Fact-checking is for the weak

typed for your pleasure on 28 November 2008, at 4.14 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The November men’ by Death in June

Greetings, new readers who’ve arrived at ‘Shouting to hear the echoes’, due to the link provided by Korea Beat! For the record, that post that sent you here? It’s riddled with errors. Riddled. This is what occurs when you use a blender to edit your articles. Let’s go over the highlights with a red pen, shall we?

The Real Dolls, made of a material similar to silicone, really look and feel just like a real person. And at 40 to 50 kilograms they even weigh as much as a woman. They can wear makeup and the more expensive ones can even eat.

Y’know, if I could get Sidore to cook for the pair of us, that would save so much time. Maybe she never learned how cos I never taught her, durr hey?

It is becoming increasingly easy to find men overseas with similar stories. 34-year old Dave of Detroit, in the United States, keeps a blog about his daily life with his Real Doll. They take walks together, eat together, and share secrets in bed just like a real married couple.

I can just see us attempting to do that. Either I’m blithely dragging her along by one arm, or hoisting her onto my back for a ride, and killing the pair of us.
And for the record, that’s Davecat, not Dave. Davecat, Esq. Well, maybe not esquire, but I’m working on it.

Here, the article’s broken up by a couple of pics of Synthetiks who are clearly CandyGirls, and not RealDolls. Another mark for lack of research!

He confessed his feelings about loneliness and the Real Doll. “I was always alone ever since I was a child. I think it was because of my appearance…”

Initially, people could handle my two sets of horns and prehensile tail, but then one Summer, I developed a row of glistening black eyeballs across my forehead. For some bizarre reason, that put people off!

“Suzi (the name of his Real Doll) is the first woman I had sex with and she does everything I want…”

Suzi? SUZI?? How the hell did they parse Sidore into Suzi? Did they just stop translating at the first letter and randomly select a female name that also starts with ‘S’?
And unfortunately Shi-chan (the first Synthetik woman I had sex with, just so you know) doesn’t do everything. She’s categorically refused to allow me to use her as a table or a chair, in the style of Allen Jones, for example.

“my mother, who is deceased, really wanted me to meet a girl but I think she understood that with the doll I’m not so lonely.”

Actually, unless Korea knows something I don’t, mum is above ground, and doing quite well. I spoke with her yesterday, as a matter of fact. No ouija board or scrying-glass was needed!
Also, they may be confusing (or just fusing) me with Everard, whose mother has in fact passed, and has said things to this effect in ‘Guys and Dolls / Love me, love my Doll’.

Men who only date their Real Dolls are mostly people who trouble fitting in to society. Because of their appearance or sexual experiences they live at home, with few friends, let alone a girlfriend, and purchase a Real Doll to solve those problems and have it them be their friends and lovers. On Dave’s blog he once wrote, “our conversations are one-way but even so I feel thankful to her.”

*facepalms* Where do I even begin with this paragraph?? It’s 95% bullshit!
For one, I think that once you have a Doll, you’re not really dating her — you’ve pretty much skipped that whole process entirely.
My favourite bit out of that cavalcade of conjecture though, is that quote I ‘wrote’. Take a moment to plug that phrase into the Search engine of ‘Shouting etc etc’, and see if you can find it. Go on, I’ll wait.
Did you find it? Heh, neither did I.

And the final paragraph,

Many people are unable to understand how they can treat a doll as their girlfriend. But the only way for them not to be that way is for us to understand them. When we understand their feelings there will no longer be dolls in their beds.

Ahh, but what if a person wants a Doll in their bed? Or did I just blow your mind??
A good spur-of-the-moment analogy would be that some people enjoy Coke, and some people like Pepsi. And then, there are those of us who love Dr pepper. There’s not a thing wrong with Dr pepper; it’s simply another type of beverage…

Anyway, you can find the undissected work of fiction-disguised-as-fact here. It’s left me more amused than angry, if nothing else, but there’s so much mistranslation/appropriation/fanciful bollocks that I’m left wondering if this article came from North Korea, and not the southern half. As we all know, North Korea has their own, shall we say, unique, take on reality

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typed for your pleasure on 26 November 2008, at 2.03 am

Sdtrk: ‘Get closer’ by Valerie Dore

It must be Winter (not officially, as the Winter Solstice hasn’t taken place, but nevertheless), as I’m currently losing my voice and fighting a flu with my bare hands. In between extended seven-hour naps, however, I managed to nominate the original version of Actroid, ReplieeQ1-san, to Carnegie Mellon’s Robot Hall of Fame.

