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About Me

My name's Enrico Bianco and I love web technology and open source software. In my spare time, I study Japanese language and culture and produce a podcast about learning Japanese.

On setting goals

(Personal Development)

As some of you might know, I’ve spent the last month and a bit attending sessions for a “Learn to Run” clinic programme by Running Room in uptown Waterloo. I didn’t have any particular goal in mind when I joined; I just felt like I needed something to do that would get me out of my apartment. I remembered how much I enjoyed running with my oldest sister when we were both in Toronto and thought I could enjoy it just as much now. I was right, by the way.  =)

At tonight’s clinic, there was a lecture about setting goals and creating lasting change. It’s difficult to achieve lasting change because the reason that we are as we are now is because that’s the comfortable rhythm that we’re marching to. Venturing away from the comfort zone to make a serious commitment to change is difficult, but it is something that I’m sure we’ve all had to do at one time or another in our lives and it is probably something we will always have to do. The lecture led me to think about how goals work, how they don’t, and what things are important to keep in mind and I decided to write those thoughts down.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Just Didn’t Do It!


I managed to see one of the two movies I wrote about in my other blog. In particular, I saw the first one. I didn’t get to see the second one because I had underdressed for the day and it was very chilly in the theatre. I was shivering and shivering so I decided to head home and get warmed up. Apparently the Princess Cinema’s heater doesn’t work so well. Duly noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (Rating: Awesome)

(Video Games)

If there were a hierarchy of games in which the very best titles of all time stood at the top, you’d probably find most movie game adaptations very close to the bottom. They are lackluster at best and nigh on unplayable at worst. Now what happens when you take a graphic novel series, turn that into a movie, and then turn that into a game? It wouldn’t be strange if you imagined that might be one of the worst games ever made. But if that’s what you thought just now, allow me to be the first to tell you that you’re absolutely wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

What I’ve Learned By Writing This Month

(Personal Development)

For almost every single day this month (I missed one due to a running injury), I’ve written a blog entry into one of my two blogs. This is probably more than I’d written in the six-months-to-a-year leading up to November 1, 2010. The main reason I committed to doing this is that I wanted to become a better writer. I previously wrote about how writing is like human persistence, allowing us to transfer ideas from the rather volatile medium of our short-term memory to something more permanent.

Today’s post will be a reflection on the writing that I’ve done this month, which will hopefully help me to continue full throttle through the rest of November. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall 2010 Anime Picks: Amagami SS


The Girls of Amagami SS (Rihoko, Tsukasa, Sae, Kaoru, Haruka, Ai)

I’ve been holding off on doing this one because Amagami SS isn’t technically a Fall 2010 series; it started in Spring 2010 and is continuing its run this season. But I still like this show enough to give it a nod and, unlike many other shows, you don’t necessarily have to start at the beginning to enjoy it because of its particular format. Read the rest of this entry »

Running on the Mirror’s Edge

(Video Games)

Image courtesy of Kotaku

I recently received Mirror’s Edge in the mail from, which is where I’d borrowed Final Fantasy XIII from — it would be the very definition of “unwise” to buy a game I’d heard so many bad things about. So, in my grand tradition of reviewing games based on only a couple of hours of gameplay, today’s post will be about Mirror’s Edge. Mirror’s Edge is, by and large, a running and jumping game in the first person. If you like parkour, the game is pretty much like extreme parkour where every so often people with guns are trying to kill you as you run along the rooftops. Read the rest of this entry »

Vanquish: Be the Ultimate Weapon

(Video Games)

If you follow my status updates on Facebook, you’ll notice that I’ve been very positive about Vanquish. I really liked the demos and I ultimately ended up buying the game. You may even have seen the pile of bronze trophies I’ve started earning for it. So I’d like to explain why I like Vanquish and why I recommend that you try it, while taking a bit of a critical eye to some of its elements. Read the rest of this entry »

How PostRank Analytics Brought Me To Ruby Kaigi


One of the coolest things about working for PostRank is that I am part of creating a product that I can be very passionate about because I am one of the sorts of people it’s made for. In short, I eat our dog food. So I wanted to dedicate today’s post to sharing a small anecdote about one of the killer features of PostRank Analytics, the Activity Stream. Read the rest of this entry »

Generations of Anime


I’ve been going to Anime North every year for the past 10 or so years. In that time, I’ve seen anime fandom in Canada shift a considerable amount and I’ve observed three distinct “generations” of anime fan. These generations are delineated by major paradigm shifts in the fandom.

For today’s post, I’m going to describe these three generations that I’ve observed and explain their characteristics and the gaps that exist between them. This is not to say that these are clear-cut categories and there may be some people who fall between them. They are also based on nothing more reliable than my own observations as a fan of anime for over a decade. Read the rest of this entry »

Valkyria Chronicles: From PS3 to PSP

(Video Games)

Bozz, a good friend of mine from university days, is a huge fan of Valkyria Chronicles. So am I, but in discussing the series with him and other hardcore fans, I’ve realized that I approach the games from a very different direction.

I didn’t own a PS3, so my first exposure to the Valkyria Chronicles games was the demo of the sequel for PSP. I bought Valkyria Chronicles 2 soon after playing the demo. When I purchased my PS3, I bought the first game and finally had an opportunity to play it. Fans were largely disappointed at seeing the sequel on the portable system because they felt that in many ways the game had been scaled back. The maps were smaller, deployments were smaller, the story was phoned in and the visuals weren’t quite as stunning. I still very much enjoyed playing Valkyria Chronicles 2 and I wondered if everybody was finding fault with it just because it wasn’t what they were expecting it to be. Read the rest of this entry »