I wish I knew more about this Japanese fan

I was looking online for Japanese kanji iPhone apps, and found some reviews at Zonjineko. I don't think there are that many anymore, since the review is from a couple of years ago, but the post made me look around his site. It seems to be great for Japanese language and cultural info. Unfortunately, he doesn't say much about himself in his bio, but I wonder if Japanese is just a hobby or part of his work. He goes there (often?) and takes photos, including signs, which is my personal passion (I take pics around Chicago and when I visit other places...which I really should post on Flickr and here), and it's just an interesting site all around.

Actually, he has a good post about not giving up studying Japanese, and in it, he uses the word "Mum" instead of "Mom", so I wonder if he's a Brit or part of that world.

Check it out--he's so organized and seems to consistently post substantial content, which I've been having trouble with lately :| He even has a newsletter you can subscribe to!


the BBC doesn't have a Japanese news section

I was talking to a Polish-born coworker the other day (he immigrated during his university years and became a US citizen) about good news sites, other than the Polish ones he reads, and he recommended the BBC. I agree; it's a great site with informative, multimedia features and has a good learning English section. I noticed that they offer news in several languages, but Japanese isn't there! I'm surprised...they have other Asian languages, including the ones that aren't widely spoken. Why there's no Japanese, I don't know.

Since Japanese wasn't there, I decided to check out the Portuguese section, which of course is easier to read than Japanese, even though I don't know all the words.

Another incredible feature at the site is learning languages! They have several, including Japanese, though I'm seriously interested in improving my German. At one point, my German ability wasn't bad, and now it's awful. I even took a trip there, and was eventually able to function in German, but now, I don't think I'd be able to manage it :(

I'm assuming the BBC is publicly funded...way to go and thank you very much for providing such a great service!


Bruce Lee drawing

Kesan, aka the funny Chinese clown, drew this image of Bruce Lee, and added his screen name in Chinese, 李小龍 "Xiaolong", which according to Wikipedia means "little dragon". I think it's cool. (Kesan's last name is Li, btw...same sound as "Lee".)

Ever since I saw Enter the Dragon when I was in Asia, I have liked Lee because he achieved a balance between the East and the West in that film. Actually, it was on TV the other day, and I saw it again, which means I've seen the movie several times at this point. Too bad he passed away so young :(


Royce and Tali come to Chicago this Saturday

I met Royce Deans five years ago through Deviantart, and since that time, he's really been doing a lot with art and has expanded his projects. He and Tali Farchi formed a painting endeavor called Paint in Action, where they do live painting to music. I've seen it myself, and it's pretty cool. One or more musicians will play music, and they will paint as a response to it, and their art is projected onto a wall. They post their finished pieces in the gallery where they are working and online.

They've been in Chicago a couple of times, and they're coming again this Saturday, March 17 to participate in The Chicago Loop Colorboration Project. Tali will be in town until April 11 and Royce will be here until April 24. But you should check out the website for the latest info as changes occur.

The location where they will be painting with live music (different musicians and groups every day) is at 208 S. Wabash (here's a map). It will take place from March 17 - April 24. There will also be an Artist Reception on Thursday, March 22, from 5pm to 10pm. I usually work at night, but I'm going to try to make it early, around 5 pm, or late, around 9 pm. See you there!


Sarah Vowell: the un-celebrity

Sometimes I get a glimpse of showbiz when I go to Chicago Live because I edit some shows for broadcast on the radio. I've met various interesting people, and tonight, I got a chance to see and meet Sarah Vowell, who has one of the most amazing careers on the planet.

I sat very close to the stage (thanks to the Second City folks at their new club), so I could see what she was like. She wore casual clothes that were not colorful, just gray and black, practical boots, and no makeup. Actually, I think she was wearing foundation or something that people "should" wear on stage. But she looked natural. She was intelligent, witty, and didn't smile as she delivered her dry lines.

Compare such a performance to most women in the biz: they're usually animated, wear makeup, and try to smile to get the audience's approval. Sarah is lucky because she doesn't have to do that. In fact, I bet it would ruin her reputation. Imagine making a living in the public eye being yourself and using your intellect to express yourself. Rare. Very rare.

After the show, I went to the book table to tell her that she's really blessed because of all that she's achieved without having to act or look a certain way, and she didn't really have much of a response. But at least I got to say it!


Apostrophe flow chart

Finally, someone has explained correct apostrophe use with a graphic *and* text...thanks to HGPublishing for posting this.