Archive for Musings

Anime Alert: Serial Experiments Lain

ABe imagined Lain cutting her own hair and making a ponytail of what was left.

Image via Wikipedia

I was just browsing the internet when I came upon a 13-episode anime called “Serial Experiments Lain“. It is a very deep anime, with much more under the surface than explained outright. I guess it would be classified as a cyberpunk anime, with elements of horror.

Serial Experiments Lain involves a middle school student named Lain Iwakura, the main protagonist of the series. The general plot is VERY hard to describe, as it requires watching and re-watching to fully understand.

The series starts out with one of Lain’s classmates committing suicide after finding that she could move her consciousness to “the wired”, a hyper-advanced form of the internet today. Some of Lain’s other classmates start to receive email from the dead girl, thinking it is a mean prank by someone. Lain’s curiosity is piqued, and she logs on to her “Navi”, which is pretty much a PC. She hasn’t used it in a while, and isn’t very interested in “the wired”, or computers in general. She checks her email and finds that she also has an email from the dead classmate. Lain opens it and the girl talks to her through the email, saying that Lain should join her in the wired, stating that she found a god in it.

I’m not going to ruin the series for you, but this is a very good anime for anyone who likes to philosophize, or just likes a good cyberpunk/horror anime.

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Dragon Drive

I found a new manga I love: Dragon Drive. I was just browsing through onemanga.com, and remembered that there was a preview back in shonen jump a couple of months ago(it might have been years, I can’t really remember since I’ve been reading it for the last 5-6 years or so). At the time of the preview, I didn’t know about manga scans on the internet.

Before I get a million comments about copyright law, (like I’ll really get comments anyway) I realize that reading manga scans on the internet is stealing. But, I have a few good reasons why I read them on the internet: Most manga are not translated into English yet, or I just want to preview before I buy.

I try to buy all manga that I like, even though that is a lot of manga to buy. I read online scans of manga that hasn’t been commercially translated yet, so I can know what’s popular in Japan while it is being translated. Once it is shipped to the US, I try to buy it to support the author.

Anyway, after that rant about copyrights, I’m back on topic. Dragon Drive is about a middle school student named Reiji Ozora who fantasizes about being the protagonist in a video game. Soon he meets Maiko Yukino who shows him the virtual-reality game Dragon Drive where he gets his own dragon that fights other people’s dragons in the game.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so I’ll end the summary there.
Read it at onemanga.com, it’s really good.

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Update On My Twitter Views

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia

Ok, I’ve recently given Twitter another shot.  I found that it IS a cool service, even if I think it isn’t the newest innovation to come about since “Web 2.0” became a buzzword for all the techies.  I actually like that I can see what my friends are doing whenever, even if it is as meaningless as what they had for dinner, or what t.v. show they’re watching.  It’s a kinda nice idea, I have to admit.  It would be better if I had more followers, or people to follow 😀

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Google Assists In Arrest Of Indian Man

Wow………What have we come to now?  Google has helped arrest a man from India who posted something vulgar about an Indian politician or god………different sources say one or the other…..but anyway, FREEDOM OF SPEECH??????
What happened to google’s motto: “Do no evil”?
Here’s the article on slashdot:

An anonymous reader writes “After a Google user posted a profane picture of the Hindu saint Shivaji, Indian authorities contacted Google to ask for his IP address. Google complied. He was arrested and is reported to have been beaten by a lathi and asked to use the same bowl to eat and to use in the toilet. Not surprisingly, Google is a keen to play this down as Yahoo is being hauled over the coals by US Congress for handing over an IP addresses and emails to the Chinese Government which resulted in a Chinese democracy activist being jailed.” Readers are noting that these are 2 unrelated cases — the latter is several months old.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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New Blender Release!

Diagram of an engine created by Wapcaplet in Blender.Image via Wikipedia

Finally, the new Blender 2.46 has been released.

Get it here.

Flock:Firefox has Forked

I know I’m a little behind the curve on this one, but I recently discovered that my favorite web browser firefox had been forked. For those of you who don’t know what that means, forking is when an open-source program is modified enough to be called it’s own new program.

Firefox’s new fork is called Flock It is definately part of the new “Web 2.0” everyone is talking about, because it is a social browser. That means that it has features from a lot of the newest and greatest Web 2.0 apps built right into it. For example, I can be on Myspace, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter, (even though I still find it to be an odd service) and many others.

Using Flock is really like experiencing Firefox for the first time, after a lifetime of using IE; a breath of fresh air. It integrates email, social networking, social bookmarks, the stability and speed of Firefox, and it is cross-platform.

Give it a try, you might like it 😀

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My Views on Twitter

To me, Twitter has very little value. The devs act like they came up with something COMPLETELY new, and talk like it is brand new. All Twitter is is a website-based, slow, overly-protected IRC channel. I’ll give them credit for enabling you to use your cellphone to post new “tweets”, but it really isn’t as great as some people think it is. IRC has been around for years, enabling people to talk to multiple others at the same time. All in real time. Twitter is more of a novelty to me, it doesn’t allow you to make a post longer than 140 characters. There isn’t much that you can express in only 140 characters. Sure, there is the story of a man using Twitter to get out of jail by “tweeting” his online buddies, but I really think that this story is over-hyped. It IS a nice story, but since he used his cell, couldn’t he have sent a text message, called someone, or something else? It would have achieved the same effect.

I find that Twitter thinks itself a wonderful new invention, that has never been thought of before. It really isn’t using new technology at all, so I don’t think it should have the priveledge of hyping itself so much. Many other applications like it, or better than it(IMO) exist and have existed for much longer.

So Twitter, stop pretending to be a new innovation!
(And if you’re wondering, my twitter username is Ethald, maybe I’ll change my mind about twitter if I have more people to follow)

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Rosario + Vampire

Cover of first volume.
I just found a new manga that I like A LOT. It is called Rosario + Vampire, and while it does kinda follow a set path storywise, it is still a great manga. I found it about 2 weeks ago, when I got a new Shonen Jump, and it had a preview of it. I instantly fell in love with this manga, the style of the writing and the action are just perfect. After reading that short synopsis, I craved more. I quickly google’d it and found a website with lots of different manga translated into english by other fans 😀

Of course, this means the translations are not quite as good as they could be, but they are still good enough to completely understand what’s going on in the story. I’ll put a link to this site at the end of this post.

Rosario + Vampire starts out with a rising high school freshman named Tsukune Aono, the perfect example of an average student. He has straight C’s in all his classes, and barely made it into high school. His parents find a flyer that a monk dropped somewhere about a high school with no entrance exams. They sign Tsukune up, and the adventure begins.

Onemanga, the website, has great scans of all the pages of lots of different manga, from the newer ones like Rosario + Vampire, to the classics like Dragon Ball

My New tablet

I just got a tablet for my birthday. I love it so much. In fact, I’m using it now to write.I have been using it to paint digitally it takes some getting used to, but I like it.Here’s some Paintings I did with the tablet. please critique them. I used some brushes I found on http://www.deviantart.com. Enjoy!(atm I am posting pics to Flickr, give me a second)


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