The Amazing Odin

Parts of Northern California are being decimated by wildfires. Here’s one story of survival and a stubborn, loyal dog named Odin.

“Amid The Horrors Of Wildfire, A Tale Of Survival And Singed Whiskers” (from NPR)


And today’s acronym is …

UNESCO, of course.

I thought it was fake news when I saw the news alert last night. Here are a few things to watch and read, to help you talk about the organization and the news about it.

The statement by the director about the U.S. withdrawal

A little background about how this isn’t the first time the U.S. has withdrawn or refused to help fund it:

“Why the U.S. Has Such a Rocky Relationship With UNESCO” from Slate

And a recent addition to UNESCO’s World Heritage list: the island off Fukuoka called Okinoshima, which apparently does not allow women (from The Guardian):

Not again

It happened again. Another mass shooting in the United States. I won’t comment about that here; students, if you want to talk with me about it in class, please do. But I did want to share two things:

  • My husband gets a Japanese newspaper on his iPad every morning. He told me that in this morning’s news, it said that the suspect in the Las Vegas shooting was connected to IS. I told him that wasn’t true, as far as I knew (from seeing reports from the NYT, the LA Times, BBC, CNN and several other reputable news sites). About a half an hour later, the morning NHK TV news mentioned that IS had claimed responsibility (that the gunman acted for them) but conceded that it was not clear if this was true. I haven’t watched the Japanese news since then (a couple of hours ago), but the point I want to make to students is to try to learn what is true and what isn’t true, and that might not be clear right away. And to not repeat as fact something until you’re sure it’s a fact.


  • Here’s something I read that made me both sad and mad, but it also made me nod my head in recognition that I do some of the same things:

My Mass Shooting Ritual

Sorry for the depressing post today. And students in Japan may not feel that connected to the story, living halfway across the world from it. But I think it’s important not to just shrug and say, “It’s awful, but nothing’s going to change.” That’s why the title of this post can mean two things:

“Oh no. It didn’t happen again, did it?” (It did, and it will happen again and again.)

“No! It will not happen again!” (We have to do more to prevent it from happening again.)

Caught in the crossfire

There was another missile launch today. There’s not much we can do about that, but we can continue to try to learn as much as we can about the country and its people and the current situation and its history. All three videos below contain plenty of Korean language, so those of you majoring in Korean will get some listening practice.

This is part 3 of a series on North Korea. This one is about an artist who used to do propaganda for the regime. Now as a defector, he uses his art for other purposes.

Part 2 is about the US military presence in South Korea, and also a pretty tense scene of the reporter and her guides trying to get to a remote village, but are prevented by the SK military. There’s also an old grandma with a real potty mouth at the end. Can hardly blame her. The title of today’s post is from the last lines of this video.

Part 1 is about the DMZ (the border between SK and NK).