Michelle Klein-Hass comments

Posted in: Newborn boy left in front of orphanage with money and 'Onegaishimasu' letter See in context

Here in California we have a state-wide Safe Surrender law. A mother can bring a newborn to a hospital, fire station or a clinic, no questions asked, completely anonymous. We had a "dumpster baby" epidemic for a while, and this law stopped that trend in its tracks.

A friend of mine's story was very similar: he was born in Korea with a birth defect that tickled local superstition. He was left on the doorstep of a Catholic Church -- kind of rare in Korea, but there are a few. He was adopted by an American serviceman and his Korean wife, and is an amazing person.

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Posted in: Japan's unsponsored marathon man eyes world title See in context

Ganbatte, Kawauchi-san!

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Posted in: Green men pitching a tent: the mascots of Japan See in context

Ishinomaki actually has both a real animal mascot and a character mascot: they're both called KoKo-chan. The mascot KoKo-chan is a pretty pink girl rabbit, and is based on the real bunny KoKo-chan who was and still is a therapy animal working with survivors of the Tsunami. The real KoKo-chan is featured in the movie "Pray For Japan" along with her pet parent Manabu Endo. I don't know how official she is at this point but she should be, she's super-kawaii. https://www.facebook.com/prayforjapanfilm/posts/583740101638006

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Posted in: Woman hit by bullet train at Sendai station See in context

Actually she might have been drunk. The translation mentioned she was "wobbly" according to witnesses. In any event, whether it was a suicide attempt or a drunk woman's accident, it suggests a deeper psychological problem may be involved. Remember, the folks in Sendai did experience the Great East Japan Earthquake as well, even though they got away less damaged than places further North. Are the people in Sendai able to access the same kind of services as people in, say, Ishinomaki? Is counseling available for people suffering from PTSD? This only piques my curiosity about this incident.

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Posted in: With no cash for Windows upgrades, local gov't to disconnect some PCs from Net and tape up ethernet ports See in context

Aichi Prefecture should send their IT guys to this conference: http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/linuxcon-japan

One distribution that has its origin in Japan is Turbolinux. However, it charges for licenses (!) and is not kept up very well.

Actually, if they can't afford to send IT people to Linuxcon Japan, they should contact these guys: http://tlug.jp/

This is the Tokyo Linux User Group. They've been at it since 1994. I'm sure they'll have some geeks who can help them make the switch.

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Posted in: With no cash for Windows upgrades, local gov't to disconnect some PCs from Net and tape up ethernet ports See in context

Linux, Linux, Linux. I wonder if there is a Nihongo-friendly distribution out there?

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Posted in: Tokyo cherry trees reach full bloom See in context

The blooming is early here in LA too...Beilenson Park's 2,000 Sakura trees are blooming now.

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Posted in: Internet cat stars scratch the surface for fame See in context

Ahem. Grumpy Cat's name is Tardar Sauce, with a D instead of a second T.

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Posted in: Early look at Windows 8 baffles consumers See in context

Windows 7 forever. And then when they finally stop with the security upgrades, I'll put Linux on my lappie and remain happy. 8 looks like a Vista-style train wreck. 7 is the best OS out of Redmond since 2K.

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Posted in: Nationalists converge on Shin-Okubo's Koreatown See in context

And people don't realize that a lot of ethnic Koreans have been born in Japan, to parents who were born in Japan, and who have grandparents who were born in Japan. Yet they can't become citizens unless they take a Japanese name and renounce whatever claim they have to Korean citizenship, either in the North or the South. This has been the case for a long long time. And now it's going to get worse for them. There are some advantages to being in a country that believes in birthright citizenship. Except for President Obama, who still is dogged by people who believe he's a Kenyan Muslim in spite of his birth in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, and his repeated assurances that he's a Protestant Christian.

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Posted in: Panda born at Tokyo zoo for 1st time in 24 years See in context

And the Japanese panda craze kicks up to the next level. Panda! Go Panda! ^_^

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Posted in: The end of the evolution debate See in context

OK Creationists...whose creation myth? There are thousands and thousands. In fact, the Bible has not just one but two. Which one is scientific fact? The one where God creates lots and lots of people, both males and females, or the one with the mud and the rib and the animal naming?

Judaism, some mainstream Protestant Christian denominations, and Catholic Christianity, even most of the uber-traditionalist strains, accept Evolution as the "how" of creation, but God as the "why." They also are willing to say a lot of the Bible is metaphor and should not be taken literally. There are super-pious "fringe" groups like the Haredim and the Pius X Society who argue for a literal reading of the Bible and reject anything having to do with science. But they are not mainstream in those religions. Protestant Evangelical Christianity, especially of the scary "dominionist" stripe, however, are mainstream in the US, and somewhat so in places you might not think like Africa and South Korea.

Unfortunately there are also elements of Islam, once the keeper of the Greek Fire of science and philosophy and voracious translators of scientific literature from the ancient world from Greek to Arabic, which are rejecting science and also advocating a literal reading of the Quran as received truth about the world. Between them, the Haredim of Israel who are becoming violent recapitulations of their Islamic enemies, and the Protestant "dominionists" are tearing down science in favor of their stripe of religious fundamentalism.

They all seem to hanker for a return to the Dark Ages, where small religious distinctions (does the Holy Spirit descend from the Father alone or both the Father and the Son?) flare into real wars with real weapons and real casualities. The Founders of the United States intended a wall of separation between Church and State because the Hundred Years War and the Thirty Years War in Europe was not ancient history, but a fresh memory with open wounds. Sort of like the Civil War remains here in the US, 150 years hence.

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Posted in: Runaway penguin 'No. 337' to be named See in context

Lupin!!! He must be named after the greatest master of escape to ever grace Anime.

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Posted in: Japan bets on overseas 'Japantowns' to boost economy See in context

/me clears her throat and points at her map of Los Angeles, at Little Tokyo.

California has many J-Towns...Japantown in San Francisco and in San Jose, Little Tokyo, the Sawtelle District in West LA which some of the shopkeepers want to call "Little Osaka," and the South Bay region of LA County which has a huge Nikkei and Japanese American population. We can use a little more economic development here, Japan...

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Posted in: Millions look skyward as rare eclipse crosses Asia See in context

Before you die, you see ringu.

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Posted in: 3 dead, 306 injured in 33 prefectures by typhoon-strength storm See in context

Wind and rain does tend to do a number on sakura trees...going to go check the trees in Beilenson Park, Lake Balboa, CA tomorrow around lunchtime. I've been documenting the bloom, and a heavy rain did a major number on them the Saturday before I took pictures the last time. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/msgeek/sets/72157629091960508/ We got some serious wind yesterday, nothing like this though.

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Posted in: Ishihara, son embroiled in public row over new political party See in context

Ishihara the elder is the Japanese answer to Pete Santorum. Totally, 100% bat guano crazy. And does the name of that new political party, "New Sunrise" give you chills when you think of '30s and '40s era ultra-Nationalism and miliatarism?

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