Thursday, 31 January 2013


As a follow-up to the very successful Bloggers' Forum three months or so ago, the same people arranged what they have called a Bloggle event at the same venue. It was held earlier this evening, and I went along.

I was the oldest there, as nearly all the others were twenty-somethings or perhaps a little older in a few cases: there were six fellas (including me) with thirteen ladies. For this first Bloggle we first sat around a large table in the same meeting room as for the forum (when we didn't have the tables) to introduce ourselves and our blogging experience and leanings.

That part is unlikely to be needed at future Bloggles, as the group is expected to remain much the same and we now know each other. The rest of the evening was a free-form mingling in pairs and groups, with several writers in the ensemble and a similar number of photographers – so in a way it was a kind of battle of words against pictures(!)

Tonight's event promises to be just the first of a whole string of these periodic gatherings of local bloggers, and some good news to come out of it is that a mechanism has now been put in place to list and link to all our 'blogs both locally and in a Kent-wide directory.

We are also starting a weekly posting exercise of something local to a centralised Rochester-based website, along the lines of Silent Sunday and Wordless Wednesday, of which at least two local bloggers participate in one or the other. Our Medway Monday will probably have words, though, as well as or as much as images like the others, if I understood what was being proposed correctly. I await instructions on this before it starts, probably next Monday.

Meanwhile, it was another useful event, and I tried to be helpful in making suggestions in regard to a couple of issues raised. I also learned about a site called Nun Shenanigans that two of those there also run, besides their main blog-sites. It's certainly a little different, though it's a pity it hasn't been updated sine February of last year...

Wonder Boy by Wonder Fairy

On occasion, little fairy Lapis Aoki switches to human size, especially for duets with other vocaloids,but occasionally for solo performances, as here.

The song is Mr. Wonder Boy, and features some very reddish-pink local foliage and a lot of butterflies(!)...

Bert or Bort?

Or perhaps both? I today found that Bertolli spread on crackers and de Bortoli Cabernet-Merlot as wash-down both went very well with some rather nice Wensleydale cheese with cranberries in it...

I am allowed to have cranberries (though not to excess) but not cranberry juice, which causes problems with the Warfarin I have to take nowadays; but I rarely have them anyway, just to be extra safe....

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Clover Club

This is quite a jolly song from Miku, with a recipe (involving gin) included – check out the English lyrics here – and sung while wearing a red riding hood type of outfit with a sleeping cat in the bonnet. Now that's different...

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Only A Fairy Can Do This

I know: I've tried it with others, but it just doesn't happen. They remain stuck inside the computer and firmly attached to its screen.

I don't know the title of this entertaining little song (just over two minutes long) but it's one of those that suit little Lapis Aoki better than anyone else, and is quite charming...

Monday, 28 January 2013

I=Fantasy in English

Anyone who wondered what the words mean in SeeU's catchy I=Fantasy need wait no longer. Although this isn't being sung to an exact literal translation of the Korean original, Tara St. Michel has done a truly great job on this, keeping the sense of the original lyrics. It's just a static image on the video, which is entirely appropriate in this situation.

The song tells the story of how there was an anti- vocaloid sentiment about a year ago, because they "aren't real" Well, most music in the popular/mass-market scene isn't 'real' anyway – though that isn't mentioned in the song and is a topic I intend to expand upon another day.

So, here's Tara's human-sung version of this surprisingly poignant song, in English. Now, do you embrace or hate the Vocaloids?

I am just a dream
Just a dream
I'm in your dreams
I'm an open door
open door
Nothing's out of reach
I Fantasy Fantasy
Oh all that you imagine
I can make it happen
I Fantasy

There are people who just don't understand
Oh no Oh no Oh no
They're hating me because of what I am
Oh no Oh no Oh no

Take a chance and see
There's so much more to me
Don't let yourself be deceived
Reality can meet imagination
And nothing is impossible

I am just a dream
Just a dream
I'm in your dreams
I'm an open door
open door
Nothing's out of reach

I Fantasy
Oh all that you imagine
I can make it happen

I Fantasy
Fantasy -y -y -y -y
Fantasy -y -y -y -y
Fantasy -y -y -y -y

Fairy Nuff

Certainly enough fairies! There are four (perhaps more by now) slightly different software 'models' of the fairy vocaloid Lapis Aoki, and this video has all four of them together. It's worth showing this, despite a small reservation I have with the production, as it probably isn't widely known that anyone with the right software can create a model from the published characteristic of a vocaloid.

Once one has appeared and widely accepted, others' creations are usually closely matched to that appearance; but there are a few notable exceptions, which I might look at in detail one of these days. With these four, the detail on the back of the costume is perhaps the most obvious variation on the description from which the modellers all worked (including the famous Saboten, I notice here).

As for Fairy Nuff: I have mentioned before that I think that we at my Youth Group might have been the first with that name for a pantomime character, back in 1968 – but there's no need for me to retell the whole story here...

The song is Poker Face, and we saw this multiple performer version in that 11-vocaloid concert I featured earlier this month. It's the hand actions from those with their backs to us in one part (starts at 55 seconds in) that is the single biggest clue to that.

The camera angles feature too much of what anime fans refer to as 'fan service' for my taste (my taste is for none of that looking-up-from-below at all) but it is harmless enough, and I can't do anything about it anyway, so: as it isn't even real, and as this is a genuinely entertaining performance (the Poker Face 'motion' is always great fun!), let's just go with it this time...

Miku goes Moongazing

Here Miku is in her 'metal and icicles' outfit, hair coloured to suit, looking at the moon from a broken and rickety looking platform. Oh, and it's snowing, though not settling. Altogether, it's fairly atmospheric.

The song is titled simply Moon...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

One Room, All That Jazz !

It's now the middle of a winter Saturday evening as I post this, and for a change of mood I am switching to some jazz, with a surprisingly good and well-suited vocal by one of the lesser-known Vocaloids, Yuzuki Yukari, who is particularly good for this genre of jazz vocals.

Although the voice was apparently sourced originally from Miku's 'Dark Lib' (library), the result for Yuzuki has a completely different character. I don't know the full story behind this...

On top of this, her attempts at English (while working with just a Japanese voice-bank!) are very good, if imperfect, and always understandable in those parts, I found. I can't find any English words, but here are the Japanese lyrics.

There's no live visual performance this time, just some simple, moody graphics to set the tone. I think it is just right for this (mainly uptempo) number, and just right for this time of day too...

