The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What We Lose

If you take hold of this, you must let go of that.

Below is an excerpt from an article which appeared in the NY Times on the effect of social media on our lives. The full article may be read here.

The Twitter Trap


Last week my wife and I told our 13-year-old daughter she could join Facebook. Within a few hours she had accumulated 171 friends, and I felt a little as if I had passed my child a pipe of crystal meth.

I don’t mean to be a spoilsport, and I don’t think I’m a Luddite. I edit a newspaper that has embraced new media with creative, prizewinning gusto. I get that the Web reaches and engages a vast, global audience, that it invites participation and facilitates — up to a point — newsgathering. But before we succumb to digital idolatry, we should consider that innovation often comes at a price. And sometimes I wonder if the price is a piece of ourselves.

Joshua Foer’s engrossing best seller “Moonwalking With Einstein” recalls one colossal example of what we trade for progress. Until the 15th century, people were taught to remember vast quantities of information. Feats of memory that would today qualify you as a freak — the ability to recite entire books — were not unheard of.

Then along came the Mark Zuckerberg of his day, Johannes Gutenberg. As we became accustomed to relying on the printed page, the work of remembering gradually fell into disuse. The capacity to remember prodigiously still exists (as Foer proved by training himself to become a national memory champion), but for most of us it stays parked in the garage.

Sometimes the bargain is worthwhile; I would certainly not give up the pleasures of my library for the ability to recite “Middlemarch.” But Foer’s book reminds us that the cognitive advance of our species is not inexorable.

My father, who was trained in engineering at M.I.T. in the slide-rule era, often lamented the way the pocket calculator, for all its convenience, diminished my generation’s math skills. Many of us have discovered that navigating by G.P.S. has undermined our mastery of city streets and perhaps even impaired our innate sense of direction. Typing pretty much killed penmanship. Twitter and YouTube are nibbling away at our attention spans. And what little memory we had not already surrendered to Gutenberg we have relinquished to Google. Why remember what you can look up in seconds?

Robert Bjork, who studies memory and learning at U.C.L.A., has noticed that even very smart students, conversant in the Excel spreadsheet, don’t pick up patterns in data that would be evident if they had not let the program do so much of the work.

“Unless there is some actual problem solving and decision making, very little learning happens,”

Bjork e-mailed me. “We are not recording devices.”

Foer read that Apple had hired a leading expert in heads-up display — the transparent dashboards used by pilots. He wonders whether this means that Apple is developing an iPhone that would not require the use of fingers on keyboards. Ultimately, Foer imagines, the commands would come straight from your cerebral cortex. (Apple refused to comment.)

“This is the story of the next half-century,” Foer told me, “as we become effectively cyborgs.”

Basically, we are outsourcing our brains to the cloud. The upside is that this frees a lot of gray matter for important pursuits like FarmVille and “Real Housewives.” But my inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity.

The most obvious drawback of social media is that they are aggressive distractions. Unlike the virtual fireplace or that nesting pair of red-tailed hawks we have been live-streaming on nytimes.com, Twitter is not just an ambient presence. It demands attention and response. It is the enemy of contemplation.

Every time my TweetDeck shoots a new tweet to my desktop, I experience a little dopamine spritz that takes me away from . . . from . . . wait, what was I saying?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Evening Flowers

Below is an excerpt from the book, Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, by Jake Adelstein. Mr. Adelstein is a frequent contributor at the Japan Subculture Research Center.

Evening Flowers

The Japanese have words for sadness that are so subtle and complicated that the English translations don't do them justice.

Setsunai is usually translated as "sad," but it is better described as a feeling of sadness and loneliness so powerful that it feels as if your chest is constricted, as if you can't breathe; a sadness that  is physical and tangible. There is another word, too - yarusenai, which is grief or loneliness so strong that you can't get rid of it, you can't clear it away.

There are some things like that. You get older and you forget about them, but every time you remember, you feel that yarusenai. It never goes away; it just gets tucked away and forgotten for a while.

There is a beautiful children's song, written by the artist Takehisa Yumeji, called "The Evening Primrose." The evening primrose is a yellow, sometimes white flower that blooms only at night, then tinges with red in the morning and withers. The song is almost impossible to translate because it says more in what it does not say than in what it does. Any translation would be an interpretation. But here's mine.

You live and wait and wait and wait
But the other may never come
Like waiting on the evening primrose
This feeling of sadness without end
This evening, it does not seem
That even the moon will come out.

--

What's yarusenai?

