Miscellany

My Favorite Firefox Add-Ons

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I’ve been using Firefox for some years now, having been introduced to it shortly before it boomed into popularity and made Microsoft start to sweat. I don’t use too many add-ons for it. In fact, I currently use exactly five. There are a great number of useful add-ons out there which I like but I don’t keep installed because my use of them would be rare. (One notable example of this is the Firefox Companion for eBay. Great if you use eBay regularly… which I don’t.)

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Japan

Kushiro, Japan – A Dying City? D’:

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When I lived in Japan, I lived in Kushiro, a city on the east edge of Hokkaido. Its primary industries, as I understand it, are fishing and paper production. (I actually got to go on a tour of one of the paper mills, and boy was that exciting! Very much like the tour of a crayon factory they show you in… was it Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood? I forget exactly. Anyway, it was the coolest field trip ever. The entry fee was the best 500 yen I ever spent.)

Anyway, some random fellow who will be working in Kushiro in the near future sent me an e-mail to ask for any advice I could give him about going there, working there, etc. He also sent me this video he found on YouTube. It was uploaded in March of 2008, and it’s the most heart-rending thing I’ve seen in a very long time.

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Cartoons

Why Avatar Should Not Be in the Anime Section at Blockbuster

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Avatar: The Last Airbender, for those of you who know little to nothing about it, is one of the best cartoons I’ve ever seen. It appeals to its intended audience of children through its aesthetics and zany humor (neither of which you need to be a kid to appreciate), but it’s also got a well-developed cast of characters and a three-season story line in which the consequences of the characters’ choices matter. It’s the first kids’ show I’ve seen in a long time that is more than just a show for kids. Avatar is truly for all ages, like Sesame Street was back in the days before Jim Henson died and the people who are now in charge of its production took a wrecking ball to it.

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Games

What World of Warcraft and Milk Have in Common

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If you were to trace the balance of power between classes in World of Warcraft over the course of multiple patch updates, you’d probably find it similar to watching a very drunk man walking down the street. In one version, warlocks are overpowered. Next, it’s the hunters’ turn. There go the rogues. Hey, warlocks again! Oooooh, mages! Watching the series of nerfs and buffs and nerfs and buffs to one’s favorite character can cause inflammation of the brain and outright frustration.

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Miscellany

Nested Earth

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I had a great idea today for a toy (if that’s the appropriate term) based off of the Russian nesting doll idea. It would be somewhat educational for younger kids and just friggin’ sweet for the rest of us: a nesting doll version of the Earth. It would be spherical in shape instead of the traditional mild pear shape and have five layers as follows:

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Miscellany

West High’s [Politically Correct] 2009 Jr. Prom

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10 years later edit (March 24, 2019): I’ve learned things since writing this and no longer fully agree with what I posted here. I now understand the need for ensuring diverse inclusion in things in general and totally see the point of the teacher who objected to an all-white prom court.

However, I still don’t feel like adding diverse candidates retroactively was necessarily the way to go here. Were any of those late additions chosen? If they didn’t win the votes for nomination to start with, how could they hope to win enough votes at the event?

I sincerely hope West High has found a way to address the systemic imbalances that led to their all-white prom court in a school boasting such a diverse student body.

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Site-Related

Obligatory Start-Up Post

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I wasn’t going to have one of these. I created this web site/blog as a place to put all the great essays I craft in my head at odd moments. Now that I have the site created, I find that those essays elude me.

Topics you can probably expect to see me write about include (but aren’t limited to) the following:

  • Video games in general,
  • and specifically, World of Warcraft;
  • the embroidery industry;
  • topics brought up in my classes;
  • current events;
  • comparisons of life here in America to what I experienced in Japan;
  • and a multitude of Geeky Things.