Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Zealand / Hongi , Maori greeting

A Hongi is a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand, says Wikipedia. It is done by pressing one's nose to another person at an encounter.

It is still used at traditional meetings among members of the Māori people and on major ceremonies.

In the hongi (traditional greeting), the ha or breath of life is exchanged and intermingled.

See similar greetings among Europeans (kissing on both cheeks), other Polynesians and Eskimos.

Award-winning movie Whale Rider presents a drama based on the Maori culture of New Zealand

Whale Rider is a 2002 film directed by Niki Caro, based on the 1987 novel The Whale Rider by New Zealand Māori author Witi Ihimaera. The world premiere was on September 9, 2002, at the Toronto International Film Festival, says Wikipedia.

Themes of the movie include
- the struggle of minority cultures to keep traditions alive
- conflict faced by women in a male-dominated culture
- struggle of children whose parents are not participating in their daily lives
- exploration of the culture of Oceania (the south Pacific islands)
- tradition vs. westernized, contemporary culture

Maori actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, star of Whale Rider

Keisha Castle-Hughes (born 24 March 1990) is a New Zealand film actress who rose to prominence playing Paikea "Pai" Apirana, in the successful (2002) film Whale Rider, says Wikipedia. She was cast in the film as "Pai Apirana" at age eleven. Whale Rider not only established Castle-Hughes as a Hollywood actress but the New Zealand film was nominated for many awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress of which she was the youngest female nominated in the Best Actress category and a award at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Actress, which she won in 2004.

Since she made her film debut, Castle-Hughes has appeared in various films including Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger (2008). She also appeared as the main character, playing the role of the Virgin Mary, in the film The Nativity Story in (2006).

Poi juggling, or spinning, is a worldwide fashion that originates with the Maori of New Zealand

Originally uploaded by parishpics
Poi is a form of juggling or object manipulation employing a ball suspended from a length of flexible material, says Wikipedia, held in hand and swung in circular patterns, said to resemble club-twirling. Poi spinning originated with the Māori people of New Zealand (poi means "ball" in Māori) as a means to develop flexibility, strength and coordination - particularly dexterity of the wrist - and as an exercise of movements central to the use of hand weapons, including the patu, mere, and kotiate, a violin-shaped club.

In Maori culture, the discipline of poi evolved into a traditional performance art practiced primarily by women. The art includes storytelling and singing choreographed to poi routines, and developed in conjunction with others disciplines - such as waiata a ringa, haka, and titi torea - included in kapa haka performances.[citation needed] Contemporary poi has built upon the Māori discipline, combining spinning arts from around the world.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ring of Fire - Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics, reading comprehension & The Ring of Fire
Reading in the World Geography text or sources such as Wikipedia

1. Geologists believe the history of the earth spans some ___ years.
2. Nickel and iron soup: components of the earth’s __.
3. A thick pudding of iron and nickel: the __ __.
4. If you drape a beautifully decorated cloth over the shoulders of a priest, it is called a mantle. Explain how the earth’s geologic term, “mantle,” parallels this meaning. (one sentence)
5. The earth’s crust is made of flour, water, salt and rock. T / F
6. The crust varies in flavor. The seaweed crust is some __ miles thick. The baked crust is often about __ miles thick.
7. Why do you and I not agree with the text in regards the surface of the planet? We believe the earth is covered with trees, not seawater. Why do we believe this (go with me on this one, ok?) to be true? (one sentence)
8. Meantime, according to your text, what percentage of earth is not covered with water?
9. The largest continental mass?
10. How do you spell the “difference in elevation” on the land’s surface?
11. It’s called magma sometimes and lava at other times. What is it and why the dif?
12. Would you rather live near a fault or a fold in the earth’s crust?
Explain a fold.
13. The earth’s crust and the upper layer of mantle makes up the ___. “Lith” refers to rock and “sphere” refers to the ______.
14. Do the earth’s plates move Toward each other or Apart from each other?
15. Write down the etymology of the term Pangaea.
16. Would you call the 180 million years since continental drift began an extremely ancient earth phenomenon or relatively recent one? Explain by giving one additional measurement.
17. Explain the use of fossil evidence in the continental drift theory.
(one sentence)
18. A split in the earth’s crust is called a __.
19. Scientists believe in the theory of seafloor spreading. T / F
20. How do the earth’s crustal plates get the power to move?
21. If thermal energy is involved, what’s the source of the tectonic heat?
22. Sketch the platal dance that occurs when continental crust meets the oceanic crust.
23. In the case of the Andes Mtns., what’s ironic about subduction?
24. When continental plates collide, what is the result?
25. Which plates created the Himalayas?

Locations that are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire region, Y (yes) or N (no):
26. Philippines
27. Hawaii
28. Mexico
29. Chile
30. Bering Strait
31. Mt Vesuvius
32. Tasmania
33. Alaska
34. Indonesia
35. China
36. Ecuador
37. The Nazca Plate and the South American plate: a) subduction b) spreading
38. The San Andreas zone: a) converging b) faulting.
39. “Hot spots” in the mantle are associated with a) archipelagos
b) geysers c) mitosis.


