That condiment cleaner-upper gadget

Meanwhile, this SWITL gadget has been boggling a huge number of otherwise rational minds.

So many questions!

But frankly, I don’t much care about how it works.

I just sorely want two or three, for no other reason than to deliberately spill stuff. I need one for the kitchen, one at school…..


Kizuna311: Ken Watanabe, solidarity, and the power to rebuild

Your Japanese word of the day (week, month, year…how often do you study?) is kizuna, きずな, which can mean bonds, solidarity.

I can’t remember when I first fell in love with actor Ken Watanabe, but oh man watching this video just makes me want to crawl right into my monitor and give the big man an even bigger hug.

Not that giving him a hug is going to help Japan rebuild, but it would certainly make me feel a little better.

The incoming videos are posted on the Japanese version of

Tangerine Peelings Art

No, it never occurred to me to create animals from tangerine peelings. Who thinks of these things?

I bought a book called New Ways to Peel Oranges (tangerines, if you will), and on each two-page spread are instructions to create one-piece animals.

Use a pen to draw the image, then use small scissors to cut on the lines.

Here, click to watch a short how-to vid:

More here [via].

If you’re the storyteller sort, you have a new way to entertain the kids!

Saaaaaay, this is a have-to-do group idea, yes?

Pooh Sticks

What exactly are the training requirements for a good game of Poohsticks? Poohsticks, that drop-sticks-in-flowing-water game created by Pooh, as in Winnie the.

For those of you not antsy about bridges and flowing water, confirm your understanding of the official Pooh Corner Poohsticks rules, then find your sticks and start playing.

Feeling confident? You’ve got a year to get ready for next year’s World Pooh Sticks Championships.

(Pssst: this year’s Poohsticks champion, Saffron Sollitt, already revealed some of her winning tricks. Learn them. Perfect them. Go!)

Howl’s Moving Castle: RIP Diana Wynne Jones

Aww, author Diana Wynne Jones died. (Wynne-Jones? Wynne Jones?)

She wrote Howl’s Moving Castle, which I need to reread.

Which will make me want to read the rest of of her books, too.

She wrote a lot!

Can I take the next few weeks off for this?

[Whet your anime movie appetite with more Studio Ghibli clips. Thank you!]

Children’s Book Museum in Fukushima: is it still there?

A couple friends have asked if I know anything about that lovely children’s book museum in Iwaki City, Fukushima. Did it survive the tsunami?

Fukushima is among the areas devastated by that huge tsunami on March 11 and it is continuing in the news as home of the malfunctioning nuclear reactors.

I don’t know anything, I’m afraid, in large part because I don’t know the exact location of the museum.

After watching this video of the tsunami rumbling into Iwaki, I fear the worst. Does anybody out there know more?



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