Monday, November 25, 2013

"Biggest fight in Asia" -- Pacquiao vs Rios

Scored tenth row seats to see the "biggest fight in Asia", Pacquiao vs. Rios at the massive Venetian in Macau. Also in attendance were Paris Hilton and David Beckham. Perhaps over a hundred million people watched this bout live.

Also saw Zou Shiming bloody his opponent Juan Toscano to defeat.

Later, the Venetian had three operatic singers singing Xmas carols at night; normally I'd not stop and listen, but these professionally tuned voices were stunning. Also saw modern dance on the stage of the Grand Lisboa's main casino floor stage which was impressive--better than their usual burlesque shows.

Macau may soon eclipse Vegas in entertainment value--already churning through five times the casino earnings.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Definitely There Are Plenty of Planets Like Ours Out There

In reaction to this article "Tens of billions of potentially habitable, Earth-size planets in our galaxy, say astronomers"...

As a child I read countless books about astronomy. All discussed how "maybe" there were planets around other stars, but likely it would be very hard to ever know, and if there were, likely these exoplanets would not be in the Goldilocks zone of being "just right" for supporting life as we know it.

The more I read, the more aware I became of how cautious scientists were. But always had a hunch that indeed there were definitely countless planets around single star systems like ours.

Generally I assumed that what we witness close to us is likely very much the same far away. Surely we are not special, just normal. The likelihood of our neighborhood being an outlier would surely be small.

Glad the my astronomical hunches--along with recent paleontological ones--have been right...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Monster Art: Gamera / ガメラ

Yet again an impulse purchase of some art; this time about Gamera/ガメラ. I could never get enough of the Kaiju Eiga monster movies shown every Sunday afternoon when I was a kid.

Godzilla/ゴジラ", a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, was essentially conceived as a metaphor for the victimization of Japan from nuclear weapons made during the postwar decade-long American occupation when censorship was so strict that even mentioning censorship was censored--reminiscent of China, right?

Further, making a war movie portraying Japanese forces fighting anything but monsters or aliens was forbidden. So there you go, thanks to the Fat Man and Little Boy which were dropped owing to not only the Japanese fighting zeal but also Stalin's aggressiveness with the allies in both the European and Asian theaters, we've ended up with such monster movies.

And this all culminated with the 1985 DPRK movie Pulgasari, made because the real monster called Kim Jong Il orders North Korean intelligence agents to kidnap a famous South Korean movie director and then forced him to do a North Korean spin on Godzilla--some say this time the monster was metaphor of unchecked capitalism and the power of the collective.

On that note, I wonder when they will make the movie about the Chinese Communist Party's most recent scapegoat monster, Bo Xilai.