AN OPEN LETTER TO STAFF MEMBER WATCHING THE GUY WAITING IN THE CORNER OF THIS COMIC BOOK SHOP
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destraudo
A link to this came across my twitter stream today.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-open-letter-to-the-guy-waiting-in-the-corner-of-this-comic-book-shop


I don't know what this was supposed to be. I can only tell you what i felt while reading it. So paragraph for paragraph here is my breakdown.


Dear Sir,

Listen, I know you won’t speak to me but just come over here and let me bend your waxy ear for just a second. Don’t wait for my colleague to come back from lunch so you can ask him about that Green Lantern comic. I work here too. I know I’ve got two tits and Lord knows what else but I understand comics too. I can name the capabilities of each differently hued power ring. I’ve got my indigo ring on, I know compassion. Let me help you.


Straight off the bat a boot is put into this person with the waxy ear comment. The meaning is clear, this person is unsanitary, undesirable, we are not going to be taking an understanding or sympathetic line with this person.  The next few lines are what the letter is really about, the writer's veil of prejudice and assumption. The writer immediately lays out a scenario in  which a stranger does not talk to her, and rather waits for a male staff member to come back to ask his question. Why this happens seems to be important to her and as such she has put some thought to it.  The conclusion? The reason the person did not approach her was because the person believes that as a woman her knowledge of comics is insufficient.

Here are some possible alternate explanations which do not involve painting the subject as something deplorable, like a sexist. 

- The person is nervous around women.
- The person feels he has or wishes to develop a rapport with a particular staff member, possibly even a friendship with someone who is not you. 
- The person is gay and uses his opportunities in the store as a way of getting into conversations with the male staff member in question, on whom he has a crush.
- The person does not like you. 
      

Ask me. I’m just sitting here saying these words to you in my head, gazing at your dandruff over the backissue bins. You know, comic book guy in the corner, it’s sexist to think I won’t know the answer to your questions about the motivation of relatively minor characters in Transformers, but hey: I am being totally judgmental about you here too, so that is fine.


Again care is taken to mention more undesirable traits, in addition to being sexist and waxy eared the person also has dandruff.  EWWWW!?! That is supposed to be our reaction to this. What a deplorable scabby sexist wax creature we are confronted with. 
Here however, comes the OT3 moment in this masterpiece of thought. It bears repeating. 

'You know, comic book guy in the corner, it’s sexist to think I won’t know the answer to your questions about the motivation of relatively minor characters in Transformers, but hey: I am being totally judgmental about you here too, so that is fine.'

Now seriously, stop and think about this. The justification for being judgemental and assuming this person is a sexist pig, is that you have assumed that this person thinks you know nothing about transformers because you are a woman. So It is ok to assume he is sexist, because you assume that he assumes you know nothing of it based on gender. And by acknowledging that you are being judgemental about him you basically state you have no actual evidence to suggest he is sexist in any way shape or form. 

IN-MOTHERFUCKING-CEPTION 




Don’t be proud of the fact that I remember your name. I know everybody’s name, dude. I have to type it into our computer system, which you may have noticed works on DOS. I have to type your name in, plug in your terrible order, and when I’m done I have to type E-X-I-T. Time moves slow here in the past. I’ve got lots of time to think about things, which is why I want to help you. Yes, you in The Walking Dead T-shirt. Shamble over here a minute, would you?

All i read here is contempt. Contempt for your workplace. Contempt for the products you sell, and contempt for the people who buy them, or rather the subset of people you don't like, with waxy ears and dandruff and who are secretly motived by a core of burning sexism, which you have divined through ESP.  



I’m referring specifically to that one time you inexplicably came in with that unbelievably acceptable girl and you just stood there at the counter saying nothing, just waiting while practically glowing like Dr. Manhattan with sheer ridiculous pride that the girl (this girl) in the comic shop knows your name. I tried to help you that time by “not knowing” your name. Remember? I wanted to give your impressively human possible-girlfriend who we never saw again the impression that you’re not here at opening time every Wednesday morning, that you don’t spend your entire Saturday here in the basement over there in that corner. Please let me help you get laid. Have you ever seen Ghost World? Let me be your Enid, Seymour. Let me be your Enid.

