atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1147: Julius the 1st

And so we get into the first month of the year named after a Roman emperor, Julius Ceasar.

January is named after Janus. February comes from the latin februum, "purification". March comes from the latin Martius, named for the god of war Mars, since spring was the time for martial activity to begin. May, we're not sure about--it's either of Greek or Roman derivation. June is named after Juno. August is named for Ceasar Augustus. Then into the months with latin numeral names (September, October, November, December--7, 8, 9, 10 respectively).

People who think that history doesn't matter don't understand the world they live in. People who think that latin is a "dead" language, just because it's not widely spoken any longer, are similarly afflicted.

* * *

Well, I finally watched some anime last night:

Starship Troopers
El Cazador de la Bruja
Code E
Hayate no Gotoku

...for the first time since June 13.

Futari H (which I abbreviate as "2H" since "futari" means "two people") takes a bunch of liberties with the story of the manga. That's not terribly surprising; there are four eps in the OVA series, and if they told the story in anime exactly the way the manga did, forty episodes wouldn't even be a good start.

There is an unintentionally hilarious image in the end credits, though, of Yura with a breast peeking out of her clothing. She's in profile to the viewer, her face turned towards the screen...and the breast is clearly pointing in the same direction. In order for that to be so, the nipple would have to be on the side. I mean, if she were reading the Fungus right now, her left nipple would be pointing to her left, parallel to the monitor screen. I spell that "botched boob job"....

Starship Troopers--the character art blows chunks. Okay? Let's get that out of the way now: the character art sucks. I feel that I cannot say this strongly enough, that the character art is freaking horrible.

The problem is, what should they have done? It's a serious SF story; more typical Japanese-style anime art of that era would not have fit. Should they have gone back to the Leiji Matsumoto style? (Star Blazers, Galaxy Express 999, etc.) I don't know. But trying to draw the characters the way Americans were animating about that time (8 years after Heavy Metal) was not the right choice.

Even so, while watching the first episode, I repeatedly had this thought:

"This is much better than that horrid mishmash that Verhoeven extruded."

There's the saving grace: whatever deficits this version suffers due to character art or rearranged story structure, it's still about a billion times better than Starship Troopers: the Verhoeven Extrusion.

I mean, for one thing, the anime version actually has combat suits in it.

I would still like to see a faithful retelling of the story. You know, kind of like what SciFi Channel did with Dune; that would be good.

With Mokke, I've come to the conclusion that Mizuki is the main character of the series. I guess that makes sense, since she's the one who is always being possessed by the bits of Japanese folklore that crop up. I would like to see more of Shizuru, though.

The rest of the playlist didn't inspire any particular comments or thoughts.

Well--Hayate no Gotoku ep 31 had several Moetan homages in it. Apparently ep 32 is going to have Nabeshin in it. :rolleyes:

* * *

Last night, while I was watching anime, I actually got cold. I had the windows open and the temp dipped below 50°; rather than close the windows, though, I simply put on sweatpants and a hoodie. In July. (It was July by that time.)

Sunspot #1000 still hasn't made an appearance. Has cycle 24 actually started? If so, a sunspot every other week is awfully sparse, isn't it?

I'm trying to remember the last time we had such cool nights at this time of year, and failing. In the early '80s we had some days that were cool, but not this cool. Too cool to go swimming, yes, but not cold.

Then I have to remind myself that the global temperature anomaly dropped 0.75° in the past year, obliterating all the warming of the 20th century.

* * *

What the hell? They just blew the tornado siren. Clear day, low wind, no severe weather for miles, radar is clear--WTF?

* * *

There is a bunch of douchebaggery in the comments of this Jalopnik post.

One guy proudly tells the tale of how his mechanic committed fraud/perjury for him. He got pulled over for speeding; his mechanic wrote out a work order to "replace" a "failed" speedometer cable. When the guy went to court he produced the work order and was found "not guilty".

* * *

I finally perfected the wording of a bumper sticker I've wanted for a while:

I know you think I should go faster.
I JUST DON'T CARE. I made it, printed it, and stuck it in the rear window of the Escort.

* * *

Interesting point about D3: apparently there's a smoking crater where Mount Arreat used to be. That makes sense, considering where the Worldstone is and what happened to it at the end of D2.

* * *

What I'm hearing about D&D 4E does not encourage me. It's apparently been structured more along the lines of how a collectible card game (CCG) works: as your character progresses, he adds feats and skills which--properly selected--can synergize to allow selective rule-breaking.

Skills are part of the game going back to the 2nd edition of AD&D, and feats came in with 3E, but what sounds bad to me is the "stacking" part: do X and Y, and Z results, even though Z is normally against the rules.

3E (and 3.5) had some synergies built into the feat/skill sets. For example, a fighter with the right feats and skills and a "keen" weapon had four times the crit threat range of a normal weapon. So if your long sword crit threats on a 20, your "keen" long sword wielded by a fighter with Improved Critical, Weapon Mastery, and "XYZ feat" crit threats on a 16-20. (I can't remember the set required for this, and I don't feel like looking it up. This is an example, anyway.)

But it sounds to me as if 4E is built around that dynamic, and I don't like it. I'm going to have to look into it; and since I am planning on buying the books regardless of the fact that I haven't played with a group for over four years, it really doesn't end up mattering all that much.

(Caveat: I did run a one-shot game for my niece in January of 2007.)

I really liked 3E, and 3.5E, so who knows--maybe 4E is an improvement, maybe it isn't. The only way I can really know is if I get to play the freaking game with other people who game--and that's not looking very likely from here, like, ever. *sigh*

* * *

I came across a couple threads on the Fiero forum in which people discuss converting the 2.8 V6 to use a roller cam, and it turns out not to be possible.

What you can do is get an alumium 3400 V6 and bolt on the Fiero heads. This means changing pistons in order to get a reasonable compression ratio. Naturally you can pay someone $$$$ to custom-grind a cam for you, but there's otherwise no aftermarket for the 3400.

After seeing the roller cam conversion stuff for Chevrolet small block V8s in the Jeg's catalog, I've been wondering if one could put a roller cam in the 2.8; now I know. So much for that idea.

* * *

The news today's got a whole lot of nothing. I guess that's good.

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