Monthly Archives: January 2014

Log Horizon – Just Gets Better Every Week!

If you like fantasy or play fantasy games, or if you’ve ever played an MMO, you should be watching Log Horizon. It gets better every week.

It’s all about hope in darkness, making a life for yourself and those you care about, and being more than a little bit clever along the way.

For those of you who haven’t gotten sucked into its world, here’s a very nice cover version of the earworm opening themesong, “Database.” (And the same guy also covers the great Yowamushi Pedal themesong, “Reclimb.”)

Here’s the group that actually does it, Man with a Mission, performing live. Yes, they perform wearing giant wolf mask heads.

Here’s a gamer filk parody about Indonesian exam week. I think the sentiments are so universal that we don’t actually need a translation….

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Cruiser Bike Video

This Retro Dad guy discusses “cruiser” or “beach cruiser” bikes like mine. He talks a lot about the benefits of the ride.

As the wonderful road racing anime Yowamushi Pedal points out, a “mommy bike” isn’t the most efficient bike. But it does build your strength and endurance, and it teaches you to pedal faster (“increase cadence”) as well as to stand up and pedal (“dancing”). You can carry stuff better, and they are fun.

And for those of us with big butts, a nice sturdy bike with a comfy seat is a good thing.

It turns out that there’s a bike shop in Fairborn, and I think I’m going to have to go talk to them about my bike. I think I’ve got it set up wrong or broke something somehow, because the seat just keeps coming loose. It’s possible that hilly Fairborn just isn’t the right place for my bike, but I did okay in hilly Kettering.

If worst comes to worst, I’ve got my old ten-speed in the shed at my parents’ house, but I don’t love it like I loved my Huffy faux-BMX bike as a kid, or my weird but lovable Huffy Panama Jack beach cruiser. OTOH, I never actually figured out what most of those gears were for, and Yowa is exposing me to the idea that perhaps they actually have their uses. And I suppose I could get it painted a more racy color than white. (Like yellow. Bikes should be red or yellow. Those are bike-y colors.)

This is a later model than my bike, and it is pink rather than yellow and tan. I will bear RetroDad’s recommendations in mind.

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Smithsonian Magazine Parades Its Ignorance

Anybody who reads a decent amount of King Arthur material is going to find out that there were knights who were Saracens, knights who were black, knights who were from this far country and that. It’s not a secret. This is the sort of thing that seventh-grade gamers have memorized like Pokemon.

But Smithsonian wishes to claim that nobody knows this stuff, apparently based on some comments about some TV show somewhere.

Well, I’m glad that Sir Morien’s existence as a character is getting more attention; but could the article be any more demeaning?

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Vatican Media Guys Sick of Fake Pope Quotes

He’s a wild and crazy pope, but he ain’t that wild and crazy. But between wannabe social engineers, rumormongers, wannabe conspiracy investigators, and plain old Internet misattribution of quotes, there’s all kinds of stuff being quoted as being “said by him” that Pope Francis didn’t say.

So, via New Liturgical Movement, the Vatican’s News.va Facebook Page has released the following statement following a proliferation on the internet of false statements attributed to Pope Francis:

Dear friends, we have been notified by many readers that there are stories currently circulating all over the Internet spreading statements by Pope Francis with regard to a number of issues, concerning the Bible’s content, the relations between religions, the renewal of the Church’s doctrine, and even the calling of an alleged “Third Vatican Council” — which are FALSE. These statements were spread by unknown sources. Therefore, we would like to alert all readers to be careful and not to trust too soon news about the Pope that are not from the Vatican.

There are also many unidentified trolls on social networks that try to put false information in circulation, taking advantage of the fact that it is easy to “throw the stone and hide the hand.”

Many are also not aware that ALL FACEBOOK PROFILES OF POPE FRANCIS /JORGE MARIA BERGOGLIO ARE NOT OFFICIAL PAGES AND THEY HAVE NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED TO OFFICIALLY REPRESENT THE POPE. THEREFORE THEY SHOULD CLEARLY STATE THEY ARE JUST ‘FAN PAGES’.

