A lesson in love comes from a surprising quater

I was awoken this morning by my mobile at the ungodly hour of 7:50am. It seems the changes I made last night caused BU to cease to work. Which is weird since I made the change at 1am, and the traffic graphs indicate it was all working fine until 6am. Maybe a daily cron-job decided to rearrange things for me? Either way, it took under a half-hour to fix, another two hours of mucking about with the network to see where we stood on the issue, at which point I decided that rather than go to work and have a late lunch, I’d have an early lunch and spend a long afternoon at work before cruising on to ANUAS.

I don’t remember what happened at this point, but I think it involved more mucking about with BU stuff and similar. Or I might have played with the L2TP stuff.

Either way, I agreed to be available at about 4pm, so I figured at this point I’d kick back, watch The Jerry Springer Show, and chat to people on IRC and IM. I was also playing with the L2TP stuff during this, but it was largely kernel compiling so it was “type command, wait an hour” type work. Being on IRC reminded me of my occasional project to create a PGSM Music Video. In order to do this, I obviously need to have seen the whole series. Hence I decided to finall watch my PGSM Special Act DVD.

(The lesson learnt is inside the spoiler tag. I’m sorry, but it’s the final scene of the whole show. I’m also gonna talk about the story of Hitch. Yes, I saw Hitch last night. It’s good. ^_^)

Wow. Absolutely no Beryl (which shot my plan for Beryl + Jaedite set to Elephant Love Medley onto the backburner) and in fact a surprisingly small amount of senshi action. Largely due to their inability to transform for the entire sequence. I really must rewatch Final Act, and possibly Act.48 as well, and/or get around to watching the latter part of the series with subtitles, rather than waiting for the MGC to get up to it at the end of the year.

I was very pleased to see that Motoki got Mew Makoto in the end, after what I think was four years of persistence in the face of almost complete indifference. I guess the lesson learnt was that persistence and patience pays, both in a general sense, and specifically in my designs upon the person of one Azama Mew. I watched Hitch last night, which taught me that someone, somewhere, will find your personal foilbles endearing. I’m combining these thoughts into the idea that if I keep hoping, worshipping and stalking Mew, she’ll find my personal foibles adorable. ^_^

Oh, and for some reason the image of a pregnant Sawai Miyuu made me laugh. It just seems so implausible. I think I have trouble picturing any thin Japanese woman pregnant. (That’s thin by my standards. It includes almost every Japanese woman I’ve met. Maybe small is a better word than thin?)

It was nice to see that Ami had moved on to a nice American university, populated by a German doctor who tries to steal her credit, an Australian doctor who sees her running desperately down the corridor and points out that the operating theatre is in fact in the other direction, like he (or in fact anyone) sees running Japanese women in hospital corridors all the time, and another person who doesn’t speak, and may or may not have been American.

I suspect Japanese television shows populate their gaijin quotas by randomly pulling gaijin off the street, dressing them up, and slowing their English until it’s identifiable without being understandable. Certainly Ami’s response to the Australian (“But Japan is this way”) took two watchings to understand, and I probably wouldn’t have worked it out except for it being the obvious comedic response, and the helpful Japanese subtitle. The only American accent you get to hear in PGSM is Mamoru’s English friend. Yes, that’s right. The one non-American gaijin in the show, and he has an American accent. ^_^

It also looked to me like the American diet had affected Ami, she no longer looked like she blow away in a strong wind. Given how Hama Chisaki’s diary entries during PGSM filming usually centered around the enormous amounts and varieties of foods she’d eaten, I dread to think what she’d eaten to actually look like she’d gained weight. Or maybe puberty finally caught her up?)

Makoto was stunning as always. Just in case I didn’t make that clear above. I also liked her in reading glasses. And the green dress with choker. I thought the top with the one button was a bit weird looking, but I can forgive it for two reasons: anything which gives one-button access to a naked Mew is a good thing; and even with the button done up, any kind of movement showed off alternatively a bra strap, and a wonderful expanse of upper right torso and shoulder.

I also cracked up when the Shitenou showed up at the wedding, and no one seemed to bat an eyelid. Maybe only Mamoru could see them (like in the manga), or maybe everyone just happened to be facing the wrong way (like in most of PGSM. ^_^)

And possibly a lot of trouble could have been avoided all around if someone had pointed Mio at an English->Japanese dictionary with the definition of “Dark” in it. A brightly lit throne room and clowns certainly don’t appear there, Beryl’s dark brooding-room, the grey and black-decorated piano room, and the Nazguul (I don’t think they were ever distinguished from the other youma, but I’ve taken the liberty to do so. You know which ones I mean. Act.31 onwards. ^_^) certainly fit the idea of “Dark Kingdom”. Mio’s was more like “Completely-psycho-whacked-out-princess kingdom”. Kinda Queen Nephelia’s kingdom, at least what little we saw of it at the beginning of Sailor Stars.