This is where things get both confusing and truly vexing. This paragraph is literally dripping over with the worst traits humanity has to offer.
Why is it inexplicable that someone who frequents your store would bring their girlfriend or even possible girl friend to the store. Why would he not want to share that aspect of who he is with them. Maybe, and I know this sounds insane, but maybe he wants to find someone who will like him for who he is, who would take an interest in his hobbies and vice versa. Maybe he loves his local comic book store, and explained how awesome and friendly the staff were, staff who remember your name! Which was odd because the woman working there suddenly acted like she did not know your name.

This is also a great paragraph because it teaches people who are totally passionate about comic books an important lesson.  Be ashamed of yourselves. Hide your sick fetish from others. If you have a potential girlfriend who is impressively human looking (nice stab at the girl in question btw)  for god sake don't let them know you like to hang out in a comic-book store on a Saturday. And for god sake if you are passionate about comic books and socially awkward DO NOT go to your local comic book store to hang out at the weekend. Because god forbid you might actually form bonds with like minded people, or become socially active in a group. That would be just freaking terrible.   




Oh, hey. Wait. I know they end up doing it at the end of that movie but let’s just back it up a second. That ain’t gonna happen: you like Rob Liefeld, I like Chris Ware. That’s just the way the shit splatters. It would never work, but what I’m trying to say is: use me. I am literally paid to be nice to you. I am like your free conversation prostitute. You’re wasting this opportunity, here. Try out your new material! Hit me with some lines, man! Get used to saying them to a face that is not your own in the mirror.

Again just a paragraph of nasty. I like how the person is assigned the fandom of Rob Liefield. Because it is cool to hate on Rob Liefield after all. This guy likes Rob Liefield. He is one of 'those' people. Those waxy eared, dandruff covered, secretly sexist , Liefielders.
Reference is also repeatedly made to wanting the person to hit on you, seemingly for the sole purpose of rejecting them.  And wrapping it up with the using lines on a face that is not the one in the mirror? Barbed wire frosting on the asshole cake.   

   


I’m here to help. I know you paid $54.43 on eBay for that blue ring you’re wearing there. It won’t work unless you have hope.

Call me. At work. I’d get fired if I did not answer.



I like the closing because it accentuates the 'theme' of the letter. This person wants to 'help'. They really do. Honest. I mean they say they are literally only talking to you because they are paid  to, and in situations where they would be fired if they did not, but no really they actually want to help. Because it is not like if you removed the help aspect of the letter it is just a staff member taking a huge shit on a section of their customer base. Not at all. 


And in closing, gentle men and women of the land who work in comic book stores, here is wacky concept from the world of retail. It is called engaging the customers.

'Excuse me, is there anything i can help you with?' 

Magic words you will find, in breaking the ice with a nervous or socially awkward customer. It is also a lot better than sitting behind the service point fantasising  about the secret meaning behind mundane customer actions and radiating fucking contempt at them for choosing to come into your store , and possibly even hang out there and try and be part of the local comic community.  


Rather than being an open letter  to the guy waiting in the corner of the comic book store i would prefer to think of it as

'An open letter on the long term detrimental effects of  assumptive reasoning and internal monologuing on comic book shop staff. '



Strange and crippling issue with my PC.
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destraudo
I unplugged my microphone and the screen went pure black, bar a vertical bar on the right side which is near black.

Worried i restarted my pc and thought the problem was gone, as the initial abit screen comes up perfectly, as does the bios and even the black windows XP loading screen. However at the end of that loading screen instead of going to the blue windows login panel it flashes to the previously mentioned black screen.

the near black bar brightens and darkens in response to monitor brightness adjustment. However the rest of the screen remains pitch dark.

I can still access bios but that is about it.

In addition, when booted on a friends monitor everything works perfectly.

I connected the pc to a HDTV
It booted correctly.

