May 8, 2010 archive

Random Japan


A survey by the BBC and the Yomiuri Shimbun revealed that Germany and Japan are, for the second year in a row, the two most “favorably viewed” nations in the world. Something tells us that a similar poll taken 65 years ago would have yielded significantly different results.

It’s believed that whale meat confiscated by South Korean police from a Japanese restaurant in Seoul may have been smuggled into the country from one of Japan’s “research” whaling expeditions.

A travel website called ToCoo has begun offering stays at ryokan and other accommodations for free. Hotels and inns are scrambling to participate in the program in the hopes of getting repeat customers.

A tie-up between Mister Donut and Mos Burger means that customers will be able to enjoy cheeseburgers and donuts on the same plate. OK, maybe “enjoy” isn’t the best word…

Tonight’s Sunset Open Thread

Cross-posted at Firefly-Dreaming and DailyKos.

What a sunset tonight, a real visual treat.

Don’t worry, there are far better views below the fold.    

Original v. Cover — #24 in a Series

Route 66 Pictures, Images and Photos

Across much of the United States, the threat of late spring snowstorms has passed, and hurricane season is more than three weeks’ distant. The oppressive, unrelenting heat of summer has yet to arrive in in all but the southernmost reaches of the country, accompanied by its unwelcome entourage of mosquitoes, horseflies, and their many relatives, who survive by biting or stinging their prey.  The school year continues for yet another month, delaying the outpouring of families, venturing wherever their budgets and patience allows, in quest of that “perfect” vacation.  The earth has again shed its winter cloak, casting aside that long season of grays and browns, a drab memorial to the greenery the year past.  This has been replaced by the soft pastels of spring, accented by flowering fields, shrubs and trees, each in turn making its showy appearance, before stepping back to allow another to take its place on center stage.

During the weeks ahead, the earth again entices us, having only recently begun to reawaken from its annual slumber, springing forth new life, a colorful metaphor for the promise of renewal and the unbridled optimism of youth. This all too brief window of opportunity again entices the wanderlust within us, to explore parts unknown, to partake in the pleasures of adventure and discovery.  Our former unwavering resolve to reduce our carbon footprint, for now, will be tested for the first time in many months, as we consider the possibility of venturing out to investigate the mysteries that lie waiting for us beyond the horizon.

Shake It Up a Little


That’s Rimbaud, Arthur (or is it Artur? I dunno) Rimbaud.

I read some of his poems and they were good, and I found him through reading about Ginsberg and Kerouac, Burroughs and how they liked Rimbaud during one or the other of their wild chapters of life.

Then I read a biography of Rimbaud that I don’t remember much from, though I liked it, his crowd reminded me of the backward children I hung out with in the Midwest in my salad days.  He came to Paris in 1871 during the aftermath, I think, of the Battle of Paris (about which I know very little, except that he was on the side of the insurrectionists).

He buddied up with Verlaine, another poet, and they scandalized the already terrorized Paris with their crazy living, woo woo.  After splitting with Verlaine, Rimbaud continued his crazy ways.

He didn’t write poetry for long — he ended up a merchant travelling all over the place, didn’t make much of a success of it.

Friday Philosophy: An Unsustainable Life

Twelve days ago, I encountered the following comment by a well-known member of Daily Kos.

What exactly is the medical condition that is treated by transgender surgery? Is it vanity? Something is not right about drastic alteration of a healthy body. I feel the same way about plastic surgery, by the way.

Transgender is an acquired condition, a choice, unlike homosexuality, and I don’t think it deserves the same protections.

I’ve let it steep and marinate, trying to come up with a way to address the comment.  And during that time, I’ve wondered how many people of like mind inhabit DK.  Given the number of anti-trans bigots that respond to general news story blogs in regards to stories about people who are trans, I’m willing to bet the commenter who made that comment is not flying solo.

So how should I approach it?  I decided that a trip back in time might fit the bill.

Load more