Thursday, October 01, 2009

'Science fiction is the gateway drug.' - Terence McKenna

» Podcast 198 – “Terence McKenna on NPR – 1999″ - Notes from the Psychedelic Salon:
"'Drugs are here to stay. They’re a part of post-modern life. There will be more and more of them. Wherever they are illegal they will spawn criminal syndicalism. We need to sit down with our children and explain to them how you take drugs, how you evaluate their effect on you, how you make decisions absent social pressure and hype and how you come to terms with this particular aspect of modern life. … If we don’t educate people we are going to produce a continuous supply of victims for the courts and the prisons to make their grist.'

'I’m not interested in cataloging the varieties of the doorways to the secret. I’m interested in finding one doorway that works.'

"You know, the dirty little secret of Northern California’s vast economic success down at Silicon Valley is the creativity that was injected into this area in the 1960s through the LSD revolution. In many, many significant cases it’s the same people.""


Overheard in New York | Wednesday One-Liners: Willing, but Unripe:
"Professor: Your favorite teacher from high school turned out to be a pedophile? Seriously? Well was he a real pedophile, or just a hooking-up-with-teenage-students kind of pedophile?

--Fordham University

Overheard by: Jack Package"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Genki Sudo goes J-Pop - 須藤元気(Genki Sudo & Performance Unit) のパフォーマンスユニット「WORLD ORDER」

Former MMA star Genki Sudo rocks the J-Pop. Not too bad, as far as Japanese pop culture goes. Always liked "We Are All One" Sudo.

Best known for this, of course.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Damn... Japan IS different.

American jailed in Japan for trying to reclaim his abducted children -
"'...Japan is an important partner and friend of the U.S., but on this issue, our points of view differ,' the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said Tuesday. 'Our two nations approach divorce and child-rearing differently. Parental child abduction is not considered a crime in Japan.'

...Japan is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on international child abduction.

The international agreement standardizes laws, but only among participating countries.

So while Japanese civil law stresses that courts resolve custody issues based on the best interest of the children without regard to the parent's nationality, foreign parents have had little success in regaining custody.

Japanese family law follows a tradition of sole custody divorces. When a couple splits, one parent typically makes a complete and lifelong break from the children."

Reduced to using Internet Explorer - Firefox memory problems with Picasa Web Albums.

Happily using Firefox for years, having abandoned clunky and annoying Internet Explorer quite some time ago. Firefox can be a bit of a memory hog, but was well worth the tradeoff with customization, add-ons, speed, safety, layout, management, etc, etc.

Until today, that is. Trying to navigate my Picasa Web Albums in Firefox causes the Memory Usage [at least according to the Windows Task Manager] to shoot up over 600,000K/98% Physical Memory, invariably locking up and crashing the browser. Just started today, which is odd, considering I don't recall any new updates to either the browser or OS in the last couple days.

So I fired up Internet Explorer [7 still, as I never upgraded to 8] to post some pics on the blog. 7 didn't suck horribly, at least. At least it worked, which puts it ahead of Firefox right now.

I checked out Google Chrome, again, but while it's blindingly fast, it STILL can't sync up Chrome bookmarks with the online Google Bookmarks I use. Which is really, just freaking ridiculous. BOTH Google for godsakes.

If Firefox doesn't unscrew itself maybe I'll check out Opera. Or even IE8, because not being able to access my pics online is a non-starter.

Boo technology. Boo.

[Speaking of Firefox problems, it hasn't rendered my "Edit Layout" page on Blogger Dashboard right in a while now. I haven't really wanted to change, so it hasn't been an issue... maybe time to move on from Firefox altogether? Grrr...]

Katsuura Sports Festival, 2009.

Elementary/community Sports Day and Festival this past weekend at one of my schools. Great time.
From 2009-09-26

Oh yes. Yes, we can.
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From 2009-09-26

From 2009-09-26

I have this effect on children.
From 2009-09-26

The cuteness of the Japanese child can never be defeated.
From 2009-09-26

The Nuyama tug of war team goes 2-1, failing to reclaim championship form from 2 years ago. Not for lack of effort though.
From 2009-09-26

Traditional drums, flutes and lion dancing. It never fails to impress me how talented the kids are and how much work they put into things like this.
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You know you've been in Japan for a bit when you run into old students, long graduated... great kids.
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I fully participate!
From 2009-09-26

Always... So... Much... Running.
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Here you have an elementary school boy totally flirting with the college student volunteer helper. I've never been prouder.
From 2009-09-26

Some of next year's first graders.
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Wacky community spirit. You have to love Japan.
From 2009-09-26

Only one child was run over by the giant inflatable balls of death this year.
From 2009-09-26

My Katsuura family taking care of me for lunch.
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Physical stunts and synchronized dancing - the essence of Japan.
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Mountains from Katsuura... sigh.
From 2009-09-26


Katsuura Sports Festival, Japan 2009 from Rob Pugh on Vimeo.