1. Earth span: 4.6 billion years. Did you wonder how this estimate was generated?
2. Nickel & iron soup: outer core. What’s the composition of nickel?
Why nickel & iron?
3. Nickel & iron pudding: inner core.
4. The mantle is a robe draped over the core.
5. True. Why not?
6. seaweed: 5 miles “down.” baked crust: 20 miles deep. Surprised?
7. Local observation: when we observe local terrain it is tree rich. No seawater round here, yet.
8. About 30% not watery.
9. Eurasia is largest. It’s bigger than Texas.
10. r-e-l-i-e-f.
11. Magma, lava: molten rock inside or outside the crust.
12. Neither. A fold is when a stratum of rock is bent or curved by huge force. The Appalachians are folds. There are upfolds (assoc w petroleum & coal deposits), or domes, and downfolds, or depressions.
13. lithosphere: crust & mantle. globe.
14. Both.
15. pan, “across” or “all,” and gaia, “earth.”
16. Recent compared to 4.6 billion years of history.
17. Fossils are the same in separated plates, proving a historic closeness (an example: tapir fossils found in the ice of Antarctica as well as Chile & Argentina at the southern tip of South America).
18. split: rift.
19. True, re seafloor spreading. Proven by photos taken by remote-controlled submarines.
20. Thermal energy or convection.
21. Thermal: decaying organic matter.
22. Subduction: coastal crust folds under the continental.
23. Subduction assoc with the opposite: mountain formation.
24. Plates collide: converging or faulting. Violence.
25. Indo-Australian plate vs. the Eurasian plate: Himalayas.
26. Philippines: Y
27. Hawaii: Y
28. Mexico: Y
29. Chile: Y
30. Bering Strait: Y
31. Vesuvius: N
32. Tasmania: N
33. Alaska: Y
34. Indonesia: Y
35. China: Y
36. Ecuador: Y
37. Nazca plate & S. Am. plate: subduction
38. San Andreas: faulting
39. Hot spots: a) archipelagos b) geysers and c) mitosis.
40. Most critical hydrologic issue of the ArkLaTex? hydrology, or water supply

Possibility . . .
Skits on the Ring of Fire (3 mins max presentation)
Objective: explain the overall nature of the Pacific Ring of Volcanoes and tectonic plates. Be explanatory and imaginative.
Use map on board in the script.
Skit-writing groups based on each row.
Script material to be recited will be written on index cards. Each person must speak at least twice.
Please integrate 5 key words & explanations (ex: crust, rinf of fire, etc) from the vocabulary list. Make sure they are defined, even if informally.
One person may make a graphic - a poster - to announce the skit.
8 pts- 4 for script quality; 4 for performance.

Australia and Egypt: the art of the comparison essay

Comparison essay: please use class notes on Egypt and Australia (according to Robert Trudeau ...) as well as Infoplease profiles.
1) Jazzy title / explanatory subtitle.
2) Colorful opening
3) Use comparison words such as “larger than,” “less than half as much,” “opposite direction,” etc.
4) Document at the end of the second sentence.
5) Do not separate the material; blend the two topics.

From the Land of Oz to the Gift of the Nile: a comparison of Australia and Egypt

The pyramids and sphinx symbolically guard the high status of Egyptian history. The Aborigines of Australia, however, have no such monuments. Both peoples might be called ancient desert dwellers. But the Egyptians have the world’s most spectacular early history.

Today, however, the status of the two nations has seen a switcheroo. The land of the digeridoo was taken over by Europeans 300 years ago. They have made Australia a wealthy land. The per capita income of Australia is $24,000, according to The people of Egypt take in less than $4000 on the average. That’s less than 20% of the Aussie average.

Undoubtedly connected to the low per capita income is the contrast in literacy. Egypt has a 51% rate of reading and writing. The Australians claim twice the level of achievement at 100%. Another economic indicator: the Egyptians have almost twice the unemployment of the Australians, at 12% and 7%.

While mining is king in Australia, textiles seem to be paramount in Egypt. Beyond these activities there are industries the two have in common, such as food processing and chemicals.

Both nations show little ethnic diversity; they are homogeneous in regards race and religion. Egypt is mostly Egyptian and Muslim. Australia is mostly European and Christian.

Egypt is crowded: there are 75 million people living beside the Nile. Australia is the opposite: the 20 million people there live on a continent 7 times the size of Egypt. Another example of being crowded: Cairo is one of the world’s most populous cities with almost 16 million. Sydney, however, is one-fourth its size at 4 million. Additionally, the Egyptian growth rate is twice that of Australia.

