A quick one before we go

typed for your pleasure on 28 December 2008, at 6.27 pm

Sdtrk: something from the ‘Space channel 5 Part 2 “Uki uki” Non-stop Megamix’ soundtrack

Heh; dreamt last night that a company had assembled a very lifelike and rather convincing Sarah Palin Gynoid. The technicians were stretching her silicone face onto her skull, and she had that glassy-eyed look that we all remember so well, and I was like, ‘yep, she looks just like the original’. My hope would be that the Gynoid version would be working for good, not evil, much like a reverse version of ‘Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla’.

This will undoubtedly be the last post on ‘Shouting etc etc’ *crowd cheers* until 2009 *crowd boos*, so I have to play to type and mention something about Synthetiks. As previously mentioned, Kokoro Co. Ltd. were finally prepping their latest Gynoid, Actroid DER3, for her debut; which, strangely enough, was in Thailand.

From that video, you can see that her body and facial movements are even more fluid than her predecessors — there’s probably more servos inside of her — but the one thing that really stood out is that she can actually move one of her legs now. When she’s singing that awful T-pop song and dancing towards the latter half of the footage, she’s shimmying a bit, as unlike her older sisters, she’s not bolted to the floor through both legs, which is obviously an improvement. One down, one to go!
There’s also a video you can grab from Kokoro’s site; the editing’s a bit rubbish, but it’s still worth viewing.

So when are we going to see all the mechanical progeny of Prof.Ishiguro gathered together? Simroid, Geminoid, the live-action Holon, Ando-san, all of the Actroids that were at the 2005 Aichi World Expo… even Repliee R1, the Gynoid version of Prof.Ishiguro’s daughter that, despite my dislike for the adjective ‘creepy’ in the context of artificial humans, even I have to concede that point towards her. But yeah, get them all together in one room, and I can’t conceive of a better opportunity for a family portrait…

And finally, I nearly forgot to add I got a wee mention and a link in a pro-RealDoll article on the site ‘Open Your Heart To The Love‘. I’m referred to as ‘the leading authority’ on Synthetik companions. Flattery will get you everywhere. 🙂

Until then, Sidore and I wish you a Happy 2009, and we’ll see you lot next year! Which is later this week. Nevertheless!

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Now with the latest go-faster stripes / Pet a cat and roll your Rs in her honour

typed for your pleasure on 26 December 2008, at 11.15 am

Sdtrk: ‘I’m in love with a German film star (long mix)’ by the Passions

‘Shouting etc etc’ is down to DEFCON level 5, as yesterday, I successfully upgraded my WordPress version to 2.7. I didn’t have to sacrifice any goats or children or anything! Well, just one child, but he was a spotty little bastard, so I actually did the neighbourhood a favour. How did I manage to pull that off, you axe? The WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. Unzip it, upload it, activate it, click a couple of buttons, honk the horn, ring the bell, and voila! New version acquired! As I backed up some unneccesary stats, the backup process, and therefore, the entire upgrade process, took a wee bit longer than it normally should’ve, but nothing on ‘Shouting etc etc’ shattered like glass when it finished up, so I’ll call it a success. Not one hundred per cent success, mind you — I don’t think the Plugins list plugin (how very meta) that I’m using works properly with WP 2.7, as it doesn’t list all the plugins I’m using as links, but still. (FUTURE EDIT: Plugins list plugin updated 27 Dec)
All hail the Automatic Upgrade plugin! Making life easier for lazy unattentive tossers like myself. Well done!

And while I was at my parents’ house for Crimbo, I learned that Eartha Kitt, Catwoman and cabaret star, unexpectedly passed away.

US singer Eartha Kitt dies at 81
BBC News | Thursday, 25 December 2008

American singer, dancer and actress Eartha Kitt has died at the age 81, her friend and publicist has said.

Kitt died of colon cancer on Thursday, Andrew Freedman said.

She was one of the few artists to be nominated in the Tony, Grammy and Emmy award categories and was a stalwart of the Manhattan cabaret scene.

She famously played Catwoman in the Batman television series in the 1960s and was known for her distinctive, feline drawl.

She also had a number of hit songs, including Old Fashioned Girl, C’est Si Bon and Santa Baby.