Teto's Odds and Ends

Well, Odds and Ends is apparently the title of this song, which I think shows a lot of character in and from Teto Kasane (the 'joke' lady with this spiralling red hair I once featured a few weeks ago) despite the slight technical issues with her voice, especially evident in the first part of this song.

I gather this is from the UTAU system rather than Yamaha's Vocaloid software, which I had not realised before (though I have been aware of UTAU for a short while now), which no doubt explains the vocal differences – though it is still very good, regardless of the system's less catchy name(!)

For ease of searching, I shall continue to apply the Vocaloid tag to anything of this nature that I post, whatever actual system is behind it, simply because visitors will probably have bookmarked the search URL I have posted to Twitter and elsewhere and would otherwise miss some relevant posts.

Anyway, I thought this was quite good and a little bit different from much of what I have showcased here recently, so here is Teto...

That's Gotta Hurt!

Warning: don't do this at home, kiddies, unless you're prepared to receive the same 'reward' for your efforts...

Everybody's Voice

Thee short 'Mikumentaries' help to explain, in the words of many, why the Vocaloid fan- and user-base is a worldwide phenomenon.

I think that for anyone who hasn't yet cottoned onto the sheer magnitude and significance of it all, spending just a few minutes going through these two videos (the first is only three minutes or so in duration, so no big intrusion on one's time) should result in some pennies dropping as realisation sinks in of some aspects that probably still haven't occurred to a lot of people.

What applies to Miku Hatsune, who is featured herein, is equally valid for the other Vocaloids and the similar creations using other systems such as UTAU – but Miku is the global symbol of this whole area of activity and creativity, the true Queen of the Vocaloids. It is right that this is done as her story as seen by us, the people of Planet Earth...

Yellow by Miku

Although other vocaloids have performed this song, it's rightfully Miku's, as here in her yellow outfit that as far as I can determine was created specially for this mid-beat, happy and catchy song. It is, I think, significant that such a lot of really very good, high quality songs have been written expressly for Vocaloids, and this is one of them.

Indeed, it is so catchy that I often go around with it playing in my head, including those very distinctive moves (and musical backing) at the beginning and end.

For me, this is the definitive version, and closely mirrors the performance of this song that we have seen in the live concerts...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Daydream Flight

For those visitors who didn't fancy going through the Vocafarre event video I posted recently, even after missing the chunk at the start as I suggested (and most of us have busy lives so I do understand), here is what I consider to be the highlight of the event.

This is fairy vocaloid Lapis Aoki with one of her demo songs, Daydream Flight. It really is a very beautiful item, and her voice is so good, so natural, that I am not surprised that one of the audience messages scrolling along the walls is "the voice is great" (at 2 mins 23 secs).

The 'holographic jitters' I mentioned when I posted the video of the whole event occur at the start of the song intro, caused (I think) by whoever was controlling the projection system trying to align Lapis's steps up onto the platform correctly. That could have been handled better, and hopefully will in future.

Anyway, do go through this right to the end: it's definitely worth it and might even take your breath away...

How Intense Is This?

This is The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku, which we encountered in the live shows.

This version, though, features continually changing costumes and scenery for much of its duration (but not forgetting to include the purple curly-wurly hair and wings, of course) and is quite a visual feast, not to be missed.

It also has English subtitles, both literal, and (where the compiler thinks it will aid understanding) occasional additional words in square brackets. It's quite interesting to follow the words – if you can keep up!

This is also known as Miku's 'intense' song, parts of which go at such a speed that they are sometimes thought to be impossible for (mere?) humans to emulate – but, surprisingly, there have been several successful attempts by fans to do just that, though I haven't yet found any examples in the public realm.

Perhaps one day...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Named after the brightest star in the Virgo constellation, this great song – performed brilliantly here by Miku dressed in not just one but two spectacular outfits – is something of an antidote to the relatively serious political stuff that has been happening today, upon some of which I have already posted.

The reason for the song's title will become at least partly-evident when one reads the English subtitles helpfully provided...

Gotta Voice 'Em All!

This young lady, known as Brizzyvoices,  has done a really good job of voicing all the original 151 Pokémon. A few aren't quite there, but overall this is such a good effort, and brings back so many memories to a Pokémaniac such as myself as we go through them, that it is well worth the few minutes it takes to go down this particular memory lane.

I particularly like Jigglypuff's song, especially the outtake at the end...

GEEK 2013

GEEK in this context stands for Games Expo East Kent, and is an event coming to Margate next month. Last year's debut event was apparently so successful that this looks like becoming a regular annual event. I consider that to be a Good Thing!

I, of course, have the connection to Margate that I have mentioned a couple of times before: the little office the then DTI's regional office had there in the Old Town Hall, which I visited typically once or twice a year.

Thus I have a hankering to revisit the old area, which I quite liked – though I am perhaps too old now to battle it out with the young gamers of today. My own gaming is not in their league, and originates in the decades of the 'eighties and 'nineties. The world has moved on somewhat since those times...

Anyway, the event will be based at several locations in Margate, including the Winter Gardens, between 21st and 24th February 2013 (during schools' half-term).

Here is the event's promotional video...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Shared Shard Experience

The Spectator reports on a 'design flaw' that means that reflections of the insides of cubicles in the conveniences can be (and, it seems, often are) visible to others.

 Oh well, when it comes to modern, trendy design, such as having reflective glass in such places, I guess you win some and you loos some too...

Fairy On My Shoulder

Well, it's Lapis Aoki who is on the guitarist's shoulder for Little Wish (following her Daydream Flight) in this Vocafarre live conference event, which also features the likes of Tone Rion, Gumi (Megpoid) and Akikoloid.

This was a remarkable event as it featured the vocaloids as true holograms (at last!) whereas they are usually either merely rendered on computer/game console screens or – at concerts – projected onto two-dimensional displays/surfaces. I say "at last" but this was over a year ago, and it still hasn't been made sufficiently technically viable to become mainstream. It's obviously on the way, though...

Technically, the main method being used here is Augmented Reality (known as 'AR') along with some more conventional methods, as with the action at the side wall and with the dummy-like figures at the rear of the main stage. Specifically, although no commenter I have yet encountered on this event has said this, I believe it is what is known as Spatial Augmented Reality, with a lot of projectors, that has achieved what we encounter in watching this event.

The consequence of the new technology is that, even when sharing a stage with human performers, the vocaloids have had to be behind the humans. That limitation has now gone, and they can strut their stuff at the front along with the best of them. Okay, so they probably are the best of them, at least in respect of strutting/dancing, but you get the point!

