Police procedure (Dekaranger-style):
From a previous entry:
If the character's named Goro and is referred to repeatedly as "Goro-chan," what would possess the subbers to refer to him as "Inagaki"?
Answer: Apparently one of the subbers is a SMAP fan. Inagaki Goro (who's also known as "Goro-chan") happens to be a member of the J-pop outfit so that answers "Where did 'Inagaki' come from?"
United beat Lyon 2-1 in a Champions League Group D match at Old Trafford early Wednesday morning. (Reports: BBC, Soccernet, the Guardian, minute-by-minute.)
Lyon were a tough side -- United had barely earned a draw with them earlier -- and despite being injury-hit, the French side were still a force to be reckoned with. But it was United who struck first in this match and the goal came from a surprising source. Gary Neville played a one-two with Ronaldo then passed to Alan Smith whose low cross deflected fortuitously back to Neville. The defender, who's not renowned for his scoring prowess, slammed the ball into the back of the net to give United the lead.
The scoreline remained the same until the 40th minute when Diarra fired a speculative shot from way out. Carroll should've comfortably saved it but the ball slipped out of his hands and into the net. You could sense every United fans was wondering, "Taibi or not Taibi, that is the question," after that horrible mistake.
It once again left to that man van Nistelrooy to rescue the occasion. The Dutch master got the winner 7 minutes after the break with a header after sterling work in the box by Ferdinand.
Rooney came close to adding his name to the scoresheet several times but it remained 2-1 until the end.
It was Ferguson's 1000th game in charge of United and his 564th victory. There are loads of articles to commemorate the occasion:
Kidou Shinji found himself caught up in a twisted game in the Mirror World dimension while investigating a series of missing persons cases. Kidou eventually made a contract with the fearsome dragon that stalked the Mirror World but unlike the other Riders, Kidou has no interest in the deadly game's ultimate prize. Instead, as Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kidou battles to save his fellow Riders as well as the innocents endangered by the deadly Mirror World beasts.
Bandai's R&M1 Kamen Rider Ryuki set from the Rider & Monster action figure series was originally released in Japan in 2002 for 3000 yen. I had coveted several figures from series but never got around to ordering them before they sold out.
Fortunately, local distributor Litt Tak recently brought in the Ryuki merchandise to cash in on the fact NTV7 was airing a Malay-dubbed version of the series locally. I got this set from Jusco Mid Valley last month for RM79.92 thanks to a 20 per cent discount.
The set comes in a box with an inner plastic tray containing the following:
The instruction sheet, courtesy of Hong Kong-based Bandai Asia, includes both Chinese and English text. The English translations are a bit iffy, though; a peg is described as a "pointed out part" while "Drag Claw" and "Dragreder" are translated as "Drag Kuro" and "Drag Ladder" respectively. (The text on the back of the box, on the other hand, romanizes both correctly.)
There's also this warning:
Not intended for sales or distribution in the USA, Canada or Europe.
They don't state what the penalty is but I'd imagine Toei stuntmen would Rider Kick offenders in the groin.
The eponymous character of the Kamen Rider Ryuki series is an atypical Kamen Rider design with the only recognisably traditional elements being the oval bug eyes and the belt. It isn't my favourite design from the series but I like it.
The 13cm Ryuki figure is an excellent representation of the character. I suppose that's hardly surprising since the series producer, Toei, and the toy designer, Plex, work together closely but I'm still amazed at the detail that went into the figure e.g. the belt and the helmet.
In terms of construction, it's all plastic with the exception of the screws and rivets that hold it together. This was marked departure from the Souchaku Henshin figures from the Kuuga and Agito lines which featured die-cast armour pieces, and I'm guessing Bandai opted to go all-plastic for the kiddie-oriented R&M series because it would have been otherwise prohibitive to include the monsters.
Strike a pose
The articulation for the Ryuki figure isn't in the same class as the Marvel Legends or Microman Full Action Body figures but it's decent nonetheless. The low-down:
The figure is capable of reproducing the character's signature pose and the finger articulation makes it easier to grip weapons and accessories. The articulation could still be better, though. I would have preferred double-hinge joints for the elbows and knees as well as a greater range of motion for the hip joints.
The figure has 12 3mm-sized ports -- two on each arm, two on the back, two on the hips, one on each knee and one on each sole -- and the various accessories attach to these via pegs of corresponding size. (Incidentally, the ports and pegs are compatible with Microman figures and accessories equipped with 3mm pegs and ports.)
