Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Stronger Than Superman

Have a Popeye cartoon, because the thing I would probably have posted otherwise got vaporized off YouTube. (What's funny is that my sister instantly knew what was playing from the other room from the music. We've watched quite a few Popeye cartoons over the years.)

The way Popeye warps the laws of physics always makes me smile. (Also, his laugh is generally funnier than what he's laughing at.)

Also, he's a bigger industrial power than the country he lives in.

-Signing off.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wolverine Can Sing

What makes me laugh about the (...creatively pronounced) "Adamantium" segment is that I just heard some other parody of the same song while my sister was going through things.

...I don't like musicals either, Hulk. I actually watched this because it's Wolverine as a muppet.

-Signing off.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#95)

941. Sarkhai. The Sarkhai are basically pale-skinned, pale-haired humans (to the point where I can see implications that they interbreed with humans, meaning they aren't actually what I'd call a species, more like an ethnic group). They apparently have traditional facepaint they wear that they originally used to scare off predators. ...Right, a few vaguely jagged black lines will certainly boost my scariness ratio 150%.

Anyway, apparently Force sensitive Sarkhai are really rare, like "one or two at a time in the whole population" rare.

Also, during an era about 3500 years before the movies, the Sarkhai homeworld was a hotly contested planet in conflicts between the three powers of the day, the Galactic (AKA Old) Republic, the Sith Empire (no relation to most of the other empires of Star Wars, despite those also usually being ruled by Sith), and a group called the Rift Alliance (imagine if the Confederacy of the US Civil War formed during one of the world wars or something because they didn't approve of how the war was being handled and you have an idea of what these guys are), all wanted its defense technologies.

Rating: 2/5. The whole being fought over for technology bit is interesting, but it's the only actually interesting thing.

942. Sarrish. The Sarrish are ugly rubber-forehead aliens from a planet named Sarrish. Their homeworld had its own defense force before and during the Clone Wars, but despite this was occupied by the Separatists and became the site of one of their greatest victories during the war.

More notably, the Sarrish article is the site of this horrendous sentence:

At the end of the Clone Wars, in 19 BBY, Senator Padmé Amidala was died from childbirth and was sent to her homeworld of Naboo to be buried.

That's right, she was died from childbirth. (If you're wondering what a sentence like this was doing here, the Sarrish senator was at the funeral.)

Rating: 3/5. I like the details of them having their own military and being loyal to the Republic (things from this era that don't often go together), and yet they get stomped on by the Separatists even with help from the Republic. (In fact, multiple important named characters fought on their side in the conflict, and they still lost.)

943. Saurians. Okay, before I get into these guys, let's start a little running count. How many aliens with the combination of letters "s-a-u-r" at the beginning of their names are reptilian?

Saurians are lisping snake-headed reptilians (1 out of 1). Apparently they are widely known to wear drab colors, but at least one wore bright colors.

...That's about exactly it.

Rating: 2/5. Eh, they might have gotten better if they weren't universal lispers because I (slightly disproportionately) like snake people.

944. Saurin. The Saurin are a somewhat distant offshoot of the Trandoshans, reptilian people (2 out of 2-DING!) who are known as hunters. The Saurin apparently follow the same religion as the Trandoshans despite having somehow managed to evolve completely different hand structures from their cousins. (Saurin women also somehow have breasts-thanks, creepy ol' Wookieepedia-despite there being no evidence that Trandoshan women do.) They are apparently humorless, but despite being known for being in toughs-type occupations (i.e. thugs, bodyguards, etc.), their homeworld also was a major participant in the Old Republic's refugee program during the Clone Wars.

Now, that has slightly disturbing potential implications when the Saurin follow a religion that involves hunting, but as far as I can tell there's no evidence of untoward motives at all. The Saurin government of the time was just a bunch of nice guys, apparently (and there's no evidence that the population was upset about it, either).

Rating: 3/5. I've mentioned before that I like good guy reptiles. These guys have made it into my good books, even if there are some weird bits about them that I don't like so much.