An appropriate technological index of the progress of nations might be the cell phone. The Egyptians lag behind the Australians by less than half a million phones to some 9 million cellular units in use, according to figures gathered in 1999 and 2000.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Project: map of the Land Down Under, or terra australis incognita

Uluru Dream Sunset
Originally uploaded by damian_white
Technologically advanced and industrialised, Australia is a prosperous multicultural country, says Wikipedia, and has excellent
health care,
life expectancy,
human development,
public education,
economic freedom, and the
protection of civil liberties and political rights.[10]
Australian cities also routinely rank among the world´s highest in terms of livability, cultural offerings, and quality of life.

Step one is to get acquainted with the map of this appealing nation.
Please sketch a colorful map in your notebook and notate the following:

- Sydney
- Perth
- Brisbane
- Canberra
- Cairns

- Uluru (Ayer's Rock) / Alice Springs
- the Outback / major deserts
- Great Barrier Reef

- Indian Ocean
- Coral Sea
- Pacific

- Tasmania
- Indonesia
- New Guinea
- New Zealand

Climate change review: 10 questions

Aseana gardens, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
1. The world’s most pivotal nation in regards growth, consumption of power and immediate needs for power is
a) US b) China c) Russia d) Japan.
2. The huge amounts of energy and heat needed to produce __ make this commodity one of the major factors in climate change: a) cement b) steel c) beef d) aluminum.
3. The earth’s population is currently estimated at a) 300 billion b) 600 billion c) 6.5 trillion d) 6.5 billion.
4. In Asia the natural water towers - storing vast water supplies during the wet season and meting it out during the dry season - are the Himalaya’s a) mountain peaks
b) glaciers c) terrain d) rivers.
5. Current climate change trends indicate that sea levels will be a) rising b) falling c) stormy d) carbon dioxide.
6. America’s electrical power grid is primarily supplied by the force of a) coal b) hydroelectric c) petroleum d) solar and wind.
7. The Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels such as the oil, coal and auto industries, led a public relations campaign against the idea that heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming. T / F
8. Abbreviated rice harvests, aquifers spolied by seawater and islands subsiding below oceans: __ __ will be among the regions worst affected by global warming, say experts quoted by the NY Times. a) Southwest Asia b) Southeast Asia c) South America d) Southern Africa.
9. Not among the rivers fed by the glaciers of the Himalayan range: a) Ganges b) Yangtze c) Amazon
d) Indus.
10. This nation’s population will continue to grow so rapidly that by 2030 it will be called the world’s most populous nation: a) India b) China c) Indonesia d) Africa.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Unit on Australia and New Zealand based on Maori movie "Whale Rider"

Whale Rider
Originally uploaded by -Kerryn-
Digital report comparing the Aborigine culture of Australia and the Maori culture of New Zealand:

* 6 images on 6 "pages" - 3 of Australia, 3 of New Zealand
* brief, bulleted items (please edit assiduously) on
- demographics & economy
- history
- indigenous culture

5 pts.
File in Google Docs. Due Wed.

Notes on "Heat," PBS / Frontline report on climate change' open notes quiz on Tues

Quiz on notes on Climate Change includes these notes as well as 2 articles from the NY Times which follow. 10 mult-choice questions on Tues. Also includes 3 or 4 questions on notes on Japanese cuisine.

“Heat” / PBS climate change overview

Earth population is now 6.5 billion!

Glaciers are water towers.
More water attracts more settlers. Throws eco system out of balance.
Nearly half world pop depends on water from Himalaya glaciers.
These rivers are fed by the Himalayas: Ganges, Indus, Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong.

“Some rivers will no longer flow year round.”
Millions will suffer lack of adequate water.
Conflicts between neighbor nations over water are inevitable.
Sea levels rising.
Co2 creates vast dead zones in bays and the ocean. Deserts expanding. Freq droughts. Storms more violent.

Some climate change may not be reversible.

Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases is a priority. Carbon dioxide.
Coal is the platform upon which America’s great electrical system is based. 52% of the US electricity is from coal.
Great pools of petroleum have also given the US decades of cheap power.

Yet CO2 emissions from burning coal and from vehicle emissions are exacerbating greenhouse effect.

China opens 2 new coal-powered electric plants each week. Enormous demand for power. Controlling CO2 pollution is secondary to profit.

India will surpass China in population by 2030.

Cement making is 3rd largest contrib to CO2 emissions.
Energy and heat needed to cook the limestone into dry powder.

Western model of growth is toxic. Uses energy, resources, creates waste.
150 years of progress and pollution in western, developed nations.

Global climate treaties unable to be agreed upon. US offers 1st compromise at UN Conf in Bali, Indonesia.

Essential economic engine of our lives is Fossil Fuels.

Coal shipments make up 1/2 of the US train taffic. Wyoming is big source. “World’s largest conveyor belt.” Coal trains to east and South.
AEP biggest carbon emission source in US.
600 coal-powered plants in US. “We don’t see the coal being burned. We don’t think about where elec comes from.”
52% of US elec power is coal-produced.

