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Chris S
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Chris S

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Commercials are annoying, but I understand that even with paid Hulu it's still helpful for the service that they exist. Is an extra $4 a month ($48 a year) worth it to get rid of them? Not for me. Growing up with TV schedules dictating my life until I started working high school, I appreciate a break in the action to let me go do other things.

Although a few more minutes of content would be nice considering the fact that I identified several newly added anime TV series and films that I'd love to watch but absolutely know I won't ever have the time to watch. (Rose of Versailles, we may never have time for each other. I'm sorry.)
Hulu is the only place where you can legally watch the newest episodes of many shows online—but its incessant commercials have always been pretty annoying. Today, Hulu is launching a new tier of service priced at $11.99 a month, without commercials—mostly.
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Also, it says mostly. So I'd still have to see some commercials. Give me a break.
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I respect that she feels so strongly about this. I don't agree with her in the slightest, but I respect that she has feelings. At the same time, she is not only defying the law but also not performing one of her job functions. She should be held in contempt and fired. This is beyond ridiculous, and the fact that she hasn't been removed already doesn't make any sense.
A Christian official continues to refuse to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples in Kentucky despite exhausting all of her legal options.
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Robert Washburn's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
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If you refuse to do your job you don't get to do your job anymore. 

#Religionasexcuse  
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Chris S

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The ending of Zeta Gundam manages to do so many things right yet also manages to do so many things wrong. Kamille Bidan, the hero of the story, is witness to the deaths of every major female character in the story. As an empathic Newtype, this does somehow empower him, but at the same time there's something problematic about all of the female characters dying like that. The only significant male character to die in that period and bring him strength is Katz, whose death within the first five minutes of the penultimate episode is welcome (despite the fact that you don't really want one of the little kids from the original series to die off, he was a little shit who caused more problems than he solved). Maybe Kamille's series of crushes throughout the series was really about his looking for a mother figure? Toward the end it looks like he realized his feelings for Fa, the girl next door. It's just in time, too, since he was infantilized at the very end.

I really don't understand that ending. Scirocco, with his dying breath upon being literally impaled on the nose of the Zeta Gundam's wave rider form, announces that he will take Kamille's soul with him. Moments later, Kamille realizes that he's out in space and wants to open his canopy because it's hot in there. He has been tragically reduced. I suppose this was done to take him out of future stories. After all, by the end of the series he literally became an invincible with his Newtype powers and the bio-sensor of the Zeta. But it's ridiculous because it's not a notion that is at all explored. It just happens and the series is over.

One way I have looked at it in the past is that this is a way to absolve him of sins. Before he is killed by Kamille, Jerid points out that Kamille has called more people than anyone during the war. It's probably true. Kamille keeps talking about how much he hates the killing that is happening, yet he seems to be blind to the fact that he has the most blood on his hands. Had he survived the war perfectly in tact, his reflection on that fact alone may have been more crippling than the mind rape he endured. The end of ZZ Gundam reveals a recovery of sorts, fortunately. Supplemental material also suggests that he regains his adult mind and becomes a doctor. The fact that there is no real closure for his story really bothers me.

On the Zeonic end of the spectrum, Haman Karn is stated to be the source of all misery, which would suggest that she's the true big bad who needs to be taken down. So Kamille only takes out the second fiddle, only to leave Haman for a future character whose development is far from intriguing? What the hell, Tomino?! And Char escapes the situation to live and fight another day. When he comes back, he's raising the flag of Zeon and trying to drop an asteroid on the Earth. There's no good reason given for why Char's Counterattack even happens, but it does. Tomino is an interesting storyteller, but he's not especially good at linking his stories. Stardust Memory was a worthwhile but lengthy link between the original series and Zeta, so maybe sooner or later someone can show what happened during that six year gap between Zeta and Char's Counterattack. We're long overdue for Gundam 0090: Char's Turnabout.

