Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September Updates:

Previously, I was saying how the lack of kobato blu-ray is the worst failure of fansubbing currently around.  Well, that's no longer true.  An intrepid hero going by the fansub group name tsundere has finally released kobato blu-ray, every episode from 1 to 24.  All hail tsundere fansubs for finally bringing this cultural treasure into the light of day.

Also, Ginga e Kickoff is still being subbed, though it's unknown whether it will ever catch up with what's airing in Japan.  Also, Hyouka had an additional episode 22 which I hadn't expected, which does make it rightfully a summer anime as well as a spring anime.  Also, Hyouka isn't by the writer of Full Metal Panic, it's by some completely different guy who's famous only for this series.  The kotenbu series is still a work in progress, so the anime couldn't afford to last much longer.  All but the most recent volume has been adapted by the anime now, and there's still an anime oav coming out this January to look forward to.  It looks like Kyoto animation did the best it could by Hyouka, and the constraints were just reality itself rather than whimsical facetiousness this time.

Having rewatched Read or Die and Negima recently, I can't say either belongs in my rankings.  The Negima manga is one of the best mangas ever, but the anime adaption is one of the worst adaptions thereof ever.  So much is cut, edited, changed, or added in that there's virtually nothing left of the original story.  People should actively avoid watching the Negima anime, so it doesn't bias them against the stellar, nigh-perfect manga.  An anime like that doesn't belong in the 'must-see' category.  Meanwhile Read or Die oav is simply silly nonsense.  The heroes are vastly more powerful than the villains, and to make matters worse, whenever the villains gain the advantage they fail to finish off the heroes, but instead lock them up and attempt to drown them with steadily rising pools of water or other dumb James Bond type execution devices.  Obviously the heroes always break free of these traps and live to fight another day.  I won't accept any story as good if the villains have a chance to win but don't take it.  At that point the door simply slams down and the final verdict is in, this show is hopelessly stupid.  The same is true in the Read or Die tv series.  Both sides endlessly take captive each other, but never kill, in some sort of buddhist religious imperative, despite the fact that they are supposedly fighting for the fate of the world.  If the villains had truly cared about achieving their dreams, they could have won at any moment by just finishing off the heroes innumerable times that they had the advantage, but every time the heroes were spared instead.

There are cool things about Read or Die, but a villain who won't win when given the chance is so bad that it trumps everything else automatically.

If Read or Die and Negima is out, who's in?  Let's just wait until this fall and see what the new harvest brings in.  Obviously Little Busters.  But there's plenty of other new series that could also step up and take the newly available place.  This summer season alone produced Yuru Yuri, Sword Art Online and Tari Tari.  The fall season will do the same, and give us the fresh blood we need to generate a truly exciting list of anime series worth watching.

Meanwhile, Saimoe round one has come to an end.  All credit to for this graphical representation of who survived and who didn't:

I still have some champions left in the running -- Yui from K-On, Shana from Shakugan no Shana, and Cure Peace + Cure Beauty representing my love of Pretty Cure.  My predicted champion, Nodoka, is also still running strong.  Taiga, Rika, and Azusa, all previous Saimoe champions, all made it into round 2 as well.  That's really cool.

Virtually every character left is from a series I like -- Saki, Working, Idolmaster, Strike Witches, Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, The World God Only Knows, Fate/Zero, etc.  The voters clearly have good taste, as they've always shown through the years.  The remaining contests will only get fiercer from here though.  Only 1 in three of these girls can survive to round 3, and there's no easy competition left in the field.  The Saimoe tournament truly begins now.  :).

Meanwhile, technology review has posted a few new stories, all of which seem remarkable:

These three articles are really astounding to come out in the same day.  To sum up, we now have a machine that can manufacture alongside humans safely, can communicate with them easily, and can handle any task that requires hands and eyes but not much brains.  Overnight, the majority of manufacturing jobs have become redundant.  But will anyone listen to me when I say automation is the main driver of unemployment, and that this time there is no solution and that unemployment is the permanent norm, because machine learning is exceeding the speed of  humans to retrain and learn new viable job skills?  Nope.  No matter how many articles I post proving this point over and over again, democrats will just talk about the need for more education, and republicans will just talk about how people need to stop being lazy.  It's the most tired, most dishonest debate in the world, and it just never ends.

The next two articles address the so-called energy crisis.  Well guess what, that's all done now.  A company has cut the cost of silicon wafers in half again, which cuts the price of solar power overall by another 25%.  Last we looked, solar cost 12 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to coal's 6 cents per kilowatt hour.  With this 25% price cut, the contest is now 9 cents to 6 cents.  One more advance in solar power and it will become cheaper than coal.  Even without an advance, when you take into account the environmental advantages, solar is already the best power source.  In any case, we can switch to cheap and abundant solar power whenever we want, so there will never be any energy crisis when we 'run out of cheap fossil fuels.'

Which leads to my third article.  Algae farming has made another giant leap forward in progress, to the point that they can produce a gallon of gasoline at the price of $1.28, far below what oil is selling at today.  They can do this without emitting any carbon dioxide gas, too, and without ever running out, because the algae is ultimately powered by the sun.  So the oil crisis is also solved -- we now have environmentally clean, renewable, cheap oil for the rest of time.

It's a shame baby boomers are living in a time warp, and therefore don't follow sites like technology review.  If we simply commercialized the advances we were making in labs on a massive scale, we could get rid of all carbon emissions tomorrow.  Carbon free solar power and carbon free algae oil could fuel the whole world and for little more than we pay today.  Using the labor of machines on a massive scale, we could have self-made products automatically shipped via self-driven cars producing every necessary good in the human economy, easily allowing a free handout called the citizen's dividend for consumers to buy these free products with their unearned money.  Nothing for nothing, right?  Well, when humans aren't doing any of the work, no one should feel gypped when someone else gets the product for free.  Meanwhile solar panels simply by sitting in the sun can fuel the world, and algae can grow the diesel oil needed to run our self-driven cars, all without a single human lifting their hands to do anything.  In that case, what's the problem?

I'm a fiscal socialist and a social conservative.  As such, no party represents me in America, so I'm not voting for Romney or Obama.  A pox on both their houses.  A shame third parties aren't allowed representation in our electoral system, so I can't vote for any of them either, because we are one of the least free 'democracies' on Earth.  Everyone else gets proportional representation all around the Earth, but the good old USA has decided that somehow winner takes all is fair, and that even if you vote democrat, if the state overall votes Republican, your vote is counted as a vote for the Republican party (or vice versa.)  This insane, utterly undemocratic system makes us the least democratic country in the west, and yet nothing is ever done about it.  We need to throw out the old constitution and all of its undemocratic nonsense like the electoral college, and start over with a new one.  Why would a law code written two hundred fifty years ago be better than something we could come up with today?  Mathematics wasn't better 250 years ago.  Science wasn't better 250 years ago.  Medicine wasn't better 250 years ago.  So why would our law code be?  It's a mystery.

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