Of course, this still doesn’t explain who Mio is. Maybe it was explained in the series somewhere, and I missed it (very possible), but I figure she’s the reincarnation of Beryl (as Usagi and the other are reincarnations of Queen Serenity et. al) which only slightly complicates matters as Beryl’s not actually died yet. (Or maybe she did at the end of Final Act? I don’t see how though, Jaedite survived. I like to think Jaedite’s working hard in his off time (which covers the missing four years, and most of Special Act) and has set up some kind of love nest in an inexpensive studio apartment, while Beryl tries to find some kind of job suitable for her outstanding talents. Then again, I like to think Nephrite’s running Crown Karaoke while Motoki’s spending all day wandering around Makoto’s florist, waiting for Ami to return from America. On the other hand, this would preclude Jaedite working at Crown, since the only way Jaedite and Nephrite could work together is with a strong personality to manage them. And while Motoki is many things (engaged to Makoto, for a start) a strong personality he is not. I’m glad Nephrite didn’t kill him during the TV series. (Although then Mew Makoto would have been free still. But that’s TV, not reality.) Still, I hope Jaedite has found a nice steady job, and Beryl recognises a good thing when it throws itself at her. Certainly, he seemed in a good mood in Special Act, so I like to think they found happiness together. (And that she kept that purple dress. I could find happiness with someone who can wear that well. ^_^) What can I say, I’m an incurable romantic at heart. Since I see nothing romantic happening for Kunzite or Zoicite. Kunzite and Minako could certainly have formed a good friendship, having suffered as first warrior under a leader (or two in Kunzite’s case) who let love cloud their judgement. If it went further than that, it would be a… torrid affair to say the least. And I’m sad to say that I think Kunzite’s gay, and has it for Endymion. And he is never going to be more than a third wheel there. Maybe he can appear on Queer Eye for the Senshi or something. Oh crap, I just inspired myself to writea fanfic. (Not Queer Eye. The rest of this paranthetical diversion.)) It would explain the weird connection thing they had which caused everyone to believe (or at least everyone on IRC I was talking to) that Mio was some kind of clone of Beryl, or a construction Beryl was using. I think my theory’s better.

If you want to make sense of that last paragraph, highlight everything between matching parenthesis and ignore it. Then read the bit in parenthesis. Repeat this process until things make sense. Congratulations, you’ve just had a glance into the thought process of a TBBle. In fact, the TBBle. ^_^

And no, Usagi doesn’t get pregnant, but I think she manages to mention babies in one of the very early scenes. it was certainly nice to see that four years and engagement managed to completely not change Usagi at all.

Rei was way underutilised in Special Act. I suspect Keiko’s modelling career may have been at a particularly high point at that time, while Mew seems to be in the lull between modelling and idoldom at the same time. I hope Mew makes the transition well, and I also hope Keiko does. Her minimal work in Special Act against showed hints of acting talent which were mocked by detractors (“I… Am…. Rei…”) back at the beginning of PGSM, but which will hopefully stand her in good stead in an acting career in J-Dramas; while I expect Mew may have more of a career as an actor and idol lined up, with her strong singing/dancing skills and demonstrated acting skills (by all reports Mew is very different from Makoto in personality, which is not surprising due to something I term tall-girl syndrome, which due to Japanese social training means tall Japanese girls (the ones I tend to refer to as stunning ^_^) become somewhat quiet/introverted during schooling in order to achieve certain aspects of femininity (Makoto’s solution was not to be quiet, but to be good at cooking, sewing and other feminine arts. Sakai-san from Azumanga Daioh went the path of introversion and a strong obsession with the small and cute. Both she and Makoto had “florist” on their list of career choices.) I can’t say if this is a good thing or not. But it’s an interesting phenomenon to observce both in popular culture and personal interactions.) Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of Kitagawa Keiko acting in the near future, and more of Azama Mew in my arms in the near future. (Hey, if I’m in a relationship, and have a celebrity clause, she’d be it. ^_^)

For reference, the current AMV plan is the Shitenou set to “Knights Of The Round Table” from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. It has the huge advantage of being only a minute long. ^_^

Anyway, Special Act was a surprising DVD, in that there was no omake, and the menu only appears at the end, which has the choice of Whole Movie, or one of six chapters.

