October 16th, 2007

#639: Nooze!

Oh, there are some doozies in the roundup today.

The Center for Environmental Health warns about the use of pthalates in iPhones. In fact, they're suing Apple.

"The group says that the levels of phthalates found in the iPhone's plastic-covered earbud cords are prohibited in children's toys by the city of San Francisco and by the European Union."

...they're following standards set by San Francisco and the EU?

But there is reason for us to panic!
The two most abundant phthalates in the headphone cables of both the iPhone and the iPod are those classified in Europe as 'toxic to reproduction: category 2,' as a result of their ability to interfere with the sexual development in mammals, especially in males.
In other words, if you use those earbuds, your penis will shink! Your kids will all turn into girls! ZOMGWTFBBQ!!!

...if, that is, you buy a couple cases of the things and then spend all your time licking them.

The University of Iowa history department is 100% Democrat. This is news?

Colleges and universities have been mostly communist for a long time. My grandfather referred to the University of Chicago as the "University of Moscow" in the 1950s, and it was leftist before then.

It's not at all surprising that the hiring practices of universities exclude people with conservative viewpoints. Leftists can't handle viewpoints that disagree with their own.

Mark Steyn reminds us of a few of the stories out of Al Gore's past. I'd forgotten about the tenant who sued him. Heh.

Lastly, but perhaps most important of all, is the story of one of the people the Nobel Peace Prize committee passed over in order to give the thing to Al Gore.

I said that the Nobel Peace Prize is a leftist circle-jerk award, a way for the leftists of the world to congratulate each other on being so "enlightened" and "progressive". I think this kind of proves it.

It's much more important to give the thing to Al Gore than it is to give it to someone who actually did something to save lives and promote peace.

Al Gore is a multi-millionaire who flies around in a private jet and gets paid a lot of money to talk about how global warming is all our fault. This woman?

"In 1943 Irena Sendler was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death by firing squad. ... At the last moment she was saved.... She still bears the scars and disability of her torture."

If anyone deserves the Nobel Peace Prize less than Al Gore...well, I guess it'd have to be Yassir Arafat, actually. But the Nobel Peace Prize should go to people like Irina Sendler, not to useless, ultra-rich chattering class buffoons like Gore.

#640: Seto no Hanayome and etc

The last time I mentioned the series, an anonymous poster said he couldn't get past episode 9 of Seto no Hanayome. (SnH)

I just finished it a little bit ago, and I don't see the problem.

SnH did something that was a common humor device in Urusei Yatsura, which is vintage 1981 to 1986. (195 episodes over 5 years. Yeesh.) They had a huge war erupt between the guys who liked San and the guys who liked Runa--and the war reduced the school to a DMZ.

They used to do things like that on UY all the time.

I guess that's why I didn't find it off-putting; it was an updated version of an old schtick which worked tolerably well 20 years ago.

Considering that SnH is the exact same genre as UY, it even makes a kind of sense. The only difference is that Lum was an oni ("science fiction, not fairy tale", as she pointed out once) and San is a mermaid.

SnH is not the best thing I'm watching right now (that would be Pretty Cure, I think) but I'm enjoying it.

As for PreCure....

They did the "oops we lost a mascot-thingy" schtick again; this time it was Nagisa who had Meppuru confiscated by the vice-principal of the school. At least when the bad guy got ahold of it, he didn't just give it back without an explanation or identifiable reason. (For the record, he's too stupid to consider the consequences of more than one action at any one time.)

I hope they don't do that schtick again. Both girls had it happen; let's not go there any more, because it makes it hard for me to continue to suspend my disbelief.

I'm having a lot of trouble with Tokimeki Memorial, though. The writing, mainly.

In an episode where one student has gotten into a serious fight, the main character and his two friends are going up to the roof to eat lunch. "Do you want to talk some more about Xy-san?" (whatever the hell the guy's name was). What an asinine line that was.

The main character has to break a date with his nominal girlfriend because the Drama teacher (who is either the scariest woman in anime, or a drag queen--and I can't tell which) wants him to audition for a play on a Sunday, when the guy isn't even interested in being in the play in the first place.

He doesn't say, "Gee, no, I have a date on Sunday, so piss off!" Oh no. He breaks the date. Guess he's not all that committed to the girl, is he? I mean, he can say "no" to his nominal girlfriend but he can't say "no" to doing something he doesn't want to do anyway? He's a spineless twit, is what he is.

The show is not without its entertaining moments, though. There is this chick--I mean "immature chicken"--named Hiyoko, who makes every scene he's in. He communicates by saying "Pipiyopipipipiyopiyo" but the main character can understand him, and this tiny little bird (which always looks pissed off) has beaten the biggest and toughest-looking guy in the series three times already. And by "beaten" I mean hit him so hard he laid the dude out on the ground. Hiyosuke's hilarious.

(Yes, I meant to write "Hiyosuke". Like Tomo calls Chiyo-chan "Chiyosuke".)

* * *

Fiddling with Diablo II today, I finally discovered a cheat I had to tone down.

I discovered that the most recent version of the game includes the possibility of magic items which increase the amount of experience you earn per kill. I fired up the old Hero Editor and made my "plated belt" into a super-belt, which gave me +461% EPs per kill. So, in other words, if I killed a monster which was worth 100 EPs, I ended up getting 561 EPs for my efforts.

And when I started playing with this modification, I went up 4 levels in about an hour's time. I had barely completed the second quest in the first act of the game, and gained 4 levels in Hell mode, starting with a character at 69th level.

Uh, no, that's just a bit too god-like.

I mean, when you touch an Experience Shrine, for a certain time afterwards your kills net you 200% experience, so a 100 EP monster is worth 200 EPs--but it quits after a while, and it doesn't end up being all that huge a boost. But 4x EPs all the time--that's just 'way too much.

So I fired up Hero Editor again and knocked it back to +50%, which is a lot better; it's a nice boost without being ludicrous.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the upgrade notes for version 1.11 meant when they talked about the "secrets" that the Hell mode bosses have.

* * *

Friday will be my two-year anniversary at Target. I don't know how I feel about that....