945. Saurtons. Saurtons are reptilian beings (3 out of 3! DING DING DING!) with crocodilian features. These crocodilian features include straight up crocodile heads (classic) and the less well known but quite accurate feature of powerful immune systems combined with being hideously filthy (well, I tend to think they borrowed that second bit from monitor lizards, but the immune system thing is definitely true of actual crocodiles) to the point where they can get other beings sick by mere contact, and their cities apparently were not especially sanitary-they don't feel the need to clean it, so why bother? (On the one hand, this is essentially a "what dirty beasts" vaguely racist sentiment; on the other hand, why would they feel the need to clean up germy filth?)

They may have gold skin and apparently usually stand in the roughly-six-feet-tall range, and suffer from inconsistent description/artwork disparity-they're "slender and quick" yet are drawn like cartoon pro wrestlers. While I can see the appeal of slender reptile people in general, the huge crocodilian head suits a beefy guy better, I think (though there really ought to be variety in any species).

Anyway, they apparently had reasonably advanced tech before coming into contact with the galactic civilization, and several members of the species also were involved in the Kathol Rift stuff.

Rating: 4/5. Aside from being proof that alien species namers are often spectacularly uncreative (consider that, using Earth-language etymology, "Saurton" could be seen to mean "lizard town"), the Saurtons are pretty nice, if admittedly fairly basic. Also, I will go on record as saying there can never be too many crocodile people in a fictional universe.

946. Sauvax. The Sauvax are very cool looking crustacean people. By appearances, they only have huge pinchers, but apparently tucked inside these are small hands with opposable thumbs, which explains how they can make spears and such (which gives them a point in plausibility, anyway). They're supposedly strong swimmers, which seems unlikely, but they definitely look fairly amphibious.

Anyway, whilst primitive and isolated from galactic society (despite there apparently being fairly sparse human settlements on their homeworld), the Sauvax apparently are peaceful and have a complex society that is heavily dependent on diplomatic gestures and such. Central to this is the sharing of food. Rather than take offense at those who have trouble stomaching food that the Sauvax offer (which is very common), the Sauvax will instead mock the victims of their cuisine. ...Wow, what a bunch of trolls.

Their favorite letter is clearly "u," as their personal names have an average of three apiece. Most of these names are five to seven letters long.

Anyway, during the New Sith Empire's time of activity (it comes after the Sith Empire mentioned in the Sarkhai entry above, hence the "new"), some artifacts were stored on the Sauvax homeworld, and then, many years later, a Sith adept showed up (shortly before or around the prequel movies era) and searched for the artifacts in question, enslaving the amphibious Sauvax to do the searching (apparently with help from the human colonists). However, they were stopped, stuff was happy afterwards, blah blah yadda yadda.

Rating: 5/5. Mostly because they look cool, admittedly. Also because they're kind of amusing trolls.

947. Sawal. Sawal apparently are green, scaly humanoids. They are suspected of "cannibalism" (i.e. eating sapients) by settlers on their planet, but it's possible that the disappearances that cause this suspicion were caused by hostile wildlife.

Incidentally, Wookieepedia both infuriated and amused me with this article's use of the word "disparition." Just say "disappearances," guys, the whole five dollar word thing is unnecessary and confusing (even to a word nerd like me sometimes).

Rating: 2/5, mostly for the oddity of the article.

948. Sayormi. The Sayormi appear to essentially be a generic dark elf type fantasy race (albeit with rubber forehead alien features instead of the usually inevitable perfectly smooth skin) that happen to live in a creepy forest on Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld, for some unfathomable reason.

And when I say "generic dark elf type fantasy race," I mean they supposedly use magic (including "voodoo"), all the women are called "witches," all the men are either warriors or "monks," and their most-feared warrior is the hilariously named "Cyrans the Unfeeling." (He's called "the Unfeeling" because he cannot feel. Amazing.)

While all that amuses me to some degree, no. Just no.

