Archive for January 2012

Martial Arts Humor: MMA

January 24, 2012

It’s pretty good, especially if you haven’t made MMA your identity and can laugh at people’s foibles, even your own, without feeling threatened.

Then there’s this comic video about Tai Chi Chuan.

An Audiobook Adventure: Secret World Chronicles

January 21, 2012

These aren’t visual novels, but they are rendered such that the voice quality would be fit enough for such a medium.

The story begins with an interesting premise. As for how it ends *shrugs*

It will take a long time and a lot of work before the Western hemisphere can graduate to the levels of a Muv Luv or Fate/Stay Night. This is a good step on the road. The female and male narrations are quite nice. Only when they can budget for more than one narration voice, both male and female actors included, can they transcend the limitations of “audio books” as perceived by the status quo American market. Graphic Audio has also done great work on this subject, especially with Elantris.

Bruce Lee’s One Inch Punch Demo

January 21, 2012

It’s a popular subject. I’m currently doing some light research on this matter. I came across this individual, who some claim that Lee acquired the idea for his short range power technique from.

A 5th grandmaster of Southern Preying Mantis.

To be Continued.

For a tutorial on certain things you need to understand before experimenting with this, watch this video.

For those seeking to train this method, understand that you can either use the external method, what Bruce Lee himself used, or the internal method, as shown in the Jin Wing Chun Video.

The external method utilizes a similar kinetic linking used in boxing punches, and will generally move like a wave through a person’s body. The internal method uses the other person’s body weight as part of the power source, lifting him up from his feet and using a strong rooted stance to transfer the force into the target. An external punch usually has higher speed and bruises the surface, causing damage from outside to inside. An internal type strike causes the tissues in the target to go to the maximum flex or absorption, then the final shock power is emitted which causes damage beyond the external tissues and muscles. As far as I can tell, at least. Internal strikes can be compared to stomping on someone while they are laying on the floor. The force has nowhere to go, but into the person. It certainly can’t go up against the resistance of gravity.

Indian Martial Arts: The sub-continent of ancient ways

January 21, 2012

Do they even have martial arts? Why, yes. India and China are two centers of the Eastern philosophy and martial way. They developed entirely independently, until the Silk Road came into being. The Himalayas, for most of their history, blocked any trade or communication, until the Silk Road. In that sense, you could say that normal Eastern methods are inwards looking whereas Western methods are outwards looking and will also inter-connect the world whether they want it or not (globalization). That sounds like it deserves its own post, but I probably won’t bother with that. I’ll leave it to the World is Flat economic people who praise China’s authoritarianism, to carry that torch.

Kalari, a native Indian martial art that is similar to Chinese gong fu in combining battlefield methods and strategies, healing techniques and abilities, and physical-mental balance acts.

I wrote this post mainly because I knew someone reading this blog lived in India. So I might as well post about it in relation to martial arts. I saw this video some time ago. I don’t tend to forget little important details like this. The moment I decided to write something about India, this popped up in mind.

Versatile Blogger Award

January 21, 2012

Sometimes the internet passes along free form information as if it was a living entity. And often the format is similar to this vein.

I am nominated for this award by Moon Lightened Way

I would like to thank her for making this choice, not so much because it benefits me but because someone has become able to find some use out of what I write. That’s always nice.

As for the other requirements, I’m just going to pair it down to 2 other bloggers.

Neo-Neocon: Primarily because she was a significance source of psychological background information concerning individual choice and change back when I was looking around for information and wisdom on this topic. I’ve continued to read her for years later, and she grew from a small time blogger to the big leagues, so to speak. I no longer comment on her blog as religiously as before for two primary reasons. I find that I have already said most of what I needed to say, back when I needed to explain my thoughts out loud in order to analyze them and their conclusions. The other reason is that not even I have enough time to read the numerous comments there and make comments and replies based upon them. Not if I am to do the other things I want to do on the net.

The second nomination is Bookworm Room: She, another she, had sort of the same background as Neo-Neocon. Both had interesting stories I wanted to hear about. It didn’t matter whether the blog subjects were political or simply news worthy, because I was first and foremost interested in the stories of individuals, not so much world events. Because the comments there are interesting, but not so much I have to read forever and ever before I can comment, it’s a comfortable place to be as well.

In real life, we have etiquette and introductions to meet people. On the net, we have… this.

I like martial arts training, specifically internal arts and internal philosophy.

I study and practice Qi Gong.

