Strange but Weird

From Japan, home of all manner of weird stuff, we learn of Zuiikin English. Originally aired in the early 1990s, the program combined English conversation lessons with aerobics in a unique educational package. The series was re-aired on Japanese satellite TV in 2005, and a few clips have been uploaded to Youtube, where they’ve been viewed millions of times.

So whether you need medical assistance, or a few useful phrases for getting out of a tight spot, Zuiikin English is there for you!


Down With This Sort Of Thing

Note the sign at bottom right.

Quote: “How do you, ideologically speaking, defeat a crowd that is enthusiastically demanding that you ‘DO A BARREL ROLL! DO A BARREL ROLL!!’ ?”

It was a busy weekend, so in case any of you missed it, here is a pretty complete blog entry about the Anonymous protest outside of the UK Scientology HQ in Blackfriars. Up until this point I assumed that Anonymous were just griefers (and there were related black fax and denial of service attacks going on), but this event seemed like a winner. Worth considering as a follow-up to this post.

UPDATE: It looks like they’re back at it, with a series of protests this past weekend, May 9-11. Fallout from the events described in my original post is still being felt, and it looks like some mutation is occuring in the nature of the protests. Are the black fax and DoS attacks ramping down in favor of more traditional dissent? Where has the cheeky nature of the London event gone? Maye the Yanks are just being more stoic…

UPDATE 2: Fall is upon us, and things don’t seem to be simmering down. While RL protests are set to continue, the church of scientology seems to have smartened up enough to join Anonymous on the most logical battleground; slashdot reports that the church has been trying to get anti-scientology videos removed from YouTube, with a limited degree of success. Could the church be possibly be clever enough to take on Anonymous memetically? Not likely, but those of us who read too much cyberpunk must be looking forward to an escalation of hostilities in one of the web’s fist widely publicised guerilla wars. The opening shots? How about a video of someone rick rolling the February protest. How un-ironically ironic! Or is that ironically unironic? hmmm…

Morning Mind-bending

Take 10 minutes and watch this:

Only works with sound.

Can you feel it? The universe . . . makes your head spin.

(This is old but quite a famous movie; among others, it has been cited by Will Wright as one of the inspirations for Spore.)

Zoom in, Zoom in . . .

You like Google maps? Just make sure you’re not looking at the wrong street . . .

Navy Video Strangeness

OK, you’ve got my interest piqued.

What is LiveScience doing posting this video? (The same one as posted from YouTube below.)

I agree with the comments on I Need Gun. That Live Science vid looks totally dodgy and almost certainly not output by the US Navy. Anything the Navy puts out is going to be well polished, like this:

This looks more authentic to me – no backyard, no dirty, scored gun, no dudes in trainers and sweatshirts. OK, they’re wearing t-shirts, but they’ve got a clipboards, safety glasses, and a big hangar full of massive arrays of mag-coils. Kind of important for a magnetic rail gun.

As for the projectile burning as it penetrates the target, this is probably simply due to the release of kinetic energy on impact. If you’ve got a metal slug travelling at mach 7 hitting just about anything, it’ll release a hell of a lot of heat. Try clapping your hands; they get warm. Clap your hands together at mach 7, they catch fire.

Another possibility is that they’re using depleted uranium for the penetrator slug:

depleted uranium is favored for the penetrator because it is self-sharpening and pyrophoric. On impact with a hard target, such as an armoured vehicle, the nose of the rod fractures in such a way that it remains sharp. The impact and subsequent release of heat energy causes it to disintegrate to dust and burn when it reaches air because of its pyrophoric properties (compare to ferrocerium). When a DU penetrator reaches the interior of an armored vehicle, it catches fire, often igniting ammunition and fuel, killing the crew, and possibly causing the vehicle to explode.

OK, it’s unlikely that they’d use DU for a tester where people are going to be walking around right after the shot, as there’d be lots of fine uranium dust about. But I’m not a materials scientist – other metals might do the same, and the principle of heat release through impact stands.

Have we just caught Live Science making a beeg mistaeke? (anyway, they’d been scooped by our creepy bald dude from the discovery channel!)

Pro Tip – Video Bloggin’!

It’s fun. It’s easy. And it makes you look like a pro. Instead of putting hyperlinks to web video in your posts, you can just post vids direct in the body:

Like that.

To do this, find the vid on YouTube (or whatever sharing service you’re looking at). To the right of the video (on YouTube), you’ll see a section called About This Video. In it are two text boxes: ‘URL’ and ‘Embed’. You know all this already, I know, but this time you want the code in the ‘Embed’ field. Copy this code (be sure you get the whole string), then come back to the page where you’re composing your post, and you’ll see a tab on top of the composing field that says ‘Code’ (normally you’re in ‘Visual’). Switch to ‘Code’ and paste the embed code you’ve lifted from YouTube into the post where you want it.

Voila – video in your post.


Pro Pro Tip – WordPress is finicky about this sometimes. Occasionally the vid doesn’t show up. Usually it’s best to make inserting the vid the last thing you do before hitting ‘Publish’.


Starting a blog feels like this:

Your turn! Go Go Go!