In terms of durability, I have no concerns. I've accidentally dropped the figure several times with no ill effect and while some parts do pop off occasionally, they pop right back on easily enough.
Enter the dragon
The Dragreder figure is an impressive beast and the main reason why I prefer the R&M set over the more recent Souchaku Henshin or SIC versions of the character. (Dragreder was omitted from the Souchaku Henshin set and Dragreder ver. SIC has a slightly goofy head sculpt.)
This is very much a Japanese dragon as it has three toes on each foot and fully extended, it's about 52cm long from head to tail. That's a lot of dragon.
The Dragreder figure is comprised of 13 different segments (including the removable head and tail) and it's very well-articulated. The low-down:
I love the articulation but the mid-body ball joints are prone to popping out and this tends to frustrate attempts to pose the figure. It's a known issue as well since the instruction sheet mentions how to reattach the parts.
Arms and armour
The set includes all the accessories you'd associate with Ryuki. The DragVisor attaches to the left forearm while Dragreder provides the rest of the accessories.
(It is a contracted monster's lot to be dismembered for accessories ... oh, the things one does for a square meal.)
Dragreder's head detaches to become the DragClaw while the tail doubles as the DragSaber. I should point out the DragSaber is made of very pliable PVC but fortunately, it isn't pre-warped the way my Kamen Rider Knight's DarkVisor was.
Dragreder's limb pieces, which form the twin DragShield, can either be used as shields (the provided grip pieces attach to the shields allowing them to be held by the figure) or can be attached to the figure's upper arm ports as armour.
I don't have many Bandai figures because the company's action figures don't appeal to me by and large but the R&M series hits all the right notes as far as I'm concerned. In one set, you get two well-articulated action figures which are largely faithful to the source material with loads of accessories to boot. Since all this is available for a very agreeable RM99.90, I have little hesitation in recommending it to action figure aficionados or Kamen Rider Ryuki fans.
“Lord British” is a true legend in the video game world, and it’s always fun to read an interview with someone who holds such a lofty poisition in the hearts of many a gamer.
I would agree that Richard Garriott is a true legend in computer gaming circles. I would also go along with the notion that it would be nice to get his opinion on many a topic.
The actual interview (from the once-promising, now-disappointing Kotaku) is pure drivel.
If it was all about "Wayne in Spain mainly causes pain" mid-week, it will mostly be about "he scores goals, Paul Scholes" after this weekend. The Ginger Prince scored his first goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Charlton at Old Trafford on Saturday. (Reports: BBC, Soccernet, Guardian, ManUtd.com)
Ferguson rested Ronaldo, Gary Neville and Heinze, and replaced them with Giggs, Brown and Fortune. It was otherwise the same line-up and formation we saw in the match against Newcastle.
Unlike Newcastle, however, Charlton sat back for most of the first-half and were content to absorb pressure and stymy their opponents. (Indeed, if memory serves, Charlton registered only one shot on goal in the entire match.) They were aided in their cause by an excellent performance by their central defender, El Karkouri.
It looked as if Curbishley's team would be able to reach half-time maintaining parity but Giggs had other ideas. The Welshman made one of his twisting, turning runs into the box in the 41st minute and his shot cruelly deflected off Young to give United the lead.
Scholes struck five minutes after the break to double the lead. Fletcher's cross into the Charlton box was behind the pocket-sized midfielder but he merely took a step back and acrobatically steered the ball with his right foot into the net in spectacular fashion. Goodbye, barren spell; hello, Goal of the Week.
United had further chances -- Rooney, in particular, had opportunity after opportunity -- but the score remained the same and the match sort of petered out towards the end. Ferguson won't lose any sleep over that nor will he mind the fact the first goal came courtesy of a deflection and there was a suspicion of offside about the second. On the contrary, he was left hoping United would get more breaks of that sort since they hadn't been getting them earlier.
I get most of my news online these days so I was unaware until yesterday that there were some Transformers articles (1, 2, 3, 4) published in one of our local dailies recently.
The articles are chock-full of history (no doubt regurgitated from various Transformers web sites) but disappointingly short of anything thoughtful or insightful. Interesting questions about the franchise go unasked and unanswered.
