September 21, 2014

Mini-F1Update!: Singapore 2014

Clear night skies accompanied by oppressive heat and humidity greeted the Thundering Herd as they made their way to the grid, but all was not well for everybody.  What fate befell the drivers, and how did it affect the world driver's championship?  THIS is your Mini-F1Update! for the 2014 Grand Prix of Singapore!

*(NOT QUITE) THE RACE:  Right off the bat, the weather drove a stake through the heart of Gandalf Kobayashi's Caterham steed, a power failure accompanied by smoke and stench preventing him from ever making it to the starting grid.  Meanwhile, Championship points leader Nico Rosberg was experiencing a nightmare of his own.  As he sat there on the pre-recon grid, his electrical system failed.  A switch of steering wheels failed to reboot the car, so with 10 minutes to go before roll-off a swarm of mechanics descended upon his cockpit.  To no avail; when the field headed around, his Mercedes sat sullenly in its grid position, waiting for everybody to go past before it got pushed to the pit lane.  Eventually the mechanics got the bare minimum functional... the car started, Rosberg could shift gears, but DRS and the KERS boost were dead.  He would start from the pit lane, struggle to catch the backmarkers, and retire when it came time for the first pit stops when it wouldn't restart.

*THE RACE:  After all that drama, polesitter Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg's teammate and sitting second in Championship race, had to be grinning from ear to ear.  He had to be the favorite today before Rosberg's problems, now it was a gimme.  Except when the lights went out, it was clear that he wasn't going to have it all his way.  Ferrari's HWMNBN jumped from 5th to 2nd in one turn,  then relinquishing the position to Red Bull's Seb Vettel by Turn 3... and neither of them were in a mood to let the Mercedes run away and hide.

*SAFETY CAR:  On Lap 30, Hamilton had six second lead over HWMNBN.  But then the inevitable occurred: a safety car came out to clean up debris after a surprisingly messy loss of a front wing, scattering carbon fiber shards hither and yon.  It took nearly 20 minutes and seven laps for the clean-up to complete, setting up an interesting situation.  Hamilton at this moment was on barely-used super-soft tires, while his three immediate challengers (HWMNBN, Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardio) were on softs.  The good news for Hamilton was that he would be about two full seconds per lap faster than his opponents.  There were two bits of bad news: 1) the super-softs wouldn't last the rest of the race, and B) he had to stop, by rule, to put on the soft tires anyway.  So to have a chance to pit without losing the lead, he needed to open up a thirty second lead.

*THERE WE GO:   On Lap 37, the race resumed.  By Lap 45, the Merc driver had a 17 second lead over Vettel, who had leapfrogged HWMNBN in the pits.  On Lap 51, he had a 25 second lead, but the super-softs were failing; a radio call to the pit wall made his concern clear as he pointed out wear lines appearing on his rear tires.  Reluctantly, he dove into the pits for a 2.9second stop.  Had it been enough?

*THE END:  It wasn't.  When he returned to the track, he was in second place behind Vettel and with Ricciardio close behind.  But it was Lap 53 of 61, and Hamilton was on new rubber.  By Lap 55 he had retaken the lead, and began to open the gap up once again.  Once the race bumped up against the two hour time limit, ending the contest a lap early, Hamilton had a thirteen second lead again.  He led Vettel and Ricciardio home ahead of HWMNBN, taking the win and the lead in the World Driver's Championship in the process.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE:  Jules Vergne, Toro Rosso.  Huh?  We didn't even mention him during the recap, but here we are.  Vergne, driving for his F1 life, started the race in 12th and during the course of the contest suffered two five-second penalties for leaving the track limits.  Despite this, he still managed to bring his Toro Rosso up through the field to finish in sixth place.  If someone like HWMNBN or Rosberg had done this, eh, whatever, it's the car.  You can't say that about the Toro Rosso.  Great job, Vergne!

