Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

February 11, 2013

Maou Wars

Maou Wars

Random Star Wars shout-out in my anime. Darth Maou teaches Big Sis Maid Luke that war is like kissing somebody in greeting – you get in close, contact and leave an aftertaste.

On a more serious note, this conversation sums up the human condition – All interaction is innately based in conflict. We crave the new and unknown, but fear the new and unknown when it happens. What happens then? We fight against, or for it. The more fundamental the change, the more people get involved. The wars of kingdoms gave way to the war of nations. The cold war of superpowers is now shaping into a quasi war of new superpower against old superpower. The next war is probably society against society.

May 14, 2010

Weekly Mus… Scratch that. Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa Powa!

I couldn’t do up a weekly music pick this week because I spent too much time laughing and rewatching this clip.

Old Spice Odor Blocking Bodywash is so powerful it can block odors for 16 hours! OMGWTFBBQ!!one!eleven!!

EXPLOSION!

December 15, 2009

The Truth

The most insidious thought came to me. It is in response to a comment made in the video above.

People go about their entire lives searching for the truth, but what they don’t understand is that there is no truth. There are only opinions. In order for there to be universal truth, everyone would have to share a common opinion. Since there is not one thing that the 7 billion people roaming this planet can share perspective on, there is no truth. Everything we perceive to be true is all a matter of opinion. The only truth we accept is our own.

Then if my truth is not your truth, what common ground can we share, what institutions can we build, to protect those truths? For the truth is a lie; we never truly share the same thoughts, just our opinions of those thoughts.

For two persons to share a common truth, a belief so to speak, one must impose his opinions upon the other. During the process of imposition, the opinion might deviate slightly, but its core should remain constant. In short, the “sharing” of beliefs is but one person’s opinions having supremacy over the other. To scale the event, a people is formed when an opinion begins to hold sway over the majority of persons by one person.

In short, the tyrannical adoption of an individual’s opinion is what defines a people. How ironic.

August 6, 2009

Controversial English

Why so Serious?

Why so Serious?

Today’s post deals with the English language again, in this case controversial quotes. It is an English that delights in playing with the possibilities of language, pushing the boundaries of “acceptable” and tweaking noses left and right. In a world of corrupted correctness, full of guidelines of how to do this and that, people tend to forget that those rules were made up by a bunch of people who would think that slipping on a banana peel is a deadly affront to the whole race of bananas, blondes and Chinks, I mean, people of East Asian descent. These people probably think that fire is an insult to God, medicine a violation of the natural order and push-up bras gross misrepresentation.

Actually, I consider the stomach girdle more of a misrepresentation (distortion of fact)than a  push-up bra (learned falsity), which is after all a prop to support assets in lieu of silicone. They still exist; just not of the right shape and size.

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April 5, 2009

Dreams, and Daydreams.

Sleep is an altered state of consciousness. The consciousness is made up of the perceptions, feelings, memories and thoughts held and formed by the active mind. If the mind while awake is called conscious, then the mind while asleep is called unconscious. It is not a passive event; the mind fluctuates between fully active during REM sleep and states of inactivity during non-REM phases. And it is during REM sleep that dreams occur.

Why do people dream? Despite all the achievements in science, there are only theories – no definite answers – as to why.

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July 14, 2008

Code Geass: Orange Country

No, it’s not the sequel to Code Geass: Lost Colors.

Over the past week, there’s been much debate over Orange-kun’s defection. To put it another way, is he “faking it”? I can go on with the sexual innuendo, but that would be digressing, not to mention I have this irrational fear that a couple of guys in tight jumpers will jump me if I push on. Anyway…

Brittannia: Diaspora of (personality) cults

Before we can dissect Orange-kun’s sudden defection we should get better acquainted with Brittannia’s culture, particularly its cults of personalities. A personality cult is defined as an environment in which a person becomes the focus of veneration, as compared to an ideal , e.g. Lady Liberty of the French Revolution, or a concept, e.g. nationhood. In Brittannia’s case, Emperor Charles is the physical embodiment of the Empire, which automatically makes him a living symbol of all that is good with the Empire. However it is not just him; his family also enjoys this association with the state. This is a culture in which each royal holds his own personal court containing personal retainers, personal advisors and even personal military units focused on their personal knight. It is also a world in which certain traditions of chivalry are still maintained, in particular noblesse oblige and courtly love. To contrast the differences with our universe, chivalry as a concept declined in the early 15th century, particularly after the battle of Agincourt (1415).

