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  1. I've moved to www.ridingsun.com
    From Riding Sun I've finally taken the plunge and moved this blog to a paid hosting service. Plus, I snagged the swanky new domain name www.ridingsun.com. (Actually, I've had it for a while, but it just redirected to my blogspot URL.)I'm using Powerblogs (which is used perhaps most notably by The Volokh Conspiracy). Chistopher Lansdown, the head honcho at Powerblogs, has been extraordinarily responsive and helpful in working through all the tiny details in getting my new blog template looking just right. Already, I'm thinking that having a live
  2. Indoctrination, not education
    From Riding Sun The Japan Times reported last week that Tokyo has decided to use a controversial new history textbook criticized for whitewashing Japanese atrocities in Asia during World War II:The Tokyo Metropolitan board of education adopted two contentious social studies textbooks Thursday that critics say distort history and gloss over Japan's wartime atrocities.The capital is the second city this year, after Otawara, Tochigi Prefecture, to choose junior high textbooks — one for history and one for civics — compiled by members of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform and published by
  3. Remembering, and forgetting, Hiroshima
    From Riding Sun Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the day America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, followed by a second one on Nagasaki three days later.There is no denying the bombs had a devastating and horrific impact. There is also no denying that they ended the Pacific war, forcing Japan's surrender. The fear at the time that many more people — American and Japanese — would have died in a land invasion of the Japanese main islands is addressed in this piece by military historian Victor Davis Hanson, and
  4. Lightweight, but underpowered
    From Riding Sun The Kneeslider (who found it on, yes, BoingBoing) points to these insanely detailed paper motorcycle models from Yamaha. Here's a single-cylinder SR400:Best of all, the model kits are available free, over the Internet. Just download the parts as pdf files, print them out, and start cutting.
  5. Al-Zawahri says Osama tapes are "Done"
    From Riding Sun PAKISTAN (Rooters) — After months of speculation, it appears that what many fans feared would happen has indeed come to pass: Osama Bin Laden?s series of videotaped threats against America and her allies is finished.Al-Qaeda second-in-command and Bin Laden associate Ayman Al-Zawahri revealed in an interview with Al-Jazeera that the world?s most-wanted criminal is not coming back. "Osama?s tapes are over, man. Done," Al-Zawahri told reporters from the Arabic-language news network. "It took me a long time to be able to say those words, but I can say it pretty
  6. The 150th Carnival of the Vanities
    From Riding Sun Welcome to the 150th Carnival of the Vanities. This week's Carnival contains over 50 submissions. It should go without saying that the views expressed by contributors are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect my own opinions.Next week's edition will appear August 10th at Generic Confusion. And now, on with the show!The EnvironmentThe Dread Pundit Bluto cites some sources suggesting that NASA's switch to an environmentally-friendly foam may be the reason chunks of it keep shearing off the Space Shuttle's external fuel tank and damaging the main
  7. Life imitates Office Space
    From Riding Sun We have an intern in our office for the summer. Nice kid — fresh out of high school, and heading into a top college this fall.Earlier, I overheard one of my colleagues (let's call him Fred) telling the intern how to handle an elaborate data-gathering project. At the end of his explanation, he actually said, "...so, if you could go ahead and do that, that'd be great.""Hey, Fred," I called out from across the floor. "Did you see Office Space?""Yeah""You sound like Lumbergh."This set off a round
  8. Is The Onion becoming funny again?
    From Riding Sun I'm of the opinion that the humor quotient of The Onion has been in a tailspin for the past few years, but this is just brilliant:Suicide Bomber Killed En Route By Car BombBAGHDAD — Terrorist cells in Baghdad are in mourning for suicide bomber Ahmed al-Khalaf, 19, who was killed by a car bomb Monday, 200 yards from an Iraqi police station, his intended target.Sources within the insurgency said al-Khalaf was "on his way to becoming a glorious martyr" when he was struck down by the car-bomb explosion. Twenty-three other
  9. This is getting out of hand
    From Riding Sun First Apostropher started blogging about weird Japan news.Then BoingBoing churned out a bunch of Japan-themed posts.And Running for the Right piled on.Fine.But now even the mighty Instapundit is jumping on the bandwagon, linking to an article on how to eat sushi.Hey, I was blogging about Japan before it was cool.
  10. Beetle mania
    From Riding Sun InakaYabanjin looks at Japan's fascination with giant, fearsome beetles. There are beetle videogames, beetle magazines, and live beetles for sale as pets (sometimes supplied by beetle smugglers).However, only about 1 percent of Japanese are Christians. So in Japan, at least, beetles are indeed more popular than Jesus.
  11. Didn't these guys see Die Hard?
    From Riding Sun If there's one thing I learned from watching Bruce Willis in his breakthrough role, it was this: Never go after terrorists without a good pair of shoes.Which makes this item in the Sun (via Fark) all the more unbelievable:POLICE have been told they must show respect by taking their SHOES OFF before raiding the homes of Muslim terror suspects.It was one of 18 rules laid down in new guidelines for officers in Luton — a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.Showing respect is nice, but not if it hinders your ability
  12. The teapot is no more
    From Riding Sun Previously, I blogged about how Muslims Muslim extremists attacked the giant teapot-shaped shrine of Malaysia's inter-faith Sky Kingdom sect for supposedly luring people away from Islam.Now, via LGF, Malaysian newspaper The Star reports that sadly, the teapot has been destroyed — even though the sect had obtained a court injunction blocking the demolition of any structure at their commune:The giant teapot and other key structures at the Sky Kingdom commune came tumbling down yesterday after the Besut District Council sent in its demolition squad. More than 30 followers of the
  13. President Barbour?
    From Riding Sun Mississippi Governor and former RNC chairman Haley Barbour gave a speech to Republicans Abroad Japan at the Century Court in Tokyo this evening, while on a tour of Asia designed to attract foreign investment in his state. I stopped by to hear him speak.In his speech, Gov. Barbour focused on the competitiveness, and need for compromise, in American politics today. But he also found time to mention how he managed to virtually erase Mississippi's deficit without raising taxes.Then, during the question-and-answer session that followed, when asked who would
  14. The Beijing Olympics should be interesting
    From Riding Sun I've never explicitly posted my thoughts on this subject, but given China's anti-Japan riots this past spring, the recent news items about Chinese restaurants and hospitals excluding Japanese patrons, and the arrogance of Chinese officials at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, I've been wondering whether China is really ready to welcome people from all over the world when Beijing hosts the Olympics in 2008.At Japundit, JP is having similar reservations, pointing to a China Daily article about Chinese fans and players attacking the Puerto Rican basketball team
  15. Them Duke boyz n the hood
    From Riding Sun Via Dangerous Dan, the Detroit News notes an ironic shift in the demographics of Dodge Charger owners:The Charger received an early blessing from one of hip-hop's biggest names, 50 Cent, who after seeing the beefy sedan debut at the Detroit auto show requested the first production model. In a January phone message to the publisher of auto-customizing magazine Dub, the chart-topping rapper asked, "What I gotta' do to get that Dodge Charger first? I need that."50 Cent got his wish. This spring, he became the first customer to take delivery
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