Kitt was blacklisted in the US in the late 1960s after speaking out against the Vietnam War at a White House function.
the rest of the article is here

First Bettie Page, and now Eartha? I’m not liking this

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typed for your pleasure on 24 December 2008, at 7.08 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Turritopsis’ by To kill a petty bourgeoisie

Links! It’s like likes, it’s like licks. It’s even a bit like lax!
I, ah, don’t know where I was going with that.

+ Having recently popped round the forum on Broadcast’s official site, hoping to find some news of a new album, cos with each release they lose a member, and soon, the band will be reduced to just Trish playing a theremin by herself onstage, there was a thread concerning groups that sound similar to Broadcast. Two bands that struck my fancy: To kill a petty bourgeoisie, which are kind of a more dissonant and soundtracky collision of the Sixties-era BBC Radiophonic Workshop sound with Shoegazer, and The new lines, which is headed by Hewson Chen, formerly of the late-lamented indie-synthpop duo Vitesse. I’ve been playing the hell out of ‘dc1’ and ‘th case fr public organisation’ on their Myspace player. And soon, you will be too! I guarantee it

+ Almost twenty years ago, David Lynch filmed a perfectly normal little television series called ‘Twin Peaks‘ in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington. Recently, some obsessive has undertaken a project to photograph various locations that were used in the series, to show what they look like now. If nothing else, you have to admire his determination

The Double R Diner, then

(Not quite) The Double R Diner, now

+ People with more time and scissor dexterity than myself are rather keen on papercraft, which is a hobby centred round cutting out pre-printed shapes, folding them up, and slotting them together, resulting in all manner of amusing objects. A prime example would be what you can find on cubeecraft. ‘Download, Print, Cut, Fold’ as they say there. They boast a growing array of characters in .pdf form as well, such as Number Six from The Prisoner, or Oh Dae-Su from ‘Oldboy’, or Brock Samson, or the Prince from Katamari Damacy, just to give a few examples. So why not fire up the ol’ dot matrix and assemble a couple of your favourite characters, instead of sitting on the Internet all day… o, wait

+ Have you considered the humble tetrapod lately? Have you??

photo by kana_m

Hit the beach anywhere in Japan, and you are likely to see endless piles of tetrapods — enormous four-legged concrete structures intended to prevent coastal erosion. By some estimates, more than 50% of Japan’s 35,000-kilometer (22,000-mi) coastline has been altered with tetrapods and other forms of concrete. Critics, who blame the tetrapod invasion on decades of excessive government spending designed to bolster the construction industry, argue that in addition to posing a danger to swimmers, surfers and boaters, tetrapods actually accelerate beach erosion by disrupting the natural processes that shape the coastal environment. Meanwhile, others have developed an aesthetic appreciation of the tetrapod landscape, as evidenced by a host of stunning Japanese tetrapod photos on Flickr.
from a post on Pink Tentacle

I’ve always thought tetrapods were cool, but then, I would. Frankly, I’m surprised that there aren’t like significantly scaled-down versions that you could buy to use as home accents or whatnot. Think of it! Toy tetrapods! I’m hoping someone will take that particular ball and run with it

+ For nearly a decade, I’ve always gone on public record as being in love with the city of Toronto, Ontario, and wanting to eventually move there. But lately, I’ve been reconsidering. For instance, with the weather being as polar as it’s been in Michigan, what godforsaken arctic winds would I have to put up with the further north I were to go? So these days, my party line is Bye bye Toronto, Hello Milwaukee! And after viewing this informative video, I’m thinking I won’t be the only one to want to relocate there!

+ Finally, anyone who’s aware of my manias interests knows that I like squirrels. Not as much as cats, and certainly not on the level of one of my ex-coworkers who loved pigs and had about a billion pig-related pieces of ephemera all over her cubicle, but I think squirrels are endearing little critters. To that end, I give you (not literally) a purple squirrel.

STEP ONE: soak squirrel in bucket of grape Kool-Aid

Purple squirrel baffles experts
telegraph.co.uk | 12:38AM GMT 22 Dec 2008

A purple squirrel which appeared at a school has baffled experts who are unable to explain its colour.

Teachers and pupils at Meoncross School in Stubbington, Hants, were amazed when they saw the creature through the window during a lesson.

