My late father's Buddhist sermon

Today was the one hundredth day after my father's death. My mother asked our temple to hold a Buddhist memorial service for him. I took a leave from work and attended the ceremony.
As I hardly understand the meaning of Okyou, or Buddhist sutra, I just sat behind our monk and
thought of my father. The relationship of my family members was good even before my father's death. During his hospitalization, my family members helped each other very much. When I think back, I feel my father's death strengthened our family bond much more.
After the service we went to a restaurant and had dinner together. We talked and laughed much.

I'm taking the Tolkien classes

I'm taking the Tolkien classes now.
Last year I enjoyed the lectures by Prof. Corey Olsen (a.k.a. Tolkien Professor).
He made these lectures in 2010 and later let them open on his website and iTunes U.

Recently I knew he was going to give new lectures concerning Tolkien.
I decided to take them and applied.
To my regret, I can't listen to the lecture in real time due to the time difference between Japan and the U.S. As Prof. Olsen put the recorded video and audio file in his website, I download them after work and enjoy the lectures.

Now I have some papers to write. Wow, it's the first time for me to write essays for classes at a college outside Japan. It's challenging but I enjoy it!

Signum Universityというオンラインの大学で、The Lord of the Rings I: The Road Goes Ever On というコースを取っているからです。



…という訳で、宿題のpaperを書き終えるまではこちらの更新はお預けにさせていただきます。m(_ _)m


Today I went to a family restaurant with my husband. When we began eating supper, a group of Asian men came in. As soon as they were seated at a table, they began talking very loudly in their own language. Their voices were so loud that some people around them turned around to see them. Some apparantly frowned. A female group changed their seats to farther ones. I felt a little scared, too.
But when their dishes were served, they did what few Japanese do at a restaurant these days.
They put their hands together and said in unison, "Itta-dakki-masu!", bowing their head deeply.
I felt the atmosphere around them changed dramatically. I saw some Japanese even smile.
Of course the Asian men continued talking in their own language again and I sometimes felt their loud voices annoying. But strangely enough, I didn't feel scared any more.


一番働き者はギリシャ人?/Greeks say they are the hardest-working European nation:The Economist

The Economistより
Greeks say they are the hardest-working European nation
Stereotypes of Europe

7カ国はドイツと答えました。ところが…ギリシャ人は…「ギリシャが一番勤勉だ!」 ああ、そうなんですか。



Who works the longest hours?




SF writer Ray Bradbury has died!


‘Fahrenheit 451′ Author Ray Bradbury Dies at 91

This morning I was surprised to see the headline of Bradbury's death.
I have been a science fiction fan for a long time.
Above all Bradbuy was a special writer for me.

I began reading science fictions when I was in the first year of junior high school.
A classmate lent me a book, and I found it interesting. It was Fredric Brown's "Angels and Spacehsips."
After reading it, I went to a bookshop to buy another science fiction.
It was at that time when I first met Bradbury's works.
I chose the thickest one and it was Bradbury's "The Octobeer Country."
I still don't know why I chose the thickest book. Maybe it was because I was fascinated by the fantasic cover by Joseph Mugnaini.
Anyway I began reading Bradbury's works. I loved all of them.

When I entered high school, I began reading lots of science fictions. I read as many as 100 books or more in the first year.

Then I became eager to read my favorite Bradbury's novels in its original language, English.
I went over to Maruzen bookstore, the only bookstore that dealt with foreign books at that time.
Fortunately I found Bradbury's "The Golden Apples of the Sun". It was a collection of short stories and it was the first foreign book I bought.
I read some of my favorite stories using a dictionary and Japanese trranslation.

If it had not been been for Bradbury, I might not have begun learning English.

In this sense, Ray Bradbury was the most important writer for me.


Student Loan Debt 借りたのに単位が取れなかった:TIME

Insult to Injury: Rise in People with Student Loan Debt—and No College Degree

I feel this is too bad. In Japan, more and more students are taking out loans.
I work for a senior high school. Every year I see lots of students make a reservation for a student loan. We warn them saying that students loan means a debt which they have to pay back for decades. Of course some of them have a sane reason. Some can't expect support from their parents. Their parents can't afford to pay the tuition. Still it's too dangerous to take out so much loans.

現在、多くの大学生がstudent loanを借り、借金を背負って卒業しています。それ自体も問題ですが、大学をドロップアウトした学生にとってはさらに深刻です。単位が取れていないと職に就くのがさらに難しくなるからです。当然彼らがローンを返す率は低くなります。



Googleで世界旅行 Google's World Wonders Project


Have you tried Google World Wonders Project?

This wonderful website allows you to have a virtual travel in the famous sites around the world.

Thanks to Google streetview, you can feel as if you were walking around recorded area.

Now you can visit sites such as Stonehenge, Yellowstone National Park, Seine. As for Japan, the information of Itsukushima Shrine, some temples in Kyoto and Himeji castle is included.

Google の World Wonders Projectはすごい!

煙草の懸賞で電動自転車が当たった!I've got an electric bike as a prize


Should I call this a facebook moment?

My husband is a heavy smoker. He smokes a packet of tabacco a day. He never gives up smoking no matter how much I beg for it.

One day he applied for a prize by Japan Tabacco, Inc. We all forgot about that, but today, to our great surprise, he got a call from JT, and it said that he won the prize!

Soon an electric bicycle was sent to our home. I think this is the first time for me to get something as a prize.

All my family tried riding the bicycle in turn. It was good. I felt as if someone had helped me peddle it from behind.

My husband boasted and boasted. He said "Now you know something good can happen from smoking." Oooooh, it looks as if this prize gave him a right to smoke without any constraint.

He also said "It seems I'm getting more and more luck these days. It may be time to buy a lottery." Wow, now is he going to buy a lottery, too?

I said, "Why don't you think other way round? You might have used up all the luck you have in your whole life time."
He said, "Why do you think so negatively? A positive person will get good luck. You should always think positively."

Mom said, "Maybe God has given us this bike so that we can get good exercise."
She is right. I'm going to use this bicycle and get some good exercise.

Skydive Without a Parachute/fugitive Penguin: TIIME/BBC



WATCH: World’s First Skydive Without a Parachute

The first thing I thought was "No kidding!", but it was true. You can watch the video of a man "flying" without a parachute. Of course he wore a special wingsui, which made him look like a flying mouse(モモンガ).


Woman Fired from Lingerie Shop Because She Was ‘Too Hot’

I don't make it out. If the boss fired the "hot" lady, why did he employ her in the first place?


Tokyo keepers catch fugitive Penguin 337

I'd like to know HOW a Humboldt penguin, which would be 60~70 cm tall at most. It is said that it got over more than 150 cm fence. Anyway, should we call him Happy Feet?

例の脱走ペンギンの記事。なんとBBCが取り上げているとは! ま、とりあえず世界はそこそこ平和だってことで。

TEDお奨め動画: The year I was homeless



今日のお奨めTEDはBecky BlantonさんのThe year I was homeless。



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浦辺 玲

Author:浦辺 玲
STAR DUST英語館もよろしく。