Friday, February 29, 2008

Great balls of fire!

I love my trippy game.

Hard and even Extra mode is well within realms of human ability.

Lunatic is true to its namesake; I never survived the 3rd level.

Last Word spells are the embodiment of raep.

If you want to ask how it is possible to beat something like that, the answer is I don't know.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I hate how Iraq and Afghanistan are always grouped together

For fuck's sake, the Middle-Eastern countries aren't some Durkadurkastani collective, they're individual countries with different political and cultural environments, just like Europe.*

Iraq was a dictatorship, but at least people could live under Saddam without being slain by street gangs (for the most part) and enjoy their TVs and cellphones. Then, America stomped in, removed the stabilizing force and basically wrecked a lot of shit. In their brilliance the Iraqi Army, possibly the only unified and disciplined body, was disbanded completely and rebuilt from scratch. With random people. Often 'former' militia members.

The new government is a joke, they have no power at all in actuality (not to mention that a large portion of the governing body are 'former' warlords). The police force is just as bad, they're paid like shit and supporting the Americans is like painting a huge target on your head. If that doesn't seem like a recipe for corruption, I don't know what is.

In short, now instead of wrecking shit by themselves, America also has proxies to wreck shit for them. People are, understandably, a little pissed about this turn of events.

Afghanistan was a country run by the oppressive Taliban and they didn't have infrastructure for things like water and electricity. So in the worst case scenario, we fuck it up and the country falls into the hands of warlords that run around killing indiscriminately, all it means is that it's back to where it began!

People are genuine in their wishes for NATO to stay because for once there is someone there to protect them from gunmen and build them facilities that are taken for granted by us.

Well there are some of those in Iraq too, but that's only because America wrecked their shit, then armed and trained 'former' gang members to wreck more shit.

Not to say that there aren't a lot of fuck ups in Afghanistan (I could go on a a whole tirade on the drug trade), but the most important thing is that the country is actually improving as opposed to the Sisyphean task of America piecing together all the shit they wrecked again.

The worst part is that if the US didn't go into Iraq, the 100 000 troops would do wonders in Afghanistan, a place where they could actually do some good. Instead now, NATO is struggling to cover things with the limited resources they have against a wave of negative sentiment on war. With Canada, a major contributor of troops, considering withdrawal in 2009, god knows what's going to happen over there.

Iraq = America wrecking shit.
Afghanistan = NATO attempting to rebuild while Western opinion has been tainted by images of America wrecking shit.

Bonus game: Spot the recurring theme! Win a prize!†

*I considered putting in a Polish joke there, I opted not to in the end.
†Not really.

So, I downloaded Apprentice

It's been a while; last time there was difficulty connecting to the internet.

If anything, at least I can use it to test decks.

Here, for those interested.

Supports up to 10th edition and comes with T2, Extended, Legacy and T1 decks. There's probably a patch for draft somewhere.

It's pretty spartan, but at least it's free. Also only 2mb! I have images that are more than twice that size!

edit: Also, I don't like the build of Ichorid they've got there. I prefer the version with Sutured Ghoul and Gigapede. In fact, I'll add it now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kittan...I've accepted your dying wish!

My companions' feelings have been etched onto this body,
I'll change this eternal darkness into light!

Heaven and Earth!

One who matches the gods!

Transcendent super-spiral dreadnought Ganmen
Inter-galactic Gurren Lagann!

I'll show you the power of mankind!

I always want to make an epic picture of Gurren Lagann, but I can't because every scene is already so fucking epic. It's so intense that sunglasses start appearing on everything from sheer willpower.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

L-O-L Japan

No, this isn't a post on "pentacle scrape". Yes, I know you're all disappointed.

So, Japan is buying F-2s (which are analogous to Hornet to Super Hornet upgrades for F-16s). How much do they cost? $110 million USD each. Lolcats! As a reminder, the JSF costs $115 million each, and that's basically the next-gen replacement for the F-16. With financial decisions like this, it's no wonder Japan's economy is running into the ground.

Speaking of which, I was wrong on the Arleigh Burke class previously. It turns out to actually be an Kongo class in the picture. It's all semantics though, seeing as the Kongo class are basically exported Arleigh Burke ships.

