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1st June 2015

10:44am: John Oliver on FIFA
John Oliver goes over Fifa's corruption, first a year ago, and then on the arrests:







If you're American or other non-Soccer/football fan, it's very informative. If not, it's still fun ^^
7:35am: A completely accurate prediction of the future (from the past)
This is good stuff!Collapse )

30th May 2015

3:57am: Anyone following the FIFA stuff?
Article, FIFA officials arrested on corruption charges

With more investigations under way

So, a bunch of officials in a notoriously corrupt organization that helps run the word's largest religion- Football/Soccer- were arrested and, interestingly, the US is the ones doing it. Possibly because they only mildly care about soccer unlike everyone else on the planet.

An interesting situation!

20th May 2015

4:55pm: Birthday!
Yay, birthday!

Got a new meteorite (gibeon slice), and trying to wrangle my parents into a card game ^^ (Coup)

18th May 2015

10:38pm: Winter Soldier ripped off Pokemon the First Movie!
Winter Soldier totally ripped off Pokemon: The First Movie!


Evidence withinCollapse )

It's almost shot-for-shot!
10:33pm: Hah!
Score! I snagged a MST3k DVD set from the library booksale :D (Vol 12, with Parts: The Clonus Horror).

The librarian working it offered me a bookmark recommending I bring in my stuff, but I pointed out that the stack she was currently sorting were all from me to begin with ^^ As were several more in the room- cleaning out downstairs has been quite a boon to them, I believe!


My local library has, like, absurdly good booksales. And I don't mean special event things, I mean regular things, the one in question has not just two small rooms full of books (plus a shelf in the main area), but a small side room that has DVDs, bigger fancier books, and stuff. And funnily enough, the second best library for buying books is just as close, and then every other library I've visited has only tiny 'here are books for sale' sections, normally a single rack of shelves or similar. I love book sales, because they often have old books, obscure books, and others you don't see on the normal shelves... plus the odd MST3k set ^^

11th May 2015

2:34pm: Liberia declared Ebola-free
Reuters story

Liberia declared Ebola-free, but outbreak continues over borderCollapse )

One of the most affected countries has fought it off! The work put into fighting Ebola has really been impressive.

10th May 2015

3:07am: The Railroad Leadership...
The leadership of US railroads is like a high-school clique right now. But, not, like, one of the 'elite-acting-but-snooby' ones, one of the 'so desperate to be cool they end up acting pathetic' ones.

See, they've obviously had a streak of neophobia for some time. They're still dragging their feat on PTC (Positive Train Control, aka using GPS to tell where your trains are so among other things they don't hit. They claim it has no business benefits beyond the safety... because they're trying to put in a crippled version that imitates conventional signaling rather than using it to run trains closer together. Or rather, trying *not* to put in even that version, but talking about it as if that's all of PTC... you know what? I could go on, I'll stop there). But hey, at least that... *kinda* makes sense. It's a new system- to them at least (first tested in the 80s, but change of management closed down implementation). They're afraid of something new even though it's good, but one can *kinda* understand that, right?

Well, now they're doing the same thing with electronic breaking. There's a push to install it for safety reasons on all the major railroads, and they're getting together to complain about how horrible it is, how it's no good, they don't want it, etc.....

.... even though two of the major railroads installed it fifteen years ago. And even those ones are now claiming it's bad and doesn't work well, even though it's actually worked well. It's retroactive neophobia.



It's like, when one of them dislikes something, they *all* have to dislike it, even if it's something multiple of them have done, because looking 'cool' to each other and telling each other they're already cool matters more than doing things that'd actually be cool.
2:16am: Sorting books dreams...
Ok, I had a dream that I was sorting and moving books... you know, like I've been doing for the last week in real life. And I realized this, so I lucid'd dreamed to something else. Which in a minute or two moved back to books. So I did it again. This time at least it was more a pile of books, and I didn't sort them so much, but I kinda noticed a pattern and gave up...




They weren't unpleasant dreams, but I'm going to look forward to when my brain gets unstuck ^^

(Also when I got up, I sorted some stuff)

9th May 2015

6:58am: Whew, book relocation complete!
We're getting some rooms redone in the house.... including the room that holds/held 80% of my books!

Aaand after a good amount of work work, they're clear. All moved out.

Still got a few minor things, CDs/DVDs and such, and of course moving out the now-empty shelves (not hard- I have these cool portable shelve units that look good *and* can get folded up!), but now I can relax and recover some :)


Actually didn't have to work on 'em quite so much, got half a week before they have to be done, but once one starts moving books it's hard to stop!

