Super Bowl Sunday

Sorry to have missed you while you were in town, YC.  Sounds like you guys had a great time back in the city!

Friday: my co-workers and I went to Rain, in time for Restaurant Week. We ended up not eating off of the Restaurant Week menu, but off the regular menu, which had some nice items. A side of pineapple fried rice was quite tropical and refreshing. One colleague had Thai bouillabaisse, which looked good. The ambiance was nice, although if you really want to press me, I’ll say that the music was a bit loud.

The weather has been incredibly mild. 40’s/50’s. Weird winter.

The passing of Betty Friedan, the author of “Feminine Mystique” and feminist. Slate’s Emily Bazelon, a relative of Friedan, posts a tribute.

The passing of Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis. Yahoo has a slightly different version of the AP obit, wherein Grandpa Munster’s age is a bit in question.

MSNBC has this article on the curious so-called “nerd culture” of Japan. I read a similar article in the NY Times Magazine some year or two ago, and I still came out feeling weird and icky. I’ve no problem with nerds or their fascination with technology and anime. But, the erotic nature gets – like I said – icky. I mean, living with a life-size anime female doll?:

The nation has long nurtured a fascination with artifice — think bonsai, rock gardens or even gadgets like talking vending machines. Otaku [the “nerd” culture] have married that with the deep affection for innocence, which sometimes leads to young girls being viewed as sex symbols. [….]

The phenomenon is seen by many as a troubling deviation, reflecting a loss of confidence among youth and a Japanese aversion to personal conflict — typified by the estimated 1 million social recluses known as “hikikomori.” Some critics link the fascination with female characters to crimes targeting young girls.

“Because of fear of being rejected or disliked, people turn to anime characters or idols that pose no personal conflict,” said psychologist Rika Kayama. “But there is a danger. … Otaku who live in the fantasy world of anime often give little thought to how they may look to others.” [….]

The article then goes on to refer to its subject, a man who lives with his life-size dolls, combs their hair, and adore that they’re his dream girls. No intentions of marrying or even dating (real) girls. Umm, ok. Sure.

On a more pleasant note, there’s this Ford press release. Yeah, sure, the company’s losing jobs, but Kermit the Frog will be in Ford’s commercials for the Super Bowl game.

And, last but not least, this nice article on the Brooklyn bagel place, “F-Line Bagels,” that had been in a trademark dispute with the MTA (because the MTA didn’t like it that the owner used the “F” symbol of the F subway). The bagel place man went with a reversed F, and therefore possibly avoiding another trademark dispute. Smart move. And, boo to the MTA – how could anyone be confused about this one guy’s use of the “F” – obviously not MTA-approved and wouldn’t be confused for MTA (besides his being underneath the F line).

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