Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Mr. Kuribara (JJ's former baseball coach) said I bow perfectly.
Mrs. Nomoto asked me to write a letter to a former student:

Dear Yuta,

Do you remember me? Mrs. Nomoto asked me to write to you.

I can't believe you have so many students in your class. But it must be good, for a guy, that there are so many girls in your class. Is all of your school 3/4 girls? I thought it was a boys' school because it seemed that only my male students wanted to go there. Do you know any of my students from OJHS? I can only remember one boy who is also going to your school: Takuya O. Do you know him? If you do, tell him to practice his English more. I was shocked at how bad at English he's become. He used to be one of the best students.

I liked your description of rugby players, that they look like turtles. I'll have to remember that. Have you ever read Alive by Piers Paul Read? There's also a movie of the same name but I don't know what it's called in Japanese. It's about a group of rugby players from Uruguay. They become cannibals. (After their plane crashes in the Andes.) It's one of my favourite books. At the beginning, the teachers teach the boys rugby because "soccer is the sport for the primadonna." Rugby needs teamwork.

Take care!

Yours truly,

P.S. What other MJHS students go to Fuduoka? Is that the correct spelling of your high school?

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Saved the computer disk.


Today's lunch:

Curry & rice
Fruit salad
Ivory-coloured fish patty with corn kernels exposed


Found an interesting blog by an Arab American comedian: Give Peace a Chance ... or I'll beat the crap outta ya. Or, Take my wives, please.


The weird lady was not at school today.


Read some good stories today: about a cunning African rabbit , a girl who escapes her lecherous suitor, and a Russian frog princess .


Also found some Chinese games from circa 1901. Look out for the boys�Esnake skinning game.


Finally an attack �Ea pipsqueak of defiance! - on the recent spate of anti-woman gibberish: Garance Franke-Ruta (thank you, my dear) takes on Sylvia Ann Hewlett. Like most people recently, we've all been depressed by the recent news that work outside the home is bad for a woman. But it turns out that that is not the case but another piece of propaganda by the "pro-family" American right. (Hewlett is a board member of the Institute for American Values, a name that hardly hides its true intentions.) You can do anything with statistics. You can even ignore them if they don't fit into your ideology. Franke-Ruta points out that Hewlett ignores the fact that doctor-lawyer men are 4% more likely to be childless than their female counterparts. Franke-Ruta again points out, "Fertility, after all, is not an absolute property but a capacity that exists within couples and that varies in an individual depending on his or her partner. Hewlett's book focuses entirely on female fertility, but nearly half of infertility problems fall on the male side of the equation.�E

At the point, I want to interject my own grumbling. Hewlett's irresponsible writing is just another outgrowth from the American right hell-bent on forcing all women on their backs or, after the first goal is achieved, back into the kitchen. Barefoot, presumably. And, here's where I grumble even farther and make the wild generalization that these people and their running dog, the crochet-clacking economist Mrs. Hewlett, are a pack of Nazis. Or should I just call them a festering of neo-eugenists. So you think that selective breeding proponents withdrew after 1945? Here they are.

Attacking abortion is not enough. Bright, white women still aren't having enough babies to appease these morons. The American right, which alternatively attacks unwed mothers as immoral and yet promotes �families,�Eshould be delighted that these high-achieving women are doing the morally correct thing by waiting for their prince charming instead of heaving bastards into the world. But their goal is not in creating moral mothers. They want to reduce scummy mothers, white trash and their ilk, and increase, in their stead, quotas of intelligent Aryan types.


But back to Franke-Ruta, she couldn't have worded it better when she reported that: "Female and male attorneys alike...suffer from an adversarial conversational style, perfectionism, hyper-developed reasoning skills, difficulty with emotions and hyper-intellectualism.�E


On a jollier note, Paul Martin's Counting Sheep asserts everything I ever thought about sleep. We need at least 10 hours of it. Why, Einstein even notched it up to eleven hours in prediction of the next day's heavy thinking. The only mystery that this book can't answer, is what do foetuses, who do nothing but dream, dream about? (Month-old foetuses dream for about 24 hours each day!)