I was a big fan of military fiction and military drama and military history. Still would be, if I didn’t run out of material to read. Almost.

World Creation and Laws on Magic Systems

January 20, 2012

Brandon Sanderson wrote up something interesting on this subject.

It reminds me of the various ways the powers work in Hunter X Hunter or Naruto. With my favorites being those systems with a natural cause and effect, with logical consequences. With my least favorites being powers that don’t seem to cost anything nor do they have a rational component to them (Bleach flying around). It’s sort of like saying, if you use chi you can do amazing things. But the answer to “why” that is, is never dealt with.

Muv Luv Alternative: Reply to Tsukuru Review

January 19, 2012

This is a review by Moogy. Courtesy of Lala, a commenter that linked it here. Now I comment on it.

There are a couple of things I disagree with in the review, simply because two people always should have different conclusions or at least different ways of arriving at the same conclusion, unless they think they’re telepathic personalities of the same mind, that is.

Two primary disagreements are the artwork and the pacing. Moogy noted that the character designs weren’t high quality, compared to the good looking TSFs. Moogy also mentioned that the pacing had issues, rated it 33/100.

“Personally, I approached Alternative expecting to enjoy it quite a bit – and indeed I did. However, I enjoyed it for nearly wholly different reasons than I had imagined I would. I suppose that basic concept is what I’m attempting to express with this section.

To put it simply, Alternative will probably betray your expectations in interesting ways – it’s most likely not about anything that you think it is. (I’d like to note that I’m speaking to the western fandom here; more specifically, the people who will be playing it in some months from now when Ammy finishes translating it. And if you weren’t planning on playing it, you really should!)

Ed.: Once again, the translation is available now.

Well, now that we have my likely misguided rambling out of the way, let’s move on to something more concrete.

Aesthetics
Artwork: 60/100
Music: 80/100
Voice Acting: 80/100
Presentation: 100/100
Overall score: 95/100

Standard disclaimer: This section generally has little impact upon the final score I assign to a game. It is included simply for completion’s sake.

In a word, the character art in Alternative is mediocre. It accomplishes its task, but does little beyond that. The designs themselves are fairly funky as well. Also, it doesn’t help that the majority of tachi-e are reused from the original Muvluv – making the new ones they drew for Alternative stick out like collective sore thumbs. That said, I’ll give it a 60 because the mecha designs are attractive and all of the artwork for them is very polished indeed.”

Personally, I found the character designs to be surreal and very charismatic, charming, but also military and disciplined. None of the character’s hair styles or what not changed from Extra to UL to MA. But at the same time, wearing a uniform (which looks good on the women and men), and the introduction of a far more edgy atmosphere, changes them. It really feels like you’re in an alternative dimension, where people look the same but have different personalities underneath. It’s kind of freaky, if you, like me, paid extra attention in… Extra and Unlimited. If they had changed the designs too much, it would have been easy for me to differentiate the personalities from Extra, from Unlimited. And the ones in Unlimited, from Alternative. It wouldn’t have given me that “edgy” queer, unsettling feeling at times.

Now, that’s mostly a superficial issue concerning aesthetics or beauty. Not surprising people have disagreements on that. Now unto something more substantial: pacing and the plot development.

“The story is frequently interrupted by mostly uninteresting briefings and (quite literal) lectures about things that aren’t even very important in the long run.”

I’ll address that first, since it seems to be a central or common concept behind this issue. My viewpoint is that a lot of the briefings are basically what people need to understand about the war with the BETA. If the reader doesn’t pay attention to this, then they aren’t going to understand… about 50 or 80% of what goes in the battles in terms of tactics or military strategy. I think people just got excited by the action, and say they like the action scenes, but they don’t understand what the heck was going on in terms of operational planning. A lot of the more emotional moments required you to understand the decisions being made, why they were being made, and what it cost to make those decisions. Takeru was also supposed to understand this, and when he understands, he doesn’t explain it to you. You were supposed to have learned it with him, combining the info in the briefings with experience of the plot and events. Those that found the briefings boring, missed out on a substantial chunk of MLA’s military substance, so to speak. Of course, I’ve heard those briefings around 2-3 times already, so I find them boring because I already know the info. I have them memorized, essentially.

