Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Inspirations for Ranma ½ manga

The website has a list of some of the things that may have inspired Ranma ½ creator, Rumiko Takahashi. Such as a side by side comparison of Nerima as it is depicted in the manga and an actual photograph of Nerima.

The above picture is a map of Nerima with places in Ranma ½ added in (I did not make this picture found it somewhere on the internet but can not recall as to where I had found it).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chapter 1 in original Japanese

If you want to see Ranma ½ as it was originally released in Japan (Shonen Sunday) the site below has the first chapter of the manga. The first 15 pages are colored followed by black and white. To see it yourself go to this site Websunday

The entire run of the manga, in Japanese, had been available to read online at Mangahelpers. At least as of 7/2010 it is no longer available online. Available as of January 2011 at Raw 1st wordpress.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ranma's Dating Experience (Manga Only)

I have seen in several fan fics that Ranma is clueless about dating, this is very much untrue. Ranma went on more dates than all the other teenagers combined. He knows to dress up, give the girl compliments, give the girl gifts such as flowers, knows where to take them on dates, he knows the proper etiquette for being at various locations (restaurants, movies, theaters), etc.

Here's a list of Ranma's dating experiences in the manga. This list maybe incomplete and it is possible that Ranma went on more dates that just weren't shown. Some of these dates were only mentioned, not shown, or are inferred but not proven. There are other instances that could possibly be considered dates that I did not consider close enough to be dates as well, an example of this would be when Ranma spent the night at Ukyo's or the times he goes to festivals with Akane; those could be considered by some to be dates but I do not consider them to be dates.

Tatewaki Kuno
  • To get the magic wish granting sword from Kuno though the sword may have influenced Ranma's decision some since a date with the pig tail girl was one of Kuno's wishes.
  • Kuno was possessed by a cherry tree and Ranma agreed to go on a date to get Kuno/Cherry tree to stop bothering pig/pony tailed girls.
  • A cursed swim suit forced Ranma to go on a date with Kuno or be dragged to the bottom of the sea and drown.
  • During the martial arts cheer leading storyline Ranma went on a date with Kuno so as to get Kuno's love (avenge Akane's honor) and beat Mariko. This time Ranma went all out; Prepared a bento for Kuno, a hand-woven sweater, a hand-woven towel, a hand-woven scarf, wrote a love letter, gave a bottle of water, and purchased Kuno a good luck charm from a shrine; then went to dinner and a movie with Kuno.
  • Quasi date with Kuno, Kuno grabbed girl form Ranma when Ranma was made younger by magic mushrooms and went to the amusement park with her.


  • Gosunkugi tries to use a magic paper doll to get Akane to go on a date with him but accidentally puts it on Ranma instead. This is particularly funny because Ranma goes in guy form.


  • To get the cure for his curse. Though it turn out to be a dud.
  • Sort of was on a date with Shampoo during the reversal jewel story arc. Really tried on this one as well. Dressed up nicely, brought Shampoo a dozen roses, even complimented her by saying “even the beauty of the roses can compare not to yours” (and people say Ranma can't be romantic). This was done because Shampoo was acting weird and because Ranma did not like Shampoo not liking him.
  • Possible that Shampoo purchased a date with Ranma when Nabiki was Ranma's fiancée but unknown.


  • When Akane went on a date with Ryoga, Ranma went on a date with Ukyo mainly to make Akane jealous.
  • Possible even probable since she did offer Nabiki money that Ukyo purchased a date with Ranma when Nabiki was Ranma's fiancée but unknown.

Miss Hinako

  • Quasi date with her when trying to figure out how she absorbed battle aura. Treated her nicely, bought her gifts, food, and balloons.

Densuke (sick kid who wouldn't take his medicine)

  • Ranma went on a date with him to get him to take his medicine. (After Densuke fainted Ranma spent the entire night at his bedside to make sure he was well and some people say Ranma isn't compassionate)


  • Vanity (Ranma took it as an insult to his looks) and because Akane told him to.

Panda spirit

  • To make the Panda spirit happy before it was sealed back into the painting.

An old Man's astral form

  • Because the old man was entering Ranma's dreams, to make the dying old man happy, and possibly to figure out how the old man was able to astral project so as to learn how to do that.
  • While pretending to be Ryoga's fiancée, to mess with Ryoga, and to screw with Akane and Ryoga's date.