A vote for Actroid is a vote for a Sexy Future

It seems that they hold induction ceremonies every two years, and I’d missed the one for this year. The nominees can include both real and fictional robots, such as Osamu Tezuka’s titular Astro Boy (inducted 2004), and Sony’s late-lamented AIBO (added 2006).

Here’s hoping that a) they choose to nominate Actroid-san, and b) the people will do the right thing and vote her in. Actroid in 2010!

Technorati tags: Carnegie Mellon, Robot Hall of Fame, Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy, AIBO, Actroid, ReplieeQ1, Android, Gynoid, robots

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Why yes, I am in a bit of a writing slump!

typed for your pleasure on 24 November 2008, at 5.59 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Disclaimer’ by the Dears

Hurrr. Believe me when I say that I’ve had really nothing of any import to write about since… well, the 16th. Well, our friend Tim moved back to Michigan, and he and his girlfriend joined goshou, SafeT, Steph and I for sushi and Rock Band 2 this past week-end. O, and I finished Warriors Orochi 2 — not 100% completion, but still. And a cluster of us iDollators got together for another meeting in London (Ontario), which was as fantastic as one would expect. But that’s about it, really!

For one, it got bastard cold rather quickly, which always throws me off. To that end, I purchased a brand-new electronic blanket on Saturday, and it does the business. You could slow-roast food on that fucker, that’s how well it works. Shi-chan’s making use of it now, and if she could see me from where she is, I’m sure she’d give me an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

So yeah! I’ve already commenced work on December’s ‘Any Doll/Synthetik news?’ article, as there’s a sizeable amount of material to cover, but apart from that, it’s an unintentional go-slow round Deafening silence Plus. My Muse is oftentimes found asleep, passed out on a couch somewhere whilst ‘Seinfeld’ reruns blare in the background, and this would be one of those times. We’ve all been there, I’m sure

As an aside, regarding Rock Band 2: Has anyone else noticed that the new Guns n’ roses song, ‘Shackler’s revenge’, sounds like it was frozen in a glacier sometime round 1993, and recently thawed out? That song sounds so much like Nine inch nails it’s not even true.
15 year wait, huh? I’d hate to be a Guns n’ roses fan right about now

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typed for your pleasure on 16 November 2008, at 5.45 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Thieves like us’ by New order

Last year, Burger King offered store-only versions of Tiger Toys’ I-DOG line. Basically, the Burger King ones are substandard versions of the actual I-DOG toys, which are pets that, when you hook your .mp3 player up to them, they flash lights and wave their ears in time with the music, in an unbridled display of whimsy. BK was selling the dog, cat, penguin, and turtle versions. So why is the toy line called I-DOG then, when three-quarters of them aren’t dogs? *shrug*
I’d wanted the cat, naturally, but I missed the window to get one. So you can imagine my glee when I learned that not only would BK have them again this year, but each would have a Hallowe’en theme. Glee, squared!

After weeks of pestering various Burger King employees in the SE Michigan area, I can now proudly announce that I have the i-Cat… and he’s got a robot costume. How appropriate is that?? Actually, I bought the cowboy one day by mistake, and the next day I got the robot, but still.

The Missus’ T-shirt provided by Mr Rstevens of Diesel sweeties Boutique,
in beautiful downtown Burbank, California

Now the quandary is that this lil’ fella needs a name. Sidore suggested ‘Shironeko’, as it’s a pun on her last name, Kuroneko (‘black cat’), with shiro meaning white. ‘O, that’s not pretentious at all,’ I laughed. ‘So what, he’s gonna sit round the place all day, listening to Bauhaus and writing awful poetry?’ I suggested the clearly superior Mecha-Moggy 5000. Shi-chan’s response? ‘That is retarded, and you are retarded.’

This is where you come in, reader! In the spirit of it being an election year, we have a poll, where you can vote for the name of a toy cat that you don’t even own! The winning entry will be the one we go with, so vote with vigour. VIGOUR! And if you think you can come up with a name more suitable for said cat, then have at it in the comments. Technically we haven’t even decided on a gender yet, so that doubles the possibilities.
FUTURE EDIT (02 DEC): Poll’s closed! We have a winner!

As an aside…

‘[You and Sidore] are living in as close to the Diesel Sweeties future as anyone alive today.’

– rstevens, webcomics assembler person

How ace is that??