Humanity is just too damned stupid to survive, I swear.

Indiana prosecutor says she's duty bound to prosecute grandma who bought cold medicine - Boing Boing:
"Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander is proud to be "enforcing the law as it was written" by prosecuting Sally Harpold, a grandmother who bought two boxes of cold medication in less than a week. Alexander admits she knows Harpold had no intention of making meth with the medicine. That's beside the point. "The public has the responsibility to know what is legal and what is not, and ignorance of the law is no excuse," she Alexander.

Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel got his chance to show off a rock-solid understanding of cause-and-effect, too:

“I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …”

Because the best way to prevent meth-addicted babies is to arrest women who buy cold medication for their grandchildren."

The Agitator » Blog Archive » This Week’s Crime Column…:

"...Pottawattamie v. McGhee, which the Supreme Court will hear next month.

The question at issue is whether prosecutors who manufacture evidence that they then use at trial to falsely convict someone should be susceptible to lawsuits.

Yes, there’s actually a chance the answer to that question could end up being no"

Applying 21st century bureaucratic logic...

Here come the airport rectal exams! - Boing Boing:
"Uh-oh. Now that a terrorist has tried unsuccessfully to blow up a Saudi prince with a bomb shoved up his ass, the TSA is obliged to perform rectal exams on every flier for the rest of time. After all, once a jihadi failed to blow up a plane with his shoe, we all needed to start taking our shoes off. Then some knuckleheads believed they could blow up a plane with energy beverages and hair gel, so now we have to limit ourselves to 100ml of all liquids and gels, unless they're for babies or are prescription (because no mass-murderer would be so evil as to forge a doctor's note, which, as every junkie knows, cannot possibly be forged).

Now we found someone who was made to believe he could kill people with an asshole bomb, and so it follows that the TSA will have to ban -- or at least inspect -- our assholes. They're like opinions, you know, everybody's got one. Except, of course, most of us got to keep our assholes to ourselves. Not anymore.

Let's just be thankful that no one has yet convinced a suicidal murderer that he could blow up a plane with his mind, because once that happens, we're all in for mandatory airport trepannations. Because, you know, you can't be too safe. Every little bit helps. If an unhinged suicide bomber believes it's possible, we must take it seriously. To do less would be irresponsible."

Definitions matter.

texts from last night:
"(317): You're the only chick there. That's not an orgy, that's called a gang bang..."

Political geography.

This was fascinating.

Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each.

About Parag Khanna

Geopolitical expert Parag Khanna foresees a future where American influence is waning, and the new powerhouses (and threats) may not be the players you'd expect.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The local grocery store is undergoing renovations till Wednesday...

...which means I am forced to eat the 7-11's tasty, yet evil and so bad for you, fried chicken and karaage.
From 2009-09-25

The sacrifices I make, living in Japan.

Bulgarian Folk Dancing in Japan.

As is tradition, in the lead up to next month's Jr High School Bunkasai/Culture Festival, the kids get to watch real life grown up professionals who do the artistic cultural thing. This year we had Bulgarian Folk Dancers, who are in Fukuoka for some kind of cultural shindig. Very cool. Reminded me of both Greek and Russian dancing and music that I've seen. Obviously, given the geographies, but still.

In the interest of cultural exchange, the kids responded with some choral orchestrations.
From 2009-09-25

What happens when you give a Jr High School teenager, filled with hormones, your camera for a little bit. He was inordinately satisfied at having snapped this pic.
From 2009-09-25

Not sure who she was exactly, lest she was queen of the Bulgarians or somesuch. She didn't take part in the singing or dancing... we'll chalk that up to cultural misunderstanding then.

More/bigger pics here, and the vid of the kids singing -

Why Japan Will Win.

Sadly, no BK in my neck of the woods in Japan.

Via Heineken Burger Meal Please | Paul Hartrick:
"If you look at the poster you will see the you can get a Whopper, Fries or Onion Rings and a can of Heineken all bundled up into a set meal… you can even see the catch phrase ” Perfect Match”. Damn straight it’s a perfect match and I hope it becomes a permanent fixture on the Burger King menu."

Texting would have made high school vastly simpler, apparently.

texts from last night:
"(508): seriously i just wanna be friends
(1-508): pass"