Archive for July, 2011

07/31/2011

Looks like Logan’s Run with a loophole…

by wfgodbold

In Time, a movie that comes out later this year starring Neil Cafferty, the Scarecrow, Leonard, Thirteen, and Justin Timberlake, looks like an interesting take on a cashless society in the future. At 25 years old, everyone stops aging and is given one year to live; they keep track of their remaining time via an implanted digital countdown clock in their forearm.

When it hits zero, they die. If they manage to add more time, they live. In this future, time is the new currency; a cup of coffee might cost 3 minutes, and if you can amass enough time, you can live for hundreds of years. Obviously, only the very rich get to do so.

It looks like an interesting take on the whole problem of solving aging and what we would do with the ever-increasing number of undying people. I might see it in theaters when it comes out at the end of October.

07/31/2011

Komm, Süsser Tod

by wfgodbold

Come, Sweet Death. In the film End of Evangelion, this song plays during Instrumentality (IIRC, that’s when the infamous Tang scenes started. It’s been a few years, though, so I could be wrong.). Like one of the commenters on the video says, it’s the most cheerful song about losing the will to live you’ll probably ever hear.

End of Evangelion was the second of two movies Gainax animated to retell the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series after its ambiguous ending; the first movie retold most of the series, and then EoE retold the last couple of episodes.

These movies are the reason I haven’t watched the new Rebuild of Evangelion films; maybe once all four have been released, I’ll look into it. Only two have come out so far, and Gainax hasn’t announced dates for the third or fourth film yet, so who knows when they’ll actually finish.

07/31/2011

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – Sarcastro

by wfgodbold

In the Volokh Conspiracy thread on the failure of the EPA to “save” the spotted owl from its seemingly inevitable extinction, commenter Sarcastro said:

I say human [sic] become Darwin’s chainsaw, and try to wipe out as many life-forms as we can.

Those few worthies that remain will be awesome.

Now, he was being sarcastic (when he’s not, his statements are in brackets), but he’s got a point; those remaining species would be totally badass.

Or delicious.

Probably just delicious, actually.

Runner-up, from that same thread, by commenter martyB:

All I know is, if you see a Spotted Owl on your property you have to kill it quick and bury it and hope no one else has seen it. The penalty for failing to do so is the loss of the use of your land. I have often wondered why the government hates the Spotted Owl so.

That would be funnier if it weren’t true. :(

07/30/2011

Why is the solution ALWAYS more laws? Why? (blue language alert)

by wfgodbold

In this case, a law recently went into effect to combat the scourge of meth; this time by making the purchase of Sudafed even more onerous than it was before.

Instead of just requiring people to sign a logbook when they buy OTC drugs like Sudafed (which was ridiculous enough), now pharmacists can refuse to sell to people who aren’t in “pressing need” of the drug. God forbid you choose to stock up on cold medicines so that you don’t have to go to the damn store while you’re sick; that’s not allowed anymore.

I don’t know how I missed this back when it was actually happening; I blame not getting sick that often. And it could be worse:

In June 2010, the state board of pharmacy unanimously voted to support a legislative initiative that would convert pseudoephedrine to a Schedule III controlled-substance prescription item. Solid oral dosage forms of the drug were already Schedule V nonprescription products.

You want your sudafed? GO GET A PRESCRIPTION, YOU FUCKING METH COOKER!

Fuck you, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy.

The bill we ended up with is bad enough:

Jan K. Hastings, clinical coordinator for community pharmacy experiential education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, said the decision-making process under the law rests on the pharmacist–patient relationship.

“There has to be a pharmacist–patient relationship before you make the recommendation, just like there would be for any other medication that you would recommend for a patient,” she said.

The only pharmacist-patient relationship I’m interested in, you jackbooted tyrant, is the one in which I say, “I would like to buy Sudafed/whatever, an OTC drug that DOESN’T REQUIRE A PRESCRIPTION,” and the pharmacists responds with, “Okay, that’ll be $10.”

I’m not your friend. I’m not going to the damn druggist for advice. I’m going to buy drugs, and unless those drugs require a fucking prescription, IT’S YOUR GODDAM JOB TO SELL THEM TO ME.

07/30/2011

Spiral of Time

by wfgodbold

The fourth installment in the Growlanser series, Growlanser IV: Wayfarer of the Time (yes, really), is the only PS2 release in the series not to be localized for release outside Japan.

