Curious George

In Japan, he’s known as George the Monkey (おさるのジョージ). Easy to understand, but not as descriptive.

Did you know that he escaped the Nazis during WW2? Here’s the story:

I was looking around for something else related to Curious George and found a couple of easy-to-read articles:

“Curious George celebrates 76th birthday”

“85-year-old cycles from home to library every day”

The second one isn’t really about the character; it’s about this elderly man’s energy, inquisitiveness, and love of reading. Towards the end of the article, it says that people who know him were asked to liken him to a character in a book. One person said he was like Curious George.

That leads to a writing prompt for people who like to read fiction: Which character in fiction do you most resemble? How about a parent or grandparent or a teacher or coach? Or an eccentric neighbor?

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A time capsule

This is the story of the oldest tofu shop in the US (in Portland, Oregon). It was started by a Japanese family in 1911. The article describes the family and the shop, and how both changed over the years. The war-time part of the story is particularly moving and an important history lesson.

“The Secret History of America’s Oldest Tofu Shop” (from Roads and Kingdoms)

I chose the title of today’s post from these line, towards the end of the article:

“As Ota’s new Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese customers acclimate to American foodways, they tend to come in less frequently. But for immigrants, language and food are like time capsules; by maintaining traditional recipes and techniques as the city rapidly changes around them, Ota Tofu honors this.

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).

Why would anyone want to ban that?

This short video is about a temporary display in Germany of books that have been banned in the past. The goal is to get people thinking and talking about censorship.

More information about this exhibit here

I’m reminded of the controversy about the Harry Potter books. Some religious zealots wanted to (and continue to want to, according to this more recent article) ban these books in classrooms and libraries because they claim the stories contain “occult/Satanic and anti-family themes, and violence”.

Here’s another list of “20 banned books that may surprise you”. Included in the list:

  • “Little Red Riding Hood” — because she has wine in her basket (!)
  • “Where’s Waldo” — because of some of the people depicted in the crowds surrounding Waldo
  • “The Wizard of Oz” — because Oz was too socialist and because it depicts one witch as good
  • “The Diary of Anne Frank” — for two reasons (read them here)

And …

  • The dictionary. Can you guess why? (It’s #13 on the list if you want to check.)