Archive for the 'General' Category


To Weeaboo Or Not To Weeaboo

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Over the past year or so, I’ve seen lots of comments about translation practices, mostly in regard to Japanese to English. Some people favor heavy localization, while others prefer to be so literal that they leave many words untranslated. In essence, I think both viewpoints get too extreme. Too much localization can result in loss, while being too literal can make things confusing. It’s all made me do a lot of thinking about my own translation practices, too. I think there’s a healthy middle ground, and that’s something I aim to show. (Whether or not I’ll succeed, who knows.)


Research Before You Speak

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Last night, I was watching an old South Park episode while trying to fall asleep, and a few particular lines stuck out to me. Richard Dawkins started talking to Mrs. Garrison about flying spaghetti monsters. And I thought to myself, “Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t Futurama have an actual flying spaghetti monster in their episode about the evolution debate? I remember it saying something like, ‘I am a flying spaghetti monster. Do you mean to say that I evolved from some kind of manicotti?'” I thought it was too much of a coincidence that two shows with episodes about the evolution debate would feature something as particular as flying spaghetti monsters, so I started thinking that Futurama (the newer episode) had ripped off South Park.

I love both of those shows, so this was a startling realization for me. I started writing this big comparison between the two episodes in my head, until I then switched to the idea of making a YouTube video out of it. I’ve never uploaded a YouTube video before, so I was getting excited thinking about how I’d make it. I would use low quality screenshots and audio instead of full clips, to make it as fair use as possible, and I’d record some narration for it. Thinking about all of this greatly reduced my tiredness, so I decided I’d at least take some screenshots and make some notes while I was up and it was on my mind.

First I searched around the web to make notes about the two episodes, and to see if anyone else had already pointed this out. And in the process, I discovered that “flying spaghetti monster” wasn’t just a throwaway term from South Park. It was around well before that episode, and is a pretty widespread argument in the evolution debate. In fact, while reading about it, I realized I had heard about all this before, but I guess it slipped my mind at some point.

So, obviously, Futurama didn’t steal the concept from South Park. I would have felt pretty stupid if I’d made a whole big comparison project out of it and (re-)learned all this later. Crisis averted, I guess. But I am kind of disappointed that I no longer have an idea for my first YouTube video, and I won’t get to talk to myself on a microphone. Maybe some other day I’ll have my chance to be on YouTube.

Save the Internets

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I frequently and publicly (Usenet, IRC, web forums) encourage others to support official products instead of pirating them. Some of the things I’ve said about it over the years have been really cold and elitist, and would likely make people think I worked for some kind of media company. (I don’t remember if I’ve ever actually been accused of such, but it’s very possible.) So one might expect that I’d be a fan of this new COICA bill.

But I have also never been a fan of censorship. And this bill reeks of potential censorship. Claims of piracy have been used to target political activists in Russia, after all. I’d like to think the US government wouldn’t do things like that, but if this bill gets passed, especially with such vague wording, what’s to stop them? It has very unsettling implications, and I’m not the only one who thinks it could crap all over the First Amendment.


Wikis Suck

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Back in 2004, I was looking for sources to reference and cite for some articles I was writing. And I had trouble finding results that weren’t from Wikipedia, or a site that blatantly steals from Wikipedia. Wikis in general have polluted search engine results over the years, and it’s gotten difficult to find anything else.

I have sometimes complained about my hatred for all these wiki projects on IRC. So I thought perhaps I should articulate those thoughts on the web. It probably won’t stop me from complaining about it on IRC, though.


TFAW is Pretty Cool

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Story time. I moved across the US a couple years ago, and I couldn’t bring my car with me, so I sold it a few months before I moved. The local comic store was 35 minutes away by car, and since gas prices were pretty bad at the time, it was not easy to convince someone else to take me there. Thus, I started ordering my comics online at Things From Another World until I moved. But after I moved, the comic store here turned out to be 25 minutes away (which isn’t much better), and rarely has what I’m looking for in stock, so I decided to just keep ordering comics from TFAW.

Fast forward to the present. They shipped my copy of Buffy #34 in early April, and come the middle of May, it never got here. (more…)