January 07, 2004

You Asked, Pixy Misa Answers

The benevolent and fearless leader of Munuvia, Pixy Misa, has answered your questions!

If it wasn't for him this site would not exist in its current form and certainly not at its current address.

You are required to read this interview. I'll be checking. Fawning, swooning, and the like is optional but recommended.

Click it!

You are a man of mystery. Few know what you are really all about. Why do you hide behind your persona? We want to know all about you. For example, how old are you?

I turn 11 this year.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Hazelnut is probably my favourite. Chocolate is good too. So is
strawberry. And caramel. And vanilla. Boysenberry is a bit odd.
Butterscotch is good. Chocolate chips are fine, unless they are
embedded in chocolate ice cream, in which case they are pure evil and
the makers and distributors should be executed by being dunked in liquid
nitrogen and then struck over the head with a ball-peen hammer.
Macadamia is very good. Peppermint and spearmint are evil, though not
nearly as evil as chocolate chips in chocolate ice cream.
Citrus-flavoured ice cream is strange. Not necessarily bad, but
strange. Banana can be good, but cheap banana flavouring is somewhere


My idiot neighbours are setting off (illegal) fireworks from their
balcony, which directly adjoins mine. Stop that, you morons! I loathe
our state government for banning private firework displays, but what
sort of idiot sets off fireworks from a balcony?

Oh, yeah, that sort of idiot.


Cheap banana flavouring is somewhere between peppermint and chocolate
chips in chocolate ice cream on the Evil Ice Cream Flavour Scale of
Evilness. Makers of cheap-banana-flavoured ice ream should be struck on
the head with a ball-peen hammer, but we can dispense with the liquid
nitrogen. There is, after all, a better use for it: Making more ice
cream! See, for example, the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream web page. Remember, use
a metal bowl, and Do Not Let It Touch Skin Unless You Are A Purveyor Of
Chocolate/Choc-Chip Ice Cream And Have A Ball-Peen Hammer Handy.

Not that ice cream holds any special position in my life, you
understand; it's just a critical matter of national importance.

Bubblegum flavour is disgusting.

We all know what a Pixy is. But what is a Misa?

Pixy Misa is the villain (villainess? villainette?) of the anime series
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy. Uh, I just googled to find some relevant web
pages. Guess what comes up? Aaaaanyway, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is a
spin-off of Tenchi Muyo, sort of an extended fantasy life of the
character Sasami from Tenchi. Or a parallel universe, which is the same
thing when it comes to anime plots.

Pixy Misa is finally going to fulfill her mission and crush Pretty
Sammy once and for all [Hahahahahaha!]

See my Anime Top 25 post and scroll down to the section on Tenchi Muyo for some more information.

Which anime feature or series do you think is prettiest in terms of visual artistry and animation, not story or themes or anything else?

For visual artistry and animation, you simply cannot beat Hayao
Miyazaki. My favourite of his works is Kiki's Delivery Service, but My
Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away are also breathtakingly beautiful
movies. So too is Laputa (Castle in the Sky), though the story in that
movie just doesn't grab me like the others.

Curse my previous employer for spoiling my chance to see Miyazaki's
Porco Rosso and Nausicaa at the 2000 Sydney Anime Film Festival.
Particularly since I'd already bought tickets. Sure, I have them on
DVD, but it's not the same. It really isn't.

Which anime feature or series do you think has the best story and characters?

Magical Girl Pretty Sammy!

Well, no. For my personal preference, it has to be The Slayers. Not so
much Slayers Try, which is a new story created for the anime series and
doesn't come from the original novels by... by... Whoever it was who
wrote the original novels.

Lina Inverse. Dragon Slave. Megumi Hayashibara. Wonderful!

Anyone who thinks that brooding or whining adds depth to a hero can bite
my shiny metal ass, as it were.

Picotechnology. Discuss.

Is joke.


There are two points I was making with this joke: First, there are
fundamental limits to what nanotechnology can achieve because
nanotechnology is really just chemistry done very very carefully. It's
still based on atoms, and atoms have certain specific physical
properties that you have to work with - or work around - because you
can't change them. For example, atoms have a certain minimum physical size.

