Sunday, January 5. 2014 | Comments (0)
I've had a bunch of links building up for a while. I'll try to not lose them like I did last time.
Six Lies Most People Believe About U.S. Schools at The Federalist. 1) Rich, suburban schools are better than poor, inner-city or rural schools. 2) Poverty is the root cause of poor education 3) It's better to teach generic philosophies and ideals than specific skill-sets or fundamental knowledge 4) Teachers are well-prepared professionals 5) Education is non-partisan and amoral 6) Everyone should go to college. That's the short lists. Read the reasons and get links in the article.
Dark Roasted Blend's Abandoned Places and Urban Exploring archive.
A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series. That's the name of the book. I bought a copy of the revised edition. It doesn't have everything about Godzilla, but it has a bunch of stuff about the production and content of the movies that you'll only find in this book.
Fifty Shades of Marx by Sara Hoyt:
"Yesterday on Facebook, someone took exception to my saying that Marxist ideas are ascendant in the world. This shocked me so much I didn’t know how to react, and before I had time to explain – I was trying to finish the novel. No, it’s not done yet. Long story, but hey HVAC people this afternoon – people were in a big argument over whether or not we’re living in a police state.
The End of Days and the Rule of Gray by John C. Wright:
I had an interesting, and admittedly disturbing experience, which made me reflect upon the end of the world.
Five Myths about Ty Cobb. Thanks to the sensationalist (and largely, we now know falsified) biography of Cobb by journalist Al Stump, most people believe the Tigers legendary player was a violent, selfish and greedy, foul-mouthed extreme racist and murderer loved by no one. Those characterizations are mostly, if not entirely, untrue.
I linked this on Facebook. Matt Walsh discusses why the debate on abortion is comprised of two positions that are simply too far apart for compromise.
The WondLa books look fascinating. Will definitely be picking them up as soon as we're all settled in to the new year.
Monday, December 30. 2013 | Comments (2)
Friday, November 8. 2013 | Comments (0)
So here's the opening to Slayers Try, "Breeze" by Megumi Hayashibara.
and here's a different version by NOVA:
The full version of "Kujikenaikara!", the closing song from the original Slayers series (it's worth it, if you've never heard the full version. Hayashibara and Okui harmonize beautifully:
Hayashibara performing "Going History", the opening from Slayers Next:
Ok, this is mostly pop stuff. So here's "La Isla Bonita" as performed by Twilight Guardians.
Yeah, it's a cover. Sue me. Ronnie James Dio was one of the gods of rock; I like Killswitch Engage's version of "Holy Diver" better.
Thursday, September 26. 2013 | Comments (2)
It's a baseball reference. Nobody panic.
New MLB instant replay rules still emphasize getting it wrong.
Two carries, six yards: The tragic story of Ricky Bell.
Vivien Maier, brilliant amateur photographer of the 1950's, wasn't discovered until 2007.
The Soviet superplane program that rattled Area 51.
The Mars Science Laboratory is still running, btw.
Would you like to own every MAD magazine ever printed?
How long has it been since DC Comics did something stupid? 8 days, when I made the link.
Akira predicted the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Sort of. But it's still kind of...eery.
Jon Sorensen: Personal recollections of working on the film Alien.
So Los Alamos prepared three nuclear cores, right? And we used two of them right? Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You remember that. So where did the third core go?
Raising the Dead: Bushman's hole in South Africa claims the life of a preeminent deep-dive expert when he tries to return a body found in the hole to the surface.
Grand Theft Auto IV: San Andreas I'm gonna give this a try.
Saturday, September 14. 2013 | Comments (0)
My multiple-months-ago-mishap that caused me to lose weeks worth of posting material because I decided to do a mega-post to make up for how infrequently I was posting has prodded me into considering posting less more often. In the spirit of that intention, here is some cheesecake that I was going to include in a link post. Cosplayer Alisa Farrington as R2-D2:
I wonder how many really hard-core Star Wars geeks actually lose their boner for R2-D2 when they see this picture.
Wednesday, September 4. 2013 | Comments (0)
Donna Lewis was one of a sizable handful of female singers in the mid- to late-90's who hit the airwaves with one or two pop hits and quickly disappeared. That wouldn't be so unusual, except that it really was a veritable flood for a few years. This was arguably the precursor to the "Grrl Power" movement, as it seemed be largely triggered by the success of Melissa Etheridge and other perceived-alternative and independent musicians; a female-centric offshoot of grunge. Lewis stands out not only for the extreme catchyness of "I Love You Always Forever", but for her impressively produced debut album "Now In A Minute". A few of the songs falter due to noticeably resembling each other, a real shame that mars an otherwise outstanding sonic experience. However, the albums other great failure is that it serves as a great cure for insomnia.
America's 50 Countries - Article on National Review about the heterogenic nature of America.
Andrew Branca appeared on a California NPR broadcast a couple of months ago to serve as the token defender of George Zimmerman and Stand Your Ground laws. Havoc ensued when Branca pointed out that 33 states have Stand Your Ground laws like Florida's, and California's is actually the most liberal (in the classic sense).
What, exactly, ARE Jay-Z's 99 Problems? An artist on tumblr is working it out.
Brimstone over Iwo Jima.
"Without Love" is probably the best song on the disc. Sounds truly phenomenal cranked up loud. Amazing mix.