There was at least one spoiler in the review concerning relationships, but for those of average analysis ability or the uncurious, it shouldn’t be too bad. For someone that likes to analyze and reverse engineer words, ideas, concepts, and information, it’s very easy to figure out some of MLAlternative’s plot surprises with just that one line in Moogy’s review, however. This falls under the category of counter-espionage or data mining, where piecing together seemingly innoculous pieces of information allows one to read the enemy and thus defeat them. Again, something of a military vogue that civilians or those lacking in curiosity or analysis ability, don’t need to know, but it would benefit them if they did.

Moogy mentioned that the character development for Meiya and the squad, stopped in MLA because the focus was on other things and Extra/Unlimited were the ones to focus on them. I agree in general, but disagree about MLA. I’ve played through MLA enough times to understand that they added in the character development for Meiya, Chizuru, Ayamine Kei, Tama, and Mikoto in two parts. When Takeru is stomped on by life, so to speak, he has a choice to choose one person to talk to out of those 5. That person he chooses now becomes the person that will send him a letter at the end of the game, explaining their view and observations of Takeru’s life in MLA. The letter was extremely important and explained many things that would have normally been left unchecked. These are spoilers, but since the game takes so long to even “re skip through”, I’ll describe some of them for you. Skip past the names if you don’t want to be “spoiled”.

Meiya’s ending is perhaps canon and she didn’t write a letter. Everyone knows the reasons, from the game. Don’t think about this one too much. She’s very straight forward, honest, and doesn’t hide much. Not much to “expose”.

Chizuru explains the things that made her insecure, her inflexibility, and how she changed in MLA. Chizuru noted that because of Takeru’s abilities and actions, she came to believe and rely on him. And that is what gave her the strength to take a position of leadership at the end, when the stakes were as high as one can get in life.

Ayamine=haven’t gotten her letter yet. Maybe it got lost in the yakisoba pan.

Tama is a pure and innocent spirit. She is someone that wants everyone to get along, and has ideals that are closest to what Takeru came to believe in at the end of Unlimited. She, however, has problems standing by her beliefs, because doing so causes friction. Her nervousness about shooting also comes into play, and often Tama worries more about not causing friction than making sure everyone gets along in a world of peace and mutual cooperation. Because of Takeru’s actions and abilities, Tama became more confident and tried to change herself to be as disciplined and strong as she saw Takeru to be.

Mikoto is the person (….) that always likes ignoring what people say, a common comedic act or theme in Japan. Mikoto is also a very genki, lively, type, and does much to bring humor and relaxation to the squad when morale is down. The changes are similar to the above.

The letter begins with “Dear Takeru-sama” (which can be hilarious if you don’t understand formal Japanese writing, plus who Takeru is) and often ends with a statement that they respect (sonken) him for what he has done and how he has changed them.

Also, another unique scene was on the carrier at night. Whoever you chose before, ends up coming to talk to you about things. Some of the topics are the same person to person, but some are very enlightening and worthwhile to read concerning the person in question.

END OF SPOILER FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE.

So there is the “character development” Moogy wanted, but didn’t see in MLA. It’s hidden. It’s like some easter egg put in because of lack of time and focus, but it’s there if you know where to look. When I first read MLA, I would have agreed with moogy, because I didn’t get ANY LETTER at the end. I didn’t even know it was there to be found. I found myself wanting Takeru to talk more to his squad mates about their various issues, but he never did. The letters, however, explained many curious behavior the squad mates engaged in. So after the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th reread. I was mostly satisfied. Found a lot of info that made a lot of stuff make more sense. That’s always nice.

And it’s sad. If people thought the other stuff was sad, this will make it even more sad: kanashi.

The other things in the review were mostly positive and I either agree or at least do not disagree. My original review and comments on this game can be found here

To read the review that this was all about, go here.

Wikipedia Blackout

January 18, 2012

It’s like North Korea. At night.

SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet.

Well, maybe Americans should have thought more than 5 seconds about voting in a megalomaniac as President, eh? How about blacks voting 97% for their slave masters in Congress, eh?

Maybe the internet is too free for a bunch of wannabe slaves, and this is the natural decline of civilizations who get too complacent and cog like.

Another Incidence of Gang Violence in Chicago: the Ideal of the Left

January 18, 2012

Things like this are why you shouldn’t elect people from Chicago your rulers. Just saying. It’s always great to see how people think fair odds are. It’s always 7 vs 1, or that “bring a knife if they bring a rock” line.

You might also want to get yourself some Self Defense skills if you think the global depression is going to get worse.

Islam is Peace

January 16, 2012

The peace of the conquered

Great map here of how Islam uses peace.


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