7 Legal Streaming Sites to Watch Anime For Free

The best way to support the anime industry is to purchase DVD/Blu-ray copies of all the shows, but that isn’t quite financially feasible for most. The next best thing would be to purchase a subscription to a streaming service, but those come at a cost too. While some may turn to other unofficial sources on the web, it is worth considering that there are free and legal options available for those who are willing to watch some advertisements in exchange for their dose of quality Japanese animated entertainment. While this certainly will not rescue the struggling industry, the people who help create and deliver this content to you will still earn something from the ad revenue. At the very least, streaming from official sources will keep your conscience happy. Continue reading

Giveaway: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Demo Codes

SSB3DSHi everyone,

In case you haven’t heard, a special demo version of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has been released to select Club Nintendo Platinum Members. While the demo will be released to the general public this Friday anyway, these special versions are unique in that they do not have a play count limit, meaning you could play them forever (though you’ll probably buy the full game eventually!). We here at Kantaloupe are one of the lucky recipients of these codes, and we have two extra that we’d like to share with you! Here they are:

A05V9MMH1FGPA6SJ
A05VDRTA39WU46FQ

That’s it! No catch! Just enter one of the two codes into your 3DS eShop! We ask only that you comment below if your download works or one doesn’t so as to not waste anyone else’s time! Enjoy Smashing!

The Kantaloupe Team

Watch: Top Gear

Top GearIn North America, Top Gear is not very well known. Only people who bother to pay extra for a BBC channel, and care to listen to a bunch of British middle-aged men talk about cars would have seen it. When described like that, the show doesn’t seem like it could be a hit. But viewers who tune in every week know that Top Gear is not just a car review show. It’s a celebration of the automotive lifestyle. In fact it’s not even the cars I enjoy about the show (even though some are really, really cool); it’s watching a couple of old guys fooling around and making jokes.

The original series of Top Gear started in 1977. It was a typical review show, where they looked at different models of cars and told you whether you should buy it or not. But when viewing figures declined, the show was axed. This happened in 1999, but only three years later, Jeremy Clarkson, one of the former presenters, started the new format in which there were car challenges, races, and they would often just do random things to the car to see if it held up. Once or twice a year, usually around Christmas, they do a really epic and often treacherous race through another country in a couple of supercars.

The reason I bring this up now, is that this morning I found that some of the older series of Top Gear are being uploaded by the official Top Gear Youtube Channel. Yes! The full episodes! I’m not exactly sure when they started doing this, but most of the videos have only a couple views and were only uploaded today or yesterday.

Info: Teeline and other Shorthand Systems

This is sort of a repost/elaboration on my earlier post on shorthand, but I wanted to make a post on Teeline in particular. I no longer write Teeline, having switched to Gregg for aesthetic and multilingual purposes, but Teeline is nevertheless a great shorthand system, easy to learn and fast enough (I got to around 80 wpm before I decided to switch).

Teeline is easy to read and write because, unlike other systems, the letters are all very distinct. There is also a symbol for every letter of the alphabet, so it can be written orthographically instead of phonetically. What really makes it fast is the fact that it removes all medial vowels, but this also means that readback should be done quickly or all meaning can be lost. To download a full pdf on the system, click here.

Though it depends on how long it takes you to finish the manual, you should be at about 30 or 40 wpm when you are done. To continue speedbuilding, you can download free dictation here (I’m not affiliated with them in any way).

If you don’t think Teeline’s your thing, you can read about Gregg and Pitman in an earlier post of mine. If you’ve already decided, but unsure where to find a manual, you can download a Pitman one here and a Gregg one here. I’m also learning Gregg, and you can find texts in my extremely beginner French Gregg here. (If you are thinking about learning French Gregg, it’s probably best you don’t try to copy my style though, at least not until I improve some more.)

Lastly, if you want to learn about shorthand in general, this is the highly informational site that inspired me to start shorthand in the first place. Thanks Marc for posting a link to this blog, by the way!

How-to: Shorthand Speedbuilding

When learning to write in shorthand, often the theory (while extremely important) will not be adequate to build proper speed. The solution for most is to get some dictation recordings and practice by listening and writing down what the speaker says as quickly and as accurately as possible. Here’s the second problem: How do you get dictation recordings if you’re: a) a kid (like me); b) living somewhere where they are not readily available (e.g. Nepal, Botswana, or the Falklands); or c) cheap (sort of like me)?

What I first did was to get a book, choose a nicely sized paragraph, and with a timer and a calculator, see how fast I could write the paragraph. It works, but it wastes time while you count words and type numbers in, and it’s a little boring. It also doesn’t really count as dictation.

What I did next was to go to this YouTube channel, which I’ve already mentioned in a previous post. It’s great because it has speeds down to 20 wpm and can therefore be used by an almost complete beginner. The downside is that many of the recordings have really long, scientific, medical words which – while they may be useful to journalists and such – are not really useful to people like me who just want to take down notes in class.

The last thing I want to talk about is a truly awesome website called Shorthand Shorthand Shorthand. It has loads of info on shorthand types, tips for learning shorthand, and tips for speedbuilding. The thing I find the most useful is something the author calls Self Dictation. It’s not exactly an extremely creative idea (it’s a series paragraphs on which you write each shorthand outline on it’s corresponding word) but it follows a strict structure of 50 exercises on a whopping 71 pages, so you’ll find yourself improving with every exercise. To obtain the Word Document, you’ll have to write an email to him, but he is really quick with replying with the file (I got mine after only one hour). He also updates his site with new dictations every month, so you can do the traditional method of speedbuilding on his site too.

None of these sites have the best way to build speed, but I think that with a mixture of different exercises and methods, we should all be zooming along at our desired speed before the world ends in December.