While connected to the hdtv i uninstalled/reinatalled my graphics card drivers and set it at a lower widescreen resolution to match tv while i was using it.

I then powered down and reconnected to my original monitor and it booted correctly to windows much to my relief, but with further more interesting complications.

The aspect ratio was still set to widescreen and thus was not showing correctly so i went to set it to my default 1600 x 1200. On applying this the monitor blacked out to the initial problem of 'the screen went pure black, bar a vertical bar on the right side which is near black.'

Since the changes has not been saved the monitor auto reverted to the setting which worked.

Using this as a safe way to test i tried numerous resolutions and aspect ratios. The results showed that rather than being based on resolution, different results seemed to come from the different aspect ratios or were simply random. Some very high resolutions would work but the resulting image would be distorted , no 4:3 resolutions would work above a very low resolution. Certain widescreen resolutions would work and others would show the black screen mentioned previously but with a different sized grey area.

As a final step last night a set the machine to go back a week via system restore, and the result was the black screen after the windows loading page.

As the final icing on the cake, the brother loaned me a monitor so i can test this stuff easier. I powered up the pc ( still affected by the system restore to my default settings) and it booted perfectly to 1600 x 1200, ruling out a physical problem with the graphics card or system (in my head).

The system restore and previous uninstall/ reinstall of graphics drivers rules out software problems ( in my head at least)

I am beginning to wonder is the monitor, a 19 inch Dell UltraScan 1600HS has some kind of software built into it that may have gone bad. But if so, how would pulling a mic out on the pc result in a physical or software problem in the monitor. In my brain this is like turning on a CD player resulting in a train derailing on the other side of the planet.

When i have access to a second pc again i will try hooking it up to the monitor that seems to be the centre of this.

If it wont do higher resolutions or display aspect rations correctly on another pc then it narrows it down to a software or hardware problem within the monitor somehow.

If it does work with the other PC then i am totally stumped, as that clears the monitor hardware, while the system working perfectly with another monitor now shows the system hardware is fine, and in theory the system restore i did to a week back should have ruled out any errors in the system software.

Will post any further test results as i do them. Thanks again for the help.

Chet & Brad star in JIMBOB!
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destraudo
Some speedy (in relative terms)fan art for live action Akira, henceforth known as Jimbob.




Many thanks to the LHC for saving me a lot of painting work under Chet's (Tetsuo's) feet.

I feel compelled to collect a few thoughts here as to why i do not think this is necessarily something which has to be a cinema failure, or a betrayal of the anime movie, or manga. I heard yesterday a lot about things which were intrinsically Japanese about akira as a concept, and I cannot help but see those as an authors means to an end, rather than the end itself.

For the sake of reference, I'm throwing in bullet points of the themes raised in Akira according to its wiki.

-individuals with superhuman powers
-character
-societal pressures
-political machination
-youth alienation
-government corruption
-inefficiency
-a military grounded in old-fashioned Japanese honor, displeased with the compromises of modern society.
-the nature of youth to rebel against authority
-control methods
-community building
-the transformation experienced in adolescent passage
-futility of the quest for self-knowledge

Now when I read that list,I see exactly one thing on it which pertains specifically to Japanese culture. It is not hard to spot. XD

Everything else on that list is as valid to a person from Toronto as Tokyo, I would argue them as being universal societal concepts, because they are grounded in basic human functions. I would argue that this is a great part of Akira's universal appeal. However we are still looking at this problematic point on the list.

-A military grounded in old-fashioned Japanese honor, displeased with the compromises of modern society.

To be more precise we have a character in the military who is representative of old fashioned japanese honour. To integrate this properly i think you have to strip this of context in two possible ways. The first most obvious way is to simply make it a character representative of old fashioned honour- not unheard of in the military.

However i think this misses the point. The function of the character is to represent not old fashioned japanese honor, it is to represent the way of thinking of the previous generation, the generation which Kaneda's generation is rejecting and rebelling against. Because Akira was set in Japan, this previous generations viewpoint was naturally represented as 'old japanese honour'.