As far as the story goes, I enjoyed it as far as I understood it.

Then I got ahold of the guy I needed to talk to to get the rest of the BU changeover done, and we worked through and identified the last of the remaining issues, and he went off to work on them.

At this point I was getting hungry for lunch (being about 6pm) when Shane walks in and says “If you want barbecue for dinner, you’d better go get some stuff, Julia and Bek are coming around in five minutes.” Needless to say, (but I’m going to) I did. Sometime over an hour later, Sean, Julia and Rabekah arrived. We barbecued, watched some of the Canturbury VS St. George NRL game, and Shane went to bed and the others retired to Sean’s house (across the road) once more leaving me on my lonesome. >_&lt. This I think may point the sorry state of my social affairs when I’m disappointed when people stop watching a rugby league game and leave. I consoled myself with the best of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and a repeat of The Glass House from Wednesday (Still funny the second time around), and by harassing Julia over MSN when I could. I also at chocolate cookies. ^_^;;;

Those of you playing along at home may have observed that the above overlapped the ANUAS screening. Which is correct. Kaz had the membership stuff, so my presence wasn’t neccessary, and I was debating whether to drop in at the end when Shane arrived and triggered the above.

I tried a Cruise Juicy tonight, and it was OK, but too juicy for my taste ie. too much like overstrong cordial. They’re also only one standard drink per, which makes them weaker than a standard cruiser.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to plug Television Without Pity as an amusing website of episode recaps for various TV series. The only one they’re tracking that I’m watching (largely because the number of TV series I’m watching is down to Battlestar Galactica, The Glass House (these two class on Wednesday night), Little Britain, and Rosemary and Thyme) is Battlestar Galactica. And I’m enjoying it. ^_^

Here’s PGSM Special Act. I got this with the 7-DVD box, which now holds PGSM Vol.1 through Vol.7. The second box comes with PGSM Act.Zero, shipping end of March. (Also below. ^_^)

美少女戦士セーラームーン Special Act.美少女戦士セーラームーン Act.ZERO

Yay Mew!


Beware semantics lecturers, they know what you mean

It seems my misgivings were somewhat misplaced as far as Prof. Anna’s artice on “Happy”. Once the Semantics class got to that point of the lecture, our lecturer immediately observed that there is a clear difference between “Happy” and “Happy with X”, which was a point I thought was completely ignored in the article. (See yesterday’s Linguistics post.)

The ensuing discussion, and the 45-minute conversation with my lecturer (it would have gone much harder if a dear friend of mine hadn’t already made me consider the nature of happiness and my relationship to it) highlighted that semantics is _hard_, and emotions is a hard facet of semantics. A psychologist is sadly not much help with this, as their approach to emotion generally involves trying to remove the language component and get at the thoughts, which semantics as we’re studying it teaches that language and emotion are terribly intertwined. And this was highlighted in the ensuing discussion of facial expressions, and the difference between Anglo and Chinese expressions thereof. (Interestingly, the issue isn’t a difference of meaning, but a difference in description. A Chinese person will describe someone’s facial expression by the parts that make it up, while an Anglo person will describe it by the emotion it represents. I also got to show the lecturer horizontal smilies eg. ^_^)

Anyway, the definition of “happiness” my classmates came up with (or rather, “happy” as it relates to “happiness” rather than as it relates to “satisfaction”) was something like: (Look, NSM in a blog! -_-)

Something good happened
Because of this, I feel something good
I don’t want anything more/else

OK, it’s not NSM, but the idea’s clear.

On the other hand, my own interpretation of “happiness” is something like

I want some things
I have (achieved) some of these things
I am trying to (have/achieve) others of these things
I am able to (have/achieve) all of these things
Becaue of this, I feel something good.

It was an interesting discussion with my lecturer. A point I made was that I manage my own happiness by maintaining the list of things I want seperately from the things I’d like. When I realised that Computer Science (B.SEng) wasn’t making me happy, I evaluated my wants, discovered that a second language, and academia, had crept up my list, and was unhappy until I changed into my current degree, and discovered linguistics. ^_^

Happiness isn’t something you aim for, it’s the journey you take to get there.

(Emotional enough? You know who you are. ^_^)

Oh, and I’ve started a wiki for information storage. (As opposed to this. If I do any _good_ explications in NSM for example, that’ll go there.) The only thing there is the start of the documentation of my wireless setup, but I’m sure it’ll grow. The WinNY stuff will appear there, as will… I dunno, whatever else shows up. Translations maybe.

