Lesson 01: Get DOWN and CLEAN!!!

September 19th, 2010

No Mops!

Lesson 1: There are no mops in Japan.  All cleaning is done on hands and knees, or by running around arched over like a stuck slinky holding a rag.

Our Man in Japan Says: Pretty much true. they have mops but don’t seem to use them-also 99%of the mops that exist here have the cleaning rags wrapped around a t-shaped stick/pole.

You’ve seen this before.  If you’ve watched any anime that is centered around Japanese high-schoolers, or modern temple life, (genres of which it is nearly impossible for any anime fan to miss) it is very likely you’ve seen people on their hands and knees, washing the floor with rags.  Oftentimes, they race about bent over.  This a common occurrence in comedic episodes, and the chore is performed with so much gusto that it leads one to believe that is nothing but some sort of outrageous physical humor thrown in to amuse the viewer.

However, according to our man in Japan, this is pretty much how such tasks are carried out.  Western style mops are rare, and the Japanese equivalent is rarely used!

Ok! Updates on the way!

September 5th, 2010

We’ve been running a bit behind here, but we’re finally starting to prep some real content. Should have a real update within the next week or so!

The Nightmare Child?

January 10th, 2010

So, what is the Nightmare Child?

Doctor Who? Japan? There is a connection! And it’s not just collectable toys, merchandise, and monsters!  It is far more disturbing than that….

Been bouncing between the Doc Who forums and Wikipedia since that last  Doctor Who special, and losta of different people have lotsa opinions about what happened, and what’s gonna happen.

One of the most common things people seem to have settled on is that it’s not definitively stated anywhere in “The End of Time” that the person The Doctor called Rassilon is in fact ‘THE’ Rassilon.  It’s been put forth that the Time Lord in question may have just assumed the name, or in fact The Doctor may have used the term to refer to him in a derogatory way – like calling someone Hitler, or some lesser evil, like… Baltar? (“Oh, so sorry. Didn’t mean to get it on with a hot Cylon chick and wipe out humanity.  Well, actually I did.  The getting it on part, not the wiping.)”

One of the articles on Wikipedia, either about the Time War, or that last episode (I forget which) states that the Time Lords resurrected Rassilon to lead them.  I guess that’s possible.  (And not just bringing up that mulligan called ‘Doctor Who physics’ either!)  Didn’t the Time Lords offer to give The Master another regeneration to assist The Doctor in ‘The Five Doctors’?  (Or was that in Trial of a Time Lord?)  Hell, extra regenerations or not, we all know The Master was able to bring himself back from slime! (Remember the Television Movie! We’re still missing a regeneration!)

I sorta have a feeling, and it was my first feeling upon actually seeing the Lord President, that he’s the original Rassilon.  I’m betting that’s the impact RT Davies was aiming for.  Nothing else would resonate with the core fanbase as hard.

On another note, I’ve read that a commentary posted somewhere (gotta hunt it down), Julie Gardner said that the cowering female Time Lord behind Rassilon was in fact The Doctor’s mother.  Also, it was claimed that Martha actually married Micky, and the other guy she was going to marry was just a rebound for The Doctor.

One other thing, Steven Moffat (Or RTD) said that it’s entirely plausible that the Time War of the books did happen, only to be wiped from the annuals of history by the last Time War.

Steven Moffat has said it’s impossible for Doctor Who to have continuity errors because the Time War changed and broke so many things.  Any perceived inconsistencies can just be blamed on that.  That’s why we can have two different dates for the destruction of the Earth.  The Time War altered the time line so that Earth dies at different times.

Moffat also said that the Weeping Angels will be back too.  Woo hoo.

I wonder if the Dcoctors’ daughter will return?  The clone daughter that is – she was also a character influenced by Moffat so I’m betting that’s a possibility.  I doubt they’ll ever bring Susan back up, but mebbe they could since she wasn’t on Gallifrey (and I doubt The Rani was either) and was most likely not a participate of the Time War.

By the way, what the hell is a ‘Rani’?  I mean – ‘Doctor’ and ‘Master’ I get.  Those are the names of degrees you can get from a university.  But ‘Rani’? It sounds like a rash.  “That girl gave me a rani! I thought I just had to worry about crabs!”

Oh look, it’s the female equivalent of Raja, and that in many Indo-Aryan languages it can mean either “queen” or “lady”.  Thank you Wikipedia. Ok. I can see that. Although, given the character, I’m surprised she didn’t skip the guess work and go for ‘The Empress’. Mebbe not. She did try to convince the Seventh Doctor she was Melanie after he regenerated after the BBC Colin ejection….

Anyone think Colin Baker got a raw deal?
Anyone actually like Ace?

Oh, back to The Nightmare Child.

Speculation holds from several sources that a number of characters from the Time War could return in some form.  There’s the obvious potential return of the Time Lords themselves, and The Master.  But I’ve also seen ‘the Skaro Degradations’ and ‘The Horde of Travesties’ mentioned as being players in the Time War.  Skaro… that’s where the Daleks came from right? Mebbe some mutant form of the Thals returning to fight the Daleks?

