Jul. 17th, 2009 10:00 pm
orange_smaug: (Baby Penguin)
My Terrible, Horrible, (Not Very) Good (Fairly) Bad Day

1) Left the house at 7am, got on Caltrain, transferred to BART, arrived at lab at 9:10am.
2) Had pot-luck lunch to send me and another girl off.
3) Had delicious, delicious cake.
4) Took care of loose ends (included getting hugs from everyone), left lab at 4:05pm.
5) Took shuttle to BART station, got on train at 4:30pm.
6) Train stalled five stops before the transfer point, was told delay would be momentary.
7) Display said the delay was 20 minutes.
8) Display said the delay was 30 minutes.
9) Display continued to say the delay was 30 minutes even after we'd been stuck there for an hour.
10) Someone finally had the bright idea to let us take the bus for free to the next station.
11) Got to next station, trains seemed to be working again so got on.
12) Arrived at transfer station. Discovered that I'd missed the 7:14pm train by five minutes and the next one wouldn't be until 7:54pm.
13) Eventually got home at 9pm.
14) Hours it took me to get home: 5 how's everyone else doing 8D?


Apr. 28th, 2009 11:53 pm
orange_smaug: (Default)
Rightstuf is having a huge sale right now, just got all six Gankutsuou DVDs for $44 plus tax :D.
orange_smaug: (Baby Octopus)
And two-stop layovers suck. On the other hand, at least that gave me more time to play The World Ends With You 8D. A couple of points:

1) Another Day is the best thing.

2) The brave/equip system is the second best.

3) I will acquire the entire black planet set. Though I can already tell that the 96U battle will be very, very painful D:.

4) Speaking of which, I managed to meet a Fifenfrog in probably my 7th battle looking for it instead of the potentially hundreds it seems to take most people 8D. Ganked its Black Mercury pin of course :3.

5) Adjustable difficulty? Adjustable levels/drop rates? Nothing being 100% missable? Being able to replay any chapter any time aka New Game++++++++++? A plot that actually justifies a band of teenagers saving the world Shibuya and writing that pokes fun at the standard JRPG emo protagonist model? Just about the only major criticism I can level is at the item organization system or the lack thereof, and even that's not too painful to work around. Another Day absolves it of any minor sins anyway, as well as Shiki's 3rd level Fusion and Shooter's Tin Pin Slammer 'Diagram' and Def March's goofiness and Pi-face (SO ZETTA SLOW) and the Crayon Warriors (seriously, Another Day) and god I love this game ♥.
orange_smaug: (Default)
Sweet, sweet internet, I've missed you so ♥. Good thing I had Radiant Dawn to occupy my time 8D. First order of business after getting online again was downloading this song:

and forever embedding it in to my brain. There's nothing quite like the feeling of being able to drop the Suck Brigade to play as the Greil Mercenaries, otherwise known as Ike and his Merry Band of Roving Death, Destroyers of Hopes and Dreams ♥. Which just makes going back to Micaiah's Suck Brigade that much more painful, but what're you gonna do.

random tl;dr rambling about Radiant Dawn, spoilers )

Final thoughts: Path of Radiance was more consistent in quality but more run of the mill, and while Radiant Dawn didn't always succeed at what it was attempting I liked its ambition, considering how wed to tradition the series can be. And taken together they're definitely my favorite FE world of the ones that have been brought to the US, though changing the limiting factor of weapon weights from Con to Strength when calculating Attack Speed would have been enough in and of itself ♥. But though I think Radiant Dawn barely edges it out for my favorite FE game of the ones I've played, I definitely agree with the sentiment that it's not a good place to start with the series, it being a direct sequel aside, considering how much more unforgiving it can be. Good thing Path of Radiance is widely considered the best one to start with huh :D?
orange_smaug: (Baby Octopus)
Elbow Squid is watching you.

Cephalopods are awesome ♥.
orange_smaug: (Baby Penguin)
The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new "right of conscience" rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control.

Despite the controversy, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said he intends to issue the rule as a final regulation before the Obama administration takes office, to protect the moral conscience of persons in the healthcare industry. Abortion-rights advocates are just as insistent that the rights of a patient come first.

If the regulation is issued before Dec. 20, it will be final when the new administration takes office, HHS officials say. Overturning it would require publishing a proposed new rule for public comment and then waiting months to accept comments before drafting a final rule.