The "Not-as-dark-as-advertised" Ages. An idea that's been covered quite a bit the last few years. Hopefully, the classic idea of the "Dark" Ages will be gone in another decade.
World of Warcraft subscribers down to 7.7 million. I talked about this on Facebook a few weeks back. As many have pointed out, 7.7 million is still the largest subscriber base in America, and it's probably the largest user base as well. Guild Wars 2 is claiming 5 million users, although it's very difficult to compare "users" to "subscribers". However, considering how successful many free-to-play games have been, I still think if WoW trends below 5 million Blizzard starts converting the game to FTP. The next expansion will prove it either way, in my opinion.
Former NBA star Kenny Anderson comes to terms with sexual abuse when he was a child. Another long piece by SBNation. These long-form articles SBN has been doing are excellent reading.
A tear-jerking story about "Animal Crossing". Will make you hate yourself if you've ever thought anything bad about your mother.
For Texans, a short guide to many lost buildings at Fair Park in Dallas.
And, again, while fantastically produced and featuring Donna's excellent voice, this is one of the songs that will put you to sleep.
Something I need to add to my list of things that I say I'll do but never get around to is reviewing a few albums. I know everyone loves hearing the opinions of a music snob. Speaking of which...seriously, who reads Rolling Stone anymore? I didn't even know they were still published.
P.S. Still can't get to sleep? Try this one:
Tuesday, July 2. 2013 | Comments (2)
Ok, let's try something. Hopefully, none of my viewers have seen this yet. The title of the video is erroneous*. As soon as the video starts, mute the sound. As soon as you're reasonably sure what this movie is a Hollywood adaptation of, write it down**.
Let's see how you did...
Continue reading "The license fees must be enourmous..."
Wednesday, June 5. 2013 | Comment (1)
Friday, May 31. 2013 | Comments (3)
Today's video and music theme is Texas Rangers walk-up songs:
1st up, Lance Berkman uses "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash.
A thing that won't trigger nostalgia: Blockbuster Video.
Top 25 Epoch-Making Anime
The Lord of the Rings Family Tree project. Ambitious, and still not the easiest thing to follow.
7 Pictures of Tom Cruise being tall.
Brad Johnson: The Price of an NFL career.
The much-hated A.J. Pierzynski uses "Bullets" by Creed, "Set It Off" by Audioslave, and included below because it's the most interesting, "AJ Scratch" by Kurtis Blow:
MLB's State-of-the-art Replay System
The Giant Rubber Duck in Hong Kong; coming soon to a major city near you.
Political: The Brickmuppet sums up all of the scandals of the current governmental administration that started breaking the past few weeks.
Political/Cultural: The Part of the World That Shoots Back
And finally (for now) Adrian Beltre's song is "Pa Que Retozen" by Tego Calderon:
A video I really wanted to find, or a recording even, is George Chandler's cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway". Chandler performed the cover for an episode of The Benny Hill Show, and apparently never recorded the song otherwise. Which is a shame, because it was probably the best version of the song ever performed. I have video from the show, but I am somewhat reticent to upload, as Benny Hill related videos seem to be taken down regularly.
My current video game project, since hitting the level cap in Scarlet Blade (it's been upped since, and a new area added) is to use the free trial of World of Warcraft to level every class with every race to level 20, and to make judgements thereon. So far I've leveled a Warrior for Human, Dwarf, Gnome and Night Elf, and I'm working on Draenei. I won't do Pandas until the end. One thing I can tell you is that the Draenei starting area hasn't been optimized for the free trial. At least one quest chain requires access to mail, which is blocked in the demo. The four original races have all been streamlined to make the level experience to 20 quick and rewarding. In fact, it's probably a little "too" quick, and it's clear (especially in areas that I had previously visited with older characters) that a lot of quests had been cut, even though their resources where sometimes still in the game. This is an improvement in some cases; e.g. a hunting quest chain in Loch Modan has been cut in half at least. Originally you had to "kill 8 xxxxxx's" for four different low-level animals, then four different medium level animals, then four different high-level animals, then a boss animal for each. Each group was located in a different area; the entire quest chain could have you running over the entire area (pre-mount if you're doing it at the appropriate level) and can take hours and hours of work (days for a casual player). However, in some cases Blizzard cut off a quest chain half-way through, leaving a story half-finished, or cut out a quest chain that uses unique resources. A good example is in the human starting area, which cut out the quest chain involving one of the kobold-infested mines, even though the kobolds and mine are still there. Most of the quest chain involving the human bandits is gone, leaving this group of bandits that everyone talks about, but that you never really do anything about. But more about all of this later.
Thursday, April 25. 2013 | Comments (0)
Yu Darvish strikes out Albert Pujols five times. (Sort of)...
Incidentally, the guy who created this has (allegedly) been given a contract with Fangraphs.
The fundamental problem with Tinkerbell
The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon: Either you first heard of this recently, or you will hear about it again soon. No joke.
Pictures of abandoned power stations @ i09
Helicopter drone video of Niagara Falls
Top 25 anime character designers
Otaku musician busted for Junior-High sex (and for not looking anything like his artists' renderings)
Christianity in anime. I think there's an aweful lot that can be written about Puella Magi Madoka Magica. But I want to watch the series again with my wife first.
Share and enjoy: Sad Josh Hamilton
Last night the home plate umpire at the Angels/Rangers game took a foul-tip in the worst possible place, which brought up mentions of The Nutty Buddy.
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