Saturday, April 21, 2007

:: Otaku no Kami-sama ::

In honour of the show that makes it cool to be a geek. Anyway, it's been too long. Will try to keep this going again.


- Hiro Nakamura, Heroes

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

:: The Agnostic's Prayer ::

I never truly appreciated Roger Zelazny. The only things I had read written by him previously were the Amber Chronicles, which I first got to know of from an Inquest (back when they first started doing more fantasy articles and less Magic: The Gathering strategies) article on the world of Amber. It was interesting enough to pique my interest sufficiently to invest the effort to track down a copy of Nine Princes in Amber. The first series was passable, with some really great ideas. However, all that goodwill was destroyed with the haphazard ending of the second series with Merlin.

Lord of Light changed everything.

Now, reading his old works, I can see how he was heralded in his day. His works were singularly daring in concept and ideas, not afraid to draw on other cultures and mythologies for inspiration and a bad joke or two as his rascally trademark. He was truly a genius, and the world is sadder for his passing. I'm certainly glad that I had a chance to truly appreciate this man in the works he had left to us.

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

- Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

:: 20 ways to say your nose is very big ::

DE GUICHE: Will no one put him down?. . .
THE VISCOUNT: No one? But wait!
I'll treat him to ... one of my quips! ... See here! ...
(He goes up to Cyrano, who is watching him. With a conceited air):
Sir, your nose is ... hmm ... it is ... very big!
CYRANO (gravely): Very!
THE VISCOUNT (laughing): Ha!
CYRANO (imperturbably): Is that all?
THE VISCOUNT: What do you mean?
CYRANO: Ah no! young blade! That was a trifle short!
You might have said at least a hundred things
By varying the tone ... like this, suppose, ...
Aggressive: 'Sir, if I had such a nose
I'd amputate it!' Friendly: 'When you sup
It must annoy you, dipping in your cup;
You need a drinking-bowl of special shape!'
Descriptive: ''Tis a rock! ... a peak! ... a cape!
--A cape, forsooth! 'Tis a peninsular!'
Curious: 'How serves that oblong capsular?
For scissor-sheath? Or pot to hold your ink?'
Gracious: 'You love the little birds, I think?
I see you've managed with a fond research
To find their tiny claws a roomy perch!'
Truculent: 'When you smoke your pipe ... suppose
That the tobacco-smoke spouts from your nose--
Do not the neighbors, as the fumes rise higher,
Cry terror-struck: "The chimney is afire"?'
Considerate: 'Take care, ... your head bowed low
By such a weight ... lest head o'er heels you go!'
Tender: 'Pray get a small umbrella made,
Lest its bright color in the sun should fade!'
Pedantic: 'That beast Aristophanes
Names Hippocamelelephantoles
Must have possessed just such a solid lump
Of flesh and bone, beneath his forehead's bump!'
Cavalier: 'The last fashion, friend, that hook?
To hang your hat on? 'Tis a useful crook!'
Emphatic: 'No wind, O majestic nose,
Can give THEE cold!--save when the mistral blows!'
Dramatic: 'When it bleeds, what a Red Sea!'
Admiring: 'Sign for a perfumery!'
Lyric: 'Is this a conch? ... a Triton you?'
Simple: 'When is the monument on view?'
Rustic: 'That thing a nose? Marry-come-up!
'Tis a dwarf pumpkin, or a prize turnip!'
Military: 'Point against cavalry!'
Practical: 'Put it in a lottery!
Assuredly 'twould be the biggest prize!'
Or ... parodying Pyramus' sighs ...
'Behold the nose that mars the harmony
Of its master's phiz! blushing its treachery!'
--Such, my dear sir, is what you might have said,
Had you of wit or letters the least jot:
But, O most lamentable man!--of wit
You never had an atom, and of letters
You have three letters only!--they spell Ass!
And--had you had the necessary wit,
To serve me all the pleasantries I quote
Before this noble audience ... e'en so,
You would not have been let to utter one--
Nay, not the half or quarter of such jest!
I take them from myself all in good part,
But not from any other man that breathes!

:: All for One, and One for All ::

Having rediscoverd the classics rather late in my reading career, I first read the works of Dumas at the relatively ancient age of twenty two. Having seen his seminar work in almost all the formats less the book, it was a joy to go through the adventures of his greatest ensemble characters. It was especially gratifying to see the young, impertinent Gaston mature into the captain of the musketeers and eventually, Marshall of France's forces. It was swashbuckling at its very best, the bibliographic version of an Errol Flynn film. While I do get impatient with the French need to excruciatingly paint every single detail of the surroundings and the people, still the action scenes more than make up for it.

"My friend," said d'Artagnan," you will live longer than I shall; diplomacy commands you to live; but, for my part, honor condemns me to die."

Monday, September 19, 2005

:: Past present imperfect ::

How do you leave the past behind
When it keeps finding ways to get to your heart

It reaches down deep inside and tears you inside out
Till you're torn apart

-Rent, Jonathan Larson

Friday, July 08, 2005

:: End of the world has never been funnier ::

It wasn't a dark and stormy night. It should have been, but there's the weather for you. For every mad scientist who's had a convenient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is complete and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who've sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor clocks up the overtime.

- Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet

Thursday, June 30, 2005

:: What we never get to hear at National Day Speeches ::

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!" We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

- President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Independence Day

War of the World opens today so I thought this entry would be interesting. Besides, the date in question's just four days away, so that's a double whammy.

Monday, June 27, 2005

:: And the syndicate profits... ::

"I don't understand why you buy eggs at seven cents a piece in Malta and sell them for five cents."
"I do it to make a profit."

"But how can you make a profit? You lose two cents an egg."

"But I make a profit of three and a quarter cents an egg by selling them at four and a quarter cents an egg to the people in Malta I buy them from for seven cents an egg. Of course, I don't make the profit. The syndicate makes the profit. And everybody has a share."

Yossarian felt he was beginning to understand. "And the people you sell the eggs to at four and a quarter cents a piece make a profit of two and three quarter cents a piece when they sell them back to you at seven cents a piece. Is that right? Why don't you sell the eggs directly to you and eliminate the people you buy them from?"

"Because I am the people I buy them from," Milo explained. "I make a profit of three and a quarter cents a piece when I sell them to me and a profit of two and three quarter cents apiece when I buy them back from me. That's a total profit of six cents an egg. I lose only two cents an egg when I sell them to the mess halls at five cents apiece, and that's how I can make a profit buying eggs for seven cents apiece and selling them for five cents apiece. I pay only one cent a piece at the hen when I buy them in Sicily."

"In Malta," Yossarian corrected. "You buy your eggs in Malta, not Sicily."

Milo chortled proudly. "I don't buy eggs from Malta," he confessed... "I buy them in Sicily at one cent apiece and transfer them to Malta secretly at four and a half cents apiece in order to get the price of eggs up to seven cents when people come to Malta looking for them."

- Joseph Heller, Catch-22