Meanwhile, others have been trying other so-called 'full body' projection. For example, Miku has appeared thus using a water tank as a 3-D display medium, though I have no details or photos on that as yet.

Now, with this event, there's a lot of warm-up and nothing very interesting to us as non conference-goers happens until thirty and a half minutes in, so do feel free to 'scroll' to that point, certainly on your first viewing I'd suggest. Each featured vocaloid is then first introduced via still images and samples of tracks, then we go to the real action, whether it's on the main stage, the 'fairy stage', or the solo guitarist.

It has to be said that the technology isn't quite there yet: the technical quality isn't quite as good as the best Dreamy Theater productions I have been featuring here in recent weeks – though this will show only in full-screen play – and there is an occasional minor glitch, causing the holographic elements to suddenly move a little. But this all shows where the business is heading and it is without any doubt good enough for now. We can live with the imperfections!

As per the slogan I recently added to this 'blog's banner, in the next few minutes this could well melt hearts (especially the Lapis part at 40 minutes in) and cause jaws to drop. Watch especially for the mobile camera shots that prove this is truly holographic...

Monday, 21 January 2013

Just For Fun

Here's a short clip featuring the Crypton vocaloids in a kind of simple mini-story – just for fun...

Miku is Your Songstress

This is a nice soft song, and could almost be Miku's signature song, as the number one Vocaloid. Anata no Utahime (Your Songstress) sees a barefoot Miku in one of her flowing mid-length white dresses once again looking down on the city all around, but this time on a late evening in summer.

Interestingly, the bridge area of this scene reminds me of Waterloo and the South Bank, where I worked for several years...

Note how the stars show in the parts of the sky away from the slowly setting sun. Attention to detail is as usual a strong feature of these Dreamy Theater (sic) videos, and this one is no exception...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Tweet of the Day – 20 January 2013

From CSLewisDaily, who is well worth following on Twitter for insightful messages of guidance such as this...
"Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of people who really were in touch with God."
Not only does this put (proper) doctrines in their rightful and appropriate place, it also reminds us that God's guidance to us comes via many separate people, showing us that it is divine and not one person's agenda. Learning from those who came before us is a humbling but important aspect of life, especially for those who think they 'know it all' and treat it as 'irrelevant' or similar.

Many of those who firmly believe in the doctrines of God today were once the same – but then they truly grew up...

Fairy Vocaloid

Little Lapis Aoki (Gemstone Blue-Princess) is a 15 cm high (6 inches) fairy, and the sweetest of them all. For some reason, Japanese fairies don't necessarily have wings...

I shall be featuring her again in the near future, but for now you can judge her 'sweetness factor' for yourself, with this good choice of song for her, Nekomimi Switch, which is, naturally enough, about cat ears and a mysterious yellow switch. I'm sure you'd already worked that out(!)

Here are the lyrics, in both Japanese (romajii, so we can follow them on the video) and English; and here is that video...

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Fantasy -Y -Y -Y -Y

That was the theme of Korean vocaloid SeeU's fourth demo song, and here it is being performed live on an upper stage along with a group of human performers on the main stage...

It is a very good reminder of just how lovely SeeU's voice and (unencumbered) movements really are: I'd say both are among the very, very best in the world!

If you thought that was cool,wait until you see this (shorter) video of SeeU joined on the upper stage by some other live performers. That is actually very impressive, and it is not exactly easy to 'see the join'...

That annoying YouTube re-direct arrow does go away at precisely one minute in, or you can click on the little X at its top-right corner (you have to mouse-over the gold  box for this to appear).

Anyway, that aside, this clip goes to show just how good and seamless these modern innovations can now be. It also shows how much more naturally mobile SeeU is without that huge quivering mass of hair, as we also saw recently in the Arirang video I posted here. Indeed, her motion here is just about the most natural-looking of any of the vocaloids I have so far encountered.

Electrical Parade

This really is a jolly tune, with a Nyah-yah-yah-ya vocal that is impossible to be performed by a human; so it's Miku with a trio of friends, a soft toy (that is more than it at first appears) and some building blocks.

Do stay with it to the very end – it's worth it...

Friday, 18 January 2013

Meltdown – the Rin version

Two weeks ago I featured a version of Meltdown by Akita Neru – which was great, but this really is Rin's song, so here is that lady herself, wading through the same pool as in the Akita version, so it is easier if you wish to make a direct comparison.

There are some wonderful high notes in this song, which I think definitely work better with Rin's voice, and I don't think any other performer can equal that, human or vocaloid.

This version also includes the English words, which are (again) interesting, and illustrate once more the sometimes more colourful way the Japanese express their emotions. I mean, diving into a fusion reactor? It's certainly an original approach...

The Snow Arrives – 18 January 2013

The forecasts have been essentially correct, although where I am and hereabouts for a fair distance it has not been at all serious, at least not so far. It started at precisely 11 am today, very light at first, then cranking up a gear a bit later.

Kent's gritters have been out already, in advance, gritting primary and (I believe) secondary routes, so we here are as well prepared as anyone can reasonably expect to be, at least on those routes.

This weather is expected to continue, with more snow falling, throughout the coming weekend. As it is really cold outdoors (as I can attest from when I was outside at 11 am when it all started) so it will no doubt be distinctly dodgy on some lesser roads and the footpaths by Monday morning.

Here's a pic of the Close where I live in Chatham, taken just minutes before I wrote this post...

Change Me by Meiko

Meiko is one of the 'oldest' Vocaloids, in the sense of having been designed as a 31-year-old (the same as Teto), not just visually but – as with the others – her voice actress (seiyuu in Japanese) is chosen with her intended 'age' in mind. Her build is thus more 'womanly' than many of the others.

I thought it was about time I featured a really good item by her.

The song, Change Me, is quite good without being one of the top numbers, but Meiko's stage presence here is fairly compelling viewing, adding a few attention-grabbing moves to the already wide repertoire we have seen from the Vocaloids to date.

As for her costume: I must admit I quite like the belt and buckle...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Rin, You Rock!

Rin literally 'rocks' in this video, strumming a mean guitar into the bargain.

This relatively heavy number is properly called Kodoku no Hate no LOVE & PEACE, apparently, but sadly no-one seems to have the English translation of the title and lyrics, at least not when I did my customary search. If anyone reading this has greater success, do let me know and kindly provide a link, so that I can update this post accordingly.

Of course, Rin is no stranger to this kind of music, as we see from the three-piece Vocaloid backing band for Miku on some videos, one example of which I have featured here in recent weeks. There are other solo instances around as well.