To create a situation which resonates fully with western audiences, you need to switch out this story aspect with something which serves the same cultural role in western society. That to me is christian religion because in western society it is the historical social influence which played the role of moral shaper, but which like japanese honour finds itself increasingly rejected and seen as obsolete by younger generations.

This does not mean that i think the General should be running around with a bible quoting the book of revelations no more than the original character ran about in armour with a samurai sword, it merely means that I believe that an identical character can carry a great deal more cultural relevance and thus audience resonance by having his opinions and actions driven by a more culturally accessible viewpoint for western audiences, both in terms of the world and viewpoint Morgan Freeman's character would represent and as a valid symbol of the world that the protagonist and most vitally the audience would be asked to reject and rebel against.


With this idea in mind, I turn now to what would otherwise be two very difficult passages to deal with from the Wiki.


'Jenny Kwok Wah Lau writes in Multiple Modernities that Akira is a "direct outgrowth of war and postwar experiences." She argues that Otomo grounds the work in recent Japanese history and culture, using the atomic bombing of Japan during World War II, alongside the economic resurgence and issues relating to over-crowding as inspirations and underlying issues.'

and

'She also sees the work as an attack on the Japanese establishment, arguing that Otomo satirizes aspects of Japanese culture, in particular schooling and the rush for new technology.'


Rather than being roadblocks which would prevent Akira from being executed, these passages now become an instruction manual on how to execute the grounding of a re imagining of it. I would argue that there is no better time in history than now to make this movie, because on a global scale, the current political and economic climate lends itself to the feelings of youth disenfranchisement that Otomo very cleverly tapped in Japan when he was releasing it. And while there can be no argument that an atomic bomb level event is unique to the japanese cultural Zeitgeist, more particularly of the original authors generation and older, today a far more relevant and thus resonant aspect of Akira for the current global Zeitgeist (which the movie will need to tap) is the scenes of terrorism and state control/dominance. It is a movie that potentially will resonate with the general youth audience very very profoundly, but not if it is scripted to resonate with Japanese people who were teens in the 1980's

That may resonate with people who are naturally counter culture or japanophiles, but you can't pay for a 200 million dollar movie selling tickets to just them.

As for the title. While I am a big fan of Jimbob, I think that Akira as a title can stay given 16 million people of Asian descent living in America today could justify having at least one Asian character in the movie. XD


And before someone gets all airbender with me, let me mark out a large difference between the two. Airbender is a franchise which before being made a movie was already heavily engrained into its potential cinema audience. The fanbase you are screwing with there represents a meaty percentage of your movie target audience. In that instance you need to pander to their asses, and in doing so potentially alienate the other meaty chunk of your audience, which is kind of why i think airbender was screwed any way you did it.

Akira, much like the re imagined Star Trek, has the huge benefit of having a previous fanbase which will make up only a fractional element of its sales.

So the last thing I would ever ever do in their position is appease the current tiny fanbase. Because if they do, what you will get is a bunch of white guys in America running around shouting Asian names and being bound by Asian cultural concepts(DBZ movie) which will both enrage the niche western fandom audience (who will be enraged anyway) while simultaneously disconnecting culturally and emotionally from every single other person in the theatre- those people who will be making up 95 percent of their ticket sales and absolutely critically if we use the Star Trek comparison, your word of mouth sales.

So in summary. I think Chet and Brad shouting at each other in Akira could be pretty great so long as those making it have the will to totally ignore everyone who has seen the anime. I'm especially looking forward to it because unlike the anime, it will cover all the events of all the manga, over two movies, which needless to say, the anime did not.

Religion.
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destraudo
Why do i hate religion. And do i?