In Texas, a pharmacist rejected a rape victim's prescription for emergency contraception. In Virginia, a 42-year-old mother of two became pregnant after being refused emergency contraception. In California, a physician refused to perform artificial insemination for a lesbian couple. (In August, the California Supreme Court ruled that this refusal amounted to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation.) And in Nebraska, a 19-year-old with a life-threatening embolism was refused an early abortion at a religiously affiliated hospital.

what the fuck

oh that bush, always finding new and creative ways to make me hate him



orange_smaug: (Default)
A special report is out from Newsweek about the election, lots of interesting stuff in there. Haven't read the whole thing yet since parts are still going up, and I think the entire print version's going on sale next week.

Some awesome stories showing just how well-organized the Obama campaign was, but I was also heartened to see that McCain really did try to run a clean campaign but lost control of it. Reinforces my belief that he wasn't suited for presidency (he really is more of a legislator), but I'm glad the old McCain was still in there somewhere :).

On the other hand Sarah Palin can still go die in a fire, and is apparently even dumber than everyone thought. As you watch this video, remember that this is Fox News reporting :D.
orange_smaug: (Default)
Her fail has been well-documented by now, but thought I'd share a couple of incidents that happened within the last few days.


Palin: I don't know if abortion clinic bombers are terrorists...

Note, by her logic 9/11 now isn't considered an act of terrorism. But I guess that's okay because it didn't happen in Real America!

2. Palin gave her first actual policy speech that someone else wrote for her about expanding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to help disabled children on Friday, and she had this to say about the earmark money she'd presumably use to fund it:

Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.

Fuck you Palin, fruit flies have done more to help mankind than you ever will. Fortunately, others have been kind enough to point that out :D.


Aug. 30th, 2008 09:37 pm
orange_smaug: (Baby Penguin)
So. John McCain has chosen Sarah Palin, current governor of Alaska, to be his running mate. Here's an article on why it's such a terrible idea, as well as a few links for your edification and amusement, either to back up the article or to mention other problems it didn't get around to.

Let's start with the fact that she was picked as a blatant attempt to grab disaffected Clinton voters, under the assumption that anyone with two X chromosomes would do. Besides the transparency of the move and the fact that Palin's views are pretty much the complete opposite of Clinton's, I hope this gamble fails miserably for the following reasons.

1) She's Pro-life. But it's not like there aren't women Pro-Lifers, and I can respect people who think abortion is wrong because they believe that life begins at conception even if I don't. But opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest is probably going a bit too far.
[EDIT] Oh, Samantha Bee ♥.

2) She went on a radio show, then sat back and laughed as the DJ called the Alaska Senate President Lyda Green a cancer (bonus points because Green is a cancer survivor) and a bitch on air, then said she'd be honored to have the DJ visit. Classy. Now with audio!

3) She called Clinton a whiner, saying her attitude doesn't do any good for women who want to progress in this country. And you know, I may have thought Clinton was calculating and power hungry. But there's no question that Clinton has worked harder and taken more abuse than Palin has in politics because of her gender, no question about who is actually qualified for the positions they tried to obtain, and no question about who did more to further women in politics. That Palin would say that after being picked for VP solely because of her gender is the height of insult. I don't know how much campaigning Clinton will be doing for the Democrats in general for the general election, but here's hoping she comes out and eviscerates Palin after Labor Day.

And there's no doubt she was picked solely for her gender. Considering McCain had a decent number of female Republicans to choose from who could at least have been credibly called qualified for the position, her own gross deficiencies are only thrown in to sharper light.

4) Palin didn't know what being a VP entailed. That sure inspires confidence in her abilities, especially when the increased power the position has acquired in recent years is taken in to consideration.

5) She has absolutely no clue about Iraq. The VP debate against Biden should be...interesting.

6) Her only experience as an elected official prior to becoming governor was as mayor of Wasilla, a town with less than 10,000 inhabitants. And she still managed to fuck things up for them.

7) She's been the governor of Alaska for less than 2 years (only two months longer than Obama's been running for president), but is already involved in a possible ethics violation. Read about the details here. Well, so much for her image as a reformer.

8)She also tried to sue the federal government for putting polar bears on the endangered species list (though it technically currently counts as 'threatened') because it might restrict oil drilling efforts. Keep in mind that this was in May of this year, and thus the listing occurred during the Bush Administration.

9) But hey, at least she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere! Only not.

10) And finally, McCain had only met Palin once before a phone call to her last week prior to announcing his decision. Contrast that with Obama's meticulous search for his own VP, and marvel at how little thought McCain put in to the decision of who might succeed him should he keel over and die while in office.

Basically, among his other major failings John McCain is a tool who shoots from the hip and prioritized winning this election based on a gimmick over good governance should he actually be elected, and I hope Obama curbstomps him in November.

