20050406

 

18:30  Well, work started today with a meeting, prep for the pamphlet that’ll be given to freshmen, and some prep for my classes. It wasn’t too brutal, as I even was able to take my time for my morning coffee, and lunch. Today was pretty warm (first day of the year I’m not wearing a hat, and with my bald head, you know...), and I went to buy what I hope is one of the last canister of kerosene for this year. Here in Japan, electricity is so expensive that most people use kerosene heaters to warm up their places. At this time of year, kerosene usually starts to be less expensive, but this year prices are going up . The good news is winter is over, and I hate it (have I shared that with you before?), or any environment that is below 20 degrees, for that matter.

 

A typical red kerosene canister.

I’ve never seen one that wasn’t red!!!

 

A typical household kerosene heater.

Boy, I had fun trying to figure out how it worked...

 

...the FIRST TIME I saw one.

“Gee, I wonder what that big red button is for?” BOOOOOM!

 

I also started watching the Cherry Blossom Front forecast, which is crucial in planning any “hanami” party. Japanese have detailed localized info, i.e. the blossoming situation in each prefecture, which is color-coded and represented by icons for ALL the parks famous for “hanami” (here’s a list of the famous parks in Miyagi prefecture – the one I plan to have this year’s party at is number 14 from the top).

 

つぼみ

咲き始め

5分咲き

7分咲き

満開

散り始め

葉桜

つぼみ

Buds

咲き始め

Started to bloom

五分咲き

Half

bloomed

七分咲き

70% bloomed

満開

In full

bloom

散り始め

Started to fall

葉桜

Post

blossom

 

 

Today I read an article on the BBC explaining that some scientists believe there could be more earth-like planets than previously thought. No shit, genius! Considering the sheer size of the big-ass universe we live in (also see Great Wall – no, not the one in China – and large-scale structure of the cosmos), you don’t need a PhD in astrophysics, or the Drake Equation to understand that. I know, I know, some of you will say: “If there’s so much life out there, where are the aliens?”, (a.k.a. the Fermi Paradox) Well, there’s actually quite a few theories to explain the inconspicuousness of aliens, and my favorite is definitely the “Zoo” hypothesis. But then again, I’ve always been a Star Trek fan, he,he,he...

 

Dude, it’s a big-ass universe!

“Live long and prosper. Except for those two stupid English scientists. Aw, what the hell, screw all of you, primitive bipeds who can’t even hold their hand like this without positioning their fingers with the help of the other hand. That’s precisely why we need the Prime Directive, you bunch of apes... Unless one of you can fetch me a beer, right now. And I’ll take the blond with the g-string over there, too. And...”

 

 

 

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