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Messages - 13thMuse

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INtellectual Exploration / Re: Kumihimo
« on: 2017-07-26 17:30:37 »
I've learned a lot since I last posted here. I won't bore you guys with all the details but basically if you actually want to learn real kumihimo and not just friendship bracelet stuff, you need to buy books. Specifically books in the series by Makiko Tada, because she is THE expert source on kumihimo in America. Here is a list of her books, though some are cheaper secondhand on Amazon marketplace. I bought book one, Comprehensive Treatise of Marudai Braids, because I'm building a marudai loom (I special-ordered the top, but the rest can be made with easily-sourced materials) and takadai looms are more difficult to work with and tend to run upwards of $500 so that's a strong nope from me. The book has side-by-side English and Japanese text, and though the English is flawed it does communicate all the important details. Many of the patterns in the book can also be adapted to the kumihimo wheel, and that's what I've been doing until I can get my marudai set up. She did also write several books for the wheel, but that's not really my area of interest so I didn't spring the $30-$50 for those.

I also learned why my first braid wouldn't lie flat; the picture I linked was for color placement for a different braid pattern than the one I used. It's extremely difficult to find instructions for that pattern (or actually any alternate round braid pattern) online, but now that I have the book I might try to re-make it or design my own Your Name-inspired color pattern.

Lastly, I have some information resources about buying or making a marudai loom on the off chance that anyone else is interested. This post outlines the importance of a dipped "well" on the braiding surface around the center hole; many of the cheap looms I found on Etsy, etc. don't have that well, and according to the Japanese experts it's vital. Carving this well requires a lathe or similar woodworking tool, and since I don't have that kind of skill I ordered the "mirror" surface on Etsy and now I'm working to assemble it according to my own height. Here's a measured drawing of the required dimensions of an official Japanese marudai, if anyone's curious:
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Just mentioning that someone should make the thread for this upcoming season.

As a follow-up, I didn't really have reason to change my initial assessments of the few shows I watched this season, except for Eromanga Sensei (worse than I thought, get that shit out of my face) and Kemono Friends (I'm gonna have to watch it now since it's such a Cultural Icon now.) There was a lot of pure fun entertainment last season that I didn't really feel this time, but there were some solid shows. My top show would probably be Sakura Quest because it gets pretty deep into the unpretty parts of rural development and the not-nice parts of early adulthood, but ultimately it is still a feel-good show and I enjoy that escapist element.

Animation / Re: New Game! Appreciation Thread
« on: 2017-07-26 16:47:37 »
Thanks for doing that!

Are we gonna talk about "Nene Quest" because I would play that game

Animation / Re: New Game! Appreciation Thread
« on: 2017-05-23 02:16:27 »
Nice! I can't wait to see how the new characters settle in to the mix.

I'm really interested in the "foreign worker" aspect myself; they also listed "skinship" (i.e. platonic naked companionship in bathhouses, etc.) as something she's bad at, so they do seem to be going for a "foreign character" vibe here. In other anime (Love Live! for example) they portray half-Japanese characters by having a Japanese VA do a "foreign"-sounding accent and peppering their speech with words from their second language (English, German, etc.) which makes a great Idol gimmick but isn't actually all that realistic. It would probably be too much to ask for them to hire a foreign VA, but I would like to see something a bit more realistic in terms of speech and maybe even some common workplace challenges. Either way, I'll be looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

P.S. I probably would've romanized "Hochiduki" as "zuki" or "dzuki" because I think that would encourage the closest correct pronunciation in English readers (since づ isn't really a sound we have in English) but "du" probably is the most technically correct.

Spam / The Mobile Games Thread
« on: 2017-05-14 01:29:52 »
Because I'm mobile game trash and I know some of you are too, I thought I'd make a thread where we can all talk, exchange user IDs, make recommendations, brag about our gacha pulls, etc. We can also talk about the future of mobile gaming, whether RPGs and VisNovs should port to mobile, if mobile will ever be a real platform or if it's doomed to Candy Crush-level inanity forever, etc. I'll make an #effort post with all my games and user IDs later, but I wanted to get the topic started and see who else is interested ^^

P.S. For the record, I actually bought an Nvidia Shield tablet and 120 gig micro SD for playing mobile games (also for lightweight word processing, but w/e) because I spend that much time on them... ^^; It runs very smoothly and the graphics are beautiful compared to my tiny iPhone. Despite this, I'm not a whale! If you spend money on a game even once, it's all over... At least, that's my experience.