It's that one email you never replied to and will never open. It's the bad advice you gave and the phone call you should have made and everything that came out of it. It's thinking about the friends that you suspect you might have been able to save.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Needs Fiction: Kim Possible Menu

The noted sinologist Victor Mair parses an item on a Chinese menu that is a treasure trove of Chinglish. I simply can't begin to pull out an extract for you. Please go see the whole mess for yourself.


Explodes fries?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Needs Fixin'?

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig has been one of my favorite books since the first time I read it in the early 80's. A very good new book that I've just finished can't help but be compared to ZAMM, and indeed the author himself makes reference to it. I am writing of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Mathew B. Crawford


To give you a taste of it, I have placed an excerpt from an essay Dr. Crawford wrote for the NY Times below. The essay itself is a sort of rendered down version of the book. The whole essay may be read here. Enjoy.


The Case for Working With Your Hands


The television show “Deadliest Catch” depicts commercial crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. Another, “Dirty Jobs,” shows all kinds of grueling work; one episode featured a guy who inseminates turkeys for a living. The weird fascination of these shows must lie partly in the fact that such confrontations with material reality have become exotically unfamiliar. Many of us do work that feels more surreal than real. Working in an office, you often find it difficult to see any tangible result from your efforts.

What exactly have you accomplished at the end of any given day? Where the chain of cause and effect is opaque and responsibility diffuse, the experience of individual agency can be elusive. “Dilbert,” “The Office” and similar portrayals of cubicle life attest to the dark absurdism with which many Americans have come to view their white-collar jobs.

Is there a more “real” alternative (short of inseminating turkeys)?

High-school shop-class programs were widely dismantled in the 1990s as educators prepared students to become “knowledge workers.” The imperative of the last 20 years to round up every warm body and send it to college, then to the cubicle, was tied to a vision of the future in which we somehow take leave of material reality and glide about in a pure information economy. This has not come to pass. To begin with, such work often feels more enervating than gliding. More fundamentally, now as ever, somebody has to actually do things: fix our cars, unclog our toilets, build our houses.

When we praise people who do work that is straightforwardly useful, the praise often betrays an assumption that they had no other options. We idealize them as the salt of the earth and emphasize the sacrifice for others their work may entail. Such sacrifice does indeed occur — the hazards faced by a lineman restoring power during a storm come to mind. But what if such work answers as well to a basic human need of the one who does it? I take this to be the suggestion of Marge Piercy’s poem “To Be of Use,” which concludes with the lines “the pitcher longs for water to carry/and a person for work that is real.” Beneath our gratitude for the lineman may rest envy.

This seems to be a moment when the useful arts have an especially compelling economic rationale. A car mechanics’ trade association reports that repair shops have seen their business jump significantly in the current recession: people aren’t buying new cars; they are fixing the ones they have. The current downturn is likely to pass eventually. But there are also systemic changes in the economy, arising from information technology, that have the surprising effect of making the manual trades — plumbing, electrical work, car repair — more attractive as careers. The Princeton economist Alan Blinder argues that the crucial distinction in the emerging labor market is not between those with more or less education, but between those whose services can be delivered over a wire and those who must do their work in person or on site. The latter will find their livelihoods more secure against outsourcing to distant countries. As Blinder puts it, “You can’t hammer a nail over the Internet.” Nor can the Indians fix your car. Because they are in India.

If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college (though they certainly need to learn). Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things. One shop teacher suggested to me that “in schools, we create artificial learning environments for our children that they know to be contrived and undeserving of their full attention and engagement. Without the opportunity to learn through the hands, the world remains abstract and distant, and the passions for learning will not be engaged.”

A gifted young person who chooses to become a mechanic rather than to accumulate academic credentials is viewed as eccentric, if not self-destructive. There is a pervasive anxiety among parents that there is only one track to success for their children. It runs through a series of gates controlled by prestigious institutions. Further, there is wide use of drugs to medicate boys, especially, against their natural tendency toward action, the better to “keep things on track.” I taught briefly in a public high school and would have loved to have set up a Ritalin fogger in my classroom. It is a rare person, male or female, who is naturally inclined to sit still for 17 years in school, and then indefinitely at work.

The trades suffer from low prestige, and I believe this is based on a simple mistake. Because the work is dirty, many people assume it is also stupid. This is not my experience. I have a small business as a motorcycle mechanic in Richmond, Va., which I started in 2002. I work on Japanese and European motorcycles, mostly older bikes with some “vintage” cachet that makes people willing to spend money on them. I have found the satisfactions of the work to be very much bound up with the intellectual challenges it presents. And yet my decision to go into this line of work is a choice that seems to perplex many people.

