real for it.

2009 Lost Memories: an alternate reality yarn from Korea, with the supposition of Korea having been taken over as a Japanese protectorate. Akin to Casshern, far, far too much time spent in combat scenes - this time, gunfights rather than wire-fu - to the detriment of an otherwise engaging storyline.

.. and one I'll be looking forward to: Surge of Power, a camp superhero flick. ^_^ The trailer can be found here. (64MB QuickTime) Thanks to the intrepid socialite kaysho for his dedication to the cause.

DVD Times has a good review of the director's cut of Donnie Darko; amusingly, Peter Kelly's joined in the commentary by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma, et al).

On the animated front:

Sweet Valerian: lightweight fluff, and annoyingly enjoyable. With the stars being chibi rabbits in the vein of the Powerpuff Girls, who could say no?

The first half of El Hazard - The Magnificent World, a series set in an Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired world, where our hapless hero must fill in for the missing princess; he's not overly keen on the idea, but does a remarkably good job. It's one to catch if you enjoy that period of pulp fiction and high adventure, well contained within its seven episodes. (Caution! If you seek it out, be careful not to catch its sequels, "Wanderers" or "The Alternative World")

The Enemy's the Pirates, a fun SF bit of adventure fluff.

The first two episodes of Zeroman, a new cartoon airing on Teletoon, as pointed out by thewerewolf, with Leslie Nielsen reprising his Frank Drebbin character as a none too effective 60 year old superhero living with his mother, and a flamingly gay sidekick. Worth a look. ^_^

All of Mahou Tsukai Tai, a rather endearing adventure set around the members of a school Magic Users' Club, who stumble their way into confronting a peculiarly quiet, and seemingly benign, gigantic interloper from some distant part of the unverse. The series is made by its characters, particularly the star, seemingly inept at first, the club's president, and his admiring vice-president, the wonderfully cute Aburatsubo. (And the ending theme remains one of my all-time favorites; the same artist also performed the opening themes for Fruits Basket and Princess Tutu. An exceptional voice indeed)

Here's a list of US cinemas now showing Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. (Much as you'd expect - major locations first, later spreading a bit further)

.. and the Daily Show, this time with Pat Buchanan as a remarkably effective guest. Ah, to have him and Molly Ivins act as moderators in an unscripted, unaided open debate with Kerry and Bush..

Ahhh. Some coconut milk, diced pork, basil, four cloves of garlic, one scotch bonnet, five bird's eye peppers, some chutney, and several thickly sliced mushrooms, and two stems of lemongrass, all left to simmer gently for a while, plus some brown rice, shared between the two of us.

Why occupying Iraq would be a bad idea, by Dick Cheney. A few Slashdot readers' questions answered by Michael Badnarik, Libertarian candidate. And C-SPAN's first presidential debate of 2004 (RealVideo stream), featuring the Green Party's Henry Cobb and Mr Badnarik.


Some rather cool emerging technology: a solar cell based on spinach chloroplasts. There's this USB keychain camcorder, able to take up to 25 mins of video, 2Mpixel photos, and plays MP3s; and, the RadioShark, a stylish USB radio tuner for OS X, able to record whatever AM/FM station you choose, at any set times.

xlr8yourmac looks at a replacement battery for 1G/2G iPods (may need to check down the page; Sep 20), with a continuous run on his own 1G unit from when the devices first hit the market. With the new battery, it saw a whisker over 21 hours of life.

Sony's launched a slimmer version of the PS2, much thinner and lighter than the original. Same price, unfortunately, but now with an ethernet port.

Clip of the day:

Finally, a good reason (1.6MB MP4, 14m44 long) to call tech support before downing a bottle or two of Kentucky's finest. This was subsequently set to a playful gamelike tune (2.1MB MP4, 4m28). They both come with the AkiraCo seal of approval.

"Everybody's children are special. It makes you wonder where all the ordinary grown-ups come from." - Maria, Code 46
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Porsupah smile by Djinni

The ultimate My Little Pony

Normally, I'd just include this sometime later on, but WTH.. this My Little Pony is just too good to keep to myself. *giggle*

BTW, if anyone's having difficulty with the MPEG-4 files, you should find they work nicely in any of iTunes (for the audio files), QuickTime Player, MPlayer, or VLC; there are versions of the latter two for quite a broad range of OSs, including OS X, *BSD, Linux, Windows, and more, and both will handle almost any format around, straight out of the box.
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