  • Immediately after Nabiki was his fiancée Ranma gives Akane a dozen roses and goes on a date with her to make up for the fight they had which led to Nabiki becoming his fiancée.

Tsubasa Kurenai

  • This was more an attempt to date Tsubasa because he thought Tsubasa was a girl and was trying to help her like guys. Dressed up, bought a dozen roses, etc.

Little boy who wouldn't go outside

  • Offered him a date but did not go on a date

Mirror clone

  • Almost went on a double date with mirror clone while teaching the mirror clone how to pick up guys.

Other characters did go on dates with people who aren't Ranma but those were rare. Akane went on a couple dates with Ryoga, Ryoga went on dates with Akari, Mousse went on some dates with a Jizo statue he thought was Shampoo, Nabiki went on a few dates to blackmail people and two dates during a challenge (Ranma and Akane acted as chaperones on the ten yen challenge dates).

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sinfest reference to Ranma

Sinfest is an excellent webcomic that I have been reading for the last several years. This comic page has a picture of Ranma ½ on the background (second panel).

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Boar the size of the one Ryoga hit

The massive pigs that are seen in the Ranma manga do exist in real life. There really are boars and pigs as big as the one Ryoga hit in the manga or Akari's pig.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Reference to anime, including Ranma, on Star Trek

Someone involved with Star Trek: The Next Generation was a fan of anime. There are quite a few references/shout outs to various anime. One such reference is a Ranma ½ gyro block which is said to be an important component of nanites in the TNG episode Evolution. According to set manager, Rick Sternbach, there is at least one anime reference per episode. I have not seen anything like a complete list but some other examples are:

1. Oneamisu receiver a likely reference to Wings of Honneamise (Ôritsu uchûgun Oneamisu no tsubasa)
2. Season 2 episode Peak Performance has a computer display with two ships called Kei and Yuri a reference to Dirty Pair.
3. The Otomo calibration is most likely to Japanese director Katsuhiro Ôtomo.
4. In the episode The Icarus Factor the Japanese characters in the "ambo-jitsu" ring that Comander Riker are references to Urusei Yatsura (another series by Rumiko Takahashi creator of Ranma).
5. The Akira-class ships are a reference to the anime movie Akira.

There are also many references to other works besides Anime in Star Trek. For example, the TNG episode Rascals mentions the fictional elements Daffyduckium (a reference to Daffy Duck), Duckdodgers (a reference to Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century), Disneyium (a reference to Walt Disney), Groucho (a reference to Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers), Stoogeium (a reference to the Three Stooges), and Kryptonite (a reference to Superman) amongst many others.

The picture is of the Federations flag since I do not have a screencap of one of the anime references (preferably the Ranma one). If I do acquire one I will switch it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Knowledge on Jusenkyo itself.

Jusenkyö – The Cursed Springs

Facts (as close as you can get to facts while talking about a fictional universe)
  1. The Chinese name for Jusenkyö is Chöchuanshan

  2. Jusenkyö is located in the Bayankala mountain range, south of Mount Kensei, in Qinghai Province, China

  3. Jusenkyö is at the very least 4000 years old since that is the age of the Ashura spring and most probably much older.

  4. The water comes from a mountain called Jusendo.

  5. Unknown amount of springs but there are a lot.

  6. Many people have drowned in the springs.

  7. The spring gains an imprint of the person/thing which drowned in it.

  8. People who fall in the springs are cursed to changed in someway; Usually physically but some do effect the mind.

  9. Cold water activates the Curse, Hot water restores you to your natural self.

  10. Unknown temperature needed to revert back to uncursed state but is higher than body temperature.

  11. Very little water is needed to cause the transformation though it is more than a few drops.

  12. Water can effect descendants of cursed person to some degree (as shown by Musk and Phoenix people).

  13. Transformation is fast and painless.

  14. Cursed forms age unless specifically stated to be at an age. We know this because Taro did grow up and Ranma's breasts got bigger. The boy spring will likely keep you young since the name of the spring is boy.

