Archives: February 2006
Tue Feb 28, 2006
Mon Feb 27, 2006
How about some Scandinavian fiddle tunes? This one's from Finland.
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Fri Feb 24, 2006
You can watch the trailer for Gedo Senki here. It's the current Studio Ghibli project, directed by Goro Miyazaki (Hayao's son) and based on Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea books. It looks very good. The question is how badly is the story mangled. Can Goro do a better job than his father did with Howl's Moving Castle? Ged has a fair complexion in the trailer, which is not a good sign.
Update: A higher-resolution version of the trailer can be found here.
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Thu Feb 23, 2006
How Disney blew it ...
... yet again:
I remember sitting in a sold out showing of March of the Penguins last July and seeing the trailer for Howl. This was the ideal audience, nothing but parents and kids there, and I heard some "oohs" and "ahhs" coming from the audience during the trailer. It would have been perfect except for one detail: Howl had already closed in Dallas the week before.
Howl's Moving Castle was a much weaker movie than Miyazaki's earlier films, but it still deserved better treatment in America than it received.
(Via Cartoon Brew.)
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The iron law of software documentation
The thicker the manual, the more useless it is.
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Another tune from O'Neill. There are close to 2,000 tunes in the edition I have, so there is no danger of running out of music for a long time.
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Wed Feb 22, 2006
Display as long as Pat Robertson allows
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If you are a Mac owner who uses Safari, you'll want to update your preferences ASAP. In general, I don't think there's a need for the death penalty, but I'm willing to make an exception for malicious hackers.
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Tue Feb 21, 2006
Shield your ears
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Drawing and undrawing
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Not so much "jolly" as "mellow" to my ears. I suppose it would be funnier in a busier arrangement at a faster tempo, but I like it as it is.
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Mon Feb 20, 2006
I presume the "thing" is a "what" and not a "who."
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Fri Feb 17, 2006
The results of this one are a bit bizarre:
| You scored as Anarchism.|
What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
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'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'
If you consider libertarianism to be a subspecies of anarchism, then the results make a little sense, but this is still hard to explain.
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Using the sidewise air flow
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Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk
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Once, while discussing the pricing of art with a painter friend, I suggested that the artist dispense with the artwork itself and focus instead on making impressive price tags. She thought that that would be a good idea for a conceptual art piece. It turns out that it's been done.
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I shouldn't complain that some outstanding weblogs are missing from the candidates for this year's Catholic Blog Awards, since I missed the nomination deadline. And I won't. Instead, I'll list some that I would like to have seen among the entrants:
Church of the Masses
Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor
Each of these is distinctive and worth your time. There are plenty of other worthy Catholic weblogs; browse the blogroll at right. Feel free to mention other noteworthy Catholic weblogs in the comments.
One category I would like to add to the awards is "Too Seldom Updated," for bloggers whose writing I enjoy but who don't post often. Some candidates:
Basia me, Catholica sum
Catholics, Musicians, Students, in that order
Gathering Goat Eggs
Rightwing Film Geek
Soundtrack: Schubert, "Trout Quintet," andantino (Tema con Variazioni)
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Another tune from O'Neill's Music of Ireland. Most of the melodies in the book sound best on a fiddle or flute, but I can't imagine this one on anything but a harp. (I seldom use a fiddle in these arrangements because general MIDI violins sound lousy.)
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Thu Feb 16, 2006
Tue Feb 14, 2006
Another tune from O'Neill. There is no such thing as "normal Kansas weather," but even so, this has been a freakish winter. There already is a "flower of spring," i.e., a daffodil, open in my tiny garden out front since Thursday. This is the earliest ever by over two weeks.
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Mon Feb 13, 2006
Carnival time, etc
The Carnival of Music has been postponed until tomorrow, but until then there's plenty to read at the first Carnival of Children's Literature.
Update: As John notes in his comment, the Carnival of Music is up.
So Fred thinks he can compel me to link to him? Sure he can.
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Sounds more like a mild breeze to me. It's definitely not the Kansas winter wind.
