A small town in Sweden has a mosquito catching contest. Sound like fun?
“The Unofficial Mosquito-Catching World Championship” (from Atlas Obscura)
Looks like they do something similar in Russia, too:
“With 43 bites, 9-year-old wins ‘tastiest girl’ competition at annual Russian Mosquito Festival” (from the Washington Post)
What unsual contests have you heard of or participated in? If you could create an original contest, what would you have people do?
And speaking of mosquitos, here’s an unusual, counter-intuitive strategy to get rid of the pests:
“To Shrink Mosquito Population, Scientists Are Releasing 20 Million Mosquitoes” (from NPR)
Meanwhile, in Scotland one railway company has installed a “mosquito device” — a device emitting an annoying sound — to keep young people from loitering around train stations.
“Anger over Hamilton station ‘mosquito’ device” (from BBC)
Can you think of better ways to prevent loitering?
According to this short article from PRI, 99% of the refugees seeking asylum in Japan are rejected. Here’s the story of one who wasn’t. (You can listen to the audio, though it’s not the same as the written text. I suggest reading first and then listening, after you have a good idea about the story).
It’s a good story to learn about the people behind the statistics.
Humor in a second language is hard. It’s hard to understand, and it’s even harder to imitate. This website might help. The Rising Wasabi is a satirical news site. You can call it “fake news” or you can call it a way to enjoy current news with your tongue firmly in your cheek (Not sure what that means? Guess first, then check here).
In Japanese, the word “satire” is 風刺, literally “wind-stabbing”. Do you know the etymology of that word? Can you find out?
Some recent articles:
“Abe Asks Merkel If She’ll Be Pouring The Beers At The G20”
“JLPT Examinees Prepare Last Minute Unanswered Question Strategies” (the JLPT is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test — 日本語能力試験 — something most non-native speakers of Japanese living in Japan have taken, or tried taking, at least once)
“Entire Carriage Looks At Gaijin As Announcement Is Repeated In English”
“Trump Scraps TPP Trade Deal For More Populist PPAP Barter System”
“UNESCO Adds Whole Of Japan To World Heritage List To Save Time”
“Feminist Gaijin Insists On Being Referred To As A ‘Girljin’”
“‘Premium Friday’ Boosts Economy With Expenditures Under The Influence”
Is e-mail becoming obsolete? Some believe that, but there are e-mail newsletters that continue to do the hard work of curation for us. Here are a few I have been enjoying recently:
Everything Changes from the Awl— the theme changes, the frequency changes. You never know what to expect. This week there is a list of “tiny kindnesses” that people noticed. Here are a couple:
Make Your Point — to improve your vocabulary. I posted about this in January.
The Daily Pnut — a daily update of important news, curated for you, from sites like BBC, NYT, the Atlantic,
Elevator Grooves — the name here is still “Sweet Chili” but it’s now called “Elevator Grooves” and is from the Daily Pnut people, a weekly collection of songs you may not have heard. A couple of weeks ago I found some great Cuban music I didn’t know about thanks to them, and was reminded about how perfect for this time of year the Buena Vista Social Club is. The same day I was playing their music again, after forgetting about them for years, this documentary happened to be on TV. Kismet.