For instance, the articles suggest the main attraction of the franchise is that it features "robots actually being disguised as everyday objects and vehicle" but contrary to the writer's assertion that it was a unique concept, there were other lines that had the same gimmick. Why did Transformers wildly succeed while other lines fell by the wayside?
Other questions worth asking: why is Transformers successful at a time when kids are slowly losing interest in traditional action figures and how did Transformers manage to win over two generations of kids two decades apart? The writer vaguely attributes it to "some ingenious concepts and re-inventions" and leaves it at that.
The mention of Binaltech and Alternators, the lines geared towards older Transformers fans, would have been good jump-off point for a brief discussion of the adult action figure market (which, despite what the shipmates of Starship Clueless might think, doesn't consist solely of adults pining for their childhood) but the opportunity is wasted.
There are likely to be more articles about the Transformers franchise to coincide with the release of the upcoming movie and hopefully, there'll be a few substantial ones among the fluff.
Sky Grinder + Skull Jack back pack + Storm Wing wings = Punk guardian angel.
The English media are up in arms against racism in football but they're missing the bigger picture. Racism is just one part of the hate culture ingrained in football and it's no different in England. Manchester United fans have a repertoire of anti-Scouser chants while opposing fans are known to chant about the Munich air disaster.
I'm not sure how it happened but supporting your team now apparently requires chanting offensive epithets about opponents as well. One Spanish fan simply shrugged it off by noting, "Football is always about insulting the other team," while one writer claimed unconvincingly it was a logical extension of supporting your own team. The English media may claim racism has been eradicated from English terraces but I don't think they can rightly claim the moral high ground when English football fans find different ways of expressing their malice.
As for Luis Aragonés, the man who started the furor, I'm confident he will eventually be dismissed from his post though it will undoubtedly be solely for footballing reasons. The Spanish national side, like its English counterpart, is famous for underperforming when it matters and it's doubtful Aragonés will be able to change that.
I have a suspicion -- just a feeling, mind you -- that this isn't from a Manchester United fan.
I have a further suspicion this individual is lying curled in a fetal position in some dark, dusty corner somewhere, periodically removing his thumb from his mouth to whimper, "Dat ref'ree so bad wan," post-October 24.
God, I love the Mainichi Daily News' Wai Wai section. It's not the pruriency that delights, it's the writing. An example:
Men, on the other hand, don't get nearly as much out of a kiss as women. In fact, rather than pucker, they're generally looking to do something considerably more advanced, even if it does rhyme.
The quality of the 7.96MB WMV file is disappointing but I enjoyed watching Kamen Riders (excluding Leangle) throughout the franchise's 30 year history -- from the cheesy 70s to the super-cool Heisei-era -- show off their henshin sequences and final attacks.
A certain Shepherd must be further ruing the day Rooney turned down the chance to join his flock. Manchester United beat Newcastle United 3-1 at St. James' Park with the Boy Wonder contributing two goals. (Reports: BBC, Soccernet, Guardian, ManUtd.com)
If you're a fan of anime songs, you need to check out the JAM Project's "Return to the Chaos" concert video. You'll know you're in for a treat the moment the spotlights flood the stage to reveal what appears to be the Japanese Village People.
Recorded in September 2003, the video is two hours JAM-packed with energetic songs filled with enough catchy hooks to get you singing along to peculiar lyrics like "Skill my heart, to the very end of the dimension, make the story spring up! I'll never die!" and "Crush all right! Crush on hippy! Crush Gear fight! Fly to the dream-like future! Unlimited Energy! Ready Go!"
Microsoft's testing a new version of its search engine based on its own web crawlers and algorithms. I tried the local version and got this message:
This site is temporarily unavailable, please check back soon.
To be fair, it's in beta, which means it's going to be buggy.
I've been happily using Firefox since the Phoenix 0.5 build so I was delighted version 1.0 was finally released. I downloaded the 4.6MB installer, upgraded the browser and have been using it since last night.
Admittedly, Firefox isn't perfect as I still find I require the mighty Proxomitron to complement the browser. However, I feel confident most, if not all, the Proxomitron's abilities will eventually be available in Firefox via extensions.
(Incidentally, if you absolutely hate it when web sites open new browser windows, you might want to make use of Firefox's experimental settings to ensure web pages are opened in new tabs in the current window.)
The Star's Mind Our English section is a wonderful resource for correcting common errors made by the Star.