We encourage all readers to check the official Vatican media sources for further confirmation of Pope Francis’ statements, or even to check what exactly he said with reference to specific issues.

IF THE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO THE POPE BY ANY MEDIA AGENCY DO NOT APPEAR IN THE OFFICIAL MEDIA SOURCES OF THE VATICAN, IT MEANS THAT THE INFORMATION THEY REPORT IS NOT TRUE.

Below is a list of the official Vatican media which you should use as valid reference to be sure that any reported statement referred to the Pope is true:

– News.va: a news aggregator portal, it reports the news and information from all the Vatican media in one website, available in five languages: http://www.news.va
News.va also has a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/news.va

– L’Osservatore Romano (newspaper): http://www.osservatoreromano.va

– Vatican Radio: http://www.radiovaticana.va

– VIS (Vatican Information Service): http://www.vis.va

– Holy See Press Office: http://www.vaticanstate.va/content/vaticanstate/en/altre-istituzioni/sala-stampa-santa-sede.html

– Centro Televisivo Vaticano (Vatican Television Center): http://www.ctv.va
or http://www.vatican.va/news_services/television/

– Vatican.va: the official website of the Holy See, where you can find the full text of all speeches, homilies and Apostolic documents by the Pope: http://www.vatican.va

– PopeApp: the official app for smartphones dedicated to the Pope (Copyright News.va)

– @Pontifex: the official Twitter profile of the Pope.

The only official Facebook profiles representing the Holy Father and the Vatican are those from News.va and the Vatican media (see the above list of Vatican media).

We would like to thank you all for your kind attention as well as for your notifications and suggestions. Please do share this information as much as possible with your contacts! Thank you very much!

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Fridge Horror

Spammy household appliances?

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Alexamenos Worships His God

There’s a famous blasphemous piece of graffiti from an ancient Roman boys’ school on the Palatine Hill. It shows Alexamenos, apparently an early Christian, worshipping the crucified Christ — except that Christ is shown with a horse’s head. (In the next room, btw, there’s another piece of ancient graffiti saying that Alexamenos is faithful.)

I think I’ve figured out the point of the joke.

“Mannulus” is the Latin word for a small breed of cob horses or ponies from Gaul, suitable for drawing coaches.

Emmanuel is Alexamenos’ god.

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New Anime

Yet another season of flippin’ weird anime….

Hamatora is a light mystery show about a magical superhero detective agency. And yes, if that sounds good to you, you’re going to like it. I think it’s got a good mixture of that Japanese specialty, cute and funny antics mixed with serious gritty crime and grotesquery.

Hoseki no Reitetsu is an incredibly artistic, beautiful, clever slice of life comedy set in Jigoku, the Japanese (Chinese/Indian) afterlife for bad people. The myth of Jigoku is more like a reformatory than prison, because you serve your time being punished instructively and then get reincarnated or sent elsewhere. The oni (translated here as “ogres”) aren’t really demons, because they are not obligatorily evil; and the ones in Jigoku are in fact employed as prison wardens by the forces of good. Lord Hoseki, the protagonist of this show, is one of these hardworking oni. Since one of the very first Japanese “comics” was a serial scroll about oni doing funny things (as pointed out in this show’s first episode), this is in many ways a traditional show; but it’s very weird to us Westerners. So yeah… basically it’s The Office with competent coworkers. In Japanese Hell.

Wizard Barristers is another show with amazing visuals. I’ve only seen the long trailer, but… in a world where magic is real, magical criminal scum need idealistic magical defense attorneys. And their familiars. And their motorcycles. Also features perfectly normal police who manage to fight crime anyway.

Chuunibyou unexpectedly got a second season. It’s too soon to tell if it’s going to remain a purehearted and optimistic series about love, alienation, and teenage mental illness, or not. I hope it continues to stay good.

Good shows that are continuing on: Ag school anime Silver Spoon, road racing bike show Yowamushi Pedal, the optimistic political science RPG fantasy Log Horizon, etc., etc.

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