Friday, February 29, 2008

Okinawa schoolgirl who accused U.S. Marine of rape decides not to press charges - Mainichi Daily News

Pretty damn surprising, given the amount of grief and uproar the whole situation caused.

Okinawa schoolgirl who accused U.S. Marine of rape decides not to press charges - Mainichi Daily News:
"A U.S. Marine who was arrested in the alleged rape of a teenage girl in southern Japan has been released, Japan's Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott, 38, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl on the southern island of Okinawa, triggering a nationwide furor over American troop-related crimes in Japan.

Hadnott was released Friday night as the girl dropped her criminal complaint against him, according to Ryo Fukahori, a ministry official in charge of Japan-U.S. security. As a result, the district prosecutor's office in the prefectural capital of Naha decided to drop charges against Hadnott.

Police earlier said Hadnott had admitted to investigators that he forced the girl down and kissed her, but that he denied raping her..."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Finding your soul mate.

Overheard in New York

Girl: What are you doing later?
Guy: Well, I was gonna go home, eat something, do some schoolwork, and then smoke some weed and do some coke. Want some?
Girl: Absolutely.
Guy: Really?
Girl: Only if we can do lines off Lina's* tits.
Guy: ... Oh my god, I want to date you.

--The Met

via Overheard in New York, Feb 28, 2008

Only Sak could open an MMA gym called Laughter7.

-+ Suki MMA +-: Sakuraba's gym opens in April:
"Kazushi Sakuraba opens his first official gym 'Laughter7' on April 1st."

"Black folks not only told you, but tricked you."

Dick Gregory can still work a room. Cracks me up.

"Dick Gregory apologizes to the first Black President I'd tell Bill Clinton, ain't nothing wrong with being black as long as you playin'... but when you try to use it as your address... then I got some serious questions."

"...I'm so tired of all you black folk walking around looking all evil, like that's gonna change something... Looking all mean...

If ya'll had a brother like me, ya'll would really be in trouble."

'tis true.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Tale of Four [Actually Five] Cameras.

Not quite "A Tale of Two Cities," but it's all I've got. [Or, "Why I'm through with buying Kodak cameras."]

So, my first digital camera, bought about 3 years ago now, was a Kodak Easyshare C300. [Below, Left.] Sturdy, dependable little camera. Still works too [which turned out to be a really good thing.] Tough, durable, built like a brick [about the same size and weight, too]. But a great starting out digital camera. Happy to have it.

So, about a year and a half ago, when I wanted to buy Sandy a camera as a gift, I picked up the next higher up model, the Kodak Easyshare C330 [Below, Middle.] Worked great. For about a month. When the latch on the battery compartment broke. Now, fairly useless, unless you wanna duct tape some batteries in it. And you do not.

Strike One.

So when it was time for me to upgrade, particularly since I wanted a video function with sound, I went back to Kodak, figuring every company is entitled to a "one-of" error. And I picked up the Kodak M753 [Below, Right.] Great camera, great styling, all the features I wanted and then some. Took it on our China trip and it worked awesome. Great camera. For 5 months. And then I noticed the battery was only holding a charge for about a day and a half, even when I wasn't using it. And then it was a day. And then only for a couple hours. So I picked up a new battery. No change. And then the camera wouldn't even recharge at all, regardless of the battery or connection configuration. It's now a fancy looking paperweight.

Strike Two.
Though in hindsight, my Dad bought me a Kodak Instant Camera [Kodamatic] back in High School. About 2 months later, Polaroid filed a lawsuit against Kodak for patent infringement, resulting in the discontinuation of the model I had, and all available film for it.

So, that actually makes it Strike One, and then the previous Strike One is Strike Two, and Strike Two is now Strike Three. So that means, Kodak, you are out.

So having grown tired at attempted brand loyalty, and having tired of bugging nice folks back in the US to ship [or bring] me electronics [thanks Cindi, Mom and Dad Snider] I went over to the local Best Denki electronics store and picked up [with Sandy's capable assistance] a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W35 [Below.]
Upsides - better picture quality than even my most recent Kodak, and, you know, it fu%'&ing works. Which is kind of important. [The two pics above show the diff in pic quality from the C300 and the Cyber-shot. Taken only a minute or so apart. Same location/lighting... even I was surprised by the difference. Ain't technology grand?]

