A day in the life

The California Sunday Magazine has a whole issue about teenagers this month. Because:

“We wanted to see how they’re living right now in the world adults made for them and how they’re beginning to change it — and maybe get a glimpse of where we’re all headed together.”

Here’s the cover photo:

Stories include:

Life advice from teen experts — how to meet new people, how to get people to care about something, how to say no, how to throw a good dance party (and more)

The two hour commute — see how three teenagers commute, with illustrations

How they do lunch

A conversation about social media and politics

Hanging out

This is a great model for a cross-cultural comparison or a research project about teenagers or university students in Japan: Find people to survey, ask good questions, analyze their answers, add photos and illustrations.

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“A cure for the day”

Halloween decorations are already up in some places and the supermarket in my neighborhood started selling Halloween themed sweets in the first week of September. Too soon?

But it may not be too soon to start planning your Halloween costume, if you’re doing that this year. Here’s a short video about people who are making amazing costumes for kids with disabilities, so people see the costume and the kid, and not the disability.

Did you notice that the word “cosplay” is now part of the English language? Add that to your list of loan words from Japanese.

Here’s the website for the non-profit introduced in the video, if you want to find out more: Magic Wheelchair

All about mosquitos

A small town in Sweden has a mosquito catching contest. Sound like fun?

“The Unofficial Mosquito-Catching World Championship” (from Atlas Obscura)

Looks like they do something similar in Russia, too:

“With 43 bites, 9-year-old wins ‘tastiest girl’ competition at annual Russian Mosquito Festival” (from the Washington Post)

What unsual contests have you heard of or participated in? If you could create an original contest, what would you have people do?

And speaking of mosquitos, here’s an unusual, counter-intuitive strategy to get rid of the pests:

“To Shrink Mosquito Population, Scientists Are Releasing 20 Million Mosquitoes” (from NPR)

Meanwhile, in Scotland one railway company has installed a “mosquito device” — a device emitting an annoying sound — to keep young people from loitering around train stations.

“Anger over Hamilton station ‘mosquito’ device” (from BBC)

Can you think of better ways to prevent loitering?

Games and sports

What’s a game? What’s a sport?

How would you explain the differences?

“What makes a sport a sport?”

This short piece from 1843 gives us a little background about the word “sport” as opposed to “game”. It explains that bridge (a card game) has been declared a sport, not just a game, by the European Council of Justice.

It made me think of a scene in a movie called “What Women Want” (Japanese title: ハート・オブ・ウーマン). The main characters work for an advertising agency and they’re making a commercial for Nike. Here’s the clip:

Here’s another clip that shows a bit more background. The premise of this rather silly movie is that the man (played by Mel Gibson) can read women’s minds. IMDb calls it a “romantic fantasy comedy” and it plays with the idea of stereotypical “macho” men and the women who have to deal with blatant gender inequality at work.