Here we see Rin in a nicely-designed two-tone grey outfit and a charcoal-grey hair bow in place of the usual white one. It seems to be a good choice for a track of this style. Also note the triplet hair clips instead of the usual pairs, more prominent on this occasion...

New Arrival

It will almost certainly come as no surprise to visitors to this 'blog that I have treated myself to a Miku Hatsune figurine for Christmas – though for a couple of (frankly boring) reasons her arrival was delayed until today.

It is a one-seventh scale figure, standing some 18 centimetres high, excluding the stand. Allowing for her bent-over pose, this does work out about right (her height is 158 cm in her characteristics info).

I was so nervous about missing a possible early delivery that it kept me awake all night long, but it was worth it. Miku now adorns (i'd say dominates!) my almost-famous hallway display...

Here's the box, from which you can see it's a Tony version, no less, and produced by Max Factory – so it's one of the best, along with the offerings from Good Smile Company and Sega...

Finally, here's Miku alone, spectacularly in action as is the norm for her...

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Real Lucky Star?

This live-action parody of the Lucky Star introduction is so well done that it's actually brilliant! Indeed, it appears here side by side with the original, so you can do a side-by-side comparison.

Very, very good, and great fun too!

Muslim Patrols

This is something that has been brewing for several years now, and put into practice in at least one or two Muslim-dominated areas in London.

The Commentator covers recent developments including a couple of videos that show what this is like in practice, and the attitudes of those involved. The business of 'owning the streets' is an old, old story, and is not specific to any one faith, ethnic group or anything else of that ilk – it's a facet of human nature within some communities, and has been for decades if not longer.

From the Krays via those who run the 'hood' to so-called 'Muslim areas' (which are a fiction, of course) there will also be those with an excuse they have to tell themselves that, yes they can satisfy their lust for domination via intimidation and violence. They are all exactly the same as each other!

This does not help us to deal with it; there is a too-scared-to-tackle approach that the law-enforcement authorities have consistently demonstrated with this particular section of society living in Britain (but clearly not all of them think of themselves as being part of our society) when dealing with criminal and near-criminal activity.

This hardly inspires confidence that they will do anything beyond the nominal and minimal about what is being depicted in those videos. As their own communities either support them, are scared of them themselves, or are neutral and not inclined to move, act or speak out against them, the odds are stacked against this kind of activity being dealt with, and ordinary people will no doubt continued to be harassed, bullied and (no doubt) threatened.

Short of doing an Idi Amin and expelling all Muslims from Britain, I do not know of a solution to this growing and developing issue. It seems that nothing else will really work, despite (possibly) initial superficial appearances, as other countries have been finding with the same grouping as well. A few of them seem to have come to the same conclusion: it cannot be dealt with while they are permitted to remain in one's country.

Therefore we have a real problem, as Britain is not in the habit of acting in such a manner. Indeed, our reputation is of being far too accommodating for such a small country.

In the final analysis, the only people who can avoid forcing such a decision sooner or later are those communities themselves. Unless they deal firmly, sharply, completely and permanently with all of this stuff, and can demonstrate that it will never recur, they'll end up on the wrong side of that decision when the crunch time comes. The time to act is now; and if they fail to do so, they shouldn't be at all surprised if one day the lot of them are compelled to leave our shores for good.

The ball is firmly in their court!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Meet the Niece

I think that website I accessed recently, and mentioned in my previous post, got it wrong. However cute Mayu may be, I can't even contemplate marrying someone like that. Even putting the axe aside (which sounds like a good idea on principle!) there's just too much of a mismatch.

No, I think I'd have to be just a distant uncle, if I had to be anything; and perhaps this (very appealing) video of Love Logic shows why, both in the title and via the content...

Meet the Wife

Well, after the site I linked to a few days ago told me I'd be marrying the vocaloid Mayu, I thought it prudent to check out the lady first, especially with her reputed latent psychotic tendencies.

Here we get an idea of this rather cute lady, with her almost constant companion (a soft toy) and a nice voice, actually – though on this occasion she's miming to Gumi. All goes well at first, but I'm not entirely sure about her choice of accessory two thirds of the way through...

At least her One More Time, which is very good I think, concentrates more on the softer side of Mayu, including her bunny-like soft toy, who is named Usano Mimi ("bunny ears"), by the way...

Iroha Song – Duet

Actually, this isn't a true duet, but has the two voices together by making separate versions of the same song (and video) with each of two Vocaloids.

The Iroha Song ('Iroha Uta') is another of those very good, distinctive and instantly recognisable – and memorable – Vocaloid tunes that so often feature in these videos.

Although the number of original songs written specifically for the Vocaloids now run well into six figures, and undoubtedly the considerable majority of those are likely to be relatively poor (ask any music publishers regarding their own regular mailbag of wannabes), there are at least several dozen that can easily hold their own in the marketplace.

This is one such, also seemingly connected in some way to the original Iroha 'pangram' Japanese poem that includes each syllabic character there is, once only – though I have not thus far ascertained the nature of that link, even after studying the song's lyrics. In fact, I have my doubts about that supposed connection...

This original 'duet' approach features Rin, and a new one to be featured here, Ritsu Namine, who – Luka-like – wears a long skirt in contrast to Rin's characteristically short outfit. The character was created via an on-line forum, it appears, back in the autumn of 2009, rather than by one of the companies (such as Crypton Future Media, who created Miku, Luka and the Kagamine twins) who specialise in the field.

As for this video: it features Rin wearing her X-shaped hair clips rather than the regular straight ones; and Ritsu manages to keep that characteristic Mary Poppins-inspired (I suspect) hat on throughout the stage dance. I also feel that this 'duet' concept does work well in this instance...

Monday, 14 January 2013

Multi-Vocaloid Concert

This genuinely excited me and kept me rockin' along virtually non-stop for some 38 minutes. It's the final part of a Vocaloid concert (I do not know where or when) that featured no fewer than eleven Vocaloid characters, more often than not with several on stage at once – eight in a couple of songs.

I recognised (alphabetically) CUL, Gakupo, Gumi, Kaito, Len, Lily, Luka, Meiko, Miku, Rin and Teto. CUL here seems really nice as a programmed character; and I could grow to like that one. I am aware of some imperfections with her voice in certain registers, but her rendition of World is Mine (to be found elsewhere) is extremely competent and sounds very natural.

I also noticed how well Gumi and Lily went together, whether they were singing their duet in the same octave or (as was done in parts) an octave apart.

