flonnebonne: (Rhino)
I haven't talked about the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster (東日本だ震災)in a while. Since I live in an area where a big disaster is very likely to hit in the next 50 years, I think I ought to be doing a bit more to learn from what happened in Tohoku. I also feel like I kind of owe it to my friends in Fukushima to keep talking about it.

Some observations/facts:

1. When I went back to Fukushima in May this year (2016), I found out that my town, which is 65 km away from the Dai-ichi power plant, has actually replaced the topsoil in the town in order to lessen the radioactivity.

2. On the same trip, I met my friend who moved away from Fukushima to Hokkaido in the wake of the earthquake because her adult son had strange red marks on his neck and was possibly getting sick due from the radiation. She's part of a group that is trying to get compensation from the Japanese government for having to leave the area; they believe that the 20km exclusion zone wasn't big enough, and that people in a larger radius from the reactors should have received aid. My other former students think she is crazy and don't talk to her anymore. (On a perhaps not-unrelated note, it's really sad, but my former students' English club only has two people in it now...and it's a group that had studied and travelled together for maybe 10 years? Some of them have just moved on to other interests, and they still talk with one another outside the club, but it saddens me.)

3. I don't think my student who moved to Hokkaido is wrong, and I don't think my students who stayed behind are wrong either. 

4. There are people still living in temporary housing. If you look at Western media, it's pretty bleak. If you watch Japanese TV (I don't read Japanese papers because it's too hard), it looks a lot better. Same as during the earthquake itself.

5. Japan's ability to respond to natural disasters is still miles above any other country I know of. 

6. There are way too many earthquakes still happening. There was the big one in Kumamoto this year, of course, but plenty of other smaller ones seemingly constantly. 

7. Today I watched a pretty interesting episode of a Japanese show called "From Tohoku: Lectures for the Future." The fact that such a show exists shows that Japan is crazy good at learning from natural disasters and making sure the knowledge is passed down. The episode I watched focused on a coastal village called Fudai (普代村)in Iwate Prefecture, which, despite being hit by the tsunami, damage was minimal and no deaths occurred due to the massive seawalls + floodgates built to protect the town. One of the old mayors, Wamura(和村), had long ago convinced the village council to build those walls despite the enormous cost--$30 million USD in today's money. I'd heard about this "miracle" town before, but the episode of "From Tohoku: Lectures for the Future" went into more depth about the lessons we can learn from Fudai. Here's what the lecturers, about three of them from different fields, had to say:

(a) The intersection of science and history here was important. Wamura was so insistent about building those walls because he lived through another tsunami as a child. He said we needed to learn from that experience. 

(b) It took a buttload of work and hardheadedness for the walls to happen. Wamura's family showed his old daytimer books, which they had carefully collected in a box; Wamura wrote notes to himself that he had to convince people on the village council one by one. He was apparently a very persuasive person. 

(c) It was a combination of "hard" and "soft" measures that saved the town. The "hard" measures were the walls; the "soft" measures were drills and mental preparation. The people of Fudai were told that the walls did not guarantee their safety, and they did indeed run for safety when the tsunami came. In fact, they were told this: "The fact that we need such big walls should tell you how precarious our situation could be if a tsunami hits."

(d) Unfortunately, according to one of the lecturers, most outsiders have taken away the wrong message from Fudai: "hard" measures--"if we build a wall then we don't need to worry about tsunamis!" The "hard" measures only.

p.s. I don't want to imply that I regularly keep up on the news in Japan or that I'm fluent, because no. 

...So what can I, personally, take away from this? Well, here in Vancouver, where we are woefully unprepared for the Big One...we don't have a Wamura. And I don't think any politician would be able to rise to power around here on that platform. (Right now, the hot topic is tell our Prime Minister where to stuff his oil pipelines.) We just don't have a recent enough disaster in our history to impel anyone to do anything much to prepare. And we kind of suck at organizing. Hell, I was supposed to get some free emergency preparation package from the Canadian Red Cross and I never did. Welp, I will try to help my own family and workplace try to be prepared at the very least. I'm pretty lazy myself, but I'll keep reminding myself...which is why I'm recording my thoughts here. 

flonnebonne: (SoraSad)
I've known about this for a while, but now I've got an article to back it up: the average animator in Japan makes less than $10,000 US dollars (one million yen). 


Time to stop using free streaming sites! I mostly watch on Crunchyroll nowadays anyway...

flonnebonne: (SoraGoogly)
 Whenever I see someone with artificially curled hair playing some kind of action heroine or secret agent or whatever, all I can think is 'where do you find the time to curl your hair' and I can't pay attention to the actual plot anymore, I just can't. 

flonnebonne: (Default)
Is there a term for the Dumbledore-like figure who explains everything at the end of the story?  

flonnebonne: (GoForIt)
Question: in your country Where you live, if you order iced tea, does it have sugar in it? Or is it just black tea with some ice in it? (NOOO!!!)
flonnebonne: (AlienSlippers)
I am offering ficlets to those who donate $7.77 (or more) to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. Comment below with a request to get your ficlet!

This'll be done by the honour system, so you don't need to show proof of your donation or anything.
flonnebonne: (Default)
Is there a word for the bringing together of  old/mythical/high-falutin' elements with modern/mundane/low-brow elements? Like ancient gods playing poker while complaining about their mothers. Or Spiderman having to use the elevator. Or Loki riding shotgun and using his glowy staff like a, well, shotgun.

