Category Archives: Curiosities

The Library of Babel

The Library of Babel is a place for scholars to do research, for artists and writers to seek inspiration, for anyone with curiosity or a sense of humor to reflect on the weirdness of existence – in short, it’s just like any other library. If completed, it would contain every possible combination of 1,312,000 characters, including lower case letters, space, comma, and period. Thus, it would contain every book that ever has been written, and every book that ever could be – including every play, every song, every scientific paper, every legal decision, every constitution, every piece of scripture, and so on. At present it contains all possible pages of 3200 characters, about 104677 books.

source: The Library of Babel

Mexico Overrun by … Mexicans?

All over the news is the relatively recent Arizona law

which proponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status. (nytimes.com)

A preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law was issued by Judge Susan Bolton of the Federal District Court just days before 1200 National Guard troops were sent to the border to assist, as a result of the federal government suing Arizona. The law has …

… renewed calls for an overhaul of federal immigration law and led to repeated rebukes of it from President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who maintained that immigration policy is under the purview of the federal government, not individual states. The Mexican government, joined by seven other Latin American nations, supported one of the lawsuits against the law; the attorneys general of several states backed Arizona. (nytimes.com)

This becomes interesting when considering a recently recirculating spam massage attempting to push home the irony …

The shoe is on the other foot and the Mexicans from the State of Sonora, Mexico doesn’t like it. Can you believe the nerve of these people? It’s almost funny. The State of Sonora is angry at the influx of Mexicans into Mexico. Nine state legislators from the Mexican State of Sonora traveled to Tucson to complain about Arizona’s new employer crackdown on illegals from Mexico …

Unfortunately, the actual delegation visit was in January 2008 and does not concern the new immigration law (SB1070) which was signed into effect on 23 April 2010. (snopes.com)

It was a nice try by those rabid few looking to get frothy about something.

No Fluoride for You

I was at the dentist this week and she mentioned that my teeth have become worse since coming to Japan. When asked why she thinks that might be, she said I probably need more fluoride:

(me): But don’t you put fluoride in your water here?

(dds): No. It’s not like the US and other countries.

(me): But, it’s in toothpaste and other dental stuff, right? <hesitant stupid question>

(dds): No. It’s not in any over the counter Japanese products. There may be some things which say fluoride, but it’s such a nominal trace amount to be useless – just for marketing maybe. You need to go to the dentist … You could go to an import shop and buy American products.

I was shocked. A first world country with bad teeth partially due to lack of this controlled substance. I suppose it might relate to the prevalent protectionism of this country. They recently changed the law to allow you to buy such dangerous drugs as aspirin at convenience stores (drug stores must be protected), but after months and months and months I have never seen it for sale. I can certainly buy a fresh white business shirt at the conveni so the soiled one from yesterday doesn’t reveal I’ve been out all night, but a Tylenol would be going too far! So, don’t even think of holding out for fluoride; Just visit your friendly dentist for a smile.