Thursday, December 16, 2010

Xenogears - Gathering of Stars in the Night Sky - take 2

Thursday, December 9, 2010

China's Take on Unnamed Giant Mecha

Not to be outdone by Japan’s famed giant Gundam statue, China has decided to copy the whole thing.
The Gundam is reportedly being erected in a Sichuan theme park, and naturally enough is free from any sort of official blessing by Bandai.
Just what it is made of and how long it will remain standing are matters of some conjecture.

If you have any idea what Chinese construction is like, this thing is probably built like a GIANT GARBAGE PINATA.

Picture of a collapsed bridge with exposed "reinforcement".

via: sankaku

Monday, November 29, 2010

Every Anime Opening Ever Made

Somebody has finally noticed that all anime openings are identical cut-and-pastes of the same elements ad nauseam, and gone so far as to compile a helpful meta-OP template video to prove it.
The video:
The creator’s explanation and the all important list of titles viewers will otherwise be struggling to identify:
Music: Ayu’s Euro Mega-Mix [Y & Co. Mix] by Ayumi Hamasaki
It’s always amused me the repeated imagery that exist in anime opening credit sequences. This video doesn’t cover them all, but it has a lot of the big ones. Interesting thing I learned, if a character is running it’s overwhelmingly to the left of the screen.
I first started thinking about this years ago when I saw the X-Men intro that they made in Japan to replace the American one. The part that especially hit home was Wolverine, and Cyclops standing on some nondescript land mass.
For this I used only textless credits I found on Youtube (with the exception of Evangelion). So if your favorite anime isn’t in here either there was no textless version or it had a pretty unique opening sequence.
Here’s the complete list of what anime made it into this.
Ah! My Goddess
Ai Yori Aoshi
Angelic Layer
Asu no Yoichi
Azumanga Daioh
Big O
Black Lagoon
Blue Dragon
Burst Angel
Cardcaptor Sakura
Chrono Crusade
City Hunter
Code Geass
Cowboy Bebop
D. Gray Man
Death Note
Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball Z
H2O Footprints in the Sand
Eureka Seven
FateStay Night
Full Metal Panic!
Full Metal Panic Fumoffu
Full Metal Panic The 2nd Raid
Fullmetal Alchemist
Fushigi Yuugi
Ghost Stories
Girls Bravo
Golgo 13
Gosyusho sama Ninomiya-kun
Gundam 00
Gundam Wing
Gurren Lagann
Hajime no Ippo
Hikaru no Go
Ikki Tousen
Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny
Inu Yasha
Kare Kano
Kaze no Stigma
Last Exile
Love Hina
Love Hina Again
Mai Hime
Mai Otome
Martian Successor Nadesico
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Midori Days
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
Nadia – The Secret of Blue Water
Nanatsuiro Drops
One Piece
Ranma 1/2
Read or Die OAV
Ruin Explorer
Sailor Moon
Samurai Deeper Kyo
School Days
School Rumble
Shakugan no Shana
Strawberry Panic
Strike Witches
Tenchi Muyo Universe
Third – the Girl with the Blue Eye
To Aru Majutsu no Index
Toward the Terra
True Tears
Welcome to the NHK
Wolf’s Rain
Yu Yu Hakusho
His Twitter account for those interested.
As 2ch has it, “Wherever you look, all our games and anime are just cutting and pasting the same things over and over.”
Fortunately, all major anime have access to at least 8 hair colours, 2 genders and 5 different costumes to help make the cutting and pasting a little less noticeable.

