The Saimoe Preliminaries are finished, and virtually every cute anime character in existence has moved forward to the main bout.
Like usual, the voters at Saimoe have shown fine taste in selecting their competitors/winners. There are lots of girls I'd like to see win it all, though I know it won't happen for any of them. Illyasviel von Einzbern, Yuuki Asuna, Sanzenin Nagi, Kousaka Kirino, Sengoku Nadeko, Yaya, Alice Cartelet, or Natsume Rin would all be reasonable choices for this year. Instead, we're bound to get another Madoka Magica girl or another Saki girl, as the voters just seem to never get tired of these two series. That's why the beginning of the tournament, where so many cute girls are still alive and in the running, tends to be the most fun aspect of the tournament. Just like March Madness, the beginning is better than the end.
Meanwhile, a third season of Working has been announced to coincide with the end of the manga. This will hopefully reach the end of the manga in animated form, giving us a satisfactory conclusion to all the unsolved romances in the series. If this Working anime pulls off a satisfactory ending, it will join the small group of elite series like Oreimo that have actually reached their ending in animated form. Obviously 50th place will no longer be suitable for such a rare accomplishment. 20th or 30th is more like it. This is fantastic news. Working is one of the best comedy animes of all time and it looked like it was all but forgotten and all hope for a sequel was lost until now.
Meanwhile, on August 14th Blizzard plans to announce the release date of their new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Subscriptions have shrunk to miniscule size as everyone has been waiting for new content for years now. (It's been nearly two years since Mists of Pandaria came out and we're only now getting a launch date. It was less than two years between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria so they're really dropping the ball here.)
I'm really positive on the changes Warlords of Draenor is making to the game. They took away a bunch of annoying abilities like 'plus to hit' and added in more fun, engaging options like versatility that rewards solo players who want to be able to tank, heal, and dps all on their own. The lore of Draenor is well connected to the previously released Warcraft material, making you feel like this really is a Warcraft game and not just some random place borrowing the Warcraft name. They took out a lot of spells that were just cluttering the tooltip and made the game simpler and easier to play. Remember when every time a paladin used a judgment he had to recast his seal? Yeah, annoyances like that get old pretty fast. The more streamlined the game's mechanics the better. Raising the level cap to 100 is also great news, because it means solo raiding in old dungeons is a lot easier than the previous two expansions, which only raised the level cap by 5 a piece. (Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King raised the level cap by 10 each, and they were both a lot more fun than the Cataclysm and Mists expansions which only raised your level by 5). Solo Raiding for a casual player is extremely difficult at just Wrath of the Lich King dungeons, so those next ten levels will be essential for people who want to try out Cataclysm and above content.
Meanwhile, America's superhero movie buffet continues. Captain America The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spiderman 2, and Xmen Days of Future Past are all coming out to blu-ray soon.
Sword Art Online II is on pace to cover the Phantom Bullet arc in exactly 12 episodes. The arc is two books long, and the first six episodes ended at exactly the ending of the first book. This doesn't look good for Mother's Rosario getting animated, but hope springs eternal.
The start of the college football season is only a couple weeks away. There's nothing more exciting than college football, where the entire season is the 'playoffs,' in that you can't afford to lose a single game if you are aiming for the national championship. Plus there's so many conference and division crowns that everyone can play for something, even if they do lose one or two games. Bowl games give teams a reason to strive and fight even if they lose four or five games, because there's still a post-season reward for anyone who comes out an overall season average winner. There's always a reason to cheer on your home team. And there are so many teams in college football that there's always a Cinderella story having a magnificent season somewhere. Just look how far Baylor has improved in the last ten years, who could have possibly predicted their rise to prominence? When it comes to sports, the World Cup and the Olympics take the cake every four years -- but the college football season takes the cake every single year.
It looks like the opportunity for east Ukrainian independence is past. Russia isn't going to save Donetsk or Luhansk and the separatists will be put down by force. This is a shame, because the people clearly showed by popular majority vote in referendums that they desired independence. This referendum should have been just as respected as Scotland's referendum for independence, or Quebec's referendum for independence, but for some reason when a pro-Russian country desires independence suddenly that's not acceptable. Self determination is a universal right and principle that extends to all groups, not just Scotland or Kosovo. The fact that we're aiding the Ukrainians in oppressing their own people is despicable.
However, it's not the end of the world if Ukraine stays united. Crimea was the territory that Russia most wanted, and the territory that most wanted to join Russia, and nothing will keep it out of Russian hands. Russia can be content with achieving at least this one small victory for patriotism. Meanwhile Ukraine has a brighter future ahead of it. Beginning the process to join the EU will bring massive aid to the benighted country, the poorest in all of Europe. Eventually it will become more democratic, less corrupt, and wealthier as foreign advisers move in and teach them how to run their country for them in all fields from finance to justice. Ukraine is like North Korea, in that the potential of the people is radically higher than their physical reality. This means anyone taking them in is a good thing. Joining the EU and letting the EU run their domestic policy would be a huge improvement over their current shambles of a self-rule. The EU has done a great job in improving basket cases like Croatia and Romania into livable countries, they'll be able to do the same with Ukraine. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland are all doing well in the EU, and Ukraine is virtually identical to those groups demographically.