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Sun Feb 12, 2006
Pixy's Law of Customisation
If you work with computers long enough, sooner or later you will find yourself adjusting a delicate and expensive piece of equipment with a pair of wire cutters.
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5. Imagine you have the stigmata. Would it affect your productivity at work? Would you still be admitted into fine restaurants? Would it be covered by your medical insurance, or should it constitute a pre-existent condition?
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Fri Feb 10, 2006
If it's a planxty, it's probably by Carolan (but not always, e.g., "Planxty Clint Eastwood" by No Strings Attached).
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Thu Feb 09, 2006
How do you spoil a charming show?
One good way is to insert some gratuitous anti-Americanism. In the overly-eventful fourth episode of Kamichu!, a magenta spaceship lands in Tokyo. The duplicitous Japanese prime minister, greedy for the technology, plans to send the ship and its pink alien pilot to America for analysis. With Yurie's help, Martian-chan escapes, but not before we see the stars and stripes on a military helicopter. This is a pity, but it is not entirely unexpected. The same writer and director were responsible for Read or Die, a hugely entertaining OVA that was occasionally marred by contempt for America.
I still have high hopes for the series, which I wrote about below. I've seen five of the sixteen episodes so far, and while one stinks, the other four are delightful and highly rewatchable. Despite the makers' brain damage, Kamichu! deserves to be released in the USA, and it probably will be, though it may take several years for someone to license it.
Yurie-sama with Team Happiness, the wish collection and delivery team assigned to assist her by the Gods Association
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This week's quiz
| You scored as Violin.|
woot. good for you.
If you were in an orchestra, what instrument would match your personality?
created with QuizFarm.com
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News of the weird
Sony pictures is putting together a website for critics of The Da Vinci Code. It looks like it's going be less than definitive, though:
Although Roman Catholics in particular have objected to the "Code" book, which refers repeatedly to "the Vatican" as the source of the conspiracy, few Catholic writers are on the Web site's lineup, though more are being asked to join. Grace Hill Media talked with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic group depicted in the book as a murderous force, about their participation, but as the list stands now, they are not included. Charles Colson, the convicted Watergate figure and now a leading evangelical voice, is expected to write about Catholicism.
Colson is the only Watergate figure to gain my respect, but he's a odd choice to "write about Catholicism." Why not Sandra Miesel or Amy Welborn, both articulate, knowledgeable Catholics who have had plenty to say about the silly book?
Welborn notes that the USCCB will post its own DVC site March 1 and that she is "a bit involved" with it.
Update: Link fixed.
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Tue Feb 07, 2006
Mon Feb 06, 2006
Eros and agape
Lorenzo Albacete on the encyclical:
Benedict's conversations with nonbelievers have convinced him that their major concern about Christianity is not its "other-worldiness" but the very opposite. For them, what makes Christianity potentially dangerous as a source of conflict and intolerance in a pluralistic society is its insistence that faith is reasonable — that is, that it is the source of knowledge about this world and that, therefore, its teaching should apply to all, believers and nonbelievers alike.
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Stupidest idea of the millennium (so far)
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Sun Feb 05, 2006
The Triumph of the Were-Rabbit
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Eve Tushnet reads one of the great books of the twentieth century, The Man in the High Castle:
1. This world is a shadow of something else. One of the fundamental moments of insight is the moment when we realize that this is not what was meant to be--that there is something else, something real and true ("Inner Truth"), where at least some of this world's evils never happened. Where human actions and choices took place in a gentler context.
2. Art is one way of gaining access to that world, the real world of which our own experience is only a shadow. True art--not "ideal" art, not art that separates itself from humans and human needs and human realities (like the Nazi art Lotze praises in the novel), but art that somehow connects human loves to an outside reality--moves human perceptions closer to understanding the world as it ought to be--the world as it, in some important sense, really is. (It's somehow important that the world where the Nazis lost is not fake, is not imagined, is not abstract--it's somehow important that the world where the greater horror lost is real.) Dick's novel manages to make the case for art as spur to healing without falling into the lame, facile Richard Rorty trap of claiming that novels make you nice. Perhaps that's because in Dick's novel, art makes the characters act rightly toward one another because art offers some kind of entry into the world as it should be--the world as it is, not the shadow-world of cruelty and horror.