*TEAM OF THE RACE:  Red Bull.  2-3 on the podium, and if they get a break or two, they still have a shot at the Constructor's Championship to boot.

*MOMENT OF THE RACE:  This doesn't always have to be important to the final outcome.  This time, it was when a Williams mechanic decided to slap a co-worker.  How extraordinary.  The team is claiming it was "banter," but if we "bantered" like that here at F1U! HQ, there'd be lawsuits.

*SELECTED DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE:

"Ha ha ha ah ah ahahahah hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaaha!" - Lewis Hamilton

"Mmm... cold champagne!" - 4Time Vettel

"My brakes were acting up, KERS and DRS were unhappy, and I still finish third?  Hooly Dooly!" - Daniel Ricciardio

"Damn Safety Car came out at just the wrong time... but then, I shouldn't complain, should I?" - HWMNBN

"Huh.  Fernando really was faster than me." - Felipe Massa

That's enough for today.  Our next race will be in two weeks, at Suzuka Japan!  We'll see you then!

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F1 Quals: Singapore 2014

Real quick one here, since I'm posting this only a few hours before the race itself begins:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:46.921 1:46.287 1:45.681
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:47.244 1:45.825 1:45.688
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:47.488 1:46.493 1:45.854
4 4Time Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:47.476 1:46.586 1:45.902
5 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:46.889 1:46.328 1:45.907
6 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:47.615 1:46.472 1:46.000
7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:46.685 1:46.359 1:46.170
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:47.196 1:46.622 1:46.187
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.976 1:46.700 1:46.250
10 Kid Kvyat STR-Renault 1:47.656 1:46.926 1:47.362
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.161 1:46.943
12 Jules Vergne STR-Renault 1:47.407 1:46.989
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:47.370 1:47.308
14 Esteban! Sauber-Ferrari 1:47.970 1:47.333
15 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:48.143 1:47.575
16 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:47.862 1:47.812
17 Adrian F'n Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.324

18 Crashtor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:49.063

19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:49.440

20 Gandalf Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:50.405

21 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:50.473

22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:52.287


If someone that isn't named "Hamilton" or "Rosberg" is going to win another race this season, this is where it's going to happen.  The main advantage of the Mercedes chassis is the high-speed stuff, and there just isn't any of that around Singapore, not really.  Thus a nimble car like the Red Bull, or a car that's slightly above average with an ace driver, like the Ferrari, stands a better shot in the 24 turns of the Marina Circuit.

I still wouldn't bet against the Mercs though.

Race in the morning.

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September 20, 2014

Five Long Years

It was five years ago today that we lost Momzerduck.

It's been a long, unpleasant, five years.  I wish she was still here... it still hurts.

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September 19, 2014

Proof Of Concept




Yup, worked.  I'll be durned... that's exactly what I expected to see.  Huh.  Sometimes I guess I get lucky.

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September 17, 2014

The Decoy Game

It was 1945, and the good news was that the end of the Pacific War was near and everybody in the US knew it.  The bad news, however, was that it seemed like the Japanese didn't know it, and still thought they could come out of the situation with something like a victory.  Places like Okinawa and Iwo Jima made it clear to US military planners that the inevitable invasion of Japan was going to be a horrible bloodbath, and that was just on the Allied side.  The catastrophe it would bring down upon the Japanese military could not be described, and the civilian costs could not be imagined.  It was expected that whatever fleet moved to invade the Home Islands was going to find itself swamped by thousands of kamikaze, and if one out of ten made it through the Big Blue Blanket, the Invasion force could die before it ever set foot on land.

So the planners decided: let's have a decoy fleet!  It can mimic the radio broadcasts of an actual invasion force, and the appearance, without all those pesky potential casualties.  Once everybody stopped laughing, someone said, "no, really."  With nothing better to do, it was decided to see if it could actually work. 

