Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday!

A day late, but yesterday was Edgar Allan Poe's two hundredth birthday! Happy birthday to one of my favorite writers.

Tonight's midnight (well, two a.m., Tokyo time) promises to be anything but dreary, as I ponder (perhaps weak and weary due to a cold I've contracted) the inauguration. Obama's TODO list is infinitely long, but hope dawns across the land. Hmm, there are lots of comparisons to Lincoln, King, and Kennedy; I wonder if there's an appropriate Poe quote?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Single Best Geek Comic Ever?

I don't often read xkcd, but this one might be the single best geek comic ever...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Anniversary of Two Eras

This past week was the anniversary of two important eras in Japanese history, one symbolic and high profile, the other of enormous practical impact but much lower profile.

January 7th was the twentieth anniversary of the death of Emperor Hirohito, the end of the Showa Era, and the start of the Heisei Era with the ascension of the current occupant to the throne.

That same day, Jun Murai was at Narita Airport, on his way to Washington, D.C., for some rather obscure technical work. On about January 11th, he got it running: Japan was connected to the Internet, via IP over X.25, for the first time.

Several years later, when I left Japan for the first time, I gave my email address to many Japanese (and foreign) friends. Most said, "What's this?" I replied, "Hang onto it, in a few years you'll know." And indeed, I occasionally am contacted by friends from that time, though I suspect they come upon my address now via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another, mutual friend.