To preface let me say why i love religion. I love religion because without it, we would probably be wandering around in loincloths today, worrying about lion attacks. Religion is smart, and the bible is smart. Not only smart, but absolutely necessary as a work when it was created, or rather even before it was created. Religion is to me, a civilisation manual. That is a very good thing. For pagan religions it meant great feasts to mark the most important times in the year for farming and harvest. For religions like Christianity, this was advanced to some very specific and hugely important agricultural information. Most will be familiar with the Bartlet west wing speech and 'stoning someone for planting two different crops side by side'. While we may laugh at it as an idea, it is actually incredibly important in agriculture that you do not do this. It is the basis for the concept of crop rotation, as different plants remove different minerals from soil to grow. While it is not a big whoop that your uncle bill plants carrots beside parsnips in his garden, if you pulled all that mixed vegetable shit in the old school, you would have a year of very happy crops and then the land would be un-plantable the year after. Cue famine and death. So threatening to stone someone for this is a pretty smart idea.

The bible is full of this kind of practical information on societal concepts both practical and social. The Ten commandments are a very solid summary of the Religion concept. Six very solid social idea, don't steal, don't kill people, don't do your neighbours wife. Attached to these is the information necessary to ensure the six ideas are passed on and enforced.

The bible as a whole is the same, it passes on ideas wrapped in such a manner which will secure their passage through whatever history throws at them, and all religions follow this format.





ONTO THE HATTTTEEEEEEE

Part the first:


To me, the problem with religion is that it is simply too good at this, to the point of inflexibility. We have known that religions are incompatible with our current level of societal advancement for some time. The very fact that we are often required to secularise our laws from the moral teachings of the religion of the state gives great evidence to this effect i think. It is a natural thing. Times have changed. It is simply no longer necessary to stone those who plant two different crops side by side.

The solution to an outdated religion is incredibly simply. You just modify the religion to suit the current moral climate and call it a new religion. Judaism, say hello to Christianity and Islam and of course Mormonism. Not that i am criticising Jews, i myself still run windows XP.

The problem with this of course, is that much as i cling to windows XP, religious people will cling to their pre existing faith. Christianity and Christian morals did not replace Judaism. Muslim morals did not replace Christian ones, and Mormon morals wont replace any of the previous and time soon.



Part the second:

The fact that religions are sets of unchangeable laws, unable to evolve smoothly to match social evolution and understanding is thus pretty problematic. And since we are in a constant state of social evolution, some very clever people came up with the idea of separation of church and state, and most importantly by association church and law. This means that our social/ moral principals could evolve at least in part, beyond our unchanging religions.

This is very necessary, because as social and moral systems, they are 1600 - 2000 years
out of date. We in the west actually got off pretty light on that score. Islam literally expanded old testament ideas into a very complex, comprehensive and robust system of law. While we may decry the stoning of women to death for adultery, that stuff is laid out pretty clearly in the old testament.

Deuteronomy 22:22 "If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die."


Part the third:

How much of the bible do you take seriously.
In comparative terms, i admire Christianity for its attempts to maintain modernism in terms of social and moral ideas. They are pretty progressive on a number of issues. As time has marched forward there are more and more parts of the bible where we are told, 'well you know, you are not meant to take that literally.' A good yard stick for this progression, is that if you said that 200 years ago you would have been jailed and 400 years ago, you would have been executed.
In Islamic countries you can still do jail time for it, and here in Ireland blasphemy is a potential 25 k fine.

The part that is an absurdity to me though, is how a modern Christian can look at the bible and say, oh well this part is obviously ridiculous because it says sex outside marriage is a crime. And this part that says slavery is fine is obviously ridiculous. But this part that says homosexuality is EVILLLLL is clearly correct and absolute law and cannot possibly be wrong.

And there was obviously never a point before this where sex outside marriage was ok and slavery was ok and being homosexual was wrong. Except there was. People in the South during the American civil war were holding up bibles to justify slavery, because they could. People in the north were holding up bibles to justify the abolishment of slavery because they could. For the sum total of Christianity before that, slavery was all good in the hood. That is just how the world was.

People throughout history have been able to read out chapters of that book to justify monstrous things. Holy crusades and witch burnings. But the problem with religion for me is not history, it is the present, where people hold up Christian bibles to justify the ill treatment of homosexuals.

