Friday, April 25, 2008

Anime — Ghost Hound

From the same people (Masamune Shirow and Production IG) who brought us Ghost in the Shell, this title feels like Serial Experiments Lain, only with psychology and biotechnology rather than networking as the gimmick.

It starts with the many-years-aftermath of a kidnapping, unearths skeletons in the closet in a small town on the southernmost major island in the archipelago, drags in industrial espionage and political factions; then throws in a whole bunch of low power psychic stuff.

In doing so what the story is actually about never actually gels. Plot threads are tucked away and abandoned rather than being tied off; so while the good guys (including some who you didn't expect to be numbered in that list) get a happy ending, there is a void at the middle of this story where the engine ought to be.

Provided you take the eruption of the paranormal into a small region as a given, and just settle back and enjoy the ride, it's great -- even the slightly rushed climax works. It's just looking back, it doesn't all quite seem to mesh cleanly. In its rush to be all hip and happening -- setting very much "Present day, Present time" -- there's a feeling of a bit too much making it up as they went along.

The jazzy sound track, the visuals (once you get over the round-eyed style), all the little tricks to indicate when things start to no longer be what they seem make it a great experience, and definitely the best airing over Q1.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Finally, and at last, I had the moulds made to put two crowns on -- and amazingly, when the set gunk was lifted off my lower jaw, it didn't take any teeth or bits of teeth with it.

It did take over an hour in the chair, getting the teeth prepped by filing them down a bit and pushing nasty tasting string into the gums, then taking the moulds, and a wax impression of my bite; and most of the time with two loads of suction running to try and keep my mouth dry -- then finishing with fitting and gluing a new temporary on the decapitated one.

Meanwhile, passed 25000 miles going past Hardwick on the way into town.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Slow spring

Late April, and the forsythia, though past its best, is still in bloom. Meanwhile, although the plum blossom hasn't been frostbitten since the snow a couple of weeks back, it's been too cold for any sightings of pollinating insects; and meanwhile the blossom is browning in the wet.

The cold easterly wind and heavy cloud reminds me of poor springs of 30 years ago -- and of two years ago.

Turning Japanese

A little bit of the weeaboo can be useful at times. Not only when having to debug issues with Japanese language strings not appearing in messages when running on Japanese Windows (as happened this week), but in other circumstances.

Like when a colleague had this handheld games console that came up with a bunch of moon-runes, and he needed to know which button to press to continue -- so I could read the はい and the いあ being offered as choices, and suggest the former, as that was "yes".

Friday, April 18, 2008

Teeth again

Today, I had a dental appointment where the tooth on the right that I decapitated the other week would finally be measured for a crown.

I'd had the stump built up in the intervening time, and another temporary put on, but while that was going on part of a filling on the tooth behind had come off, so that would be being fixed too.

It didn't really matter that the temporary came off the stump the other week -- the gap left by that bit of filling falling off had meant that food was getting wedged there, and eventually the crown came off with the food (in this case a bacon and cheese brioche, where for a while I couldn't tell the temporary from the melted and now chewy bits of cheese around the edge).

The problem was that the tooth on the other side, also awaiting a crown, had started to crumble a bit, and that needed patching up, so today was another batch of running repairs, expected and unexpected, but no progress on crowns. The good news, though, was that after almost eighteen months, the gum by the tooth on the left is now healed enough that both of them can be worked on at an appointment next week.

If nothing else falls apart in the next six days...

If (not entirely SFW) weren't just a spoof, I would be queueing up to buy one of these--

This upgrade is truly revolution in dentistry. Not just because of the shape but also due to the materials and technologies.

With no interdental space there is almost no problem with the food remnants. The cleaning is the simpliest and easiest ever. Just a few motion with toothbrush and it is finished!

Thanks to the new N-DNA (neutral DNA cell) culture used for the tooth and the unique SRF (self reparation function) is the new tooth in normal circumstances almost undestroyable.

The SRF is invented by Human Upgrades Laboratories and provides nutrition of artificial N-DNA cultures. Organ with SRF can partialy repair it self.

I'd take it even without the SRF, myself.


Inspired by Ola Bini's linking of JRuby to Erlang, I've put together how to connect J# to Erlang, and from that, C# and IronPython -- and implicitly, IronRuby -- with Erlang.

It doesn't give an IronPython on Mono solution (or otherwise without the VJ# runtime) with Erlang, yet, though.

I have been pointed at a port of an older version of the Java code to C#, which means you don't need either J# or IKVM.

Links for 18-Apr

Standalone Silverlight apps with Mono.

Silverlight & IronRuby using controls part 1, part 2

Unit Testing Silverlight

WPF custom layouts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Manga — JoJo's Bizarre Adventure : Phantom Blood

For a Japanese comic (and I apologise in the excerpts above for arranging the pages left to right while the content reads right to left), this looks awfully like the better stuff that would have appeared in Lion when I was a kid, only with a bit more girls, swearing and a lot more explicit damage in combats.

In the first volume, we are introduced to Jonathan Joestar, and his adopted evil brother Dio, and the start of an involved mythos of super-beings and mystical powers.

The story starts as you might expect with an evil stepchild showing up the gallant but naive true son, but then takes a left turn when, exposed, Dio takes up the Stone Mask that Jonathan's father had acquired in his adventures and becomes a vampire. Gathering up a host of villains, including Jack the Ripper, Dio makes his evil plans; meanwhile Jonathan swears revenge, and with the help of a mysterious Italian traveller starts to master the power of "ripple", the pneuma that underlies all life.

So ensues an escalating batch of super-powered fights, before, at long last, Dio is defeated, and cast into the sea, to be lost forever. Yeah, right.

Actually it doesn't end there, but segues into the next volume, of which more, later.

Political/Commentary links

For when I need citations…

An inconvenient truth.

Vote Green, Go Blackshirt.

Solar cheaper than coal.

Achieving the American Dream starting with only $25.

RSS Global temperature anomaly.

“FairTrade” isn't.

Garbage in, garbage out temperature measurements.

Peer reviewed and contrarian

The Food miles myth.

Question Insanity: What to Ask Progressives

Sunday, April 06, 2008

And it's snowing again

Plum blossom and snow

Plum blossom and snow

Back to snow again -- though some of the white is plum blossom.

52 weeks ago, it felt like midsummer. Welcome to the Little Ice Age.