French prisoners killed after English victory at Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

The Orange Quandary: Jeremiah Gottwald the Rat?

We can now examine the issue of Orange-kun’s loyalty. Jeremiah Gottwald, aka Agent la Orange, was a personal bodyguard of Marianne. As a personal retainer, he was extremely loyal, and in fact appears to adore Marianne beyond the limits of duty as a paragon of virtue. He is also unusual among her retainers in that he was the guard captain on that fateful day, which adds guilt on top of loyalty. In such a situation he should have moved on to protect Marianne’s children, but they were exiled to Nippon soon after Marianne’s death and supposedly died during the Brittannian invasion. Unable to discharge his duties in a satisfactory matter probably has been ever on his mind, and with the realization that Zero=Lelouch Lamperouge=Lelouch vi Brittannia must have been a shock to him. Now he has a focus for that He transfers his loyalty to Lelouch who is the successor to Marianne, the woman who he loved.

“Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.”

The quote, by Winston Churchill as he crossed the floor to rejoin the Conservatives, pretty much sums up the thesis: Jeremiah isn’t clever enough to cross Lelouch.

July 7, 2008

Web Finds: Weekend Music

This weekend’s worth of posts was delayed due to… the Great Muse. Yes, that’s it, the Great Muse called me out and bombarded me with inspiration. I was so high, i was on cloud nine…

Ahem. Anyway, a friend of mine is very much into music. And we aren’t into just music, we are into all sorts of music. Opera, progressive rock, reggae, electronica, jazz, metal, you name it, we were playing it. On youtube that is. I have 0 musical talent, besides appreciation. We spent the entire Saturday evening sharing youtube links on great music that will probably never reach the shores of this fair island, or in the case of local bands, will probably never gain air play on radio. Don’t believe me? I’m gonna share those links with you. Hang on Dorothy, ’cause Kansas is going byebye.

First up, America’s got Talent got its stars, got its duds, but 2007 had Cas Haley. Stars are good within the limits of their craft. Cas rewrote the limits of his craft. Here’s his first performance.

That settles reggae.

Song title is Flim, by Aphex Twin. It’s not bad, but a bit bland, because of the repetitive chords with little break in the monotony. Here’s another version of Flim.

Improvisational jazz piece arranged for a 3 piece jazz setup. Group is known as The Bad Plus, their wiki is here. The band’s homepage is here.

The great thing about live instruments compared to electronics is that it imparts a greater “live” feel to the piece. The Midas touch, if you will. Electronica is computer based, which makes the rhythm very accurate. It also makes a piece feel dead. It is a great wonder that humans have the most sensitive sense of rhythm, they can subconsciously feel the slightest variances in beat, even if they can’t clap a 1-2 beat. It is said that John Williams’ crowning achievement in scoring for Stars is taking a full string orchestra, and turning it into the precise robotic war machine that is the Imperial March.

The next featured song comes from another singing competition, this time it’s Britain’s got Talent. And it’s a genre most people won’t be caught dead with. And it’s sung by a phone salesman with Carphone Warehouse.

Yes it’s opera. In fact, it’s an opera made famous by 1 of the Three Tenors: Luciano Pavarotti. Nessun Dorma is the piece that starts the final act of Turandot, an opera that depicts a prince as he tries to court the cold Oriental princess Turandot (pronounced without the “t” sound at the end btw). This opera is also famous because it is an incomplete opera, the composer Giacomo Puccini having died before he could finish the last act.

Paul Potts went on to win the competition, unlike Cas Haley, who ended up runner up. On a side note, his biggest competitor was a 6 year old girl, Conney Talbot. This was her preliminary round.

