I’m still alive…

22 01 2008

I’m very sorry that I haven’t posted in a long time. At school, everyone wants a piece of my time, and it has been hard trying to get all my priorities straight. I promise you that from this day forward you will get at least one post from me per week if not more. I have a lot of great things to talk to you guys about so stay tuned!

Hey, do you think I should buy this Buff Monster print? I have been debating it for a while. There are only 50 prints so I think the $40 asking price is reasonable.


About 40% of Japanese Men Sit To Tinkle

19 12 2007

Photo from Flickr; The amount of adult Japanese men who admitted to sitting while peeing has grown from 15 percent in 1999 to now 49 percent, according to Fuji TV. Image from Japan Probe

As I have said before, newspapers do not have to worry about disappearing in the digital age because many blog posts stem from news articles. This is the case with this awesome nugget of little known Japanese fact. Mainichi Daily News reported that about 40 percent of adult Japanese men sit on the toilet to urinate, according to a survey done by Matsushita Electric Works Ltd., a manufacturer of Western-style toilets.

The survey, which was conducted with 518 men as well as 518 women, shows that mothers and wives encourage the men in their families to sit down so as to avoid unnecessary spraying and urine cleanup. I guess we know who wears the pants in those households. Since 1999, the number of Japanese men who sit to do number 1 has skyrocketed. Matsushita started designing toilets with larger holes years ago to accommodate male sitters.

The number of men sitting while peeing is probably larger than what Matsushita is reporting. Not all men probably want to admit to the habit because they fear that they would appear feminine. Japan Probe was one of the first blogs to post about the article. They also included interesting graphics and a video from Fuji TV news, who did a report on the findings.

Read more after the jump!

Bill Gates is the New Chairman Mao

18 09 2007

From: Wired.com Photo credit: Leander Kahney

I’m making a critical but common Western mistake by grouping all Asians together with a post about China in a Japanese culture blog, but I always jump at the chance to relate recent news to what I can remember from history class. Wired.com, a frequent online stop for me, featured a very interesting article today about Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates being the most popular leader in China since Chairman Mao.

Some excerpts from the article:

“Chairman Mao was the great symbol of revolutionary China, but Bill Gates has become the new idol of youths across China,” said a researcher with China’s ministry of propaganda. “Gates has become more popular in China than any government leader.”

“I read about Bill Gates before I had ever even seen a computer,” said Dong Ruidong, who abandoned his rural village for the bright lights and cybercafes of the Chinese capital. “Even in the remotest villages of China, Gates is one of the most popular figures alive.”

The Chinese edition of Gates’ The Road Ahead “was one of the most successful books in our history,” said Wang Mingzhou, who edited the Chinese edition. It is “among the most important works published since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.”

“Bill Gates deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize,” said the Chinese propaganda officer. “He gives people across the globe not only material help, but also inspiration that if they work very, very hard, they might one day become more important than a president.”

It’s funny how the researcher from the ministry of propaganda describes Chairman Mao as “the great symbol of revolutionary China,” the same Mao who closed all the schools to let youth gangs run the streets and betray their friends and family; who purged anyone who opposed him or his ideas of revolution; who ordered the destruction of priceless Chinese artifacts and caused national mayhem and confusion for years. Now Gates is being pumped as some kind of digital messiah. I guess some things never change. The Little Red Book is now replaced by The Road Ahead (exaggeration).


To be fair, Gates is sharing the wealth by providing computers to rural China and donating 1/50th of the proceeds from student Microsoft package sales to governments buying computers for kids K-12. He wants to bridge the digital divide and while he is at it beat competitors in an untapped market that just happens to consist of 1.3 billion citizens, nine tenths of which don’t have personal computers. Gates is a genius.

Kudos to Kevin Holden for an all in all creative and informative article.

Here is the Congressional testimony on “The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?” given by Microsoft’s Jack Krumholtz

Check out Son of the Revolution by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro (it’s a really good book!) for more information on China’s Great Cultural Revolution (I sound like PBS)