April 30, 2007

Okay, One More...

Hello, front desk? more...

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April 29, 2007

F1 Update: The Comic Strip.

I need to have a talk with my travel agent...

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Ballplayer Killed

Josh Hancock
Josh Hancock, relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, was killed in a car accident early Sunday morning. Reports say that Hancock's Ford Explorer drove into the back of a parked tow truck, which was assisting a disabled car in the left lane.

Tonight's game against the Cubs has been postponed. A few seasons ago, the Cardinals lost Darryl Kile to a drug overdose the night before a Cubs game (though in Chicago).

According to WSCR-AM out of Chicago, the Cardinals had a scare with Hancock earlier in the week. He overslept, and didn't wake up until the 20th call to his house. With the death of Kile, the Cards are justifiably twitchy to players falling off the face of the earth, so...

I'm a Cubs fan, and I hate the Cardinals Team intensely. I do not hate their players, though, and I offer my condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

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April 26, 2007


This is dedicated to the Duck U. student that didn't believe me when I told her.

Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev'ry sou
Katie blew.
On a Saturday her young beau
Called to see if she'd like to go
To see a show
But Miss Kate said "No,
I'll tell you what you can do:"

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April 24, 2007

Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny - For SDB

A fate worse than death has befallen our beloved Kan-u Unchou! Tremble in fear at the visage of... more...

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The Kanon Project: Update 3!

I hit a brick wall around 10 days ago. I couldn't get past the first 15 seconds of the AMV-in-creation, and got REALLY frustrated.

...and then I got smart and said "$*&@# it, it's called a non-linear editing system for a reason."

So, I started jumping around inside the AMV, doing chunks that I was secure with. Three seconds here, a chorus there, guitar solo in the corner, hey presto! I've suddenly got about half the video done and still have a bunch of the easy parts to go!

Suddenly the frustration has been replaced with a feeling of elation! There's a lot of work left to do, but there's been major progress made.

Anybody want to volunteer for betatesting duties?

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April 23, 2007

39 Years Ago, At 719pm, April 23rd...

Momzerduck deserves all the praise, I deserve all the blame. Momzerduck also deserves pity: I was a month late and nearly 10 lbs.

UPDATE: Thank you, Brickmuppet!

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April 22, 2007

Full Throttle '07

Usually it's the Spyker that's upside down...

On Saturday, the Spyker F1 team and the Royal Netherlands Air Force Demonstration Team put on a joint display, in the form of a race between Christijan Albers' car... and a F-16, over a 1km track.
Moments later, Albers was sucked into the intake...

From all reports, Albers had the lead for 300 meters, but had to pit to replace a damaged nose, then retired from the race.

Actually, the F8-VII did lead for 300 meters: "All I could see was the F-16 in my mirrors, but then he just ran away from me," said Albers. "I've never been close to a F-16 before, and seeing him pull alongside, then pass, me was awesome!"

Albers has a lot of experience with being passed.

The F-16 and the Spyker then put on a show afterwards, with the Spyker doing donuts and skids on the runway (and who better than Albers for that, what with his experience on going off-track?) while the F-16 put on an airshow.

The Spyker Automotive Company has a history with the RNLAF, having built airplanes for the fledgling air force during WW1... and, of course, F1 cars are about the closest you can come to building a plane without having wings and a jet on it.

Hopefully some video will become available sometime soon.

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April 21, 2007

Blue Angel Down

Aw, hell.

The news is still breaking, so hopefully the one dead is a mistake, and everybody is okay. Hopefully. Knock on wood. Please?

The Blue Angels were scheduled to be the headliners at this summer's Duckford Air Show, after the USAF Thunderbirds were here last summer.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, there wasn't a mistake. The plane crashed into a residental area, damaging houses and cars, and killing the pilot. It appears, though, that nobody on the ground was badly hurt.

photo from Birminghamnews.com

Obviously it's way too early to tell what happened, but one thought from the scene is that there may have been a bird ingested into an engine (according to the article I was reading, birdstrike is not uncommon in the area). Conflicting with that, though, is the report from a man who was mowing his lawn a short distance away from the crash site and saw it happen; he said he didn't hear anything obviously wrong with the plane. Not sure if you could tell that an engine was out just by listening, but.... More as warranted.