Now this blog is heavily tilted towards anime, so it stands to reason that at least 1 song should be from an anime right? Yes, but it’s not some typical J-pop song sung by some high pitched adolescent female. To clarify, I like J-pop; but i do wish sometimes that they stop trying to hit the upper registers every other stanza. To add value, i have taken a very well done AMV parody of the original OP. Feel free to guess what is the anime, though it will not be much of a challenge for anyone who keeps in touch with anime often. I will reveal the answer below for those who did not watch it before.

The anime is Death Note, which was a wildly successful manga that was serialized from 2003 to 2006. By itself, it sparked a new revival of interest into gothic fashion, particularly gothic lolita styles, in mimicry of Misa, a character in the manga. For those wondering, the parody is from Biohazard Outbreak, the Resident Evil multiplayer game that never took off.

Ok opera, , reggae and metal are cleared, that leaves 1 last one. Here we go.

Toe is a Japanese progressive rock band formed in 2000. 1 thing you notice about them is that they have no lead singer. Vocals, when there are any, are done by guest vocals. “Wait a moment,” I can hear you say, “How can they be a rock band without a rock singer?” Vocals are the single most defining part of any rock song, they break up the monotony of the chords, separates different sections from each other, and they simply give “soul” to the song. Lose vocals and the song falls apart. True, and not so true. Listen to this.

To quote Prog Archives: They released their debut EP, “Songs, Ideas We Forgot” in 2002. The world didn’t saw another release of the band until 2005 when they released their first full-length album, “Book About My Idle Plot on Vague Anxiety”. The band incorporated some new instruments into the mix like acoustic guitars and rhodes piano with this release and in 2006 they released another EP, “New Sentimentality”, which saw the band in the same direction as their full-length album. Toe. has toured with many bands in the past years. They’ve been opening act for post-hardocre acts like Envy and post-rock artists like The Mercury Program, The Album Leaf and Pele.

Toe’s band webpage can be found here.

July 4, 2008

Web Finds: Jackass! aka why you should pick up a copy of Age of Conan

Gah, not spending enough time writing as I should. To soothe the angry gods, let me just offer a couple of vids gleaned from the web. The first vid is about 1 particularly annoying horse trick you can do in Age of Conan. You could call it a one-trick pony….

The next vid is what happens when overworked npcs face their 2035703247957438th quester of the day…

The third, and last vid, is a parody comparison between WoW and AoC (better say that or all the WoW fanboys will pyro my house). It’s pretty cute, but of course they can carve out their niches without stepping on each other’s toes (too much).

That’s all for now, I will do a real post this weekend (hopefully).

June 28, 2008

WTF is wrong with these people?!

The original thread originated from SGCafe. Here’s the background info:

TOKYO (Reuters) – A man who said he was tired of life went on a stabbing rampage on Sunday in a crowded Tokyo shopping street, killing seven people and wounding a dozen others.

The man drove a rental truck into a crowd of pedestrians at lunchtime and then walked down the street knifing passers-by in Akihabara district, known for its discount electronics and maid cafes.

Original Reuters article here. Other news articles here, and here. (Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Images of the aftermath: (Left) Suspect Tomohiro Kato being transported from a police station in Tokyo on June 10, 2008. (Right) The hearse of Mai Muto, who was killed by stabber Tomohiro Kato at Tokyo’s Akihabara on June 8, leaves her funeral in Tokyo on June 12, 2008.

Tomohiro Kato, center, suspected of Sunday's deadly stabbing rampage, sits inside a car as he is transferred from a police station in Tokyo Tuesday, June 10, 2008.

Photos

courtesy of Getty Images/AP

Quoting SDF-2 from SGCafe:

“The lecturer told to the press that in the past, the public treated otakus as fans whom were obessed with ACG culture and failed to connect with the society. With the recurring of such crimes recently, it will create a moral panic in the society and thus otakus will be feared.

The mis-representation of otakus by the media had created a ruckus in the online community. Some otakus got angry by saying whenever such crimes happened, the public will lashed their anger at ACG culture.”

Now, I am as upset over the senseless killing as anyone else, but it is 1 thing to trial 1 person for his wrongdoing, it is another to judge a group of people by the actions of any individual. That is inane, if not downright xenophobic.