My how things change

Today in Learning Languages, we watched a video demonstrating the “Communicative” method of teaching English. It was focussed on making the students talk in English, under a particular situation, in order to acquire a particular function and structure in the relevant social context. It is characterised by having the students freely produce English, and with an almost complete lack of correction (barring recasting of mistakes). The theory behind it is that language can be acquired by practice at a level slightly above the learner’s current level, based on the ideas of “Communicative Competence”

This was a marked difference from last week’s, where we saw the “Audio Lingual Method” which is focussed on demonstrating and memorising a pattern. This method involved the class memorising and performing a set of lines, with a little bit of work with substitutions into the pattern. Any mistakes are immediately and directly corrected. This method is based on the Behavioralist idea that language is simply a set of habits which must be learnt.

Due to the hetrogenous nature of the class, the native language of the speakers is not given much of a chance to interact with the learning process, which is a shame as both methods provide different approachs to the inclusion of native language in second language learning and acquisition.

Coincidentally, on Monday afternoon driving home from the same class, I overheard a discussion in federal parliament (House of Representatives) on language, and from the hansard transcript, I got the following quote: (Pages 46-51 of the PDF, 30-35 nominally, this quote was page 51/35)

The argument is clearly that the best acquisition of English occurs when you teach as long as you possibly can in the first language. The literature is complete — it is irrefutable — in that the longer you teach in their first language, the better the acquisition of English is going to be.

(The debate was ajourned until today, but today’s hansard isn’t up yet.)

This is interesting, as it goes against all the theories of language learning we’ve considered so far. Admittedly, we’re only up to the 1970’s, so maybe we’re building up to that point? I’ll have to remember to ask Louise about it next week.

On the other hand, there’s Semantics. I finallly did one of the readings, which was a piece by Professor Anna about “happiness” and “happy” in cross-cultural context. As I usually seem to find in Prof. Anna’s articles, it was mainly a criticism of preceeding work (I’ve no problem with that per se.) along with what I feel was a fairly flimsy justification for an argument that “happy” in English is untranslatable to other languages, and is somehow disconnected from “happiness”. The evidence comes from the fact that English, unlike other European languages, allows constructs such as “Are you happy with the decorations” which has little or no effect on one’s situation of “happiness”. This however highlights one of the issues I seem to come across a lot in semantics, which is the conflation of a word with a concept. In this case, “happy” w/out object and “happy” with a (possibly assumed) object (happy with/about OBJ) are different, and have different cultural scripts. The intransitive “happy” does to my mind tie directly to happiness. “Are you happy?” can hardly be said to have nothing to do with happiness, although the answering of it is often broken down into a categorised consideration of the various aspects of one’s life, which then brings in the transitive “happy”. The transitive “happy” can be seen as closer to “satisfied”, and as Prof. Anna observes, does not have the “I cannot want anything more” effect that “happiness” does. Even so, I’m not convinced that happiness in English has this facet, either.

So in short, the article’s main thrust (Proving English-speakers are happier by asking people if they are happy is flawed beyond doubt) is reasonably argued, but the NSM-ised details for me fall very short of convincing.

I’ll put this to my Semantics lecturer tomorrow. It should be an interesting lecture.

I’m finally starting to read the Semantics textbook, hopefully that will hang together better than some of the bits I’ve read so far. (Well, everything else was done in Cross-Cultural Communications a few years ago, so my memory is somewhat coloured by the negative feelings I associate with that class. >_<)

(I also got the IPSec stuff working with OpenSwan and RSA keys, but not x.509. I moved to isakmpd, but haven’t gotten that working with x.509 either. I haven’t tried it with RSA yet though. I might go back to OpenSwan, I found that easier to work with.)

I was gonna talk about tonight’s MGC screening, but it’s 2am and I need sleep. ^_^

Fansubbing done good, timewasting done bad, and Japanese homework done

After last week’s triumphant return to IRC, I wandered back onto IM (ICQ, MSN, YIM) tonight. The only people online were Matt Duggan (who immediately proceeded to make my head hurt with math) and a friend of mine from Singapore, whom I met on IRC last year.

