sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
It's been a while, hasn't it?

The NY Times strives for accuracy in all things My-Little-Pony-related.

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful evaluation of the Ron Paul phenomenon, viewing his rise to prominence through the lens of the Louis Farrakhan phenomenon of the 80s and early 90s.

The US Navy has rescued an Iranian fishing boat from Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea. We really need to start charging a fee for this kind of shit, especially in the case of countries that want us to stay out of their business except in cases where they need us to clean up a mess of theirs.

In a WTF of truly epic proportions, a Dallas teen was accidentally deported to Columbia. Apparently, the girl has been reunited with her family, but there are still a lot of questions about how this happened. I expect it's a case of badly staffed bureaucratic agencies, good old-fashioned human error, and the ever-present ugliness of racial profiling all coming together to make a scandal broth. I mean, let's be real here. No blonde-haired, blue-eyed valley girl would have ended up in this situation. I don't want to tar an entire system here, but immigration policies in this country clearly need to change.

Stephen Hawking will turn 70 this month, and the New Scientist has an exclusive interview.

And, finally, John Oliver explains American political practice in one of the Daily Show's best segments ever:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Commission: Impossible - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief Appointment
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook
sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
Fantastical illustrations by Edmund Dulac. 'Nuff said.

Paul Krugman poses some intriguing questions about why Italy and Japan have vastly different interest rates despite carrying roughly the same amount of global debt. Thus far there seems to be no consensus on this issue, but it's an interesting one.

The end of this Sinfest comic makes me really sad. I don't like to see tsukumogami suffer.

File this under "wtf." A woman has been arrested for sexually assaulting a TSA agent. Yeah, you heard right. At this point no one seems to understand why this happened, and the perpetrator is keeping mum. She'll probably turn out to have had a screw loose, but for now its interesting to speculate.

Dear Sugar. One of the best advice columns ever. On hiatus until August 4th, but the backlog is totally worth perusing.

The Dawn Spacecraft has entered orbit around asteroid Vesta, the first of two destinations the spacecraft will travel to as part of its fact-finding mission. This project is intended to the lay the groundwork for future human space exploration missions, which is just too fucking cool.
sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
Copies of the Merriam Webster Collegiate Edition Dictionary have been pulled from K-8 schools in the Menifee Union School District (Southern California), after a parent complained that their child had found the words "oral sex" in them. Apparently, a committee is being formed to evaluate whether or not the books should be permanently banned or returned to the classrooms, and parent reactions have been mixed because there are a lot of stupid fucking people out there.

News flash, people: your kids need to know words to get by in this world; at the rate you're going they'll wind up relegated to the world of fast food service.

News flash #2: if you'd stop making such a goddamned big deal about it every time your kids say a single bad word (which, in my opinion, oral sex is not, although I will concede its potential lack of age-appropriateness) they'd give up on it and find something else to do with their time.

You can read all about the brouhaha here in an amusing post from a British blogger who is understandably perplexed by the crazy, half-witted Americans.

Also:
Menifee school panel will review banned dictionary (The Press-Enterprise).
Via.
sechan19: (butterfly)
"Ninja" Impaled on Fence in Seattle After Failed Leap (The Huffington Post).

My personal favorite thing about this article is probably the tags, which include "bad ninja," "fake ninja," "fence through chest," "impaled on fence," and "ninja on fence," amongst others. I guess this kind of thing happens with enough frequency for these tags to be necessary?

[shakes head]

Via.
sechan19: (kusama)
So, apparently, being photographed with a box of condoms can be ruinous for your career if you're a woman working on television in Japan. 25-year-old TV announcer Natsume Miku was fired after photos of her holding a box of condoms and smiling were published in a gossip rag. Supposedly, the reasoning for this was that her image was irreparably damaged in the minds of the Japanese housewives who were her majority demographic. Other commentators have voiced the opinion that Natsume's firing may have also been inspired by Japanese men's dislike of condoms and the freedom it affords Japanese women. Of course, that must be taken with a grain of salt. It's only what one commentator said, and I want to be clear that it is not necessarily an actual factor. My own experience of Japanese cultural attitudes to condoms is very limited.

