What is it with Japanese high-school girl anime and tentacles?
What is it with Japanese high-school girl anime and tentacles?
Every year, the Super Bowl comes around and the mavens in the sports media tell us that it’s the biggest sporting event in the world.
Then every four years, the World Cup comes around and mavens in the sports media tell us that it’s the biggest sporting event in the world.
So which one is it? (Via Beutlerink):
Really, are you going to make me do the math?
Multiply the Super Bowl number by four, and you’re still short by the entire population of North America, where the only people who care about the Super Bowl live. And when you think about it, lots of people in the world don’t have televisions. So the World Cup is a community event where villages gather in front of a lone TV to see what’s going on.
And unlike the Super Bowl, they’re not tuning in just to watch the commercials.
I was in Belgium during the 2006 World Cup, and the city put a huge monitor in the middle of the street near the Bourse (the stock exchange building) downtown and closed off the area to automobile traffic. We roamed the streets with an Italian flag and joined all the Italians after Italy beat France in the final. That year in Paris, they put a big screen on the Eiffel Tower which allowed everyone to see Zidane’s headbutt heard around the world.
In 2010, we were in a restaurant/pub in London watching Spain beat the Netherlands in the final, although the highlight of that tournament was when the U.S. tied England because goalie Robert Green let this get by him. We were watching that match with a bunch of Brits who were ragging us on how badly American asses were going to be kicked. Let’s just say, the Americans were the ones gloating at the end.
Check out this photo gallery at the Washington Post to see how people are watching the World Cup around the globe. This is not how we watch the Super Bow.
The XKCD.com illustration at the right isn’t what I have a hard time with on Geoguessr.
But I seem to spend a good percentage of my time stuck somewhere in Russia and China bombarded with signs that I can’t translate.
Here’s what I do. I land. I do a 360 degree turn. I look for clues: street address, road markers, phone numbers on trucks and buses, business signs.
Eventually, I’ll find something that’s helpful. Then, do a little Internet cross checking, pull up Google maps, figure out how close you can get to the place in the photo using the street view and mark your location on Geoguessr. I can do this almost everywhere in the world.
Except for Russia and China.
Really. I can find my way around a tiny remote island without a problem. The Marshall Islands, the Canary Islands. Anything that has streets off the African coast. Every country seems to include Roman letters in their signage. Even Japan uses various forms of spelling: characters, its own alphabet and Roman letters. It takes a while longer to figure out where you are, but eventually, you can hit the mark.
And, I guess knowing any Romance language will help. If you can read signs in French, you can figure out signs in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. But it’s not essential. I don’t know any Nordic language, but I still can mark where I am.
At least with the Greeks, the letters are close enough that you can work out in your head what the corresponding Roman letter is.
But the Russians and the Chinese rarely provide those clues. Maybe twice, when I’ve found my way to a Russian highway, I see a sign with Roman letters, and then, even when it’s an odd spelling, I’ll figure it out. But that’s rare.
Minutes before I saw the above cartoon, I was on a roll. I zipped through a town in Iowa, a Portuguese island off the coast of Morocco and not far from Stockholm, and got more than 6,000 points on each.
Then I hit Russia. Twice. Game over.
Here the link: http://geoguessr.com/. Give it a shot and see where you end up.
Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor happened 71 years ago today.
When it was over, the death toll was 2,402 American soldiers and sailors and 57 civilians. It was a tactical victory for Japan, but it put America in World War II. And that would lead to the end of Nazi Germany and its Axis allies.
I had a movie preview for “Life in a Day” saved on my computer for some reason, so I checked out the movie listings today to see if it was playing locally. Nope.
I figured I could go to a place that sells DVDs and buy it. Nope.
Now I see it’s on YouTube, free of charge.
This is a look at the world on July 24, 2010. Just a normal day on the planet.
Foreign Policy magazine put up a fascinating listing last month ranking failed states, or nations on the brink of collapse. There are a number of stories on why states are failing (Somalia clocks in at No. 1) and details on the nations in decline.
Here’s a chart based on data from fundforpeace.org on the states in critical condition and practically destined to fail compared with the United States (click to enlarge):
The scary part of this is that the U.S. isn’t even the most stable nation in the world. We come in at No. 159. According to the Foreign Policy ranking, the most stable nation on the planet is Finland. Its rank is 177.
The entire Foreign Policy package is worth reading. But be prepared. There are many graphic details on how bad things really are. Some people really do live in Hell.
Seriously? We haven’t done anything in Canada or Mexico? In Mexico’s case, doesn’t the War on Drugs count? It’s right there in the title. We’re at war. Mexico supplies drugs.
Anybody have any idea what we could have been doing in Australia? Everywhere else seems to make sense, but what secrets could koalas and kangaroos have been hiding?
(A little research, and it looks like it had something to do with influencing an election during Nixon’s term in retaliation for the Aussie PM’s opposition to the Vietnam War. Learn something new every day.)
Via Informed Comment.
How many continents are there?
Since we’ve determined the number, let’s take a minute to “Move” across a few:
No matter where you stand on the subject of nuclear energy, you have to keep in mind that when something goes seriously wrong, there are extremely brave people who are aware that as they take action to stop a disaster, they are exposing themselves to lethal doses of radiation.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail had a story last week on the Fukushima 50: a group of workers who stayed behind to get control of the situation. There are more people involved now, but many of these people will die because they put the lives of others before their own.
The Fukushima Fifty – an anonymous band of lower and mid-level managers – have battled around the clock to cool overheating reactors and spent fuel rods since the disaster on March 11.
Five are believed to have already died and 15 are injured while others have said they know the radiation will kill them.
The original 50 brave souls were later joined by 150 colleagues and rotated in teams to limit their exposure to the radiation spewing from over-heating spent fuel rods after a series of explosions at the site. They were today joined by scores more workers.
Japan has rallied behind the workers with relatives telling of heart-breaking messages sent at the height of the crisis.
A woman said her husband continued to work while fully aware he was being bombarded with radiation. In a heartbreaking email, he told his wife: ‘Please continue to live well, I cannot be home for a while.’
One girl tweeted in a message translated by ABC: ‘My dad went to the nuclear plant, I’ve never seen my mother cry so hard. People at the plant are struggling, sacrificing themselves to protect you. Please dad come back alive.’