The most interesting name I’ve seen mentioned is ‘The Nightmare Child’.  Very little info I’ve seen given about it, other than it destroyed Davros.  Well, it originally destroyed Davros and his flagship.  Dalek Caan broke the time lock, rescued him, and then went mad because of his actions.  (Btw, do Daleks have gender? I mean, if they do… what would you check? Look under that lower right tentacle. Oh wait, that’s not a tentacle is it? WAIT! Daleks have tentacles! I just found me a Japanese popular culture connection! (And don’t tell me it’s not, because I’ve seen that Wikipedia has images from old Japanese block prints of octopuses getting on with women! (I tried not to look – really))

I dunno what this Nightmare Child is, but if it’s could wipe out Davros like that, it must not of been small…. Gotta have Big Bad potential Real Big Big Bad potential!

But Big IS Beautiful!

January 9th, 2010

And so, the sumo told me...

One thing I hate about the Internet is by the time you find some odd interesting bit of news you’d like to share, everyone else already knows about it.  Bleh.

Anyways, there’s this story going around that if it hadn’t been posted on so many news site that I would of swore it was a satirical article from The Onion, or a fake news story on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.  But nope… it’s true!

There’s this website called Beautiful People (www.beautifulpeople.com) where they promise that you won’t have to suffer looking at photos of ugly people.

Here – this is what they actually have currently posted on the front of their website:

Welcome to BeautifulPeople

The sexiest website in the world today

* Do looks matter to you, when it comes to selecting a partner?

* Do you want to guarantee your dates will always be beautiful?

* No more filtering through unattractive people on mainstream sites

* Meet beautiful people locally and from around the world – now

* Attend exclusive events and private parties

Talk about gall.  Someone sure feels confident about themselves.

I wonder how many fake profiles hey have posted… (it’s not like they send someone to your house to check out your hotness).  It’s so tempting to try to join though… makes me wanna take a picture of my ass and send it too them with a smiley face drawn on it.

They used to have this condescending link that said “Too ugly to join? Try browsing Beautiful People.” But it looks like it’s been removed recently.  Couldn’t imagine why they’d want to go hide themselves now….

No ugly people? I wonder if they filter out the conceited, stupid, and vain people too?

Oh wait – I guess that wouldn’t leave them any users!

Anyways, what got them in the news lately was that they kicked off five thousands members.  Considering the inflated ego they would’ve needed to have to join in the first place I don’t know if I really feel bad for any of them.  Anyways, apparently, these people got kicked off the site because of their holiday weight gain.  Yep, a few had a little too much turkey.  Other users of the site complained that people had loaded up pictures of themselves showing the weight again. (That’s the first thing I always do when I gain weight too – take pictures and show it off to everyone! Look at that belly grow!)  These holiday fatties offended the sensibilities of a few users who insisted that had they go.

I wonder, what kind of hormone laden bird did these people snack on?  I mean, sure, I’ve gained some weight over the holidays before myself, but I never thought I’d gained so much I had to go buy new clothes.  Never thought I gained enough in that short holiday period that it changed how people looked at me.

In an interview with the site owner, he stated that the users of his site were only interested people that met their criteria for attractiveness.  Where they Politically Correct? No.  Did people get their feelings hurt? Yes.  But they were honest about their goals and intentions.

(And a bit vain and conceited you might also add.)

More info from CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/personal/01/04/dating.site.overweight/index.html

Btw, don’t go to uglypeople.com.  Buncha nekkid women and porno ads. Guess they figured ugly people wouldn’t really wanna see more ugly people.

Oh, and as for the Japan link – they have Japanese site too.  Hmmm…. Wonder if you can still browse those beautiful people….

Morbid Immortality – source of Tasmanian Devil cancer found: replicating cancer cells

January 2nd, 2010

Our devils of today

Scary. They’ve discovered that what has been killing off the Tasmanian Devils for the past few years are really replicating cancer cells from a devil twenty years dead, and not a transmitted virus as originally thought. That sounds really zombie like. A sort of morbid immortality for that one devil.

In a study of twenty five tumors pulled from the animals, it was discovered that they were all genetically identical.  This indicates that they all came from the same source, the same devil, estimated to have lived about twenty years ago.  The disease is apparently spread by the direct exchange of cancerous cells through physical contact between the devils.  Previously, I had read that this contact was usually due to combat between the animals.

Seventy percent of the devil population has already been wiped out, and it’s expected that they will go extinct in the wild in thirty to fifty years time.  If a cure isn’t found during the current interim, you’ll one day only be able to see them in zoos, and in Warner Brother cartoons.