Spring Name Effect Beings Cursed Age of Spring Other
Nyannichuan Young Girl Ranma, Herb, Monkey 1500
Shonmaoniichuan Panda Genma 2000
Heituenniichuan Piglet Ryoga 1200
Maoniichuan Cat Shampoo 1800
Yaazuniichuan Duck Mousse 1300
Niuhoomanmaoren-niichuan Yeti riding a Bull holding a Crane and Eel Pantyhose Taro 1300
Xiaochiniichuan Boy (child) Lukkosai Unknown Age Change
Ashuraniichuan Ashura Rouge 4000 Personality Change
Shuanshontsu-niichuan Twins A Bird Unknown
Shannannichuan Virtuous-Man N/A 1200 Personality Change
Chanyuiniichuan Octopus Pantyhose Taro add-on to existing curse 2500
Akaneniichuan Akane Kima Less than 1
Was created by the Phoenix people and maybe different than normal springs
Nannichuan Man A dog given temporary version Unknown
Unknown Frog A few crows Unknown

Inferred or my opinion

  1. Curses change you in away so that you look like you would had you been born that way, i.e. Ranma looks like a female version of himself rather than looking like the girl who drowned.

  2. Not every person or thing can actually get to the springs. If they could there would be a lot more cursed people/things.

  3. The springs do not effect insects and inanimate objects.

  4. Possible that the pools are Semi-sentient or have a being of power guiding them and choose who gets cursed though a person determined or powerful enough maybe able to get to them anyways. This opinion can be slightly backed in that the curses seem to reflect the persons personality to a degree.

  5. Possible that the pools protect themselves.

  6. Curse make the cursed person a water magnet.

  7. Curses mix unless body is fully covered with the water. Another possibility if sprayed with cursed water while in cursed form they mix, if sprayed in uncursed form new curse takes over (Unclear what form Taro was in or how much water was used because we learned about it second hand from the guide and it's possible he told it wrong). This is partially supported by the fact that a small splash of drown twin water only doubled the part of the body Happosai got hit by the water.

  8. Possible that a person can learn a way to master the curse.

  9. The springs some time in the distant past were routed by the Phoenix people to run through the phoenix tap and dragon tap (both of which are incredibly strong - Ryoga couldn't scratch them no matter how hard he tried).

Conan and the Gods of the Mountain

Roland Green's Conan and the Gods of the Mountain (Conan) is an immediate continuation of Robert E. Howards story Conan: Red Nails. While not a great book it was still an alright way to spend a few hours reading it. The book had excellent characterization and Conan's interaction with Valeria (this particular books love interest) was very good. The down side to this book was that Conan and Valeria spent far too much time underground, the ending seemed rushed, and it implied that one of the characters was going to be important to the story then barely mentions her.

For a summary of the book I'll just put the back of the books blurb:

Fleeing the sorcerous destruction of a long-lost city, Conan fights side-by-side with Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, that notorious and voluptuous she-pirate. Pursued by deadly spies and assassins, the Cimmerian and Valeria find themselves caught squarely in the front ranks of a bloody and savage war. But greater peril lurks in the shadow of a vast and forbidding mountain, where the spirit Speakers wage occult battle with God-Men, who can read the future -- and summoning a Living Wind that consumes the soul even as it destroys the flesh. Even a sword powered by barbarian might is of little use against spirits, much less against greater beings of the elder dark, but the final struggle for survival will down down to...Conan and the Gods of the Mountain.

That is not all together true. While there are spies and assassins they aren't really pursuing Conan, the three sides (The God men, Ichiribu, and the Kwanyi) are spying on each other. The Living Wind and God-Men really don't do much of anything in this book. The Living Wind which is supposed to be very powerful is defeated much easier than the ancient giant snake and other perils in the book. The battle versus the Giant Snake though was pretty good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lost in Translation

There are many differences in the translations I've seen. I'm going to explain some of the differences between the Viz version, the Text version I read, and what I've learned about the original Japanese versions. I'd put a link to the text one but seeing how I've only got a printout of it I don't know where it can be found.

Text version explained how different characters use different types of speech in the manga. Genma, Soun, Cologne, and Happosai use a more archaic form of Japanese. Nabiki speaks in slang a lot. Ukyo speaks with a Kansai dialect (known as Kansai-ben) Japanese rather than a Tokyo dialect (commonly thought of as standard) Japanese. Ranma speaks casually and unrefined most of the time, rarely uses honorifics (though he does use them with people he respects, just met, or sarcastically) He occasionally will talk politely or even use all the proper feminine words/pronunciations while female. Chinese Guide spoke a mix of Japanese with Chinese liberally sprinkled in making him hard to understand. Shampoo did not speak broken up Japanese rather she spoke a mix of stereotypical Chinese person speaking Japanese and Archaic Japanese.