via sankaku

Friday, November 12, 2010


Hollywood’s pending rape of Akira, set to be a PG-13 action flick set in New York, is rumoured to be casting actor Zac Efron, star of such dark and gritty classics as High School Musical, in the lead role of hooligan biker Kaneda.
The rumoured casting decision in detail:
Another rumor which is making the tracking board rounds today is that Zac Efron has apparently been offered the lead role in Albert Hughes’ upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular anime/Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume manga Akira. I’m not able to confirm the offer, but one source tells me Efron is in talks, while another says that it is “far from a done deal.”
Last we heard, producer Andrew Lazar said that Hughes is was busy “conceptualizing the movie with a bunch of visual artists” and working with a new screenwriter, Albert Torres (Henry Poole Is Here), to put his stamp on Akira.
That draft was due in September. Hughes has also talked about the film being PG-13 and the idea that he might only direct the first of two planned films. (One adapting the first three manga volumes, and the second volumes four through six.)
The previous screenplay was set in a post-apocalyptic “New Manhattan” and will feature Akira’s famous red motorcycle. The original Katsuhiro Otomo anime was set in a futuristic and post-war city, Neo-Tokyo, in 2019. As for the casting, here is an excerpt from a previous posting by Russ Fischer:
No cast has ever publicly revealed to be attached. The involvement of Appian Way led many to suspect that DiCaprio would star as the teen biker Kaneda, despite being demonstrably too old for the part, but the actor publicly denied any involvement beyond producing duties.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt was rumored to be in mind for Tetsuo, the friend of Kaneda whose psychic powers are awakened, setting of a cataclysmic chain of destructive events in Neo-Tokyo. He also denied any attachment.
It seems the red motorcycle is all that will survive Hollywood’s “vision” for the adaptation.

via sankaku

Monday, September 27, 2010

Guitar Wall Project: Day 3 - update

Cleaned out the music shop on string swings again. I just need 2 more!!!

[fixed!] Uhh... really bad phone cam image. I'll get a proper shot next time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Guitar Wall Project: Day 2

     All these delays... damn. Well I finally found some time and here's the as-finished-as it's-gonna-be-for-now wall.... only because the store ran out of string swings.

This is what I managed to get from the music shop. 8 for now and I'll get 6 more when the order comes in.

One swing on the wall. I measured the inside width of the wall and divided that by 5 to get the space for each guitar. Then I divided the width of a space in half to get the mounting points for each individual swing. As for height, I just eyeballed the first one and held it in place with a guitar in the hook and marked it. From that one swing I used a level extended to the next mark, slapped a swing on, and traced it. And so on... Repeated for the top row.

Testing with a cheap project squier.

Bottom row complete!

Started top row. Crap ran out of swings, now we wait... 2 more swings will fill out that rather bare area in the top-right. The plan is to use 4 to stagger an in-between row to get an overall more pleasing look, though rather more tightly spaced than I'd prefer. It'll work, it'll work...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Guitar Wall Project: Day 1

     Well I got all the materials I needed short of the hangers and started the wall. I've made a major change to the project by omitting any rear paneling. Instead I'm just going to paint the area on my wall inside the black framing red. I'm hoping it comes out alright... I'm worried about the wall texture bugging the crap out of me when it's painted. The open back also makes installing the hangers easier. Here's what I have so far:

angle cut corners of unpainted pine molding

wall before

installed bottom, leveled of course. molding painted black(took longer than expected)


...and now there's a big ass square on my wall. WEEeee!!!

colored between the lines

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Balcony Farm Update

     This is just a quick update on the balcony farm. Peppers are ripening faster than I can eat em, meyer lemons coming along nicely, and basil, oregano, and rosemary.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guitar Wall Project: The Mock-up

     I'm excited to finally begin my guitar wall project after months of having to do other crap. Well I still have to do other crap but the more important stuff has been taken care of. I hope to be buying the materials starting this weekend and ordering string swings from eBay just as soon as I find a decent vendor that will give me a discount for ordering 10 hangers.

     Materials planned so far:
     - 2 sheets single ply mdf paneling/veneer - ~$20
     - 1 or 2 quarts deep red paint ~$10
     - kilz primer - already have
     - 1 quart black paint - already have
     - molding/baseboard/poplar stock for edge and latticing - $??
        - 30ft for outside(probably standard baseboard), 30ft for lattice work(probably 1/4 in" poplar stock)
     - 1 quart satin clear coat - already have

     Other expendables:
     - sand paper
     - dust masks
     - roller/brushes
     - paint trays
     - 2 ply plastic drop-cloth
     - possibly some liquid nails construction adhesive
     - painter's tape

     The whole thing will be 7.5ft sq., less than an inch thick, and probably pretty light. I plan on having the string swings' mounting screws going through the paneling into studs or anchors so I don't have to worry about unsightly screws in the  red background. I haven't measured the placement between string swings so anything that doesn't hit a stud gets 2 beefy drywall anchors. If I find drilling into the red for extra support is required(likely) I'll counter sink the heads, putty, sand, and repaint over them. I'll only use the clear on the whole thing if I can't get a good result from the red paint alone.

