Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!!

Elementary school students in my class practiced the phrase "Trick or treat! Give me something nice to eat!", and of course I gave them something nice.

Seeing my students' smiles made me cheerful.

After the class, I was surprised to find this on my desk.

I got this from Adam, who was a teacher of Eigonoie several years ago.

Now he opens his own English school independently at the east side of Urawa.
Can Do Kids English School

And one of my high school students gave me a Milky as a Halloween gift.

Thank you so much!!  How kind they are!! (^o^)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Haloween comes tomorrow.

These days many Japanese poeple enjoy Halloween in their own way.

Although I've never participated in any Halloween parties or events, I make a point of watching Tim Burton's THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS at Halloween.

The film was first released in the U.S. 19 years ago, and it came to Japan in the following year.

This is a stop motion musical fantasy film.

A stop motion is a kind of animation technique to make a phisically manipulated object appear to move on its own.

Thanks to the long-term effort making the film, we can feel something warm from what each puppet seems to be alive.

When you go to Disneyland, you'll see lots of characters in the Haunted Mansion attraction called "Haunted Mansion Holiday." ("Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare" in Tokyo)

Have you see this film before?

If you haven't, I'd say it's time you've begun!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We All Are Malala

This is one of the bravest face in the world.

Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl, was targeted and shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Swat on October 9th.

Happily she survived, and now she seems to make steady progress and be in a stable condition at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, UK.

What pulled the trigger at Malala Yousafzai was that she had advocated the right of girl's education and had spoken out against Taliban, while the militants have blown up hundreds of schools and kidnapped and shot education activists.

Now Malala is an icon of courage and hope.

Her single voice has been spreading and inspiring tens of thousands of rallies in the world.

There's no doubt that nobody has the right to attack a schoolgirl just because of political and religious differences.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Souvenirs from Okinawa

Last weekend my mother went on a school trip to Okinawa as a school nurse.

She's been there so many times that it seemed hard for her to find something new.

But these souvenirs are quite rare, I think.

It's a charm designed Snoopy and Woodstock in Eisa costume, which is a traditional Okinawan dance and music performance.

This is a pack of potato chips flavored with Ishigaki Island's chili oil.

We always keep Ishigaki Island's cayenne pepper at home, and we know the pepper is so hot.

So I'm looking forward to trying this chips.

Have you seen this chips before??

It's flavored with traditional Okinawan dish Goya Champuru (stir-fried bitter squash).

I can't imagine the taste at all!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Haruki Murakami

Chinese novelist Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature, while Japan's Haruki Murakami was thought to be awarded.

Whether he would win the prize or not, there's no doubt that Haruki Murakami is a global-scale writer and his works has captivated millions of people.

I was also impressed so much with his "Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World" when I was a high school student.

His words have a strong power.

At the end of September, Haruki Murakami contributed an article to Asahi Newspaper.

He has shared his point of view on the China-Japan territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

He concerns about the cultural fallout that is likely to result from the country’s various escalating territorial spats and described the feverish reaction to the disputes like getting drunk on "cheap alcohol."

Soon after publishing the issue, one Chinese writer Yan Lianke wrote his idea on the International Herald Tribune.

It says that Yan Lianke was deeply touched after reading Haruki Murakami's recent commentary warning of the damage caused by the outbursts of nationalism.

He also indicated that he felt ashamed of himself as a Chinese writer for his slow response.

I think there is no "slow" on this topic.

All we Japanese and Chinese have to learn from both writers' respectable messages.

What a writer published may be a possible key to solve the ongoing territorial dispute.

When literature change the political issue beyond borders, Haruki Murakami must be a center as a prize winner.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Yamanaka win Nobel Prize for iPS cells

Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and John Gurdon of Britain have jointly won this year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for development of a multipurpose stem cell that has the potential to grow into any type of body tissue.

Yamanaka and Gurdon discovered that mature and specialized cells "can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said.

Yamanaka, 50,  was given the coveted prize only six years after the announcement of his development of the induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which was successfully produced from mice in 2006 and from human skin cells in 2007.

The iPS cells are believed to have great potential for regenerative medicine and development of new drugs.

Congratulations!! (^o^)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Unfriend your exes

Are you friends with a former lover on Facebook?

Then you could be damaging your health!!

According to a recent study conducted at Brunel University, as many as half of Facebook users are risking psychological damage by using the site to spy on their former flames.

Before Facebook and social networking, keeping tabs on exes was a lot more difficult, and required stalker-like dedication.

These days, however, it is easy to keep up continual surveillance, checking on what they are doing, who they are with, and where they are.

According to psychologist Dr. Tara Marshall, who led the study, it can make it more difficult to move on.

Dr. Marshall and her team found that those who remained Facebook friends with an ex experience more distress and took longer to move on compared to those who immediately clicked “unfriend.”

Fortunately or not, there's nothing wrong with my health... (^o^;)