Except... They don't. The second point, which I was talking about when
I referred to my need for "smaller atoms", is that you can actually
make smaller atoms. If you replace one of the electrons in orbit
(yes, I know they're not really in orbit, but let's ignore that for the
moment)... Replace one of the electrons in orbit around the nucleus with
a muon, which a charged particle similar to the electron but much
heaver, the electron orbit - which is what we are talking about when we
refer to the size of an atom, as the nucleus itself is very much smaller
- the electron orbit - now a muon orbit, at least in part - shrinks
dramatically. So you get a smaller atom! You can then take the smaller
atoms and build smaller molecules, out of which you can construct your
Picotes (the slang term for semi-autonomous picotechnological constructs).

But you have to do it fast, because muons only have a half-life of about
a microsecond.

The muon is my favourite subatomic particle, but LeeAnn doesn't seem to
have found a quiz on that subject yet. It has not yet appeared as an
ice cream flavour here in Australia, so I can't comment on that.

If you had to move away from the Australia / New Zealand area, where would you prefer to live?

Curiously enough, when my grandparents were looking to emigrate back
before WWII, Australia was their fourth choice (if I remember the story
right). They considered South Africa, Canada and New Zealand before
Australia, all popular destinations in those days. I have a certain
affection for New Zealand, but I'm still glad they chose Oz in the end.

So where else would I live? Let's rule out a few areas to start with:

Antarctica is pretty but too cold. Leave it for the penguins, who seem
to like it that way.
Africa is a hell-hole. Sorry, but it is. I'm happy to send aid, but
there is no chance that I'm going to live there.
South America and Asia (mainland Asia) have their good and their bad.
But I'm a first-world kind of Pixy, and I need a steady diet of
technology and entertainment that would be hard to get in many of those
places. Also, I don't speak Spanish.

So, I'm down to North America, Europe and Japan.

I like Japan. I like it lots. I've never been there... But I find the
culture fascinating. I'd probably find it an alternately frustrating
and delightful place to live. I speak more Japanese than Spanish, but
there's still a long way to go.

On the other hand, in Japan I can get a 100Mbit unmetered internet

Europe seems to be, well, fading. It's not all bad, by any means, not
even in France or Germany, but on the whole Europe is living for the
past rather than the future. Scrub Europe.

Canada is suffering idiot problems, though this is correctable, I think.
Canada is sort of a reverse Australia, with scorching deserts replaced
by freezing tundra, and stuck at the top of the world rather than at the
bottom. This, along with the ties with England, has generated a
certain similarity in outlook between Australians and Canadians. If
they boot Quebec out, I might consider it.

Until then, if I were to leave Australia and New Zealand, it would
almost certainly be to live in the U.S. of A.

Or Barsoom, if transport is available.

Is soccer really all that important down there?

Soccer? What?

You're kidding, right? Or you have Australia confused with Argentina?

Soccer is at best the fourth most popular football code in Oz, after
Rugby League, Aussie Rules and Rugby Union.

Not that I know anything about the subject...

Summer in winter and winter in summer...do you ever dream of a White Christmas?

In fact, we have Summer in Summer and Winter in Winter, just like you.
And it actually did snow in the Blue Mountains (which border Sydney to
the west) on Christmas Day a few years ago. Which prompted an instant
exodus of people heading out to play in the snow.

But it amazes me that people choose to live in places where frozen water
falls from the sky and piles up on the ground! Every year it does this!
And they don't take the hint and move!


How many bottles of wine did you and Simon have at lunch?

Just the one. Mind you, that was enough. I don't drink alcohol very
often, because I can taste it, and don't like the taste that much. This
was a pretty good wine, though, probably the second nicest I've had.

Can you tell us what happened on the drunken night with Simon?

I got sunburnt.

MuNu, seriously. Give us the skinny on that already.

Well, over at Munuviana I've given a rundown on all the meanings of Mu
and Nu. Jen's already linked to those in one of her inimitable Ask Jen

What really happened is that back around 1996 or so, the tiny Pacific
island nation of Niue signed a deal to sell domains in its TLD
(top-level domain) of .nu. At the time, they were significantly cheaper
than .com or .com.au. I found out about this shortly after they
launched (a matter of days) and wandered over for a look, to see if I
could grab something cool.

