Japanese TV News

Television news programs in Japan are famously entertaining. The sets are more interesting and the hosts are much more physically involved with the story-telling. Below are some screenshots of a lengthy and incredibly detailed explanation of the sport of speedskating.

Here they are talking about the importance of drafting complete with a huge fan for effect. I can’t imagine Brian Williams or Savannah Guthrie doing this.

Well, maybe Al Roker.

The week that was (02-16-2018)

Children were shot down and murdered in cold blood. Thoughts & Prayers trended on social media.

An Arizona woman has been diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome, a rare condition that causes her to switch accents.

Parents at a school in Japan asked the school scale back on the budget for their new $800 uniforms. The school had hired Armani.

The leather-bound book titled Gaines Universal Register or American and British Kalendar for the year 1793 has been checked out too often from the Schenectady Union College library. Tucked inside archivists discovered an envelope containing a few strands of hair from George Washington.

Scientists in Bolivia, desperate to raise awareness for the last known living male Sehuencas water frog created a match.com profile to find him a mate.

The Chinese military has re-assigned 60,000 troops to plant trees.

Lions in South Africa fought back and ate an illegal poacher in Kruger National Park. All that remained was a loaded rifle and his head.

A scientist at Oxford won awards for his photo of a single atom.

A Texas man man was unsuccessful in appealing a DWI conviction after he argued that the state’s legal threshold for intoxication “unfairly discriminates against alcoholics.”

First it was 16-year old Jack Bergeson. Then a couple more teenagers. Finally this week a dog is now running to be the next Governor of Kansas.

Clever Moscow residents have found a way to force a reluctant city government to clear record snow that is clogging their streets. They write the name of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on piles of it.

We learned that the entire Finnish Olympic squad in Pyeongchang is knitting a blanket for the presidential couple’s newborn son.

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I have a new appreciation for Team Finland.

Childhood Nightmare (updated)

The stuff of nightmares when I was growing up was this scene from the slasher, Trilogy of Terror.

Boston Dynamics just released an update

Of course, Black Mirror perfects the terror.

The week that was (2-9-2018)

The Crisco didn’t work so well last time so Philadelphia city workers tried something else to keep the sports fans from climbing the city lamp posts, hydraulic fluid. It didn’t work.

Boston University lost their bet with Temple University so BU students will be eating Philly Cheese Steaks under a banner congratulating the Eagles on their Super Bowl victory.

Budweiser honored its bet with Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson and bought Bud Light for the everyone at the Eagles Super Bowl parade.

A Florida man who was missing at sea was found after 16 days of subsisting on Doritos and cookies.

Headline of the Week award goes to Inverse for “Flat Earther’s Rocket Launch Fails Spectacularly, Disappointing Tens”

Police in Scotland had a tense, 45-minute stand-off with a tiger until they discovered it was a stuffed animal.

In Mexico, someone tried to send a live tiger cub through express mail.

Remember the emotional support peacock from last week? This week a college student was told by Spirit Airlines at the gate that her pet hamster, Pebbles, would not be allowed onboard her flight so she flushed him down the toilet.

Ever sensible Finland started wheels turning for the EU to evaluate the repeal of Daylight Savings Time.

Japanese scientists were at it again. Apparently chemicals found in McDonald’s french fries stimulates hair growth.

Sensing opportunity with the legalization of recreational pot in California, one enterprising Girl Scout sold over 300 boxes of cookies in six hours outside of a San Diego pot dispensary. All for a good cause?

A self-driving truck drove itself 2,400 miles from Los Angeles to Jacksonville.

The US Army is now training with unmanned robots that shoot .50-caliber bullets from a machine gun.

The Norwegian Olympic team in South Korea misused Google Translate and ended up taking delivery of 15,000 eggs.

The Winter Olympics skating competitions kicked off in Korea with a dreadful Paul Anka cover of Wonderwall.

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John Perry Barlow (1947 ~ 2018)

I’m struggling to process the passing of JPB this week. For many that got connected via dial-up in the 80’s he was the soul of the .net. He set the tone. His spirit prevailed as the founding principle of many online communities – his tone of “live & let live and be helpful and nice y’all” was foundation of many of the pinned posts of the early BBS that taught us how to behave in this new world. Whenever we struggled with some great calamity, we would turn to Barlow for guidance. Through it all, he was ever the prankster reminding that no one should take themselves too seriously.

Others have been more eloquent.

John Battelle

Steven Levy in Wired

Kevin Kelly

Cory Doctrow

The week that was (2-2-2018)

Pastor Mack Wolford from the Full Gospel Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus was killed by the timber rattlesnake that was a common prop in his sermons.