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April 20, 2007


"And to the kind person who shared this with me, I'd give you an 'Order of the Duck', except that I'm not a duck and anyway you already have one."

That's Order of the Honorary Duck, my friend.

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April 18, 2007

"Brigade"? Where'd THAT come from???

Over at Chizumatic, Steven is asking:
How much of the legend, or perhaps "cult" would be more accurate, of Suzumiya Haruhi is the creation of the fansubbers? For instance, the fansubbers have translated the name of Haruhi's club as "SOS Brigade"... ...So where did "brigade" come from? Well, it's funny, of course. But did the original author make it funny, or did the fansubbers make it funny?

I think Steven forgot that the anime ISN'T the source material: the novels are. In the first book, there's an explanation as to why they're using 'brigade' as opposed to group or association... unfortunately, I'm rushed for time and can't find the exact quote right now. IIRC, it goes something like "we don't have enough people to be a group or an association...".

Of course, the version I've read is fan-translated, too, so is therefore suspect, right? Yes, but... the 'offical webpage' of the US anime release is using 'brigade' too, so SOMEONE got something right.

I will point out that two or three fansub groups, working independently of each other, all wound up with the same translation (brigade). No 'regiment', no 'army', no 'squadron' (actually, that one would have been funnier)...
'...and I said it's the SOS Brigade, so it IS.'

UPDATE: Steven responds, saying that since the source could have been a fan-translated effort, it may very well be wrong, which I acknowledged. However, I'll point out that, without actually having the original novels (in the original Japanese), we don't really know. Either way, it certianly appears that the various companies involved accept it.

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April 17, 2007

Ducks In Anime Redux*

Lousy OVA, but hey, there's ducks in it...

Mahou Sensei Negima Natsu OVA more...

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In Memoriam.

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Great Moments in Animation

You're deshspickable!
Duck Amuck, 1953

Completely unrelated, happy birthday to occasional commentor Vaucaunson's Duck! What's it like on the far side of 39?

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April 15, 2007

First Episode Thoughts: Lucky*Star

There comes a time in any anime fan's viewing life when he or she comes across a show that they find a show that... well... that they can't make up their mind about. Do I hate it? Do I dislike it? Do I like it? Do I love it?

For this duck, that time is here. And Lucky*Star is that anime.

How many fetishes can YOU find in this picture?

People are saying that it is Azumanga Lite, in that it's based on a 4koma about high school girls that has no visible plot. They also say it's the Seinfeld of anime, in that it's about nothing. Like both of these shows, my initial reaction towards Lucky*Star is, at best, 'meh.' I actually didn't like Azumanga Daioh the first time I gave it a shot (now it's my favorite anime), and I never did learn to like Seinfeld.

I wish I could disagree with her.

Like many other people out there on the intartubewebb, I really wanted this show to be good, and maybe it will be. After an episode where 10 minutes is spent discussing the best way to eat desserts ("Do you eat the strawberry on a strawberry shortcake first or last?"), I'm leaning more towards the "...the hell?" camp.

I can praise two parts of Lucky*Star unreservedly, however. First is the animation, which is quite lovely to look at. From all I've read, it follows the source 4koma very closely, which is a plus, which results in a... well, cartoony appearance quite different from other shows done by KyoAni (Haruhi and Kanon 2006, to name the two most recent).

Second would be the OP, which you can view by clicking this linky right here, and may St. Fangio The Quick have mercy on your soul. It's like sugar-coated, chocolate-covered crack for your eyes and ears, as the Brickmuppet has already learned.

As of right now, I can't recommend Lucky*Star. There just isn't enough THERE there, but I'll watch a few more episodes, see what comes of it and let you know.

There is one thing I noticed, however:
Where is your Haruhi-sama now???
... sometimes I wonder about KyoAni. Are they doing this on purpose, or is it just a coincidence?

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F1 UPDATE!: Bahrain!

Good stuff today, so lets get to the crackin'!

*FELIPE MASTERS: Felipe Massa got the win today, but not without a lot of heat from Lewis Hamilton. The last two races have been runaways, but not this one, with the Ferrari being unable to pull away until after the final stint. Even then, the McLaren was able to hack away at the lead over the last few laps. This should be pretty tight all year.