I tried a few different things. All the single-letters were taken -
a.nu, x.nu and the like. Nu.nu was taken. And anyway, those are kind
of dull.

But mu.nu was still available. Mu.nu. It's good. I grabbed it. And
the rest is geography.

My second favourite domain name in the whole world would be dotat.at.
My second favourite email address is dot@dotat.at. Cute.

How did you first find "Practical Penumbra"?

Susie says we met in the comments at Frnaks. I seem to recall that I
found PP in the microbes on the Ecosystem when I was looking to do a
Blog of the Day.

We dined with friends. I remember it well.

How did all the Munuvians come to be citizens of Munuvia?


All Munuvians are inherently citizens of Munuvia. The one implies the
other, y'see. And vice-versa, an if-and-only-if. Necessary and sufficient.

If you are asking for a detailed history of each of the individual
Munuvians' escape from Blogspot (or in Jen's case, Blog City), and their
trek across the endless howling wastes of the Internet to the sunny
climes and verdant cow-puppy-dotted pastures of Munuvia, then I dunno.

If you find a Mrs. Pixy and then she becomes an ex-Mrs. Pixy, would you get custody of the mu or the nu?

Both. It's in the pre-nups.

I have the domain registered right through to 2011, by the way.

When does the plan for world domination go into effect?

October 5. Be there.

Where do you stand on the latest news from Cow Puppy Campaign Headquarters?

I stand very carefully. It's important to watch your feet when you're
dealing with cow puppies. Especially if you're wearing good shoes.

When does PixyBlog or MovableMisa or MunuvableType or whatever it is going to be called come in to being?

I'm hoping to have Ambient Irony migrated by the 10th of January, and a
version for the Munuvians to play with by the end of January or the
first week of February.

I've been doing some stress-testing of the back-end system to make sure
it will cope with a couple of hundred Munuvians, and it looks like it
will do just fine, so I'm full steam ahead right now.

How does Minx sound as a name? Short for Mind Exchange, if it needs to
be short for anything.

What kind of qualifications does Mr. Hypothetical have?

Mr. Hypothetical has PhDs in Mathematical Physics and Endocrinology, and
a graduate diploma in Needlepoint. He has appeared in such popular
television dramas as The Bold and the Beatified and Daves of our Lives.
He has also played a doctor in a well-known series of advertisements.
He has been nominated twice for the Emmy Award and was named in People
Magazine's Best Dressed List in three of the past five years.

Is it all worth the headaches?

Yes. Also, I have tablets I can take.

Posted by Jennifer at January 7, 2004 07:58 AM


Excellent! More than we ever knew, or understood. :)

Posted by: LeeAnn at January 7, 2004 08:54 AM

Sadly, the island of Niue has just been devastated by a cyclone. A relief flight will head out from New Zealand this morning, and Australia will also be providing aid once the New Zealand team has reported back.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 7, 2004 09:28 AM

Hillarious, Pixy. Wonderfully enjoyable read. I laughed, I cried, I just ran out of coffee, aaagh!

Posted by: Jim at January 7, 2004 09:36 AM

Yay! Damn, I spelled that backwards...

Posted by: Ted at January 7, 2004 01:43 PM

Very funny, Pixy. :) Next time, though, tell the waiter you'd like an aloe plant with your bottle of wine.

Posted by: Dana at January 7, 2004 03:40 PM

Pixy Misa is the bestest AND the funniest...funnier even than Frank J (well, Frank on a bad day, anyway...)

Posted by: Susie at January 7, 2004 03:57 PM

We need to document the histories and treks across the endless howling wastes of the Internet to the sunny climes and verdant cow-puppy-dotted pastures of Munuvia!

Fer da record:
My invitation to Munuvia came fron Susie (yay!)
mainly because I was having Comments probs at Blobsnot.

She's my blogmama and I luv'er!! :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 7, 2004 11:38 PM

Great interview. I'm glad MuNu is protected in any divorce proceedings.

I've met the man, people. I've never seen such a big brain before. It was all brain; I didn't know where to pour the wine. Still, half it managed to disappear...

Posted by: Simon at January 8, 2004 12:49 AM

wOOhOO! Go Pixy! Slayers rock! Ruroni Kenshin is the best though.

Posted by: Kin at January 8, 2004 04:39 AM