Since the squirrel, now nicknamed Pete, was first seen, it has become a regular fixture at the school but no one has been able to say whether the animal has fallen into purple paint, had a run-in with some purple dye, or whether there is another explanation.

Dr Mike Edwards, an English teacher, said: “I was sitting in my classroom and looked out the window and saw it sitting on the fence. I had to do a double take.

“Since then it’s been a bit of a regular at the school – everyone’s seen it.

“We thought it might have been paint or something but then when you look at it up close, it’s an all over coat, not in patches like you’d expect if it had been near some paint.

“Its fur actually looks purple all the way through. It’s an absolute mystery.”
the rest of the article is here

Looks a bit Photoshopped to me, but anything’s possible in this day and age, really. *coughthatcatwithtwosetsofearscough*

So you lot can keep yourselves busy with those! I might try to pop off one more post before the end of the year, but I’m going to give upgrading to the latest WordPress a go, so wish me luck that it doesn’t turn out like the last time I tried upgrading without proper adult supervision. Man. *shakes head*
In the meantime, Happy (belated) Festivus, and Happy Holikwanzimasnukkah! Hope it’s enjoyable for you all! And don’t forget that the Doctor Who 2008 Xmas special is on tomorrow, for those of you who have access to that sort of thing. Allons-y!

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Let’s hear it for Pedantry

typed for your pleasure on 16 December 2008, at 6.26 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Beechwood park’ by the Zombies

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It’s pretty obvious that you don’t make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you’re annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they’re only human.
And it’s humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

The It’s Its There Their They’re Quiz

Gotta love that last line — I agree with it 100%, but it’s almost completely non sequitur. What, did Light Yagami write that bit? Or Ragnar Redbeard?
Couple the results of this test, with the results of this one taken aeons ago, and these should be sufficient enough to nab me a proofreading job, as far as I’m concerned. Remember, potential employers: you could do worse

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typed for your pleasure on 8 December 2008, at 5.15 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Heart and soul’ by Joy division

Our top stories this month *cue sfx of either morse code or typewriters*:

+ Abyss Creations have got a new news section on their website, entitled ‘The Doll Street Journal’, wherein they post notices of discounted RealDolls for sale, or various deals on offer, or clearance items, etc etc. Plus, they have a Doll of the Month feature, where a silicone lass at the factory details a few things about herself (it reminds me a bit of seeing adverts for cats and dogs up for adoption). This month’s instalment is the second one out, so catch yourself up on the News page of the site

+ Orient industry has finally released a number of photos of two of their sexy new Real Love Doll Ange girls; the Sora-type, and the Rie-type.

Sora-chan, after being told her sushi came from that fish tank behind her

While we’re hoping that the company will post pics of the other four models of Dolls in that line relatively soon, you can hit up ‘Ta-bo’s Kisekae Dataroom’ in the interim, and check out his photo-reports taken in Orient industry’s Tokyo showroom.

Rie-chan thought sitting in front of her seating made her
look more ‘artsy’. Actually, it just made her look drunk

Personally, whenever Ta-bo-san does those reports, I always get the impression that he’s window-shopping for yet another addition to his staggering collection as he does so. Which is more than likely the case…

+ 4woods is back to work! As if they’d ever stopped. Not only have they unveiled a cute new head, Kurumi, for the A.I.Peach line, but they’ve also developed an alluring new body type as well, known as the A.I.Doll Evolution.

If Doctor Who’s Dodo Chaplet was turned into a Doll and joined Morning
musume, this is what she would look like

Like Kate Moss, but much less expensive

Now, as the seductive Mia has a definite Caucasian facial styling, it could be argued that 4woods is aiming for the non-Japanese market, much like Cindy and Maria of Axis Japan‘s Honey Dolls line. Well, there’s a reason for that, which I’m leading up to; don’t rush me.

Personally, Kurumi’s only okay in my book — she looks a bit too… chirpy. But as you’re aware, two exact same models of Doll can look radically different, depending on hair, makeup, lighting, photography, overall personality, etc. For instance, the Missus and her nymphomaniac cousin Charlie Joanne are both Body 2, Face 4 RealDolls, but the difference is like night and day. Which is entirely appropriate, if you think about it. Maybe when I see some owner pics of Kurumi, I’ll change my tune.
Mia, on the other hand, gets my full Seal of Approval. The A.I.Evolution is apparently the culmination of seven years of 4woods Doll developments (has it really been seven years??); she’s 5’4″, weighs 71 lbs, and her measurements are 35.25.37. Huh! ‘The wider spread of legs, better touch/feeling while being intimate, attention to small detail on each body part, an existence you can almost feel her breath… You can find these characteristics in our evolved A.I doll,’ boasts the site, and I’m certainly willing to believe that.

