Don't mess with nature

Scott Becher posted this video of the rapid destruction of Kesennuma in Japan. See more about how the tsunami destroyed that town at Japan Probe.


I'm so American

Wow, I didn't realize how much time passed since I last did a post--five days, which isn't awful, but is still a gap. I hate to say this, but I've been very busy. It's a very American thing to say when someone asks you, "How are you?" and you reply, "I'm busy!" It seems to be a status symbol in the US, but for me, it's just making me tired and forcing me to organize my time more wisely.

One of the things I've been doing is writing for people's sites. The writing I've done isn't under my name, so I won't link to it, but it just goes to show that the more you write, the more work you can get. I think this blog has helped me get work because people have been able to see what I can do and that I can stick with something for a while. Many people have abandoned their blogs, but I haven't, amazingly. I would like other opportunities to write online, but I have to try to figure out how to achieve that. Not only do I have to find the opportunities, but I have to figure out how to best manage my time.


Some wild English from China

This picture comes from a zoo in the hometown of the Chongqing-born Chinese teen who was also the funny Chinese clown. No need to say more.


the Romanian media: scary

Cristina shared this article about journalism in Romania. It is a must-read if you want to know about the corrupt Romanian media. They're no longer Communist, but they haven't moved beyond its corruption and control. For example:
Local oligarchs—rich businesspeople who are involved in politics and whose primary business interests are not in media—now own and control media. Usually their business interests are also the target of criminal investigations. The reason that they invest in money-losing media corporations is to gain leverage to negotiate with politicians to keep themselves out of jail. They run their media companies as they would a military operation, and like their predecessors, they, too, profoundly dislike independent and nosey journalists.
Even though it's about a country that probably not a lot of people have been to, or ever will (I went there in the mid-90's), it is a sad story of how a country can formally change a system but really not change its ways. Scary.


Great analysis of the Bieb

I've been wondering why and how Justin Bieber cops an attitude and speaking style that reflects apathetic, detached American inner city youth more than the Canadian town he's from. It's such a phony act--they've told him to speak as if he's from the West or South side of Chicago, not like the white suburban Canadian he really is.

Well tonight I heard a great analysis of his image, and I was so glad that some of his fellow Canadians were discussing it, because they were essentially saying what I've been thinking, and adding some interesting analysis about him as well.

Unfortunately, the CBC site doesn't link to just that episode, so you'll have to go to the Q show page, find the March 15 episode of the show (which today is at the top of the list), and go to the part towards the end where "Q takes a look at 'Biebonics', Justin Bieber's hip-hop style diction training." It's totally worth the listen!


Raw video of earthquake in Japan

The situation in Japan is so sad. I hope they will be able to recover from this tragic event. Here's a video that is a compilation of first-hand accounts of the earthquake. What I like about it is that it is raw, with no commentary, just video of different locations during the quake. I experienced a couple of minor quakes over there, in addition to a couple of minor ones in Los Angeles. They of course do not compare at all to the devastation that has recently occurred.


Japanese videos and stories of tsunami and earthquake

Of course, the whole world knows about the devastating tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan, and most likely, you've been reading and seeing all about them in your own language (ie, English). But if you want a Japanese perspective, check out News24.jp. Here are some links to videos and stories that I found. There are a lot more at the site.

1) Short video of when the tsunami first hit

2) Early tsunami damage filmed from above

3) Earthquake damage filmed from above

4) Longer video of all kinds of damage and people's reactions

Even if you don't understand Japanese, you'll be able to at least see the video that they shot. If you want to do a search at that site, you can use the kanji 津波 for "tsunami" and 地震 [jishin] for "earthquake".


Paczki overload

Wow, I think I should not have eaten paczki this year. In recent years, I've had the opportunity to eat just one of them, but this year, I could've eaten a few. I had one last week, one yesterday when a Polish student brought them to class, and was offered a fresh homemade one today--it had just come out of the oven--from my Polish boss. I was tempted to try it, but I was still feeling sick from the one I had yesterday.

They are uber-doughnuts because they're rich and thick, and are usually stuffed with jelly, cream, chocolate, or anything else that's gooey and good. Some of them look like doughnut sandwiches because the doughnut is split in half, and there's so much filling inside, it oozes out like an over-stuffed sandwich.

Even looking at that picture makes me feel nauseated because they're so delicious, but so sweet and rich. No wonder it's called Fat Tuesday (even though Polish people eat them on the previous Thursday).


It's the 21 century, yet some browsers can't show other alphabets

I'm just venting here because I was going to do a post involving Japanese and perhaps Thai links, and wanted to be sure I could read them before I posted them here. But as usual, I'm on a computer with a couple of browsers that don't render non-Romanized alphabets. Since it's a school computer, I can't load them because I need admin access, which I obviously don't have, but still--we're in the 21st century--we should be able to view any kind of alphabet we want by this point. Dang, I wonder when it will finally happen.


How to fold a shirt in Japanese

Someone who doesn't speak Japanese, and has never even been to Asia, told me about this video of a Japanese woman explaining how to fold a shirt. You don't need to know Japanese to learn how to do it, and if you do know it, it's a good opportunity to read and listen to the language, while learning something new. I also like how they have traditional Japanese music at the end. :D


Interview with creator of Shima Kosaku

If you've been reading this blog consistently, you know I've become a fan of 島耕作(Shima Kosaku), and I'm on my third one.

Well I've been reading different stuff online about that manga, and came across an interview with Kenshi Hirokane, who's the creator of the Shima series.

What's very cool is that he appeared on Taiwanese TV, and a bilingual anime fan translated it into English for us non-Chinese speakers in the world! Thanks dormcat!