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beetimevine

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What the heavenly bodies are thinking [Apr. 24th, 2010|06:22 pm]
beetimevine
I don't know if anyone else will find this funny or not. On a day at work when I had literally nothing to do, I entertained myself by musing about what the planets and such might be thinking.

The Sun:
How the hell did I get stuck out here in this dark nothing-happening podunk backwater arm of the galaxy? I can't even get good cellphone reception.

Mercury:
Come on, lemme jump in. I just wanna jump in. Pleeeaaase let me just jump in!!

Venus:
Don't talk to me! Don't look at me! I'm not in a good mood so just get away and leave me alone!

Earth:
Goddamn, I've got the worst case of fleas lately.

The Moon:
Oh dear, if Earth sees my pimply backside I'll just die of embarrassment.

Mars:
Finally got rid of those damn fleas.

Jupiter:
I could have been a star. That should be me up there!

Saturn:
There. I've put out six big circles of signs all around me saying "NO TRESPASSING KEEP OUT PRIVATE PROPERTY!" That should keep them away.

Uranus:
It's pronounced "Uraaaaahnus" IF YOU PLEASE!

Neptune:
I bet everyone around the sun is having one big fun party.

Pluto:
I don't even know why I bother sticking around here. Nobody cares about me. Nobody even likes me. I should just leave.

Comets:
I'm going in again! BANZAAAAAIIII!!!!!
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News? Opinion? Lies? [Nov. 18th, 2009|01:20 pm]
beetimevine
Some more political grumbling just to make myself feel better.

Here's an article from Fox News:
Japanese Mortified By Obama's Bow -- embarrassing an ally
Here's a quote:

ABC's Jake Tapper reports that at least one Japanese newspaper is not printing the picture of the president's mortifying bow because the Japanese are embarrassed by his behavior. A scholar of traditional Japan tells Mr. Tapper, "The bow… did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms… The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak-looking American president."



Fox News often claims that news and opinion are separate. I couldn't find a link to this in either news or opinion, but the url has it under "story".
The problem is with this article is that it's simply not true.

First, if you look at Tapper's article the scholar is unnamed, and described first as an "old friend." Also the expert doesn't know what he's talking about. Obama's bow was probably not perfect but not bad either. It was clear that he took the effort to practice it a bit.

Second, the newspaper which refused to carry a picture of the event because it was so embarrassing, is unnamed, and I can't find any evidence of this through usual online search. I also didn't find a single blog in Japanese which found the bow embarrassing or offensive. Trapper's article does mention Kyodo news, but their site isn't searchable, and they defer any queries to another news search engine. Their English version does indeed include a picture along with an article titled "Obama meets with Japanese emperor, empress over lunch" (I couldn't read the article without joining the website.)

Third, this story is making news in Japan only because American conservatives are trying to make an issue of it. Headlines read along the lines of "Obama's bow has repurcussions in American media" and "Bow called inappropriate by America's right wing." Several pages of Google News in Japanese revealed nothing but articles of this type.

So Fox New's "story" isn't news (as news it would have to be titled "Whitehouse Correspondent's Anonymous Old Friend Doesn't Like Obama's Bow.")
It's also mostly not "opinion." Only at the end does the writer offer his opinion: "Now he's embarrassed the U.S. and one of our allies all at the same time."

So what is it then? All that's left is "lies." Is this ok? Is it ok for a major media company to intentionally publish lies?
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Orin and music [Feb. 1st, 2009|11:22 pm]
beetimevine
Orin loves music. When he was about eight months old Noriko and I took him with us to the outskirts of an outdoor music festival along the beach. It was far enough away to not be very loud, but near enough to still feel the bass. I was worried that Orin might be afraid, but no. He laughed and squirmed in delight.

Lately he dances a lot.

Here's him dancing to "Paranoid" playing from the tiny little speaker on my cell phone.

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re-inventing one. [Feb. 1st, 2009|11:13 pm]
beetimevine
Taking a walk, and probably seeing a real estate poster with land advertised in so-many square meters made my thoughts wander around in math.
"Hmm. Small numbers squared get smaller. Big numbers squared get bigger. Wait! That means somewhere between the big numbers and the small numbers there's something that doesn't get bigger OR smaller! Wow, you can square it over and over and it never changes. I wonder what it is!"

"Oh, oh yeah."
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wonder if I got a changeling [Oct. 20th, 2008|10:55 am]
beetimevine
Babies: part cute adorable little bundles of joy, part demon.



Actually he didn't sound nearly that scary, the little cell-phone mic just got distorted.
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grading student essays [Oct. 10th, 2008|09:11 am]
beetimevine
One of the pleasures of my job is reading students' short compositions.
In any school, most of the students write by template. But there's always a few gems in the bunch. And I laugh at some of the mistakes but without spite, I think.


