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Weaving Wyrd Syndicated

We now have syndication here on livejournal for people who prefer to follow it on their reader list.

Weaving Wyrd

I have joined forces with a few other bloggers to transition my spirituality-oriented essays (read as: ramblings) over a consolidated site called Weaving Wyrd. Let me know what you think!

I'll have an LJ-specific feed set up for it as soon as possible.

On the LJ facebook/twitter Issues

I know I am going to get flamed for this and that this is a delicate issue for a lot of people, but...

Text on LJ has never been copy-guarded.

No matter how many layers of filters you put up, it is not copyguarded. You have to show a modicum of trust that people on your list will not do that. If you are on one of my filters, I assume you know better than to repost what I say onto facebook or twitter in a compromising fashion with or without the new integration features.

If you aren't, then when I find out I will deal with you, with or without the new integration features. I trust you with what I post here, don't give me reason to second-guess myself on that.

Sure, the features makes it easier for someone to do something stupid, but it also makes it more traceable if they do, and the capacity to "do something stupid" has always been there. Maybe it is just me, but I can't see any new privacy concerns, just a somewhat easier mechanism in place to trace it when privacy is breeched.

That all having been said: I am not integrating them on this account. I see no point in doing so.

narcissu - Side 2nd -

Go download and play it!

A friend of mine has been working on the English translation, and it has just been released ^_^


Hulu Anime Update

Some anime that is on Hulu:

...and that's just scratching the surface. There is a ton more from a variety of genres.


Lysacek v. Plushenko

In men's figure skating there was an upset when the American Lysacek took the gold over the Russian Plushenko. Since then it turns out that Lysacek is a gracious winner and Plushenko is a sore loser, stirring up controversy, badmouthing Lysacek, and claiming the "platinum" medal in the olympics (.

Plushenko's got off the most difficult technique performed, a Quad Toeloop + Triple Toeloop. Meanwhile, Lysacek did not do any quad jumps, but still walked away with gold. To Plushenko, this is outrageous, and he claims that without quad jumps it is not men's figure skating. He has collected a few followers, who are claiming that since Plushenko took a bigger risk and performed the most difficult technique he should get the award.

Let's not let this particular line of thought gain any traction. Plushenko did perform the most difficult single technique, but under the rules of the system he did not skate a better program, and biased judges were not the reason that he lost.

Technical scoring under the olympics involves taking the techniques and giving them a base value. For example, a triple loop is worth 5.5 points. This is then augmented by a "grade of execution" on each technique, which is a slightly more subjective evaluation of how well the technique is executed. These are then added, and the total is summed to give the technical score. Lysacek and Plushenko scored equally in program components, and where Lysacek won was in the technical (which is part of why people are in such an uproar).

Skaters have to balance between risk and reward here. Is it better to skate a simple program perfectly (and thus get a high grade of execution) or a more complex program with the risk of doing it poorly? Merely skating the more complex routine and not falling is no guarantee of winning in the technical portion, because you may still have sloppy technique when you do it.

So Takahashi (bronze) executed 70.28 points, while the Canadian Chipeur (23rd out of 24 skaters) executed 52.84 points. American Weir (6th) executed 73.21 points.

Plushenko executed 75.03 points, Lysacek executed 74.93 points. That's 0.1 points apart: nearly equal routines in terms of difficulty. There are two reasons for this:

  • Where Plushenko front-loaded his program, Lysacek spread his jumps out more. Jumps done in the second half get a 10% bonus (to acknowledge how much harder it is do them at that point in the program). So they both did a triple loop, but Plushenko's was worth 5 base points where Lysacek's was worth 5.5 base points. They both did a Triple Axel + Double Toeloop, but Plushenko's was worth 9.5 while Lysacek's was worth 10.45 simply for when he performed it in the program.
  • While nothing was quite so dramatic as Plushenko's quad in point difference, there were a few times when they would do similar techniques but Lysacek would perform the more complex version. Plushenko would do a Circle Step Sequence 3 (3.3 points) while Lysacek would do a Circle Step Sequence 4 (3.9 points). This happens several times through the program.

It looks a lot like Plushenko took what worked for him in the past with no regard for the changes in the scoring system and ran with it. While it used to be that skaters would frontload the difficult parts in their program to get them over with, the 10% bonus is a nice incentive to push things back into the second half. While Plushenko excels in the air, there were a variety of more difficult and complex techniques he could have done on the ground.

So in terms of points, at least under the current system, the programs they skated were almost equivalent. Plushenko doing more complex jumps, Lysacek putting some of his more complex jumps off until later and doing slightly more complex ground work.

Then there was grade of execution. After landing his first technique Plushenko seemed to phone the rest of his performance in. He had wonky angles on landing ("this guy is part cat" was one of the comments, because he was landing things it looked like it shouldn't have been possible to land). It is a testament to his athleticism and abilities as a skater that he could land them, but that isn't executing the technique well. These numbers added up: Lysacek got a 1.4 for his GOE on his Triple Lutz, while Plushenko's managed a 0.6: Still respectable, but not quite as good (it is also worth noting that Plushenko performed his in the first half, while Lysacek performed his in the second half, meaning that he got an extra 1.4 points out of it).

You can argue that the scoring system is flawed. One of the skaters said exactly this: that the current scoring system discourages execution of quads because the risk isn't worth the improvement in the score if you pull it off. This is a potential criticism of the system, but it is very difficult to argue that under the current system Plushenko skated a better program. His gripes are sour grapes and his inability to adjust his program to the scoring rules.

With Respect to "Wolfie"

I am withholding judgement. Completely.

This has too many marks of the Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria of the 80's and 90's, and the only resources out there are--in short--not the most reliable. One article looked like it had been written for Simple Wikipedia, another by a blogger with aspirations of making a name finding a "big case," and these were the one from news organizations. A lot of people seem to be getting their information from fark and 4chan, which on their best days don't qualify as reliable sources of information.

There are clear markers of moral panic, and while there are a ton of allegations there is no clear way to know how many of them are true. Perhaps there is a benign explanation, and perhaps not, but I will refuse to condemn her in absentia when there is so much that reminds me too clearly of events where the reports turned out to be wrong, and innocent people's lives were destroyed.

This isn't to say that I think she is innocent. I am simply withholding judgement until I have something more reliable to go on.


Hikaru no Go

Hikaru no Go is up on Hulu!

Viking Sunstone

Yesterday I was in the Golden lapidary and picked up something that was labeled "Iceland Spar Calcite," from Brazil. The oddness of the origin vs. the name aside, it was fascinating to play with due to its double refraction (basically it creates a double image of things viewed through it). After a bit of research, I found out that it has been hypothesized that the Vikings used this stone (called, to them, a "sun stone") to navigate on cloudy or foggy days due to its polarization properties.

There was this fascinating bit of research that indicated that it was at least plausible mechanism on cloudy and some foggy days. So while it is uncertain whether they did use the stone in such a way, it is at least possible to facilitate navigation using something that the stone provides.


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October 2010


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