Image du chat-medi

Marmalade tabby cat with Cosmos (“Caramel“)
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tabby roux avec des Cosmos (“Caramel“)

© 2016 Miyako Matsuda

Manga paradise

Three weeks ago, document.write(“”); while watching the TV show Tokyo Eye on NHK World, I’ve discovered two manga libraries in Tokyo that I would certainly like to visit one day.
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The Tokyo Eye episode that aired November 30th was titled “Tokyo Book Tour.” Its introduction tells us: “In this digital age, people are rediscovering the joy of visiting a physical bookstore. Tokyo might have more bookstores than any city in the world, and this time we look at some of the best ones.” As a travel show dedicated to the Tokyo area (where foreigners discuss sites and attractions they like in the city), this time it introduces us with a dozen notable libraries. Two of them really caught my eyes.

The Tachikawa Manga Park (????????, located at 3-2-26 Nishiki-cho, Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo; website: mangapark.jp) offers 400,000 manga, mostly new and popular titles, to read. The “space is designed to recall an old Japanese home“ and “visitors are free to kick back and simply enjoy reading manga”. You can sit on chairs or benches, lie down on cushions or tatami mats or even hide in a recreated oshiire closet! A dream library for children and teenagers.

The Shojo Manga-kan (??????, located at 155-5 Ajiro, Akiruno-shi) is a private library entirely dedicated to shojo manga. It offers over 55,000 shojo books and magazines (even some dating back to the meiji-era!). The library is located in the private home of a couple, Jun Nakano and Natsuyo Oi, who are long-time fans and collectors of shojo manga. Since it’s private, it is only opened on Saturday and you must first book online. It’s a real paradise if you want to study the history of shojo manga.

Also interesting, the latest episode of Tokyo Eye (it aired on December 21st), titled “Tokyo Mottainai!”, is dedicated to unusual recycling ideas which offers a “stylish new twist on a traditional Japanese value.” I particularly like the idea of the restaurant that buys “imperfect” seafood that has gone unsold at the Tsukiji fish market and turns it into delicious cuisine. And the one about the “Mottainai Kids Flea Market” where kids can learn economic skills while recycling their old toys and stuff.

Both shows are still available to watch online (and will stay available for a few weeks).

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Alambic médical

Je n’aime pas trop me plaindre de notre système médical car au moins nous en avons un et il est gratuit. Mais c’est un secret de polichinelle de dire que notre système de santé est malade. Et chaque fois qu’un gouvernement tente de l’améliorer, document.write(“”); il semble qu’il rend les choses pires.
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Depuis l’été dernier je me méfie beaucoup du notre système de santé. Après m’être retrouvé par deux fois, en rafales rapprochées, à l’urgence, avoir attendu des heures, chaque fois m’être fait rebondir vers une clinique, puis vers un spécialiste — telle une balle de ping pong — puis avoir de la difficulté à voir un médecin pour un suivi: j’en pense peu de bien. Le mieux est de ne jamais être malade. Toutefois, ces derniers temps il semble que plusieurs membres de ma famille doivent souvent visiter les hôpitaux… Et hier, j’avais deux rendez-vous en cliniques, l’un le matin pour mon épouse, et l’autre en après-midi pour moi.

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Image du mer-fleuri

Voici d’autres dessins de mon épouse / Here’s more drawings by my wife:
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Goldfinches and Sunflowers
Chardonnerets et tournesols

© 2016 Miyako Matsuda

Tickets’ trap

This sign is located at the corner of Saint-Roch and Durocher streets in Montreal’s Parc-Extension borough. It might look like a parking sign, but in fact it indicates that the street is closed one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon (except for local resident, school buses and taxis) to insure the safety of the children arriving at and departing from the nearby school, Barthélemy-Vimont.

It would be a commendable endeavour if it had not been turned into a virtual tickets trap for motorists looking to make their way through the maze of one-ways that characterize Montreal. Each afternoon, there’s a police patrol car waiting on the side of the street for the oblivious motorists who failed to notice the inconspicuous street sign. At least half-a-dozen tickets are given each day!

First, the sign should be more obvious and more explanatory. Second, police are supposed to “Serve and protect.” Like protecting the children and serving the citizens. NOT tell them “just pay the fine, sucker”! They would serve better the community if they would simply put their patrol car across the street to block traffic, or put some sort of temporary barrier, and tell passing motorists “sorry the road is temporarily closed for the children’s protection.”

Just another example of how this city fails to be community friendly. Just use common sense, damn it!

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Movie capsule-reviews

Pompeii

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Another totally unrealistic catastrophe movie. Kiefer Sutherland with a ridiculous brit accent and “John Snow” [Kit Harington] as a slave hero pointlessly saving the damsel in distress. Entertaining but not historic.

[ BibliothèqueIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]

 

Big Eyes

A Tim Burton movie about the life of American painter Margaret Keane, document.write(“”); famous for her children with big eyes art, who had to fight her husband Walter Keane up to court as he took credit for her very successful work. He was a genius of marketing but, as a frustrated wanna-be painter, couldn’t resist to flatter his ego and take credit for “their” success until she got tired of the fraud (and found religion with the Jehovah’s witnesses). Interesting subject, but a quite ordinary delivery.

[ BibliothèqueIMdBOfficial siteWikipediaYoutube ]

Les Visiteurs: La Révolution

En 1123, le chevalier Godefroy de Montmirail, dit « le Hardi » (et son écuyer, Jacquouille la Fripouille) voyagent dans le temps grâce à la potion d’un mage. Mais rien ne va comme prévu et, dans ce troisième opus, le duo (Jean Reno et Christian Clavier) se retrouve en 1793, soit en pleine Terreur révolutionnaire! Amusant mais la formule commence à se faire vieille.

[ BibliothèqueIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]

Race

An interesting film about the struggle of a black athlete to get into the 1936 summer Olympics and to show that black lives matter — while teaching a good lesson to Nazi Germany. More interestingly, it’s what the movie fails to show that is the most important: despite his four olympic medals, Jesse Owens will be totally ignored after his return to the U.S.A.. After all, the blacks in America were not that much better off than the jews in Germany. He died of cancer at 66 years old, poor, after holding small jobs and making a few business ventures. He was recognized only posthumously with a Congressional Gold Medal awarded by George W Bush in 1990! Not totally accurate, but a moment in history worth remembering.

[ BibliothèqueIMdBOfficial siteWikipediaYoutube ]

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