With subtitles, for the benefit of the 99% of my friends who do not understand Japanese.
Marine Day is a Japanese holiday commemorating a voyage by Emperor Meiji in a steam ship. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no traditional Japanese music to go with this holiday, so enjoy Enya asking you to Sail Away.
Yeah, I know steamships don’t have sails.
In Japan, it’s Sea Day, a day of thankfulness for the bounty of the oceans.
Today is a holiday in Japan called Sea Day (Marine Day or Ocean Day, if you prefer), so enjoy this little sea shanty from Shogun:
In Closing: Oh yeah get your hot fresh NSA and privacy and War on Terror links right here (H/T Comrade Misfit); the War on [Brown People Using] Drugs, the Police State, and other oddities; uh, that’s still less than one in 5; infrastructure; I hope this crazy woman ends up paying everybody’s legal fees; Why Johnny Can’t Sit Still; Turns out that higher minimum wages are good for job creation (and I have yet to see an iPad run a deep fryer or stock a shelf, thanks); the working poor have jobs, stupid; a couple education items; and a terrifying coincidence.
Once upon a time, there was a divine, weaving princess. She spent much time weaving, and was sad that it left her no time for love. So her father arranged for her to meet the cow-herder of the stars. They immediately fell in love and spent all their time together. However, this meant the divine clothes for the stars went unwoven, and the cows roamed all over the heavens as each of the lovers neglected their jobs. Her father had no choice but to separate them with the Milky Way. They are only allowed to meet one day a year — the seventh day of the seventh month — and then only if she’s done with her work.
In closing: can we just admit that the TSA’s job is to make us do what we’re told?; let’s ignore the fact that most of us choose a hospital based on what our insurance will cover or what’s closest to the accident; recycling; Bond, James Bond; ha; careful when you write a resume; fat; “could” is the important word; just what I don’t need; maybe if people would read; good luck explaining that to your insurance agent; and Cowboys and Indians.
Well, I had no idea that my lunchbox could impact the taste of my lunch. Any readers want a taste that doesn’t make sense? Anybody?
This Japanese food transport system was found in my local Asian grocer. I have no idea what the original brand name was, since Japanese doesn’t have an L sound. Gurit and Burirria? Sounds awkward.
In Closing: turns out Anderson knows that the CBO is something called “non-partisan”; let’s confuse everybody some more!; War on Drugs turns into War on Perfectly Legal Pain Medications that Some People Desperately Need; I think I’d rather have the stack of iPads; fat kids can’t do math?; duh; related; I wish I thought he was right; and part of me wishes this were a real audiobook.
Simon at Palms Place does a lovely Sunday Brunch. A limited sushi selection is available, and their sushi chef is always up for conversation in Japanese. He decorated my “crispy rice spicy tuna” with this little smiley face.
It was delicious.
This morning, after listening to a newsman mangle the pronunciation of the current Prime Minister of Japan’s name, I thought it might be polite to give readers a brief guide to how to pronounce all those words you might see in print regarding the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant issues.
Thankfully, you don’t need to read any of the three sets of characters used to read and write Japanese; it’s come to you already in “roman” characters called “romanji” or “roomaji” in Japanese. Better yet, every letter always makes the same sound, which is more than you can say for English! So here’s how the vowels work:
- “a” always makes an “ah” sound, as in “father” or “want”
- “e” always makes an “eh” sound, as in “lend” or “get”
- “i” always makes an “eee” sound — just like it does in Italian or Latin. Think “Italiano”. Sometimes, if it would cause emphasis to be given to a syllable, it is almost silent as in “Hiroshima”.
- “o” always makes an “oh” sound, like in “slow” or “tempo”
- “u” always makes an “oo” sound, like in “tune” or “rule”. Like “i”, sometimes it is almost silent as in “sukiyaki” or “desu” (which means “is”)
- Vowels can be doubled up, which results in it being held longer. The most obvious example of this is “Tokyo,” which would be spelled out in Hiragana as something more like “Toukyou”.
And there are a few consonants that seem to give people trouble:
- “g” is always hard, as in “get” or “give” or “gen mai cha”
- “j” always makes a j sound, like in “jet” or “jive”
- “tsu” is said just like it’s written; the t is not silent
- sometimes an “n” at the end of a syllable has a sound somewhere between an n and an m (in Japanese, it gets its own character when this happens)
- “y” is a consonant, and in words like Tokyo and Kyoto, it is part of one syllable (written with two characters — it gets complicated)
Now for a special what the??? edition of In Closing: Etsy child abuse; save the Northwest Tree Octopus (you’ve never seen one because they’re endangered!); secret cat haven; an unlikely charitable organization; duh; war on undesirables drugs; historically hardcore; capture the what??; actually it was a little longer than one decade; complaints; can you pass?; the Gentleman from Ohio; time for some realistic time management (including the use of the word NO); remember; vorpal bunnies in Spain; stupid; not really; worried; poor babies; fear; time poverty; the cat and the crickets; yes, this is real; Mrs. God; and find the unnecessary word in this comic:
If you watch a Japanese news broadcast about the tsunami, every time you hear a word that ends in “ken,” they are talking about a prefecture. That’s kind of like a state or province.
Fukushima — where they are having the nuclear issue — is the Capitol of Fukushima Prefecture, number 7 on that map. For reference, Tokyo Prefecture is number 13. Thanks to Jill, we now know that if the reactor does blow the fallout will reach all the way to Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico: Update: there seems to be a lot of debate over this map. It’s true that I should have said fallout may reach, rather than will reach. As someone who lives in the yellow zone, it is still my duty to prepare myself and my family for the worst but hope for the best.
If you were to lay Japan down next to the East Coast of the United States, it would look something like this:
Speaking of the United States, thanks to TYWKIWDI for pointing out this graphic:
For the record, that’s 12 events in the 80s, and 38 events in the 90s, 47 from 2000 to 2009, and an additional 3 events in 2010. I think I’ve said before that actuaries believe in global warming.
First hand accounts of the quake are starting to be heard. For those of you trying to contact someone in Japan to make sure they are safe, the State Department says “We understand also that some telephone landlines there are disrupted. We are recommending that people try contacting loved ones in Japan by email, text, SMS message, or social media.”
I posted this picture 4 years ago. It’s a sign warning people of tsunami risk. Of course, the current crop of Republicans thinks that tsunami warnings — and other weather warnings — are a waste of time. I’ve got news for you, that’s not going to play well in Iowa.
Susie Madrak had this up, and I think it’s a good sentiment:
In Closing: leave your laptop home; old fashioned boycott causes old fashioned bank run; Bill Maher; on oil; No Depositor Left Behind; long but interesting; and after all that I sure do need a good laugh.