After finishing a Ph.D. in political philosophy at the University of Chicago in 2000, I managed to stay on with a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the university’s Committee on Social Thought. The academic job market was utterly bleak. In a state of professional panic, I retreated to a makeshift workshop I set up in the basement of a Hyde Park apartment building, where I spent the winter tearing down an old Honda motorcycle and rebuilding it. The physicality of it, and the clear specificity of what the project required of me, was a balm. Stumped by a starter motor that seemed to check out in every way but wouldn’t work, I started asking around at Honda dealerships. Nobody had an answer; finally one service manager told me to call Fred Cousins of Triple O Service. “If anyone can help you, Fred can.”

I called Fred, and he invited me to come to his independent motorcycle-repair shop, tucked discreetly into an unmarked warehouse on Goose Island. He told me to put the motor on a certain bench that was free of clutter. He checked the electrical resistance through the windings, as I had done, to confirm there was no short circuit or broken wire. He spun the shaft that ran through the center of the motor, as I had. No problem: it spun freely. Then he hooked it up to a battery. It moved ever so slightly but wouldn’t spin. He grasped the shaft, delicately, with three fingers, and tried to wiggle it side to side. “Too much free play,” he said. He suggested that the problem was with the bushing (a thick-walled sleeve of metal) that captured the end of the shaft in the end of the cylindrical motor housing. It was worn, so it wasn’t locating the shaft precisely enough. The shaft was free to move too much side to side (perhaps a couple of hundredths of an inch), causing the outer circumference of the rotor to bind on the inner circumference of the motor housing when a current was applied. Fred scrounged around for a Honda motor. He found one with the same bushing, then used a “blind hole bearing puller” to extract it, as well as the one in my motor. Then he gently tapped the new, or rather newer, one into place. The motor worked! Then Fred gave me an impromptu dissertation on the peculiar metallurgy of these Honda starter-motor bushings of the mid-’70s. Here was a scholar.

Over the next six months I spent a lot of time at Fred’s shop, learning, and put in only occasional appearances at the university. This was something of a regression: I worked on cars throughout high school and college, and one of my early jobs was at a Porsche repair shop. Now I was rediscovering the intensely absorbing nature of the work, and it got me thinking about possible livelihoods.

As it happened, in the spring I landed a job as executive director of a policy organization in Washington. This felt like a coup. But certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn’t fully buy myself. Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning. As I sat in my K Street office, Fred’s life as an independent tradesman gave me an image that I kept coming back to: someone who really knows what he is doing, losing himself in work that is genuinely useful and has a certain integrity to it. He also seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Seeing a motorcycle about to leave my shop under its own power, several days after arriving in the back of a pickup truck, I don’t feel tired even though I’ve been standing on a concrete floor all day. Peering into the portal of his helmet, I think I can make out the edges of a grin on the face of a guy who hasn’t ridden his bike in a while. I give him a wave. With one of his hands on the throttle and the other on the clutch, I know he can’t wave back. But I can hear his salute in the exuberant “bwaaAAAAP!” of a crisp throttle, gratuitously revved. That sound pleases me, as I know it does him. It’s a ventriloquist conversation in one mechanical voice, and the gist of it is “Yeah!”

After five months at the think tank, I’d saved enough money to buy some tools I needed, and I quit and went into business fixing bikes. My shop rate is $40 per hour. Other shops have rates as high as $70 per hour, but I tend to work pretty slowly. Further, only about half the time I spend in the shop ends up being billable (I have no employees; every little chore falls to me), so it usually works out closer to $20 per hour — a modest but decent wage. The business goes up and down; when it is down I have supplemented it with writing. The work is sometimes frustrating, but it is never irrational.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Less

Walt over at A Plainly Hidden View sent me an article from which there is an excerpt below. The author, Pico Iyer, is a pretty interesting guy. The full article may be read here.

Opinionator - A Gathering of Opinion From Around the Web
June 7, 2009, 10:35 pm
The Joy of Less
By PICO IYER

“The beat of my heart has grown deeper, more active, and yet more peaceful, and it is as if I were all the time storing up inner riches…My [life] is one long sequence of inner miracles.” The young Dutchwoman Etty Hillesum wrote that in a Nazi transit camp in 1943, on her way to her death at Auschwitz two months later. Towards the end of his life, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen,” though by then he had already lost his father when he was 7, his first wife when she was 20 and his first son, aged 5. In Japan, the late 18th-century poet Issa is celebrated for his delighted, almost child-like celebrations of the natural world. Issa saw four children die in infancy, his wife die in childbirth, and his own body partially paralyzed.