+ Back in November — on my birthday, coincidentally enough — KnightHorse, Matt Krivicke & Bronwen Keller’s new company, opened its virtual doors. Introducing: Lovable Dolls. Or Loveable Dolls; I’m not sure which spelling they’ll end up with.

Comes shipped with romantic ambience; candle and pillows sold separately

Ripped from the pages of a popular forum that handles this sort of thing:

Yvette shown here is 5’3″ tall, her measurements are 32A-22-30 and she wears a size 7 shoe. She weighs approximately 65lb. She has a removable head designed with a system that allows you to easily change her eye color and position the eyes without damaging the eyelashes. We use beautiful handmade eyes in each doll. The eyes are available in 9 gorgeous colors that reflect light in a beautifully realistic way. She is available in 7 different skin tones ranging from very fair to very dark, and she is made of premium grade platinum silicone. You will be able to order Yvette with all the options offered by the other high end doll companies, plus a few extra.

Yvette can be purchased with built in entries or with a removable insert. She is fully posable and jointed. We have been very fortunate to establish an exciting partnership with 4Woods of Japan; we are using a skeleton based on their design, and we will be their USA affiliate for people who would like to purchase 4Woods dolls. We will also be offering maintenance services for 4Woods within the USA. They, in turn, will be marketing our dolls in Japan.

Our base price for Yvette is $5,500 + shipping. […] We hope you love her as much as we do!

Best wishes,
Matt Krivicke

No snappy caption here; too busy drooling over Dollfeet

From the pics I’ve seen of Yvette (the company plans on releasing additional models over time), she’s scarily realistic. And I mean that in the best possible context!
If her particulars aren’t enticing enough, Matt K & Bronwen also state on the site’s FAQ that not only are they willing to repair any of their Dolls at their aptly-named Doll Hospital should they require repair, but they say they can give a go at repairing other manufacturer’s Dolls as well, which is a boon since Slade, the RealDoll Doctor, is no longer practising. I’ve gotta say, that’s a hell of a standard that they’ll be establishing for all Doll makers. KnightHorse’s gorgeous lasses will definitely be something to keep an eye on in the next coming months…

And it looks as if Japanese audiences will finally be getting the chance to enjoy ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ later this month! Wonder why that took so long?

That’s the least-withdrawn Lars has ever looked

There’s a couple of pics in the News section of Bianca — well, a Bianca; everyone knows there’s more than one — taking in the sights of Tokyo, which is rather charming.

She’s not big enough of a star to warrant a limousine, apparently

What with Japan being a nation that is not as averse to the concept of either passive or active Synthetiks, one wonders what the overall reaction will be to this film? Do let us know, Japan!

And there you have December!
‘Shouting to hear the echoes’. More Doll news than you can physically handle, so we suggest employing some sort of large container to prevent spillage

Technorati tags: Abyss Creations, RealDolls, Orient Industry, CandyGirl, 4woods, A.I.Dolls, Axis Japan, Honey Dolls, Charlie Joanne, KnightHorse, Lovable Dolls, Lars and the Real Girl, ラースと、その彼女, リアルドール

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typed for your pleasure on 2 December 2008, at 12.59 am

Sdtrk: ‘Blister’ by Venetian snares

So going from the results of our recent poll, it appears our little toy robot cat finally has a name — you can call him Shironeko.

See how ecstatic he looks? That’s the picture of glee right there

It was a landslide; as of 12.40am Monday morning, that particular name choice garnered twenty votes, versus the ten that Mecha-Moggy 5000 received. I suspect that Shi-chan might have called in some favours from other Dolls…

Our friend Neo did have a point, though, when he remarked ‘I really think the lady of the house gets first dibs as she has to house-sit the cat!’ Yeah yeah, buddy, you and your ‘logic’. *waves hand dismissively*

Thanks very much for your participation! We’re all winners?

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