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Plane spotting takes off as latest fad among women | The Japan Times Online

CHIBA — Years after female Japanese train spotters were given the nickname “tetsuko,” which loosely translates as “rail girl,” officials of Narita International Airport and the nearby city of Narita, Chiba Prefecture, recently coined the word “sorami” — “air girl” — to describe members of the growing band of female plane spotters.

Just as a tetsuko would crisscross the nation to photograph different trains, so a sorami such as Ayumi Fukuda, a 34-year-old public servant from Takaishi, Osaka Prefecture, travels from Hokkaido to Okinawa to capture images of airplanes.

In May, she was one of 27 participants in an event organized for sorami in Narita.

“I don’t understand why airplanes can fly, and that’s why I’m attracted to them,” said Fukuda, a plane spotter of five years.

The event was organized by Narita Kuentai, a group consisting of employees of the Narita Municipal Government and the airport that works for the development of the local community.

After gathering at a hotel in the city, the participants, mostly in their 20s and 30s, were given a tour of a park close to the airport and taken to a Japan Airlines hangar to photograph planes.

“It’s huge!” “Beautiful!” the assembled sorami exclaimed as they entered the hangar and set eyes on a JAL Boeing 787, the state-of-the-art Dreamliner. Some lay on the ground to photograph the plane from a certain angle, while others posed in front of the jet for photos with mechanics, who were acting as tour guides.

According to photographer Charlie Furusho, there is a difference between photos taken by male and female airplane fans.

“Men just tend to photograph the aircraft, so as to make a collection of them, while many women include flowers and other seasonal items in the picture,” said the 39-year-old photographer.

He said women seem to enjoy the color scheme and other aspects of how a plane looks.

via Plane spotting takes off as latest fad among women | The Japan Times Online.

Strange Random Plane Quote:

O! for a horse with wings! – William Shakespeare, Cymbeline

Haka opens Shakespeare festival with a roar – Entertainment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A rousing haka war cry by Maori actors kicked off a marathon program of 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages as a cultural curtain-raiser for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Ngakau Toa theatre company, who launch the festival with their performance of Troilus And Cressida, shook London’s Globe Theatre with the rhythmic stamping and cries made famous by New Zealand’s rugby team.

The actors’ tattooed thighs were an unusual sight at the Globe Theatre, a replica of the 16th century playhouse on the south bank of the River Thames that presented many of of Shakespeare’s plays during his own lifetime.

Other highlights of the Shakespeare festival will include a South Sudanese version of Cymbeline, a performance of The Comedy Of Errors by Afghan actors, and Richard III by the National Theatre of China.

Deaf actors will also present Love’s Labours Lost in sign language.The festival runs until June 9 as part of cultural celebrations leading up to the Olympics, which begin on July 27.

“It’s probably one of the most ambitious festivals of all time,” director Tom Bird said, adding that a key aim was to attract London’s many linguistic communities to the theatre.

“The other thing is to show that Shakespeare isn’t really an English poet,” he said.

“He’s become a part of world culture.”

via Haka opens Shakespeare festival with a roar – Entertainment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Strange Random Maori Quote:

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” – Maori Proverb

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Sunscreen mashup from Information Is Beautiful

July 13, 2011 1 comment
Two photographs of a man wearing sunscreen (sp...
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The Sunscreen Smokescreen, July 11, 2011

It started with a question. It always does. This time, the question was simple: How much sunscreen should I wear? I’m a pale geek who burns. I wanted to know the optimal. A simple question with a simple answer, right? Wrong. This simple question took me on a massive journey through the data, information myths and misinformation that surround our perception of sunscreen. I’m calling it the Sunscreen Smokescreen. All our data, calculations and references here: http://www.bit.ly/sunscreensmoke

via Information Is Beautiful | Ideas, issues, knowledge, data – visualized!.

Poem narrated by Baz Luhrmann (see quote below) – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Strange Random Sunscreen Quote:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97… wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

Mary Schmich Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)Chicago Tribune, with acknowledgements to Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.

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My kingdom for a horse! All about Richard III.

Richard III, King of England, Uncle of Elizabe...

Image by lisby1 via Flickr

As the Sam Mendes / Kevin Spacey production of Shakespeare’s Richard III gets into gear at the Old Vic in London, this is a good time to look at what the play represents and the actors who have made the title role their own over the years.

So what’s it all about? Enotes Study Guide says this:

Richard III is the last of the four plays in Shakespeare’s minor tetralogy of English history: it concludes a dramatic chronicle started by Henry VI: Part I and then moving through Henry VI: Part II and Henry VI: Part III. The entire four-play saga was composed early in Shakespeare’s career, most scholars assigning Richard III a composition date of 1591 or 1592. Culminating with the defeat of the evil King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth field in the play’s final act, Richard III is a dramatization of actual historical events that concluded in the year 1485, when the rule of the Plantagenet family over England was replaced by the Tudor monarchy. A full century after these events, Shakespeare’s Elizabethan audiences were certainly familiar with them (as contemporary Americans are of their own Civil War), and they were particularly fascinated with the character of Richard III. Shakespeare’s audiences could readily identify the various political factions and complex family relationships depicted in the play as they proceed from the three parts of Henry VI.

You probably know (or can imagine) the Laurence Olivier version, but did you know these other actors have all played the title role?

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Strange Random Richard III Quote:

And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover

To entertain these fair well-spoken days,

I am determined to prove a villain

And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

(I, i)

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BBC News – Tudor coroners’ records give clue to ‘real Ophelia’ for Shakespeare

Mignon Nevada as "Ophelia", glass ne...

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An Oxford historian has found evidence of a story that could be the real-life inspiration for Shakespeare’s tragic character, Ophelia. Dr Steven Gunn has found a coroner’s report into the drowning of a Jane Shaxspere in 1569. The girl, possibly a young cousin of William Shakespeare, had been picking flowers when she fell into a millpond near Stratford upon Avon. Dr Gunn says there are “tantalising” links to Ophelia’s drowning in Hamlet. A four-year research project, carried out by Oxford University academics, has been searching through 16th century coroners‘ reports.

via BBC News – Tudor coroners’ records give clue to ‘real Ophelia’ for Shakespeare.

Ophelia’s Death, from the Olivier film version of Hamlet.

Strange Random Hamlet Quote:

Lay her i’ the earth:

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

May violets spring!

- Laertes, Act V, scene I

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