Like Growlanser V, it is set in a different world than the first three games; as usual, though, multiple countries are on the brink of war. Angels have returned once more to fight humanity, and the main character has to do what he can to stave off their assault.

Like in the other Growlanser games, you travel around the world, fighting enemies, recruiting allies, and interacting with your party members. Satoshi Urushihara’s art is just as distinctive and unnaturally shiny as ever. The music seems better than it was in II and III, though my memory might be a bit fuzzy.

07/30/2011

Give up your privacy! Do it! FOR THE CHILDREN!

by wfgodbold

They even put it in the name of the damn bill this time. House Resolution 1981 (more like 1984, amirite?), the “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011” has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

Like Sebastian, I saw this on Boing Boing yesterday, and I couldn’t believe it. Actually, I could believe it; I just didn’t want to.

Sebastian points out:

I should note that Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT), and Rep. Issa (R-CA), all voted against this stupid, stupid bill. The rest of the GOP fell in line. The GOP is still for big government, they are just for different big government than the Democrats.

He’s right.

Michael Patrick Leahy touched on this earlier this week, when he pointed out that historically, the GOP has been just as big a fan of government intervention in stuff it has no business intervening in as the Democratic party has, just that its focus was different. It was only with Goldwater, and later Reagan, that liberty was emphasized; even now, there are those in the GOP that are in favor of all-powerful government.

Both parties are perfectly willing to pass whatever nonsense bills they can come up with if they think it will get them votes, regardless of whether those bills are constitutional or not. I don’t see how tracking every person’s total internet activity would be any more legit than tracking their every move and recording every damn conversation they have.

But if it’s for the children, then, well, civil rights be damned!

Child pornography is vile. Child pornographers are vile people. It’s morally wrong, it’s against the law, it’s an egregious violation of children’s civil rights, and the government is right to try to apprehend child pornographers.

But you don’t find them by searching every single person every time they do anything on the internet. It’s child pornography theater.

On the other hand, the government seems to think that works with terrorism and the TSA, so I guess I’m more surprised that it took this long. Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back; I’m not holding my breath, though.

Any opposition to this awful, awful bill will result in those opposing it being tarred as being in favor of child pornography and hating the children. Just like those against security theater are tarred as wanting the terrorists to win.

07/30/2011

Fear the zombie squid!

by wfgodbold

Via Google+, I discovered the Japanese dish known as odori-don (dancing bowl), in which a freshly killed squid is served over rice. When soy sauce is poured over the squid, the barely dead cells react to the electrical charge in … interesting ways:

07/29/2011

The things we do for a chance at a free iPad (twitter spam incoming!)

by wfgodbold

I start law school three weeks from Monday (orientation is two weeks from Monday), and the incoming students were told that if they made introductory videos and posted them to youtube, one person would be selected to win a free iPad.

The deadline was today, so I figured I might as well record something and send it in; if I win, I’ve got an iPad, and if I lose, I’m no worse off than I was before (aside from my gibbering inanity being even more visible on the interwebs).

Without further ado:

07/29/2011

Nintendo falls from heaven…

by wfgodbold

Mainly because of extremely poor 3DS sales (though another large factor is the strong yen, especially relative to the dollar).

To try to move more units, they’re cutting the system’s price in Japan by ¥10,000 (to ¥15,000) and in the US by $80 (to $170). That’s closer to what I’m willing to pay, though I’d be far more amenable if it weren’t region locked.

The new lower price point should make it more competitive with Sony’s PS Vita when it launches this winter, since it will be priced at $250 (for the wifi model; 3G will run $299). In the meantime, though, Nintendo will have to hope that software sales make up for the loss they’re going to be eating with every 3DS sold. With a big enough increase in the user base, that should be possible.

And if you do buy a new, lower priced 3DS (starting August 12th), pay no attention to that burning sensation in your eyes. That’s entirely normal.

07/29/2011

Hellraiser Returns

by wfgodbold

No, not that Hellraiser.

At first glance, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing looks like just another giant robot show.

Well, okay, I guess it is. Technically. But at the heart of the show, once you peel away the mecha, is a nuanced look at war and the morality of automated drone combat.

The mecha are just there to capture your attention!

Well. Okay, I suppose it is mostly about the mecha. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a grand story of space colonies vying for their independence from Earth by sending five Gundam pilots down to wreak havoc.

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