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1  Entertainment / Books, Literature, and Poetry / Re: Amazon.com's new take on the E-Book on: November 29, 2007, 03:33:45 AM
The price is the thing that will really prohibit mass adoption.  Since it costs more than a Wii (and as much as an EeePC) it'll remain a niche product until the price comes down.  The sweet part is that the large pricetag covers an EVDO account which you can use to download stuff like blogs and periodicals.  I would think that would be a more attractive feature, but I guess it would depend on how much wireless you can get for your $400.  Either way, this is a concerted effort by Amazon to push E-books into the mainstream and it's probably just the beginning.
2  Bourbon Street Bar / Hello, Good-bye, Hello Again! / Re: What's in a name? on: November 29, 2007, 02:55:33 AM
Quote
and i'm loving the avi. reminds me of my big mocha kitty.

Thanks, that's a picture of me in my natural habitat.  I'm not sure where the remote came from, though.

Quote
Apparently now we know what happened to the cat when it was put in the box -- it came out American.  Beer in one hand, remote in the other, lacking nothing but a recliner.

Ha!  I need no furniture!  I recline on my... Interbutts.
3  Entertainment / Books, Literature, and Poetry / Re: what book are you reading???? on: November 01, 2007, 02:17:37 PM
You've Got to Read This edited by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard
A bunch of authors assembled their favorite short stories into an anthology.  Some are great, some are crap, but there's certainly a good deal of variety.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
A few years later than everyone else read it, I expect, but these things happen.

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Because I like unorthodox retellings of history.

Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg
I'm curious what this guy had to say on the topic.
4  Entertainment / Anime, Movies, Comics, & Manga / Re: Saddest Anime Moments on: November 01, 2007, 02:05:11 PM
Quote from: ShakKen on September 09, 2006, 06:31:18 PM
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2ng gig episode 11 brings a tear to my eye each time I watch it.

Ooooh.  Good call.

Scrapped Princess ep. 19 gets my vote.  Specifically the part where Pacifica's mother dies.

Oh, and the scenes between Mariko and Kurama in the last episode of Elfen Lied.

5  Entertainment / Anime, Movies, Comics, & Manga / Re: Your Favorite Anime on: November 01, 2007, 01:00:42 PM
Blood+ tops my list.
There's a bunch of anime which I hold in high regard, but Blood+ does everything right.
6  French Quarter / Stories and Scripts / Re: Memories - Sweet short story on: October 22, 2007, 03:05:00 PM
Quote from: Nephtys on October 22, 2007, 12:33:38 PM
Lol. It's alright. I really would have thought her boobs and her name would give it away.

That and her rather explicit self-deprecation is the sort of thing you'd never expect to hear from a guy.  Or, I wouldn't, at any rate.

All in all  I think I liked the first draft more than the last.  I haven't read the middle one.  Your grammar could use some [minor] work and there are some lines that feel kinda stiff to me (for lack of a better term), but the way the ending sneaks up on the reader is neat and the rest of the story is girlishly cute.  I didn't care much for the extended opening in the last version.  I liked the way the original began.  Of course, that comes from comparing the two against each other.  The redraft is fine by itself; I just happen to prefer the first one.
7  Bourbon Street Bar / Hello, Good-bye, Hello Again! / Re: What's in a name? on: October 22, 2007, 02:33:37 PM
Thanks, all.

Quote from: tyrone on October 16, 2007, 11:53:04 PM
dont worry about all of the insane people here. the ones that you should be worried about are the ones in the white coats. oh ya welcome! you should fit in just fine with the rest of us here.

Nah... life's too short for worries.  Even concerning the insane.  Insanity's just a different way of looking at things.  Or so the voices assure me...
8  Entertainment / Anime, Movies, Comics, & Manga / Re: Most liked/hated Anime? on: October 11, 2007, 06:37:43 AM
Though a lot of ground has been covered already, here's a few more that haven't been, in a rough, chronolgical order:

Vision of Escaflowne - Series (2 seasons, 26 eps) - 3

This is old by today's standards, having first aired in '96.  That shows in the art.  It's sort of a giant robot anime.  Sort of because it's got the requisite giant robots, but they're like in a fantasy, alternate-Earth sort of deal that's more late medieval/steampunk than scifi.  It's an interesting tale with a distinct moral component and some memorable characters.  For me it just wasn't compelling enough to deserve more than a 3-star rating, I guess.  Maybe I just didn't like being beaten over the head with the protagonist's moral imperative, maybe I didn't dig the setting, or maybe the scratchy art grated on my nerves a bit much.  YMMV, of course.

