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Samuel Leuenberger

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Why you should watch the original Ghost in the Shell movie prior to Hollywood's ersatz

... or how a twenty years old movie is more accurate today than the newly released Hollywood remake.

Ghost in the Shell is a seminal movie when it comes to illustrate the questions of human & artificial consciousness or what it means to be human outside of the biological bounds.

Unfortunately all of this went over the head of the scenarists in Hollywood who are downgrading a remarkable Japanese franchise with convenient intrigue using a terrorist villain and a protagonist in search or her memory and origin hidden by some conspiracy.

Some have accused Hollywood of another act of whitewashing by casting Scarlett Johansson in the role of a protagonist named Motoko Kusanagi, but the worse offense in my eye is the likely belief that Mamoru Oshii's original movie would be too complicated for Hollywood's target audience.

So sure, the movie about to reach a theater near you is probably a great action show but there's a reason why Oshii's work was also a critical inspiration for movies like Matrix: It's packing a lot of action and astounding visual effects (those unsurprisingly have been all kept in the Hollywood version).

Amazon sells the Ghost in the Shell DVD, so I strongly suggest anyone curious about the concept to spend their cash on this: you'll get both an insightful and enjoyable movie for less than the price of theater ticket.

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Happy Miku day (3月9曰)

The insane diversity of ways numbers can be read in Japanese allowed the development of a litteral art form of word play called goroawase (語呂合わせ). This Tofugu article expose it very well.

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Some easy vocabulary, geography and dishes with Miku

Oishii (美味しい): Delicious
Meshiagare (召し上がれ): let's eat
Hokkaidō (北海道): Northern island, where Sapporo is
Hotategai (ホタテガイ or 帆立貝): Japanese scallop
Tōhoku (東北): Eastern region of the biggest island Honshū, biggest city is Sendai.
San'in (山陰) and San'yō (山陽): the northern and southern sides of the Chūgoku mountain range located on the South West of Honshū. Main city is Hiroshima.
Ponzu (ポン酢): A citrus-based vinegar mixed with soya sauce.
Hokuriku (北陸): This is the central West coast of Honshū, main city is Niigata.
Kani (カニ or 蟹): Crab
Kani Matsuri (蟹祭り): Festival of the Crab
Tabeyō yo (食べようよ): let's eat
Kyūshū (九州): Most western of Japan's four main islands, main city is Fukuoka.
Sukiyaki (すき焼き or 鋤焼): sliced beef cooked and served with vegetables in a shallow iron pot.
Shikoku (四国): Smallest of the four main islands, located South of San'yō region and East of Kyūshū.
Buri Shabu (ブリしゃぶ): prepared thin slices of yellowtail (buri - Japanese Amberjack) eaten with a hot pot.
Gochisousan (ごちそさん or 御馳走さん): Thanks for the meal

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The last Boston Dynamic robot is amazing.

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Europe still marred with environmental obscurantism, and France leading the way. 

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Very nice looking font that comply with number of strokes and made by a master calligrapher.

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I wish that only 1% of our parliament had the level of insight Obama has for high tech or what matter when strategically thinking about policies.
That said, I suppose that the new presidency in the US will be as clueless as our local politicians stuck in the 20th century (when not the 19th).

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"You’d think it would be an obvious ethical principle that life is better than death, health is better than disease, and vigor is better than disability. But, astonishingly, so-called bioethicists have repeatedly denied these truisms."
Steven Pinker

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Tres bonne synthese de Erwan Seznec sur le sujet.
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