Indie work:
- Brief comparison of nuclear power vs coal power for generating electricity

Swine Flu basics from Wikipedia

Originally uploaded by johnmuk
Main symptoms of swine flu in humans.[16]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the symptoms and transmission of the swine flu from human to human is much like seasonal flu, commonly fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.[17] It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth.[18] The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.[19]

The swine flu is susceptible to four drugs licensed in the United States, amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir, however, for the 2009 outbreak it is recommended it be treated with oseltamivir and zanamivir.[20] The vaccine for the human seasonal H1N1 flu does not protect against the swine H1N1 flu, even if the virus strains are the same specific variety, as they are antigenically very different.[2

Main article: 2009 swine flu outbreak
Sister project Wikinews has related news: At least 71 deaths in Mexico 'likely linked' to swine flu outbreak

In March and April 2009, more than 1,000 cases of swine flu in humans were detected in Mexico, and more than 80 deaths are suspected to have a connection with the virus. The Mexican fatalities are said to be mainly young adults, a hallmark of pandemic flu.[26] Following a series of reports of isolated cases of swine flu,[27][28] the first announcement of the outbreak in Mexico was documented on April 23, 2009.

The origins of the new Swine Influenza Virus SIV-H1N1 strain remain unknown. One theory is that Asian and European strains traveled to Mexico in migratory birds or in people, then combined with North American strains in Mexican pig factory farms before jumping over to farm workers.[29] The Mexican health agency acknowledged that the original disease vector of the virus may have been flies multiplying in manure lagoons of pig farms near Perote, Veracruz, owned by Granjas Carroll,[30] a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.[31]

Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate, says NY Times

Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate
Published: April 23, 2009

For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.
“The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue.

But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

The coalition was financed by fees from large corporations and trade groups representing the oil, coal and auto industries, among others. In 1997, the year an international climate agreement that came to be known as the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, its budget totaled $1.68 million, according to tax records obtained by environmental groups.

Throughout the 1990s, when the coalition conducted a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign challenging the merits of an international agreement, policy makers and pundits were fiercely debating whether humans could dangerously warm the planet. Today, with general agreement on the basics of warming, the debate has largely moved on to the question of how extensively to respond to rising temperatures.

Environmentalists have long maintained that industry knew early on that the scientific evidence supported a human influence on rising temperatures, but that the evidence was ignored for the sake of companies’ fight against curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. Some environmentalists have compared the tactic to that once used by tobacco companies, which for decades insisted that the science linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer was uncertain. By questioning the science on global warming, these environmentalists say, groups like the Global Climate Coalition were able to sow enough doubt to blunt public concern about a consequential issue and delay government action.

Study Says Warming Poses Peril to Asia

For Polyesterlester
Originally uploaded by jeridaking
Study Says Warming Poses Peril to Asia
Published: April 26, 2009

With diminished rice harvests, seawater seeping into aquifers and islands vanishing into rising oceans, Southeast Asia will be among the regions worst affected by global warming, according to a report scheduled for release on Monday by the Asian Development Bank.

The rise in sea levels may force the sprawling archipelago of Indonesia to redraw its sea boundaries, the report said.

All these changes will occur progressively over the next century, the bank estimated, giving countries time to improve their flood control systems, upgrade their irrigation networks and take measures to prevent forest fires, which the report predicts will become more common.

“Our modeling shows that sea levels will rise up to 70 centimeters,” or about 28 inches, said Juzhong Zhuang, an economist at the bank and one of the authors of the report. “That will force the relocation of many millions of people.”

Brackish water seeping into the water table in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is already a growing problem, the report says.

Some of the 92 outermost small islands that serve as a baseline for the claims of coastal waters by Indonesia could disappear, according to the report.

The margin of error of such complex projections so far into the future remains a nagging question but the report’s conclusions are nonetheless sobering for Southeast Asian nations, which have a combined population of more than 563 million.

The report focuses on Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The basics of Japanese eating: Fugu restaurants and more

Fugu restaurant
Originally uploaded by tiptoe
Fugu, the poisonous delicacy beloved by the Japanese, is prepared only by licensed chefs.

Bento - specially boxed lunch.

Sushi - rice boiled in vinegar. We watched a video on how to make a California roll, a non-sashimi type.
Nori - paper-thin seaweed used in salads and as a wrapper for sushi.
Wasabi - Japanese horse radish; mixed with soy sauce as an accompaniment for sushi.
Pickled ginger - usually served with sushi as a between-bites palate cleanser.

Sashimi - chilled, thin slices of raw fish (tuna is the great delicacy) or meat (beef or horse).

Benihana of Tokyo is the successful restaurant chain founded in NYC by Rocky Aoki. A model for such restaurants as Shogun, Kobe and Tokyo, it featured cooking at a communal table by a joke-telling, shrimp-flipping chef.

