So, I thought I was having…what’s the word…hot flashes? Feminine itching? A dry spell? When I realized I was just taking mean comments to heart. They got moderated: people who say such mean things about Mati from Captain Planet shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet! He took the crappy power bullet for all the ethnic minorities! Anyway, I came across some really interesting sites you might want to see. About half are in Japanese, so we’re still on topic.
- うさぎさんの毎日/The daily life of Little Miss Rabbit. It’s a blog. Written by a friend of mine. So, more shameless plug than anything else . She told me she’s worried the content is too “mundane”; I told her we can’t always limit our discussions to what’s in 論点/The Issues.
- This article by Joel son of Spolsky. Suddenly I feel bad about all those 0.1%-funny-99.9%-offensive jokes I’ve made in the past. But it’s a great article about getting things done even when you feel sluggish and useless and like you’re not really progressing, filled with insight like this: “Maybe this is the key to productivity: just getting started.” Read the whole for deeper insight.
- 国立国語研究所/The National Institute for Japanese Language (“Nigel”). I had never even heard of these kids until yesterday, but already I’m officially in love with them. They publish these cool reports with suggestions for Japanese replacements of unnecessary foreign words. And, seriously, as obsessed with words like “コンプライアンス/compliance” so many Japanese companies seem to be nowadays, don’t they really just mean 「法令遵守」? Hopefully I’m not a purist, but when you have one of the most powerful neologism-generation systems ever created by mankind at your disposal, why ignore it just to pretend you know a foreign language and/or are importing a foreign concept when you don’t and you’re not? Rhetorical question. What I love about the 国立国語研究所 is that they’re not in any way denying the value of foreign words; they freely admit the freshness and vitality they can bring; they’re merely redirecting towards sensibleness — away from the descent into katakana absurdity that passes for so many business documents trying to sound “catchy” and “with it” (when the motivation is positive), or (when the motivation is negative) actually trying to break laws by obfuscation: replacing a term for something that is 一目瞭然 clearly illegal or unpleasant when in kanji, with a foreign word in meaningless, emotionally neutral katakana. Nigel take a constructive approach; avoiding blanket condemnation, they identify the prime offenders and actually propose simple, effective solutions. I mean, “パブリックインボルブメント”/public involvement? WTF? 「住民参画」, foo! Anyway, the fact the Nigel exists is a very healthy precedent, and good for the lymph. Take a look at their reports: they’re very well written and easy to read.
- While on the subject of good writing, here comes Uncylopedia — the Japanese edition. And their collection of autologically bad articles on bad (i.e. hardーto-follow) writing. I almost died of laughter In fact, after I get done writing this, I’m going back for some more chuckles. They also had this hilarious disclaimers. 「超フィクション」（笑）. “The contents of this article are entirely fictional, although some of what is discussed may be factual, making this ‘super-fiction’, if you will”. Feels like that guy Alfred E. Tennyson’s famous blog post about half-truths.
- The fact that I haven’t already linked to Sushi and Seduction is a crime. Shame on me! The author, Emergency, is the man now dawg. And he’s the proud parent of three of the most amazing articles ever written. In one, he readies, aims and crushes with his bare keyboard all those crazy, negative, limiting beliefs that prevent so many people fulfilling their Japanese potential; he’s really dug deep and brought into the glaring light of day, all those irrational, nonsensical, unmaliciously racist beliefs [“but those people are just smarter! Their brains are designed for rote memorization! I read it in Mein Kampf!”] people cling to when it comes to Japanese and other Asian languages. But Emergency was just getting warmed up! He then comes out you with the positive beliefs that will help your Japanese self quickly grow big, strong and healthy. And just as a roundhouse kick, he gives his introduction to learning kanji. Keep an eye out for his family-oriented, hand-drawn illustrations that help you understand each article better.
- Glowing Face Man shares his insights on English and why you can’t whine about other languages if you know it. This ought to shut up some whiners for a while.
- Finally, I know I’ve put this up in some form before (indirectly), but that was to a sub-site. This is the main TBS Radio Podcasts site. They have some great podcasts up there, and it’s not limited to news/comedy/politics and general silliness. They also have at least one science podcast up there — Science Xitalk（サイエンス・サイトーク） — that I’m actually listening to as I write this, so check it out.
And we’re done.