One interesting effect of this multiple appearance is that the Kagamine twins are so obviously that much shorter in stature than their 'older' colleagues. They seem almost tiny next to the others! I have all their heights (and some other details) on file, and I think the difference is being exaggerated a little owing to different footwear (heels etc with the 'older' females), but the underlying point remains: they are actually quite small.

Despite a less-than-ideal technical quality standard (which seems to be mostly if not entirely down to the video-ing, not the performance), this is a very enjoyable video of part of a concert played to a packed house – just look at the shots of the audience – which only goes to show just how big a phenomenon this really is, out there in the world. Vocaloids rock, as the saying goes...

SeeU – Arirang

This is a nice video of the Korean vocaloid SeeU dancing to her own rendition of a mildly techno-style song called Arirang (though not being sung 'live' by the dancing character).

Strictly speaking, the 'r' letters in the song's title are more like 'l' sounds, as a study of the Korean Hangeul characters on the video shows. They are, in effect, interchangeable. It seems that, like the Japanese and the Chinese (though for slightly different reasons) the Koreans too have difficulty separating the two sounds. The result comes out somewhere in between, more like a cross between w, r and y than anything else.

The initial 'ng' character is silent in this location. I don't know why it's there at all, but I'm no expert on the language...

This is a nice video, with an attractive song and dance, despite the plain background. It's certainly one of the few instances I have found of SeeU being animated, and in proper 3-D – though on this occasion her generous locks have been (temporarily!) lopped off, which I notice works just as well in appropriate situations such as this one...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Comment of the Day – 13 January 2013

Cranmer has been looking at Richard Dawkins's latest bit of nonsense that suggests that religious people are 'stupid'.

Now, this was in a single tweet, so it is stretching things to read too much directly into that alone – but it is consistent with his and other atheists' long-held and oft-stated views, so it is reasonable to take it as being at least indicative of his attitude.

This comment by Carl Jacobs to His Grace's post expresses much of my own standard response to atheists and their general silliness; and this part of it is the nub, I have always felt...

"But can he explain consciousness? Well, no he can't.

Can he explain conscience? No he can't.

Can he explain the existence of morality? No, he can't.

Can he explain irreducible complexity? No, he can't.

Can he explain the connection between the brain and the mind? No, he can't.

Can he tell me what a thought is? No, he can't.

Can he explain the mathematical impossibility of the formation of so much as even one protein molecule of RNA? No, he can't.

Can he explain the uncaused cause for existence? No, he can't.

Can he find any purpose or meaning in the existence of man external to man's own individual desires? No, he can't.

Can he even so much as show me the data that validates the models upon which he bases so many of his conclusions? No, he can't. He has no data."
Indeed, no atheist has even the beginning of a clue about anything fundamental. For a start, there is no actual reason for there even to be a universe at all, without a Creator, let alone why there is one, where the material for it came from, what's 'outside' or beyond it, and who are we, really.

From there it just gets worse and worse for the clueless atheists; but if that's how they wish to live, that's fine in and of itself. Just don't attack those of us who do have a clue, Dawkins et al, and keep your stupid, stupid atheist trap shut!

Then again, it can be fun to demolish their stance, just as Carl Jacobs has done today...

Saihate by Rin

Here's the 'youngest' (by characteristics) of the mainstream Vocaloids, Rin Kagamine, looking and moving in an especially soft and feminine way that the others can't quite get to work in the same way, because of their build (I believe even their skeletal structure is programmed into their characteristics!) with Saihate, which means 'The Furthest Ends'.

As (nearly) always, the English words are available easily enough for anyone who wishes to find them. I have been wondering whether to post a link to them here in cases where they aren't subtitled or captioned within the video – but it seems a bit late now.

Even so, here are this song's words, and if readers tell me they'd like this done for the other songs too, I'll do so in future and also go through existing posts and add similar links to all of those. I use various sites, though the Anime Lyrics site I have linked to here is my favourite and usually my first port of call.

Now, here's Rin in a colourful and tranquil setting, wearing a very nice puffball dress, and with a couple of butterflies – though not on her right shoulder...

Saturday, 12 January 2013

One NOT For the Ladies!

Not unless they don't mind becoming envious, that is, of Miku's wonderful range of colourful and sumptuous costumes. No real-world lady is going to have a wardrobe this good, perhaps not even royalty.

The costumes are made available in the Project Diva game by completing the 'rhythm box' game itself so well, on various songs, that you build up sufficient so-called Diva Points to unlock the various outfits. The originator of the following video had obviously earned a lot of Diva Points!

As for the song, StargazeR, it's a bit so-so, and the video is best thought of as a visual feast, so I suggest turning the sound down a few notches and watching this toggled to full-screen view, to simply enjoy the spectacle. I counted 29 outfits, then back to the original, traditional Miku costume. My favourites were the third (evening sky blue winter outfit) and the fifteenth (long flowing white with narrow cummerbund).

By the way, in the first few moments it looks as though it isn't at top quality, but from the instant of the first costume change that is corrected. My investigation shows that this appears to be a glitch in the way the YouTube Flash player works, rather than any fault in the video data...

Marrying a Vocaloid

I can see a number of benefits in marrying a Vocaloid lady – but also some potential pitfalls.

Although I am now much too old to start thinking along such lines myself, I have at least given it some thought, primarily because of comments I have seen on YouTube where I have read several wishes for one or another of the Vocaloids to marry the commenter.

I have thus considered the subject in some depth, and come to the following conclusions. They are, I think, significant!

Incidentally, if I had seriously considered marrying a Vocaloid myself, this site tells me that I'd have married Mayu (who is the first yandere Vocaloid so this is something of a dangerous proposition!) and that the wedding song would be Meltdown.

If it hadn't been for Mayu's latent psychotic nature I have to admit that the idea does have some appeal...

Therefore, do be aware of these bullet points (and I am sure there are many others) should this become legally possible one day and you feel inclined to pursue it. There is a legal question regarding Rin, who (at 14) is technically 'under-age', as is her twin brother Len, and Mayu herself is just 15; but no problem for any of the others, from Miku (aged 16) to Meiko (aged 31).