     Here's the full scale photoshop mock-up:

     Later I'll add bumpers to the bottom parts behind the guitars so they won't knock into the red. We'll see how that goes. I used a real picture of my wall for the bg and simulated the carpet and ceiling.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gig: Real 6-String Guitar Analogues

An actual 6-string controller rock-band type game controller... Will be interesting to see the degree of difficulty. I foresee the the cost of real guitars going up and a flood of crap guitars from China. May force me to buy an xbox...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bioware & Funimation Announce Dragon Age Anime

Bioware and Funimation have announced they will be adapting the hit Dragon Age RPG franchise into an anime movie, due for DVD release in 2011.
EA furnishes the usual glib press release peppered with vapid quotes – Bioware begins:
“Anime is a great medium for us to continue the robust Dragon Age story. Partnering with FUNimation ensures that we are delivering the exceptional quality and entertainment value that our Dragon Age fans expect.”
Funimation continues:
“We are thrilled to be working with EA and BioWare on the production of the Dragon Age anime feature. We are going to be bringing the classic visual and storytelling techniques found in anime to create a film that will extend the narrative of the world BioWare has created.”
Bioware’s decision to abandon the (presumably expensive) use of Dungeons & Dragons in favour of its own painfully generic “dark fantasy” setting was generally expected to result in a minor mixed media franchise with novels and similar, but an anime adaptation is quite unexpected – although perhaps logical, given the overlap in fanbases.
Funimation for its part is said to be set on creating a variety of original anime-style productions of its own in future – given the rather dismal history of western produced movie adaptations of games, they may have picked a challenging area in which to start.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Miyazaki: iPad Users “Nothing But Chronic Masturbators”

Hayao Miyazaki, of Studio Ghibli fame, has launched into one of his trademark rambling tirades against the ills of technology, likening “iWhatever” users to “chronic onanists.”
The remarks came in the context of an interview with Miyazaki published in “Neppu,” an in-house Ghibli rag, which had been covering the iPad.
Upon being confronted by an interviewer fiddling with his iPad, Miyazaki let loose:
“That thing that looks like a gaming device in your hand, along with that strange stroking movement you make with your hands is by no means attractive to me, nor am I at all impressed by it. I feel a sense of revulsion for it, in fact.
I’m sure in short time there will be an increase in people on trains making those strange masturbatory strokes. It was the same when everyone started reading manga on trains, and when it became cellphones – I’m fed up with it.”
That was merely his initial statement.
The interviewer went on the defensive, describing how he thought the iPad a good tool for research, and something to buy books on and look up information with.
This only aggravated Miyazaki further however:
“It may seem like I am ignoring your human rights to say this, but you can’t research any of that. Why? Because you have no way of knowing what it’s like to be on an old trireme, or having empathy with the men on board, covered in sweat as they labour at their oars.
You go out into the world without enriching your imagination. You are merely grasping the iWhatever as a skimming tool you use to stroke yourself.
I’m sure there are many people who want to become omnipotent by getting their hands on this iWhatever. I’ll tell you sir, there were once a bunch of people who wore radio cassette players (those bulky things) wherever they went in the sixties. They wore it like a priceless emblem.
They’re mostly probably living off of pension funds now, but you and them are the same. You jump at the newest gadgets, and all you do is relish the pride in owning one as some consumer.
You must not becomes a consumer. You must become someone that creates.”

via sankakucomplex 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pallet into Snack Table

     So I was talking to the my bud and facilities manager at work one day and freaked out on him when somehow he mentioned that the company just threw away pallets from incoming shipments. I was like, "What the hell? That's mostly good lumber!" So I immediately claimed the next quarter pallet, not even thinking about what I was going to do with it.

As soon as I got home I started deconstruction. It's a lot easier than said however, due to the nails used that are DESIGNED NOT TO COME OUT! And damn, there were a crap load which I had to smack out with a hammer. The entire process took me just under an hour and a half.