Either way, however, it sucks. In scenario a) you have a bunch of housewives who clearly harbor outmoded and misogynistic views of female sexuality (which is always a shame); in the potential scenario b) you have a bunch of men who want to punish a woman for acting with the same freedom they themselves enjoy (an attitude that will probably be with us always in one form or another).

Lame.

Via.
sechan19: (kusama)
Apparently, I'm not the only person to find that painting overrated.

But still, damn...


Feeling Queasy with Mona Lisa (The Art Newspaper).
sechan19: (morisot)
This is a little late, but apparently a man was convicted on child pornography charges in Iowa recently for owning sexually explicit Japanese manga.

I appreciate that we need to protect children from exploitation, but using child pornography laws to persecute people for their (perfectly natural) sexual proclivities is just wrong. (Not to mention dismissive of multi-cultural factors in this particular case.) There's nothing wrong in reading a comic book, even a sexually explicit comic book. And just because you look at a picture and think child porn (because Japanese taboos prevent the depiction of pubic hair) doesn't mean someone else did. You did. And you did because YOUR mind is dirty.

Do us all a favor and leave us out of your sexual perversion, m'kay?

I really hate the standard American view of acceptable sexuality... and the standard American tendency of sexual hypocrisy.

Ugh!

Iown Child Porn Case Has Comic Book Collectors Reeling (Iowa Independent).
sechan19: (tormenta)
Officials found a note in the car of James von Brunn, the white supremacist who opened fire in the National Holocaust Museum yesterday and killed 39-year-old security guard Stephen Johns. In addition to the hateful screed you could expect from this type of individual was the statement: "Obama was created by Jews."

O RLY?

I wasn't aware of the vast conspiracy by members of the Jewish faith (who are everyday and generally awesome human beings, you fucking asshole) to create presidential nominees in their super secret secret robotics labs of doom. Thank god someone was on to that one, hey?

/sarcasm.

Jesus, we've got some crazy fucking people in this world. I mean, first Dr. Tiller (whose tragic murder made me way too furious to even discuss, btw) and now this?!

[sigh]

Blessed be, Stephen Johns. May your family, friends, and all of us who are heartbroken by this senseless hate, find some way to make peace with this horrifying occurrence.

Holocaust Museum Shooting Suspect James von Brunn's Chilling Racist Note (NY Daily News).
sechan19: (morisot)
A wacky video that purports to show actual footage of a the discovery of a new amphibious species. It's clearly a hoax, but it's a darn funny hoax.

New bizarre animal discovered in Japan.
Via.
sechan19: (morisot)
So apparently, some folks who visited the Expo didn't feel the programs, swag, or food added anything to the experience for them. They question what the Expo is really all about.

Funny, I thought it was about having a university-wide conference to be proud of, an event that would eventually build beyond our university and become a venue for academic exchange among peers from all over the New City area. But I guess some folks would be happy with an event that took place in my mom's garage if it resulted in a cash prize for them.

Wtf?

I realize that people are feeling raw about the current financial situation; it's dark times all around, but the Expo is about to turn a corner and we cannot allow it to miss that opportunity by short-changing it when things get a little tough.

Lord have mercy.