The (mis)conception of otakus being violent antisocial freaks came about because it’s vague and based on little more than hearsay and wild ideas. Please explain to me how having a more obsessive passion for animation, comics, games figurines or the internet make you more dangerous than any other human being? Do I get a level up in violence quotient over the average hood or robber or any other bad sort? That will be nice, because this Maple Story boss is giving me the fits and I need just a bit more dps to finish it off. it just does not compute, to quote Star Trek.

The most common argument against otakus is their disassociation from society at large, which dehumanizes them. The premise, i.e. they presume, that an obsession for otaku-stuff (simplifying the large body of otaku-passions into 1 phrase) leads to disassociation with other humans and we then become inhuman monsters who will terrorize them and their kids. They assume, “oh this guy plays with his Barbie dolls, he has lost touch with humanity”. Riiiight. Just because someone is not like you does not directly relate to the fact that he/she is not a human being, with equal rights to living his own life, will you nil you. Deviant lifestyles do not always equate to destructive lifestyles.

i argue that the anger and backlash came about because we are DIFFERENT. Not just different; obviously different in obvious ways, that can be pointed out and giggled at in some dark ota-phobic corner with like-minded ota-phobes. More importantly, we are safe to despise. It’s like nerds before the turn of the millennium; like the blacks in the 60s. It’s SAFE to despise us, to soothe their teeny-weeny epeens of their own importance, rather than own up to their own deficiencies. It’s safe because they do not worry about being confronted with angry otakus with sticks. I dare anyone to look down upon motorcycle gangs. Fear them? yes. Look down? Only behind my double barred door and with a shotgun in hand maybe.

Have you heard all that news about creativity and innovation? Creativity can be simplified into having a different viewpoint when approaching a situation while innovation is about creating useful differences that will benefit users. People love to “talk” about creativity and innovation like it’s the second coming of Jesus but when it comes to the “doing”, they balk.

They twiddle their fingers.
They complain of the changes they have to embrace.
They rage at those who embrace it.

Guess what? You can’t have the innovation without the differences. If it weren’t for some village twit who did not fit in and wanted to see what was beyond the next hill, we would all still be farming our little patches of dirt now.

People don’t seem to realize that differences are a good thing to have, especially passions. Being passionate about something means I am willing to go the extra mile to achieve it. If it were food, i would be a chef, a gourmet, or a food critic. If it were golf, i would be Tiger, Bagger Vance or a sports journalist. But if it were anime, i would immediately be an otaku. I mean, wtf? If everyone were to be like everyone else, ESPN will be out of business, because the standard of play will suck. Life will be boring, because everyone will be the same and there’s no point doing anything because the level will be just like anywhere else. In other words, why bother to live if it’s gonna be the same-old, same-old everyday for every week of every month for the remaining years of your pathetic existence?

June 23, 2008

Left, Left, Left Right Left

No, this is not a variant of the Konami Code.

In a rare fit of nostalgia, I actually recalled my army life (damn, the nightmares are back). There were only 3 things I enjoyed about my army life.

  1. My service with maintenance section/company. Whoever was involved in CMW, I think we all can laugh at those nights when we fix vehicles until the mechanics fall asleep under the tonners with spanners in hand.
  2. ORD.
  3. Army songs.

I have forgotten a lot of the songs or march tunes over the years. I barely can recall more than a line here or there beyond the most basic “left-right-left-right-[Company]-[Platoon]-Warriors” cheer. I actually went to search out songs and boy was I surprised by the sheer amount of material there is online. Then again, I shouldn’t be.

There are more than a million men under arms with the various branches of the military. At least 3 generations of native Singaporeans have already gone through that period of life thanks to the National Service Act passed in 1967. That makes for fertile ground to develop something truly Singaporean, not the drivel that the government is trying to force down the people’s collective throats.

Army Daze the movie featured 1 real marching song. Real as in we really did sing this song for route marches.

SGCafe has a nice active thread collecting marching songs and anthems. You can find the thread here. I am quite convinced that there are a lot more songs out there, so anyone reading this, please help me out by adding more songs to the repertoire.

As with previous posts, I always try to add some multimedia to spice things up a bit. This is another “marching” song I could find on youtube. Enjoy~.