Yes poop. 💩
Here are two ways poop came in handy this year:
In Japan: “Professor Poo bestseller brings scatology-based study to Japan” (from the Guardian). This book is helping kids learn to write kanji characters, and the term うんこ漢字ドリル(Poop Kanji Drills is the name of the book) was one of this year’s Words of the Year in Japan. (“The Japanese words that perfectly sum up how the country felt this year” from Quartz)
Read more about the workbook at Spoon and Tamago.
In the US: turning cow poop into electricity
Read more about this “methane digester” at the Strauss Family Creamery in California.
A pianist improvising in the styles of many famous composers. These three minutes are much more fun than hours of music theory classes, I suppose. And you can learn how to say this musical vocabulary in English (along with some tongue-in-cheek comments from the composers themselves).
This “news” made me laugh:
Japanese ramen-maker Nissin wants to end “noodle harassment” with a slurp-canceling fork
And it made me think about the spaghetti eating scene in one of my favorite movies, “Tampopo”:
A third video, minus the subtitles, if you want to try to translate it yourself
This is a series of PSA (public service announcements) from Common Sense Media about how our lives would probably improve if we had device-free family meals. Do you eat meals with your family? Do you have a device-free meal policy? Do you have the TV on when you eat? If you’re living alone, do you use your smartphone when you’re eating?