Saturday, February 23, 2008

Evil enough to eat a kitten?

While browsing forums on the internet I came across a topic: Who is evil enough to eat a kitten?. It was on a comic book forum that often incorporates other forms of media. The expected response is something akin to the clown from IT (Stephen King book), Venom (Spiderman villain), Lex Luthor (Superman antagonist), etc.

The answer I thought of though was most people. You do not have to be a villain or evil to eat kittens. In real life, a lot of people eat cats. The Koreans, starving people in Cuba, etc., eat cats. Cat meat can even be purchased at stores in some countries.

Are the people eating cats evil? That would depend on how evil is being defined, on the circumstances, and on the culture. Lets start with circumstance. Very few people would condemn starving people for eating cats/kittens. It is perfectly understandable for people who have nothing else to eat, to eat a cat so that they can survive. If you were starving and had access to nothing besides kittens to eat it would be understandable to eat them. It would not by most peoples definition make you evil.

What about those people who eat kittens/cats and aren't starving, they're evil aren't they? Possibly but probably not. Unless your a vegetarian you can't really condemn people for eating cats or any animal (could but it'd make you a hypocrite). Sure you can justify why it is alright for you to eat chicken, pig, cow, etc., and call them evil for eating kittens. You shouldn't though. Sure cats are kept as pets where as most of the time the other animals aren't (though I had a pet chicken when I was small). For that reason alone people will condemn those who eat them.

A lot of the reasons you find it wrong to eat kittens, besides them being pets, is cultural. What is acceptable to eat varies greatly by country/culture. The USA find it alright to eat chicken, cow, and pig; but find it abhorrent to eat horse (which a lot of the world doesn't), whale and dolphin (which some countries like Japan find acceptable to eat). Those same animals which the USA finds acceptable to eat are not acceptable to eat in some other countries/ cultures. For instance, the eating of pigs is forbidden by the Jewish, the eating of cows is forbidden by the Hindu and in countries with a large percent of the population with people practicing those religions have it illegal to do so.

Could still argue that the eating of kittens is evil because they are young not fully grown. It is no more evil than people eating chicken most of which are killed at 16 weeks old or Veal which is tortured baby cow.

In conclusion and the entire point of the above rant. The eating of kittens is not really any more evil than the eating of other animals. While a person can rationalize why it is alright to eat one particular animal and not alright (evil) to eat another; what it comes down to, in my opinion, is that it is either evil to eat any animal or it's alright to eat any animal. Things like humane treatment of animals (though the more humane the better), intelligence of the animals (though less intelligence would be preferable), and whether the animal is a pet or not are ultimately rationalizations. Though considering the culture and society I was brought up in I would not eat kittens/dogs and since I have both dogs and a cat it would bother me to see someone eating kittens/dogs.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Slayers Ranma references

The above two pictures are of Sherra, the second general of Dynast Grausherra, in the Slayers novels. If you have not noticed Sherra looks an awful lot like Ranma-onna. This is probably not a coincidence. The artist, Rui Araizumi, that drew the characters for the Slayers novels also drew Ranma hentai doujinshi, more specifically Ran Ran Ran F.

Another Slayers - Ranma ½ connection is that Ranma-onna's anime seiyū (voice actress) and Lina Inverse's anime seiyū are the same person, Megumi Hayashibara.

There are also two twin girls, Mimi and Nene, in a Slayers Next episode (The Forbidden Dance? Where is the Strongest Spell?) that bear a striking resemblance to Shampoo from Ranma ½. Whether that is a coincidence or not is unknown. They are pictured below.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Death Penalty

I am against the death penalty for several reasons. The biggest reason I oppose the death penalty is because innocent people are occasionally killed. The petition mentioned below is to investigate whether or not the person is innocent or not. More recent information points out that the person maybe innocent of the crime he is to be killed for.

I hate the death penalty it's just wrong. First innocents are occasionally killed, how many people are killed for crimes they did not commit is unknown. A book called In Spite of Innocence notes that between 1900 and 1992 there were 416 documented cases of people convicted and given the death sentence who were innocent. In at least 23 of those cases, the person was executed even though they were innocent.

Can list a lot of reasons like racist (more minorities than not), punishes the poor (more poor than not), cruel (It is premeditated murder) but my reason is that the person maybe innocent. Even if there was a way to prove with %100 accuracy that the person was guilty, I still would be against the death penalty. I believe people should get a chance for redemption and atonement. Killing a person will not undo the crime and I'm against all types of killing. Basically my morals are against it.

Though I do find it fascinating what crimes are supposedly deserving of the death penalty. Old Testament - Adultery and Homosexuality. Medieval Europe - witch craft, unofficial translation of the bible, sacralige. Romans - infidelity, theft, bearing false witness. Babylonians - wrongs at work build a bridge and it collapses killing someone was cause for death. Amongst other crimes. The means of execution were pretty brutal depending on the time there was crucification, burying alive, beaten to death, stoning, burning on a stake, suffocation with excrement (Teutons 100 AD), starvation, etc. The tools of execution were also brutal and varied guillotine, The Wheel, Firing squad, Noose, electric chair, gas chamber, etc.

