August 29, 2015 archive

Random Japan

 photo gtadoreamon_zps8tfeknlg.jpg

Fans are raving over this amazing Doraemon x Grand Theft Auto V crossover

Many of Japan’s classic anime series have managed to engage young viewers from one generation to the next. Perhaps one of the most famous examples is Doraemon, which keeps gaining more viewers the longer it runs. Since its hit television adaptation in 1979, the series has slowly taken the world by storm, finally reaching English-speaking audiences last summer after a partnership with Disney.

That said, in over 30 years few changes have been made to the original series, with its characters never having to grow up like the rest of us. As viewers got older, many of them started wondering what kind of teenagers and adults the original cast would have become. Some of the franchise’s movies, along with a commercial series by Toyota featuring Jean Reno as Doraemon, have set out to answer a few of these questions, but what about fans who didn’t imagine a future quite so bright? It seems the only answer would require illustrating it on your own, which is exactly what one artist did when he decided to reinvent the main cast as characters from video game smash Grand Theft Auto.


The Breakfast Club (Traveling Music)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgOne of the things about traveling is that a lot of your time is taken up by- well, traveling.

If you have a job in a cubicle or on a line and your input is just another unit of labor this is not usually a hardship as your temporary replacement will generally handle the routine minutia and while you may find a big pile of “too difficult” waiting on your return at least it’s not a huge backlog of EVERYTHING!

As a photon artist, particularly one working in the ephemeral field of politics, policy, news, and cultural criticism that I do, for many years I rarely left my desk for more than 12 or 18 hours in a row and all my other ambitions had to be accomplished in that time frame.

The tyrany of deadlines.

Now, upon advice from my therapist and others, I have adopted a more relaxed attitude though each mark missed still evokes torrents of self recrimination.

Yesterday was such a day.  I was up at the crack of dawn (which is still cracking pretty early where I am), wrote 2 pieces, and set up the page.  I spent the rest of the day (all 16 hours or so) traveling and visiting.  Was it fun?  Sure, but last night while I was busy not sleeping all I could think about was the fact I’d forgotten to put up a Cartnoon.

I’ll bet you didn’t even notice.

But that’s my craziness.  It puts me in mind though, that in times not so long ago people would disappear for months (or 10 years in the case of Odysseus) and literally sail off the end of the Earth (did I mention I had no cell service?).

Today’s Art Music is mostly about such a person, Sinbad, who not only did that, but did it repeatedly.  The stories of his travels to distant and fantastic lands make up a large part of 1001 Nights, a collection of Arabian folk tales initially translated by Sir Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor) who is also remembered as one of the group searching for the source of the Nile and as the first Westerner to visit Mecca.

The conceit of the Arabian Nights is that some Muckety-Muck has the habit of marrying women, spending the night with them, and then executing them in the morning.  Scheherazade is selected for this dubious distinction but rather than amorously seduce she tells stories whose cliff hanger dawn breaks led the Muckety-Muck to postpone her disposal for 1001 days at the end of which he pretty much gives up and decides to keep her around.

Needless to say this plot is a long time favorite of writers who can only aspire to be as enthralling as Scheherazade.

In 1888 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a member of ‘The Five’ (most influential mid-Romantic Russian composers) was at work finishing up Prince Igor, an opera by his good friend Alexander Borodin (also a member of ‘The Five’) who had just died.

Perhaps for relief from this grim task he composed Scheherazade as a symphonic poem.  No, I don’t really know the difference a symphonic poem and a symphony except these Romantics were constantly striving for pure emotional effects, structurally they’re virtually the same with 4 movements in different time signatures.

It’s a still a big hit with Figure Skaters and the Santa Clara Vanguard featured it in both their 2004 and 2014 shows.

What?  Not into DCI?  Oh well, here’s the orchestra version- Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival 2005.

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

On This Day In History August 29

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

August 29 is the 241st day of the year (242nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 124 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1533, the 300 year old Inca civilization ended when Francisco Pizarro’s conquistadors strangled the last Inca Emperor, Atahuallpa.

