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  1. Ammaranth's Avatar
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    Swan song you say? Perhaps a black swan spreads its wings. Time teaches us the meaning of what Umberto Echo said when remarking that the most valuable books in his library were the ones he *hadn't* read. Though I think there's still room for dear old friends.

    Less philosophical, or at least less cryptic, I understand, at least in part, what you mean about how a medium can so define a period in one's life. Around the time when I was most active on AnimeB, there was a really great local anime club that met around here, and had a solid running track record of finding, watching, and finishing really good shows.

    I miss those times. I think part of what I miss the most was the consistency. Every week, we'd watch 1-2 episodes, or at most, a whole disc. I never liked to binge watch an entire series in one or two sittings. Things have more power, and more lasting effect if they are spread out over time. Watching in this way, a series has an even greater chance of getting interwoven in the fabric of our lives. I still remember some of the important events of my life which took place while the first run of Negima was being released -- I could even pin it down to which disc, and get the release date, and narrow it to the week, if not the day certain things happened.

    Such might make an interesting exercise. Now, with so little time, and so many other responsibilities, marathon sessions are the rule, because if I do get any free time, I have to try to maximize it, and watch as much as I can. Even in posting this, I am robbing this time from at least three other things, stealing a moment here, a moment there, like a thief in the night, sneaking away to dash off a few lines.

    But it is worth it. A little sleep deprivation is better than a little folding of the hands, I suppose. I hope you do continue to update this blog. Even if it does take years.

    Amm
  2. antmanbee's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to read some Moebius for a long time now. Some of his work was published in the US in the late 80s, but it's all out of print now and somewhat rare. It's really a shame.
  3. Katajainen's Avatar
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    Hinarei is watching us.
  4. Aeris's Avatar
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    where everyone else is. including Hinarei
  5. Katajainen's Avatar
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    Thanks, Aeris and Ecchirei. I did know the answer to my question -- or so I thought -- and asked it in order to get some discussion going. You have showed to me that I have a lot to learn from you.

    I have forgotten many details from Levy's books, but he liked to compare the Japanese humanoid karakuri especially with the French animal automata built by Vaucanson in the XVIII century. The English-language Wikipedia article "Automaton" seems to feature most gadgets mentioned by Levy. I found the Kurdish al-Jazari's inventions from around 1200 especially fascinating.

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

    When it comes to fiction, let us not forget Ping and Makoto, created by Fred Gallagher.

    http://megatokyo.com/strip/407
  6. hinarei's Avatar
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    bah! beaten to the answer :/

    I knew this one because my parents quite often watch the Antiques Roadshow on BBC TV here. Karakuri are immensely ingenious contraptions which did really confound people when they first came about. To think that the Japanese had constructed these starting in the 17th century (I don't know if other countries had made starts on it by then, but I do doubt that) is astonishing.

    I like the fact that the more elaborate ones were used in theatres, but the most important of these types was the tea-maker. It's a highly repetitive, dull task which is however so important people could invest so much money, effort and time into producing a mechanism for it.

    Chachamaru is perhaps (with a little remodelling and her more recent clothing updates) the epitome of the craft.

    Sounds like an interesting read, Kata, but I see how it could drag if you have several hundred pages of it to get through. Robogirls are fascinating enough to spend time on though. Not only do we have such shining examples as featured in Negima, but my favourite non-Ken mechgirl is probably Marie from Boku no Marie.

  7. Aeris's Avatar
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakuri_ningy%C5%8D

    This is what i beleive Ken akamatsu was referencing to in her family name and this is why. I had checked this out a while back when i first developed an interest in the robot girl's past.

    Eva-san is referred to as the puppet master which i'm not sure of the translation and actual japanese used in each case(check me up on this) but kanji of parts of the word karakuri may be used in the title.

    Chacha is made using magically powered springs and gears(as referenced in early manga chapters but highly unbeleivable due to her abilities) which can be drawn as parallell to the general design of the karakuri. however i think this more explains Chachazero than -maru.

    http://www.karakuri.info/

    leads me to beleive that the japanese created these mecha to suprise or confound as if almost like magic. akamatsu may be also deriving meaning there as well.

    i hope this answers your question
  8. Katajainen's Avatar
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    After long and complicated negotiations, Finland has gotten its first ever peace-time six-party cabinet. The True Finns and the Centre Party are staying in opposition, and all other parties have gained minister seats.

    The rightist National Coalition is leading the government, the Social Democrats have the second most power, and every minor party of the parliament (eduskunta) has some kind of supporting role -- including the Left Alliance, the increasingly green-left heir party of the communists. (The communists were major players in Finnish politics after the war and until the 1970s, in an atmosphere very different from today. Many older Left Alliance politicians still find any cooperation with the leading capitalist party most difficult to swallow.)

    These are interesting times, I must say. And probably hard times for the countryside, since all the strongest voices speaking for rural Finland are now outside the cabinet.
    Updated 24 Jun 2011 at 1:47 am by Katajainen
  9. hinarei's Avatar
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    thanks for the rundown, Katz. This has been a very interesting read. Speaking from my own country's standpoint, ideologies change every so often, but we tend to stick with the same parties for some time until they get tired. It has been evident that both our major parties, Conservative and Labour, aren't very different from each other if the last 30 years are much to go by.

    Change is good, if only as you note to give established order a kick and reinvigorate the political process. Getting rid of dead wood can lead to the wrong people being appointed in particular positions, of course, but if incumbents don't move out, there's unlikely to ever be much progress.