Tempura is a classic Japanese dish of deep fried battered vegetables or seafood.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Artbreak at the Shreveport Convention Center: a whirling center of art and performances Fri, Ap 24, Sat, Ap 25, and Sun, Ap 26

ArtBreak Festival Performance Highlights
Friday, April 24:
4:00 pm ArtBreak opens with a performance by the Arklatex Youth Symphony, directed by Chris Allen
6:00 pm STYLAMANDERS Concert on the Chase Bank Stage, the highly energetic Canadian Duo known around the country for their family oriented interactive musical performances bring the excitement to Shreveport.
7:00 pm The Caddo-Bossier CAPITAL ONE Talent Show spotlights another year of talented youth performances featuring the top 18 selected acts out of over eighty auditions.

Saturday, April 25:
10:00 am ArtBreak Opens
10:00 am – 3:00 pm: Caddo’s All-Parish Honor’s Orchestra and Choir performances on the Chase Bank Stage.
10:00 am – 6:00 pm: Showcase of school performances from Caddo and Bossier Parish Schools and Community Groups on the McDonald’s Stage.
12 noon – 4:00 pm Five High Schools’ students compete for the title of the ultimate ArtBreak Survivor through a rigorous competition including dance, theatre, music, visual and literary arts. See performances every hour on the Creative Dramatics Stage.
5:00 pm –
6:00 pm Special performance by ArtBreak’s Honorary Chairman, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, with select Caddo and Bossier Parish Students.
7:00 pm The Bossier Arts Council presents ARTBREAK IDOL’s “Broadway Night” Semi-finals!
8:00 pm Hands-On Activities close
9:00 pm ArtBreak Hands on Activities closes
10:00 pm ArtBreak Festival Closes

Sunday, April 29:
12:00 Noon ArtBreak opens
2:00 pm ArtBreak Awards Ceremony
6:00 pm ArtBreak Festival Closes.

Wasabi & pickled ginger atop a California Roll sushi; the nori, seaweed wrapper, is inside the roll.

Nippon Review

1. Based on its ethnic demographics, Japan may be called heterogeneous. T / F
2. a) Hayao Miyazaki b) Osamu Tezuko c) Soichiro Honda has been called the Father of both Anime and of Manga.
3. The principal origin of the big eyes employed in most Japanese manga: a) Keene b) Disney c) biological studies d) Hollywood.
4. Which part of Tokyo is similar to Times Square?
a) Harajuku b) Ginza c) Geisha d) Sushi.
5. In Japanese, karaoke means “empty __ .”
a) room b) microphone c) orchestra d) head.
6. Most Japanese are able to integrate 2 types of religious practice into their lives: a) Hindusim b) Buddhism
c) Islam d) Christianity e) Judaism f) Confucianism g) Shintoism h) Atheism. Please pick 2.
7. Japanese graphic books: a) anime b) manga
c) Geisha d) sushi.
8. Japan’s 250-year period of isolation from the outside world ended about 1954 when US Commodore Perry brought US warships into Tokyo Bay. T / F
9. African-American population in the US is about a) 6%
b) 13% c) 23% d) 30%.
10. Japan is not an archipelago even though it has much tectonic activity. T / F

1. F, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b, 5. c, 6. b & g, 7. b, 8. f, 9. b, 10. f

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The difference between the Japanese delicacies Sushi and Sashimi

Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of very fresh raw seafood, sliced into thin pieces about 2.5 cm (.98 in.) wide by 4.0 cm (1.6 in.) long by 0.5 cm (0.2 in.) thick, but dimensions vary depending on the type of item and chef. Served with only a dipping sauce (soy sauce with wasabi paste or other condiments such as grated fresh ginger, or ponzu), depending on the fish, and simple garnishes such as shiso and shredded daikon radish, says Wikipedia.

In Japanese cuisine, sushi (寿司, 鮨, 鮓 ?) is vinegar rice, usually topped with other ingredients, including fish dishes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Osamu Tezuka, the Father of Anime and Manga

Tezuka Osamu poster
Originally uploaded by Bonito Club
Dr. Osamu Tezuka (1928 – 1989) was a Japanese manga artist, animator, producer and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, says Wikipedia.

He is often credited as the "Father of Anime", and is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during his formative years.[1] His prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as "the father of manga" and "the god of manga".

The origin of big eyes in manga: Japanese illustrators and American creators influenced each other

Osamu Tezuka is considered to be the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney and as a real god in Japan, says Ludovic Graillat at Refractory, a Journal of Entertainment Media.

He was an admirer of Disney’s animated movies (he saw Bambi over eighty times) and it is due to this influence that he decided to draw large, rounded eyes on his characters. Mangakas influenced by Tesuka also give their heroes large eyes and this became one of the main characteristics of manga and anime.

The eye allows the expression of a wide range of emotions, something that becomes essential for action based manga and anime. The more a character is perceived to be ‘alive’, the greater the engagement between the character and the spectator. An adult has to suspend his/her disbelief and to believe in the “illusion of reality” in order to identify with a character. Roland Barthes argued that the eye reflected the soul. If a character has a soul, he/she also has emotions and appears to be ‘alive’.

But we should clarify two things. Firstly, not all mangakas draw big eyes on their characters and yet the spectator still manages to identify with them (for example Miyazaki’s characters don’t have large eyes - Ghibli’s studio intended to produce different anime).