Also of note upon this viewing of the series, I got a bit of an Evangelion vibe. This is probably because I've been in an Eva mindset for reasons previously explained, but I wouldn't be surprised if aspects of Eva were inspired by this series. The connection between Kamille and Haman where they shared each other's memories to get a better understanding of each other seemed to be a goal of the Human Instrumentality Project - also known as the Human Completion Project. Everyone's minds coming together to fill in the gaps and improve one another. Then there's the overall bleak tone, but that's just a staple of Japanese war stories...for obvious reasons.

Probably after Labor Day I'll start re-watching the Zeta Gundam: A New Translation series of films. Now that I'm refreshed on how the actual series went, the changes made in the films will be that much more pronounced. Is it bad to admit just how forward I'm looking to the changed ending? I know that it's a change that doesn't fit with the rest of the Universal Century timeline, but to hell with that. Had Kamille survived, the war with Neo Zeon probably would have been a lot shorter because he would have made it his mission to finally take out Haman Karn. After all, he pronounced that she was someone who shouldn't be allowed to live because she is the source of everyone's misery. That's a loose end he'd want to tie up. Following that, Char's Neo Zeon group, and the dropping of the asteroid, would definitely have seen greater difficulty with an invincible Newtype getting the way. (Or would have been incredibly successful had he been convinced to join.) I'd love to see the further development of this alternate Universal Century.
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Chris S

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Joe Dante tweeted that this clip is pretty much accurate (the studio took over Gremlins 2?), but I don't care. The clip is hilarious, and I'm someone who absolutely loves the film.
In 1989, a flamboyant script doctor interrupts a brainstorming session for "Gremlins 2" to help spice up the writers' ideas.
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Chris S

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I have little faith in change.org petitions, but I'm still going to promote this one. Women shouldn't be penalized for reproducing.
Mandatory Paid Maternity Leave for U.S. 6 Months Currently, there is no Mandatory Paid Maternity Leave in place for working mothers in the United States. This does not just affect mothers, it affects our future. According to the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mothers are allowed 6 weeks (unpaid) time off for vaginal delivers and 8 weeks (unpaid) time off for caesarian deliveries if they meet the Federal Medical Leave Act requirements. Mothers...
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More: Women shouldn't be penalized for reproducing in a society where we increasingly remove their ability to control their own reproduction. Either one in a vacuum is bad enough. Both together is unforgivable.
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Chris S

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Insightful. I have a better understanding of things. In a way, following the line from Matthew leads to an almost Buddhist pursuit of uncoupling from the material world...but that's not how it's being followed. In practice it has villified women and excused men from responsibility for their behavior.
Something Jesus said links the Josh Duggar Ashley Madison scandal and the Duke Fun Home controversy in unexpected ways.
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It's all a bullshit excuse.  Jesus said that shall not kill and how's that working out?  It's not pick your crutch day. 
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Chris S

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Kirby's language isn't quite acceptable by today's standards, but what he said is actually much more progressive than what many comic book fans want to hear. The major comic publishers are definitely shuffling forward with diversity in the comics (although I have to admit I miss Wally West as a redhead), even if they aren't quite meeting those same standards as far as staffing goes.
A huge part of Kirby's legacy was diversity in comic books — a fight that's still being fought today.
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While Howl's Moving Castle is an entertaining and beautiful film, it was ultimately a disappointing experience. The film just suddenly comes to an end, with the lead character somehow being the key to multiple items all at once. There's a subplot involving the scarecrow, who was an awesome character, that you're only really prepared for if you pay attention to and remember a couple lines of background dialogue from the beginning of the film. These things make the movie one that I can't wholeheartedly recommend to people.