INtellectual Exploration / Re: Kumihimo
« on: 2017-05-14 01:13:48 »
Additionally, a few extremely lucky fans were given a one-on-one kumihimo lesson by the craftsman Shinkai commissioned to make Mizuha's hair tie in real life; you can read an article about it here.

I've also made my own simple braid inspired by the movie. If you'll forgive the bad lighting, I've enclosed a picture:

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I used red and orange embroidery thread in pattern 3 below, though for some reason it insists on twisting instead of lying flat as shown. It's approximately 1 foot long, but it's too short to tie a bow like Mizuha does in the movie, so if I made another I'd make it at least 2 feet.

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I'm also planning to use a small flat loom I have at home to make a takadai braid. I believe this pattern is technically macrame, but as it's worked in a very similar style I think it will be good practice.

I'm in the process of making a flat marudai braid using this pattern, but it's a lot more challenging than I anticipated; I don't know if it's my inexperience or my homemade cardboard wheel but the tension is all over the place. I might see about ordering some real wheels online; they tend to be around $10.

INtellectual Exploration / Kumihimo
« on: 2017-05-14 00:53:32 »
The movie Kimi no Na Wa has set off a resurgence of interest in kumihimo, or traditional Japanese braiding, both in Japan and abroad. I dug into this a little bit and I was amazed that it can range from the ridiculously easy to the amazingly complex. I've talked to Franklin about doing a presentation and how-to event next semester, but I thought I might share some thoughts here as well.

You may be surprised to learn that you've probably already made or at least seen a kumihimo bracelet in the past; it's one of the most popular methods of making friendship bracelets in the US and Japan, and I know my friends were all over it in middle school. The bracelets are made using a small wheel with notches in it; this image illustrates the most popular patterns:

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The arrangement of the threads at the beginning determines what the pattern will be; they are all braided the same way regardless. After setting up the wheel (which can be bought at Micheals for $1 or made using cardboard) with thread (embroidery floss, crafting string, or slim crochet thread) measuring 2-3 times the desired finished length, the threads are braided as shown in this tutorial. This page goes into more detail, and additional types of round braids can be found here. It is also possible to make flat braids using this method, though it is considerably more difficult and you will need a square wheel.

These are all modern derivatives of the traditional marudai loom. If you'd like to see someone using a marudai, this video is a good example:

The other method of braiding uses a takadai loom, and I've found it to be more similar to macrame. It's more challenging than marudai braiding, so traditionally apprentices would need to master the former and several other methods before moving on to takadai. In these pictures, you can see that Mizuha is using a marudai loom while her grandmother uses a takadai.

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If you're interested in the kumihimo braid that Mizuha wears as a hair tie, I've found a youtube video with detailed how-to instructions:

Warning: this takes some skill and 30+ hours to complete. It is worked in takadai style. I plan to try it at some point, and if/when I do I will post pictures.

Animation / Re: I'm Trash, Someone Tell Me What to Watch
« on: 2017-05-14 00:03:56 »
No, but I saw the memes of it. Is it that good?

Is it that good he says

Shingeki 2 is also coming out if you wanted to catch up on that

« on: 2017-05-14 00:00:11 »
This is a .gif but whatever

Everyone when the Switch cartridges came out:
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Spam / Re: Overwatch Thread
« on: 2017-05-04 20:16:52 »
Thanks for making this! I've been playing a ton of OW lately. My battletag is Graceling#1471 and I play on PC. I don't do comp much (therefore I have a low SR) but I'm willing to try it. I main Reinhardt & Lucio, but I can also play D.Va, Mercy, Ana, Soldier, and Mei. (I never get to play anything except healer or tank bc everyone wants to go attack/sniper... >.>)

Edit: If you want to see some of my highlights I sometimes upload them to Twitch here:


The mic issue was super weird though... Must be a Windows 10 thing, though, since it works on your sister's computer fine, right?

