Good afternoon, folks, and welcome to today’s blog - our fortnightly look at the chances the bookies give to each of this year’s songs of qualifying. A lot has changed in the few weeks since our last look - and as most of this year’s acts have performed across Europe, some have left an unforgettable impression, whilst others left one they would rather forget!

Since then, the trio of songs with better than a four in five chance of qualifying - Sweden, Armenia and Bulgaria - has expanded to include two more. Portugal’s odds of qualifying rose by over 10% and Greece’s by 8%. Curiously, neither of these risers have been on the pre-party circuit, though Salvador has impressed on various occasions across Spain and Portugal.

There were 10 songs in the “probably through” category of songs with a ¾ or better chance of qualifying last time - their numbers are now down to 6, with the aforementioned Greece and Portugal having improved their odds, and three other countries having seen their odds worsen enough to drop out of this category. The six songs are in this category are five from before - Australia and Azerbaijan, whose odds have improved but not enough to make the leap up, and Israel, Denmark and Romania, whose qualification odds have worsened - joined by one newcomer, Hungary

The following category, “still fancied to qualify” (but not so vociferously) are countries that have around a two thirds chance or better of qualifying. Curiously, none of the countries in this category were there last fortnight. Belgium and Estonia, who had been at the head of category 2, fell to this category after drops of 10-15% in their odds of winning, whilst Moldova, Switzerland and Norway all improved. The most drastic improvement of the three was for the Helvetians - Timebelle had little better than 50-50 chances of qualifying last forntnight, and now they have 65.8% chances.

We then see a marginal group, who despite having between 55% and 65% qualification odds, only the top few members thereof are seen to qualify. Of the seven countries in this category, four have not moved - Cyprus, Macedonia, Ireland and Finland - whilst one rose (Netherlands, from 53.5% to 61.3%) and two fell: Latvia from 69 to 61 chances, and most notably, Serbia, who with 84% odds of winning was at the doorstep of those thought almost certain to qualify, but now has a mere 64.9% chance.

Three countries - a resurgent Austria and a sinking Poland and Belarus - have more than 50% odds of winning but are deemed unlikely to qualify, and below them are an unlucky 10 with less than 50-50 chance of qualifying. This group ranges from almost 40% qualification chances for Croatia to little better than 1 in 10 chance for San Marino and Lithuania!

So, how does this change the qualifiers as currently predicted by the bookmakers?

There are a grand total of 6 countries whose predicted qualification status has changed in just this fortnight. Two weeks ago, all the continental Nordics were predicted to qualify, but Finland has joined Iceland as a predicted DNQ. Despite well-received preparty performances, Belarus has slipped out of the predicted qualifiers - Macedonia’s fall, given the apparently playback performances in London, is slightly less mysterious. Taking their places as marginal qualifiers are the Netherlands, Switzerland and Cyprus. These are, all three, “old” Eurovision countries, the pre-1993 ESC lands often considered “West” (despite their geographic location). I wonder whether the withdrawal of Russia and of potential big points from it to fellow post-’93 countries had an impact on these odds!

Tomorrow, we’ll have a look at the biggest winners and losers percentage-wise - there are some surprising names in both lists! - and that will be our last odds check until the fateful beginning of preparations in Kiev!

The Best Anime You’re Not Watching: Sora No Woto (Sound of the Sky)


In a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by war, Kanata Sorami is inspired to join the Helvetian Army after witnessing a mysterious soldier play Amazing Grace on the trumpet. She is assigned to the 1121st Platoon, a small squadron consisting of five girls stationed in the remote town of Seize. 

Why Nobody Has Seen It:

- At first glance it looks like a spinoff of K-ON!

- The characters come off as stereotypes (the happy-go-lucky one, the cool one, the quiet one, the tsundere, etc.)

- It’s mostly a slice-of-life show, which, combined with the moe artstyle, doesn’t usually lend itself to a post-apocalyptic army scenario

- Because it’s a slice-of-life, there isn’t really much of a plot at first

- The ending theme doesn’t match the rest of the anime AT ALL

Why Everybody SHOULD See it:

- Great development of the five main characters

- The characters amount to more than just their stereotypes

- Great design and animation on the tanks

- Episode 7.5 is fucking hilarious

- Actually gets serious and addresses the tragedies of war (not as much as it could have in my opinion, but at least it’s there)

- Shit can REALLY hit the fan (especially in the final two episodes)

- Surprisingly good at getting you on the Feels Train

- Absolutely beautiful soundtrack composed by Michiru Oshima (who previously did the soundtrack for Fullmetal Alchemist)

- The insert song “Servante du feu” is especially beautiful and carries a powerful message

- The opening is amazing; it has the same animation style as Elfen Lied’s opening (probably because both shows have the same director (not joking; look it up)) and the song is written by Yuki Kajiura and performed by Kalafina

What is Invisible Design?

