Everyone, I’m sure, knows that the 2012 Summer Olympics are underway…and that they games are being hosted by London.
Have you watched the opening ceremonies?
Did you see “James Bond” escort the Queen of England to the games by helicopter…and “the Queen” parachuted in?
And Mr. Bean playing with the orchestra? David Beckham driving a speed boat? And the “legend” himself, Muhammad Ali?
It was a pretty good opening ceremony. I enjoyed watching it (on television…I’ve never seen an Olympics event “in person”. The closest that I came was when my wife and I took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to 長野 (Nagano, Japan) in 1998 to see the “Olympic city” atmosphere).
Anyways, are you watching any of the games?
Which events do you like best?
Last night, I watched Japan “almost” get gold in men’s judo…but lost to Georgia.
So far, the top three countries with medals won are China, America, and Italy.
Japan is currently in 15th place.
I’m not a big baseball fan but I have written a few baseball related posts…including two about Ichiro Suzuki.
( Click here to read the post I wrote about Ichiro playing baseball in Japan against Japan…and click here to read my post about Ichiro and the rest of the “Samurai Japan” team).
Even to someone (like me) who isn’t a baseball fan, it’s well-known that Ichiro was a member of the Seattle Mariners MLB team…but that’s no more.
Ichiro was just traded to the New York Yankees.
(Picture from the New York Yankees website).
And, in a bit of ironic fate, his first game as a player for the Yankees is today…against his former team, the Mariners!
From the NationMaster website, I found a long list of interesting statistics comparing Japan and America (any countries can be compared on that website…but since I was born in America and have been living in Japan for more than half of my life, I decided to compare those two countries.)
According to that website:
- America has three times as much crime as Japan,
- America has the world’s highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Japan has the third (was the second highest until China surpassed Japan recently),
- American school classrooms have an average of 18 students per class, and Japan has an average of 35.
- 30% of Americans are considered obese but only 3.2% of Japanese are.
- Japan has a 99% literacy rate, America’s is 86%
- America drinks 10 times as many soft drinks as Japan…but Japan drinks 71% more alcohol than America.
To show gratitude to the people of many countries around the world for supporting and helping Japan in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake in Sendai of 2011 March 11, Japan will host a special event in London, England that will be called “Arigato in London“.
This event will feature many aspects of Japanese culture including photos and a movie of the Earthquake affected area that will also include many Japanese children expressing thanks to people around the world, Japanese food, beer and 日本酒 (Japanese sake alcohol), Japanese tradional games and traditional arts and music.
To allow many people from many different countries to attend, this event will be held in London from 2012 July 28 until August 11 to coincide with the Olympics that London will be hosting then.
Click here to visit the “Arigato in London” website.
Yesterday (2012 July 5th), Shin-Shin, the female Giant Panda at Tokyo’s 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) gave birth to a baby.
The proud mother, Shin-Shin, in Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo.
(Photo from the Ueno Zoo website).
This is the first time that a panda has been born in a zoo in Japan in twenty-four years.
That means that the last time a panda was born here was in 1988…two years before I came to Japan.
So, this is big news and Ueno Zoo will surely be full of visitors hoping to see the baby panda.
Edited on 2012 July 12: It was announced that the newborn baby panda died of pneumonia yesterday.
Today is already July 5th in Japan, and America’s 「独立記念日」 (Independence Day) isn’t obserevd in Japan (obviously)…but, as I’m American, I thought I’d write a post about it.
Kind of a “Didja know…?” post.
So, did you know that…
- three U.S. Presidents died on July 4th? (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day…1826 July 4th, and James Monroe died on 1831 July 4th.)
- Heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne was married on 1982 July 4th (thirty years ago yesterday).
- There were (at least) two movies with Fourth of July-related titles…”Independence Day” and “Born On The Fourth of July“.
- Tom Cruise starred in the aforementioned “Born On The Fourth of July” and he nearly was born on that day…his birthday is July 3rd.
Can you think of any other July 4th coincidences or interesting trivia?
Are you American? How do you celebrate America’s Independence Day? (Even better…are you not American but celebrate the holiday??)