October 8th, 2016

Pink bunny by Shalonesk

Otto

So, we finally got to see April and the Extraordinary World a couple weekends ago, and were not disappointed one bit. ^_^ If you could enjoy a steampunk-ish yarn with quite grad scope, wherein civilisation, bereft of its preeminent scientists - vanished, one by one, in mysterious circumstances - has continued with only steam power beyond the 19th Century, this is one you should try to see. Happily, the English dub is actually quite decent, though admittedly, I flipped back to the original French version when the roomie left midway through, due to the hour. (We are not talking Evangelion or Tenchi Muyo grade English dubbing =:) The English language distributor's trailer is reasonably good - interestingly, in French, with subtitles. A little surprisingly, it seems the distributor, at least in the UK, has made it available on the iTunes Store in French, with English subtitles; anime there, sadly, rarely seems to see such treatment, virtually always made available with the English dub only.

Clearly, this paper wins this year's - hell, decade's - prize for Best Abstract, on "Quantum Tokens for Digital Signatures". =:D

PMV for the day is set to Awolnation's "Kill Your Heroes". Nicely synced, and quite a cool track, making for a whole that's easily worth saving to your iPad.

Et voila! Just renewed lapinity.com for another year. ^_^ Always a nice feeling to get that kind of thing taken care of. Maybe I'll finally set up some kind of gallery page again - probably just some simple static pages, for now, unless I can crack the problem of luring buyers in.

And for simple, outright cuteness, have what was meant to be a photoshoot of a koala, but which was expertly commandeered by a butterfly. ^_^

Is imgur.com messed up for anyone else? It's fine if I identify as iOS, but everything else - Safari, Chrome, Firefox - gives me a badly ordered row of links against each image that's effectively useless. True, I ought to get my own site finally back in order, but I'd quite like my interim solution to not go blithely farting into the sunset. =:/

Pony!

28 Pranks Later: one of the sillier and most entertaining episodes. ^_^ Yes, as the title suggests, this is indeed a zombie-pony episode. Whilst I find zombies generally deathly dull, so to speak, this was tremendous fun.
The Times They Are a-Changeling: now this was much more like it! Definite potential for changing the dynamic between the Changelings and Equestria, with a message of understanding central to it, which I can thoroughly get behind.
Dungeons and Discords: got off rather slowly, with the initial point being heavily overdone, but with the final act, developed into something surprisingly fun.
Buckball Season: I was quite pleased to find that again, the writer(s) forewent the easy route of having Fluttershy being desperately afraid - rather, turning out to be surprisingly good at the game. That kind of gradual character development is something that keeps MLP:FiM fresh. But then, to find Snails evolving beyond beyond a second rate not-quite-bully/henchpony.. ! Cool turn. However, the way the core of "it's fun when it's just for fun" ran close to being handled a touch heavily - but rescued just in time. A good message, as I'm firmly with Fluttershy and Pinkie: I absolutely don't thrive under seriousness, but left to having fun with the task at hand, I can work wonders. ^_^
The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: another rather interestingly different character, this time, a gryphon who's actually friendly rather than the usual surly sort - and quite adorable. ^_^ I'm hoping we see more of Gabby.
Viva Las Pegasus: another favorite, being much more of an adventure yarn, with quite a nod to Hustle, and the not quite rehabilitation/redemption of a pair of ne'er-do-wells. Definitely a cute plot twist.
Every Little Thing She Does - perhaps a slightly slow start to this one, but leading into a deliciously fun second act, with Glimmer beginning to realise that perhaps her strategy wasn't quite as inspired as she'd thought.
Pony Point of View - true, the differences in perspective were stretched a tad far, but all the same, recounting the same situation from such different points of view did prove amusing. We definitely need to see more of Swashbuckling Applejack. =:D

Fun music video of the day - a simple thing from Courtney Barnett, "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party". Just honest acoustic indie rock, performed on the streets of Camden, with the refrain of "I wanna go out but I wanna stay home", which may ring true to a few here.

Ron Garret's Quantum Mysteries Disentangled looks like being an enjoyable, enlightening read. ^_^

If you're jaded with the usual economy class of flying, how about this account of flying in one of Singapore Airlines' suites - yours for a mere $23k, or in the writer's case, a ton of frequent flyer miles. It's.. good. =:)

It's a bit weird how the studios seem to price their wares so differently across the US and UK iTunes Stores. We're all used to the silliness of different release dates, a practice that's persisted well into the age of digital distribution, but quite why prices should sometimes be so different, between two industrial territories.. ? And not always in the directions you might expect: Interstellar, f'rex, can be yours for $15, or £5, or The Devil Wears Prada, at $15 or £7. In both cases, they include the extra features as well. (All the odder when one considers the UK prices also include VAT at 20%)

Game of the week is one to avoid. =:) I've been reading TouchArcade's reviews since pretty much they debuted, back in the early days of the iPhone, and I could scarcely recall another one star review - and indeed, checking down the page, with all the filters and categories, reveals there have now been ten of them, versus 1110 4-star ratings. It's a manga-style romantic adventure, which sadly seems to fall apart due to poor writing and matching voicework. But, at least that gives the reviewer something to play with. =:) "There are also sex scenes along every route, but since this is the teen-rated release, that ends up amounting to some mildly lewd poses accompanied by the least sexy narration this side of an Ian Fleming James Bond novel. Heck, at least in those you get a good description of breakfast."

I apologise for this linking to Twitter, but, it's a good set of tweets on the subject of those who say the obnoxious and repellent, and then try to wriggle out on the basis of them "only joking".

Now to set about working on some of the 1035 photos (which still only brought the battery down to about 40% charge! But then, I wasn't engaged in lots of anticipatory AF tracking) I took while back in Bay orbit recently. ^_^; DxO Optics Pro 8 sadly died with the upgrade to Sierra, but I'm okay with giving them a bit more money after three years - there have been, after all, quite a few nice little extras since then, including a lot of work on their "PRIME" noise reduction, and the intriguing sounding microcontrast control, which might be just the ticket for certain photos. Not to mention support for new bodies, like the D500, which I certainly hope to migrate to someday - the AF performance seems to be the best around from any manufacturer, and being able to grab 10fps in a burst can make all the difference in a moment of frenetic action. AutoPano Giga 3 I'll likely stick with for a while - I don't really indulge in panoramas enough to justify any update there, and 3 does a very nice job as is, coping well with even marginal overlaps between frames, and very large projects. (Reminds me, I must try reshooting that one of Bath someday. Maybe for sheer ridiculousness, I'll rent a Sigmonster for the task =:)

I'm starting on that now, but it's likely to be another day or two before I have the first few ready, along with, hopefully, a first pass at one or two of the panoramas from Inspiration Point above Nimitz Way, and the ferry back from SF to Alameda. (Oh, even thinking of those moments gets me beaming =:) I'll see if I can have some up on Sunday or Monday.