Text version explained more of the puns. Example: when Akane's hair is accidentally cut off there is a pun having to do with "kega nakatta" (she wasn't hurt) and "ke ga naku natta" (her hair went away). Another example is the Shi Shi Hadoken story line which was absolutely full of puns since the Japanese have a lot of puns that use ki. I could explain some of these puns but seeing how someone else has already done so I won't. Here is a quote on the Shi Shi Hadoken storyline (I believe that the original writer of this quote is Julio Gea-Banacloche but seeing as to how I can't find it on the net I am not positive.):
the entire story is constructed on puns, on various expressions involving the word "ki" (spirit)

Specifically, part 4, where Ranma generates one type of floating "ki" after another, is just really a string of puns, the point being that what the floating "ki" does is connected, via a pun, to Ranma's frame of mind, is described by some set expression that has the word "ki" in it (this gives us the "ki" that will not move, the "ki" that scatters, the "ki" that loses its way, the short little "ki" (a pun on "short-tempered"), and so on. Not being a native Japanese I can't tell, of course, which of these puns are real groaners, but I suspect that most of them are.

And, in a sense, this is all just setup for the "ultimate pun", which comes at the climactic moment, in part 6, where Ranma figures out why Ryoga isn't hurt as the "heavy ki" (another pun, of course) comes crashing down on him. This revelation, which Ranma yells with a straight face and all the Furinkan high students echo with equally serious expressions, is again nothing more than a pun based on the word "kinuke" (dispiritidness, dejection) and the further meanings of "nuku"/"nukeru"/"nuki" (pull out, withdraw, extract; leave out, skip), including, specifically, the compound "surinuku"--which, again, you will not find in dictionaries, but which is not really a made-up word, I have seen it in other mangas to describe a "glancing or grazing blow, a blow that barely misses" (probably related to surimuku, to graze). Anyway, the point is that because Ryoga is "kinuke" his "ki" goes "surinuku"--and at that moment, which the Western reader would no doubt mistake for a highly dramatic moment, the Japanese reader is probably groaning and saying (the equivalent of) "oh, noo..."
Text version had comments like this one to better explain what was happening from a Japanese point of view:
In Japan, before you get married, you're supposed to sort out, tidy up, finish, etc, any 'hanging' relationships.
In explaining what Soun said related to Akane and Ranma in the last volume.

An example of how the text version added detail was how it explained the narration at the exact end of the manga. Basically it used a sports analogy to say that Ranma and Akane's relationship has gone into overtime (or extra innings) and how Takahashi decided to have a less conclusive ending so that the fans could imagine what comes next. VIZ version ended it with the line "and so the game of love continues.

In the Text version/Original Japanese Ranma is much more witty with better comebacks. In an interview Takahashi mentioned that she read a lot of Spiderman when she was younger and it influenced her writing of Ranma. So imagine Spiderman type comebacks to get a better idea of Ranma's. (Other aspects of spiderman are in the manga as well for instance Ranma's sitting positions - hanging upside down, Ranma's crawling on walls and ceilings, and Lucky's glue/ink attack is very similar to spiderman's webbing).

Since females and males in Japan speak using different words much of the time. Female Ranma's jarringly male speech is not really shown in the American version. So Ranma in the US version comes off as being pretty much a normal girl where in the Japanese version his girl form is a super tomboy (except when Ranma wants to come off as a normal girl - around his mom and fooling people, or super cute - to get stuff, or desirable girl - to get stuff).

Another thing mentioned in the text translation but not shown is that in the original Japanese - Ranma is shown being very polite (uses all the proper honorifics for example) to the Tendo's at first but loses them as they insult him.

Other differences are some times things would be shortened or changed to better fit the word bubbles, Ex. during Umisenken story arc we are told that the old house was torn down and Ranma's mom moved there. In the Japanese version it gave more information in that she said the poor tenement house was torn down so I moved here. This tells us more information in that we know they were poor whereas the English version it is not stated.