Yeah, it was totally unpredictable for me (restarting or unplugging/replugging may or may not make it stop, etc.)  but she hasn't had a single problem on Windows 7, so it must be some wonky Windows 10 issue. :/

Animation / Re: Nyaamageddon
« on: 2017-05-04 19:51:22 »
RIP :/

That sucks, especially that they didn't even warn their own team. On the other hand, Nyaa wasn't the absolute greatest site to begin with. Hopefully the end of their monopoly will lead to a rise in independent sites. In the meantime, I'm just going to sit here and #regret not signing up for bakabt when I had the chance...

Currently watching:

Sakura Quest: I was pretty hype for this. It gets more srs than I expected, but ultimately still a feel-good show I think. (TL note: I'm so sad they went with the Japanese "UMA" and missed out on actually using the word "cryptozoology" in a professional capacity.)
Re:Creators: I wasn't sure where they were going with this, but it seems to have a lot of potential. I hope they keep taking it to the next level. (Also def. getting the soundtrack)
Alice to Zouroku: pretty surreal in a Madoka witches kind of way, but also kind of charmingly down-to-earth at times. The guy who plays Zouroku also played Rider in Fate/Zero and a bunch of other A+ roles.
Shingeki no Kyoujin S2: so I initially really disliked Shingeki because it was 2 grimdark 5 me, but I ended up watching S1 and now S2 with my brother and it's better than I anticipated (though I still think it's overhyped. >.>) S2 definitely seems to have better pacing than S1.

To watch:
Sagrada Reset (looks really good but I'm having a hard time finding a place to watch it)
Little Witch Academia (obviously)

Not watching:
Eromanga Sensei (just the memes)
Uchoten Kazoku (dropped the first season cause I couldn't figure out what was going on...)

I hate it when people perpetuate false information... I guess this is a reminder to always triple-check compatibility. 

As an aside, I had some kind of driver issue with my basic scrub webcam/mic that chipmunked me and rendered me completely unintelligible (one of the more frustrating yet hilarious software issues I've had) so someone gifted me a Blue Snowball mic, and it's by far the nicest USB mic I've ever used. The sound quality is noticeably improved from before, even just in game chat. (Maybe I'll get noticed on Twitch now lol ^^; )

INtellectual Exploration / Re: Food and Cooking Thread
« on: 2017-04-06 01:31:23 »
I've recently started making batches of miso soup to save for a quick breakfast. You can make the quick & easy kind or go all #effort on it and do it the real and proper way, which is surprisingly rewarding. The finished soup only keeps 2-3 days FYI.

The full recipe is here.

The quick recipe is here. (Makes soup FULL of greens; I'd add half as much for a more traditional broth-y soup.)

About the ingredients:

  • You can use any kind of miso; it's at most supermarkets. Red (aka) is more strongly flavored than white (shiro); I use awase miso, which is both together. It keeps for a long time, basically until you see mold or if it dries out too much.
  • You can soak the wakame beforehand in warm or cold water, or just pour the soup over it; there are different schools of thought on this but it doesn't seem to make too much of a difference.
  • You can add dashi broth or not, but I think it enhances the flavor. I use little dashi sachets that I got at the fish market on West Main; just simmer for 5 mins and you have broth. The instructions on all the ones I found are in Japanese, but they should be easy to follow with a little Google Translate (or send me a pic and I can help).
  • Firm tofu seems to work the best IMO.

For an alternative recipe you can use mushrooms, potatoes, seaweed, onion, shrimp, fish, clams, and/or sliced daikon (according to wiki). They usually try to follow the seasons and mix contrasting ingredients, like floating/sinking or mild/strongly flavored. In a pinch I have made carrot and onion miso soup and it was not bad at all.

Or you can just use the instant packets; I won't judge you. :P

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