First, the plus points...
  • Her running costs are very low: just some electricity to power the projector when needed;
  • There'll be no waiting around for her to get ready. Her call of "I'll be there in just a second" will become literally true, for the first time in history;
  • You won't be subject to any nagging;
  • There are no in-laws; 
  • She will never grow old and wrinkly;
  • You can be entertained with top-quality singing whenever you need a bit of cheering up;
  • There can be no unfaithfulness: others can get their own, separate copy of your wife. I know that will seem odd at first, but you'll get used to the idea.
However, there are some negative aspects too...
  • The marriage vow "to have and to hold" cannot be met, as there is nothing physical to hold;
  • You'll have to do all your own cooking, but at least it's only for one;
  • If you're out somewhere with another couple including the same Vocaloid, unless they're wearing different costumes it could get somewhat confusing;
  • It could feel awkward if you're eating and/or drinking, as your spouse cannot share in this. You cannot even chink glasses together;
  • You cannot have children – though you could always download 'chibi' versions of your good lady, such as Hachune Miku or any of the others. At least they don't have nappies (diapers) to deal with...
Overall, I'd say there's much to commend the idea, but you have to go into it with your eyes wide open. It'll be no use complaining that there's nothing to cuddle, after the ceremony – though that also means no cold feet on your legs in the bed, so perhaps even that isn't necessarily a bad thing!

One for the Ladies

Although this video features Rin Kagamine, the lead is taken by her twin brother Len. Butterfly on Your Right Shoulder is another popular Vocaloid song, and works best as a duet even though it doesn't necessarily have to be.

The Kagamine twins are probably the best at this song, which seems to suit their voices and styles well – though I think Rin's voice needs to be brought up a couple of decibels to balance the vocal sound optimally (once a recording engineer, always...etc).

There are several of those instant costume changes during these three minutes, so see if you spot where they all occur: there's certainly at least one you could miss...

Hello. How Are You? asks SeeU

Although the vocal track here is a little too quiet in the mix, and the song itself is a little lacklustre (though still okay), this SeeU video is a decent enough showcase for the Korean vocaloid.

I have to admit that I am quite taken with SeeU – not to the point of making her my favourite vocaloid, but I do like her. I could even change my lifelong (slightly negative) outlook toward blondes...

Friday, 11 January 2013

Finder – Rin Kagamine

This is a nice song, with Rin nattily attired in a red Santa-style outfit, complete with little white pom-poms, up the steps and looking down at the city spread all around. I can promise you that we shall see her in that costume again this coming December.

The video is a good showcase for Rin, reminding us of her youthful characteristics, and her resultant freshness and lightness of movement. It's quite charming...

Promise – Miku and Rin Duet

This works well, though the sound is fractionally lacking in quality for some reason. It is not all that noticeable, thankfully, in this well done duet with a techno-style backing.

It also shows how well these two perform together, their quite different voices and personalities (yes, those are specified in their 'characteristics' too, and shown via the moves that are programmed into the dance routines supplied within the software) complementing each other, which might not have been realised by us all. This is a good showcase for that...

Today's Selezione

Today I choose Inycon's Selezione Sangiovese-Shiraz, which is a typically full and rounded Sicilian red wine, blending the Italian classic Sangiovese grape with Sicilian-grown Shiraz (a.k.a. Syrah) to produce an outstanding red for meats and grills.

I have long been familiar with Sicilian reds, going back to the standard of the time, Corvo Rosso in the 'seventies that I could have with meals at such places as Trattoria Imperia in London's Charing Cross Road (often known as 'Gino's place', where he'd sing to his customers as well as take their orders!) – long since gone, but patronised by numerous celebrities, many of whose photos and messages were attached to the wall.

Sadly, Corvo Rosso has become just about impossible to find in recent years, so it is good that there is now a substitute that has much of the feel and flavour of that classic, and adds something of its own character to the underlying concept.

I like it very much for the occasions when a fuller red is most suitable, and as an alternative to the other 'heavy' reds that I have occasionally mentioned here (and a number I have not yet featured).

As always, though, do not fall into the trap of assuming that the same source's whites are all that good. Their offering is passable; but Italians and Sicilians continue to be relatively poor at white wine, though I have no real idea why this should be. I have tried many over the years and decades, but the situation hasn't materially improved. Therefore I recommend looking elsewhere for whites.

For a full-bodied red, though, the Selezione Sangiovese-Shiraz is perfectly able to hold its own with others in the same category.

Gangnam Style – SeeU Style!

SeeU is the first Korean vocaloid character, who sadly hasn't yet appeared as a live performer in her music videos (of which there are at least a couple of dozen, plus a handful of demo tracks) – apart from this one, as far as I can find (so far).

Her voice is distinctly womanly, though not at the expense of femininity, though overall perhaps not what one might expect from that part of the world...

SeeU the character's most distinctive feature is her mass of blonde hair, which makes the other vocaloid females look almost as if they have crew cuts by comparison. You have to stand well clear when that lady spins around! The picture above-right gives an indication of this(!)

Anyway, it does at least seem fitting that a Korean vocaloid is performing this version of Gangnam Style and in pole position for the obligatory dance, which I have to say suits her far better than it does Miku and Luka.

I have to say that I have never been a fan of this song, and that hasn't changed; but just once in a while (such as here, as well as the Lucky Star version I posted a couple of weeks back) it does work quite well and is sufficiently entertaining to merit sharing with this 'blog's readers – so here we go: "Oppan Gangnam Style!"...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Dune – The Extended Version

David Lynch's original Dune movie, based on the Frank Herbert novel, came in for a fair amount of criticism when it was released almost thirty years ago.

Some of that was and still is justified, but as made it was a lot better than we got. It was just too long, and those pulling the strings required it to be cut down to what they'd consider to be a manageable length. It ended up with too much missing to make complete sense, even to those of us who knew the original story very well.

Here, though, is a version with many (perhaps all, I do not know) of those cut scenes restored to their rightful places, plus fan-added artwork and narration, and the whole is now quite significantly better than the release version ever could be.

It still has its faults, but this unofficial version, lasting just short of three hours, is a welcome reminder of just how good David Lynch's work was, on the whole, and especially bearing in mind the technical limitations of effects at that time...


A simple song from Luka, but Kokoro (Heart) is a very famous Vocaloid song, and this needed to be included here for the sake of completeness. It is actually about a robot(!) and uses two voices in different places.

Rin does a very nice version of this song too, and I expect I'll feature that one here some time in the months to come.

This version starts off with Luka dressed in what I tend to think of as a 'waitress in seaside tea-room' uniform, changing to her Just Be Friends cute dress mid-way, along with the very nice floral headband that goes with that outfit...

Waybuloo Website Reinvigorated

That's the best word I can think of to describe the completely revamped Waybuloo website. It is actually very good now, and quite a contrast to the rather poor and somewhat unorganised site it had become in recent years.

