Friday, November 29, 2013


I don't have much to say about this, because it's emergency blog filler.

Well, beyond the fact that Donald Duck is pretty awesome.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Because The Wasp Generally Wins

I was hunting around for a nature video, and found one.

And for some reason there's a jet/lawnmower engine in the background.

Seriously, what.

Did you know that spiders are one of the most desirable prey creatures in the insect world?

And spiders all hate wasps.

-Signing off.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Machinegun Punch Brofist

Master Asia's secret handshake:

Still the best.

(Also: Sheesh, Rain, do you need to sound quite so ditzy? Not that Domon's ever any better. "Gee, could that guy who is wearing Master Asia's clothes and using Master Asia's martial arts skills to fight giant robots maybe be Master Asia?")

Friendly reminder: In G Gundam, the characters were martial artists who piloted giant robots and fought zombies piloting giant robots while also being involved in a martial arts tournament that used giant robots. And fought a giant robot that was the devil.

-Signing off.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mighty Morphin' Power Jaegers

So people inevitably put Pacific Rim footage to the Power Rangers theme. I can't decide which one of these I like better, although I'll note that my favorite version of the Power Rangers theme is the Masaki Endoh cover.

If they weren't intentionally invoking Power Rangers with the fact that Jaeger pilots are called "Rangers," it's a heck of a coincidence. (Guillermo del Toro has stated that he was trying to evoke the Wild West, because as a pacifist he didn't want to give them military ranks, hence Stacker Pentecost being a Marshall. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but identify the term "ranger" as used in the film with the US Army Rangers. Whoops.)

-Signing off.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

YouTube Needs Better "Related Videos" Algorithms (or possibly better users)

I was watching a video (well, looking back at a video) of a praying mantis of a new/previously only documented once species, because mantids are beautiful animals.*

And I noticed some of the odd "related" videos.

Now, the camera howto videos were posted by the person who took the video, so that's not so weird. I personally think it's odd that there's such a preponderance of spider-related results, but that's just people being silly. The alien one, though, that's odd.

Not nearly as odd as the result "The Best of Sting (1984-1994) International Version Full Album" result (yes, really) for the same video, but still odd.

*Pet peeve: People who talk about insects as if they're not animals. Frikkin' sponges are frikkin' animals. I think insects qualify.

-Signing off.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Okay, I know basically nothing about Serious Sam, but this has to be one of the best "gore level adjustment settings" ever made for a game.

...Honestly, it makes me want to see a game where this is the default/normal for specific enemies.

-Signing off.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jean Bonbon

I know juuuuust enough about Les Miserables* to roughly double how funny I find this.

I'd still find it funny anyway; not getting the references in things never kept me from laughing as a kid. (Seriously, try watching some of the old Looney Tunes shorts or something. Full of references that are obscure for modern audiences. Not to mention the adult references in Animaniacs.)

*I do know it's supposed to be pronounced "Lay Miz-er-ob" instead of "Les Miserables" phonetically. Even though I always pronounce "Miserables" phonetically in my head.

Then I correct myself in my head.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

But Why Is It Called Star Fleet?

I ask because that's not a fleet, that's a giant red robot. (In a show that's basically the same style of show as Thunderbirds, although the puppets are so very anime.)

You have to wonder about idiosyncratic dub names from back in the day. (Also, Princess Kyle.)

Also, yes, this video has performances by Brian May of Queen and Eddie van Halen of whatever he's famous for (not much of a music buff, sorry). Amazing things like this are the only regret I have about the increasing likelihood that a series will retain its original music tracks when it gets dubbed.

-Signing off.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Game Review: Spectromancer: Has Several Versions

Spectromancer is an online "card" game. (The version I've been playing is subtitled "Gathering of Power.")

I enjoy this sort of thing, and Spectromancer is a pretty fun one.

Basically, each turn you either cast a spell or play a creature, and then each of your creatures that you played on previous turns attacks. Creatures that don't have an opposing creature to deal with in their own column attack directly, while others attack their opposing creatures. Simple enough.

Each creature tends to have a special ability or two. Each player also has four different powers to choose from plus an extra one determined by "class."

This makes for a pretty fair amount of variety for a flash game of this sort, and my only complaint is that you can't mix and match the "class" powers-though admittedly, many of those would be way too breakable if you could.

I don't know that I feel the game is tremendously balanced, but it's balanced pretty well, and the game's story was apparently contributed to by Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering, the granddaddy of all card games of this general sort. (Though I haven't looked at the story thing, and it should be noted that Richard Garfield is actually a college professor with a Ph.D. in mathematics. Yes, really.)

Anyway, it's fun, and if you enjoy this sort of thing, you should check it out.