Rating: 1/5. Check, please.

949. Schenor. Schenor are apparently universally Force-sensitive felinoids. (Hey, I'd have never guessed "cat alien" from "Schenor!" Extra point!) Apparently, they also may lay eggs (!) and grow to be eight feet tall. They love martial arts and honor (typical cat aliens) and apparently were offhandedly described in RPG material as "eight-foot samurai cat men." (...Okay, another point.)

Rating: 4/5. They got one more point for the sheer weirdness of maybe possibly laying eggs.

950. Schiav. Big ugly cartoon alien humanoids (from the Droids cartoon).

Rating: 1/5. Meh, whatever.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

He Also Is The Only Person In The Game With A Gun

I've been playing the Mardek games again, partly because I've left my old saves far behind (and they likely vanished from the old computer's memory by now anyway), partly because I'd never actually gotten especially far before, and partly because I felt like it. (Legion is still the best.)

And I have to say, Muriance here may be one of my favorite video game villains.

The best part? There are strong implications that this guy is a legitimate threat to the whole of reality.

-Signing off.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Favorite Part's The Robots From the Fleischer Cartoon

This is pretty great.

It's just an incredible tribute, it really is. (And even though I'm not a big comic reader, I recognized basically everything they put in without help from the annotations they put up for it. Pretty sure I recognized a thing or two they left out, for that matter.)

It's kind of funny how the Mechanical Monsters, the robots from the same-titled Fleischer Studios Superman short, have become a symbol of those cartoons. I mean, there's a good reason-they're visually distinctive and easily packaged because they're entities rather than locations (they're also from one of the less offensive of the old cartoons overall, although check out this one-admittedly, it has some offensive elements, but it's also progressive because its mad scientist is a Native American [of course there's a mad scientist, it's a Fleischer short]).

And yes, I'm disproportionately concerned with the Fleischer shorts. I watched them a lot when I was a kid.

-Signing off.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Giant Robot Car Thing

(Okay, can I just say that Google's new login page is the worst decision Google's ever made? And it's made a few pretty bad ones in recent years.

It defeats the purpose of logging out, you frikkin' dummies.)

If I didn't live on the wrong side of an ocean, in a country where it was street legal, and had a lot more money to throw away, I'd totally buy this thing.

As it is, I'll just comment that it's pretty cool, even if it's also totally ridiculous.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

You're Welcome For The Mental Image

From a chapter of Children of the Lens, the last of E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman novels (context is that it's an excerpt of a story one of the protagonists is writing):

"Qadgop the Mercotan slithered flatly around the afterbulge of the tranship. One claw dug into the meters-thick armor of pure neutronium, then another. Its terrible xmex-like nout locked on. Its zymolosely polydactile tongue crunched out, crashed down, rasped across. Slurp! Slurp! At each abrasive stroke the groove in the tranship's plating deepened and Qadgop leered more fiercely. Fools! Did they think that the airlessness of absolute space, the heatlessness of absolute zero, the yieldlessness of absolute neutronium, could stop QADGOP THE MERCOTAN? And the stowaway, that human wench Cynthia, cowering in helpless terror just beyond this thin and fragile wall..."

...Is it just me, or does this feel like it's basically building towards tentacle fic?

-Signing off.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Suplexing A Train

Is context even necessary after a certain point?

I don't think it really is.

-Signing off.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Those Are Some Stupid Big Munitions

Wait for it...

What really staggers me is how little boom there is for the bombs' size. They're bigger than some cities, yet the explosions they make are barely big enough to destroy their own mass, if that.

I mean, obviously, they're weapons of intimidation rather than anything else. "Look how much we can waste throwing at you, you guys, you're so [insert crass adjectival verb]."

(This is from the apparently ongoing Space Battleship Yamato remake. Space Battleship Yamato is known in the US as "Star Blazers.")

-Signing off.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#94)

931. Saheelindeeli. Saheelindeeli are supposedly, by description, green-furred and "ape-like." The picture on the page for them illustrates two individuals, neither of whom display any green fur or look any more "ape-like" than a human being. More reliable information is that they aren't especially advanced technologically.