*EVERYBODY LOVES A THREE-WAY: After today's results, we now have three people tied for the driver's championship lead; Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton all have 22 points. Remarkably, you would have to say that Hamilton has been the most consistent of all three, with two seconds and a third. Both Raikkonen and Alonso have wins, but they've also been all over the finishing grid. This is shaping up to be MUCH more interesting a battle than we've had the past few years, to say the least.

*RED BULL MAY GIVE YOU WINGS... ...but it sure didn't give their teams stability. None of the four cars running under the Red Bull banner finished the race: American Speed was out after three turns, Liuzzi some laps later, The Chin had a hydraulic fire around lap 30, and Mark Webber had a jammed fuel door that so badly ruined the aerodynamics of his car that the t-wing ripped off, which looked like it damaged the rear of his RB3. Bad news all around.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: We here at F1 UPDATE! really want to bend the unwritten rules and give this to David Coulthard's Chin. He started from the last row of the grid, and when his car gave out, was up to seventh or eighth... and it wasn't a fuel strategy thing, it was outdriving the others. However, the unwritten rules state that the DotR has to go to someone that actually finishes the race. So, instead, we'll give the award to Grizzly Nick Heidfeld for his 4th place finish (which included passing Fernando Alonso). Dr. Mario Theissen had a huge grin on his face after that one...

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Ferrari gets the award for finishing 1st/3rd, but we're not excited about it. There just really isn't any other team that deserves it, to be honest.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: On lap 31, Nick Heidfeld, who'd been dogging Fernando Alonso for a few laps, made a seemingly doomed move to the outside of the McLaren into a turn. Somehow, Grizzly Nick kept his BMW glued to the track, and just forced Alonso to make a decision: either relinquish the place, or wreck both cars. 'Nando gave up, and Heidfeld would finish ahead of Alonso when the checkered flag flew. Honorable mention goes to Giancarlo Fisichella's pass of Rubens Barrichello around lap 21 where he started outside in a turn, but tightened up and passed the Honda to the inside.

*MOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: All F1 drivers have their 'duh' moments, and the MOOOOO-OVE celebrates the worst of them, performed on the largest stage in motor racing. Today's award goes to Anthony Davidson, for his lapse of concentration in the closing laps of the race. The Honda engine in his SuperAguri began to tear itself apart without immediately dying, but the thin blue oil smoke trail coming out showed that it was just a matter of time. Instead of pulling off the driving line, Ant continued driving as if nothing was wrong, laying down an oil slick that extended over half the track. To make matters worse, Lewis Hamilton was right behind Ant, and that may have prevented him from making more of his charge at Massa. Lovely job, Ant, here's your Mooooo-ove! Dishonorable mention goes to the engine staff at Honda, for deciding that an ounce of C4 is a good way of cooling their engines this week (three of the four Honda-driven cars this weekend had engine failures; Button during practice , Sato around lap 40 [with a huge plume of smoke], and Ant, as mentioned).


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April 14, 2007

Grand Prix of Bahrain QUALS!

Wow, what a shocker! Ferrari, McLaren, Ferrari, McLaren? Who'd have thought!

As you can guess, there's no huge surprises in quals this time around... in fact, it's pretty much the same way it's been the previous two races. Massa, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso will probably be taking long-term leases on the first four slots in the grid for the entire season. The real excitement will be who's behind them, and in this race, it's the two BMWs (Grizzly Nick and Robert Heidfeld), who were looking very strong (though, obviously, not as strong as the Big Two).

There was (finally!) a Renault sighting in Q3, as Giancarlo Fisichella dragged his steed up to 7th. Mark Webber's RedBull ended up in 8th, a smidge ahead of Jarno Trulli's Toyota and the Williams Boys of Rosberg and Man-Mountain. Heikki Koveinalieninenlain was 12th, and ANT kicked a huge portion of arse to get up to 13th (in fact, he just barely missed getting into Q3, being bumped right at the end). Ralfy-boy was 14th.

The factory Honda team of Rubens and Jensen were next, glaring balefully at Ant's SuperAguri. SuperSato was less than .200 behind Button, which really IS a surprise; he's usually faster than Ant.

