Word came down today that USF1 has officially petitioned the FIA to delay their entry into the Formula 1 World Championship until the 2011 season. As reported by SPEED, the team has offered to pay a substantial bond to the FIA as a show of good faith.
If this is true, the FIA has only two options: approve the delay, in which case we might see the team next year, or deny their request and strip them of their entry altogether.
A last ditch effort to combine forces with Serbian-based StefanGP, who purchased the assets of the former Toyota F1 (including their 2010 chassis) but has no entry, failed spectacularly. After talks broke off, the owner of StefanGP released a statement castigating both the FIA and USF1. In part, it read "...the dreamers from the USA will have to explain
their actions, because they are deliberately weakening F1, dreaming
about a perfect world and fairytales of success. And success doesn't
come by talking but with hard work and a lot of guts."
And from buying another team's car, apparently. In any case, if the FIA kills the USF1 entry, they then have the option of awarding it to another team. StefanGP is the most likely candidate, but they've also cheesed off a lot of people.
Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 09When last we met, Mei was taken over by a piece of death stone and got all "gimme your stuff" to Yomi, who replied with a "Oh no you dint!" and stabbed her in the face. Which brings us to Episode 09, also known as "the Episode where everything goes kablooey."
Okay, so Mei lived through having her own naginata shoved into her sinus cavity? That's the only thing it could be... it's sure not like Yomi needed medical attention after the fight, after all.
All right, never mind then. Excuse me, Ga-Rei Zero? Could you explain just what the hell is going on here, please?
I'll take that as a big "no," then. Thank you very much.
And just how did The Gang get here anyway? If you're anything like me, and god help you if you are, you're scratching your head right about now. C'mon, show, explain yourself! I demand to know what's going on.
I'm still not satisfied - she stabbed herself 108 times? Through enough nerves and tendons to totally paralyze herself? Then carefully hid the object(s) she used to stab and paralyze herself?
And in their years of experience fighting evil spirits, the organization has never before encountered an enemy that tried to sow suspicion in the ranks, or tried to possess a member? Perhaps my previous experience with fiction like Bureau 13 is to blame, but I can't help but think that their first instinct should have been to think that she was being framed or controlled.
I admit that the rest of the story and execution are good enough for me to forgive this one failing. And doing it this way, rather than a more believable (to me at least) method of separating Yomi from her friends took fewer episodes. There more than story crammed into the series as it is...
Posted by: Siergen at February 28, 2010 02:17 AM (NDp0G)
Think of it as a differential diagnosis, Siergen. It's never lupus. Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but maybe she had Ranguren puncture herself 108 times. In-world, it's not impossible... which is why they test for lupus on House.
Not that The Boss seriously believed that she did it to herself. It's just a possibility.
And it's mentioned in this episode that the Agency has only been around for 3 years... by the Big Bad, no less. So, no, maybe they haven't faced an enemy that sows discontent and distrust. Look at what we've seen so far: flaming armadillos, brainsuckers, deadly harlequin trees, that weird-ass thing in Episode 03, the HG Wells Martian, zombies... and the Schoolgirl in Black. Other than that last one, nothing that could be considered a source of cloak'n'dagger work.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 28, 2010 02:30 AM (mfPs/)
USF1 DOA? Just over one year ago, Peter (Smarmy) Windsor and Ken Anderson went on SPEED and announced that they were forming a F1 team to be based in Charlotte, NC. This team eventually had Youtube founder Chad Hurley join the roster as the primary investor, with the promise of more to come. Their website showed promising signs of car building, and everything seemed quite rosy.
However, as early as three months ago annoying troll Bernie Ecclestone was going out of his way to tell any news outlet he could reach that he didn't believe that the team would make the 2010 grid. When they named Argentinian Jose Maria Lopez as their first driver, it was widely assumed that it was for the $5 million that would come with him in sponsorship. The "pay driver" has a long and ugly history in Formula 1, and it's never a good sign for a team's fortunes.
Things look grim for the Americans. They have some options open to them, of course. First up, they can withdraw from the 2010 season and attempt to reapply for 2011. Second, they can attempt to purchase cars from another source, such as Dallara (which is what Campos Meta is doing). Third, they can hold onto their slot for 2010 and accept penalties for every race missed... penalties that are quite prohibitive and likely would drive an established team out of business, let alone a cash-strapped startup. Or they can hope for a white knight to come along and pour buckets of funding into the team.
Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 08In the last episode of Ga-Rei Zero, Mei, who was dead (she got better) appears to have killed Yomi's Dad (YDad) while Yomi herself was off courtin' and sparkin' with Mr Laser Weasel. Kagura went through a high-end bout of the weepies after killing the brainsucker-controlled school nurse, and her friends decided to beat on her a little bit to boot. One gets the feeling that things are about to get out of control... so let us see how out of control they get in Episode 08!
We begin with a voiceover from the Schoolgirl in White.
"It was a scene I had seen before. It was an evening hazed in heavy rain.
"Drowned in the sadness of losing someone important to her, and frightened by the fate that has befallen her. Unable to do anything, able only to cry and bear the cold passing of time.