Here’s a link to the actual story that documents these discoveries:

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/52286/title/Cancer_plaguing_Tasmanian_devils_began_in_one_animals_nerve_cells

(Ok, I realize this has virtually nothing to do with Japan, Manga, or Anime, other than through some weird ass Kevin Bacon connection along the lines of American Cartoons -> Japanese Animation, but I found it be an interesting update on a story I’ve been following for years. Replicating zombie cells? Freaky!) (plus my normal blog is busted)

Culture Hunt Experiment #1: Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition ‘Manga’ search

January 1st, 2010

Culture Hunt Experiment 1: Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition ‘Manga’ search

Ok, as an experiment, I did a search of the Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition seeking the term ‘manga’. Because is a list of the results I found, followed by my guess as to how the subject return might even be remotely related to what I initially searched for. I had to stretch my reasoning past it’s limits at times, and I assure the stretch shows.

1) Katipunan (Filipino nationalist organization)

– Yeah, ‘cause when I think of Japanese Manga, I think of Filipino freedom fighters.

2) Kanuri language

– Obviously manga has a sound connection to an African language with less than a million speakers (bleh, bad pun bad pun – didn’t see it till too late!)

3) Resources (from Niger)

– Gotta get that wood pulp from somewhere!

4) Ethnic groups (from Tanzania)

– Ethnic group… ethic group. Otaku mebbe? I’m pretty sure that’s not where the bulk of Otaku come from, but who really knows?

5) Labé (Guinea)

That a drawing utensil? Or a weapon? Or mebbe a special treat, to keep the Mangaka* on his or her fee?

6) Ethnic groups (from Niger)

– Again with the Otaku! They’ve gone world wide!

7) Kasur (Pakistan)

– Special space opera weapon mebbe? Lemme see that on a Gundum! Charge that Kasur!

8 ) Rarotonga (island, Cook Islands)

– Ah. It’s an island, and a tiny one at that. Not much to do with manga directly, but I can see the Japan reference. But Greenland is an island too, and might be a better match. What does it have in common? It’s large. Near a major landmass. And everyone eats fish!

9) Japan (from printmaking)

– They got the location right! Let’s give them a point!

10) Relief (from Niger)

– As a reality escape tool?

11) Cartagena (Colombia)

– Was that where Viggo came from? Yah know, from Ghostbusters 2? Didn’t you love that movie? With the NES Advantage driving the Statue of Liberty Down Fifth Avenue, or Park Avenue, or whatever avenue. Ok, not the best film, but still a few good times right? A few? One at least? Slimer driving the bus was cool though! Com’on! That was awesome! Had to be nasty for ever showed to drive that bus afterwards though. Opps, getting off topic. It was Carpathia! Not Cartagena. Who’d figure. Still, they did release a Ghostbusters manga (though I suspect it’s ameri-manga – does that give it the same weight as manga manga?)

12) Gumel (Nigeria)

– That a villain? Sure sounds like a villain’s name: two basic sounds, that both sound odd. “I am Gumel the Despoiler!” That sounds almost like a character from an American Comic Book. (Alternatively, mebbe a web porn site or hentai anime!)

13) mango (plant)

– A screwed up crossword entry, right? Hope you didn’t do it in ink.

14) Misau (Nigeria)

– That’s a soup right? Oh wait, the spelling is off. Damn details.

15) Nguru (Nigeria)

– I’m guessing this is someone who’s at the head of those princely email scams. Wonder how many they’ve convinced someone that Crown Prince Naruhito has a slush fund stashed in Nigeria that he needs to get money out via their bank account?

16) Tani Ryōko (Japanese athlete)

– First woman to win two Olympic titles in judo? Here, they’d put her mug on a Wheaties box. Japan? She gets her own manga character! (sweet!)

17) Hydrology (from Chad, Lake)

– Hydrology. No idea how to stretch a connection here, unless you wanna talk about water ships in Macross, or hydras in fantasy works. Waitamin, would ‘Hydralogy’ be the study of Hydras.

18) Contemporary developments (from animation)

– Good one! Or best one yet. Yes, manga is a solid source for anime stories. In a sort of cultural parallel, in The States comics have become one of the primary sources for high budget, effects laden, CGI fests called movies; which are in turn boast actors with both over inflated egos and wallets, who in turn help boost the movie for a fame starved, paparazzi driven, gossip consuming American public. Ok, mebbe that didn’t apply to the actors and actresses in Watchmen since hardly no one knew who they were, but that didn’t matter ‘cause Silk Spectre (mark 2) was hawt!

19) Postwar graphic design in Japan (from graphic design)

– Ah! Closest reference yet! Of course, it would have to be at the end. Let’s them another point!

20) Mature years. (from Hokusai)

– Ah… a Japanese artist and printmaker who lived from 1760 to 1849 who liked to sketch and paint landscapes, along with illustrations for erotic works. Yep, erotic works. He did early hentai folks. Read the Britannica. It’s in there!

A little more info on #20, about Mr. Hosusai. He was known to compete with a fellow artist known as Utamaro, an acknowledged master of voluptuous figure prints. Wonder if Utamaro had any of his works turned into figurines that cost ten thousand yen like many of today’s similarly skilled Mangaka?

*Mangaka (漫画家) is the Japanese word for a comic artist or cartoonist.