Monday, October 3rd, 2022


If The Shoe Fits

"At the end of a long day at work in the offices of Japan's professional baseball league, Asumi Fujiwara returned to her apartment and changed into pajamas. She wanted to get in a light workout before going to bed, so she placed her vinyl yoga mat on the floor in front of the toilet, rolling it past the single kitchen burner and the one-slot toaster and toward the foot of her desk." In other words, sometimes you have to come up with a technique to make up for size. And that's definitely a requirement for the Japanese apartment dwellers who have decided to live in a shoe box. Actually, my hyperbole is getting away from me. Each of these apartments has "a tiny 'genkan,' or entryway, with enough room for exactly three pairs of shoes." It's the little things. NYT (Gift Article) takes you inside a 95-Square-Foot Tokyo Apartment: ‘I Wouldn't Live Anywhere Else.'


Fleein’ Ian

In some ways, it's the small stories that really give you a sense of the outsized power of unnatural natural events like Hurricane Ian. Charles Bethea in The New Yorker: Surviving Hurricane Ian in a Fort Myers Apartment Complex. "As dusk was falling, Rayhart heard Stefanie scream, 'There's a boat!' An unmoored yacht, visible in the wind and rain, was coming toward their apartment. It shifted slightly as it drew near, instead passing over the apartment's pool, and ended up wedged between two buildings. 'A close call,' Rayhart recalled. Then another yacht appeared. 'Like, a million-dollar freaking-big yacht,' Rayhart said. 'This time it's coming directly for my living room.' He told everyone except Stebbins and the man from downstairs to get in his bedroom, farthest away from where the yacht seemed poised to strike the building. 'I'm standing there, and I'm looking at them,' Rayhart said, 'like, ‘Are you guys ready, because it's about to get real.'"

+ "Bishop yanked on the medical gait belt around Russell's waist, but he was nearly 170 pounds. She tried every position possible, switching from pushing to pulling, and managed to get him up a few carpeted steps. But the water followed." 'I Did All I Could': As Floodwaters Rose, She Fought to Save Her Disabled Brothers.

+ His mom's house flooded during Ian. He swam a half-mile to save her.


They’re Working Yom Kippur This Year

"He says Putin's move to conscript 'by trickery' hundreds of thousands of new soldiers — who Cherkaskyi says 'are unprepared, forced and intimidated' — does not dent Ukrainian soldiers' morale in the least. 'We are defending our country, our homes, our families and our children. So how can it affect us?'" Jewish Ukrainian father and son soldiers mark holy days under cloud of Russia's war. (You can't beat this with conscripts and bluster.)

+ WaPo: "The day after Russian President Vladimir Putin proudly proclaimed the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk region, thousands of his troops withdrew from a strategic town there under Ukrainian fire."

+ Before they run, they torture. 10 torture sites in 1 town: Russia sowed pain, fear in Izium. "The first time the Russian soldiers caught him, they tossed him bound and blindfolded into a trench covered with wooden boards for days on end. Then they beat him, over and over: Legs, arms, a hammer to the knees, all accompanied by furious diatribes against Ukraine. Before they let him go, they took away his passport and Ukrainian military ID — all he had to prove his existence — and made sure he knew exactly how worthless his life was."


Two For the Show

When it comes to our current era, there are plenty of things to complain about. But at least it's an era when we have free access to two amazing artists at the peak of their professional powers. Both were on display this weekend. First, check out Kendrick Lamar's two mesmerizing performances on SNL (with a big hat tip to the lighting director). Rich Spirit/N95 and Father Time featuring Sampha. And then set aside an hour or so to experience what could be modern music's most powerful voice as Brandi Carlile blows past Austin City Limits.


Extra, Extra

Worst Monday in October: The bad news: it's Monday. The worse news: it's the first Monday in October. That means the Supreme Court is back in session. And if last year was any indication, that's the worst news of all. USA Today: Supreme Court: A look at the key cases and questions pending before the nation's high court.

+ Soccer Stampede: "Police firing tear gas after an Indonesian soccer match in an attempt to stop violence triggered a disastrous crush of fans making a panicked, chaotic run for the exits, leaving at least 125 people dead, most of them trampled upon or suffocated." A tragedy at an Indonesia soccer match. "'Fans died in the arms of players,' Javier Roca, the Arema coach, told Spanish broadcaster Cadena Ser. 'I'm mentally shattered. I feel a heavy burden, even a heavy responsibility.'" BBC: How the disaster unfolded.

+ I Ran Out of Lies: "In his first public comments on the unrest, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said 'riots' had been 'engineered' by Iran's arch-enemies and their allies. Iran protests: Supreme leader blames unrest on US and Israel. Same tired lies from the same tired regime.

+ Add Hominin: "By developing new techniques for working with ancient genetic material — which is often heavily degraded and contaminated by microorganisms — he led teams that sequenced the genome of the Neanderthal, and discovered a previously unknown hominin, Denisova." Svante Pääbo wins the Nobel Prize in medicine for research into the evolutionary history of humankind. (I mean, for those who believe in such things...)

+ Ay, There's the Rub: Here's just one of the weird (and frightening) tidbits from the always interesting Harper's Index. "Percentage by which Trump voters are more likely than Biden voters to have donated sperm : 50."


Bottom of the News

"The would-be winners of almost $29,000 at an Ohio fishing tournament were disqualified on Friday, after it was discovered their fish were stuffed with lead weights and fish fillets." Cheating scandal at Ohio tournament rocks competitive fishing world. (In the business, we call this tipping the scales.)

+ Catalans, in contest for tallest human tower, climb to dizzying heights.

+ When it comes to raccoons, it's the shy ones you have to watch out for.

+ And since it's Monday, here are 30 Minutes of Relaxing Visuals from Studio Ghibli.