Here in Ireland just recently the church tried to act against legislation to give rights to same sex marriage. In America prop 8 was heavily supported by the church, again to restrict gay rights. In countries in Africa, Christian religion is used to justify the criminalisation of homosexuality. People there go to jail, because the bible says gays are bad. The official position of the catholic church on homosexuality is a 'tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.' This is not ok! This is not tolerance of any kind. It is active support for the restriction of the rights of an individual based on their sexual preference, justified by the same bible verse used to class masturbation as a sin. That is all happening. Now.

I bash Christianity for this. BASH BASH BASH. With a hammer. I am intolerant of the catholic church because an intolerance of an intolerance is not intolerant. And until the bible is no longer being used to justify the restriction of basic human rights in a minority i will bash on that sucker wholesale at any opportunity.

And i know there are plenty of people out there who are Catholics who are totally for gay rights and all that great stuff! But if you are then whether you like it or not, you are not a catholic because you are not following the teachings of the catholic church. I may offend you by saying this. If so, i am sorry. I understand that you are torn. I have known people who were staunch Catholics who came to realise they were gay, and they were, let me tell you, torn by it.



Part the last:
You know who else was torn about his religion, a Jewish carpenters son named Jesus Christ. And this guy was a mother fucking badass radical. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone? These concepts were so radical, he was nailed to a fucking cross and slowly suffocated under his own weight for them. You would have to have balls of fucking steel to do what he did. I get fucking teary eyed thinking about what that guy had the balls to do. To look at thousands of years of tradition of your faith and say, 'This is good, but it needs updating.' He did not die so that sin could be forgiven. He died because he was willing to oppose the injustices of his faith, knowing it could mean death.

So what then can I possibly say to the many many Catholics I know, who say they are Christians but don't hate gays, and to those more morally impressive people who lapse from Catholicism because they take their faith seriously but also find themselves morally at odds with aspects of it.

I say, if you don't like it

Do what Jesus did.

Don't accept it. Decide, here is the parts which are awesome and tolerant. I'm keeping those. Here are the parts which are in direct conflict with basic modern human rights, those are gone, out the door, goodbye. No more using them as loopholes to be dicks. And here is some new stuff which is also awesome and tolerant.

Then you wrap that slice or moral gold up in a hard back binding and you call it a testament. Because in the context of the bible, the word testament literally means 'contract with god'.
And those who seek to follow in the loving, forgiving and compassionate ideals set out by the man named Jesus Christ know that the current contract is fundamentally broken.



RULES:
No blue shells.

ZONE OF ABSOLUTE TERROR
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destraudo
Sometimes you find out something awesome and hilarious about a thing you already love. For me, today it is ZettaiRyouiki.

In Evangelion the English term for it was absolute terror field. What i did not know until today was that the japanese term coined for EVA , Zettai Ryouiki has over time drifted in its meaning to this. The area between a miniskirt and long socks. The absolute zone.

'There is a god between overknee socks and miniskirts'



http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ZettaiRyouiki

Needless to say, i LOL'd.

There are even grading charts from F to S.

http://animedesho.animeblogger.net/?p=2585

Experiment gets.
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destraudo
So i thought i would play a game with my free time over the next 12 months. The purpose of the game is to approach art from a business perspective instead of an art perspective.

What i hope to gain from this.
-Become bolder and more willing to take risk.
-Gain a wider range of experience in art style.
-Possibly earn a little green.
-Learn to seperate in my head personal 'likes' from art as a means to live.

Each experiment will take advantage of 'zero cost' distribution platforms and have a total budget of 0.00

Timescales are set as appropriate, but i have to do this stuff in spare time. I already have a list of potential experiments, however no 1 is this.

By aug 1st ish, have completed a children's storybook ready to distribute via lulu in print and for ipad e reader format.

I say to you. Why not.

You learn something new every day.
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destraudo
While researching for a possible client concept I came across this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_giant_hornet

I hate wasps. And that thing is huge. What I found really interesting was the section on the bees it eats though. The interesting point in question was a trick that native Japanese bees knew that would allow them to overcome the otherwise unbeatable and massive hornet. Basically once they detect the hornet scent, they lay a trap of about 100-500 bees. The bees mob the hornet and contain it in the centre of a ball of themselves, immobile. They then raise their body temperature to a level they can tolerate but the hornet cannot, while also naturally reducing the volume of oxygen around the hornet, causing it to expire. Non native bees have not evolved this trick, and so are totally boned when confronted by the giant hornet.