Sub Chaser PC-449 was a one-off ship, being built as part of a design competition to replace the WWI-era PC-1 sub chaser class.  She tipped the scales at about 85 tons, and could move her 110' length along at a whopping 17kts.  Built in 1940, she went to sea with 27 souls.  Her hull classification changed to SC-449 in 1943 and she carried a 3" gun to complement her depth charge launcher.  She was a particularly small ship to go in harm's way aboard.  She was also, if truth be told, surplus to requirements; it's not like there weren't literally hundreds of other ships in the US Navy that could do her job.  So in 1945, she was selected to go into the shipyards as part of Operation Swiss Navy.  Her part of the job?  To become a Bogue-class CVE.

The shipyard (okay, probably just a few guys with hammers) stripped off everything above decks (guns, bridge, stacks, etc) and put a plywood "flight deck" overtop of everything.  The overall size of the ship can been seen when you realize that there's a man crouching next to the "island" and he's the same height.  So, yeah, it's nigh on 500 feet shorter than an actual CVE, who's it going to fool?

Operation Swiss Navy was eventually going to include battleships, cruisers, carriers, all of them based on sub chasers or other small craft.  Of course, there's no way it'd look right next to a real CVE... much too small, obviously... but amongst others of her own kind?  Imagine you're a frightened kamikaze pilot, prepared to die, on your last flight.  You're trying to grow another set of eyes as you look for Hellcats and you suddenly see, far below you... PC-449.  You'd think it was a full-sized carrier, wouldn't you?

The Invasion of Japan never happened, so Operation Swiss Navy never came to flower. After the war, PC-449 was sold to a the civilian sector, where she ended her life as a research vessel for Texas A&M.  She was finally scrapped in the '70s... one of the last CVEs to go to the breakers... and certainly the smallest.

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September 16, 2014

Name This Mystery Ship XXX: Adults Only!

There are milestone moments in the life of... well, anything!  A child walking for the first time, a car reaching 100,000 miles, a baseball player getting his first hit in the majors, one's first rubber duck, one's second rubber duck, one's third rubber duck... you get the idea.  I can't help but feel that with this, the 30th "Mystery Ship" entry, The Pond has reached some sort of milestone in and of itself.  But enough of this woolgathering!  Here, for your enjoyment, is the Mystery Ship:

As always, no image searches or googlereversi or anything like that.  It's supposed to be difficult, y'see.  However, I am of the opinion that the prize is worth the candle: one free post on any topic you care to name (no pr0n, religion or politics, please)!  One guess per person.  Post no bills.  Burma Shave.

As always, FDM and CTX are unable to play for 24 hours or my say-so, whichever comes first.  Everybody else, have at it!

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September 15, 2014

F1 on TV: Singapore 2014

It held such promise.  The first ever F1 night race running through the city streets of Singapore?  There's no way that combination could go wrong.  Except that it did.  Here's the track map for the 2014 Grand Prix of Singapore:

To be blunt, this is a brutal circuit.  The nigh-on constant right-angle turns are a unfortunate byproduct of modern city streets... you just don't see that many curves in a city.  As a result, however, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is something of a stop-and-go affair with corners that are hard to pass on.  While it's true that the worst turn on the circuit (and perhaps all of F1), the Singapore Sling, was reprofiled to prevent the constant Kerbal Space Program-like launches off the curbs, the rest of the track is terribly bumpy.  Throw in walls that appear to be made of a F1-Car-Attractant material, high heat and humidity levels that make it seem more like you're breathing water than air, and all-in-all you've got a circuit that nobody likes much.

Still, the cars look absolutely bitchin' under the lights.

Our friends in the Legendary Announce Team will be providing their usual level of coverage... here's the schedule:
FRIDAY
Practice 2: 830a - 10a live on NBCSN
SATURDAY
Quals: 8a - 930a live on CNBC
SUNDAY
2014 Grand Prix of Singapore: 630a - 9a live on NBCSN

Of course, the F1Update! team will be here, doing whatever it is they do.  See you then!