Here's the press release from Zodiak Media, who have always handled these 'external' public aspects of the show (including merchandise licensing, for another aspect of that work).

I have (predictably!) spent a little time at the new site this morning, and have found some good activities, resources, information and facilities. While I am not sure about the two-clicks philosophy (one click to enlarge, another to go there) the overall impression is a good one.

In other, related news, ASDA has a new George range of Waybuloo-themed baby clothes coming out a week from today.

Back at the new site; there's even a new short dance video that I hadn't encountered before, that was quietly uploaded to YouTube nearly a month ago. Here it is, with its new mix music track based mainly on the Naracar tune...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Romeo and Cinderella

This popular Vocaloid song has been performed by all the regulars, and this (which is actually a Luka Megurine version) is here performed by the lovely and cute Rin Kagamine, who deserves to be featured more – and I am already working on that.

This effort features Rin's usual distinctive vocal character, as well as a super-pleated black-and-white outfit (plus gold detail) that suits her youthful – and often slightly cheeky – character rather well...

Duet: Magnet

Well, after considerable searching, and problems with a faulty embed code that jumped a couple of seconds after starting to a different video(!) I seem to have cracked this. It took me a fair amount of attempted debugging of this phenomenon before I had to concede defeat on the original, and had to turn elsewhere...

It was worth it in the end, though, as we now have here the best version I can find of Magnet, performed as a duet featuring Miku and Luka in those very colourful costumes we recently saw in the World's End Dancehall video.

This is one of the best songs the Vocaloids perform, and has an outstanding piano part of its accompaniment, as well as some great moves by Miku and Luka – who also get to show their individuality. That is unlike some videos where the originator has lazily linked both/all the performers together, and it just doesn't look anything like natural.

What follows below, though, is sheer class, and one of the very best, despite being one small notch short of the ultimate in technical quality...

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

World's End Dancehall

This is one of the most famous Miku Hatsune / Luka Megurine duets ever (Magnet is another) and with the most colourful and genuinely attractive costumes I have yet seen for any Vocaloid, so this technically second-echelon (i.e., not the very highest quality, but still good enough) video is certainly worthy of posting here.

On the subject of Magnet, I am currently trying to find a top-quality version to share here, but so far haven't found one, though I have one of the same quality level of this video standing by, in case I am unsuccessful...

Fantasy Corner

With my (modest but definite) biological changes during the last year or two has come the ability to fantasize; and although my one or two – so far – fantasies will no doubt be considered by most to be inconsequential, for me they have a degree of significance.

My main one is that our annual Will Adams Festival, celebrating Gillingham's links to Japan that started with local fellow Will Adams voyaging out there centuries ago, extends beyond its somewhat repetitive format to date, and adds some modern Japanese culture while retaining all for which the festival is known.

Nothing need be sacrificed.

My specific fantasy revolves around there being a performance of the Hare Hare Yukai dance (from the Haruhi Suzumiya stories) on the stage at the event, and that before they start their leader apologises for the absence of one of the male performers from the quintet, who for some reason couldn't be there.

You can probably guess what I'd like to happen next: yes, I'd wave from the audience and approach the stage, offering to substitute. Once I knew whether I was to be Mr Happy (Koizumi) or Mr Moody (Kyon) and whether it was the short or long form of the dance they were doing, I could assure them I'd be up to it and take my place on the stage.

Wouldn't that be something a little bit special? I know the dance so well that I'd have no problem performing it, at least if my health continues to slowly improve (I haven't been able to dance safely during most of the past year and a half, but have recently started improving in that regard).

The absolute icing on the cake would be if former mayor/mayoress Cllr Ted and Sylvia Baker were in the audience and witnessed this. I'm sure they already think of me as being a little 'unhinged', and this could no doubt firm-up that impression; but I'd hope that they'd enjoy it all the same.

I know I'd enjoy doing it, and helping out the performers in the process.

Now that's my kind of fantasy!

Monday, 7 January 2013

The Winner Takes It All

This is a little off the beaten track, as it involves Luka (and friends, later) miming to ABBA rather than using their own voicebanks – but it is very effective, and I am pleased it has been tried out and the result presented publicly.

The mouth movements reflect Agnetha's original breathing/singing technique quite closely, by the way, which is something I have studied in the past, having been impressed with that lady's skills.

This video also features a couple of nice costumes, especially Luka's gorgeous maroon dress with attached sleeves (for a change) and gold cummerbund, plus what I call a 'paper-chain skirt' (as we used to have paper-chains that were very much like this, among our Christmas decorations). Even Kaito and Len join in toward the end, along with Miku, in what I think (upon reflection) has turned out to be a very well done video...

I'm Not Obsessed – Really!

Someone has suggested to me that I might be going too far with all these Vocaloid videos, but it really is just because it was the holiday season with not much serious happening for a few weeks.

My 'blog has long had a reputation for bringing material to its readers that they probably haven't encountered before, with the intention of adding new and (hopefully) enjoyable experiences that might even leave visitors here glad that they had discovered something that they hadn't realised existed, or was that good.

As for me, I always have something serious happening here, even if it's just the everyday chore of preparing meals, such as in these two images. What's that you say?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Luka – Depression of Cybernetics

Here is an amazing video of a most realistically life-like Luka Megurine (especially at the start) performing this unusual song within a grey and broken cityscape. Fortunately the place is not entirely lifeless.

I have timed this for early Saturday evening, as a contrast to what those about to go 'out on the town' this evening are more likely to encounter – even in Chatham, where I live!

This is one of those 'once seen, never forgotten' productions, and is worth anyone spending the less than four minutes it takes to watch, preferably toggled to full-screen size (which is a good idea for all of these Vocaloid videos I am posting here).

You'll want to reduce or mute the cound for the first 15 seconds of preliminaries, which are really too loud, or skip past that first quarter-minute. The video proper starts just before 16 seconds in...

Friday, 4 January 2013

Akita Neru – Meltdown

This is a Vocaloid I haven't featured before, Akita Neru, who is visually identifiable by her single-sided long hair (as distinct from Miku's twin braids, for example) and matching yellow eyes, also with a slightly different voice timbre, a little deeper overall, I'd say.

Her songs tend to be more on the 'evil' side than usual, although all the female Vocaloids seem to have at least a couple of such items in their own repertoires.

Anyway, this is Meltdown, a track more commonly associated with the equally yellow-haired (though usually styled much shorter, either 'cut' or in what I call fluffy braids) Rin Kagamine, especially at the live concerts. It seemed to be an original way to go into the weekend.