"That was me three years ago."
They just keep finding ways to surprise me. I never would have expected such emotional insight from Ga-Rei Zero...
Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor Promo released!
It hasn't been a great weekend for yours truly. In fact, it's been pretty lousy... but this went a good way towards making it better. The promo for the upcoming Ikkitousen series came out tonight, and wow, it looks great! Or awful, depending on your point of view.
It should go without saying that everything "below the fold" is NSFW, but I'll say it anyway:
After rewatching the promo, I think it'd be better to say that Kan'u was manifesting the spirit of the original Guan Yu, as opposed to a dragon. Though there's the whole Jade Dragon thing from Series 2...
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 21, 2010 08:45 PM (mfPs/)
...I don't know if I'll be able to stand watching another Ikkitousen series. I realize I am committing otaku heresy by saying this, but panchira and shredded seraa fuku can only sustain my interest for so long, and --
hey! no! That's-- give me back my otaku union card!!!
Posted by: Ed Hering at February 22, 2010 04:28 AM (bCq4w)
No, see, what I need to do is install it ON my work computer. Then I can just stop going home. ;p
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at February 19, 2010 01:07 AM (pWQz4)
Oh wow, that looks really neat. I haven't touched a Civ game since II (my first real gaming addiction), but this could be the one to bring me back into the fold.
Posted by: Andrew F. at February 19, 2010 02:11 AM (KyFBW)
I just recently re-installed and started playing Civ III again. I'd been contemplating upgrading to IV, but now I'll have to wait. And yes... there goes every free moment (and some that aren't) in 2010!
Posted by: madmike at February 19, 2010 09:45 AM (EGDzJ)
I've liked many turn-based, empire-building strategy games in the past. However, one pet peeve of mine is how close those games insist on placing the computer-controlled opponents. For example, I set up Civ IV with the maximum-sized world, the longest game-time setting, and a single computer opponent; on turn 6 his scouts stopped by to say "Hello".
What I want is the option to have all opponents start far away from each other, giving time to build large empires before running into each other. If the next Civ game has that, I'll buy it (even if it cuts into my anime-viewing time). If not, then I'm not interested,
Posted by: Siergen at February 19, 2010 05:18 PM (IbYnn)
Civ AI always cheats. In CivII, for example, their cost of buying new units was a fraction of the player's.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 19, 2010 07:30 PM (/ppBw)
In Civ 4, Pete, their costs for production and buying of units was a function of the difficulty level. Standard difficulty put the other civs at the exact same footing as you. Top difficulty made it something like 1/10th as expensive for them.
In short, they fixed your problem.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 19, 2010 09:04 PM (G8/ak)
I'd gotten it together. My life was on track. I was almost out of the hole. I was catching up.I was finally on my feet.
Now this....I'm doomed.
Posted by: Brickmuppet at February 20, 2010 02:35 PM (NkKu7)
Uh-oh. My productivity has already been destroyed through 2013 (I'll have to post about that). This is good - by which I mean bad - for another three months or so. Now all they need is Railroad Tycoon 4 and another Sim City and I can just give up on ever getting anything done.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at February 20, 2010 08:52 PM (PiXy!)
Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 07When last we leftGa-Rei Zero, the Big Bad (actually a small white-haired pretty boy) had skewered Mei on her own naginata, Kagura had just killed her friend the school nurse (who had been taken over by a brainsucker), and all is higgledy-piggledy. What, pray tell, will the show that loves to kill its main characters off bring us in Episode 07?
Oh sure, rub it in, Ga-Rei Zero, rub it in. You've offed one of the more interesting characters you've presented us with, and now you want to make it look all symbolic and stuff. Nice, very nice.
Wait, what? Mei's alive? Well that I didn't expect! Okay, yeah, she's got Godzilla's Toothpick sticking out of where her heart should be, but...
Ah. You know, I'm thinking that maybe this doesn't exactly fall into the category of "a good thing".
Ducks In Anime Get The BEST Views
For only the second time in the entire run of the Hidamari Sketch series, there was no sighting of a rubber duckie in Episode 06 of Hoshimittsu. So, I'm posting these from Ep05 instead.
The duckie seems to be floating wrong, but who cares?
Oh, and click "more" for a mildly NSFW pic. I was quite surprised it made the broadcast, to be honest, particularly after discovering that there was one episode in the first series that was VERY heavily censored... for no real good reason, in comparison to what's getting onto the air these days.
Awwwwe! Cool pic! I got the shaft again on V-Day...however...I went walking around my neighborhood and stepped inside this gift shop to browse....My eye caught a yellow jewelry gift box...like the black ones you would give someone with a ring inside.....except it was yellow and shaped like a duck! It opened up to display a duck necklace! Of course I bought it. Made my V-Day
Posted by: Digicolleen at February 19, 2010 12:52 AM (8ujY0)
Editing-when I said I got the shaft, I meant that my valentine gave me nothing....I just realized that could have been taken the wrong way. Oops
Posted by: Digicolleen at February 19, 2010 12:55 AM (8ujY0)
F1 Pr0n: Lotus T127
British Racing Green is back in Formula 1 with the reveal of the new 2010 Lotus T127 on Friday!