More info on opposing the death penalty:

Case of Arthur Tyler

Here is a petition to reopen a case about someone who is condemned to die but maybe innocent of the crime he is to die for:

On March 12, 1983, Sander Leach was shot and killed in the van from which he was selling vegetables on Cleveland’s east side. Arthur Tyler has steadfastly denied shooting Mr. Leach.

Leroy Head, on the other hand, has repeatedly admitted shooting Mr. Leach.
Within minutes, he told two friends that he shot the fruit and vegetable man during a robbery, saying the old man forced his hand by trying to pull a gun.
Head told his mother he did it, too. She urged him to come clean.

So he told police he did it as well. And he signed a confession.

But it was not Head who was condemned to die.

Just before trial, Head struck a deal with prosecutors and fingered his co-defendant, Arthur Tyler, instead. Arthur has sat on Ohio's death row for 25 years for a crime he did not commit.

Head could be paroled as early as next year, even though he has acknowledged several times since that he was the triggerman after all.

On May 16, 1989, Head told attorneys Joanne Bour-Stokes and Richard Vickers that he had lied when he testified at Tyler’s trial and that he (Head) killed Leach. Head said the prosecutors threatened him at Tyler’s second trial that if he did not testify he would be tried for capital murder or sent to a less secure prison, with the prosecutor making sure the other inmates knew he was a snitch.

Time really is running out for Arthur.
Arthur Tyler has sat on Ohio's Death Row for 25 long years for a crime he did not commit.

Another man named Leroy Head has admitted on more than 5 occasions that he in fact shot the victim, Mr Leach. Yet Arthur remains waiting for his date in Ohio's execution chamber.

This is wrong and Arthur should not be executed. We demand a full investigation into this case.

We need people to contact the Attorney General and the Governor of Ohio,

Please pass this petition around.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sei Barentain No Shukujitsu

Today is Valentines Day. The Japanese Celebrate Valentines Day (Sei Barentain No Shukujitsu) differently from most of the rest of the world. In Japan on Valentines Day women give chocolate to men. Honmei-choko (True Love Chocolate) is given to significant others (though other gifts maybe be given as well) these gifts are either home-made or expensive. Giri-choko (Obligatory Chocolate) is chocolate women give to men around them (co-workers, bosses, classmates, next door neighbors, relatives, etc.) . These are bought by the box full and are generally just cheap chocolate.

Supposedly, St. Valentine's Day was imported to Japan in 1958 by a Japanese confectionery company. Considering that chocolate companies in Japan sell more than half of their yearly sales during the week before Valentine's Day if this is true it was a good idea on their part.

In Ranma 1/2 Manga volume 34 Jap/ 32 VIZ you can see the girls of Ranma fight to try and give Ranma chocolate while Akane is pressured into giving him chocolate by a little girl.

For the hell of it here are a few more examples from manga/anime:
in volume 4(VIZ) of Maison Ikkoku Kozue gives chocolate to Godai.
on episode seven of Ah My goddess TV series Belldandy learns about Valentines Day
Love Hina has two celebrations of valentines day don't remember volume #'s and don't know where to find a manga synopsis.
Fruits Basket Volume 3 has a story on valentines day

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ranma on One Pound Gospel

In the live action Japanese Drama 1 pound no Fukuin (one pound gospel), Uedo is seen reading a volume of Ranma 1/2.

National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi)

In Japan today is National Foundation Day. It is a day to celebrate the emperor. Though a national holiday not much is really done to celebrate this day. The Japanese flag is displayed sometimes on this day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century

In the 6th comic of Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century, a red haired female green lantern in the future travels around with a panda named Gen'ma. This is very likely a reference to Ranma.

Gung hay fat choy

Gung hay fat choy is a New Year greeting meaning, "May you become prosperous."

Today is Chinese New Year (technically yesterday was in my timezone because of the position of the moon). The Chinese used to go by a lunar/solar calendar mix and by that calendar today is the first day of the year of the rat. A good site for more info on Chinese New Year is this one:

I'm not doing anything today for Chinese New Years since there is not many Chinese New Years events in the area I live in. I will be going to a Chinese Restaurant Saturday that is having a lion dance though. There were more events for Chinese New Years last year than this year. Last year I went to 3 separate celebrations which included traditional Asian dances, music, food, and costumes. As far as I know the only thing this year is a few restaurants having a Lion Dance.

Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. A day of abstinence from meat and of fasting. I fasted, ate no meat, and went to church. It is not uncommon to give something up for Lent. This year I am giving up meat for Lent. Not just on Fridays of Lent and Ash Wednesday.