-Signing off.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Everyone Will Use A Variant Of My Response

(...What's up with Google lately, anyway? It seems like every half hour or so, all its services slow to a crawl. For a while today, I was doing Google searches and would type something in, then wander off to another tab for ten minutes [note: I am prone to hyperbole; it was probably more like two minutes, but it was still stupidly long] because that's how long it took the search tab to acknowledge I'd done anything.)

Oh, look, a crazy video featuring Internet Explorer as a magical girl.

Sorry, Internet Explorer, I'm sticking with Firefox.

Incidentally, according to some people, the campaign actually presents "Explorer-tan" as admitting to having been clumsy and slow. That's kind of priceless.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Once Again Remarking On My Own Weird Browsing Habits

I was trying to decide which of two things I'd rather blog about tonight, and realized, "Hey, this is a pretty odd pair of choices, and probably marginally more interesting than what I'd have to say on either alone."

1. One of these things is not bad if you were the one setting up for it. One of these things is not a bad thing that could happen because I seriously doubt it could happen.

2. Isn't it funny that a character known for not being especially bright and for his brute strength has what amounts to the thinking man's skillset?

I think it's interesting, anyway.

-Signing off.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Is Right Default, Anyway?*

This is a bit silly, but I have to admit I still really like it.

I do have to nitpick a bit at the use of Samus's death animation facing to the left, though.

*Probably because more modern languages read left to right, I guess.

-Signing off.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#96)

951. Schizodes. Schizodes are ambiguously canonical four-armed, pincher-handed insectoid/humanoid beings. They're apparently known for being quite capable in skilled physical tasks such as combat and craftsmanship.

They apparently also have minimal senses of self, and rather than having clear personal goals, every new day they start mimicking a different person that they see as admirable (never mind that admiration is one of those things that's probably tied to self identity).

That's pretty great.

Rating: 4/5. I waffled between a 3 and a 4, and settled on a 4 despite having reservations about the fact that you could interpret them as a bit (or potentially very) racist. I think they're a great concept, but I also think they should be handled carefully.

952. Sea people. The sea people are the third of three tribes of a world called Gala. They're not really a species, and they're all basically just humans with varying skin color and uninteresting cultures.

Rating: 1/5.

953. Sea-dragons, or waterworms. Sea-dragons start their lives as small, lizard-like beings. Despite being small enough to fit in a human hand, they apparently are quite intelligent even at this age, able to serve as incognito spies (like the Covallons or the frog-dogs, only as cute little gator-lizard things instead of good-sized awesome dog/lizard/lions or ugly good-sized frog/dog things). Their adult forms are much more plesiosauroid, as one might expect of creatures called sea-dragons (though not of creatures called waterworms).

As near as I can tell, they communicate via underwater sonic emissions, and so they seem to need translation devices to communicate with other species (though presumably they can understand the languages of other species quite well). Despite this, they apparently formed an alliance with a human group of criminals/pirates.

Rating: 5/5. The Covallons are pretty awesome. These guys are Covallons as babies and have the potential to be similar to the Swimming People of Dellalt (plesiosauroid people from the Han Solo Adventures that I'll get to sooner or later, who will probably get a good rating when that happens) as adults.

954. Sebiri. The Sebiri of Sebiris (that's never fun for trying to keep pluralization usage straight) are relatively typical local noble savage type aliens-expert hunters, warriors, and trackers; can be friendly if you bring gifts but will kill your backside for trodding on sacred ground; have sign language and a spoken language made of "staccato phrases and phrases" (an actual quote from the wiki); all that stereotypical junk.

There are two things of actual note about them: First, they're reptilian people with shaggy manes of hair who have wonky proportions that make them all look like they're made to wear Urkel pants; and second, their home planet is in the Kathol Sector and they claim that their home region was created by "those who came before," who may actually have existed.

Rating: 3/5. This is primarily for their appearance and presence in the Kathol sector, as that other stuff is either standard fare or offensive, depending on how it gets portrayed.

955. Sedrians. They're basically merfolk-shaped seal people. That is, they're human-shaped above the waist (except for seal heads) and seal-shaped below the waist. Despite being mammalian in general appearance, they have gills in addition to lungs.

They're the civilization that used the Golden Sun, a sapient, Force-using coral reef, as a power source for their industry, but were killing it in their efforts to protect it, despite the fact that they also straight-up worshiped the thing. (It had been the center of their civilization since well before industrialization, for the Golden Sun nurtured and protected them with its Force healing powers.) There's still no indication on Wookieepedia what happened to the Golden Sun at this point.

Anyway, there's also the fact that the Sedrians were attacked by the Empire, helped by the Rebel Alliance, and then later provided weapons, specifically hoverboats, to the New Republic.

Rating: 4/5. They're fairly interesting in their interactions with the Golden Sun.