On a wholly unrelated note, thank god Boeing lost the JSF, because that aircraft they designed is the ugliest SoB I've ever seen.

Slippery Slope

Here, David Sirlin talks about the concept of "perpetual comeback" in gaming. The gist of it being that in certain games such as Starcraft, a minor disadvantage in the early game can translate into major disadvantages later in the game. For example, losing an SCV in an attack means less resources can be collected, meaning being less able to defend against the next attack, meaning less resources and so on. In fighting games, there is no such slope because a player with half the life would still have the same tools at his disposal as the player at full health. Sirlin then goes on to talk about Puzzle Fighter, the only game he is aware of where the player who is losing may actually be winning (it makes sense if you actually read the article, which you should). In that manner, the game is never over until it's over.

Well, I've another game to add to his list:

In Phantasmagoria of Flower View, you destroy things on your side of the screen (bullets, enemies) to build up a charge meter, which you can then use to send massive patterns of bullets to the opponent's side in a bomb. The power of the bomb is dependent on the amount of charge you use. The perpetual comeback aspect is that by bombing, you also destroy all the objects within range on your own side and when your opponent bombs, you can counter bomb to destroy large amounts of projectiles and build up your charge meter. This continues with progressively larger and larger bombs until one side collapses under the pressure. Of course you can just wait out the bomb and then the opponent doesn't get many objects to reflect back at you, but that's the wussy strategy.

Then there's the whole "omfg bullets everywhere" aspect of it.

Re literature

Rant r = new Rant ();

I've always held that literature was important, the emotions it can evoke are necessary in a world of coldly calculated mathematics. After all, what would be the point of living if we were to just to toil for all our lives? The way a good book is crafted, it holds beauty.

But to call them timeless teachers? That seems a bit grandiose.

Children can take morals from a story because it transforms a complex concept in a simple analogy that they can understand. Even so, we see many children indoctrinated wrongly in youth and it carries with them for the rest of their life. Literature fails even as such a rudimentary teacher because under many layers hides multiple meanings. I don't even mean that in an "everybody needs to find their own meaning" kind of way, I mean it in a "by an absence of such and such, we can infer the author to actually mean this" kind of way (see: deconstructivism).

Besides that, just because a work is well crafted does not validate it as a legitimate argument. For instance, take the Sistine Chapel, does it inspire in us the majesty of the Lord? Perhaps. Does it make a compelling argument to go out and convert? I would hope not. I don't trust such a person so easily swayed by rhetoric to make good decisions in life. After all, I too, can concoct a hypothetical scenario to support whatever arbitrary claim I wish to make.

The other issue I have with literature is that whoever is analyzing it seems to put on their shoes as a scientist, a philosopher or a psychologist at their convenience. No. You sir, do not have the credentials to discuss psychology at any depth; you sir, took your major in English. Alternatively, you can analyze everything only within the context of the work itself, but then nobody really cares except for other English majors, and at that point it's all just a big incestuous circle jerk anyways.


edit: I realize I've made a post before where I claimed English uses fallacy as rhetoric, that's not mutually exclusive with this post, I'm just expanding my view this time instead of just "English sucks lolol".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Whoops, there goes $1.2b!

The USAF just lost its first B-2 in a crash due to unknown causes. The already small fleet of 21 just became smaller.

You know, I never noticed before how much the style of the B-2 resembles the YF-23.

I still hold the view that the YF-23 was the superior aircraft at the time of the ATF competition.

Ever notice that the concept drawings from military developers always look nothing like the end product? From the ATF we have a piece that more closely resembles Su-47 than a YF-23, something that looks reminiscent of the Eurofighter, and I can only assume the artist for this was reading too many trashy 70s sci-fi novels at the time.

If they're not going for accuracy, they might as well strive for awesome instead:

"Yes Sir, our concept can transform into a robot and kick ass."

My entire train of thought is held together by tangents.

We're evolving every passing minute!

With one revolution,
We move forward a bit!

That is a drill!
That is your limit!

In this space full of turmoil,
You act like kings and seal other lifeforms,

And that is your limit!

