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Link Swamp, 2/16/13

2013 February 16

Welcome back, Swamp People. Here’s hoping that the new season won’t be the series’ shark-jump! Meanwhile…

Top link, among some serious competition, is Ni No Kuni. This is actually more exciting to me than even Swamp People, because it’s basically a new Hayao Miyazaki film… except that it’s a video game. (And may not have any direct involvement by HM, but it was co-produced by his Studio Ghibli and is clearly of a kind with his magnificent films.) I’m not a huge anime fan, relatively… but when something comes out that I need to access I’ll do what it takes. The last episodes of Bubblegum Crisis 2040 arrived on cassette but I had no VCR? I rented the cassette and drove straight to a store to buy a VCR. Ghost in the Shell 2 is receiving limited theatrical release in the US, and the nearest showing is 2 hours away? I’ll drive there and back in one evening just for that. So now, this is announced and looks really, really cool, but I don’t have a Playstation and have actually never bought a game console in my life; I have an 8-bit NES that I sort of inherited from my brother years and years ago when he upgraded. But I suspect that I will end up buying the hardware just to play this frickin’ game, sooner or later…

My next favorite of the past week (or so) was this thought-provoking blog post at The Economist, about work, value, the future, and “real” and “pretend” money. I also like how it’s one of those instances where the comments unintentionally illustrate the author’s point.

Third, this Brent Larkin commentary at cleveland.com isn’t by itself all that exciting. The warning that Ohio’s population is stagnant and getting older will probably prompt a “what else is new” from most readers. Still, I feel like posting it so I may share a funny thought it inspired: perhaps Ohio’s promising young people should take a page from American Greetings, major league sports teams and other footloose corporate entities, and band together to extort perks from the local treasury in return for staying put? Frankly at age 34 I’m not sure I really qualify as “young people” anymore—I suppose the definition may stretch in proportion to a community’s desperation for them—but I offer up this idea with my encouragement whether or not I can benefit. All aboard the gravy train!

Rounding things out, I liked this item about street-tile QR codes in Rio de Janeiro. I think critics’ argument that QR codes are kind of a flop is valid, but misses the point: this is a cool art installation even if the codes are only scanned by six people between now and the end of time.

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