Downsides - Japanese menus, that can't be changed to English. Unlike the versions in the States, whose menus are in English, but can be changed to Japanese [and Spanish, and Chinese, and, and, and...] Which kind of sucks, since my Japanese still blows. You know Japan, I know you remain a 99% homogeneous nation, but would it kill you to even have to the option to realize you've got some gaijin who spend money in your country? And the only other downside I've found is that you can't zoom in while videoing, though you can zoom in and out before starting recording. Small price to pay for an actual working camera.

So, here's a few goofball pics taken with the new camera, playing around and getting used to it.

Clearly, I'm turning Japanese, and doing that damn peace sign in every picture. God help me.
Sandy, chomping down on a weird grapefruit hybrid. [Sweetie?]
Yeah, those are [mostly] mine. You'd think I'd be better educated, wouldn't you?

That snow pic below was from the new cam too.

Snow - My Sworn Enemy.

Okay, not so much the snow as the biting cold that accompanies it. Snow didn't stick, but still...

When is spring going to get here? I have no patience for this "winter" nonsense.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There are no words...

Reason Magazine - Daily Brickbats > Close Enough for Police Work:
"Blytheville, Arkansas, police were looking for a Travis Henderson who had failed to show up for court on a reckless driving charge. Two officers spotted a man one recognized as Travis Henderson, a Special Olympics athlete who is something of a local celebrity. They say when they attempted to handcuff him, he resisted. So one of the officers Tased him. It turns out he wasn't the Travis Henderson they were looking for. Police Chief Ross Thompson defends the officers' actions, but the local prosecutor dropped charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct against Henderson."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Omedetou Dinner for Yumi.

Congrats to cousin Yumi on passing the tests for Seinan University.

[From the "Viking" - that'd be buffet style - dinner to celebrate.]

Sandy finds fulfillment at the white chocolate fondue fountain.

"Jimmy Kimmel's F@cking Ben Affleck."

The comeback to Sarah Silverman's "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" vid. [Which is here.]

[Silverman and Kimmel are dating.]
"w/ Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz, Joan Jett, Macy Gray, Robin Williams, Don Cheadle, Pete Wentz, Perry Farrell, Benji and Joel Madden, Lance Bass, Huey Lewis, Josh Groban, McLovin, Christina Applegate, Rebecca Romijn, and Dominic Monaghan, and Meatloaf and probably a few more."


Sunday, February 24, 2008


Fuchu Prison inmate commits suicide with chopstick - Mainichi Daily News:
"A Fuchu Prison inmate in his 50s has committed suicide by stabbing himself in the head with a chopstick, prison officials said over the weekend."

"If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions."

Smoke, mirrors and bullshit.

Crooks and Liars » Rigged Trials For Gitmo Detainees: “We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions.”:
" an interview with The Nation in February after the six Guantánamo detainees were charged, Davis offered the most damning evidence of the military commissions’ bias–a revelation that speaks to fundamental flaws in the Bush Administration’s conduct of statecraft: its contempt for the rule of law and its pursuit of political objectives above all else."

I'm not a teacher, but I play one in Japan.

If you've ever wondered what I actually do in Japan, or what the JET Programme is about, practically speaking, here you go. At least the particular variation of it that manifests in my life, anyways.

Last week I had an open class at one of my elementary schools, with observers from the city board of education and all the various elementary and jr high schools in the city. Went pretty well, but the kids were a little shyer than normal, what with the folks watching.

Anyways, here's a 45 minute class, edited down to about 15 minutes. My first time ever playing with Windows Movie Maker and putting together clips or a "movie"... Scorcese has nothing to worry about from me, clearly.

Much thanks to Kathy for shooting the vid [and taking the pic.]
Lesson Plan 授業計画
5-10 Minutes 5-10分
Greeting (挨拶)
'How are you?' Review - Whiteboard/Read/Repeat, Card Passing Game
復習: ”元気ですか?” - ホワイトボード・読む・くり返す、カード回すゲーム
10-15 Minutes 10-15分
Line Game Card Review - Colors/Weather/Animals/Places
復習: ラインゲーム - 色・天気・動物・場所
Karuta Review - Places
復習: かるた - 場所
10-15 Minutes 10-15分
New Practice
'When is your birthday?' - Worksheet/Whiteboard
”あなたの誕生日はいつですか?” - プリント・ホワイトボード
Months, Numbers 1-31
Read/Repeat, Line Game, Card Pass Game
5-10 Minutes 5-10分
Word Search - Months
ワードサーチ - 月

Well done.

Czech police wonder where bridge has gone |
"Police in the Czech republic are trying to find out who stole a 4 tonne railway bridge from the border town of Cheb.

The company which was responsible for looking after the bridge raised the alarm when, ever alert, they noticed that the bridge wasn't there any more."