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typed for your pleasure on 13 November 2008, at 2.07 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Sir Keith at Lambeth’ by Mount Vernon Arts lab

As I’ve been consistently viewing enough anime titles and features since 1986 to choke a horse, I’ve seen a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. Fellow iDollator PBShelley (he of Alastor’s Reflection) tipped me off to a fab site that suits my anal-retentive cataloguing tendencies nicely: MyAnimeList.net. You create an account, list the features you’ve seen, the ones you want to see, the ones you’ve dropped, rate them, discuss them, compare your lists to other users, etc, and it includes manga as well. Shame that it overlooks tokusatsu, but I suppose you can’t have everything. Overall, it’s a good place to take a couple of steps back and say ‘I have seen… so much crap’.
But this post isn’t about that! A fellow named gff left a comment on my profile there, tipping me off to a new anime series called ‘Eve no Jikan’, which translates to ‘Time of Eve‘. It’s an Original Net Animation, which means it wasn’t shown on television, nor did it get a home video release, like an OVA (Original Video Animation); instead, the episodes are available for viewing directly on das InfoBahn. In fact, you can see them on a site called Crunchyroll, a name which sounds simultaneously disgusting and delicious.

‘Eve no Jikan’ tells a story about Japan in the near-future, where Androids and Gynoids are found in most households, being nearly as commonplace as appliances. In fact, that’s pretty much how a lot of their owners treat them — those that relate to Androids (the show unfortunately uses that as a blanket term for humanoid robots of both sexes, but I suppose you can’t have everything) as anything but things are labelled ‘dori-kei’, so-called social deviants that invest too much emotion toward things that supposedly don’t deserve it. Heh, sound familiar? In order to tell them apart from flesh-and-blood humans, they are required to have a digital halo above their heads at all times.

‘Huh, when I plug my phone into you, I get two bars more than usual’

Our protagonist, Rikuo, starts the story checking the movement logs of his family’s Android, Sammy, and discovers that she’s often been stopping round to a place she wasn’t ordered to go. With the help of his classmate, Masaki, they track down the location, and find it to be a clandestine cafe, where the only hard and fast rule is that humans and robots are to be treated equally. Any Androids there deactivate their halos and behave as humans, which is in direct violation of societal laws. But what’s stopping Rikuo from reporting it? Could it be that he’s actually a dori-kei himself, with burgeoning feelings for Sammy? Dun dun DUNNN!

Not that there’s anything wrong with that

Studio Rikka, which is headed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, another one of those Japanese blokes that’s put ninety per cent of his projects together at home on his computer (see also ROMANoV HiGA or Makoto Shinkai), has been releasing a new 15-minute episode every two months since August 2008, and the wait is killin’ me. ‘Eve no jikan’ has an engaging story with charming characters, and an interesting storyline and concept. My hope, of course, is that the series gets picked up for domestic distribution sometime soon. Honestly, it’s getting harder to find anime that isn’t being picked up for domestic distribution these days, but you’d be surprised what slips through the cracks.
So until ‘Act03: KOJI & RINA’ comes out in December, go catch yourselves up!

Wow, was that just an anime review there? I think it was

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typed for your pleasure on 7 November 2008, at 12.38 pm

Sdtrk: ‘th case fr public organisation’ by The new lines

Why yes, I say; a bollockload! Yet another Synthetiks developer has entered the open market; this one from Hong Kong. It seems to be less of a staff, and more of some bloke, but his their company is called the Hong Kong Human-Robot Center. Currently, they have two models available — the Gynoid F1, and the Android M1, who happens to look exactly like the company’s head roboticist. Admit it, you’d make an Synthetik duplicate of yourself if you had the means to do so. There’s some footage of F1 on the site proper, and man, is she blabby.

The robots of M1 and F1 were life-casted from the inventor directly. We use a new life casting technology and our created materials to simulate human skin, the elasticity and the skin color. If the make-up technology is combined, the simulation is higher.

The inner structure includes simulated bone 、mechanical joint、special servo motors and central unit etc. The central unit has built-in MCU with our developed special program which can control 16 different directions of servo motors at the same time、 DTMF system and 3G mobile etc. The robot is operated by using batteries without air pump connected, also provides power safe mode. We will continue to increase the activity joint and the function of the Human-Robot and make it to be more perfect.

The movement of the robot can be remote-controlled by telephone with correct password entered. You can hear the nearby sound of the robot on the phone, talk and move through the robot’s mouth, and watch the surrounding of the robot if 3G mobiles are used. It also provides the automatic mode and manual mode for your selection to control the robot. Voice/pattern recognition system, or optical motion capture system can also be applied for human-robot. […] We offer low price and accept custom-made order, rental, any collaboration for robot development / training couse.