Read the whole thing, and read the book, too.
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Fri Feb 03, 2006
Perhaps civilization isn't doomed
It occurred to me this morning that there were once several used record stores in Wichita, but now there are none. These were followed by several used CD stores, but now only one is left that I know of. How much longer it will last, I don't know. However, there were used book stores before there were any used record stores, and there are as many now as there were twenty-five years ago.
Speaking of books, here is a list of the 100 Best First Lines from Novels.
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Here's another project to participate in: the Carnival of Children's Literature. Hmm. I've been meaning to write a readers's guide to Diana Wynne Jones; this might be the excuse I need to start.
(By the way, if you'd like to participate but don't have an active weblog, I'd be happy to run an occasional guest post here.)
(Via the LLamas.)
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Thu Feb 02, 2006
Masterworks of civilization
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A question for Kashi and the Wolf: do University of Dallas students still spend February 2 drinking beer all day at Forker Field?
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Wed Feb 01, 2006
The measure of an angel
Recent searches that brought people to my various sites:
teletubbies prisoner loudspeaker (Maybe Erik can explain this one.)
measures of the angels of 57 sided polygon
muriel spark+++++++++++++the dark glasses
the man ain't got no culture
cannabis sativa dingbats
"ye gods! annihilate but space and time, and make two lovers happy."
Note to the individual who wanted a "summary of a rose for emily": just read the story.
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You had to be there
Blame Terry Teachout for this one. Here are eight arts events I'll probably tell my nephews' and nieces' children about years from now.
-- I saw Shonen Sarutobe Sasuke when it was first commercially released in the USA. (Guess my age if you wish, but please keep it to yourself.)
-- I heard both Snuffy Jenkins and Earl Scruggs at my first bluegrass festival a thousand years ago near Warrenton, Virginia. It was also my introduction to Norman Blake and John Hartford.
-- I saw Peter Schickele read Playboy in the middle of the "Concerto for Piano Versus Orchestra." I also spotted the Batman comic book underneath the magazine in the piano.
-- I heard the Sons of Rayon several times at Kirby's Beer Store, just south of Wichita State University. I also was at their final concert at the Olive W. Garvey Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning, where they played their mariachi version of "Heartbreak Hotel" and their bluegrass version of "Nights in White Satin" (the latter superior to the original).
-- I heard the premiere of Paul Elwood's "Edgard Varese in the Gobi Desert." Chris Arpad was the velcro dance soloist.
-- I heard -- and saw -- the premiere of Walter Mays' "War Games for Professional Wrestlers and Extended Percussion."
-- I heard the Anonymous Four in the church where I go to Mass.
-- I heard Nicolaj Hubbe laugh at my Nutcracker poster, and saw him partner Wendy Whelan in the grand pas de deux.
I may add more events as I remember them.
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Thought for the day
From Peeve Farm:
... my shaky theory of why nobody bothers creating malicious software to attack Macs in the first place: in order to do so, you have to own a Mac. You have to have spent the thousands of dollars on a boutique computer that smiles at you from the bottom of its shiny desktop every day. If you're a potential Mac-based hacker, you have to overcome all the forces of brand loyalty and cult membership that are absent in the Windows world, and direct your efforts toward destroying something you've put something of yourself into already, whether measured in plastic or people. A PC can be had with no emotional investment and hardly any of the monetary kind, and the hacker feels no compunction about attacking other Windows users or Windows itself. But what circumstances would lead someone to travel down the path of Mac ownership just for the dubious rewards of writing a Mac virus? Buying a Mac is a conscious decision, fraught with drawbacks (such as cost) and undertaken with open eyes for a concrete purpose. Who would go through all that just so he could turn around and stab the platform in which he's just become invested?
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