chronovore: (sweater)Æthelred_the_Unready

'"Unready" is a mistranslation of the Old English word unræd (meaning bad-counseled), a twist on his name "Æthelred", meaning noble-counseled. It should not be "unprepared", but rather "ill-advised".'
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The train I take to work is a "sub-express" train; it doesn't stop between my hometown station and my work station, making the trip in a brisk 14 minutes. Today as the train pulled away from the station, a Very Old Guy got up from his seat, and walked over to the door, near where I was standing. As I was busy fussing with my iPod, untangling my headphones, and mussing with my new sunglasses, he kept sidling up closer to me. Right about the moment I got my earbuds in, the music playing, and entirely settled for the ride, the Very Old Guy took off his sunglasses and started talking to me. I scrambled to get everything un-done, unfastened, and said "Sorry... What...?"


Oh, boy. When a guy this old asks that question, I don't know what's coming next. I just answered honestly, "No, just American," and waited to hear what was coming. It turns out that this guy was an exchange student to MIT earlier in life, studying engineering -- steelmaking, specifically. He was at MIT in 1941 on a fellowship from Sumitomo or Mitsubishi (I forget which) and was to be there a whole year, but was called home early because "things got busy." He said there was a lack of English translators, so he had to go back and work. But he was making steel, and said it became very hot, and there was a lot of dust. So it's not clear what the translation part of his job was. He said 80% of his friends are long dead, mostly from cancer, he thinks it was caused from the dust from steel manufacturing. Steel manufacturing post-1941 in Japan, I can only guess that it was all for the war effort, which Japan had already been staging for a few years by that point. I asked him when he was called back to Japan... what month he was called back to Japan, wondering how far ahead of December 7 it might have been. I've been on the receiving end of the A-bomb question several times, but this is the first time to know what it feels like to be on the opposite side of that question. But he may not even realize about the significance of Pearl Harbor. As I understand it, the event that directly lead the USA into the war in the Pacific is not given much special mention in the Japanese history books.

Then again, he also said he is 70 right now, meaning he was 3 years old when he went to MIT. I suspect he is well over 80, from the grey-blue ring around the outside of his otherwise light-brown irises. If he's 85 now, he would have been 18 at the time, and that's reasonable to believe. I'm not so sure about the 30-year-old girlfriend he claimed to be on his way to meet, for a date in Namba.


Jun. 10th, 2008 01:05 pm
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Rising Gas Prices Finally Kill The Once-Mighty SUV | Autopia from
"The SUV as a lifestyle choice, as a personal statement, is dead," Aaron Bragman, an industry analyst at Global Insight, tells "People are downsizing from their big trucks to smaller cars."
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Maverick Swedish Pop Star Reveals What Britney Could Have Been: This one's for [ profile] jjgalahad since he originally hipped me to Robyn's exsistence. RAWR.
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Californio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Californios were Spanish-speaking inhabitants of Alta California, first a part of New Spain, later of Mexico. This area was later annexed in 1848 by the United States following the Mexican-American War.

Californios included both the descendants of European settlers from Spain and Mexico, and also included other European settlers, Mestizos, and local Native Americans who adopted Spanish culture and converted to Christianity. Some white Americans (Yankees), who settled in California, spoke Spanish, and lived as Mexicans, are also considered Californios.

At first, Spanish and later Mexican officials encouraged people from the northern and western provinces of Mexico—as well as people from other parts of Latin America, most notably Peru and Chile—to settle in California. The United States government did not continue this practice.

Much of Californio society lived at or near the many Missions, which were established in the 18th and 19th centuries. There were 21 Missions under the Roman Catholic church along the fabled route, El Camino Real.

Some Americans became honorary Californios due to their early arrival, marriage to Californios, and their adoption of, and adaptation to, Spanish culture and religion. Some wealthy Californio nobles intermarried with the settlers; thus a few prominent families in California may have Spanish or Mexican ancestors.
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Powell's Books - Review-a-Day - Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita Parsi, reviewed by New York Review of Books
In his continuing effort to bolster support for the Iraq war, President Bush traveled to Reno, Nevada, on August 28 to speak to the annual convention of the American Legion. He emphatically warned of the Iranian threat should the United States withdraw from Iraq. Said the President, "For all those who ask whether the fight in Iraq is worth it, imagine an Iraq where militia groups backed by Iran control large parts of the country."

On the same day, in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, battled government security forces around the shrine of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's holiest places. A million pilgrims were in the city and fifty-one died.

The US did not directly intervene, but American jets flew overhead in support of the government security forces. As elsewhere in the south, those Iraqi forces are dominated by the Badr Organization, a militia founded, trained, armed, and financed by Iran. When US forces ousted Saddam's regime from the south in early April 2003, the Badr Organization infiltrated from Iran to fill the void left by the Bush administration's failure to plan for security and governance in post-invasion Iraq.

In the months that followed, the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) appointed Badr Organization leaders to key positions in Iraq's American-created army and police. At the same time, L. Paul Bremer's CPA appointed party officials from the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) to be governors and serve on governorate councils throughout southern Iraq. SCIRI, recently renamed the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), was founded at the Ayatollah Khomeini's direction in Tehran in 1982. The Badr Organization is the militia associated with SCIRI. [full review]
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OpinionJournal - Taste:
Many academics would consider my lack of manliness a good thing. They regard boys as thugs-in-training, caught up in a patriarchal society that demeans women. In the 1990s the American Association of University Women (among others) positioned boys as the enemies of female progress (something Christina Hoff Sommers exposed in her book, "The War Against Boys"). But the latest trend is to depict boys as themselves victims of a testosterone-infected culture. In their book "Raising Cain," for example, the child psychologists Don Kindlon and Michael Thompson warn parents against a "culture of cruelty" among boys. Forget math, science and throwing a ball, they suggest--what your boy most needs to learn is emotional literacy.
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