Going from the above paragraphs, they’re definitely aiming high. I mean, their claim alone of being able to control your Synthetik through your phone, as well as using him or her for a telepresence, is a bold one, but could you imagine the ahem teledildonics ah-hem potential? That’s some serious Ghost in the Shell-type stuff there — being able to speak and act through a proxy body. Fantastic idea, actually. Of course, I would suggest the company hire a better sculptor, especially if they’re fulfilling custom orders, as the F1 model is a wee bit… lacking in aesthetics. Onward and upward, though — good to see another individual having a go at getting more Androids and Gynoids into society! I sent him an Email enquiring about his work, but I’ve not heard from him yet. I blame the language barrier.

On the Doll front, overachieving Japanese Dutch wife manufacturers Orient industry plan to release a couple of products round Xmas, such as a thermo-blanket for your CandyGirl, a USB-based ‘hole warmer’ (it’s exactly what you think it is), and yet another new model line, called Real Love Doll Ange; one of their lasses would be pictured below.

To be honest, she kinda looks a bit high-maintenance

She’s a wee bit over 5 ft tall, weighs in at 53 lbs, and has two body types: the B-cup size (30.22.34), and the E-cup size (33.22.34). This line not only seems to have the most realistic sculpting out of all the CandyGirls to date, but unless it’s due to smoke and mirrors, it appears she can stand as well. Yummy. More details as they unfold…

As it’s a new month, Phoenix Studios is maintaining consistency again, by releasing Miss November out into the world. She would make an incredible Xmas gift for a lucky someone! Or Hanukkah, for that matter.

‘If you squint, I disappear. That’s my superpower’

She looks like an icy lass, but approachably icy. Upon further scrutiny, she resembles a less-Gothic Dame Darcy, creator and artist of the lysergic neo-Victorian comic series Meat cake. Maybe someone should buy a Miss November, and make her up to look like Dame Darcy. Strap a tiara on her head, put some butterfly wings on her, hand her a banjo, “Bob” is your uncle. *nods approvingly*

Also, Miss Autumn, another one of the luscious Seasons models, is making her debut.

Her earrings look heavier than she is

As savvy followers of iDollator culture will undoubtedly note, her photoshoot was done by the fabulous Stacy Leigh. What, Miss Autumn’s makeup and the background didn’t tip you off?
Two more Seasons Dolls left! I’m still scratching my head as to what Phoenix Studios’ gameplan will be after Miss Spring is released next year. Perhaps that’s precisely how they want it…

Back on the Gynoid tip, there’s a new anime series currently airing (although it has a nail-biting release schedule of one episode every two months), that centres round the sociopolitics of Androids and Gynoids in a near-future Japan. It’s entitled ‘Eve no Jikan’, or ‘Time of Eve‘, and as Mari and I viewed the first two eps last Friday eve, I’ll inflict a review of sorts on you lot in a post or two…

And finally, as it’s my birth month — woo and yay Scorpio — I’ll note here that I’m playing to type, and I’d love to have this bumper sticker, designed by rstevens, of Diesel Sweeties fame.

Just putting that out there, y’know

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, robots, Orient Industry, CandyGirl, Phoenix Studios, Boy Toy, Dame Darcy, Stacy Leigh, iDollators, Eve no Jikan, イヴの時間, Time of Eve, Diesel Sweeties

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Votin’ it *clap clap*

typed for your pleasure on 4 November 2008, at 7.35 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Amour, vacances et baroque’ by Paul Piot & Paul Guiot

You might find this hard to believe, but I used to be a lot more cynical than I am now, at least when it came to politics. You could encapsulate my feelings about the voting process in a bumper sticker: ‘Don’t vote, it only encourages them’. However, since the Second Reich of George W., I changed my thinking to, ‘if you don’t vote, you have no-one to blame but yourself’. Well, myself, and everyone who deliberately votes for bigoted stupidity. So I voted in the last election, and I sure as fuck voted in this one.

They let us out fifteen minutes early at work, to allow people to get to the polls that much quicker. From the horror stories I was hearing from coworkers about lines wrapping round the block at the polling stations, I steeled myself for a two- to three-hour wait. Which wouldn’t have been that bad, as I had my .mp3 player, and I was going to use my Treo to finish up a couple of Emails. To that end, I was partially disappointed when I saw there were plenty of parking spaces at my precinct, as well as a complete lack of lines, when I arrived there at ten after five. I think if it were later in the day, it would’ve been more worrisome — I was one of seven people voting at that time — but I reasoned that at 5pm, most people would’ve been exiting their places of work at that point. I beat the rush!

Blurry, but you get the idea. Incidentally, I was voter no.361 in my precinct

All told, the whole process felt pretty good — I felt like I wasn’t just throwing my vote away.
You can do it, Brak O’Bama! If you won in the 7-Election polls, victory is assured everywhere else!


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