Reportedly there are a lot of ex-Toyota people working for the Malaysian-based team, which could explain why the nose reminds me of Toyota's TF109. Not the wing, but the vertical mounting and the nose cone itself. One thing we haven't seen yet with this season's debuts are these sidepods. The tops are dead flat on the Lotus, as opposed to swooping or curved; interesting look, this.
It's the angle. Most of the glamour shots from the front are taken from right about the height of the driver's eyes when he's in the cockpit, but there just weren't any for the Lotus from that p.o.v. Believe me, I spent about an hour scouring my sources looking for one, but no soap.
There's something weird about this car and optical illusions anyway. Right up until I was about to hit "post", I thought that the dorsal fin was not the usual razor-thickness, but that it was actually wide enough to contain an exhaust port. Look at the fourth picture and maybe you'll see why I thought that!
I had a lot of speculation as to what benefit that'd bring, and I came to the conclusion that it'd help downforce (much like a blown flap on an airplane creates lift) since it looks like it'd be exhausting right over the rear wing, but they'd then have to deal with the heat burning or melting the wing elements. Then I realized what I REALLY was looking at, felt silly, and deleted the whole paragraph.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 13, 2010 03:52 PM (G8/ak)
I really like the color scheme, even though paint isn't known to help win races.
Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 06When last we watched Ga-Rei Zero, we got filler and lots of it. In what may have been one of the greatest upsets of all time, what we didn't get was Pocky. Chocolate-covered biscuit stick fans everywhere mourned. Perhaps we will get Pocky and plot this episode? One can only hope...
We open in that location of choice for wire-fu movies, a bamboo forest. We don't usually get to see hordes of zombies swarming out of the forest, however. Yeah, like Sammo Hung could deal with that!
Hung might not be able to, but sure as shootin' Kagura's father and Byakuei reckon they can.
I so want to make a "Ga-Rei Zero Episode 06, Colts 3" joke right now...
F1 Pr0n: Force India VJM-03
Force India was my choice for "most improved" team last year, so I've
been eagerly awaiting their 2010 charger. Would they make radical
changes? Gently evolve? Leave the car be? The answer turns out to be "evolve." Nothing shocking here; the only real changes are those prescribed by the rule book.
Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 05Last time, Kagura's father saved the day, then smacked the crap out of his daughter for having a mental block about taking down human-based nasties. What, then, does Episode 05 bring to us?
Yomi's dad calls her into his office... to give her a gift. Y'know, right there's the difference between dads in this show: Yomi gets presents from hers, while Kagura's dad gives his daughter a scabbard across the back of the hands. Anyway, the gift is one of his late wife's high-end kimonos. After a few seconds of the Schoolgirl in Black making some of the most outrageous sounds ever heard outside of a bedroom, he brings up... Mr Laser Weasel himself, Noriyuki? And if she still got along with him, and is she still okay with the arranged marriage? Wait, the what now? Turns out Noriyuki is the scion of another powerful family line of Exorcists, and yadda yadda stuff junk yadda.
She gives a middlin'-long speech about how glad she is that he adopted her into the family, and because of that she's perfectly happy to still agree to the situation. Well, whaddya know?
Bathing With Ducks In Anime -Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu, ep04
It's no shock to readers of The Pond that I'm a big fan of the HidaSketch franchise, what with it being the King of the Ducks In Anime category and all. But this revelation might come as a surprise:
I didn't like this episode.
In fact, I'm not overly fond of the two new characters either, since they're taking away from the four girls we've come to know and love. I suppose that given time I could like Nori, the computer user, but Nazuna is everything I detest in one stupidly-wrapped package. Timid and an inferiority complex the size of the Grand Canyon... ugh. I cringe when she's on-screen, and recently I've been cringing when she HASN'T been on screen, for fear that she'll appear soon.
There's still plenty of time for her to come around, but I'm not holding out all that much hope: volume 4 of the manga, which is where the series is right now, has her stay pretty much the same.
F1 Pr0n: Virgin Racing VR-1
The virgin Virgin Racing team debuted their first car online today, and it's different...
Touted as the first F1 car designed entirely in computer with zero wind tunnel testing, the VR-01 appears to have some roots in the IRL. Which makes perfect sense, considering that Virgin's technical designer, Nick Wirth, did a lot of work with Dallara on their IRL chassis. Specifically, that nose! Mosquitos have wider probosces. Compare the VR-01's needle-point nose to the humongous beak on the Renault, for example.
F1 Pr0n: Toro Rosso STR5
In many ways the Toro Rosso STR5 has been the car I've been most looking forward to. This is the first time the team has had to field an original design, as opposed to being a "client chassis" of the parent Red Bull team. This puts them in an interesting position of being an experienced F1 team, but never having built their own car. The question in my mind was how inventive they would be.
The answer turned out to be "not very." It's essentially an updated STR4, which was the safe way to go for a relatively small team with an all-new design staff.