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September 14, 2014

OMGWTFNTRVW!

On Monday, something is going to occur to me that hasn't happened in over 10 years.

I'm going to have phone interviews for a job.  Two jobs, actually.

I don't know if I'm going to get either of the jobs.  I have no idea how the interviews are going to go.  There's even a tiny little part of me that's afraid that I'll get one of the jobs, thus ending my "vacation."

I'm almost scared I'll screw up the interviews.  Yep, this is my brain.

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September 12, 2014

Skyrim Fun

I love Skyrim.  That's no surprise, I've talked about it before, about the good, the bad and the goofy.  It just looks so good sometimes!

No mods, onboard graphics, no picture editing except for size, and it looks like this?  Man, how cool is that?  Computers are spiffy.  But then, it'll also cough up hairballs like this one:

Really?   Now, Serana is a vampire, so I guess she can do things like that, but I'll be durned if I've seen it before.  She's the headless companion!

Oh.  Heh.  Never mind. 

Really, though... prettiest game ever?  Just wait until I actually slap a stand-alone graphics card into the computer.  Man, that'll rock.

Now if only I had the time...  Oh.  Heh.  Never mind.

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September 11, 2014

F1 And Anime Come Together Again

Over at Reddit today, someone posted a picture of one of the ways the 2014 Grand Prix of Japan is being promoted.  It generally met with disgust, but a few of us were honestly thrilled.  Here's the picture tweeted by Taki Inoue, the reigning clown prince of the F1 world.

Inoue was less than happy with these, going so far as to state in his tweet that "this is the way Japan understands F1."  I think Mr Inoue knows better. Though to be fair, the Japanese people did support him when he was a driver, so maybe not.

More and bigger pictures below... you KNOW you want to click "more."

more...

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September 09, 2014

Summer's Over!

So earlier today, in my copious amount of free time, I decided to check the weather forecast.  I had heard something about thunderstorms when I had gone out to pick up my "Keep Wonderduck Alive" pills, and I wanted to find out just when this was supposed to happen.  Imagine my surprise when this greeted me:

Dammit!  I just did laundry, too.  Now I'm going to have to dig sweatpants out of storage and do another load separately.  This has got to be a glitch, right?  It isn't really going to go down to -2°F tomorrow, right?

Dammit.  Well.  That's going to be... um...  quite the temperature swing.  I think I'm going to be not outside at that time.  Actually, best to be safe: I'm not going to go outside ever again.  It'll be better that way.

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A Note On Spam

As opposed to SPAM, everybody's canned precooked meat product made in Austin, Minnesota, home of the Gear Daddies and just down 2-18 from Owatonna, at which point you jog left on 14 to Mankato where yours truly attended grad school.

"Get on with it."
Sorry.  Anyway, The Pond was recently inundated with comment spam.  Pages upon pages of comments, mostly in broken French and selling handbags and gymshoes, and almost none of it actually making it to the visible realm.  It just sat in my "edit comments" screen until I deleted it... all 17 pages worth. 

"That's a lot!"
The reason I'm mentioning this is that it's possible I may have done away with a legitimate comment or two as I went through the detritus with a flamer in one hand and a bandsaw in the other.  If so, please don't take it personally, it was totally accidental.  It's not that I hate you, it's not that you comment wasn't worthy, it was just an accident.

Highly fictionalized image of Wonderduck removing spam.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.

UPDATE:  Another eight pages of spam deleted.  Yeesh.

Because why the heck not show a Japanese schoolgirl apparating an 88mm flak cannon?

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September 07, 2014

Mini-F1Update!: Italy 2014

Blue skies and hot asphalt greeted the F1 Circus as they cautiously eyed the old intimidating banked oval just beyond the pits at the Autodromo di Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix.  The usual suspects were stacked at the top of the grid, and it seemed like a parade of epic stature was about to begin.  Did it?  Or did the Ferrari-mad tifosi celebrate a miracle victory by the Red Cars?  THIS is your mini-F1Update! for the 2014 Grand Prix of Italy!

