Tuesday, July 21, 2009


~ ~ If something didn't break while you were gone, you probably weren't actually away ~ ~

A brief history of the thing:
Dorami - sister to Doraemon, purchased as a cute copyright infringement at a ceramics factory in Xi'an China, spring 1996. First fractured: spring, 1999, North Carolina (knocked off bedstand while reaching for alarm clock). 2nd fracture: summer, 2009, Chicago (whole shelf knocked down by housesitter).

Monday, July 20, 2009

go ahead, stare at it

_________(-(--( * )--)-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

fantasy creatures have hearts (and livers) too


Japanese monster artists have created a vast menagerie of crazy creatures (or Kaiju 怪獣). the beloved Godzilla being a most notable specimen.

Godzilla/Gojira has always been a bad-ass, with her ability to breath fire, or breath ice, be radioactive, shoot lasers from her eyes, and various other things besides (depending on what model year we are talking). But if she eats some bad shrimp, does she get a stomachache like I do? Does she even have a stomach?

Where fantasy meets the possibility of reality and myth finds embodiment is the place where a monster’s monsterful anatomy might also be imagined, and in detail. Every cause has an effect, as modern science has taught us, so it is only fair that some odd organs should underlie what otherwise would seem to be “super”natural abilities:

Godzilla’s purported ability to move her limbs with the complex grace beyond that of a Shaolin monk or drummer Buddy Rich, for example? Well, according the the anatomy chart here, we can leave that to the two subsidiary nerve ganglia in her that work like two “sub-brains” to process all that muscle control - one for the arms and one for the legs, respectively. What I love about this is that even in such a fiction lies the fact that many insects are built in just such a neurologically distributed way. When it comes to science, perhaps the matters of "fiction" and "non-fiction" are fuzzy at best...

A glimpse at some more Japanese monster anatomy charts can be found here.
Better still, the old-school Leuckhart charts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

ode to water quality

I agree, on a blog called "the various stream" it seems only right to mention recent news on water quality:

Chicago's 2009 water quality report just came out and it was notably silent on the matter of the various pharmaceuticals that lace the public agua supply. This pharmacopeia in the tap would seem to be something to worry about considering drugs are designed to have effects at low doses - what is it to have anti-depressants, cholesterol reducers, sex hormones, and nicotine all mixed up at the faucet? In the mind of health officials perhaps "no news is good news" for the public...

It makes me think of Osamu Tezuka's masterpiece Ode to Kirihito that I am now reading on an excellent recommendation from Xa. As of page 234 (granted it is over 800 pages so things may change) the diligent doctor Kirihito believes that an odd disease in remote villages turning people into dog-like forms is caused by water contamination - in that case from prehistoric mineral deposits with some strange substance in them. hmm....

Of course, just today a paper was published on the clever use of analytical chemistry to track patterns of illicit drug use among neighborhoods and towns in Oregon via testing the public water supply. Ironic but maybe unsurprising to think that the technology would be used to surveil the public's behavior in one instance and yet ignore its implication in another; alas the "war on drugs" doesn't include Glaxo Smith-Kline in our ice cubes...

If you start feeling like a golden retriever, perhaps you have a jump on where to start looking for answers.

p.s. (7/18) It *was* the water after all (some rare earth mineral). Poor Kirihito got used being doggish in the end though...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I noticed today that baby dinosaur eyes has done its page up in nice circular curl-E-Qing.

This is great just because, but also for the fact I just happen to have bought misself a spiral generating device in a 100 yen shop in Japan the other day, (w/ both pen and paper included in the kit).

The results in the very first attempt were quite satisfying; it has been over 20 years since I've used one of these things, but it is like riding a bicycle (actually not at all like riding a bicycle)

as for spinning , b.d.e. offers more still - I just can't get enough!
(make sure you click through options, post-bananas)


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

tokyo to narita

passengering in a country obsessed with trains, it is hard to not oneself become obsessed

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


at Kurodani temple waterlilies let things go.