Witch Hunter Robin - Series (2 seasons, 26 eps) - 4

A witch-hunting operation in modern-day Japan is the setting for this gem.  If you enjoy cool magicz, you may like this.  It follows a monster-of-the-week format for the first half with character development and some sly foreshadowing.  The second half kicks the plot into high gear and ultimately delivers a nice story.  The art is clean, the music is nice and the plot keeps the viewer guessing until the end.  If you can get past the first thirteen episodes, that is.

Full Metal Panic! - Series (2 seasons, 24 eps) - 3

A decent series that does a lot to blend a serious, giant robot anime with some high-school comedy (think Azumanga Daioh meets Mobile Suit Gundam).  I am neither a fan of giant robot anime, nor high-school comedy so I rated this one at a 3, but I did enjoy watching it, I liked the characters and I would recommend it to a fan of either subgenre.  It was followed by another series that focused entirely on the high-school comedy aspect, called Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, which I've never seen.  It was also followed by:

Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid - Series (1 season, 13 eps) - 4

The cast of FMP! comes back for more in a short sequel.  For the most part this was both darker and more serious than the original (all the kawaii went into Fumoffu), thus my higher rating.  The villain in this one is also hella cool.  If you like the first you'll probably enjoy the second.

Wolf's Rain - Series (2 seasons, 26 eps) - 2

This is a post-apocalyptic drama with sentient wolves as the main characters.  I didn't much care for the protagonists and, though the plot looked intriguing, that's what killed it for me.  I also didn't watch it all the way through, so take this advice with a [smaller than usual] grain of salt.

Scrapped Princess - Series (2 seasons, 24 eps) - 5

A curious tale this, Scrapped Princess is ostensibly a high fantasy series with adorably cute characters and pretty animation.  Somewhere along the way it morphs into a crazy, scifi bit with (you guessed it) midair, giant robot battles.  For some the mixing of genre is too much to bear, but I thought it played out very nicely and made for a great story with characters whom I really liked.  The other reasons I liked it so much included the exposition on various themes (duty vs. morality, fate vs. choice, et al) and the direction.  Some of the scenes are really well done.

Elfen Lied - Series (1 season, 13 eps) - 5

If you've taken a look at this you can be forgiven for having such a low opinion of my love for this show.  It's brutal, gory, and dark, gazing straight into the abyss of depravity while taking the viewer along for the ride.  It's also unabashedly cute and heart-warming in its own way.  Elfen Lied is concerned with the modern-day story of a strain of mutant girls who are remorseless killers with telekinetic powers.  In particular, it's the story of one such girl and her search for forgiveness and humanity.  While I do very much like it for its plot and the well done contrast between cuteness and savagery, there's a lot of metaphor and symbolism written in such that it's worth watching more than once.  Though, as I'd mentioned, I've met a bunch of people who really don't like this series.
Caveat spectator

Blood+ - Series (full year, 50 eps) - 5

A vampire anime loosely related to Blood: The Last Vampire.  This is my current favorite.  It's got it all, an engaging story, interesting characters (villains and heroes alike), beautiful art, wonderful music, metaphors, symbols, and some of the best scenes I've seen in any media.  The opening scene from the first episode (before the credits) was enough to reel me in and I watched the rest of the series rather ravenously all through the summer of 2005.  I love that opening scene and I'll probably watch it again after posting this.  The story follows a girl who hunts vampires (thankfully, sans giant robots) over three continents and half a dozen countries.  It's a relatively straightforward Hero's Journey tale with some twists thrown in for good measure.

Ghost Hunt - Series (2 seasons, 25 eps) - 3

I usually don't bother with young girl anime, but I'm a sucker for ghost stories.  If you like ghost hunting or stuff aimed at the target demographic, you may enjoy this.  It is cute and funny; light and fluffy entertainment for when you don't want to deal with anything too serious.