And that's about it.

Rating: 2/5. Also, Han Solo visited their planet once, and dumped manure on somebody's stunt plane to tender his resignation from his employment. (It makes sense in context.)

932. Sakiyans. Sakiyans have huge brains that let them process massive amounts of sensory data from their very acute senses (they can see into the infrared spectrum and have senses of smell and hearing that appear almost supernatural to other species) and have musculature that make them half again as strong as humans of equivalent size (and presumably build). They may or may not have claws or fingernails (continuity hiccups, no doubt) and four or five fingers per hand (more hiccups). They have a wide variety of skin colors; apparently, lighter-skinned Sakiyans are on the receiving end of prejudice from darker-skinned Sakiyans. (Each of those terms, it should be noted, covers most of the rainbow, just in different shades.)

The Sakiyan homeworld is in Hutt space, but unlike most inhabitants of Hutt space, the Sakiyans resisted all attempts at military conquest by the Hutts. Instead, the Hutts eventually forced them into fiscal dependence through tricky business practices.

Rating: 4/5. Sakiyans are fairly interesting.

933. Sakuubians. Sakuubians have "blue" (the picture indicates purple) skin, cat-slit eyes, four small horns on their heads, and supposedly have facial ridges. And... there are two named Sakuubians.

And... that's it.

Rating: 2/5. Because one of the pictures is rather fetching, even if she's apparently the wrong color.

934. Samarians. They wanted to make a trade agreement with their neighbors, the Roshans, but the Empire didn't let them. The end.

Rating: 1/5.

935. Samhari. The Samhari apparently considered themselves aloof from galactic affairs at least at one time. That time, it should be noted, was known as the "Dark Age of the Republic," wherein the Old Republic had nearly ceased to exist and was brought to its knees by the Sith. (This was the same group of Sith who would, at the end of this time period, be destroyed by the machinations of Darth Bane.) That's all we know.

Rating: 1/5.

936. Samuac. Samuac apparently are nearly human in appearance, only distinguished by red eyes similar to a Chiss' eyes. They "managed to avoid" being subjugated by the Galactic Empire.

Rating: 1/5. ...A lot of "blehs" tonight.

937. Sanyassans. Oh. Heh. The Sanyassans are the species known for years only as "Marauders."

The Marauders were most famous for being the murderous villains of the second Ewok TV movie, killing all but one of the human characters from the first Ewok TV movie in the first ten minutes.

Apparently, all those individuals were well over a century old, having been part of the original crew that had been shipwrecked a full hundred years before the events of that movie. It's not unlikely that many of them later died of old age, as they apparently tend to retain their combat abilities and considerable durability even into their last years.

They supposedly were poorly known throughout much of the galaxy, and the name "Marauder" was used even by seasoned anthropologists to describe them because of their very strong tendency to practice piracy. Their civilization stretches back at least five thousand years, and apparently it had a fallback of some sort or something fairly recently.

Rating: 3/5. They're reasonably amusing.

938. Sarafurians. They apparently existed long enough ago to be called "ancient," and went extinct when their planet stopped rotating for some reason.

Rating: 1/5. It'd sure be nice to know why their planet stopped rotating, but I guess we can't have everything.

939. Sareeta. Sareeta are kinda weird and ugly-looking. (Not a value judgment, just a statement of fact. It's not helped by the fact that the one image of one appears to be a blurry black and white photograph.)

Apparently, the Sareeta in charge send out Sareeta to the wider galaxy in hopes that they'll learn awesome things which they will then bring back to enrich their homeworld with, but the individuals they send out at least occasionally decide they've got other plans.

Rating: 2/5.

940. Sarkans. Sarkans are reptilian aliens that have rather iguanodont-like faces.

There are a number of other things about them, but the main thing to take away is this: They are dinosaur people who aren't based on carnivorous dinosaurs, long-necked dinosaurs, armored dinosaurs, or dinosaurs with large, ornate heads.