Scott Tilley, an amateur radio astronomer, discovered a satellite that NASA thought they had lost in 2005. It appears to have been actively transmitting data all along.

Thieves in Germany stole two trucks and made off with almost 50 tons, of chocolate. Further South, police outside of Seville, Spain recovered four tons of oranges.

Tickets to the President Trump’s State of the Union speech had a typo and had to be reprinted.

A woman at Newark Airport was denied a seat on a United Airlines flight for her pet which she claimed had a right to bring on board as her emotional support animal. The pet was a peacock.

Two cops in Toronto raided a marijuana dispensary and sampled some of the evidence. The edibles did not show any adverse effects so they ate more, and then some more. Then the drugs kicked in.

Students in New Jersey raised over $5,000 to send their school bus driver, “Mr. Gary” and his wife to the Minnesota to see his favorite team, the Eagles, play in the Super Bowl this weekend.

Robert Meilhammer, out hunting geese, had to be airlifted to a hospital when one of the birds shot out of the sky hit him and knocked him unconscious.

A Northern California woman listed as missing when she stopped updating her social media accounts turned up on national TV in an episode of The Bachelor.

Michael Ryder in Michigan started to receive unemployment checks this week. Michael is a dog.

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Kasou Taishou

We spent this morning looking at YouTube videos of Kasou Taishou. These are short skits that re-create special effects using charmingly amateur stage effects. Think of it as a mashup between traditional Japanese kabuki stage-craft and a high school play.

Add a twist of self-depreciating humor and you’ve got a winner.

My Web 2.0 Laptop

When I worked at Yahoo it was at the height of a cultural trend called Web 2.0. The fashion was to put stickers of various startups all over the front of your laptop so people could see how hip you were. I was running into many interesting people so I took a different approach and asked them to sign my laptop with a sharpie instead.

When the laptop started to give out, before handing it back Yahoo IT and took a snapshot for posterity.

Here are some of the names. Click on the photo above to go to the Flickr page that has them tagged.

Rafat Ali
Stowe Boyd
Nick Denton
Caterina Fake
David Filo
David Jacobs
Bradley Horowitz
Guy Kawasaki
Ross Mayfield
Richard MacManus
Dave McClure
Matt Mullenweg
Ray Ozzie
Greg Reinacker
Doc Searls
Deborah Schultz
Kathy Sierra
Bruce Sterling
Chris Tolles
David Weinberger
Dave Winer
Niklas Zennström

The week that was (1-26-2108)

To keep jubilant Philadelphia Eagles fans from climbing lamp posts after the NFC Championship game, city workers lathered them down with Crisco grease. Despite their efforts, Eagles fans drove up the Rocky Steps with their dune buggy and animated traffic cones instead.

Minnesota Viking fans, bitter at their loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia and having to host Philly fans in Minnesota, are apparently plotting to sign up as temporary Uber drivers so they can drop them off “in the boonies.”

New Orleans recently cleared out its clogged drainage system of 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads.

A Florida man was arrested for driving under the influence after pulling up to a drive-thru bank window at and trying to order a burrito.

A flying drone dropped a flotation device to two teens caught in a riptide in heavy seas off the Australian coast in what officials describe as a world-first rescue-by-drone.

Japanese engineers have been testing a new device for trains that has reduced the number of “deer-train collisions” by 40%. The contraption makes the trains bark like a dog.

New York City placed a $4 billion order with Japanese company Kawasaki for over 1,000 new subway cars. The deal was a blow to Canadian Bombardier which was hired to build the city’s last fleet of new cars, but delivered them two years behind schedule.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai have successfully cloned a monkey.

A driver of a Tesla stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic on the San Francisco Bay Bridge was sternly reminded by California Highway Patrol that a self-driving is not the same as autopilot. Later in the week, another Tesla reportedly on “Autopilot” slammed into the back of a fire truck in the breakdown lane.

A German politician from an anti-Islam party resigned and converted to Islam.

Ralph Lauren unveiled the US Winter Olympic uniforms. They are embedded with electric heating elements in the shape of an American flag.

China announced that Hip-Hop culture and tattoos are now banned from television.

Residents in Alabama held a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of a Taco Bell.

Japanese food scientists figured out how to make soft-serve ice cream that can be set on fire.

French supermarket chain Intermarché discounted the hazelnut spread Nutella 70% – riots broke out.

A dozen camels were disqualified from this year’s Saudi “camel beauty contest” because their handlers used Botox to make them more handsome.

The White House inquired with the Guggenheim about borrowing a Van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters. The Guggenheim’s chief curator was apologetic. The painting was “prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions” and suggested Maurizio Cattelan’s Golden Toilet which was available.

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