There are no English words with this, but another version (without the character) does have English subtitles...

Another Luka Song – Stardust Utopia

I have no idea what this one is titled, as it's in Japanese Kanji ideograms only and that is well beyond my present abilities to understand! If it had been in Hiragana...

UPDATE: It's Stardust Utopia.

This attractive song, though not one of the very best of hers, is certainly good, and well worth airing here – especially as it features Luka in a different costume. Although I accept her regular costume as being 'the norm', I am not over-keen on it in some regards, so these costume changes make for welcome variety.

Again we find ourselves above Planet Earth and looking down, though from a different platform this time (perhaps a deserted shopping mall, complete with working escalator!) and we are also treated to the spectacle of what I surmise is a meteor shower impacting our world's atmosphere...

Scottish Miku Show News

It's all coming together at the MikuUK Project for the planned show in Scotland later this year.

I still don't know precisely what to expect at this event, but some tantalising hints are in this new, short "coming soon" video the Project has just released...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Yellow Song, Red Hair

This (new here) Vocaloid is Teto Kasane, with crazily-styled red hair – and red eyes too! – plus a tail, who was created on April Fools Day as a prank but became so popular that the creator(s) had to keep her going.

This is Miku Hatsune's famous song Yellow, done correctly including the moves/poses at beginning and end, though not while dressed in yellow as Miku dramatically does via an instant change at the live concerts...


All right, I'll give the young lady this one! Although it isn't quite a hundred percent correct (but very close), Konata's version of the Hare Hare Yukai (Sunny Sunny Happiness) dance from her very favourite anime series is actually very good and suits her quite well, even solo as here – which is something I hadn't expected to find, to be completely frank, and wasn't even looking for it (I was searching under just the song title, with hundreds of results).

I have been going through a couple of dozen versions of the dance, and even a full orchestral rendition of the tune (which I might post one day, though not yet awhile), looking for something good enough to post. There were also many others I didn't need to go through, as they were obviously just a still image throughout.

There are, predictably, several Vocaloid versions (though none good enough by my standards) and a number of – very mixed – live action attempts, a few of which aren't bad; but Konata's seems to me to be the one of choice overall from the current selection...

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Dance of Many

This is one of those absolute top-quality Miku Hatsune videos, here with yet another great song, a lovely costume (and a fan again!) but no English words. Apart from that one lack, it's as close to perfection as I have yet found anywhere, if a little on the 'dynamic' side...

Double Lariat

Double Lariat is one of my favourite Luka Megurine songs, here performed in a different outfit from usual. I think it works well, and adds welcome variety – but it has to be said that Luka exudes such sheer class that a sack with three holes cut out (for her head and arms) would do almost as well!

Her stage presence is truly phenomenal, and considerably outclasses any human performer I have ever encountered – all without any of the coarseness and vulgarity that pervades the western female vocalist scene. Whoever created this (and other Luka 'live' videos) has obviously put a huge amount of what I term 'heart' into their work, and it really shows.

This video features the return of the almost chibi-like pink octopus on which I have remarked before. It seems to be something like a pet, but I know nothing of it for certain.

There are no English subtitles or captions with this version, but they are easily found on-line, either just as stand-alone lyrics or subtitled to another video of a difference performance. They are what could with justification be termed interesting words, as happens with some Vocaloid songs, I have noticed.

Technically, this version still has those clicking artifacts on some of the sound transitions that affect Luka's voice in particular (i.e. more than some of the other Vocaloids) on occasion. It doesn't always occur with her, but detracts just a little when it does.

Hopefully, with the port of her voicebank to the new Vocaloid-3 software, which I believe is planned to be done, this will be cleaned up for good. The lady and her many, many fans really deserve it...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Haruhi and Kyon

Combine a series of clips of those two 'happy souls' with one of Roxette's best songs as a backing, and it becomes a great way to start off the new year. I wish I'd thought of it myself...

Happy New Year!

What better way to bring in the new year of 2013 than a truly excellent video of the four top Vocaloids performing Miku Hatsune's Look This Way Baby!, followed by a visual extravaganza with Miku's Yellow* as the backing track. You'll want this one toggled to full screen view, especially to see the fabulous Luka on drums (as has happened in other such videos, by the way).

Despite all of that, it is unusual to see a Shure 55-SW microphone these days; and I haven't yet worked out why the Nendoroid-like tiny 'chibi' figures are there, especially the pink squid/octopus, although one is the 'super-deformed' Hachune Miku who often appears here and there I have noticed, usually waving the infamous Welsh onion...

(* Yes, I now recognise many Vocaloid songs straight away upon hearing their first few notes. So I'm what some might call 'sad', but at least I'm always smiling!)...

Pageviews for December 2012

Here's the graph for the past month's pageviews of this 'blog...

I'm putting these monthly graphs up here primarily to indicate any trend that might thus be revealed; though I can also state that the posts that are getting more pageviews than others are, broadly, the anime/Vocaloid items. It's not universal, but that's one kind of trend I can readily perceive from the blogpost-level statistics that I can read here at any time.

I am a little surprised, as I hadn't thought the readership here was (yet?) anywhere near as fully taken with this topic as I am – but there it is, clearly shown in my detailed statistics. Of course, this gives me the excuse to post more of the same – but I shall be very selective and somewhat sparing.

For every three or four minutes of video of either of those categories, be assured that I shall have rejected (though enjoyed!) at least a couple of hours-worth of other material. I really am that picky when it comes to my readership here; and a few of the borderline examples that didn't make it have been particularly sad to have to exclude.

It looks like I am generally getting it right, as I typically get 400 to 600 pageviews a day, which for a backwater 'blog like this is quite good going, and a significant increase from, say, a year ago, building up during this past year from a typical 11,000 or so pageviews per month in early 2012 to a consistent 14,000-plus monthly in recent times.

While none of this matters to any degree in the grand scheme of things, each of us is, in effect, tasked with doing our own bit to contribute to society as a whole in whatever way we are best suited.

My own method is to provide a good mix of light and shade, serious and not so much, on various topics (but mostly constrained to a specific range of categories), and as to make my posts as well-researched and authoritative as I reasonably can. I do the work, behind the scenes, so you don't have to – or at least, that's the theory!

Thus this 'blog does still have some (minor) significance and (hopefully) some value, and none of us should ever forget either th principle that I just mentioned or the specific things that each of us does in this regard. We all have a part to play!

This is one part of my own contribution...