After chugging a bottle of gatorade I went back and started sorting and lining up the good pieces. Look at the image below. I bet you would have thought the exact same thing as me. Me: "That would make a good table top". In the end I had myself 10 short planks and figured 6 for the top, 4 for the legs. 3 were less than perfect.

After figuring out each board's best face I clamped the first few together. The boards were not necessarily the same thickness though, so I used my level as a straight edge to make sure the top was as flush as possible.

To keep it easy and quick I decided to fasten the boards together by using an improvised pocket screw method. I drilled into the end grain about 1/4" in straight and then angled my drill about 45 degrees with a 1/4" bit just to create the pocket. Then, following the angle of the pocket, I used a long 3/16" bit to drill the pilot hole. I just used 1 and 3/4" screws to finish the job. Yeah it the end grain and that IS a crack in that second pic but the pilot holes prevented complete failure of the wood's integrity. Good enough in my book. Besides, there will be more reinforcement later. Repeat on the other side.

Different clamping method for boards with different thicknesses:

Here's that extra reinforcement I was talking about. I took one of the not-so-premium boards and drilled each plank in though the bottom. I used 3/4" screws so they wouldn't protrude through the top. Obviously it was too long so I used my fine japanese pull saw to carefully trim the overhang in place. Flip it back over and we have our rough table top.

The next step was to make a set of simple legs. Again, the quick and dirty works for me so I chose to make X shaped legs like you see on a picnic table. First make sure all 4 pieces for the legs are the same length. Next measure one edge of the top where the legs will be attached. This is how wide you'll spread the legs apart. Take a plank, measure to exactly the center, horizontaly and verticaly, and drill a hole. Line up a second plank under that one and drive a 1 and 3/4" screw into that hole. Not you can use that as the pivot point for the leg spreadage. 

Spread that first set of legs to the same width as the table top edge you measured earlier. Make sure you go from outside edge to outside edge. After you get it exactly right just drive another screw near the pivot to lock it in place. I used a chalk line to snap a cutting line. This creates edges that will be even with the floor and bottom side of the top. (forgot to take a pic of the cut legs)

Do that again for the other side and this is what you get - a very wobbly table.

Take another less than optimal plank and make a leg reinforcement. Super quick and dirty. Measure the width of the top, cut your plank, drive into the outside legs like so. I used 1 screw at first just to hold it in place. Square the legs up using a... square, and drive 2 more screws to lock it up. Same on the other side.

There it is, a table! But wait, it's spintered, full of holes and looks like crap... First get the top nice and smooth using a random orbital sander with 100 grit paper. Now here's the part that's really really fricken important that almost everyone forgets or doesn't know about(and forgets to take pictures of). Use a brush to paint on regular old tap water. Get it nice and wet but not waterlogged. When its dry you'll find that the grain has raised significantly and is no longer smooth. There's a bunch of sciency stuff to explain - expansion, blah but I don't want to explain it. Just do it and run your fingers over it and you'll see. Hit it with the 100 grit until the surface is even and then 300 grit to finish. Smoother than a baby's ass.

Now for those holes. Self explanatory stuff here. Get some STAINABLE wood putty and putty away.

Can you guess what's next? Yep. 100, 300. If you're using elbow grease I feel for you. I've been there. But seriously, get a 5" orbital sander for less than 30 bucks(18 clearance at osh. Sweet.). From here you can sand everything else in the same manner. I didn't bother puttying places where people won't see anyway. Using a rubber sanding block and 100 grit I rounded the top edges and under the legs to avoid scratching my deck and my arms. Hmm.. missed a spot - putty putty putty...

With this some people would be satisfied and just slap on a clear coat. Not me! I want stain! And would you have guessed, I have some left over "gun stock" colored stain from a previous project. NOOooOooo, it wasn't for an actual gunstock. It's just the color name, ok? Only one coat in my case, let dry, 300 grit light sand. Boom! Color.

Double clear coat polycrylic or spar(that's what I used), sand 100 grit just till smooth, another coat. For the 4th and final coat I sanded the surface with 100 until I just felt the texture smooth out using very little pressure,   and brushed on a very light finish coat.

And here it is. I call it Snack Table. I dig the single coat distressed look.