(In an amusing twist, the naysayers were so offensive at the Grad Student meeting that the faculty adviser felt compelled to come up to me afterward and reassure me that the feedback he'd received was overwhelmingly positive. Of course, most of the feedback I've gotten has been likewise positive. It's just wacky sometimes what people find to be annoyed about. [shrug])
sechan19: (morisot)
A couple days ago on my way to my mother's for Thanksgiving, I stopped off at a station to fill up the tank. (As an aside, the cost of gas was $1.49 per gallon--which is a WTF in its own right, but I'm going to stay on point here.) Inside the minimart I noticed a display of assorted objects for sale that included a bunch of lipglosses called Wabi Sabi. "Wabi Sabi" refers to a Japanese aesthetic of naturalness that emphasizes the beauty of impermanence and imperfection. However, it implies an undercurrent of sadness, or loneliness, and its emotional impact on the senses. From the casual point of view, I can see how the use of the title "Wabi Sabi" is meant to refer to some kind of natural or imperfect beauty. But somehow it just seems ridiculous to me to apply such a varied and complex term, that derives from a profound spiritual tradition, to something as mundane as lipgloss.

But then again, maybe it's appropriate.

I think I'll buy some on my way home, because (after all) WTF, right?
sechan19: (lin fengmian)
I got a generic ad in the mail from Nationwide Insurance the other day. On the cover of the envelope? An admonition to the postmaster:

"Please deliver before their life changes again."

And what? The whirlwind turbulence of their life renders a need for your insurance company's services obsolete? The ratio of uninsured to insured begins to tip civilization as we know it into crisis? Monkeys spontaneously generate out of old wire coat hangers? (And FYI: You're pretty much too late to do anything about the first two on that list.)

Seriously.

Chill out already.
sechan19: (tormenta)
I was reminded this evening of why I generally don't watch the news: my skin is too damn thin.

Upon watching the report of this intended (and thankfully prevented) assassination plot, which included the murder of 102 black high school students in Tennessee (88 by gun and 14 by decapitation), I burst into tears.

Why?!


...why?
sechan19: (tormenta)
I have no idea why, but there is this one post of mine that has drawn very weird attention from an unknown quarter. Someone keeps posting a reiteration of this, by now, nonsensical statement: "cool post, dude!"

Very strange.

You can see the oddity here.

I would figure it's some kind of spam permutation, but why only that one post?

[shrug]
sechan19: (kusama)
So, is it me, or does the idea of buying carbon emission credits from another country totally defeat the purpose of having carbon emission caps?

Japan is currently on its third carbon emission credits buying expedition. I guess they have to do something to offset their exceeding of the emission caps set by the Kyoto Protocol. Their solution, a solution participated in by other nations obviously, is to turn carbon emission credits into a commodity. That just sounds so completely backward to me.

I mean, if massive industrial nations use up the emission credits of other nations after they've used their own, those emissions aren't really reduced. And there's no incentive to cut back. And they completely shoot their moral high ground in the foot. And it all just becomes more and more fubar.

[rolls eyes]

Links:
Via Japan Probe
Original Guardian UK Article

EDIT: Check out the comments for a link to an excellent article on the subject, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] lordameth. Thanks, again!
sechan19: (anne)
Okay, I know that I can often be overly fervent when it comes to my dislike of all things Apple, but seriously...

Pay $1,000 For an iPhone App; Prove You're a Jerk (wired.com)

I mean, seriously. In this case, I really think my disdain is perfectly justified. In any event, Apple must have felt the pinch from online commentators a bit because they've already pulled the app off their store site. They should never have put it up in the first place, however...

...bunch of dork-asses. [shakes head]


In other news, I managed to get photos of the Sumida-gawa Fireworks up. Hope you all like!
sechan19: (kusama)
The Japanese have a number of exciting beverage choices for the purposes of thirst-quenching, health-restoration, and pure taste. It's hard to keep track of them all, granted, but some stand out more than others. Suntory's C.C. Lemon, for instance (infused with the power of 70 lemons!), is a perennial favorite.

Today I discovered another intriguing drink choice, via an advertisement on the metro:

Placenta.

Containing, 10,000 mg of pig placenta (known for its regenerative properties) and tasting like a fresh peach--or so they claim--it is the ultimate health drink.

Think I'm making it up?

Check this out: Placenta Health Drink.

Uh-huh.

You're welcome.

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