Remember this well,
As this drill rips holes though the universe,
That hole will become a path for those who follow us,
The wishes of the defeated and the hopes of everyone who follows,
With these thoughts, with twenty spirals weaved in, we will carve the path to tomorrow!

That is heaven shattering...that is...GURREN LAGANN!


Thursday, February 21, 2008


It would have 4x Moat.

Alternatively, is it too late to build a Rebel deck?

Though I suppose Gush is the true star of Mercadian Masques, what with Empty Gush and Grog-A-Tog running rampant in Vintage.

A while back when I had Apprentice, I played Helix-Desire, that was a fun deck to play. Too bad the titular card is restricted now.

Likewise with Tinker, speaking of which, Jon Finkel won another Pro-Tour. That was wholly unexpected, seeing as his last win was what, a decade ago?

Most overpowered deck of all time? Academy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


You won't believe the hits I got searching for a Futura download. Notice how they are all .movs, damn someone put a lot of dedication into this.

The search for Helvetica also yielded some disturbing results. Though I am curious at what something titled "helvetica wet and wild" would be, because what I'm picturing in my head largely involves a bunch of letters splashing themselves under a water hydrant. Then there's the irony in titling something "helvetica uncensored", would a censored version just have missing letters? Or maybe they'd all be bolded?

Part II of my font seeking adventures. At least they are being honest. *sigh*

But damn, I still want Futura.

edit: Actually, I really like Frutiger. I don't really like Helvetica that much, but its complete neutrality lends itself to any application. Arial looks alright in isolation, but as soon as you use it in typography, it looks really ugly; Times New Roman is far better. Verdana as a standard font looks pretty nice, I think the kerning is a bit off though.

double edit: Wow, this may very well be the most pretentious post I've ever made. Here's a reward for sticking around.

Are all the lights in the heavens our enemy?

Even if we were to be enslaved in the galaxy's cycle of rebirth,
the feelings that were left behind will open the door!

Even if the infinite Universe were to go against us,
our burning blood will cut through fate!

We'll break through the heavens and dimensions!

We'll show you our path through force!




I had previously made a mini-rant about an inaccurate picture in Time.

Well, my milblogs got it right:

That, is an Arleigh Burke class launching an SM-3.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Like an ex-smoker drawn to the fumes of a lit cigarette

I thought I quit Magic a long time ago.

I didn't care much for Kamigawa (obligatory comment on CoK and SaK), Ravnica or Lorwyn, though I know Kamigawa brought Kaiser back in briefly. Just because it's Japanese. *Roll eyes*

Then I found out about Cold Snap. Oh my god! Snow-covered lands! I never thought I'd see their glorious return!

It gets worse, then I find out about Time Spiral. The entire block is a tribute to the halcyon days of Magic. They brought back Kobolds! Kobolds!

Not to mention the return of old characters like Teferi and Freyalise. Sadly, they return only to be killed off. On a tangential note, Teferi must have had the worst planeswalker activation ever. He was trapped in a Tolarian time stream and set on fire for 40 years before he sparked. It only took Urza a split second during an explosion to do the same.

How can you say no to art like this?

Also, Akroma, Angel of Fury? Yes.

They brought back flanking! If they brought back Banding too, I would have serious difficulty controlling my money expenditure. Just because the idea of a banding deck is marvelous.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The punchline writes itself

Wikipedia is beautiful.

Alternative title: People on the internet have way too much time.

Here's a quasi-related video, because the opening scene is awesome.

edit: Am I the only person to have trouble writing titles for posts? I never know what I'm supposed to do, should I write it like a title for a book? Do I write it as a sentence? If I don't punctuate the end with a period, should I capitalize the beginning? That, and the number one factor stopping me from signing up on forums is that I can't come up with a suitable username.

Goddamn CNN

The more I watch, the more I realize how bad it really is.

Larry King? Why isn't he dead yet? Hasn't he been broadcasting for the last 50 years or something? I'm not a fan of Lou Dobbs either. What happened to the hosts of Crossfire, are they out of a job now?