Things were added, things were changed to make it easier for English people to understand such as Japanese sayings, and things were changed because they wouldn't make sense without further information such as puns like Ryoga's dogs name.

For the most part the changes in translation do not overly change the storyline or make sense since it is being made for a different audience but occasionally the translation was wrong in a way that changes the story some.

The picture on this post is taken from the Ranma manga. What a lot of Westerners might not know is that the picture in the background is a reference to a famous Japanese work of art Wind God and Thunder God (Fuujin Raijin zu Byoubu) by Tawaraya Sotatsu. Edo Period (17th Century).

This website gives further information on the differences between the very first Ranma manga in English and in Japanese. Less on the difference in translation but more on the differences in quality.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Summary of what Ranma ½ is

It occurs to me that not everyone might know what Ranma ½ is. Ranma is a Japanese Manga/Anime. It was created by Rumiko Takahashi. The manga ran from 1987-1996 in Japan. It is 38 volumes long (Viz version 36 volumes). Television had 161 episodes, 11 Oav's (now 12), and 3 movies, several video games, Cds, Music Videos, and a card game (also figurines, posters, shirts, action figures, blankets, phone cards, etc.) More than 49 million copies of the manga were sold in Japan according to a press release made by VIZ on November 6, 2006. Has been/is being officially translated in 19 languages (according to the Japanese Wikipedia) and even more languages unofficially.

The series starts with Ranma (a teenage superhuman martial artist) coming back to Japan from a training journey in China. While in China Ranma fell into Jusenkyo. Jusenkyo is a place where many cursed springs exist, anyone who falls into one takes on a curse. Ranma's curse is to turn in to a girl (picture is of Ranma in both male and female form). So now every time Ranma gets hit with cold water he turns into a girl and hot water turns him back to his natural form.

That is not all of Ranma's problems. His father had arranged him to marry a Tendo and never bothered to inform Ranma of that. Ranma eventually finds out that he has another fiancee and a lot of relationship problems. (Guys wanting his girl form, an Amazon "wife", etc.). While this is a romantic comedy there is also a lot of action as well as an underlining darkness to the entire manga.

Ok I admit it that wasn't the greatest of summaries and I probably could write one that is better than that. The reason I don't is that there are plenty of pretty good summaries elsewhere on the internet,, for example has a pretty good summary. Though really I think everyone should just read the manga and read it at least twice. It is not difficult to get and can be purchased from here. It can be downloaded using bittorrent (just use one of the torrent searches). It can even be read on-line in various places.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Stop Your Junk Mail!

Junk mail (Direct Mailings) are a nuisance. People spend a large amount of time looking through them and disposing them. Massive amount of trees are cut down to make all that junk mail, trees that can be put to better use like providing Oxygen. Many of the trees used in Junk mail are rarer trees that do not recycle well. Another reason to stop junk mail is to make your postal workers job a little easier. I've compiled a list of ways to stop your Junk mail. These are all free. (there are several services that will do this for you for pay but why should you when it can easily be done for free).

There is free do not mail list here:

To stop Credit Card and Credit Insurance Offers you can call1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or go to required to enter name and address. You do not have to enter your social security number, phone number, and birthday even though they ask for them.

To stop getting Aol discs call 1-800-605-4297.

To stop Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes call 1-800-645-9242.

To stop American Family Sweepstakes call 1-800-237-2400.

To stop Val-Pak Coupons

To stop sexually explicit mail fill out this form:

To stop catalogs and particular junk mail. Call up the companies customer service center and ask to be removed from their mailing list (have the label handy because they may ask for information from it).

Occasionally first class junk mail can be stopped by crossing out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write "refused: return to sender". Then drop it into a mail box.

Another thing you can do to take the prepaid (no postage required) envelopes and stuff them full of paper. Drop in the mailbox. The company will have to pay the postage, this won't stop the junk mail from them but it will cost them some money.

If you fill out a warranty card (mostly a waste of time since they generally aren't required) or give to a charity you should write "do not sell my name or address" or something similiar somewhere on it.

Not everyone lives in the USA but that doesn't mean you can't stop the junk mail.

