the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
The day after the typhoon was calm and blue and beautiful. And then we did a whole lot of stuff! )And collapsing is our plan now!

Some Lesser-Known Fairytales

Sep. 16th, 2017 07:54 pm
flamebyrd: (dragonfic)
[personal profile] flamebyrd
I was researching Grimms' Fairy Tales for a certain upcoming Halloween party, hoping inspiration for a costume would strike (no luck yet), and was reminded of some of my favourite bizarre tales, so I am retelling them in short form below. (Links go to Wikipedia.)

The Wonderful Musician (Aarne-Thompson type 151, "music lessons for wild animals")

A fiddler wanders through the woods, looking for someone who will appreciate his music. He attracts the attentions of a wolf, fox and a hare, but is not interested in a harem of adorable animal friends and tricks them into trapping themselves.

Eventually he finds an appreciative woodcutter, the kind of company he was seeking (if you know what I mean), who helpfully protects the fiddler from the escaped and vengeful animals.

The fiddler plays the woodcutter one more song to thank him and wanders on (like a cad).


The Water Nixie (Aarne-Thompson type 313A, "the girl helps the hero flee and revolves about a transformation chase")

A brother and sister fall into a well, where they are captured by a nixie who puts them to work. Fortunately, they're able to escape on Sunday while the nixie is at church.

The nixie.

At church.

She chases them, but luckily they are able to use a collection of ordinary household items which transform into nigh-impassable mountains to escape.


The Devil and his Grandmother (Aarne-Thompson type 812, "the devil's riddle")

Three soldier deserters make a deal with the Devil (who is masquerading as a dragon, because that's cool) to escape execution, who gives them a magic whip and a promise that in 7 years, he would take them to hell unless they could solve his riddle.

Fortunately one of them is able to find the Devil's grandmother, who gives him the solution to the riddle. So they get to keep the whip and escape.

--

In all seriousness, go to Wikipedia and check out the source links for these, because all of the stories have some neat imagery that's worth reading. (And I assume that's the real point of them. They just sound cool.)

typhoon!

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:04 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
We are perfectly fine! But our plans have had to change... )

"Well, a typhoon is a quintessentially Japanese experience," I remarked to Geoff.

oh, also

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:53 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Geoff is blogging our trip at his own journal, if you're interested. He and I tend to report different things in different ways...

Hiroshima and Saijō

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:45 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
I didn't realize that I would start choking up the moment we walked into the Peace Park, but on reflection I really should have expected that )

And now we're back in our ryokan, winding down and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow we'll go do the temple walk in Onomichi, I hope!

en route to Hiroshima

Sep. 12th, 2017 04:01 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
arriving, and our first couple of days )

It's four o'clock and we're having a quick wash and rest before going out to see what we can of the Peace Park and then find some dinner! Contrary to the forecast I checked this morning, it isn't raining! though it's still hot and humid. Still, after some fiddling we figured out how to use our room's air conditioner, so we have respite, yay.

My brothers-in-law are okay!

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:12 am
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
They've lost power, of course, and there's property damage including a roof leak, but the house didn't flood (floodwaters reached the driveway but came no further) and the kids even slept through the worst of it. YAY.

On the plane and on the ground!

Sep. 11th, 2017 08:20 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
This is a very long plane flight. Read more... )

And then we landed in Tokyo! Definitely no view of Fuji, though. )

connecting through Toronto

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:48 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
and paranoically checking for updates on my brothers-in-law. They're on the east coast of Florida, so things are likely to be not quite as bad as predicted for them, but oh my god,the poor Gulf of Mexico. No news from them since a photo they sent last night of their master bath, all padded with cushions and mattresses and dogs. At that point, at least, the kids seemed to consider it all a great adventure...

As I watched the news coverage on one of the TV screens in an airport restaurant, I saw what has to be the most American headline ever: "Authorities caution Florida residents not to shoot at Irma, as bullets will not avert the hurricane."

a couple of amazing things

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:31 pm
the_shoshanna: pleased-as-punch little girl: "Ta-da!" (ta-da!)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
The Voynich manuscript appears to have been deciphered!

And today is the birthday of Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov, an officer in a Soviet early-warning system who in 1983 averted what would probably have been "large-scale nuclear war".
Had Petrov reported incoming American missiles, his superiors might have launched an assault against the United States, precipitating a corresponding nuclear response from the United States. Petrov declared the system's indication a false alarm. Later, it was apparent that he was right: no missiles were approaching and the computer detection system was malfunctioning. . . . However, in a 2013 interview, Petrov said at the time he was never sure that the alarm was erroneous. He felt that his civilian training helped him make the right decision. His colleagues were all professional soldiers with purely military training and, following instructions, would have reported a missile strike if they had been on his shift.
Spasibo, Stanislav Yevgrafovich, and may your calm, non-military mindset be honored and taken as a model in our day.

Either I've done virtually everything I need to do to prepare for tomorrow morning's departure (except I'd like to bake a loaf of date-nut bread to have as travel food), or I've forgotten something catastrophic. Orthogonal to these possibilities, I'm terrified that the cat is going to pee on my luggage. Going upstairs to check on him now!
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