Morbid Fascination

The first time Akebono fought (vs. Bob Sapp) everyone was skeptical that he would be able to hold his own, but there was a glimmer of hope that the underdog might triumph. Sumo wrestlers, the argument went, are professional athletes and perhaps his unorthodox martial art would give him an edge against Sapp’s brute strength. And then he fell, and the truth became all too clear. After the fight, many people felt bad for him, and wished him a quick recovery and success in a non-MMA career.
But he just wouldn’t stop. Whenever an Akebono fight came on, many of us watched, not because we thought he had any chance of winning, but because we wondered how badly he would get beaten. There were no longer any discussions of it was possible for him to win, but rather how long it would take for him to go down. An Akebono K-1 fight is painful to watch. He looks like a nice enough guy, and you just want to see it end quickly. No, Hoyce Gracie vs. Akebono was not a fight I really wanted to see (but I watched it anyways).
Why hasn’t Akebono stopped fighting yet? It has to be for money, and its sad to see that he intends to keep on fighting. It’s even sadder that K-1 will keep on putting him on the bill until the public demand to see him severely beaten eventually dries up. Watching this story unfold is like watching a Greek tragedy. In this case, the protagonist has already made the pivotal choice and now we are witnessing a very painful fall from grace. I hope he wins his next fight, so that he can retire in peace.

Huygens a Success!

I was up late last night waiting for the reports of Titan via the Huygens probe to start pouring in, but was bitterly disappointed by the results of CNN’s analysis and coverage. Well, more data and pictures are coming in, and I will be following this story closely. It boggles the mind to think that this chunk of sensors was blasted into space 9 years ago, and only yesterday embarked upon its prime objective. The space program, and its operational timetables seem visionary in a most (still precocious) Asmovian way. Space programs kick ass.

Fressssssssssssssssssssssshh attire

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Last night I got to see the Beastie Boys for free thanks to Taro, who came through in the clutch- thanks bro. It was an awesome show- they played a mix of music mostly off of Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and To the 5 Boroughs.
The last time I saw the Beastie Boys was at the Forum (in L.A.), back in High School. I noticed some differences right away. This time they played a longer set, Mix Master Mike was a crowd favorite in Osaka and especially on top of his game, and this time we were treated to some instrumentals with a fully fleshed out band.
Things that I remember, and thoughts on the show:

Some people were rocking out harder to the opening act (Le Tigre- no comment) than to the Beastie Boys.
The crowd was very quiet, and didn’t make enough noise for an encore, but luckily they came back out anyways.
The Beastie Boys have one of those camera arrays that take a picture from multiple angles all at the same instant, take jump pictures, and display them in real time.
To take bootleg photos, it is best to turn OFF the lcd on your digicam BEFORE the concert.
In So. Cal, everyone stands at a B Boys show. In Osaka, most people sit down, except for the two spastic high schoolers in front of yours truly.
Osaka Beastie Boys groupies fall into the “has a nice personality” category.
The guy who plays the latin percussion is “Bunny” from Sabotage.
People were actually leaving during the middle of the show, while the Beasties were playing, and they left at the very end during the middle of their last song, Sabotage. WTF is that all about?
There were a lot of old people in the crowd. Nursing home age. Right on, but strange nonetheless.
Few people seemed to be into the instrumentals.
Osaka-jo Hall was not sold out, not by a long shot. Yes, it was Wednesday, but back in So Cal, tickets would have sold out in 10 minutes.
It was cool to listen to them banter on stage and know that very few of us understood what was going on.
Why do they never play anything off of License to Ill?

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Snake getting ready to bust in like Cochise.

Fish: it’s what’s for dinner

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We braved the arctic winds of Sumoto Port and hooked 5 of these vicious marine predators. With an equal mix of luck and skill, we ended up unscathed and with a first hand knowledge of how the mighty Gashira tastes as (badly mutilated) sashimi and deep fried in karaage batter. I bet it tastes like sculpin (which I’ve heard are quite delicious), and wonder if their dorsal spines have similar toxins as well. The remedy for treating sculpin envenomation, dousing the wound into water as hot as you can bear, sounds like something I’d rather not experience.
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When you hold them by the bottom lip or agitate them sufficiently, they flare out their fins into a defensive posture exposing ridges of spines in their fins. I believe they do this to deter potential predation, and to appear bigger.
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I was initially very reluctant to eat these fish because they remind me of puppy dogs with their gaping mouths and large eyes. They were delicious, but I think from now on I will catch and release. You would have to kill too many of them to make a decent meal.

Wired Spoof

This interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi is obviously fake, but pretty funny because it really looks like a legit article out of Wired Magazine. Can you seriously picture any Japanese businessman talking like this? (This question is an ignorance litmus test).