6th May 2015

11:46pm: True Facts about Mantis Shrimp



Thanks to drhoz for showing me the channel :)

2nd May 2015

3:08am: Restaurants
Inconsequential stuff I think about ahead!


Not too long ago I tried out a nearby, fairly new, small pizza place in Oldtown. First time, I decided they were good! But a bit slow on the service, but we were the first of the day, so no biggie.

Second time, service *still* a bit slow (this time with a full [small] room covered by a single person who was trying but spent too much time on each task), and got unasked-for olives on pizza. Replaced, but yet more time.

Third time, mostly empty again, unasked for olives again.

"Hm," I said, "their food is good, but unless they can fix up their service, they aren't going to last long..." and decided not to go back for awhile, wait and see if they improved.

Cut to a month later, they're closed, building's having work done, and sign in the window says transfer of ownership ^^;

Now, another new place opened in a different location. Buffalo Wild Wings, a chain I've visited other locations. Wings, corndogs, sports screens, that type of stuff. I like the wings, so I go occasionally. Anyway, I visit a few times, and the wait staff is not only attentive, but I get a, "Hey, didn't you go to (other restaurant) a few years back a lot? I used to work there!", and another employee who recognized my Rifts RPG book I was reading and, *without* losing track of other table's refills, managed to get into brief discussion of it (he was surprised Rifts is still printed), and on editions (how he used to hate it when games updated editions but learned to appreciate new editions- and surprised Rifts was still on it's first. I also informed him of the announced new Savage Worlds rules for Rifts).

And so, even though it's 'just' a wings place, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be going back anyway. Attentive, nice staff makes for a pleasant experience.

The contrast between the two came into my head. Service matters a ton.

30th April 2015

12:12am: More Than Meets the Eye: The End of Ten
Today, Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #40 was released.

Inside of it, there was a surprisingly touching segment around this minor character called 'Ten.'

Someone in a forum mentioned they'd hate it if Ten was killed off.


....

So I wrote a mini-fic/scene where he was killed off ^^


The Death of Ten, behind CutCollapse )


Dunno how much impact it'd have without context, but, enjoy ^^

20th April 2015

1:56pm: Tracker by Cherryh
The other day I discovered, much to my surprise, Tracker, the latest book in the Foreigner series by CJ Cherryh, at the book story!

I promptly bought it (also happy of the luck I had a coupon at the time), and devoured it over the next three days.

And... I always have trouble talking about this series because even though I love it, talking about it is tricky! It's 16th book in the series, and while the stories are separated into sub-trilogies of a sort, talking about one implies the resolutions to the prior ones. Diplomacy with both the alien Atevi and different cultures of humans continues. I will say this one goes back into space, which I saw coming for awhile, and sets up the next one nicely, and like many of the first ones in the book trios, it has Bren dealing with a smaller threat with bigger ones, much bigger ones, on the horizon, and it threw me a curve towards the end when I thought the main conflict of the book had been resolved and then a new aspect came into play late.

So... yea, great diplomacy-fu, really looking forward to the next ^^

19th April 2015

4:41pm: More moving stuff
Minus: Uuugh, couches heavy! Even sectional ones!



Plus: *That's* where my Pokemon Red went!

18th April 2015

11:49am: Ugh, lugging stuff!
We're cleaning out the oooold storage room, and that means lugging heavy stuff...

Nothing real serious to report, just run-of-the-mill griping ^^


Oh yea! Among my stuff I found an old transformer. One funny thing is while I know I was into transformers as a kid, I can barely remember any that I had (I'm young enough that I was pretty small when it came out)- except for two, Sky-Lynx and Cosmos. Because they're a space-shuttle dinosaur and a UFO! But for decades, there's no way I could tell you any other transformer I had back then. So finding the one I did- which turned out to be First Aid the ambulance- answered an old curiosity.

4th April 2015

4:52pm: Do you get this too?
Ok, so there's this book that I happen to know is at a local bookstore right now.


I don't remotely need this book- I just started a book, should take me some time before I'm through it.


And I totally want to drop everything and get this other book!


Anyone else get that urge? ^^

2nd April 2015

4:52pm: Toho making a new Godzilla movie!
This news came out yesterday, but I was really unsure if it was real due to April Fool's day and all, but no retractions or such has come out so far, so...

Japan / Toho is making a new Godzilla movie with a big name creative team!

