Recently in apropos of nothing Category

River Bed Voyeur Photo...?

Ladies outdoors.

Sunday at Tama River


Chest X-Ray

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A glimpse into the inner workings of Timotarou.

2010/04/07 CR/1 CHEST : 胸部正面(反転)

The BBC reports on a research project examining global online behavior that has found Japanese users to have the fewest friends on social networking sites. Research firm TNS interviewed 50,000 of the world's 801,400,000 internet users (0.006%) to come to their conclusions.

The results could suggest "a culture that embraces fewer but closer friendships," thinks TNS's chief development officer Matthew Froggatt.

More likely it suggests a culture that doesn't embrace online social networking. Just guessing.

Who's a Pirate, Now?

From the Wall Street Journal, it seems the US Federal Court is having some trouble deciding what constitutes piracy.

"Violent attacks on the high seas without lawful authority have always been piracy under the law of nations, in 1819 and today," said the lead prosecutor, Benjamin Hatch, at a pretrial hearing last month.

"So if one ship fires a bow-and-arrow," asked Judge Raymond Jackson, rubbing his brow, "or a slingshot, or a rock, those are all acts of violence, and thus piracy?" The prosecutor nodded.

The public defender, Geremy Kamens, weighed in. "That a slingshot fired upon another ship would expose the defendant to a mandatory life sentence shows the absurd result of this reading," he said. The defense added that under this broad definition, Greenpeace activists could be considered pirates for their anti-whaling antics on the seas.

No, Mr. Kamens, it shows the absurdity of mandatory sentencing. Whether the sprig of mistletoe is thrown at Thor or Baldr, it's still assault, though obviously the result will be different, as should be the consequences.

Don't mess with boats.

The Endless Sauna

It's hot! Hot and humid!

On the way to work this morning, I decided to walk aboveground despite the rain because I thought it might cool me off.


It was like standing in a hot shower with no water pressure.

Enough already!

The Daily Skirt

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Another girl on the train story. I'm seated, riding the local train home, and standing across the aisle with her back to me is a girl in a pink skirt. She's reasonably tall, moreso for wearing heels.

Her skirt has an English newsprint pattern on it, kind of like articles and headlines have been cut out of a broadsheet and pasted facing everywhich way.

It was about halfway through one article when I caught myself and realized I was staring at her butt.

Forget about iPads and Kindles. I know how I want to read my news from now on!

A Footworn Friend

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Earlier this week, there was a girl sitting across from me on the train. When we arrived at Shinjuku, she left the train from the exit on my side. I was about to exit through her side when I noticed a navy blue fabric something-or-other left where where had been seated.

Forgetting something on the train stinks, because even if someone turns it into lost and found, odds are it won't be at the station where you lost it.

Me being the nice guy I am grabbed it and ran out the opposite exit after her. I managed to catch up just before she got onto the escalator and held out the something-or-other. In my panic I was unable to put together a decent sentence in Japanese and said something more or less along the lines of, "Um, this, drop."

She shook her head and waved off me and the something-or-other. I kept walking and put it into my bag, so I wouldn't look any more like a silly foreigner than I already was.

Continuing on my way to work, I wondered what the something-or-other could be. As I already mentioned, it was blue and fabric. It had some pink accents, probably a subtle floral pattern. It was mostly round, but did have a couple flattish parts sticking out the top. Maybe a potpourri sachet or a stuffed bunny, I thought.

After arriving at the office, I stood in my cubicle and pulled the something-or-other out if my bag.

Balled up pair of socks.

Yeah, loosing stuff on the train stinks.


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I've been reading the Freakonomics Blog on the New York Times web site for a couple of years now, and although I enjoy immensely the content produced therein, I had never gotten around to reading the eponymous book which, as the saying goes, "started it all." Well, about three months ago, the original authors released the sequel, Super Freakonomics, and I thought, "What better time than now to get caught up?"

But caught up I did not get. A bit before the publication of Super Freakonomics, out came the paperback version of regular Freakonomics. As nice as hardcover books are, it's tough to pass up the monetary and spatial savings paperbacks offer. Furthermore, if I could forgo reading Freakonomics until it came out in paperback, surely I can manage the same for the sequel. Thus I am now caught up to 2005, and I imagine 2009 will come sometime around 2013.

That is, if I can wait that long. Freakonomics is a really entertaining book, so I'm dying to read the next one. It's an easy read, and each of the six chapters are sized in digestible, bedtime reading portions. I finished the book in a week just that way, a chapter a night before going to sleep.

If you didn't follow the above link to the Freakonomics Blog and have instead made it this far wondering what the whole thing is about, the introduction of the book explains "freakonomics" as "the hidden side of everything." Without an obvious common thread to their topics, the authors tackle such issues as rigged sumo matches, unmotivated real estate agents and the effect of legalized abortion on crime rates. Taking an economist's perspective to these issues reveals startlingly obvious relationships that, while not necessarily applicable to everyday life, teach you, the reader, that sound logic sometimes requires exploring a path not presented readily.

A Nose Hair Story

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As I get older, I've noticed more and more of my nose hairs going rogue and making a break for the outside world.

'I'm free!'

In the past I would make short work of these by yanking them out.

You're outta here!

Which would work for a while...

Much better.

...but has lately become less effective.

'Don't tread on me, man!'

It's a minor annoyance, to be sure, but an annoyance nonetheless. So I figured, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," and grew out my mustache.

Like hiding hay in a haystack.

I like to think it doesn't look bad on me. Of course I need to trim and manage it, but it's way less work than shaving.

But the nose hairs weren't about to fade quietly into the night.

Nope, they got together and worked out the best plan their hairy brains could conceive. "If he can change his image, so can we!"

'Can you see me now?'

Sigh. So now it's back to yanking them.



January 2012

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