Furthermore, it has been suggested that the large eyes do not come from Disney. For Alessandro Gomarasca big eyes are part of the Euro-American aesthetic called the “cute” (2002, 36-37). In his book Kaboom! Explosive Animation from America and Japan, Philip Brophy explains that, “the aim of the Euro-American iconography of the cute does not copy the childhood, but it signifies childhood with a specific codification (the child’s biomorph), mostly represented in comic books and animation films.

Harajuku: Tokyo's fashion-minded area for Sunday hanging

Harajuku Girls
Originally uploaded by Not so fast
Harajuku (原宿 "meadow lodging") is the common name for the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, Japan. Harajuku is known for the patrons that visit the area every Sunday, says Wikipedia.

Every Sunday, many young people dress in a variety of styles that include gothic lolita, visual kei, and cosplay, among others and spend the day in Harajuku socializing. The fashion styles of these young people frequently vary and are rarely conformist to one particular style and are usually a mesh of many. Most young people gather on Jingu Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Harajuku to the neighboring Meiji Shrine Area. [1] However, Harajuku is not just known for its Sunday visitors. It is also a well-respected fashion capital of the world renowned for its unique street fashion.

Review quiz on Nihon, or Cipangu

fruits basket kyo
Originally uploaded by Nasseh-Ya
Nippn review -

1. During the colonial era in Europe, the nation of Japan was called a) Cathay b) Cipangu.
2. Japan has a heterogeneous population. T / F
3. Japan’s population is approximately half that of the US.
T / F
4. Hayao Miyazaki is notable for the type of movies called __.
5. “Empty orchestra” is the meaning of a term coined by the Japanese in the 70’s when technology allowed creative manipulation of recorded works. It has since become a world-wide source of entertainment. It is __.
6. Most Japanese are able to integrate 2 types of religious practice into their lives: a) Buddhism b) Hinduism
c) Islam d) Christianity e) Judaism f) Shintoism
g) Confucianism h) Atheism.
7. In terms of altitude, Mt Fuji can be compared to the
a) Appalachians b) Rocky Mtns.
8. Some people, typically the ill-educated, may be said to be fearful of immigrants and other non-native ethnic types. They may be termed xenophobic. T / F
9. Bamboo and paper, classic ingredients in Japanese art, may be used to make large, rectangular aero forms called __ .
10. Anime has been part of Japanese culture since 1917. In 1937 Japanese anime movie-makers were influenced by a Disney film called a) Snow White b) 101 Dalmatians
c) The Jungle Book.
11. Japanese greeting: a) Ni hau! b) Salaam! c) Namaste'!
d) Konichi wa!

Cosplay: Fruits Basket manga characters

Fruits Basket group
Originally uploaded by lamentfulmiss
Cosplay (コスプレ ,kosupure?), short for "costume roleplay",[1] is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often-elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character or idea, says Wikipedia.

Characters are usually sourced in various Japanese and East Asian media, including manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, and fantasy movies. Other sources include performers from J-pop, J-rock, visual kei, fantasy music stories (such as stories by the band Sound Horizon), novels, and objects from cyberspace or the real world that are unique and dramatic (especially if they have or can be given an anthropomorphic form).

Monday, April 20, 2009

250 years of Japanese isolation from the West

Tokugawa Ieyasu
Originally uploaded by obenjo kusanosuke
Tokugawa Ieyasu was appointed shōgun in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate at Edo (modern Tokyo), says Wikipedia.

In 1639, the shogunate began the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period. The Tokugawa shoganate, which lasted from 1603-1868, brought an unprecedented period of peace and prospertiy to Japan.

On March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa.

Demographical comparison between the US and Japan

Night Street - Ginza
Originally uploaded by cocoip
The ethnic breakdown of the US in 2007, acc to Wikipedia:

White 80.0%
African American 12.8%
Asian 4.4%
Native American and Alaskan Native 1.0%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 0.2%
Multiracial 1.6%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 15.1%

Ethnic figures on Japan:
98.5% Japanese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Chinese, 0.6% other[2]

Which nation is the "melting pot"?
Which nation's population could be termed heterogeneous?
Which nation's population can be called homogeneous?

Studying Japanese culture: students may bring anime dvd's along with a presentation on the movie's background

Many geography students have a great appreciation for Japanese anime. Students may air 5 - 10 mins of their favorite movie in class provided they are prepared to give appropriate background - story and production-wise - to their classmates prior to the showing.

Indie points may be awarded for well-made presentations.

Hayao Miyazaki is the Walt Disney of Japan

Hayao MIYAZAKI 宮崎駿
Originally uploaded by detengase
Hayao Miyazaki (1941, Tokyo, Japan) is a prominent filmmaker of many popular animated feature films, says Wikipedia. He is also a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, an animation studio and production company.

He remained largely unknown to the West, outside of animation communities, until Miramax released his 1997 Princess Mononoke.