956. Segmi. The Segmi are more inhabitants of the Kathol sector, in fact the planet Kathol itself. Specifically, they were created by the DarkStryder (see the Kathol entry) as a replacement for the Charr Ontee after it banished them for rebelling against it. The Segmi would build a fortress for the DarkStryder, and when the fortress was finished, they wandered off and formed a civilization. Later, the DarkStryder would recapture a number of them to force them to do more construction work for it. Like many Kathol Rift inhabitants, they were masters of the Ta-Ree life energy, a form of Force powers exclusive to the region.

What I haven't mentioned is that the Segmi are apparently giant worms that excrete slime that turns into a sort of hard resin, and that's why they're so good at building.

Rating: 5/5. I love the Kathol Rift so darned much.

957. Seikoshans. The Seikoshans are modestly interesting in appearance, with green skin, red eyes, and funky T. rex-hand toes. They are also described as "very tall." Other than that (heck, even with that), they're basically just vanilla almost-humans.

Not mentioned on their page is the fact that their homeworld apparently was neutral during the time of the Galactic Empire's war against the Rebel Alliance.

Rating: 2/5, mostly because of their homeworld thing.

958. Sekct. The Sekct (that reversed k/c arrangement is deceptively hard to type) are basically lizard people.

Now, usually, I don't care for that phrase being used casually, for various reasons having to do with the fact that a "lizard" is actually a very specific type of animal but people use the word as a generic label for all reptiles. Many modern "reptiles" are no more closely related to each other than they are to us; crocodiles are more closely related to birds than other living reptiles, lizards and snakes are actually closely related to each other and little else (it would not be inappropriate to label them "true reptiles"), and turtles and tuataras are each part of only distantly related families. (It has to do with their skulls and such, which is more fundamental and more easily tracked in fossils than silly measures like whether something has scales. But that's far beyond the scope of this post.)

But the Sekct are basically drawn as lizards with incongruously almost human hands and legs. You don't get much more "lizard people" than that.

They're all primitive and tribal and junk, and rely on oral tradition; their bands are led by individuals called "She-Who-Speaks" who supposedly is the physically strongest and also responsible for remembering their oral traditions.

Incidentally, they're also a race of female lizard people, like a few real-world lizards able to reproduce parthenogenically.

Rating: 4/5. Their unusual features make me like them.

959. Selkath. The Selkath were once, about four thousand years before the era of the movies, quite important politically, as their homeworld was and apparently still is the source of a substance called kolto, which is valuable in medical procedures. Remember the tank that Luke was floating in for a bit in Empire Strikes Back? Kolto was/is used much the same way as bacta, the substance in that tank. Kolto apparently was used this way for a long time, while bacta wasn't really widely seen in the market yet. In the years between then and the movie era, apparently due to bacta being cheaper and possibly more effective, kolto virtually disappeared from the market, putting the Selkath into a sorry economic position. It is unclear, but possible that kolto's effectiveness might have changed over time, going from comparable to bacta to much less effective. (Note that differing sources probably portray kolto rather inconsistently.)

At any rate, the Selkath are an amphibious species with large, rather fisheating-oriented mouths and large barbel-like flaps on their faces. They look very interesting, and would probably do well enough as interesting just based on their appearance and their geopolitics. But it goes a little further:

The Selkath were apparently somehow related to a species of sharklike creature called firaxan sharks. One of these animals, known as the Progenitor, was a female of prodigious size, and could somehow actually control Selkath and other firaxan sharks, driving them into mad frenzies with its cries. The Selkath worshiped the Progenitor and believed it to be their ancestor and the source of the kolto. Incidentally, the Progenitor was a video game boss that was killed by the protagonist of that particular game in order to disrupt kolto production.

Rating: 5/5. That's a lower five than some fives, but not by a lot.

960. Selonians. Out of a given hundred Selonians, only one is male and five will be fertile females. The remaining 94 would be sterile females. That alone says a lot about what Selonians should probably be like; they sequester the males and fertile females to protect them.

Selonians are basically supposed to be huge, mildly anthropomorphic weasel-like people with long tails. That is, their bodies are long, their limbs are a bit stumpy, and they on average stand taller than humans. (The males are notably smaller than the females of either type; while sterile females are slender, fertile females, I am led to believe, are rather more heavyset.) This description is lost on a lot of people, and so they're more likely to be depicted with the wrong proportions and often with human-like breasts (actually, now that I'm thinking about it, they're also often depicted as looking like human/kangaroo hybrids, which isn't really much better). Guys, that doesn't make sense, even if one was good-looking enough to a human to get his attention. (Yes, this happened. They broke up because they turned out to be allergic to each other.) That's not even going into problems with the presence of male Selonians in the wider galaxy, at least one of whom was drawn as a bear/wolf/wolverine person.

Anyway, all that aside, the Selonians are pretty interesting for another reason: Their homeworld is one of five heavily inhabited planets in the Corellia system, along with the Drall's homeworld, Corellia itself, and two other planets that orbit a big space station (wacky as that sounds).

Rating: 3/5. They lose a point for the inconsistency with which they get portrayed visually.

-Signing off.