We've all seen photos and videos of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated Japan. My heart goes out to them. I hope as few people as possible died, and they recover as quickly as possible from this tragedy. What bothers me more than the event itself is the unfeeling coverage of the event, … Continue reading My thoughts on the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan
We attended a formal tea ceremony, a sado, at the Morikami Museum's Seishi-an Tea House, in Delray Beach (Florida, USA). A Japanese tea ceremony involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (powdered green tea) to an honored guest, and is governed by four words: harmony (wa), reverence (kei), purity (sei), and tranquility (jaku). This … Continue reading Tea ceremony at the Morikami Museum
1978 ad for Hagoromo Foods, spoofing Star Wars. Goofy, silly, weird and fun. Looks to be an ad for what they call "sea chicken", which I'm guessing is tuna. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q02weIJD3I
YouTube user heita3 from Japan has been making wind instruments from vegetables and eggs, and he's been posting videos of himself playing those instruments online. So far, he made 50 videos, most of which are quite popular, having garnered well over 10 million total views. In addition to playing the instruments, he shows people how to … Continue reading Music with veggie instruments
In their effort to control flooding, the Japanese have dammed up their rivers. But that move shut out giant salamanders from their natural breeding places and have made it impossible for them to get upstream. Scientists in Japan have worked out a way to allow their legendary giant salamander to get around dams, through elaborate … Continue reading Helping the giant salamander breed
If I'd taken some sociology classes in college, I might have gotten this point sooner: humor is driven, by and large, by societal norms. Furthermore, it is usually in contrast (marked or absurd) to those same norms. Allow me to illustrate. Japan: most of us know that public conduct there has been driven by very … Continue reading Humor and societal norms
From CNET News: "Video: Earthquake safety testing. Japan's Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center tests real houses under earthquake conditions. This video shows the difference between two actual wooden houses, the one on the right retrofitted to limit damage." Very cool! Here is the link.