From today's New Straits Times (page 22, fact fans):
Seen on my search engine referrals list:
I hope to upgrade to Windows XP SP2 soon and I've been looking at my hardware and software to determine what upgrades and updates I need before I take the plunge. (I say "take the plunge" because there's a possibility that the system may go screwy post-SP2.)
I've started the upgrade process by updating ZoneAlarm to the latest (and hopefully greatest) version, 5.1.033.000. Windows XP SP2 does ship with a beefed-up firewall but I prefer ZoneAlarm's flexibility. The new version is compatible with SP2 but pre-5.1 versions are on the SP2 incompatibility list so update if you haven't.
Manchester United played out a goalless draw against local rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford. (Reports: BBC, Soccernet, Guardian, ManUtd.com.)
Man's best friend.
R2-D2!! (no relation, I'm sure) has a site devoted to his collection of classic robots, space guns and space toys. He's got robots on his brain so much that he's seeing them in the oddest of places. Is that a parking lot signal or ... a robot peering out from a thicket?
United beat Sparta Prague 4-1 in a Champions League Group D match at Old Trafford early Thursday morning. (Reports: BBC, Soccernet, Guardian, ManUtd.com, minute-by-minute.)
The match wasn't as one sided as the scoreline would suggest because Sparta had as many opportunities to score as United did. Indeed, the two teams carved out at least six chances between them in the first 10 minutes of the match and Ferguson pointed out it could have been 4-4 at the 20 minute mark.
To update my earlier entry on Ad-Aware, Lavasoft is ending its support for Ad-Aware 6 this week and urging users to migrate to Ad-Aware SE.
Thankfully, Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition remains free and I installed it earlier after uninstalling Ad-Aware 6. The installation went without a hitch although I did have some difficulty updating the definitions list on my first attempt -- the web update tool froze after 5 per cent -- but I managed to get the latest definitions (SE1R16 28.10.2004, fact fans) upon retrying.
This scene from Dekaranger episode 19 is yet another reason why the show cracks me up:
The Democrats and the anti-Bush league are still pinning their hopes on Ohio but from where I sit, the US has decided. Even in the unlikely event Kerry does take Ohio, he's going to go head to head against a Republican-controlled Congress and Senate without the benefit of a majority of the popular vote.
The anti-US hatemongers must be delighted that their poster boy is back for four more years of demonisation.
Four more years for the poor, poor Iraqi civilians.
Four more years of soldiers slain for a war based on disproven claims.
There's a category of action figures that goes under the moniker of "designer toys." Hideously expensive, they are a triumph of marketing and hype over value and merit. I'm especially unimpressed whenever they're lauded as representations of style and urban cool.
You want style and urban cool? Check out the Xevoz Sky Grinder. The figure itself has so much urban cool oozing out of its wazoo that you really have to wonder about the size of the wazoo. And that's not even factoring in the mind-blowingly cool accessories. Fully tricked out, the dude's a sky-surfing, jetpack-packing, missile-firing swordsman.
With spiky fluoroscent pink hair.
From the BBC:
United went down 0-2 to Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday. (Reports: BBC, Soccernet, Guardian, ManUtd.com.)
This was another one of those games United should've won but couldn't. But you have to credit Portsmouth for recovering superbly after United nearly overwhelmed them in the first ten minutes of the match. Harry Redknapps's unfancied team did so well to stymy their opponents as the match wore on that United's harried midfielders, without a clear pass to make, were sometimes forced to play the ball back to Carroll.
That said, United did have numerous chances but Portsmouth made the most of the few they had. Ferdinand tugged at Fuller's jersey in the box and the player dropped to earn a penalty which Unsworth converted clinically.
Ronaldo came close to an equaliser when his header hit the post and Martin Tyler wondered out loud if this was to be one of those games for United when Smith somehow managed to miss the rebound from a yard out.
United grew increasingly frustrated and desperate as they tried unsuccessfully to find a way back into the match and Yakubu piled on the misery when his shot deflected off Silvestre past Carroll to double Portsmouth's lead.
Ferguson described the outcome as "a real kick in the teeth" and "a bad, bad result," and blamed his players for not hitting the target. Ronaldo was one of those profligate players and I wonder if he should be given an extended break now. The kid is certainly due one after playing in Euro 2004 and the Olympics.
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Made in Malaysia.
Pass comments to tmwarwolf attitude at yahoo dot combut drop the attitude.
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