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A little background about how this isn’t the first time the U.S. has withdrawn or refused to help fund it: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

Advertisements

Isle of Dogs

Something more enjoyable for today: a movie trailer for “Isle of Dogs”.

Can’t wait to see this. Opening in March in the US. Hope it doesn’t take another 6 months to hit the theaters here.

Directed by Wes Anderson. And look at  the voice actors! Bill Murray … of course he’s in it.

 

Free speech vs. hate speech

Yesterday’s topic was about book banning and censorship. How about hate speech and censorship? Where should we draw the line on free speech?

Here’s an article about a protest that took place in Tokyo a few days ago, outside of Twitter’s office.

At Twitter’s Tokyo Office, Protesters Stomp on Hateful Tweets” (from Global Voices)

That’s one way to protest. Another way is with humor. Like the “Mean Tweets” segment on Jimmy Kimmel. People read mean tweets about themselves. One way to deal with bullies is to laugh at them.

Here’s one with President Obama, done right before the election. His response to the last tweet is depressing to see now, but I do miss his sense of humor.

“A shift, a change in momentum”

The Autumn Sumo Tournament is starting this weekend. I happened across these two videos, which I enjoyed and even if you don’t know much about sumo (I love that I know the names of many of these rikishi, having been a sumo fan for the past couple of years and been to two tournaments at the Kokugikan in Tokyo) you may enjoy them too.

One focuses on the rikishi coming to and leaving the tournament. There’s no speaking, just a rather beautiful audio track, and it gets us thinking about tradition and modern conveniences.

The second one focuses on what the rikishi can do after they retire, especially the less successful ones. It’s rather bittersweet. Most of the speaking is in Japanese, with English subtitles, so it’s a good chance to focus on language similarities and differences.

I really liked the attitude of the rikishi who opened a restaurant. He has no regrets, he says.

“To make the best and not to waste everything the past.”

“It’s not an end. It’s a shift, a change in momentum.”