    That's a massive swing and sounds like it's surprised most commentators as well as yourself. I hope this isn't a mistake for Finland, but at least it's refreshed things for the time being. I also hope that their solutions aren't implemented as simply as you portray them, but that there's the transparency necessary to show things are being done the right way.
  10. Katajainen's Avatar
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    I have spent some nice moments with fellow Manganoids, browsing S&W I in search for the pages where Holo is at her cutest. Recommendable pastime, dear H-rei!
  11. hinarei's Avatar
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    While I've yet to be fully taken in by Horo's charms myself, I must admit her smile on wålf's old siggy was... captivating.

    Not to say I don't find wolfgirls wonderful anyway. You must be fully aware of my infatuation with Liru, from MagiPoka, yes? She loves a good chew on some Matsuzaka beef.

    Thank you ever so much for the wander through wolftown. The fact this has Koume Keito contributing to it is yet another reason to wonder why I've not settled down with the wolf pack yet.

    I like this approach to light novels. I hope to see them take off, because that could also mean that Strike Witches get picked up too
  12. Katajainen's Avatar
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    Another continuation to the original entry, this time inspired by Wålf-kun, who mentioned the Norwegian tretten dagers jul.

    ***

    The most common definition of Christmastime in Finland goes, "Hyvä Tuomas joulun tuopi, paha Nuutti pois sen viepi." Roughly, "Good Thomas brings the Christmas, evil Canute takes it away." That is, the actual time for Christmas preparations begins 21st December, and the Christmas Peace ends 13th January. One variation of the Yule Goat tradition, quite popular before the rise of Joulupukki, was going around as "Canute Goats" on Canute's Day, eating up the last leftovers of the Christmastime, drinking and playing pranks. Nowadays though, when the first signs of the commercial Christmastime can be seen as early as October, many Finns are happy to throw away their Christmas trees on Epiphany, 6th January, and return to their everyday lives.
  13. Katajainen's Avatar
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    Saman päivän iltana (aikavyöhyke: EET) vaihdoin yli vuoden ajan palvelleen iloisen Haruka Ōno -avatarini uuteen kuvaan: Fumi Manjōme katsoo tulevaisuuteensa "Aoi hanan" luvun 34 viimeisellä sivulla. Arvonimenäni (user title) oli niin ikään pitkään palvellut "Pane leipään puolet katajaista". Sen tilalle vaihdoin kysymyksen "Mistä on pienet tytöt tehty?"
  14. Katajainen's Avatar
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    Your comments made me smile. Let me present a classic Finnish (or perhaps I should say, "Finlandic"?) Christmas carol -- one of my all-time favorites, and rather different in spirit from "Jingle Bells":

    "Sylvian joululaulu" ("A Blackcap's Christmas song", original Swedish title: "Sylvias hälsning från Sicilien"), performed by singer Jyrki Niskanen and organist Pertti Eerola.

    The original poem by Zachris Topelius was published in Swedish in 1853 -- in an era when Finnish national high culture was being built. It is a touching depiction of homesickness and an interesting mixture of patriotic and religious self-expression. One can only guess how much symbolism the text conceals, because 1850s was a decade of extreme politically-motivated censorship in the Grand Duchy of Finland. Karl Collan composed the music of the song, and later a 1918 Finnish translation by Martti Korpilahti became hugely popular in Finland.
  15. antmanbee's Avatar
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    My stepdad was born and raised in Finland, but he doesn't talk about those old days much. Really interesting post.
  16. hinarei's Avatar
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    Glögg? Named for the sound it makes going down?

    I personally could go for lashings of ginger biscuit right now. It feels like it settles the stomach something wonderful after a heavy meal. Better and slightly less flammable a settler than charcoal

    We had pork, sausages wrapped in bacon, roast beef and turkey with sausagemeat and sage and onion stuffing for Christmas dinner. Went on eating for absolutely ages I might have been beaten if we'd had ham too

    my shoes always turn at the toe too.

    Thanks as always for the excellent quality blog, mate. Much approved

    Merry Christmas to you too!
  17. Katajainen's Avatar
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    As you now know, I was aware of my posting rights. Give me the possibility to do practically anything irreversible too easily, and sooner or later I will make the mistake.

    As a thank-you for helping me fix the problem, I am trying to find some green-on-white for your bunch of 'nanas.
  18. hinarei's Avatar
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    ha! didn't know this would catch people out, but this was by design, if you like.

    See, you can have group blogs. I added Betong because he said he didn't want to run a blog of his own, and I said he could use mine if he wanted. Also added you when I started POTW, in case you had some pantsu you wished to share Gave you rights, but didn't realise there were further settings to change so you could edit entries you made on me blog

    I'll leave it in place unless you want to post it on your own space, in which case I'll get rid.

    Should you wish to pantsu, please feel free
  19. Quicksilver's Avatar
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    Ah, I remember watching this in the Second Barrage.

    Nice way to end the series actually (though not for the manga, obviously). Interesting new characters and scenarios, while developing existing characters further.
  20. hinarei's Avatar
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    how this hasn't turned up on my radar yet I don't know

    Looking at a few images on a couple of boards, I can see the Nodoka influence very clearly

    Nice review, and this is one I'll have to look out for on my manga browsing wanders through London's bookshops.

    ...you haven't made me give up my witchy crusade just yet though

    gooooooosh
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