Several anime features created by Studio Ghibli have won the Anime Grand Prix award including Castle in the Sky in 1986, My Neighbor Totoro in 1988, and Kiki's Delivery Service in 1989. In 2002, Spirited Away won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, the first anime film to win an Academy Award.

In addition to being a director, Miyazaki also draws manga. His major work was the Nausicaä manga.

10:30 am on Tues: author-illustrator Dallas Clayton in the lecture hall, Cmhs

dallas clayton
Originally uploaded by chasingbluebirds
Author-illustrator and former skateboarder Dallas Clayton is on tour and is making a stop at Magnet on Tues, Ap 21, at 10:30 am, to share thoughts and inspirations w Magneteers.He comes well recommended by Ms Rounds.

Thus 3rd hour class will attend his talk at 10:30.

More about him is to be seen at and by googling his name.

Japanese studies: open notes quiz and map quiz on Th, Ap 23

Japanese kite
Originally uploaded by <andreea>
Nihon, Nippon or Japan

* Notes from the web site will form the basis for a 10-item quiz Thurs. Open notes! careful reading is the key.
* Include S. Korea, Chin and Russia in your hand-sketched map quiz on Japan on Thurs. Sketch the mainland, 4 islands and correctly place and spell 10 identifications overall.

Notes on Japan

- Mt Fuji: 12000 ft, comp to Rocky Mtns.; volcanic; plate tectonics; mountainous background of the nation. Shinto holy mtn.
- Art of Japan: 36 Views of Mt Fuji.
- Shinto: animist, polytheistic. Worship spirits found in nature. Kami found in rocks, etc. Torii: gateway to Shinto shrines.
- Buddhism: the other great religion of Japan. Most Japanese use both Shinto and Buddhist rituals.
- Zen Buddhism: emphasis on meditation and insight-inspiring riddles.
- Konichi wa: "Hello!"
- Japanese xenophobia: a stereotype in which the homogeneous culture of Japan has little interest in adding to their population through immigration. 98% of Japanese are ethnic Japanese.
- Kites and kite fighting. Bamboo & paper const. Large kites.
- Karaoke dev in Japan in 70's.
- Pecha Kecha ("chit-chat") recent dev which has spread across globe. Presentations limited to 20 images of 20 seconds each. Max 6:40. Topics include business and the arts.
- Anime since 1917. Influenced in 1937 by Disney's Snow White.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nippon, or Nihon: the nation of Japan

Pictorial map of Japan
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Eat at a Japanese restaurant over the holiday and write about it for indie credit (put it in a GoogleDoc). Japanese restaurants feature Sushi and noodle dishes and Teriyaki in addition to a world of less-familiar dishes (be aware that sashimi indicates raw fish). Unfortunately, the average Japanese restaurant, such as Ichi Ban, is not as cheap as a Chinese place.

I have not yet been to Sushiko in the Louisiana Boardwalk. I'd like to try it. I regularly eat sushi made fresh daily by a Korean fellow at Brookshires. It's good. Freshness is a big deal with sushi; if you try it on a Chinese buffet it may be terribly disappointing.

Map of Japan

1. Honshu - the main island,
2. Hokkaido - the northern island.
3. Kyushu - the southernmost island.
4. Hiroshima
5. Nagasaki
6. Tokyo
7. Mt Fuji
8. South Korea
9. China
10. Sea of Japan
11. Pacific

Tokyo megalopolis

More indie work choices:
* compare the movies Not One Less and Gandhi.
* compare the cooking of China and Japan.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Stress relief picnic Thurs, Ap 9, is for CMHS students only; no visitors!

The fall picnic, Cmhs
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Some 23 food booths will be arrayed across the quad on Thurs between noon and 1:50 as the school takes a break called the Stress Relief Picnic.

From hot dogs to root beer, from burgers to smoothies, from jambalaya to kool-aid, there's something on sale - benefiting club funding - for everyone.

There's more: try rock climbing, canvas painting, henn tattoos, face painting, DanceDanceRevolution and even a faculty dunking booth. Prices range from $1 to $3.

No visitors!
No food drop-offs.

But parent visitors are always welcome.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Not One Less: a guide

Not One Less
Originally uploaded by é que te Mofo!
Not One Less, a story of China

1) Not One Less is a movie whose dialogue is in a) Mandarin Chinese b) Cantonese Chinese c) Rural Chinese.

In the following prompts choose between a. Teacher Gao b) the Mayor c) Teacher Wei d) Zhang Huike.
2) Most frugal character.
3) Battling the drop-out rate.
4) Money conscious.
5) Menial work.
6) Moderating influence.
7) Strongest allegiance.
8) Stubborn.
9) Happy-go-lucky.
10) Philosophical and accepting.