I’m not sure I knew the details of all these lives when I was 29, but I did begin to guess that happiness lies less in our circumstances than in what we make of them, in every sense. “There is nothing either good or bad,” I had heard in high school, from Hamlet, “but thinking makes it so.” I had been lucky enough at that point to stumble into the life I might have dreamed of as a boy: a great job writing on world affairs for Time magazine, an apartment (officially at least) on Park Avenue, enough time and money to take vacations in Burma, Morocco, El Salvador. But every time I went to one of those places, I noticed that the people I met there, mired in difficulty and often warfare, seemed to have more energy and even optimism than the friends I’d grown up with in privileged, peaceful Santa Barbara, Calif., many of whom were on their fourth marriages and seeing a therapist every day. Though I knew that poverty certainly didn’t buy happiness, I wasn’t convinced that money did either.

So — as post-1960s cliché decreed — I left my comfortable job and life to live for a year in a temple on the backstreets of Kyoto. My high-minded year lasted all of a week, by which time I’d noticed that the depthless contemplation of the moon and composition of haiku I’d imagined from afar was really more a matter of cleaning, sweeping and then cleaning some more. But today, more than 21 years later, I still live in the vicinity of Kyoto, in a two-room apartment that makes my old monastic cell look almost luxurious by comparison. I have no bicycle, no car, no television I can understand, no media — and the days seem to stretch into eternities, and I can’t think of a single thing I lack.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dragon Whips Tail

Dragon Whips Tail: the Continued Destruction in the Aftermath of the Golden Dragon Massacre.


If you follow the link above, you'll find a post about the famous Golden Dragon Massacre which occurred in San Francisco in 1977. That's a long time ago, but the story isn't over. A friend sent me an article about the aftermath which continues to this day. An excerpt is below. The whole article may be read here.

SAN FRANCISCO / Workers want pay from Dragon / Back wages claimed as restaurant reopens under new name

May 11, 2006|By Vanessa Hua, Chronicle Staff Writer
 The Golden Dragon may have roared its last, but the death of this notorious Chinatown restaurant -- the scene of a gang massacre in 1977 -- has left behind trail of lawsuits, and workers are complaining it stiffed them out of a year's worth of unpaid wages. 
Former Golden Dragon employees held a press conference Wednesday demanding that San Francisco's Office of Labor order the restaurant's owners to pay the workers $1.5 million in penalties on top of the $195,897 in wages and the city another $1.5 million in fines.

The workers already recouped $150,000 in March 2005 from the owners, said Alex Tom, a coordinator for the Chinese Progressive Association, a Chinatown advocacy group. Now, the owners "are trying to change the name" to avoid paying the rest, he said.

"They are trying to find ways not to have to pay people back," Tom said. "And the workers want to hold the employers accountable."

The employees kept working, he said, because the financially shaky restaurant kept promising to pay them.

Even before the wage claim reignited this week, the restaurant and its owners had returned to the spotlight.
Co-owner Jack Lee is a longtime elder in the Hop Sing tong, an influential brotherhood that owns the restaurant's Washington Street building, and he was seen dining with the brotherhood's former president, Allen Leung, just before Leung was shot to death in February.

Lee, a Chinatown leader, and Big Hong Ng, a former Chinese opera star, former lovers and co-owners of the Golden Dragon, opened the restaurant together in 1964 and lived together for 30 years, court filings allege, even though Lee was married to a woman in Los Angeles and maintained a relationship with a third woman in Hong Kong.

As a community leader, Lee marketed the restaurant and helped bring in a steady stream of customers. But the business began to falter after he moved out of the home he shared with Ng in 1998, court filings allege.
In December, he sued her to recoup a roughly $450,000 loan his company made to the restaurant business. Ng countersued, alleging Lee embezzled and took "money directly out of the cash registers."

And in January, the city shut down the Golden Dragon for health code violations. On Friday, Winnie Ng -- sister of the Golden Dragon co-owner Big Hong Ng -- will re-open the renovated restaurant as the Imperial Palace.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The 2010 Darwin Awards.

And once again, it's time for the Darwin Award Nominees. "The Darwins" are
awarded every year to the persons who died in the stupidest manner, thereby
removing themselves from the gene pool.

Here is the official 2010 list. Notice the interesting spin for this year's
first place award which comes to us...-from of all places, Arkansas. How
surprising is that?

This years nominees are:

Nominee No. 1: (San Jose Mercury News):

An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former
girlfriends windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun
discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.

Nominee No. 2: (Kalamazoo Gazette):

James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo, MI, was killed in March as he was
trying to repair what police describe as a "farm-type truck." Burns got a
friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that
he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns clothes caught on
something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped around the drive
shaft
."

