TSM Episode 66: Biometrics

This is actually how biometrics works: plug a pair of Atari 2600 controllers into a block of wood, and plug the block of wood into a microwave. Then, invert one of the controllers. Authorisation complete. That's SCIENCE!
State-of-the-Art Biometrics from Sony

Produced 2012.09.23

Lusipurr, SiliconNooB, and Blitzmage go on an Oktoberfest beerhall bender. Blitzmage loses his shoes, SiliconNooB drinks lots of booze, Lusipurr forgets his swan, and the State of Massachusetts declares 22 September to be Lusipurr.com appreciation day.


  1. My favourites are: #1 Spirited Away, #2 Mononoke Hime, and a joint-#3rd to Nausica and Laputa, with perhaps a slight nod to Laputa for the beauty of the visuals.

  2. Yeah, Porco Rosso is the only one I don’t like. Although I haven’t seen that Castle of Cajklwegjweklj one.

    I really like Princess Mononoke, but I like it a little less every time I see it for some reason. I think I need a longer break between viewings. I quite liked Nausicaa the first time I saw it, but absolutely loved it on my second viewing.

    Laputa is great. There’s a distinct magic in that movie that’s separate from any other Miyazaki magic. In a good way. However, sometimes it feels a little too Saturday morning cartoon for me with the train chases and exaggerated villain, so that’s probably why it’s a little down the list for me. But down the list on Miyazaki movies for me is high on the list in relation to everything else.

    Top three for me are probably Nausicaa, Howl’s, and Kiki’s. Although Totoro and Mononoke rotate in that third spot.

  3. My top three are Mononoke Hime, Naausica and Castle of Cagliostro (if that counts). I did like Porco Rosso a lot unlike most people, just not enough to be one of my favs.

  4. I think it was the “Saturday morning cartoon” factor for me with Porco Rosso. It’s just way too much and the way they resolve some scenes make no sense. And the punching scene? Maybe for a Bugs Bunny cartoon when the point is timing, but I don’t think it fits in a movie trying to tackle deeper themes. It’s not nearly as bad in Laputa because that feels more like a proper adventure film and the protagonists are children and the situations are proper solutions. Also, Laputa is just a better movie.

  5. There’s a small part in the middle of Porco Rosso where he’s watching an old black and white Porky Pig style cartoon with fighter pilots in a movie theater in Milan, and his friend comes in to warn him about the encroaching political situation. Porco says at some point, “this movie sucks,” gets up and leaves. His friend stays in his seat for a bit longer and says, “this movie is great.” I think that may have summed up Miyazaki’s attitude towards it: in one sense, it’s just for goofs, but in another, it does represent a lot of his personal interests in a way that his more children-oriented movies don’t.

    Porco Rosso is one of his most adult-oriented movies. Themes include unrequited love and self-centered attitudes versus altruistic ones. To me, his relationship with Gina, overcoming the “pig-headed” nature Porco/Marco took on after the war, and also his acceptance and trust of Fio are more important than fighting with Curtis or pirates. It seems to me like the Casablanca of Ghibli films. Maybe I’m reminiscing too fondly of it tonight, but if you only saw it once and didn’t like it, really give it another shot.

    @Ethos, I’d like for you to give me an example of a scene resolution which makes no sense, but that might _require_ you to watch it again and I don’t want to force it on you. :) It does waver along the line between realistic and fantastic, sensical and non-sensical, partially due to it having a real-world setting but with some silliness to it, rather than the more fantasy films with some seriousness that we may be more used to. You have to suspend your disbelief in some things (like “why is he a pig?”), which may have been put in just to make it more entertaining and silly, in order to appreciate it’s greater integrity.

    Porco Rosso is my favorite Miyazaki film. I love the characters for one thing, much more than something like Laputa, Totoro, or Howl’s; also the music, setting, and story, the verysame quatrad which prizes an RPG to me. The next few are Mononoke, Nausicaa (which gets put under Mononoke because the manga was soooooooo much better that it’s hard to like the anime as much), and Cagliostro. (@Epy: good taste, pal!) I love every Miyazaki film to some degree, but Laputa is honestly one of my least favorite, because I was interested in the characters and the story much less than other movies. The visuals however, as SN pointed out, are incredible. I think it’s one of his more children-oritented films; something I want my future kids to see one day, but I’d be embarassed to recommend to my friends.

    Another Ghibli movie that I really love, but never hear anyone talk about, is Pom Poko. Any thoughts on that one?

  6. Wow, it would never even occur to me to feel embarrassed for showing Laputa to a friend…

  7. “Wow, it would never even occur to me to feel embarrassed for showing Laputa to a friend…”

  8. When your friends are more into, say, A Clockwork Orange and Apocalypse Now, Laputa is wtf smh to them. _I_ like it, I think it’s an amazing movie, but to other people who are not already into Ghibli, have their own top 3 favorites list, and think everything Miyazaki does is among the greatest cultural outputs of an entire country… Laputa is written off pretty quickly by normal folks in my experience. One friend, who has otherwise good taste, didn’t think it was terrible but said she was bored to tears watching it. So that’s what I mean by embarassing. No offence meant!

  9. Let us draw a clear distinction between animation of quality and aesthetic merit, such as the works of Hayao Miyazaki (whatever you may think of particular examples, they are all decidedly substantial contributions to culture) and au courant crap which is designed solely to feed the most immediate and base desires of the bottom of a viewership, like that bronie bullshit and the rest of its meme-like ilk.

    Or to put that another way: some things are good because they have genuine aesthetic merit and are recognised as such (sometimes long after their publication); they will stand the test of time and offer insight into the human condition. Other things are good not for those reasons, but rather because it is popular to express an interest in them for this group or that group, and in the fullness of time (thankfully), they will be utterly and completely forgotten. This is why we read Melville, but not Dennis Hannigan.

    I want to go back in time and smack the people who thought Melville was crazy for writing Moby Dick. The continuity of temporality prevents me fulfilling this desire. But in the present, I want to smack people who think that Laputa is “embarassing” or “for children”.

    Luckily, there are no laws of physics which prevent the fulfillment of that particular desire. :)

  10. I think the question is: logistics aside, would Miyazaki’s films work just as well (or almost as well, if we’re being honest) if they were live-action productions? And IMO the answer to that is a resounding yes, because at worst his films are a celebration of uplifting sentiment, while at best they can carry a substantial message while delivering a protracted falcon punch to our nostalgia.

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