*THE RACE: ...was boring as heck.  We didn't even get the anticipated duel between the Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, sitting 1-2 on the grid, as they charged down into the first turn.  Hamilton's electronics got uppity and wouldn't allow him to engage race start settings.  As a result, when the lights went out he immediately dropped to fourth place, swamped by the better starters.  In the process, he bottled Williams' Valterri Bottas up behind him, which saw the Finn drop down to 11th, practically never to be seen again.  However, once the issue cleared up, the superior Mercedes chassis began to work it's way to the front.  By Lap 4, he was in third.  By Lap 10, he was in second and gunning for the leader.  An unexpected excursion by Rosberg into the first chicane's run-off area cut the lead to two seconds, and after the first (and expected to be ONLY) pit stop, another blown first chicane handed Hamilton the lead.  As it turned out, it also handed him the victory, as Rosberg had no way to fight back.  However annoying that may have been to the Championship leader, it's still clear that the Mercedes is the class of the field: third place went to Williams' Felipe Massa, some 22 seconds behind Rosberg, with Massa's teammate Bottas some 15 seconds adrift of him.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Daniil "Kid" Kvyat.  Many of you are wondering who the heck this is.  Driving for Toro Rosso, Kvyat began the race 21st due to an engine change after qualifying 11th.  He then managed to haul his Toro Rosso up to 11th by the end of the race after running as high as fourth... a pretty darn good performance when the rest of the field was very much a parade.

*TEAM OF THE RACE
:  Williams.  They finished third and fourth, with Massa getting his first podium.  They're proving to be a serious challenger for 2nd in the constructor's championship.  They've got to make up 95 points in six races, but that's doable.  That'll be an interesting thing to watch the rest of the way.

*MOMENT OF THE RACE:  No question, Rosberg deciding to preserve his tires and taking to the run-off area for the second time.  This handed the win to Lewis Hamilton... and was undoubtedly the right thing to do.  If he had locked up his tires and flat-spotted one or more of them, he'd need to make a second pit stop and could easily have finished third or worse.  He may not be as fast as Hamilton on track, but he's still in the lead in the Driver's Championship.

*SELECTED DRIVERS QUOTES OF THE RACE:

"HELL yeah.  Who's da man?" - Lewis Hamilton

"Second place is still good." - Nico Rosberg

"See?  I can still drive." - Felipe Massa

"I'm happy for Felipe.  Really.  I am." - Valterri Bottas

"(grin)" - Daniel Ricciardo

"Does anybody else think that all that smiling has got to be a put-on?" - 4Time Vettel

"Was I ever on TV today?" - Sergio Perez

"Retire?  Me?  Well, maybe so." - Jenson Button

"Mrmsmdmdfsfdmhl mrlrmrlbrlrbr lrmlrmlrmrbrr." - Kimi Raikkonen

"Me, I'm not so good." - Kevin Magnussen

Two weeks hence, Singapore's street circuit awaits us.  See ya there!

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September 06, 2014

F1 Quals: Italy 2014

Hoo-haa.  I don't think anybody is going to be surprised by the results, so here's the grid for the 2014 Grand Prix of Italy:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.363 1:24.560 1:24.109
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.493 1:24.600 1:24.383
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:26.012 1:24.858 1:24.697
4 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:25.528 1:25.046 1:24.865
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.337 1:25.973 1:25.314
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.328 1:25.630 1:25.379
7 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:26.514 1:25.525 1:25.430
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:26.631 1:25.769 1:25.436
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:26.721 1:25.946 1:25.709
10 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:26.569 1:25.863 1:25.944
11 Kid Kvyat STR-Renault 1:26.261 1:26.070
12 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.689 1:26.110
13 Jules Vergne STR-Renault 1:26.140 1:26.157
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.371 1:26.279
15 Adrian F'n Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.034 1:26.588
16 Esteban! Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.999 1:26.692
17 Crashtor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:27.520

18 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:27.632

19 Gandalf Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:27.671

20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:27.738

21 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:28.247

22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:28.562


Anybody notice the common theme for the first six cars on the grid?  "Mercedes."  The first non-Mercedes powered chassis is in 7th, 1.2 seconds behind pole.  This bodes not very well for the rest of the field, or for the quality of tomorrow's race. 