In the UK go to this site:

In Canada, I don't know of a website but you can write to: Do Not Mail Service, c/o Canadian Marketing Association , 1 Concord Gate, Suite 607, North York, ON. M3C 3N6. Tell them you want to be removed from their master mailing list. Include your address, postal code and all the forms of your name that have appeared on your mail.

I don't know about other countries but a web search for stop Junk mail (or Direct Mail) may help you find a way to stop getting so much useless mail.

While you are stopping junk mail you should also consider unsubscribing to any magazines or newspapers that you don't actually read/use. After all they are just taking up room, costing you money, and cutting down perfectly good oxygen producing trees. (If you only occasionally look at a magazine consider looking for the magazine/newspaper online or checking your local library for the magazine/newspaper.)

Review on Frank M. Robinson's novel Waiting

I just finished reading Frank M. Robinson's novel Waiting. The book had a very good premise, another species in the genus Homo has been hiding amongst us for the last 35,000 years waiting for the opportunity to take over the earth. One of them one's found out by a doctor and now the "Old People" are killing everyone who may know about them.

The first 2/3 of the book was much better than the last 1/3. I liked the concepts in the book and found the book somewhat interesting. The book had a strong save the environment message through out it, which did not bother me. The best parts were the flashbacks that showed us the racial memories of the others, namely how the lived and how humans had butchered most of them so long ago. The book had some characterization problems namely how the main character Artie acted and how the "Old People" were portrayed. I figured out that he was married to one of the "Old People" fairly quickly and did not like the ending very much at all.

By far the best thing in this book was the speculation on the other species. It is not a stretch of the imagination to envision Homo Sapiens having wiped out the other humanoids 35,000 years ago seeing how humanity has wiped out a number of species and even commits genocide on other humans (Mayans, Armenians, Jews, etc.). The other species in the book managed to survive because they looked enough human to blend in which is fairly believable seeing how much variation there is amongst humans (Ex. Eskimo, Pygmies, Europeans all look fairly different) and they killed their own offspring that looked less human. Palaeontologists have found bones of Neanderthals in Levant that could probably pass for humans fairly easily. Even without blending in like in the book it is possible that we may have another species of humanoids living with man on the Earth right now, Homo floresiensis (more commonly called hobbit) lived amongst humans as recently as 13,000 years ago and there have been legends and myths about them amongst modern people of the island Flores.

The "Old People" are descendants of a species no longer around just like we are just took a slightly different evolutionary path. In the book the main difference is that Humans developed speech, art, and better tools much better than the other species who was partially telepathic capable of sending pictures to one another an ability according to the book that humans also have as babies but lose as they begin talking more. In the book the other species is very close genetically to humans close enough to interbreed successfully though the offspring are sterile same as how Horses and Donkeys can breed to create mules. The problem I have with that aspect of the book is that in the end the other species wins because an airborne virus is going to kill off the humans one that they are immune to. The other species is genetically similar enough to humans to interbreed so almost all diseases humans are susceptible to they should be as well. Even saying they are immune doesn't mean that they will stay that way seeing how virus's mutate and jump species that are far more drastically different than the species portrayed in the book.

Friday, May 18, 2007

An introduction of sorts

My favorite manga is Ranma ½ so I decided why not create a blog about it. I had in the past been fairly active on some Ranma forums (fukufics and a forum) though I'm not really that active on them anymore. Several of my posts here are updated versions of my posts there or will have been inspired by posts on other forum as well as other sites on the internet. I'll try not to directly copy anything if I do I'll use quotes. In the event that I inadvertently do copy something, please don't hold it against me. This blog is to give my opinions and spread some knowledge about Ranma.

I believe myself to be fairly knowledgeable about the Ranma manga. I have read the entire manga several times and have read three separate translations of it. The different translations give different views of things and I did not find the VIZ version to be the best translation nor the fanscan translation (which occasionally was a translation of a translation - they used the Chinese translation occasionally), the best one was a text translation since it gave further information and knowledge of the Japanese culture (explained some of the pun, better translations, explained Japanese point of view, etc..). The Anime was not as enjoyable so the things I write about will be mostly manga based rather than anime based.

I plan on, eventually, writing some Ranma fanfiction and displaying ideas and drafts here. The final product, if there ever is a final product, will probably be put on If I do write some I ask that you give me good feedback on them. By good feedback I mean tell me obvious grammar mistakes, parts that didn't make sense, etc. I have attempted to write fan fiction in the past but always gave up for one reason or another. Hopefully I will actually write some.