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Inca built a dazzling empire that governed a population of 12 million people. Although they had no writing system, they had an elaborate government, great public works, and a brilliant agricultural system. In the five years before the Spanish arrival, a devastating war of succession gripped the empire. In 1532, Atahuallpa’s army defeated the forces of his half-brother HuÁscar in a battle near Cuzco. Atahuallpa was consolidating his rule when Pizarro and his 180 soldiers appeared.

In 1531, Pizarro sailed down to Peru, landing at Tumbes. He led his army up the Andes Mountains and on November 15, 1532, reached the Inca town of Cajamarca, where Atahuallpa was enjoying the hot springs in preparation for his march on Cuzco, the capital of his brother’s kingdom. Pizarro invited Atahuallpa to attend a feast in his honor, and the emperor accepted. Having just won one of the largest battles in Inca history, and with an army of 30,000 men at his disposal, Atahuallpa thought he had nothing to fear from the bearded white stranger and his 180 men. Pizarro, however, planned an ambush, setting up his artillery at the square of Cajamarca.

On November 16, Atahuallpa arrived at the meeting place with an escort of several thousand men, all apparently unarmed. Pizarro sent out a priest to exhort the emperor to accept the sovereignty of Christianity and Emperor Charles V., and Atahuallpa refused, flinging a Bible handed to him to the ground in disgust. Pizarro immediately ordered an attack. Buckling under an assault by the terrifying Spanish artillery, guns, and cavalry (all of which were alien to the Incas), thousands of Incas were slaughtered, and the emperor was captured.

Atahuallpa offered to fill a room with treasure as ransom for his release, and Pizarro accepted. Eventually, some 24 tons of gold and silver were brought to the Spanish from throughout the Inca empire. Although Atahuallpa had provided the richest ransom in the history of the world, Pizarro treacherously put him on trial for plotting to overthrow the Spanish, for having his half-brother HuÁscar murdered, and for several other lesser charges. A Spanish tribunal convicted Atahuallpa and sentenced him to die. On August 29, 1533, the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahuallpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

This week’s digest is abbreviated since I am, once again, traveling this week.

Tomatoes Pack a Nutritional Punch


Tomatoes  receive a lot of attention from nutritionists largely because of a phytonutrient called lycopene. Studies have long suggested that lycopene, which is contained in the red pigment, has antioxidant properties. Now growers are raising and marketing “high-lycopene” tomatoes. Indeed, a company based in Israel has developed a dried cherry tomato, which it is calling a “raisin tomato,” that contains almost 100 times the amount of lycopene in a regular cherry tomato.

I love this suggestion on preparing tomatoes for cooking from the author, Martha Rose Shulman

In many of this week’s recipes I’m using a technique that may be new to some of you. Rather than peeling, seeding and dicing the tomatoes, I grate them on the large holes of a box grater. This is a technique I learned in Greece; it’s used throughout the Mediterranean. Cut the tomatoes in half, squeeze out the seeds if instructed to do so, and rub the cut side against the grater. Don’t worry: the skin is tough and you won’t scrape your hands. When you feel the holes of the grater against the inside of the tomato skin, you’re done. It goes quickly, and it’s a nifty time-saver.

Pasta With Salsa Crudo and Green Beans

Tomato Frittata With Fresh Marjoram or Thyme

Blender Tomato Soup

Bruschetta With Tomato Topping

Cooked Grains Salad With Tomato Vinaigrette

Trans woman raped by corrections officer at Rikers, files federal lawsuit

A transgender woman, identified only as M.T., who is a former inmate at Rikers Island has filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court claiming she was sexually assaulted repeatedly by a corrections officer at the Robert N. Davoren Complex after having been harassed for months by the officer.

M. T. claims she was raped by Officer L. Galan on Dec. 2, 2012.  

Galan stated that Plaintiff ‘could do this the easy way or the hard way,’ Plaintiff did not feel that (she) could walk away or call out for help.

–the lawsuit