[EDIT II] A list of more links, I'll go through these when I have time.
[EDIT III] And more.
[EDIT IV] This just keeps getting better and better. During the 90s, Palin was a member of a political party that wanted Alaska to secede from the US.
"I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won't ultimately affect prices."
[EDIT V] This is a beautiful graph :D.

orange_smaug: (Default)
I always used to think that steeplechase involved horses, but the reality is far more amusing. As is dressage, which does involve horses :D.

*skips off to watch more obscure Olympic sports*

[EDIT] Ok dressage is hilarious, but show jumping is actually pretty awesome :O.
orange_smaug: (Baby Octopus Seal of Awesome)
4.68 Seconds

That's how much the US Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay Team beat the former world record by. 4.68 seconds, in a sport where at this level, records are usually broken by fractions of a second. Many swimming records are being broken at Beijing, and not to diminish what the participants (Phelps included) have done, but most of that has been attributed to new swimsuit technology, new lane dividers that reduce disturbances between lanes, new pool design, etc. But this? The jump from 7:03:24 to 6:58:56? This is good old-fashioned super-human athleticism. No cut, because this really has to be seen to be believed.

You see the dude at the left in Lane 4? That's the US anchor after finishing the race. You see that green line, the one everyone else is behind? That's the former World Record line. You see how almost no one else is even in the shot? Yeah.

Absolutely ridiculous.

[EDIT] Okay, I say that and the Australian Women's swim team go and beat the world record for the same event by 5.78 seconds, albeit not as comically far ahead of the rest of the pack as the US Men's. What are they putting in the water over there?

[EDIT2] And I know large gaps like this are seen more often in the longer distance events like these. But still.

Also, a note on China: I'll be staying out of this. Most of the US mainstream media is functionally retarded, I was surprised by how hard the BBC was being on China since it's supposed to be their day in the sun and things have definitely improved, and I know some of the flist has close ties to China (*waves at [ profile] luciene and [ profile] gothicauthor*). But China's made some questionable decisions in the run up to and during the Olympics so far, I don't care what party it is but single party rule is a disaster waiting to happen (long though the time scale on that might sometimes be), and freedom of the press (even the freedom to be functionally retarded) is something I feel very strongly about. Besides that most of my extended family lives in Taiwan and I definitely fall more on the independence side, so.

That said, age of the China women's gymnastic team aside, the way the US team choked at key moments they wouldn't have deserved the gold anyway.

[EDIT3] That said (>_>), even though I've also often been mistaken for being younger than my age I also think some of the younger girls really do seem suspicious, and the media has started digging up Chinese articles that corroborate this. Whining about it just makes the US look ungracious though, and if the team really wants to pursue this for reasons other than payback they should say something about acknowledging China's skill and accepting the silver medal no matter what comes up, but say that their ages should still be looked in to further and bringing up evidence if there is any.

Okay, evidently I had more I wanted to say on that than not >_>.
orange_smaug: (Porcupinefish)
Super Mario Galaxy is a fantastic game with fantastic graphics and fantastic level design, though the second one is naturally par for course in mainline Mario games. What I did not expect was for it to also have fantastic music, of which one example is this:

So jubilant and free, so perfect in its embodiment of pure joy; there are videogame songs I like listening to just for the nostalgia and the association it has with favorite moments, then there are songs like this.
orange_smaug: (Porcupinefish)
I want to see this in person before I die.

Amazing )
orange_smaug: (Default)
Started The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wednesday. Played a few hours a day until Friday. Spent all day Saturday and Sunday playing it, and plan to do so tomorrow as well.

Game was first announced: 4 years ago at E3 2004
(AP Tests not studied for in lieu of watching the trailer over and over again: AP Gov)
Game was released: 1 and 1/2 years ago in November 2006
Time game has been in my possession: Less than a week
Total time spent so far: 32 hours.
Dungeons beaten: 7
Poe souls collected: 56
Bugs collected: 24
Magic armor: Bought
Profanities screamed: Countless
Lives up to expectations y/n: motherfucking YES.

And I have Brawl waiting after this is finished. I ♥ vacations. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some videogaming to do.
orange_smaug: (Baby Octopus Seal of Awesome)
This deserves sparklies, how the hell do you do sparklies.
Sparklies acquired, courtesy of [ profile] sollasollew11 ♥.

Obama also basically ties Indiana and wins North Carolina, it's been a good day :).
orange_smaug: (Default)
"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”

Carl Sagan, 1996

And here's the photograph that inspired it.

Came upon it when going through lecture slides, thought I'd share ♥.
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