I really should give up meat entirely, not just during Lent. There are a lot of reasons for why I should give up meat. Here are some:

Health Reasons: Many diseases/conditions are more common for people who eat meat than vegetarians, diseases like Anemia, appendicitis, arthritis, diabetes, gall stones, high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems, some types of cancer, and have more bad cholesterol. Vegetarians generally live longer than non-vegetarians. If I avoid eating meat I have much less chance of encountering mad cow disease and will get less hormones, drugs and other chemicals put into my body.

Environmental reasons: There are quite a few environmental reasons eating meat,at least factory farmed meat, is bad for the environment. Run off of animal waste pollutes local water reserves and rivers. Slaughterhouses are a place in which germs can spread. More nonrenewable resources are used up in raising the animals. Inefficient use of water (nearly half the US water supply) and grains (Large percentage of soy and corn is used to feed animals rather than people). Of course this is mainly a problem with factory farms and the type of farming done. If your eating some of the excess deer to limit the deer population or road kill (i.e. animals hit by cars) these environmental problems do not occur as much. Putting a stop to the environmental problems does not necessarily require people to stop eating meat.

Ethical reasons: When you eat meat you are killing an animal. Considering that I can get my proteins/vitamins/nutrients from plants instead of killing animals, it just seems cruel. Also many of the animals are treated excessively cruelly. Small pens, cutting off horns/beaks, excessive number of animals in to small a space, branding, etc.

Economic reasons: Vegetables and grains are cheaper than meat. Also other countries send grain to the US to feed animals instead of using it to feed the starving people of their own countries since there is more profit for them.

Labor reasons: People who work at meat factories are not treated fairly and often are illegal immigrants who get paid far too little.

The reason I haven't and probably won't become a full time vegetarian is mostly laziness. The country I live in eats more meat than any other country on the planet with the average person eating something like 273 pounds of meat per year. Many restaurants have very limited selection for vegetarians, so eating meat offers a much larger variety. Meat is added into things that have no real reason to add it such as chicken or beef broth added to otherwise vegetable soups or meat added to lasagna/pasta sauces. Sales at local pizza shops are generally for pepperoni pizza's instead of for a vegetarian topping or plain (several places have plain cheese pizza's cost more than pepperoni pizzas). It is much easier to eat meatless at home.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday

Today is fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras which is French for fat Tuesday). Basically fat Tuesday is a day to party and gorge yourself prior to the start of Lent. During lent (at least on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) your supposed to fast and not supposed to throw parties or have marriages (still allowed but discouraged).

I don't really do anything different today then other days, except for eating Paczki (jelly filled doughnuts). I've never gone to a mardi gras celebration/parade but have seen them on TV and movies. I think I'd like to see one in person once but I don't really like to travel. I could go to one of the local restaurants that celebrate Mardi Gras but I don't drink alcohol and I don't really like New Orleans food that much.

Monday, February 4, 2008


In volume 34 of Ranma ½ (Japanese or Fanscan version) the first story arc is on Setsubun.

Setsubun is the day before the first day of each season. Though most of the time when you hear Setsubun they are talking about the day before the first day of spring (last day of winter). The date is either the 3rd or 4th day of February. The day is determined by the old lunar calender.

On the evening of this day a bean throwing ceremony (mamemaki) is held at homes, shrines, and temples. Bean throwing ceremony consists of scattering roasted soybeans while chanting Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi (Out with the bad luck, in with the good). Often someone usually the father will wear an oni mask and be chased around by children throwing beans at him. The point of the ceremony is to bring good fortune and drive out evil spirits.

Additional traditional things done on this day include the eating of one bean for each year of your age, celebrities throwing beans at the crowds during festivals/shrines, and some people hang a Japanese twig (hiiragi) together with the head of a sardine at the entrances to their homes to shut out evil spirits.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Association and memory triggers.

It some times amazes me how memory works. For example, Today I saw a bumper sticker do hass (German for to hate) which then prompted thoughts on music. In particular a German band. I spent quite a bit of time trying to remember the name of the band. It was not until my brother mentioned Japan that I remembered the bands name as being Rammstein. For some unknown reason the mentioning of Japan prompted the remembrance of the German bands name.

This is not the first time I've recalled things in a weird manner. I sometimes lay back, relax, and let my mind wander. While my mind wanders the weirdest things pop up for seemingly no reason. Recently I had while letting my mind wander, thoughts on the Borg from Star Trek (an earlier post). I have no idea why. I did not watch or read any Star Trek recently. I wasn't talking about Star Trek with anyone.

This makes me wonder as to how memory is linked. Why do seemingly unconnected things trigger memory? I've read theories on how memory works but I haven't found one I like.

Since I'm curious here are five random words what is the first thing to come to mind?

Uniform, Ordinary, look, lining, sun,

Words taken from a Random Word Generator

Looking at the five words, the first thing I thought about was a little kid playing in a field. Why did those words for me trigger thoughts of a child at play?