Cool beans, I like 'em just for that.

Rating: 4/5. There's more to them than that and some of it is pretty interesting, but I saw the iguanodont faces and I was sold.

-Signing off.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Poor Choice In Robeasts

So recently, I was looking at episodes of Voltron on the official posting on YouTube. Most specifically, I was looking at an episode titled The Sand People.

The funny thing about this episode is that they adapted its story for one of those radio play/storybook combinations. Having been more familiar with the Transformers iterations of these, I hadn't been aware that the odd little storybook was an adaptation; the Transformers audio storybooks always were original unique stories.

Anyway, the adaptation is notable because there was a certain amount of adaptation decay in the Voltron dub of Golion: If you watch the episode, it's pretty clear from context that the little mole person Sandy dies at the end, despite the Voltron dub's narrator vehemently insisting that Sandy recovered later.

In the audiobook version, Sandy unequivocally wakes up at the end. I almost wonder if they picked this episode to adapt this way so they could comfort the traumatized children.

Anyway, that's not really what I'm blogging about. What I really want to talk about are the sand people/mole people that are the subject of the episode.

Why? Because they're adorable. (I do have my weaknesses.)

In the art for the storybook, they were these weird, generic little football player guys with pointy fingers indicating their claws. This lost a lot of detail from the animation's character model:

Clearly, they're some sort of insectoid creatures with a relatively superficial resemblance to football players and moles.

What I really find interesting is that they actually have four distinct forms of locomotion: They burrow; they drag themselves on their bellies (presumably, this is related to their burrowing); they do a hilarious little waddle gait with their arms sort of akimbo; and when they're scared by the villain's tanks showing up to abduct them, they throw their arms up and do full-on cartoon wheel-leg runs (and some of them actually outsprint the tanks).

The reason the villain was after them, incidentally, was because he wanted to turn them into an army of robeasts (if you're unfamiliar with Voltron, that's simply the word for giant monsters used to fight Voltron). And the poor little dead sand person I mentioned earlier, Sandy, died got hurt because he actually got turned into one and they had to fight him.

What makes it really sad, of course, is that the reason the villains picked Sandy to transform is because he was wearing a bracelet that the princess had given him, so he was more identifiable than the others. The princess ultimately got this specific sand person killed. (Not that it was her fault, of course. But don't tell me she wouldn't be waking up from nightmares about it months later.)

Even sadder: There was a creature on this very planet that was a far more suitable subject for transformation into a robeast.

Seriously, don't tell me these big ugly horse substitutes wouldn't have made more powerful robeasts than knee-high mole people.

They're frikking terrifying.

...Perhaps it isn't fair to use this particular frame of animation as an example, but my point stands.

-Signing off.

Friday, October 4, 2013


So the other day I was poking around on YouTube and came across a video which included the phrase "Combattler V 2012" in its name, and it had obviously new footage of the robot Combattler V, the yo-yo robot.

(That's not the footage in question [it's from a Super Robot Wars game instead], I'm just establishing that this is the yo-yo robot.)

My interest was piqued, and so I did some quick research. The results of said search blew my mind: The footage in question is largely from three promotional videos made by a pachinko company to promote their Combattler-themed pachinko machine. One of these videos, posted on the company's official YouTube channel, is below.

The videos seem to have created persistent rumors of a full remake.

This made me realize: As long as they toned down the gainaxing (I happened to choose the video that had the least, incidentally), I'd totally watch the heck out of a modern Combattler V series that didn't take itself too seriously.

But no, this is for promoting pachinko machines.

...Japan is a weird place, you guys.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So Much For That Secret Identity

(This post is more severely backdated than a lot of the ones I've been putting up lately. Sorry about that.)

This is a tokusatsu homage film titled "Secondary Education."

It's not bad, considering it's a no-budget little thing. I've seen people call it fantastic, and it's certainly pretty well-acted and decently written.

-Signing off.