11) Chinese currency: a) yuan b) yen c) Chinese dollar.
12) Shuixian School is located near a) Xi’an b) Beijing c) Shanghai.
13) Symbol of pride in learning and efficient use of resources in the school: a) sending swift runner of the class to the sports specialty school b) flag c) chalk.
14) Type of humor which crosses cultural borders: a) religious b) political c) scatalogical d) sarcasm.
15) The director of Not One Less: a) Jet Li b) Zhang Huike c) Zhang Yimou d) Shi Huang Di.
16) Substitute Wei is about age a) 12 b) 13 c) 15 d) 17.
17) Why do 5 students sleep in the schoolroom? a) they live too far away to walk to school each day b) saving their money for college
c) paying off family debt by work at the school.
18) "Keeping kids in school is harder than teaching them." Quote from
a) the mayor b) Wei c) Teacher Gao.
19) The manager of the brick factory donates money to Wei and her class and says, "Call me a philanthropist." a) Person who sees the bad in life but tries to remain good. b) Person who is philosophical about life c) Person who gives generously to public causes.

Wei Minzhi in Zhang Yimou's movie Not One Less

Teacher Gao of the Shuiquan Primary School has to be away from school for a month to tend to his ailing mother. The mayor of the village finds a substitute teacher, Wei Minzhi, to take over the class for Teacher Gao, says Sony Classic Films.

Seeing that Wei Minzhi is only 13 years old, Teacher Gao protests to the mayor that such a young girl will not be able to teach students who are her own age or slightly younger. The mayor replies that finding anyone in that rural area who is willing to take the job is impossible, and that at the least she can keep an eye on things while Teacher Gao is away.

Teacher Gao’s class had 40 students at the beginning of the school year, but attrition has brought that number down to 28. Teacher Gao admonishes Wei Minzhi that she must not allow even one more student to drop out while he’s gone and promises her an extra 10 yuan in pay if she succeeds.

Wei faithfully calls the roster every day and then sets the students to copying lessons from the blackboard. She is not overly concerned about whether the students actually learn anything as long as they stay put; she ends up spending most of each day sitting guard outside the classroom door.

Ten-year-old student Zhang Huike is a bright but saucy boy who often tries Wei’s patience as she works to keep a semblance of order amongst the children. His family is in serious financial debt, however, and when he fails to appear in class one morning, Wei discovers he has been forced to go to the city to find work.

With Teacher Gao’s words still firmly in her mind but only a vague idea of where the boy might be, Wei Minzhi sets off on her own to the big city to try to find Zhang Huike and bring him back.

Zhang Yimou, director of the classic Not One Less

Zhang Yimou (born November 14, 1951) is an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker and former cinematographer, says Wikipedia.

One of Zhang's recurrent themes is a celebration of the resilience, even the stubbornness, of Chinese people in the face of hardships and adversities, a theme which has occurred from To Live (1994) through to Not One Less (1999). His works are particularly noted for their usage of colour, as can be seen in his early trilogy (like Raise the Red Lantern) or in his wuxia films such as Hero and House of Flying Daggers.

Boasting an impressive lineup of Asian stars, including Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Zhang Ziyi, and Donnie Yen, Hero introduced a fictional tale revolving around Ying Zheng, the king of the State of Qin (later the first Emperor of China) and his would-be assassins. The film became a huge international hit and, with the intervention of American director Quentin Tarantino, was released in North America two years after its Chinese release after being shelved by American distributor Miramax Films.[citation needed] Hero became one of the few foreign-language films to debut at #1 at the U.S. box office,[14] and was one of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

China plans to be giant manufacturer of electric vehicles

Not Worried Yet
Originally uploaded by jimsimpson
TIANJIN, China / NY Times — Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.

Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years.

The goal, which radiates from the very top of the Chinese government, suggests that Detroit’s Big Three, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology than they do today.

“China is well positioned to lead in this,” said David Tulauskas, director of China government policy at General Motors.

To some extent, China is making a virtue of a liability. It is behind the United States, Japan and other countries when it comes to making gas-powered vehicles, but by skipping the current technology, China hopes to get a jump on the next.

Japan is the market leader in hybrids today, which run on both electricity and gasoline, with cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. The United States has been a laggard in alternative vehicles. G.M.’s plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt is scheduled to go on sale next year, and will be assembled in Michigan using rechargeable batteries imported from LG in South Korea.

The bubblicious vehiclke in the photo is a Chinese prototype - not necessarily a design for an electric mass-production model.

Notable words from Confucius

Mom's Confucius
Originally uploaded by St Paul Paul
Confucius, The Confucian Analects,

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

He who will not economize will have to agonize.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

Study the past if you would define the future.

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

When anger rises, think of the consequences.

When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.

Qin Shi Huangdi meets Kung Fu Tzu in Shreveport

Chinese history skit rubric (5 pts):

- brings out at least 5 achievements of Qin Shi Huangdi.
- emphasizes at least 4 points of Confucius' philosophy.
- mentions basic geography class terms: 200 BCE, Xi'an, autocratic rule, Middle Kingdom, etc.
- speeches written on back of mask.
- mask decorated with significant amount of color.
- orderly and appropriate participation by all members of each skit.
- bonus points for outstanding performance in major roles.