Obama was right to bomb ISIS. They are a group of Islamic radicals straight out of the dark ages, carving their way through the desert with terror and blood. This is exactly why Islam must be opposed. Because the Koran and related texts all encourage Muslims to act like ISIS and believe what ISIS believes. 'Moderate Muslims' are just another way of saying 'bad Muslims.' IE, Muslims who don't take their religion seriously or follow its precepts. Anyone who actually follows the Koran or Hadith ends up like ISIS, beheading everyone and blowing up every religious site they come across. ISIS has become a perfect example of Islam crystallized in its purest form. Just like pure heroin or cocaine is more dangerous than its more adulterated forms, pure Islam is just genocidal maniacs overrunning and destroying the world. This doesn't make adulterated heroin a good thing or healthy. It's still heroin, underneath all the other compounds. Just like even moderate Muslims still carry within their bosom the seed of radical Islam, yearning to burst forth and join the killing fields of ISIS at a moment's notice. Islam cannot be trusted or coexisted with in any form. It or the world must eventually die. Hamas and Boko Haram are two more excellent examples of maniacal, genocidal Islamic radicals that must be put down like mad dogs because they cannot be negotiated with in any form. These are the demons long exposure to Islam will summon forth, no matter where you live or what sect of Islam a nation happens to practice. We must detoxify the world of the cancerous pus ideology called Islam in a slow and deliberate process. Refuse to trade with any country that practices Islam. Kick them out of the UN. Kick them out of all international sports organizations. Do not extend foreign aid to any country with Islam in it. Deport all muslims currently inside our borders who are unwilling to renounce their religion. Ban all further immigration of Muslims into the non-Muslim world. Isolate them and grind them down into submission, until they officially renounce their religion. Force every one of them to stamp on a Muhammed fumie to show their renunciation of the religion for good. If it worked in Japan it can work in Turkey. Once these nations have banished the Islamic demon for good and every single one of their citizens has burned a Koran on video tape, then we can let them back into the civilized fold of the world.
There is no reason to treat these barbarous maniacs like equals or extend them human rights. They act like rabid dogs and so they should be treated like rabid dogs. Nothing more. Since religion is a choice, whenever they choose to be good people we can start treating them well again. It isn't discrimination when the thing you are being discriminated over is voluntary. That's like calling the punishment of criminals discrimination.
Thanks to new, 50% efficiency solar panels which are cheaper to produce energy than natural gas, we don't need Arab oil anyway. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/529651/stacking-cells-could-make-solar-as-cheap-as-natural-gas/
With new lithium batteries which can store the energy four times as well as all previous batteries http://www.pcworld.com/article/2459040/lithiummetal-battery-could-boost-gadget-power.html there should be no more worry about storage issues either. The clean energy revolution is ready and all it would take is leadership to get these projects done. JFK got us to the moon in ten years. It would be nice if our country rallied around something similar to that in the modern age. Eisenhower had the interstate highway system. In the 1800's we had the railroads, in the 1700's we built canals. For the 21st century, clean cheap solar power for all sounds like a fantastic infrastructure buildout that can rival anything that came before.
With electric cars and solar power plants, we could use all of our fossil fuels as an export and finally solve our trade deficit woes. America has huge supplies of coal, oil, and natural gas. We could sell it all abroad to energy hungry nations like Japan, India or China, and in return pay for their cheap manufactured goods or sophisticated electronics. This would also mean they wouldn't have to rely on Arab oil and could join us in the worldwide boycott of Islam. The world is changing. We don't have to make deals with the devil anymore. Between advances in clean energy and fracking the entire world doesn't need the Middle East anymore. To hell with all of them and all their internecine conflicts. Syria, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, they can't be peaceful or nice in a single damn place. Isn't it time we realized just what type of populace the satanic religion of Islam creates wherever it puts down its roots? Islam is responsible for the murder of more people than Communism and Nazism combined. Over three hundred million people have been slaughtered as infidels under the fury of Islamic Jihads. Half the human race, all the women under Islam, are treated like dogs. The rest aren't much better off, not even allowed to dance or play music, because 'there is no fun in Islam.' One can't even imagine a worse belief system than Islam has already imposed on 1/6 of the world's population (and rising.) All that is necessary for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. Are we just going to sit and watch as Islam swallows the whole world and enslaves all sentient life in the universe to eternal darkness?