Tuesday 30 June 2015
Friday 26 June 2015
Wednesday 24 June 2015
Monday 22 June 2015
Some "creative non-fiction" about lives lived in Laos, etc.
"I remember one guy who had been living 'in character' quite thoroughly, even using a false name along the lines of Jack Smith. He presented himself regularly at the fruit-juice shop downstairs from my apartment in Vientiane, making a consistent effort to hit on the waitress there. He was always 'dressed up' by the standards of a third-world, tropical country, in a nondescript shirt and tie. In Laos, the long-sleeve dress shirt was a mark of distinction for a foreigner: it signaled that the man wearing it was not a tourist, and perhaps even had a job. Simply not being a tourist moved a man from the category of a possible short-term affair into consideration as marriage material."
Saturday 20 June 2015
In an earlier post on this blog (click), I drew attention to the peculiar fact that the Japanese court system finds so few people not guilty that the acquittal rate seemingly cannot be measured as a percentage (secondary sources reported 99.9% conviction-rates, etc.). However, I wasn't satisfied until I'd seen breakdown of the categories used by the Japanese government, as it wasn't clear to what extent "not guilty" (in an informal sense) might overlap with other categories in the data. In Canada's case (as noted in my earlier blog-post) a very low rate of acquittal is counterbalanced to some extent by a significant number of cases "dismissed, stayed or withdrawn" (i.e., the later category is not equivalent to being acquitted, but it helps to explain the low rate of cases found "not guilty", as the Canadian system tends to dismiss cases in mid-trial). Could that be the case for Japan? No, evidently not.
The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5LyxuKy-GU
This was recorded on a day when I woke up at 5:30 AM, and wrote a Japanese test at 8:30. I didn't do very well on the test, either.
Thursday 18 June 2015
How many people (alive, in 2015) can read enough basic Pali to get the "punchline" at the bottom of this image? Worse, is anyone counting?
Friday 5 June 2015
If you only have two minutes to spend on the subject, that link will take you to the moment in Edward Vajda's lecture when he makes the (inevitable) comparison between Stalin's policy of assimilation (through residential schools) and what unfolded in Canada.
Of course, if you have more than two minutes, the rest of the lecture is, also, worth hearing.