Why do I have a feeling Rosberg/Hamilton will be the talking point after the race is run?  As in, what one did to the other... probably in the first chicane.

Guess we'll find out soon enough!  See ya Sunday!

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September 05, 2014

Ben-To! Ep08

These are the times that try ducks' souls.  After the painful experience that was Ep07, it is with trepidation that I sit down and attempt to boil Ben-To! Ep08 down to a coherent and entertaining experience.  Still, it's unlikely that the show will stoop as low as a dolphin-fin "rudder" again, so I've got that going for me.  Which is nice.  I just spent twenty minutes watching youtube videos of alpacas.  That should give you some insight into the way my blogging process works.  So should this.  I've just spent an hour choosing just the right videos for those two links.  Are you not entertained???

Our story for this episode, such as it is, begins on the East Side of Chicago town.  Shaga and Ms Fortune are running in the halls, the way teenagers do, those rapscallions, when from out of nowhere, BAM!  A scolding!  GASP!  It's the twins from last episode's Important Encounter!  It appears that they are part of the Student Council as Shaga immediately apologizes and swears it'll never happen again.

Of course, the second the coast is clear, Ms Fortune heads for the stairs at full speed and... did you know you can fall down four flights of stairs?  Really quite impressive if you ask me.

The Student Council Office.  Dear god, it's better appointed than the Presidental Meeting Room at Duck U, and that's got a hand-carved oak table that's over a hundred years old and a fireplace.  Wait, that's awkward.  The table does not have a fireplace.  Neither does this one, though I suspect offscreen Leni Riefenstahl is just drooling over the place in general.

Of course, our two as-yet nameless twins are President and Veep (left and right, respectively).  Until further information becomes available, I'll have to come with something to call them.  Maybe a physical characteristic that's different between the two?  Hmm... AHA!  I've got it!  I'll call them Left and Right!  Left's the one on the left, Right is the one on the right.  Pure unadulterated genius! 

more...

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September 03, 2014

(Insert Evil Laugh)


My evil master plan nears fruition.  Soon, you will all kneel down before me and praise me as your rightful lord and master!

Or, y'know, I'll have a blog post up, one of the two.  Look forward to it, either way, won't you?

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September 01, 2014

F1 on NBCSN: Italy 2014

Some Formula 1 circuits are like a needle-sharp rapier, requiring nigh-on superhuman levels of technique and skill to handle in a way that endangers your opponent more than yourself.  Some others are as graceful as the best swordsmen in history, full of strength hidden beneath talent honed by years of practice.  Some tracks seem to follow the way of the archer, still and quiet until they launch their deadly arrow with precision and accuracy.

And then there's Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix.

Monza is the screaming Viking berserker, swinging a huge battleaxe and leaving a huge swath of pain and defeat in its wake.  It is a heavy mace crushing a helmet under its momentum.  It is three rolls of quarters in a sock applied liberally to the back of someone's head.  What I am saying is that Monza is not subtle.  Monza does not need to be subtle.  Monza is speed and nothing but.  Before the three Variantes (aka "chicanes") were added, Monza may as well have been a NASCAR circuit seen through a European lens, though don't ever say that to a European F1 fan... they hate any comparison to NASCAR, or any possibility that anything American could ever come close to their beloved Series.

