The right to recline

In recent years, there have been countless incidents on airplanes in which passengers get into fights about space: Who gets the armrest? Is it ok to recline? This article talks about ways to prevent such arguments:

“How to Resolve Fights over Reclining Airplane Seats: Use Behavioral Economics” (Evonomics, May 12)

Reading this reminded me of a bus ride I was on in Cambodia. Across the aisle, I saw a man reclined in his seat, sleeping peacefully, while the mother and child behind him looked less than comfortable.

What do you think? Should the man have checked first before he reclined fully? Or is it the responsiblity of the bus manufacturer to design better buses, trains and plances, to make sure kids-on-laps aren’t squished?

“Say whatever you want, but say it well!”

“a misspelling is a lack of respect”

I like the Edgar Allen Poe decoration hanging from their rearview mirror (though doing that appears to be illegal in many US states … how about in Japan?). But then, so is graffiti

What are some differences between graffiti and street art? Would you like to see more of the latter around the streets of Tokyo?

Two articles to read about street art in Tokyo:

Explore the Street Art and Murals of Tokyo’s Tennozu Isle” (from Spoon and Tamago)

“Street artists in Japan try to wipe out conservative views toward graffiti” (from Japan Times)

Therapy for political prisoners

This is a story about a woman in Vietnam who, with her mother, was imprisoned for political subversion. While in prison, they learned how to make these dolls.

“Little Dolls From a Vietnamese Prison Carry a Big Message” (from Global Voices)

“At the prison that Minh Mẫn and her mother were held, inmates are kept apart from each other and completely barred from going outdoors. Reading materials are highly regulated and inmates risk solitary confinement for any perceived misconduct. The roly poly dolls became a therapeutic source of creativity and distraction.”

There’s a 7-8 minute podcast segment to listen to at the end of the article, and you can read more about her case here.