Software I use

This is just a list of software I use and where I got it. I don't like supporting Microsoft or paying for software when there are free alternatives. Most of the listed programs are for windows; since that is the operating system I use most frequently.

Windows replacement: Ubuntu Linux is a good and a much more secure operating system than windows is. I use the live CD version sometimes but generally I use Windows since the computer came with it and I'm not the only one who uses the computer.

Many of the programs listed below I now tend to use the Portable app version keeping it on a usb stick for easy usage on multiple pcs.

Microsoft Office replacement: Open Office This program does basically every thing that Microsoft Office does but is free.

Internet browser - I have tried several internet browsers, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, and Firefox (only counting current ones and not counting non PC ones for example the Dreamcast browsers). The one that I like the most is Firefox with Opera being a close second. Opera has some things already installed which might be useful for some people but I personally don't need and could add via extensions to Firefox. I did not like Internet Explorer or Safari. I had used Internet Explorer for several years then switched to Netscape Navigator for awhile (before AOL bought it). At this point in time I find Firefox to be the best. I use Firefox because it is much safer than internet explorer and faster with many very good add-on for improved internet browsing.

recommended add-ons to Firefox:
-adblock plus This blocks banner ads and ads on the websites. This is good in that I don't like seeing ads, slightly speeds up internet browsing and makes your computer a little bit more secure. I use these filters added EasyElement+EasyList and APB Tracking Filter+Cédrics Liste. Filters can be downloaded from here: Filter List

-adblock plus element hiding helper: This adds additional function to adblock plus allowing you to hide particular elements. I find it to be useful.

-BugMeNot I dislike signing on to view websites for example New York Times with this add-on I can just click log me in with bug me not instead of filling out the form and giving an email address.

-chatzilla I used to use Mirc for Internet Relay Chat (IRC) now I use this.

-DownThemAll - This is a good little downloader that gives me the option to download stuff later, download all the images on a page at once (extremely useful), and resume downloads.

-FireFtp - A good little ftp program.

-Google Toolbar for firefox - I like the cached web page link, highlighter, and translate page options.

-Downloadhelper - I use this to download embedded things like Youtube videos that downloadthemall doesn't

-Customize Google - This add-on gives you more control over google; it blocks google ads, makes google cookie anonymous, removes chat box from gmail, etc.

-Noscript Noscript gives more control over javascript and is good for making your computer safer from things like clickjacking (cloaked web links that look legit but download malware or redirect you).

-Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out (TACO) installs opt-out cookies in the browser to prevent many online advertising networks from behavioral advertising.

-Flagfox not really a required add-on but I like the little flag showing where the site originates from.

-FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) backups Firefox extensions.

Virus Scan software - AVG Antivirus Free Edition - auto updating, email scanner, best of all free. I have tried others like Norton, Mcafee, and others but really they aren't any better than this free one is. I also use ClamWin portable since I don't trust one program to catch everything.

Browser protection utility: Spyware blaster provides protection against ActiveX based exploits, block hostile sites and discards unwanted cookies as well. Though really I don't need this since I do not use internet explorer anymore.

Anonymous Surfing Service: Tor This is good for surfing the internet anonymously though it does slow your connection down. (Lots of reasons to do this paranoia, downloading mp3's, etc.)

Image editing software: The Gimp or if you prefer it to look more like photoshop than use GimpShop.

Bittorent client: I use Utorrent.

File Destroyer: Use the one that comes with Spybot Search and Destroy.

Registry cleaner: Toni Helenius' free EasyCleaner in conjuncture with CLeaner (portable version).

Disk Defrager: I used Auslogics Defrager for a bit and liked how fast it was but I think that JKDefrag does a better job optimizing and defraging though it does take significantly longer.

Digital Image Viewer: IrfanView and comic rack.

Spyware/ adware protection programs Spybot search and destroy.

PDF writer is PDF Creator This allows you to turn any document that you can print into a PDF by making a PDF printer.

Start Up manager: Currently use either MSconfig or the one within spybot search and destroy/cleaner.

