Animated romance day

Thursday 25 December 2003, 22:26

This is a re-posting of an item that originally appeared on Livejournal.

I think it was "dagbrown" who told me that in Japan, December 25 is like February 14 in North America - it's not so much a family holiday as a couples' holiday, the day you give your lover gifts if you have one, or feel sad and alone if you don't. Maybe he told me that or maybe I just inferred it from the Irresponsible Captain Tylor Christmas episode. Either way, this seems like a good opportunity to post some thoughts about romance in anime. This may contain spoilers for Inuyasha, FLCL, and Saikano, and if you aren't familiar with those series, you probably won't get most of it anyway.

Tsukurimashou typeface demo

Sunday 28 November 2010, 08:08

I added the Latin alphabet, so far only the uppercase letters, to Tsukurimashou, and this brings it to a point where I feel okay about releasing a demo PDF file, so y'all can download it and take a closer look at my handiwork.

Some things to remember:

  • The main purpose of this typeface family is as a pedagogical exercise. It's the process of creation that is more important than the finished product. Hence the name.
  • It's designed for the Japanese language. Typesetting modern Japanese requires having the glyphs for English too, but that doesn't mean the fonts are usable for general English-language typesetting. In particular, this is a monospace font with a choice of typesetting one character per perfectly square box, or two. That'll make it look unnaturally extended or compressed if you use it to typeset English text of more than a word or two at a time.
  • All five styles shown are generated from the same source code by tweaking a few parameters, and many other styles not shown in the demo can easily be generated with very little extra work.

作りましょう!

Monday 22 November 2010, 20:46

Here's a little something I've been working on:

[Tsukurimashou typeface demo image]

Again with the child-porn PSAs

Sunday 21 November 2010, 10:24

I'm in Winnipeg at the moment, here to look for an apartment - and it looks like I was successful, in that I have an application and deposit in now on a place that seems pretty much perfect. Prices are a fair bit lower here than in Toronto, with the result that for only a little more than I was paying in the big smoke, I can get a significantly nicer apartment. It's a little hair-raising because it will take them longer to process my application than the length of my stay here, so if somehow I'm not approved, I'll be in trouble. But that's not likely.

There are a lot of anti-child-porn public service announcements here. Pretty much every transit bus carries at least one, usually more than one. My colleagues actually warned me about this before I came - yes, they said, it is kind of weird and disturbing, but we don't actually have massive amounts of child abuse here, honest! I'm sure it points to something interesting about the culture. But I noticed something more specific that I thought I'd highlight.

Okay, two posters. Nearly identical design, both advertising the same thing, obviously part of the same campaign. They're trying to convey that if you happen to see some child porn on the Net, you should report it to the police an unaccountable private citizens' group. I note that Canadian law does not provide a strong safe harbour for doing so, and not only possession but "accessing" it are highly illegal, with mandatory minimum jail sentences, even in the case of fictional text created without the involvement of any real children, so you should have a really good story of how you happened to find the material by accident - but never mind that. I'm interested in the subtle difference between the two posters. One shows a woman looking concerned, with the caption "I wouldn't want my kids in those pictures. SO I REPORTED IT." The other shows a man looking concerned, with the caption "I wouldn't want my little girl in those pictures. SO I REPORTED IT."

Maybe the designers just wanted some variety, so they didn't use exactly the same wording on the two posters. But would it work just as well if you swapped the two captions? I think it wouldn't; and I think the reason for that is a big clue to why this subject matter is so difficult for us to think about.

Public Health Backgrounder #713

Sunday 7 October 2001, 18:00

So your lover is an undead creature?

At one time, sexual relations between the living and the undead were considered taboo. But in more recent times, such couplings have gained social acceptance as just another colour band in the great rainbow of sexuality. If you are a human contemplating sex with an undead partner, there are some facts you need to be aware of concerning health and safety, specific to your partner's undead heritage. Besides the information given here, you should also be aware of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases; most of the same cautions that would apply with a human partner are also of concern with your undead lover. Inform yourself about safe sex in general as well as reading this document.

The Number 13 Road

Saturday 1 November 2003, 17:18

It's an old joke, you've no doubt heard it before. There's this young woman, and she's decided to kill herself by jumping off a bridge. So just as she's standing there on the railing looking down at the river below, a young man sees her and says, hey, so you've decided to kill yourself, huh? And she says yes, that's the way things are, and she's all expecting him to try to talk her out of it, to say come on, life isn't so bad; maybe he'll offer to listen to her troubles, maybe he'll get all weepy and beg her to call it off, all that kind of thing. But he doesn't.

The delivery man and his death

Wednesday 30 November 2005, 17:15

The delivery man looked at the calendar on his wall and saw that the day was right, and he looked out his window and saw that the Sun had gone down a little over an hour ago, so the time was right, too. He put his bag of blessings over his shoulder and walked out into the gloom to do his job. Oh, not the one they paid him for, but his real job, the calling for which he was called the delivery man. Nobody said good-bye to him because he lived alone because of his sin.

Will McCarthy and the Screaming Avocados

Tuesday 9 November 2004, 17:11

[Belated Halloween story because of animation festival and urethral surgery. You've heard this plot before, of course, but it's a new telling, anyway.]

The rain was coming down in big sticky globs and the tour bus's back wheels spun for a fraction of a second, sending up a big fan-tail of muddy water, before they caught and the bus lurched out of its illegal parking space behind the shopping mall, onto what passed for a main highway in the little backwater town of Wheaton, Manitoba. It was a bus full of desires and Screaming Avocados.

All you're "based off" are belong 2 us

Saturday 30 October 2010, 21:40

I saw a Web BBS posting recently in which the poster, who was a foreigner learning English as a second language, asked "Which is correct - 'based off' or 'based off of'?" The person asking the question can probably be forgiven because they don't know any better, and at least were smart enough to ask, but if you know me you'll probably be able to guess that the general agreement among the answers, that "based off of" is incorrect and you should say "based off" instead, caused me to consider the merits of a tri-provincial killing spree.

I will not apologize for being a prescriptivist. There are some usages that would be wrong even if all the other native speakers of English used them; and "based off" (with or without an "of") is such a usage. I'm willing to accept "different than" as an issue of formalism, and acceptable in speech or informal writing even though I do not use it myself; I'm willing to (very grudgingly) grant that persons from the United States of America may be allowed to say "anyways" as a regional dialect thing, even though it makes them sound illiterate; but "based off" is just completely unacceptable.

Nonetheless, from a scientific perspective and from the point of view of "know the enemy," it may be interesting to look seriously at the questions of who does say "based off," and when they started.

Fun with text analysis

Tuesday 26 October 2010, 22:33

I wrote before about the writing style analysis toy; at that time I said the "blogosphere" wasn't ready for such technology, and I still believe that, but I recently did something sort of related that might interest you, and the stakes are a little lower, so I'm going to share it here.

The thing is, in my novel draft, there are 45 chapters, and some of them are deliberately written in different styles from others. I thought it'd be interesting to see if I could detect that statistically. I apologize for not posting the actual text here - you'll have to wait until the book is published - but I'll at least give you the raw numbers to play with and walk you through the analysis.