Prattler’s Paradise May Be Moving Soon

I’m not completely happy with, so I’m experimenting with some free hosting sites to see if I can get something good going. I want better layouts, for one thing. This means this blog may be moving soon. Currently, I’m looking into and, but I’ll be keeping my options open.


Swine Flu: Deadly Hype

Scientists have discovered the H1N1 virus lacks a key amino acid found in deadlier flu strains. This means the swine flu is not lethal. That doesn’t mean no one will die, as some people already have, but widespread deaths are unlikely. Influenza can mutate easily, so it could be temporary good news. However, a vaccine like the shot Americans get every year is in production, and just like with seasonal flu, health officials will monitor any mutation.

So, the situation isn’t as bad as it seems to be, yet everyone’s panicked about it. Is the fear more virulent than the flu itself?
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Twitter…I Don’t Get it

Basically, it’s like constantly updating your Facebook status, which some people do anyway. So you could say:

Jane Doe is eating breakfast.

Then, ten minutes later:

Jane Doe has finished eating breakfast and is headed to the gym.

And people “follow” you? And everyone thinks Facebook is stalker paradise now!

Why would you want anyone watching you that closely? I thought we called that spying. I could understand if it were someone very close to you, like a spouse or a child, but isn’t that what cell phones are for? “Honey, I’m about to go to the grocery store. What do you want for dinner?”

Is privacy dead? I agree that too much privacy is a negative thing, but too much transparency can be just as harmful. And between Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace, we’re all walking windows now!

WWWJDIC Gets an Upgrade

If you’re a nerd like me and frequent the Japanese dictionary site Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC, you’ll love the latest addition: audio clips! Now you can improve your vocab even more with sound files to help you speak like a native! As a bonus, some of these words are also now linked to lessons from! Nihongo students, rejoice!

Here’s another great Japanese dictionary: The layout is clean and simple. Just type any Japanese or English word into the search box. Other languages like French or German work, too. There are other search options, like Kanji and proper names. Some of the Kanji listings even have stroke order diagrams, courtesy of Kanji Cafe! Very helpful! One con of Tangorin is that it doesn’t detect verb conjugations like WWWJDIC does. For example, if you search for まって matte, the dictionary will look for it alone but will not recognize it as a form of 待つ matsu (to wait). Regardless, I still recommend the site.

You can read more about WWWJDIC’s new sound bites here. Happy learning!

Song Lyrics

I’m going to start posting song lyrics on my blog. Most of the songs will be from anime, since that’s the kind of music I mostly listen to. I’ll have a page with links to each post, so they will be easier to find. If you think I’ve made some kind of mistake in the lyrics, please tell me kindly.

Game Engine Blues

I’ve been searching for a good game engine to help me turn the two million ideas I have into real projects. I want something that installs quickly, works on MS Vista, is easy to learn (but not too easy—I don’t mind a challenge), has lots of features, and is inexpensive (under $100 for everything you need).

I’ve tried almost every free engine you can name, and none of them have been the right fit.
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Objective Dub Comparison Site (A Follow-up to “Uncensored”)

If you need an example of what I was talking about in “Uncensored,” check out this site: Royal Patraine, which shows the differences between Ojamajo Doremi and its 4Kids dub Magical DoReMi, besides also being a general Ojamajo Doremi fan site. (The link goes to the page on Magical DoReMi.) While the site’s incomplete and a little hard to read, there’s not a lot of bias in the episode pages, and there’s a separate link to the site owner’s opinion on the dub. (She says she doesn’t “believe in dub bashing and 4Kids-bashing,” which is probably why this site is more objective.)