The Inscrutable Asian Smile

April 7th, 2013

So back in the day a lot was written about the “inscrutable Asian smile”, and how in some Asian countries, people would smile when they felt uncomfortable, and how utterly strange and foreign that was.

So, anyway, I’m watching American Idol the other day, and two very white very southern country singers do a duet. When they finish, the judges give them feedback on their performance. All the judges agree that the performance was good, and both did a good job, but one was absolutely excellent, while the other one was off pitch a few times, and wasn’t up to their usual standard, and needed to step up their game, etc. Every once in a while the camera switches over to show the women’s reactions, and they’re about straightforward as can be: one is beaming and smiling, and the other looked nervous and scared, with no hint of a smile.

Except (and I’m sure, dear reader, you could see this coming from a mile away), the person who was being praised so unilaterally was the one who wasn’t smiling, and the one whom the judges were saying put in a poor performance was the one with the beaming countenance.

Oh, the inscrutable caucasian smile.


September 28th, 2012

Spotted at a boutique in Tokyo selling funky imports:

Just $1.28 for ten Target shopping bags!

I’m Living in the Future

September 17th, 2012

I went to a club in Tokyo, and a guy on the dance floor was using his iPad. Amusing, for me, but perhaps a little annoying for the DJ.

…but if my 10 year old self saw this, his eyes would be bugging out of his head. “You were in Tokyo, at a club, and someone had a keyboard-less panel computer, which he was using on the dance floor. Older me, you’re living in the future! You’re just lucky the wall of the club wasn’t knocked down by battling mechs!”

Living In The Future


August 15th, 2012

Yes, I know children’s drawings are only interesting to their parents, and so I apologize in advance, but I enjoyed this drawing I stumbled upon while cleaning up (I added translations in blue):

In case it’s unclear, the the squiggly thing above and to the left of the poop is the digestive system of the lion, and the drawings with the arrow at bottom right show that food changes into poop.

Band Idea

July 9th, 2012

There should be a band which starts all (or many) of its songs in the exact same way, so when they play live, people in the audience never know from the first few notes of a song whether they should cheer, because it’s their favorite song, or to go to the restroom, because it’s a song they don’t particularly care for.


July 3rd, 2012


1)会社名を英語で書く時、必ずと言ってもいいぐらいこういう書き方になります: Nantoka Co.,Ltd.




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I’m Starting to Get Uncomfortable Watching Nature Documentaries with my Sons

June 19th, 2012

I understand that predators catching and eating the young is part of the natural order, and I have nothing against it being covered in nature documentaries, but I wonder why every single nature documentary nowadays makes it a point to feature child death. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure predators catch the elderly and the sick as well, but I can’t recall ever having seen that in a nature documentary. I’m pretty sure that even “eating children” doesn’t come close to “mating” in terms of things animals love to do, but I think mating is only covered in about half the nature documentaries, while “eating children” is covered in all of them.

(Today’s documentary featured the death of a baby elephant, followed by its severed head being passed around and repeatedly clumsily dropped by the other elephants of the herd)

Either Elementary Schools Are Getting Less Lame…

May 19th, 2012

…or I’m getting older, because for the opening calisthenics at my son’s school, they used Daft Punk.

General Grievous

March 17th, 2012

George Lucas’ General Grievous:

Alex’s General Grievous:

I Just Got the Best Valentine’s Present

February 15th, 2012

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