That kind of stuff is so awesome it hurts.


........................................................

Native honey bees
Japanese honey bees (Apis cerana japonica) defensively "balling" in which two hornets (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) are engulfed and heated.

Although a handful of Asian giant hornets can easily defeat the defenses of many individual honey bees, whose small stings cannot inflict much damage against such a large predator, the Japanese honey bee (Apis cerana japonica) possesses a collective defense against them.

When a hornet scout locates and approaches a Japanese honey bee hive it will emit specific pheromonal hunting signals. When the honey bees detect these pheromones, a hundred or so will gather near the entrance of the nest and set up a trap, keeping it open apparently to draw the hornet further into the hive or allow it to enter on its own. As the hornet enters the nest, a large mob of about five hundred honey bees surrounds it, completely covering it and preventing it from moving, and begin quickly vibrating their flight muscles. This has the effect of raising the temperature of the honey bee mass to 47 °C (117 °F). The honey bees can tolerate this temperature, but the hornet cannot survive more than 46 °C (115 °F), so it dies. Often several bees perish along with the intruder, but the death of the hornet scout prevents it from summoning reinforcements which would wipe out the colony.[12] More recent research indicates, however, that while the raised temperature of the bee ball contributes to the death of the hornet, it alone is not sufficient to kill the hornet. The bee balls also produce a much higher level of carbon dioxide which contributes to the hornet's death, although whether this is because it reduces the hornet's tolerance for high temperatures or actually suffocates it, is not known.[13]

Beekeepers in Japan attempted to introduce the European honeybee in order to increase productivity. European honeybees, however, have no defense against the hornet and the colonies are rapidly destroyed by these formidable insects.[14]

S Jump scans. Super long talk post, tldr for a lot of people I think.
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destraudo
This was originally going to be a post on SD but became so TLDR that I dared not attempt to post it and cause eye damage to people there. It is a winding mess of a rant. My kudos to any who read it all....


Hmm. I agree that a lot of people have peculiar arguments about scanlations. Hell I know I do. My justification can be summed up very easily. Spoilers.

I know people who are so spoiler phobic that they will download LOST on Wednesday evening when it would be shown here on TV on Thursday night.

While I am not that extreme, when the camrip of eva 2.0 came out I was on it in 2 seconds. Why? Because i know a lot of eva fans and I did not want to have to exclude myself from every conversation, or have to worry about heading to a fan page or 4 chan or whatever and seeing some spoilerific screen grab or spoiler meme, or dev art spoiler fan image or signature banner etc etc etc etc etc. Do I feel guilty for watching the cam rip. Good lord no because I know the minute it comes out, it is a purchase (got my eva 1.11 preordered XD)

So imagining a naruto or bleach fan, in a hugely active fan community, trying to interact with that community while not having his manga spoiled to death is beyond my comprehension. They would need donotwantspoilernojutsu, and have to live in a cave.

I also cannot bitch that Japanese people are scanning manga or uploading anime for the same reason that I can't complain about poor animal rights while being the kind of person that loves bacon and steak. I am guessing that we gaijin don't have like strike-teams that fly to japan and scan these manga for us. I am pretty sure that the manga and anime are copied by japanese people first, or most certainly by people in Japan for their own use. Without those original japanese language uploads most of the scans that many die hard fans of ongoing manga read and enjoy probably would not exist.

The traditional economic model just cannot work when it comes to any product which is digital or which can be digitised. That screws the creative industry pretty heavily as it currently operates. So while we can debate the moral aspects of the situation, no volume of moralisation will solve the problem, nor will Jump attempting to guilt trip its readers.

