I'll put up stuff about my Tokyo adventure when I get round to it. Take a look at some clean toilets in Tokyo.
Zangelding - much ado about nothing.
My break is over, and normal service will resume shortly. Needless to say, I have had a good time in Tokyo.
On a lighter note, I really like this lovely Zen garden.
I just had to post these because they made me so angry. Both links are from The Independent. I'll let the stories speak for themselves :-
'Shot down in search of the American dream.' 'The body of Eusebio De Haro was sent back from Texas in a sky blue casket last Friday. A rancher's bullet had struck the 22-year-old in the groin, and he bled to death on the roadside while an elderly American couple, instead of phoning an ambulance, called in the county authorities to deal with the nuisance of trespassers.'
'UN envoy is sent to investigate Rio Grande shootings by posses of vigilante ranchers.' 'The United Nations has opened an investigation into the spate of vigilante killings of migrants crossing Mexico's border with the USA. A senior UN investigator is being dispatched to the harsh border country close to where a 74-year-old rancher has been charged with killing a Mexican he found on his land.'
OK, just one more link ;) :-
An excellent guide to flame warriors.
Enjoy! I really am off now.
It's time for the Nutlog to take a bit of a break. I will be updating again in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, please check out some of the fine websites I have linked to at the top of this page. I particularly recommend the Hunger Site, the Rainforest Site, and Ellen's presents. Other sites which are well worth your time are NASA's astronomy picture of the day, Dilbert, the Full Deck (a current affairs and humour site, including such gems as haiku headlines and limerick leaders), Poetry Daily, Olive and Eric (a true World War 2 love story and a piece of social history), Buddha Mind, Ancient World News, and weblogs.com (for many many weblogs).
Birth of an island.
Gnome Liberation Front strikes anew. Good for them. I'm all for rights for garden gnomes. Actually, it's not that new, but I like the GLF.
The world's only life-sized Neko Bus.
The Aberdeen Bestiary Project has a gorgeous medieval picture of an elephant and a serpent.
Some nice Diego Rivera murals. I have a Diego Rivera page too.
The Yomiuri reports that Japan, Britain and Germany are to introduce a reciprocal working holiday programme enabling young British and German people to live and work in Japan for a certain period, and young Japanese people to live and work in the UK and Germany. What a nice idea.
BBC - 'Storm over cross-border love.' 'A Bangladeshi Muslim youth has taken refuge in one of the many Bangladeshi enclaves that juts into India, with a Hindu woman believed to be his fiancee. '
The Times of India writes about India's beauty queens. True fact - I used to house-share with a lady who chaperoned Miss World contestants once a year. The year I was there, one of her chaperone-ees was Miss India, who went on to become Miss World! I even spoke to her on the phone once! *swoon!*
The Astronomer Royal asks, 'Are we alone?'
Are you a Martian?
Aspects of American society that may be new to you. Via the Daily Doozer.
'You may find that American students smile easily and are not hesitant to talk, but this is not an automatic commitment to friendship. In this mobile society where Americans are taught to be self-reliant, friendships are often transitory and established to meet personal needs at a certain time.'
The American concept of friendship is one of the things about America it was hardest for me to come to terms with. It is no easier to make a friend in America than anywhere else; in many ways, probably rather less so.
'In the U.S., it is the custom to appear at the exact time set for an appointment or a social engagement...'
I disagree with this, actually. Or at least I think it is a generalisation, certainly when applied to Americans from the South or outside the major cities.
Other aspects of American society which surprised or even shocked me were the emphasis on literal interpretations of religion, and on patriotism. A significant minority of Americans interpret Genesis literally, and reject Darwinian notions of evolution and geological time; this can be a tricky subject in certain circles, and seems especially strange in a country which produces such a high proportion of the world's great scientists. It can also be difficult to appreciate how different the perspective of a foreigner can be. Personally, I suspect that this is reflected in the sometimes rather Manichean world view of US foreign policy makers. Some Americans consider the national flag to be a quasi-religious symbol and there was a recent attempt to ban its desecration. (This might seem unthinkable to many British people, but it's also worth noting the importance to which Ulster Unionists, for example, attach to national symbols).
A guide to FurryMUCK. FurryMUCK is a Multiple User Chat Kingdom (like a MUD but more social) where most of the players adopt the personae of furry animals. It's also very very very large, with a lot to explore.
Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.
BBC - 'Friendly children more moral.'
BBC - 'Award for oldest learner, 107.'
Dirty toilets in Tokyo.
Best places to live. US locations only. If I were living in the US, it says I'd most like to live in San Francisco or Boston. It would be nice if there were a similar test for worldwide locations... hmmm. Via Andrea's Weblog.
The Brunching Shuttlecocks - ratings for 1999.
Farewells to John Gielgud and Barbara Cartland.
Shin Buddhism. Lots of good links.
Also Pure Land mandala. Some of them are rather beautiful.
Threadnaught has opened a useful Britblog portal.
The Daily Doozer has redesigned. Looks good, IMHO.
Dharma the Cat.
'Phone-free zones for British trains' according to the Sunday Express. No bad thing at all, that.
Unwritten London Underground etiquette. Via Not So Soft, with whom I appear to share a dislike of people who don't let passengers off the train before they get on. I also dislike people who take up two seats with their shopping and people who won't move down carriages but instead cram in between doors. One of the most depressing sights in London (and that's really saying something) is watching two grown men elbow-wrestling over an armrest on the tube. Grr.
I've decided to start a Sierra Leone portal.
Today I'm trying to figure out what is going on with the conflict in Sierra Leone.
These are the links I've been looking at :-
BBC background coverage.
Sierra Leone Web.
UN Mission in Sierra Leone.
Human Rights Watch - Sierra Leone.
I think what I find most confusing about Sierra Leone is the almost complete lack of any attempt by the rebels to provide any ideological justification for their actions. The war really does seem to be all about diamonds.