The worst is probably Wolf Blitzer, my god the Situation Room is bad. So bad. It's a case of having more money that they can't spend it all. Why is it necessary to have touchscreen TVs and fancy 3D graphics? Why can't they just show the pictures directly on my TV instead of filming a guy pointing at a monitor? Then they have this issue where no matter what they're talking about they must have four picture in pictures just hovering around the border, sometimes not even related to the discussion. The only good thing I can say is that "Wolf Blitzer" would make a great name for a Digimon attack.

At least they have Anderson Cooper, I can't say much about his journalistic integrity, but he's got ruggedly good looks.

Also of note, I'm reading this article from Time Online (in partnership with CNN) on the proposed satellite shoot down. What picture did they use in the article?

That's right, it's a Nimitz class CVN launching a Sea Sparrow. They've got the wrong boat and the wrong missile, in fact the picture has nothing to do with the article at all except for the fact that it takes place in the ocean. I wonder how many other times they're bullshitting and I just don't know about it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Small World

...the internet that is.

So, for those of you who are familiar with the more notable artists for Magic (AKA probably nobody), there's this guy named Puddnhead. Yes, that is his full name. Puddnhead.

Now, he's illustrated some interesting artwork, and I've always wondered where he would learn to draw such twisted creations.

Well, surfing the intertubes like I always do, I've stumbled upon the source.

Yep, it all makes sense now.

30 minutes...ready, set, GO!

I find that as what I try to paint becomes more and more elaborate, it becomes a greater and greater time sink; eventually my patience runs out and I'm left with a folder full of partially complete works. So I figured that the only way I am ever going to finish anything is to have it done before my interest runs out.

Thus, I decided I'm going to practice my speed painting:

Not a great likeness, but mulling over the details would defeat the purpose wouldn't it?

Alternative title: I'm not obsessed, honest!

edit: I hate blogger's resizing so I'll just link this one. Knock, knock.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Primaries = Tie

So, it's almost certain that the superdelegates are going to play a key role in deciding the democratic nominee, because at this point it's unlikely for either candidate to pull through with entirely pledged delegates.

Obama has a lot of momentum, winning every state since Super Tuesday while Clinton has been forced into a defensive strategy (attempting to entrench herself within Texas and Ohio). Still, unless Obama manages wins by large margins in many of the remaining states (which is possible), he won't have the 2025 delegates needed to win.

That's not to say that winning the popular vote is not important. Many supers have already expressed displeasure at the prospect of turning the nomination against the popular vote. Also, most of the supers are in elected offices and they can expect tremendous backlash from the public if they do go against the public.

On a seperate note, as the primaries draw closer to the end, I'm figure I'm going to need to find something else to analyze. I'm thinking about the weather, I think there's potential in predicting snowstorms.

Are you shitting me?!

"Yahhh!" is what you came up with?

Motherfucking "Yahhh!"?!

"Yahhh" isn't even a fucking word, you douchebag! You're not Lewis Carroll, you don't get to make up shit like this.

What the hell kind of name Soulja Boy Tell'em anyways? 13 year olds on Myspace have better pseudonyms than that.

Jesus fuck, and I thought Crank Dat was bad, Yahhh! gave me malaria. My only solace is that it's so bad that it also gave my malaria cancer.

Fucking hell...


A cuttlefish has two tentacles and eight other arms. Also, its eye looks like King Gainer's face.

Doctor Zoidberg has four tentacles.

The more that you know.

edit: Incidentally, King Gainer has a head full of tentacles too. Dammit Tomino, why can't you just stay depressed?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pot calling Kettle black...

...or is it the other way around? I can never remember.

Basically what I'm saying is, with regards to the 4chan vs Scientology spectacle (well, spectacle is an overstatement), I honestly can't decide what's worse: a group of people who've turned speculative fiction into a cash-cow religion or a bunch of guys who post loli-rape threads on image boards. Sometimes in high-resolution.

Also of note, this is my first and hopefully last post that's tagged with "loli-rape".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What a beast!

Oh shit, Obama is winning Maine?! A state full of poor, old, uneducated, blue-collar workers? That came out of the left field! He's unstoppable now!