And after what the circuit did in the offseason, it's even closer to NASCAR, for they paved over the kittylitter outside of Parabolica.  There are no longer any potential consequences for running overspeed on the fastest circuit in Formula 1.  And fast it will be; the teams are predicting they'll be hitting nigh on 225mph just before they brake for the Variante del Rettifilo this year.  This pronouncement brought the stupidest headline ever to one F1 website: "High speeds expected at Monza."  Next on Eyewitness News, water is wet, the sky is blue, and fire bad

This need for speed comes with a price, of course: it's death to engines and tires both.  Mechanically, a car spends a huge chunk of the lap with the gas pedal bolted to the floor, which puts a huge strain on the noisy bit behind the driver.  The tires suffer as well, since Biassono and Parabolica are balls-to-the-wall high-speed curves, Serraglio practically an afterthought when it comes to braking, and the remaining turns are dealt with by braking late, hard, and as little as possible.

As I said, Monza is not subtle.  What subtlety there is will be divulged to us via the dulcet tones of the Legendary Announce Team.  Here's the broadcast schedule:
FRIDAY
Practice 2: 7a - 830a
SATURDAY
Quals: 7a - 830a
SUNDAY
2014 Grand Prix of Italy: 630a - 9a

All are live and on NBCSN this week for a change.  Of course, the F1U! team will be watching the proceedings with a gimlet eye.  Join us, won't you?

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August 30, 2014

Over The Edge


I woke up at 6am, groggy and fuzzy-brained.  At 9am, I went back to bed.  I got up around 1pm, ate something, and went back to bed around 4pm.  I woke back up at 8pm, and here we are.  I know what this is, I done played this game, and it ain't good. 

Not only did I not accomplish anything, I didn't even attempt to accomplish anything.  Ben-To! writeup?  Nope, and I don't care.  Wash dishes?  Nope, don't care.  Clean the living room?  Don't care.  Grocery shopping?  Don't.

My friends, the potential exists that I'm dealing with a touch of depression.  Please bear with me if I'm not funny or anything.  Not, he says self-deprecatingly, that I ever was.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:32 PM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
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August 27, 2014

Ducks In Anime: The Show That Keeps On Giving


-Tokyo ESP, Ep03
Here's what we've learned so far:
1) The penguin is named Peggy.
2) Peggy is a Magellanic penguin.  This is not specifically said, but it's described as native to South America, and it likes to nest in the cracks and openings in cliffs.  Combined with its apparent size and coloring, that pretty much narrows it down.  Oh, it could be a Humboldt penguin, which even makes sense since there was an escape from the Tokyo Zoo in 2012 that evaded recapture for close to three months, but the coloration around the eyes is wrong.
3) Peggy is a superhero.  No, seriously.
4) Peggy, like all people of good taste, has a rubber duck.

I've said it before, but there's been a dearth of ducks in anime of late.  Quite annoying, that.  Get with it, Production Staffs!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:12 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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August 25, 2014

Tokyo ESP, or "Why Is Wonderduck Smiling?"

It should come as no surprise that things have been somewhat dour around Pond Central of late.  Relaxing, certainly, but morale here is low.  Over the past few weeks, though, I've noted the occasional good vibes being aimed at a currently-running anime named Tokyo ESP.  As is my wont when I'm investigating a new series, I tried to avoid as much spoilerish information as possible.  For the most part, I've succeeded... what I did discover was that it was based on a manga by Hajime Segawa. 

That forced me to pay attention to what I had been hearing.  See, Segawa was the mangaka behind Ga-Rei, the source material for one of my favorite anime, Ga-Rei Zero.  Around these here parts, GRZ is best known as the first series to get an episodic writeup and pretty much the only truly good series to get that treatment. It didn't take me very long at all to decide that I had to watch at least a little bit of Tokyo ESP.  After some digging around to choose a good translation, I downloaded the first couple of episodes.

So why, exactly, is Wonderduck smiling?

Note: if you're a fan of GRZ, do NOT read any farther, and DO watch Ep01 of TESP.  Trust me on this.

more...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:55 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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