by liberal japonicus
I've got a packed schedule this weekend, so I thought I would get this up, though in my defense, it actually is Friday here. Content, or something that purports to be content, below:
Now that there are 5 Disneyplaces™ in the world, I'm not sure if they use the 'Happiest Place on Earth' line any more ('One of the 5 happiest places on earth' doesn't really have the zip), but here's an article about how the Japanese one isn't so happy at the moment.
Located about 200 miles south of the earthquake’s epicenter, Urayasu should have been well beyond the danger zone. There was no tsunami wave. No buildings fell. Rather, what happened here March 11 seemed straight out of a science-fiction movie: As the ground shook, muddy sludge oozed up, gurgling out of newly formed cracks and swallowing what it could.
Today, the mud is dried and gone, but Urayasu, the home of Tokyo Disneyland, resembles a town reflected in a funhouse hall of mirrors: severely warped streets and fences, tilted houses and police booths, sunken utility poles and pushed-up manhole covers resting on three-foot-high piles of dirt. At Disneyland, the parking lot rippled and buckled, a ride the 68,000 patrons at the park that day hadn’t counted on.
To the list of destructive forces that have wracked Japan — earthquake, tsunami, radiation from a crippled nuclear power plant — can be added liquefaction, a phenomenon that occurs when the earth’s violent shaking forces sand particles, once packed tightly, to shift apart and allow water to seep in.
Lest you think this will happen to any Disneyplace™, only the one at Urayasu has been built on reclaimed land, so don't worry that while you are shedding your dollars/euros/HKdollars/renminbi, the same thing will happen there:
Susumu Yasuda, a civil engineer from Tokyo Denki University, said that Urayasu is highly susceptible to liquefaction because the town, built after World War II, sits on reclaimed land made from a mix of volcanic ash, garbage and sand dredged from Tokyo Bay.
Although the Japanese government had enacted stricter liquefaction building codes for factories after a 1964 earthquake, most residential homes were built without 60-foot underground steel reinforcement poles, which were considered too expensive, Yasuda said.
He said he worries that Urayasu officials are rebuilding too quickly, noting that the ground remains vulnerable to repeated liquefaction if a major aftershock occurs. In Christchurch, New Zealand, a February aftershock from an earthquake in September sent mud oozing 20 inches above ground — higher than it had piled during the initial quake.
I also linked to this article about interracial marriage in Mississippi. (actually, the original article was in the NYTimes, this is a shorter version that was picked up by the Seattle Times), which became grist for the mill of 'what's the matter with Mississippi'. I mentioned that it was from my college town of Hattiesburg. Unfortunately, I think that that town is actually an outlier in the state, a place where, I have heard folks in the northern part of the state feel all the queers and liberals are. I guess this article about an opinion survey in Mississippi supports that view (not about the demographics of the town, but about how the town is an outlier)
We asked voters on this poll whether they think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal- 46% of Mississippi Republicans said it should be illegal to just 40% who think it should be legal. For the most part there aren't any huge divides in how voters view the candidates or who they support for the nomination based on their attitudes about interracial marriage but there are a few exceptions.
Palin's net favorability with folks who think interracial marriage should be illegal (+55 at 74/19) is 17 points higher than it is with folks who think interracial marriage should be legal (+38 at 64/26.) Meanwhile Romney's favorability numbers see the opposite trend. He's at +23 (53/30) with voters who think interracial marriage should be legal but 19 points worse at +4 (44/40) with those who think it should be illegal. Tells you something about the kinds of folks who like each of those candidates.
Which gets me to the title. I'm pretty sure that my college town is the outlier based on a t-shirt seen on campus. It said, in big letters across the front:
Jesus is coming
and below that. it had
Good advice, to be sure. Have at it.