Nominee No. 3: (Hickory Daily Record):

Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in
Newton, NC. Awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he
reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which
discharged when he drew  it to his ear.

Nominee No. 4: (UPI , Toronto):

Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown
Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with  his shoulder and plunged 24
floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the
courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was
explaining the strength of the buildings' windows to visiting law students.
Hoy previously has conducted demonstrations of window strength according to
police reports.

Peter Lawson, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the
Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest" members
of the 200-man association.

Nominee No. 5: (The News of the Weird):

Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously. He had spent
several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder
conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. While
sitting on a metal toilet in his cell attempting to fix his small TV set, he
bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

Nominee No. 6

A cigarette lighter may have triggered a fatal explosion in Dunkirk, IN. A
Jay Countryman, using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle
loader
, was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face,
sheriffs investigators said.  Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents'
rural Dunkirk home at about 11:30 PM. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning
a 54-caliber muzzle-loader that had not been firing properly. He was using
the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

Nominee No. 7: (Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario):

A man cleaning a bird feeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in
this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23  stories to his death. Stefan Macko,
55, was standing on a wheelchair when the accident occurred, said Inspector
Darcy Honer of the Peel Regional Police. "It appears that the chair moved,
and he went over the balcony, " Honer said.
 

Finally, THE WINNER!!: (Arkansas Democrat Gazette):

Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck
a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County
deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday.
Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock,
were returning to Des Arc after a frog catching trip. On an overcast Sunday
night, Poole's pickup truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded
that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a
replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the 22 caliber
bullets from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the
steering- wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet the headlights again began
to operate properly, and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White
River Bridge.

After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river,
the bullet apparently overheated, discharged, and struck Poole in the
testicles. The vehicle swerved sharply right, exiting the pavement, and
striking a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the
accident but will require extensive surgery to repair the damage to his
testicles, which will never operate as intended.

Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released "Thank God
we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot his nuts off, or we might both
be dead, " stated Wallis.

"I've been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a
first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this accident
happened, " said Snyder.  Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia (Poole's
wife), asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from
the truck. Priorities, after all!!

Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their misadventure as
normally required by Darwin Award Official Rules, it can be argued that
Poole did, in fact, effectively remove himself from the gene pool.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Yet Another Example of Strategy #31: Scheme with Beauties

We never seem to run out of examples, do we? This is an excerpt from an article at The Strategy Page. The whole article may be read here.


The Super Slut Of Shanghai

March 23, 2011: Several South Korean diplomats stationed in the Chinese city of Shanghai are under investigation for their relationships (sexual and otherwise) with a Chinese woman who acted as a fixer for diplomats seeking access to Chinese officials. The woman, only identified as Deng, was most useful in helping obtain visas for North Korean refugees seeking to get to South Korea. Such "fixers" are common in China, and most foreigners are very dependent on them. The Chinese government wants it that way.
That can be seen from the fact that Deng was caught, by the South Koreans, with classified South Korean documents. She apparently got them from one of the South Korean diplomats at the Shanghai consulate. Deng was also believed to have had sexual affairs with several South Korean diplomats. At one point, she was apparently screwing two of them, without either of the South Koreans knowing the Deng was playing both of them.

China is widely known to use sex to obtain secrets from foreigners, inside and outside of China. Four years ago, Japan uncovered a widespread Chinese effort to use sex to steal military technology.
Attractive Chinese female intelligence agents in Japan were marrying members of the Japanese armed forces, and then using that access to obtain military secrets. The situation was complicated by the military attempts to keep these "embarrassing incidents" secret. The government was particularly anxious to keep the Americans in the dark about all this, since the Chinese apparently got their hands on Aegis anti-aircraft system technology via their sexy spies.

Actually, most of the Chinese agents don't have to marry Japanese troops. Just putting out usually does the trick. In Japan, the military doesn't get much respect, and many of the bases are in backwaters. So the troops are pretty lonely. It's not unusual for Chinese women to be in the country, as many come, legally or illegally, looking for jobs. The set-up is perfect for using the old "honey pot" (sexual entrapment) routine to extract military secrets.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Wu Style Taijiquan Push Hands: Ma YueLiang

Over at Forum For Traditional Wu Tai Chi Chuan, they posted a very nice video of Grand Master Ma YueLiang demonstrating many different of push hands forms with his son, Ma JiangBao. Please pay a visit to their blog. I took the liberty of copying the video below.




Here's an old video of Ma Jiang Bao, again from Forum for Traditional Wu Tai Chin Chuan