Fashion-Victim Liuzzi and American Speed, the Toro Rosso duo, came up behind them. Spyker got a thrill when Adrian ("No Cute Nickname") Sutil made it off the last row of the grid, just ahead of David Coulthard's Chin. The Chin's car seems to be having problems, perhaps a repeat of the brake pedal fiasco from last race. There really isn't any reason that the RB3 should be this low on the grid, and should be at least in Q2 every race... unless DC'sC has lost the proverbial "it"?

Finally, inevitably, Christijan Albers is tail-end charlie, rounding off another great qual session for Spyker. Too bad they don't have any personality, I could really like a team that's this bad...

I suppose I should be more excited about Lewis Hamilton's 2nd place. He's a rookie in F1, it's only his third race, and if 'Nando wasn't his teammate, he'd have a decent shot at winning this one. As is, he might become the first driver ever to podium in his first three F1 races. That's pretty amazing, though it just means that he was plopped into a great team and a great car. If you think back, most new drivers in recent times have debuted for lower-level teams (Alonso for Minardi, Michael Schumacher with Jordan, Raikkonen with Sauber, just to name a few). Anybody think that Hamilton would be within sniffing distance of the top of the grid if he was driving for, oh let's say, Spyker?

So that's the grid for the GP of Bahrain, huh? I really hope BMW picks up a little bit more speed somewhere... I want to see SOMEONE beat the Big Two ONCE this year.

Oh, and in a completely unrelated note, this is post number 500 here at Wonderduck's Pond. Have some cake, everybody.

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April 13, 2007

Friday Practice: Bahrain

Only two important things to mention about today's practice at the sand-covered track in Bahrain:

1) Honda's cars may stink this year, but the engines have the sterling quality they've always had. Jensen Button got another taste of what having an afterburner is like today, with an absolutely brilliant case of the Ka-Blammo!s. Poor Felipe Massa, trailing behind the remains of Button's engine, wound up losing control when he hit the oil slick left behind as it pretended to be a fragmentation grenade. Ouch. In the one bit of good news for Jense, at least he won't take a 10-spot penalty due to the rules changes for this season...
(UPDATE: In comments, SDB asked if we got to see the engine go kablammo, and indeed we did. In the reply, however, I mentioned it's only the second-best Button kablammo of all-time. Both are shown below the fold!)

2) Jean Todt was spotted without his Ferrari sweater. I submit that it's a symbiote, similar to Spiderman's black costume/Venom... how he managed to seperate it from his skin, we'll (hopefully) never know. Electrical shocks tended to disrupt the symbiote in the comics, maybe Todt's is affected by McLaren victories? Still, very, VERY creepy to see him in a shirt and slacks. more...

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April 10, 2007

It's not easy being green...

Just ask Honda.

Remember the rumor I mentioned a few days ago, where Honda is going to scrap the RA107 and bring in a completely new car halfway through the season?

Planet-F1.com is saying it's true, with no less a person than Jensen Button coming out and saying it'll happen at Montreal.

Just how much difference will it make? That's not much time to design, create and test a new car. Even SuperAguri didn't manage it last year; they had to drag out the old Arrows chassis, and just updating it to the 2006 spec took three months. Honda is starting over, with TWO months.

Hoo-boy, this'll be interesting.

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F1 on SPEED!

Can we stand the excitement of having TWO Grands Prix in one week?!?!?

Friday the 13th brings us LIVE coverage of the Grand Prix of Bahrain's Practice #2 at 6am. The new F1 recap show, which SPEED's website calls "F1 Plus", then runs at 11pm.

To be honest, F1 Plus isn't a bad show at all. Even the F1 UPDATE! crew enjoyed it... even if one of them did tell me that cars had turbochargers. Obviously some sort of "let's make fun of the old guy" thing.

Saturday, April 14th, has LIVE coverage of the Quals at 6am, with a replay at 130pm.

Sunday, April 15th, brings us coverage starting at 230am with ANOTHER replay of the Quals session. That leads right into the first GP2 race of the season on SPEED at 4am. THAT event takes us up to LIVE coverage of the Grand Prix of Bahrain at (you guessed it) 6am. There will be a replay of (no, not quals again) the race at 9pm.

And, of course, the F1 UPDATE! gang will be all over the entire race weekend. Except for the Turbocharger guy... he's got some 'splaining to do...

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