This was a simple "Which do you like better -- cats or dogs, and why?" Also you were supposed to write down a partner's opinion and respond to it.

A few quotes:

-----
Morishiga likes dogs because dogs are pretty and clever. I accept that dogs are clever, but cats are prettier than dogs. He said that cats are dotty.

----

I like dogs better than cats. Because I hate cats. I think cats are dim. So cats aren't useful for people. Cats can only consume food.

-----
I like dogs better. In fact my favorite animals are foxes. Their ears are so cute. I hope to sleep with a lot of foxes.

---

I was bitten by a big dog near my house when I was seven years old. So I think dogs are terrible! Ms Higaki said she can communicate with dogs. But I couldn't when I was seven years old. Dogs are terrible!

---

He likes dogs better because dogs are smarter than cats and dogs can understand a human being's gestures. But I don't think every dog is so smart, because most dogs can do nothing without our discipline.
---

I like cats because cats live freely. So I don't have to take a walk with them. I also think I want to live like cats.

--
Mr. Sasaki says that he likes dogs because they can communicate with him. But dogs bark so loudly and I don't want them to understand me.

--

I like dogs because I think I am enjoyed every day by dogs.
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pointless grumbling [Jun. 12th, 2008|04:01 pm]
beetimevine
A few Marines are punished for tossing a puppy over a cliff.

the story according to CNN


compared to this:
A US military jury has acquitted a marine of charges that he helped cover up the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.

according to BBC

Iraqi civilians just need to learn how to be cuter.
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They say the Devil is a charming man? [Jan. 10th, 2008|04:58 pm]
beetimevine
After eight years of imagining Karl Rove as one of the Dark Lords, I was surprised to find what a light, warm writing style he has.

Why Hillary Won
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Back to regularly scheduled programming [Dec. 7th, 2007|09:29 pm]
beetimevine
Here is a gift bag, that I bought the other day. I was half asleep and buying a rice-ball from a convenience store on the way to work. As I was leaving, I thought to myself "Did I just see what I think I saw?"





What was that word written on it?






Yes, it's true. Somebody, in a moment of spite or silliness or ignorance chose the word "sewer" to decorate a gift bag. And nobody in the company, from the design department to the production department to the management, to the staff at the convenience store, thought "hmm, I wonder what that word means." When I bought the bag, I told the girl at the counter what it meant, and she seemed amused.
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(no subject) [Dec. 2nd, 2007|02:25 am]
beetimevine

This is Orin. Unfortunately he still needs a Japanese name, so this might end up changing to fit with another name. We gave up on finding just one name that sounded good in both English and Japanese, and had pleasing kanji to go with it.

On Wednesday Noriko went to the doctor as usual, and they said "this baby is big -- over 9 pounds. We think it would be best to induce labor. If it gets any bigger it might be really hard to birth." I guess the way they do it, is to put a small ball in the woman's cervix, and that ball gradually expands. This happened Wednesday around 5pm.

I met Noriko at the hospital and she said "go on home, the doctor says that if this works, I should go into labor sometime tomorrow."

So before I left I said "If you go into labor, I'll never forgive you if you don't call me. I don't care if it's 2 or 3am."

Sure enough the phone rang around 2:30 am. Noriko had a strained voice, and said 'can you come? Probably it'll be a while though.'"

I got up, took a shower, grabbed a few things like a notebook and pen. I thought I'd write a log every ten minutes of what was happening. Then I hopped on my bike and went. Usually it takes me 15 minutes to ride my bike to the area where the clinic is, but it only took me ten minutes this time. From Noriko's call to arriving at the hospital was only about forty-five minutes. The doctor waved me into the birthing room, and said "You can see the head." "What?!" I thought. "Already?" Sure enough, down inside there was a black mass visible. After a few more pushes, the head looked like a head, and then shortly after shoulders, and then it slid right out. Sure enough it was a boy. He stretched his arms and legs out cautiously, as if he were waking up from a nap, and when he cried it didn't seem like grief, but more surprise, and the desire to try his lungs out for the first time. After briefly resting on Noriko's chest, he was wisked away to another room to be cleaned. He was crying the whole time, thinking "where am I? Where's my mommy?!" We were only allowed to see him briefly an hour later. The nurse said that he still can't maintain body temperature. Part of me wanted to grumble "goddammit if humans can give birth in caves, we should be fine in this warm hospital." But I didn't really feel like fighting the nurse over it.
From the time the water broke until birth, only three hours had passed. This was after hearing stories of labor lasting up to two days. The official time of birth is Thursday, November 29, 3:37 AM. 9 1/2 pounds.

Over the last couple days I've been spending most of my time at the hospital. Luckily I got Thursday and Friday off from work. Noriko's been recovering quickly. We've both been taking care of the baby. He does one of four things: cry, poop, nurse, or sleep. I know how I'll be spending my winter vacation.
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