Steamboy and Steampunk

I just recently watched the fantastic anime, Steamboy, which I highly recommend. There were two things that initially drew me to Steamboy: it was directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira and Memories fame) and it's steampunk. Steampunk is a sub-genre of a type of fiction that I really like; the term is derivative of cyberpunk but instead of being an imagining of where electronics will take us, it is an imagining of where steam power would have taken people of the industrial revolution. Steampunk is one of the many sorts of fiction based around the idea of applying a fantastic science fiction lens to some period of history. Another example of such a sub-genre that I'm quite partial to is Science fiction Westerns, which includes such great works as The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.. There are a plethora of other such sub-genres and works, which I could yammer on about but it's time to get back to the central themes of this post, Steamboy and Steampunk. Steampunk does the truly wonderful job of creating all sorts of bizarre contraptions and machines that aren't science fiction because you could almost conceive them being built today, or even a century ago and then throwing these machines at you in all their glory, making you want to go out and construct them in your workshop, or for that matter, get myself a workshop to build stuff in. Steampunk is a genre that wows and, in this regard, Steamboy does not disappoint. The early devices one comes across in the movie are a little fantastical, but not the least bit beyond feasibility and for the most part, everything remains mostly within the realm of what could be done, though there are some elements that push things well beyond the pale. Ignoring the machines, the art is very well done and the story is quite good, though the central theme does get a little overfocused at times. All in all, Steamboy is a truly wonderful movie and you should all do yourselves the favor of watching it.

Hi future, how're you doing?

If you're the type of person who likes the idea of trying to send a message to whoever's on this planet 50,000 years from now (and I know that I am), you might be interested in adding a message to KEO. KEO is a satellite that some European space folks are tossing up to be a time capsule, which is designed to reenter and land 50,000 years from now, disgorging a whole bunch of information. They're letting every person on the planet contribute up to 6000 characters to be put into the capsule. I'm going to see if I can come up with something good to add; I'm thinking I'll probably put something really inane in, like my joke about the two monkeys that walk into a bar, the silly clown joke or something similar.

My God of War is on break it seems

Whatever fantastic force I managed to drag out of myself on Monday was not to be found today. My best guess is that by being aware of such a feeling within me, I approached the evenings fencing looking for it and, in so doing, didn't call it forth. In spite of failing to be on in the way that I was on Monday, I wasn't particularly off and had a fine time. Unfortunately, today I seem to have picked up more injuries than any other day; meh, battle scars, oh well. I think that I'm going to have to take a step back and see if I can't reapproach this mental issue with a more naïve outlook on Friday.

Predictions for Iraq

I caught a bit of the coverage of Saddam Hussein's trial this morning on NPR on my way to work and it led me to formulate a prediction for Iraq's future. The most interesting part of what I caught was that, today, Hussein asked that he alone be held accountable for the actions of his regime and that the other defendants be acquitted. To some Hussein's request might seem like a noble effort but I'm inclined to suspect that Hussein is a fairly clever guy with ulterior motives. My prediction is this, Saddam Hussein will try to get his accomplices off and be imprisoned in Iraq--it is where he is a criminal, after all. Once the US has extricated itself from Iraq, allies of Hussein will retake control of the Iraqi government and free Hussein (not necessarily in that order). Saddam Hussein will then rule Iraq once more and the US will look like the bunch of idiots that we probably are.

In short, I predict that Saddam Hussein will rule Iraq again within 10 years, probably sooner.