This is even more disappointing because I'm watching Studio Ghibli films with my wife to introduce her to the world of anime as well as to fill in a huge gap in my experience with anime. (This is my fourth Ghibli film, following My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Whisper of the Heart.) It turned out to be a great example of artistry, but it was not a great example of storytelling.
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+Robbert de Groot I believe it's Miyazaki's son who directed Earthsea. Don't quote me by any means, but otherwise you're correct: Hayao wasn't involved. It's still a beautiful movie and great music, but the story and ending aren't keepers. And if you're a fan of the books I've been lead to believe by other watchers that you'll want to claw your eyes out.
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No!
US horror film director Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, has died aged 76, US media say.
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He made some crazy movies, he'll be missed.
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Incredibly interesting read for anyone who likes giant robots. It's a bit clinical in approach, but it's necessarily exacting in how it describes key series and their contributions. For instance, my favorite line is, "Zeta Gundam led to a second sequel, "Kido Senshi ZZ Gundam" (Mobile Suit Double Zeta Gundam), redundant in name and in content." Never before have I seen ZZ so aptly described. Also of note, as I am an unabashed Gundam otaku, is the fact that G Gundam is listed as a key series while Gundam Wing is nowhere to be seen.

Gundam aside, this is still a great read from the dawn of robots with Astro Boy to anime's present day influence on American cinema in Transformers(...) and Pacific Rim(!!!).
 
This is a fifty-ish page guide to History of Anime Robots produced by the Japanese government and translated into English for your personal benefit. Thanks Japan! (I guess a chapter isn't translated, tho. I'm not sure why. OH WELL! Cool anyhow.) 
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This is the danger of announcing a release date too far in advance. I understand the importance of the hype machine, but more companies should wait until as late as possible to announce that something is tested and unlikely to undergo any major changes. One or two months out is a good time to announce a game. Plus, in this age of teaser and trailer upon teaser and trailer, it's much more surprising and exciting to see a game will be available after within the same season as the announcement.
XCOM 2 won't make its November release window and will instead be released on Feb. 5, 2016, developer Firaxis Games announced today, saying it needs "a little more time to make it the best possible...
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I'd be lying if I said I was terribly surprised that many psychological studies cannot be reproduced. Aside from poor intent and methodology on the part of many researchers, there's also the fact that anything studied is really a snapshot of that moment in time. As culture changes, so does the psyche in that it responds to the here and now.

In an ideal world, psychological studies would be funded enough that they could be performed in multiple locations (not just a single college) at roughly the same time, and the results would be compared between locations as if they were replications - because they are. Then the studies, if determined successful (there's enough evidence to strongly suggest, as opposed to merely suggest if you cross your eyes enough, that there is some sort of result), would be replicated within five years. But we'll never get there.

This, along with the growing evidence that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy doesn't have the long term results that people believe it needs in order to be credible, does not look good for the field of psychology moving forward. While I've had my gripes about research for years thanks to a class on violence in the media and the very biased, top-down approach taken to studies that have gained national exposure, I still think that clinical psychology is a more than worthwhile field - even if reduced to simple "talk therapy" and the occasional prescription provided by a psychiatrist. We currently live in an ever isolating environment, so having someone to talk to freely about things can do wonders.
Psychology has long been the butt of jokes about its deep insight into the human mind – especially from the “hard” sciences such as physics – and now a study has revealed that much of its published research really is psycho-babble.
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+Chris S There was a companion article to that one and an exchange of letters and responses that you can found on the website if you are interested. 
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Chris's Collections
Story
Tagline
Rolling 1's teaches you more than rolling 20's
Introduction
I'm a general hobbyist. Board games, video games, books, comic books, TV, and movies. I used to collect more than I could consume. Now I'm working through the backlog and collecting fewer items. My media obsession is balanced by being a parent. That has helped me to realize that there are far more important things than keeping up with everything. Parenthood has also helped me to realize that happiness isn't elusive. It's just not something that can be expected all the time.
Bragging rights
When I was very young, I was told that the perception of me that other people have may differ from my own. Upon high school graduation, I soundly learned that lesson. It wasn't until after I graduated from grad school that I realized that while both perceptions are valid, neither one should limit me in any way.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
East Lansing
Previously
Chicago - Ann Arbor - Detroit - Southfield - Redondo Beach - Hawthorne
Work
Occupation
Applicant Tracking Site Administrator
Skills
Jack-of-many-trades. Wish I could say I have a "certain" set of skills, but they're really quite all over the place. Very few are useful together.
Basic Information
Birthday
September 13
Relationship
Married