How will things go. I have a solid prediction on that. This is a war of evolution. The market will evolve to overcome the problem via natural selection. Hundreds of different solutions are being tried all the time by different companies with varying success. Massive black digitally watermarks all their tutorials with a unique code that connects it to the credit card details of the purchaser. This has allowed them to actively identify the person who has leaked their video file originally and prosecute them. Some videogames will now require continuous net connection to the developers site network for verification and operation. And then of course there are the digital economy style bills that are being looked at in various places.

But these are all aggressive methods, which prompt people to try and overcome them. If people are told something cannot be done, they will do it in some cases simply out of spite, or to prove that it was doable. I think that true long-term solutions will rely on looking at ways to maximise profitability of these creative products short term by making legitimate purchase socially advantageous. A good example of this is crunchyroll. By getting official subs for anime from the anime companies and simulcasting them with the japanese airings they create a window of 24-48 hours where they can make a profit by being the only source of the material.

The next stage of profitability is by leveraging analogue products for as much of your profits as possible. We do not need a tutorial on this, because the anime industry does this perfectly already. Anime generally have to pay for their 30 minutes of air time. They are by default, loss making entities. The solution is that profitable shows are marketed to death in terms of physical products, and if you can't sell those, you get canned. This is most famously shown in the concept of the Gundam franchise. Manga can adapt to this by aggressively marketing their successful products in the same manner anime does. At this same time, this might act to reduce a willingness of an anime studio to adapt a manga based story due to toy and figure sales having already been tapped out. A simple solution to this can be found by looking at the most flogged of merchandise horses, evangelion. When they went to create rebuild, they redesigned the evas in subtle ways. Just enough to keep them iconic and recognisable but also different enough to be a distinct and marketable product to collectors. A good example of this is the redesign of unit 2's head for rebuild. Fractional changes, but changes enough for fans to essentially rebuy a figure they already owned. And that is damn smart.

By a similar token, Anime counterparts to manga can utilise slightly alternate costumes and mecha designs. This would allow manga to rely less on easily digitised comics for their sales and more on physical products which require genuine effort and resources to pirate, all the while without hampering the viability of the series for anime adaptation.

And that is my two tldr headache inducing cents.

XD

The power of stupidity.
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destraudo
So the uk tabloids were abuzz today over this footage.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1264965/Is-REALLY-UFO-chased-M5-RAF-fighter-jets-Video-footage-captured-service-station.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2926995/Fighter-jets-chase-UFO-down-the-M5.html

It has also been reported by mufon, of all things.


Now, for the record, the video is clearly some very sloppy cgi from start to finish, every element of it.

Most depressing of all is this diamond.

Expert Nick Pope, who probed UFO sightings for the MoD, said: "This is one of the best videos I've seen. It could be a new drone - that might explain the military jets.

No wonder they cancelled ufo investigations.lol

And 120 seconds of google later the youtube acount of the SECRET person who sent it in, along with his other apparently extreme close encounters with cgi ufo's.

http://www.youtube.com/user/princessmarije#p/a/u/1/xxZnztxNxG4

So yeah, the quality of ufo experts has a ways to go.

Why I do not trust or like ducks.
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destraudo
It came up on twitter that I dislike ducks. Allow me to explain why they creep me out.

A few years ago, walking to my house I passed over a river like I always did. On this occasion,just below the bridge was a dead cow in the river. The banks were steep and artificial, so i guessed it must have fallen in and broken it's neck, because the water was 2 ft deep tops where it was, or it drowned in deeper water and just ended up there.

Every day I passed the bridge on my way back from work, for many days, and I could not help but marvel at how intact the animal remained, though you could see the impressions of the bones through the hide clearer and clearer.

I was quite surprised but also horrified when one day the corpse began spasming.
Needless to say I thought that some gruesome predatory animal had begun feasting on it, but from whatever angle I viewed it from I could not see it. Then much to my disbelief, from a hole at the base of the skull/ where the neck connects into the chest, emerged from within, a duck, like some kind of HR GIGER chest burster, tearing at something it had found within.

From this I learned that

Ducks will lay eggs inside you.
Ducks will eat you from the inside out.
Ducks will live in your corpse.
Ducks have black dead eyes.... like a shark.

Now I don't like ducks.

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