Encryption Utility: Camouflage is very good for hiding files within other files, the container file looks and works like a normal file but can use the Camouflage program to open the file and extract the embedded password protected file.

PDF viewer: Used Foxit Reader for a while but now generally prefer to use Comic Rack which is also a comic book viewing program (.cbr and .cbz).

Audio Editing Software use Audicity.

Cd/DVD recovery: Cd's and DVD's can become unreadable do to scratches or other problems ISOBLaster allows you to extract any usable information from the cd to your hard drive.

Movie Playback: I have used an assortment of video players in the past like Zoom Player and Media Player Classic. Lately though my player of choice is VLC Media player. Part of the reason I prefer it is because it plays dvds region free and I occasionally watch DVDs that are not for my region (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc.).

Real Player Files: I find the windows versions of real player to be an annoying bloated program so I use real alternative player instead.

Video editing software: I used to use VirtualDub with additional filters more can be found at I currently use DVDfab the most often, it's just simpler, though the free version is very limited.

CD Ripper: Exact Audio.

Cd Burning software: CDBurnerXP does pretty much everything that Nero does.

Copying DVD's: DVDfab and then to make the DVDs fit onto the DVD-5 blank disks use DVDShrink

Removing copy protection and region codes on DVDs/CD's: I used to use slysoft anydvd though it is a pay for program. A free one is DVD43 but it sucks. VLC Player usually can work and dvdfab can remove pretty much all copy protections if your saving it to your computer (you can do that with VLC Player as well but it's not as simple).

Virtual drive: I have tried several of these including Daemon Tools and Virtual Clone Drive but the one I currently use is magic disc.

Offline Dictionary - Wordweb using the portable option

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Runaway Jury

I have both watched and read John Grisham's - The Runaway Jury. Personally I liked the movie more than the book for a variety of reasons (thought a gun case was better to use than a cigarette case is one reason as well as the good acting). Though to be fair I probably would have enjoyed the book more than I did had I read it before I saw the movie. I found both the movie and the book to be enjoyable.

Runaway Jury had a few different themes. One is the power and influence of big corporations in this case it was the cigarette companies. I had no problem with this since big business's do have shady dealings and have lots of power and influence. The amount of money some companies make is staggering and sadly people can be bought. Many big business's can get away with things that regular people can't simply because the business's have enough money to make people look the other way, confuse the issue, pay people to lie or edit things, or pay the fine and continue as they were. If you have enough money and influence laws can be ignored or got around.

Another theme in Runaway Jury is the abuse of the legal system. I did not find this to be completely believable but jury tampering does exist. It is a fact that potential jurors are monitored, investigated, and are discredited so as to not be selected for duty. Jurors are bribed and/or intimidated to vote in a certain manner and they are given outside information to either influence their vote or to get a mistrial.

I'm going to list some ways of jury tampering I have read about in the news.
  1. Have a conversation about the case with in ear shot of a jury member. A lawyer may talk to his client while in an elevator with a juror.
  2. Jurors will talk with each other as well as others about the case even though they are not supposed to. This is pretty much unavoidable since in many cases it's really the only thing that the jury members have in common.
  3. The media is also an influence on jurors because a large enough case will be in the news and the jurors may be swayed by the news.
  4. Jurors or their family have been threatened. Some cases even have anonymous juries because the jury may be endangered.
  5. Bribery. Well this is just obvious.
  6. The Judge may influence the jury by instructing them before deliberation. I'm not speaking about reminding the jury of the charges, statutes violated, or punishment mandated. A judge may give a list of doe's and don't that will unjustly influence the jury or will give very confusing information to confuse the issues.
  7. Given outside information or even false information by an outside informant.
  8. Jury members have attempted to influence the other jury members into voting their way. An example of this is Laura Kriho who in 1996 counseled fellow jurors to reject a narcotics law.
The last theme in Runaway Jury was the little man defeating big business. This I found much less believable though vital for the book/movie. Big corporations have far too much power and influence to be easily defeated. Two people no matter how smart really don't have much chance of defeating a large corporation's vast resources. If this was attempted in real life I think the big business would do something to get a mistrial rather than take the chance that the person will sway the jury their way (it being an unknown person them planting a person in the jury to do this would be more believable). I found the last part of the book completely unbelievable namely giving the money back (even though it was used to acquire a fortune).