Darker Than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha - Series (2 seasons, 25 eps) - 4

Another near future series, this one is kind of like a mix of superhero and spy drama.  It focuses on a group working for some sort of crime syndicate who have super-powers at the cost of their humanity.  I wasn't thrilled by the ending, but the rest of it was quite good.  Bonus: this one has neither giant robots, nor high-school comedy.

The following series were manga or novels adapted to anime, so you may get more out of looking up the source than watching the cartoons:
Vision of Escaflowne
Full Metal Panic!
Scrapped Princess
Elfen Lied
Ghost Hunt

Enjoy.
9  Entertainment / Gaming / Re: Does it ALL have to be online? on: October 11, 2007, 04:28:38 AM
Quote from: The Destroyer on July 21, 2007, 11:38:49 PM
What ever happened to the good old single-player, good storyline, RPG, why MUST I have to pay with/against real people?

There's a short answer and a long answer to this.  The short answer is that games are products designed to sell and make money.  To make the most money, a product needs the largest possible audience.  That audience likes to play online with friends.

Here's a good example: I bought two games that illustrate this perfectly, Guild Wars and The Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion.  Both are good in their own rights, but both are very different. 

I know a guy who also has Oblivion and he thinks it's the best thing since chocolate milk.  It's not bad.  It kills time.  Occasionally I'll recommend it to someone I've met who likes that sort of thing (recommendation: Oblivion is a decent sandbox-rpg game).  So the Bethesda people made money off me.  They also made money off my friend, but that was independant of me.  Our interests just happened to overlap there.

I played the Guild Wars because a friend got me into it.  He and his roomies used to log a few hours after work every few days.  I got a couple of friends into it.  It can be a lot of fun and has decent replayability.  Story-wise, the plot [in the original] is a bit weak, but it compares well with the plot in Oblivion.  Maybe it's just me who finds them uninspiring, but, meh.  The point, however, is that while Bethesda got a sale from me, the ArenaNet people got half a dozen sales of the original Guild Wars software because of one guy.  A much better business model, indeed.

The real question for you is, "What is it that you're looking for in a CRPG?"  Plot?  Well-written characters?  Becoming all-powerful and squooshing random encounter monsters like the worthless collections of pixels they are?  Pwninating teh n00bs?  Social interaction through the medium of a game?

The real question for me, on the other hand, is, "What's psychoptimist's handle in GW?"
10  French Quarter / Creative Writing / Re: Random Names VS Meaningful Names on: October 11, 2007, 03:47:24 AM
Like most of my words, names are chosen carefully and for effect.  There's a caveat to this, of course: the importance of the character is directly related to how meaningful the name is.  If I need a name for J. Random Person in a scene, there's a very good chance that name will be nothing special.  Hell, I've even drafted stuff with as a placeholder for when I come up with a suitable name.

My Handy-Dandy Name Reference
11  Bourbon Street Bar / Pistons and Gasoline / Re: What's your car on: October 11, 2007, 03:14:56 AM
Quote from: ChaosIGuess on August 07, 2007, 04:28:43 AM
Mark 3 Toyota Supra.

Sweet.  I had an '86.5.  It did indeed feel big and unwieldy, but I sure did love it just the same.

Currently I'm ponying around town in a 2000 Mustang GT.  Some day I'll clean it up a bit and take a picture or two.
*sigh*  Someday...
12  Bourbon Street Bar / Hello, Good-bye, Hello Again! / What's in a name? on: October 11, 2007, 03:03:35 AM
Greetings, salutations and other nice things.

My name's Dave and I got to this board, and the comic itself, from a link off of Alpha Shade from a Project Wonderful ad on the top.  Don't say those guys never did anything for anyone.  I like the StarCross'd Destiny and I've enough idle time on my hands these days to get my post on in this here intertubez forum.

I'm from the northeast US.  I'm a math/science dork, among other things.  I spend too much time playing too many computer games and watching too much anime.  My tastes are eclectic and diverse.  I've a biting wit, a penchant for sarcasm (and other dark humors), and a taste for metaphor.

I'm sure that's plenty enough about me.  For anything else, just direct queries to, uh... me.
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