"Evangelion director Hideaki Anno is the chief director and writer of TOHO's upcoming Godzilla film, the first new Japanese one in the franchise in 12 years. Shinji Higuchi, the director of Japan Sinks, Nobō no Shiro, and the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan films, is directing the new film and serving as special effect director as well."


Which is, well, pretty awesome ^^ Two Godzilla franchises going on at once? Sign me up!

31st March 2015

1:55pm: Everyone be prepared
Everyone be prepared, national/international 'information becomes unreliable on the internet day' aka April 1st, is tomorrow.


(/Public Service Announcement)

26th March 2015

8:38am: Sonic Universe: Spark of Life
Sonic Universe. A side-story comic spun off a comic based on a video game character. Not exactly where one would expect to find quality stuff.

Fortunately, however, Archie and writer Ian Flynn defy expectations, and put in the effort to make solid, character-driven work (which just also happens to feature cute animal characters).

In this case? The story of an AI, Nicole, in....



The Spark of Life!

Secret origin of Nicole withinCollapse )

22nd March 2015

4:48am: I need to get off my butt...
... and fix some things!

There's a couple minor problems that I've been meaning to fix, but there's so easy I haven't gotten around to it ^^;; Fill a small hole ants are using, replace a lightbulb, etc..

Pure laziness!

17th March 2015

1:13am: Liaden Universe
Ok, a bit ago I'd said I'd been looking for new space opera, and I'd be checking out the Liaden universe, and sharing my thoughts.

Well, I'm two books in, and I have to say.... I'm not sure!

Oh, don't get me wrong, the books are fun, I like 'em, it's just I don't as yet know how much I can judge the wider universe for them.

The specific ones I picked, Fledgling and Saltation, are really the story of the young pilot-to-be Theo Waitley, almost slice-of-life in her development at times. And the first one largely takes on her world, a very safety-conscious planet, plus Theo's first trip into space and the people she meets there and early tastes of culture shock, matched with a story of her mother tackling an academy mystery that leads to the trip. The second book moves Theo into a bit deeper water, in another world where she works to become a pilot. But one thing I'm getting a picture of is the Liaden culture, which is talked about in both, is a very key thing to this universe, and she only breaches into it at the end of Saltation. Like the name of the books imply, she's a chick coming out of her shell, and the first two books are about her and her development.

And I'll also note they started as a 'side-series' of sorts (though I gather unlike many universes, there isn't too much a 'main' and 'secondary'. There's different books that follow different characters, often in duos and trios. Still, the early ones at least don't have to do with mover-and-shaker events). Which kinda shows, it's, at least the early ones, a small enjoyable story initially intended for existing fans, though accessible to others. It's not fast-paced like a lot of recent SF I've read, but reminds me a bit of CJ Cherryh's character-centric works in terms of point of view, like Cyteen/Regenesis, with it's own story of a young female lead growing up, though in a very different situation than those.

One nice thing I'm noting is the author does definitely differentiate different cultures. There's two large culture blocks at least, Terran and Liaden, but even within Terran worlds one encounters distinct differences, they feel like places that are a bit foreign to each other. So that's a point in it's favor.

I'm early on in a third Theo book, Ghost Ship, and somewhat reeling from an onslaught of new names, but I'm definitely also in the wider universe now (note the shift in title away from 'growing chick' metaphors), with it already being clear that, while Theo is the main character of this book, the focus is less specifically on her, there's more other characters sharing the stage.

So, in conclusion? The first two Theo Waitley books are a fun story about a girl growing into a pilot, but if one wants to dive deep into the Liaden universe, I'm guessing some of the other books may be a place to start, and I'm just starting to see what the big picture looks like. It's a gradual entry into a wider setting, and I'll post more as I get farther.

15th March 2015

10:59pm: Filter-feeding anomalocarid
Originally posted by drhoz at Wow!


~~
"I was totally shocked" to see the two sets of legs, Van Roy told LiveScience. "For a week on end, I actually went back to the specimen every day just to look at it again, to make sure that I wasn't seeing things."
~~

I would too!

7th March 2015

1:53am: Congo installs Traffic Robots
Robots being used as traffic police in the Democratic Republic of Congo

I'd heard Africa was becoming more cyberpunk, but I didn't expect this from the Congo ^^

4th March 2015

12:14am: Microwave test!
Microwaves tested with Indian snack food!

I haven't tried this yet but it seems pretty cool!

(Learned about it from What if xkcd)
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