I feel like I learned a literary term for this kind of thing in high school, but now all I can think is "Whedonism."
flonnebonne: (Default)
When people stay "steamed rice," do they actually mean the rice is cooked with steam and not in water?

If the rice is immersed in water when it's cooking (in a pot or an electric rice cooker or whatever), shouldn't that be called "boiled rice"? 

I make rice almost every day, but this I do not know.

p.s. healthy tip: put in some brown rice in your white rice, it's good for ya.
flonnebonne: (PinkShirtIsPink)
Math-like riddle time!

Three women go into a hotel and ask for a room to share. The receptionist tells them it will cost 30,000 yen, so the women pay 10,000 yen each.

After the women have gone to their room, the receptionist suddenly remembers that the hotel has a winter special on right now, so the room should cost only 25,000 yen. He calls a bell-hop, gives him 5000 yen, and tells him to bring it to the customers.

However, on the way upstairs the bell-hop sneakily decides to pocket 2000 yen for himself. When he gets to the customers' room he gives them only 3000 yen. So each woman ends up getting 1000 yen back.

Let's think about this. Each customer originally paid 10,000 yen and got 1000 back, so they each paid 9000 yen. Additionally, the bell-hop took 2000 yen for himself.

9000 x 3 = 27,000.

27,000 + 2000 = 29,000.

But the three women originally paid 30,000 yen! Where did the extra 1000 yen go?

(This was a riddle from my Japanese class, which had nothing to do with Japanese and everything to do with our teacher wanting us to figure out the answer for her.)
flonnebonne: (Default)
My aunt gave me one of those tiny 2nd gen (?) ipod shuffles a couple years ago (I think she got it for free from signing up for something). At the time I fiddled with the software a bit, tried to make it into a drag-and-drop device (because there's no way I'm going to use itunes for a 1GB player), but I never succeeded. Then I got really busy and kind of forgot about it la la la.

Anyway, I found the ipod again and am resuming my struggles with the wonders of technology, red in tooth and claw (grrr). Can anyone recommend a way to make my ipod shuffle into a drag-and-dropper? Ie. like a simple flash mp3 player where you just plug it in, drag files onto the explorer window, fini?

I've already tried anapod (didn't seem to work and trial version was annoying) and am thinking of trying rebuild_db, but it also sounds annoying because you have to run the program every time you transfer files. So am looking for other suggestions. Any help would be much appreciated!
flonnebonne: (Default)
Hello [profile] kaiko_tori_ai! I couldn't reply to your message because of your privacy settings! So I'm posting my reply here instead.

Glad you like my avatar, and go ahead and use it! You mean the "go for it" one, right?
flonnebonne: (Default)

flonnebonne: (Default)
So like everyone else is doing it. Unecessarily long and rambly answers ahoy! I like procrastinating.

flonnebonne: (Default)
The Baka no Itte, from the wonderful folks at Sensei's Library.

Eroge, or erotic games, are, well, they're things. Erotic things. Sometimes very odd erotic things, like the game that [livejournal.com profile] koramay  and [livejournal.com profile] cienna showed me at the Tokyo Game Show that measured your ability to wipe sweat off a naked moaning guy with the DS stylus. Er, anyway, to get to the point--apparently game developers have made strip versions of traditional games like chess, poker, mahjong, etc. How much you wanna bet igo is included in that list? At this very moment, some otaku in Akihabara could be enjoying a mildly tittilating game of strip igo with a badly animated half-naked schoolgirl (or schoolboy). The link between go and sex has now been fully realized.

Note: I'm using the Firefox Add-on Deepest Sender to make this post. Hope it works.
flonnebonne: (Default)

This site lets you bypass your workplace's firewall so you can access blocked websites! Yay! LJ at work! Google Images! Yay! Porn porn porn! Yay! *cough* Just kidding on that last one.
flonnebonne: (Default)
Calvin! Calvin! Your parents don't believe. We have to kill them!

This makes me die a little inside, but I can't help laughing at the same time.
flonnebonne: (AlienSlippers)
HAY ZOESQUE that I Am a Japanese School Teacher blog you recced me is the funniest damn thing I've read this year in the longest time. This dood can WRITE. Most of the entries are about Those Crazy Japanese, but there's also this, which made a few tears roll down my (usually) stoic cheeks. Seriously, it did.

Excerpt from today's entry:

But the Ghetto School has been strangely low-key this week. Even the bastards are sitting in their seats. They're reading manga, but it's better than them doing cartwheels out in the hallway (maybe you think I'm kidding about that one). I'm kind of worried, what the hell is going on? Have I stepped into some sort of Bizarro Ghetto School? Is there a Bizarro School of Peace, where Mousey is a good kid and Ultimate Sweetness is like the biggest slut? Is there a Bizarro version of me? What would that be like? The complete opposite of me -- that would be a small white woman who actually liked being touched inappropriately by little kids. Holy shit, Michael Jackson is the Bizarro version of me! Or am I the Bizarro version of Michael Jackson? Mommy, I'm scared. Hold me.

Am caught up on reading flishshst now. Had something else to post but forgot it. Zzzzzz.

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