While I was on IRC, gumbaloom sent me his and Aniko’s latest Seramyu output, being the Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu Promo and Fan Event, wanting feedback. Apparently it’s been downloaded a lot, but in the usual places no feedback, good or bad, has appeared. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that it was excellent, and I look forward to the finished product. (I already enjoyed Aniko’s translation of Kakyuu Ouhi Kourin in February at the MGC, but via a different fansubbing group). I watched another Seramyu, Last Drakul Jyokyoku, unsubtitled a year or so ago and it was OK, but it’s _much_ better with subtitles. I highly recommend this when it comes out, and in the meantime, see if you can dig up the CVME sub of KOK. Be warned, KOK is a retelling of Sailor Stars, so if you’ve not seen it (or read it ^_^) then you might want to finish it first. Which reminds me, I must finish it sometime. -_-;;;

I managed to get a little BU work done today, but skipped out on ActewAGL since I was disorganised this morning, and by the time I left home I would have had to leave work after 90 minutes. So I stayed home, did more BU work, and went in to class. (And was still late. >_<)

Ah! I’ve finally removed shift-space as a shortcut to activate UIM. Now I don’t flick into Japanese input mode every time I type a capital letter and then a space. (Yes, I have poor keyboard habits…)

Only class today was Teaching Languages, and today we looked at the idea that you can’t learn a language just by listening to it, you need to apply it to learn it. We also looked at the various stages of word order that language learners master. These are apparently absolutely ordered, which lends credence to the theory that languages are acquired in a certain order, and teaching cannot influence that. Tomorrow we get to watch a class being run based on that theory. (I’ll prolly talk about _that_ more tomorrow.)

Anyway, I’ve got a Japanese Lexicon assignment due tomorrow, and I just spent two hours doing it. I should have done it on the weekend, but I was seriously unassable for most of the weekend, apart from some time spent doing BU stuff. If there are any IPSec experts reading this, I’d love to know. I think I’ve gotten it conceptually wrong…

Still, at least my bag’s packed, my laptop’s loaded with MGC screening videos, and I’ve told the guy I’m meeting at ActewAGL in Fyshwick that I’ll be there by 9am or I’ll call. I think I’m gonna call, and get to uni by midday.

So, here’s some links for things you can buy. Today, it’s Seramyu. I’ll link in the MGC shows once I actually talk about them. ^_^ (And of course, it’s all Japanese. Like PGSM, there’s no official English version.)

2004 ウインタースペシャルミュージカル 美少女戦士セーラームーン 火球王妃降臨2004 サマースペシャルミュージカル 美少女戦士セーラームーン 新かぐや島伝説ミュージカル 美少女戦士セーラームーン メモリアルアルバム(13)~新かぐや島伝説~美少女戦士セーラームーン 新/変身・スーパー戦士への道

Last Drakul Jyokyoku may be that last one, but it looks like it’s out of print in VHS, and not yet in print on DVD. Oh well. I‘ve seen it.

Yay Mew!

Webhosting made difficult

You’d think Apache’s mass domain support would make it easy to host a group of websites, some of which are owned by various different groups.

For example, I’d expect such support to work in the following style:

VirtualHost *:80

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName Override.tbble.net
# Blah here... DAV support or something...

<MassVirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/%2-/%1
# or even "DocumentRoot /var/www/*/%2-/%1" if I could be so lucky....
ServerAdmin webmaster@%2-
php_admin_value open_basedir /var/www/%2-/
ErrorLog /var/log/apache/%2/%0_error.log
CustomLog /var/log/apache/%2/%0_access.log

Which is to say, a MassVirtualHost tag which interpolates the requested Host into its arguments, and if DocumentRoot comes out sensibly, returns it. It’d have to come at the end, since Apache takes the first VirtualHost hit it matches, and obviously MassVirtualHost will match anything… (Unless you also allow some syntax for denying??? Oooh, there’s a thought)

OK, I realise Apache 1 doesn’t do this, but I’d have thought by the time they developed Apache2, someone would have noticed this deficiency….

Anyway, the Apache (both 1 and 2!!!) mass virtual domain support lets you interpolate two values… DocumentRoot and ScriptAlias. I mean, really! You can’t even make ServerAdmin default to something sensible… Actually I suspect it does anyway, as long as by sensible I mean webmaster@host….

I wonder if now’s a good time to look at the Apache2 source, and see if it’s even possible to get something like this implemented…

Or maybe over Christmas?

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 10日


Good news
The server seems stable. ^_^
Bad news
The tutorial to make up for the tutorial I missed on Monday, turns out to be during one of my two remaining lectures this week. (And the other lecture is for the same class, so a clash is unlikely)
Something new
Work expands to fill the available time. And the unavailable time. >_<

I don’t think this needs much explanation. Suffice it to say, I didn’t do this last-night ’cause I got home and was dozing off on the couch within half an hour…. This is at 11:30pm, which is unusual for me. -_-,zZ