I dare say, I have a bone to pick with Hollywood. Thanks to having watched the movie Proof of Life once upon a time, I’ve made myself irrationally paranoid about my trip to Costa Rica this weekend. Even though kidnappings there are rare, according to everything I’ve read, I can’t shake the anxiety it’s causing. So, if I do go, and nothing happens, hopefully I’ll be over it. And if something does happen, perhaps my fear wasn’t so irrational after all?
A NY Times story this weekend discusses what the writers say is “commonplace” sexual abuse throughout Japan. While I have no idea of the accuracy of the article, the anecedote from a Parliment speaker certainly doesn’t help convince me otherwise.
Speaking at a public symposium, a member of Parliament, Seiichi Ota, recently made light of reports of gang rapes at a Tokyo university. “Boys who commit group rape are in good shape,” Mr. Ota said. “I think they are rather normal. Whoops, I shouldn’t have said that.” (The legislator’s comments were carried in many Japanese newspapers.)
I have heard many tales of public fondling of women by strangers, particularly on crowded trains. This was, in fact, included in the secton on Women Travelers in my Lonely Planet guide. I did also read an article some time ago about there being “Women Only” train cars on certain lines, and that there are many instances of men using their mini-cameras and camera phones for voyeuristic purposes.
I still love visiting, but this behavior comes off as childish…
Damn you, Cablevision, for jacking up the rates on my Optimum Online $10/month. I like your service, but if I can switch to one of the cheaper DSL services, you betcha I will.
For anyone wondering what’s become of the Iraqi Information Minister since the US reached Baghdad, he has recently resurfaced. As it turns out, the US authorities weren’t too interested in him, as he turned himself in and was then released. But, like any good public official, he’s already at work on a book…
It’s amazing how powerful photos can be, especially those that aren’t of a journalistic nature. Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger, has begun posting some of his own photos. I would recommend them, they’re worth a look, and they provide a different feel from mainstream media of what life is like in Baghdad.
I’m fully immersed now in the latest Harry Potter book, having reached page 650 or thereabouts by the time I gave up and crashed last night. With only a little more than 200 pages to go, I can’t wait to finish it. J.K. Rowling has some fantastic lines and scenes, as always, such as Dumbledore’s escape and Harry’s scenes with Cho. I love, too, the love advice of Hermoine.
Unfortunately, the one aspect of reading the books that I haven’t enjoyed is the movies. As I’m reading them, I find my own mental characterizations and settings intwined with that of the two movies. While I did enjoy the movies, I’m not enjoying the effect they’re having on my reading of the books. I don’t necessarily agree with all the representations from the book, and while I do believe that the adult characters were cast well, I don’t much enjoy their impressions tresspassing on my thoughts. It’s quite distracting, really…
Oh, and why does it seem she constantly end her sentences with “…”…? It’s amazing… It felt as though whole paragraphs appeared to never end with a definitive period… It does help maintain the pace somewhat…but it can start feeling distracting as well… There is such a thing as overboard, after all…
Talk about sleazy behavior. A few weeks ago, Virginia Tech was willing to sue the ACC over its plans to “poach” Miami, Syracuse, and BC from the Big East conference. Now, with it appearing likely that VT will be invited to join, we get the following quote:
Steger said afterward that the ACC still has not formally invited Virginia Tech to join, but that if an offer came, “we would be inclined to accept it.”
Slate has a fascinating Explainer today about the methods of creating paint bombs.
I did finally book my airfare to Hong Kong. Now I’ll have a destination for Labor Day weekend.
Yippee!!! 9700 miles each way AND 25 hours of sitting in airports. =P
I’m now accepting odds on a Supreme Court retirement at the end of the current term. This article, like one of many I’ve read recently, speculates on a potential retirement this summer of a Supreme Court Justice. However, a recent article on CNN, with a key fact buried in the article, leads me to believe that this is now unlikely.
The court is holding a special session in September to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the 2002 law, which bans corporate, union and unlimited contributions to national party committees and restricts advertising by a range of interest groups.
With a special session held outside its regular term, which begins in October, on a topic as important (to the politicians, at least) as Campaign Finance reform, I am hard-pressed to believe anyone plans on retiring. And with the regular term beginning a short time thereafter, there wouldn’t be sufficient time for the lengthy confirmation battles expected.
So, my bet is against a retirement in the near future.
This is the kind of article that the GOPpers hold up as examples of liberal bias in the media. In finding quotes regarding reactions to the Michigan SCOTUS rulings, they were able to locate six delectable sound bites on how wonderful the decision upholding the law school admissions policy is, yet they could not locate one straight dissenter who makes the opposite argument. No one would go on record as saying that “Only when minorities are admitted solely on their merits, and not because of any boosts due to prior harm, will we have a truly integrated society” or some such line? Regardless of my personal opinion, I have to admit I’m disappointed with the article. Hopefully a future draft will correct this.