Martin's summary is that we need dreams for our mental state and for our memory. Otherwise we hallucinate or become paranoid. As for the theories of the yucky Jung and abhorrent Freud; for obvious reasons these two quacks don't deserve mention. According to Dr. David Maurice we need REM sleep to moisturize our eyes.

With three new babies in my life (Aedan, Priscilla and Ayumu), I wonder what experiences they have that they must dream about. Here's something: the foetus dreams for up to 15 hours during the last trimester when doubling of cortical grey matter density (Faraday, 1972), rapid maturity, and preparation for independent survival occurs (Crick & Mitchinson,1984 in Mallon, 1989).�E

So were Aeden, Priscilla and Ayumu preparing for "independent survival,"cramming before being expelled from their comfortable surroundings? Were they test-driving their brains? The author suggests that the mother's heartbeat or bumps provide dream material. Children develop their abilities to dream much as they do with their drawings or walking. They begin by bumping into everything or grasping pencils with hardly the finesse you would expect of a well-evoluted primate. Nor do they begin by dreaming in narrative or with characters. If dreams are generally nasty, what sorts of terrors would they dream about? Mommy eating Indian curry? Mommy propping a book on her belly? Mommy's heart racing? Mommy's argument with daddy?


As a byproduct of my search I found out that lagophthalmos (sleeping with the eyes open) is also possible.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Today's school lunch:

Cold chicken, no jelly-like coagulation.
Cold broccoli showered with some beige sauce
Yellow stew
Packet of furikake (flaky things)
Bowl of rice

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Accidentally squished a computer disk on the way to work this morning.

Avoided the weird lady who grabbed my neck yesterday & said it looked sickly.

Almost finished an anagram puzzle this morning.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Thoroughly enjoying Angela's Ashes.

Meanwhile, here are my favourite proverbs:

All sunshine makes a desert. (Arab)
The ruins of a nation begins in the homes of its people. (Ashanti)
Grumbling & carping are the muscles of the weak. (Afghan)
Copying everyone else all the time, the monkey one day cut his throat. (African)
When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee's house someday. (African)
If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips. (African)
Better a handful of dry dates & be content therewith than to own the Gate of Peacocks and be kicked in the eye by a broody camel. (Arab)
The earth does not shake when the flea coughs. (Austrian)
After 3 days without reading, talk becomes flavourless. (Chinese)
A fire can't be wrapped with paper. (Chinese)
If you don't drive in sleet in the woods singing, you have to drive crying. (Czech)
He who is afraid of asking is ashamed of learning. (Danish)
It's easier to cover our feet with sandals than to cover the earth with carpets. (India)
Only one who does nothing makes a mistake. (French)
When an elephant is in trouble even a frog will kick him. (Hindu)
Everyone is wise until he speaks. (Irish)
To a quick question, give a slow answer. (Italian)
A knife doesn't recognize its owner. (Mongo)
Be diligent when there's time. (Burmese)
Talk to your children while they're eating; what you say will stay even after you are gone. (Nez Perce)
Children & fools tell the truth. (Romania)
The wolf will hire himself out very cheaply as a shepherd. (Russian)
Wisdom can be found travelling. (Sri Lanka)
Go often to the house of a friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path. (Swedish)
Authority is in generosity. (Tumbuka)
A man should live if only to satisfy his curiosity. (Yiddish)
If you can't bite, don't show your teeth. (Yiddish)
Don't be too sweet lest you be eaten up; don't be too bitter lest you be spewed out. (Yiddish)
He who puts up with insult invites injury. (Yiddish)
If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come. (Chinese)
To be praised is to be lost. (Kikuyu, Kenya)
When an elephant combats, it is the grass that suffers. (Kikuyu)
It is better that) trials come to you in the beginning (and you find peace afterwards) than that they come to you at the end.(Luganda, Uganda)
A generous man must eat if he wants to continue being one. (Nilotic)



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