Also, if Wolf Blitzer brings up the topic of an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket one more time, I'm going to cut someone.

edit: Man what, Caucus delegates aren't bound to vote for their district's choice? What the hell? Who came up with this system?

two edits: I have to say, Clinton is such a divisive candidate. She's really breaking up the party unity this season. Which, is not to say that Obama supporters haven't been absolute zealots at times, "Hildog"? "Hitlery"? Come on, that's just uncalled for...okay, I'll admit, I laughed at the last one.

edit the third: So, Hillary Clinton apparently looked good at one point in her life, this naturally leads into a meaningful discussion.

Peter: Oh man new theory
Peter: Hilary Clinton is a tsundere
crobert: <_<
crobert: tsundere for...?
Peter: well presumably her husband
crobert: i was going to suggest
crobert: tsundere for america
Peter: tsundere for freedom

My thoughts are all becoming intertwined!

one more final:
crobert: that should've been hillary's catchphrase
crobert: "i'm tsundere for america"
Peter: but a tsundere would never actually admit they are
crobert: true
crobert: so
crobert: her slogan should be
Peter: I hate america?>
crobert: "i hate america and i'm only doing this because i have to"
Peter: this convo is glorious

Kyou is the most tsundere thing in the world!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sometimes I get strange urges...

...for instance, I've taken a sudden interest in Audrey Hepburn's films.

Apparently she was ranked 3rd greatest female actress of all time by the American Film Institute. Thanks, wiki.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Holy batman $115 million!

The cost of the F-35 program has really spun out of control.

How did the per unit cost of an F-35A nearly quadruple? Not even considering that the B and C variants probably cost even more. To compare, an F-22 is $148 million and the Raptor isn't exactly the epitome of fiscal responsibility either.

Canada has until 2012 to decide whether to purchase, though $150 million has already been invested. It really would be smarter just to replace the fleet with F/A-18E/Fs or even just upgrade the existing planes to the capabilities of the F-18C/D blocks. Besides what are the fighters going to be used for anyways? In order of likely hood, most to least:

-Strafing a foreign fishing trawler
-Intercepting a hijacked airliner
-Defending against Russians
-Defending against Americans
Defending against the Zentradi

Note that in 3 of the 5 scenarios AIRCOM is screwed anyways, F-35s or not.

However, I do advocate development of the VF-1; the Zentradi are a looming threat!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fuck this superdelegate crap!

I will be pissed if Obama gets the popular vote but loses because of the superdelegates.

So pissed.


edit: To elaborate, Obama has come out of Super Tuesday only behind by 8 pledged delegates. CNN has an interesting way of doing things in that they're also showing superdelegates, which makes the gap look much bigger than it is. It's important to note that firstly, that the superdelegates are unpledged, they can change their vote at any time and secondly, most of the superdelegates have not declared their decision one way or another. However, by the virtue of the fact that Clinton's lead looks larger than it really is, several things may happen: Obama may lose momentum as he appears unelectable (unlikely because his campaign contributions have tripled Clinton's recently), his supporters may be more inspired to go out while Clinton's may wane as the margin looks comfortable, or maybe nothing because the public is actually informed about this (haHA). Either way, if Obama wins the popular vote, the superdelegates (including ones that currently support Clinton) will feel pressure to conform, because never before have they swung the vote against the popular candidate (mainly because never have they actually mattered as much as they do now). On the other hand, if Obama doesn't take the popular vote, then I give it a slim chance that he'll win because the superdelegates are mostly in Clinton's demographic.

double edit: If the democratic primaries were WWI, then Missouri would be Verdun. That is, not a most strategically important locale but important for morale, because they almost always predict the outcome.

triple edit:

Meh, I'd take it with a grain of salt though. Kucinich got so high because I slightly increased the importance of gay marriage and reduced the importance of global warming. Interestingly enough, I have stated before one of the things I like about Kucinich is that he supports gay marriage unconditionally unlike any of the other candidates.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Oh shi-

200 nautical miles?! It makes my heart flutter to think a DDX in the Mediterranean could possibly lob shells all the way into Iraq.

edit: Interesting enough, their destroyers and cruisers use the 5" Mark 45 but the same Bofors 57mm on USCG Legend class cutters is used on our Halifax class frigates. Difference is the smaller 57mm has a higher rate of fire (220 vs 20 rounds/min) making it suitable for AA point defense. Oh god, the tangents I get on clicking related links on YouTube and Wiki combined.