Design is not always an in-your-face art. It is subtle, usable and often undefinable. Quite simply, good design is often invisible.

And just to be clear – invisible design is not about adding layers or transparencies or hidden meanings to projects. It is about creating great user-oriented projects that work functionally and visually.

It’s something I heard over and over again when I was starting out as a young designer. If you have to “decorate” the canvas, you are over-designing it. The best design – the design that really makes a project work – is invisible.

But how to you achieve that invisible design? Especially when web design is a quite visual tool. (As a bonus, a few websites that exemplify the idea of invisible design are featured throughout this post.)

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“Ambicatus is my name”

Another story behind the scenes: This photograph is originally horizontal. There was a insane long haired dude in front of me with his arms up in the air THE WHOLE FUCKING TIME. Anna was also in the frame, the composition was great, but his arm was in the way.

The solution was to crop vertically. The intensity did not vanish.

Eluveitie @ Teatro Odisséia, April 12th, 2015.


Celtic Coin Depicting A Centauress

This extremely rare hexadrachm was struck in the 2nd century BC by the Boii tribe in ancient Slovakia. It shows a winged female centaur on its reverse with a  Latin inscription of what is presumed to be the Boii king’s name  ‘BVSV’ (Busu) below. The obverse is a diademed male bust with a palm branch. 

More about these coins and the Boii…

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mareofmynight’s favorite bands (4/15) - Eluveitie

Eluveitie is a Swiss folk metal band from Winterthur. They use traditional instruments amidst guitars and harsh vocals. The lyrics are often in the now extinct language Gaulish.The name of the band comes from graffiti on a vessel from Mantua (ca. 300 BC). The inscription in Etruscan letters reads eluveitie, which has been interpreted as the Etruscan form of the Celtic (h)elvetios (“the Helvetian”).


Eluveitie have unveiled their new multi-lingual track ‘The Call of the Mountains’, taken from their upcoming new album Origins. 

Featuring lyrics in five different languages - English, Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansh - the song is about “the long searched for destination at the end of the epic journey of the Celts, who were to become the Helvetians - a song about our mystical and unparalleled alps.”

The English-language version will feature on the album release, while those who mailorder through the band’s label Nuclear Blast can get the multi-language version, which will also be available to download on iTunes.

Watch on fornsed.tumblr.com

Eluveitie - Slanias Song

Eluveitie - Slanias Song Eluveitie use traditional instruments amidst guitars and loud vocals. The lyrics are often in the extinct language Gaulish. The name of the band comes from a graffito on a vessel from Mantua (ca. 300 BC). The inscription in Etruscan letters reads eluveitie, which has been interpreted as the Etruscan form of the Celtic (h)elvetios (“the Helvetian”), presumably referring to a man of Helvetian descent living in Mantua.

The Helvetii were a Celtic tribe or tribal confederation,occupying most of the Swiss plateau at the time of their contact with the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC. According to Julius Caesar, the Helvetians were divided into four subgroups or pagi. Of these Caesar only names the Verbigeni and the Tigurini, while Poseidonios mentions the Tigurini and the Toygenoi (Τωυγενοί). They feature prominently in the Commentaries on the Gallic War, with their failed migration attempt to southwestern Gaul (58 BC) serving as a catalyst for Caesar’s conquest of Gaul.

Looking for some good, uplifting, and girl-centric animes outside the Mahou Shoujo genre? Well, look no further. RulesOfTheRealLifeMagicalGirl is always on the hunt for new girly animes that are capable of tackling mature subject matter. I get asked a lot if I have any Non-Mahou Shoujo anime recommendations, so I compiled a list of shows that I feel capture the spirit I feel is most prevalent in the Mahou Shoujo genre, and why I love the genre so much. All share themes of comradery and teamwork, and have strong Coming of Age vibes in their narratives.  

So, here are my Top 3 Sisterhood Animes (Outside of The Mahou Shoujo Genre)

I’m not calling any of these “feminist masterpieces”, only that they have all wormed their ways into my heart. I tried to keep these three recommendations pretty diverse, so perhaps if you’re not into one, you’ll find another you resonate with. They all tackle different themes and handle their stories in different ways. Because of their being so different from one another, these are not placed in any particular order of “goodness”, as I would think it unfair to try and compare them. Instead, I will simply list them for you with some short descriptions of each of the shows own merits.

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