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Amparo Bertram

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09:32 pm: Unnatural selection
I can't recall whether I reported this or not, but last year there was a series of stories on the news about...a radish.

To recap, you know how grass and weeds sometimes poke up through cracks in the pavement? Well, on a certain streetcorner in Osaka, a daikon (Japanese large white radish) poked up through such a crack. The people of Osaka named it Dai-chan and considered it symbolic of the Osakan spirit, the refusal to give up in the face of adversity. This was reported as a short feature story on the news.

Shortly thereafter, Dai-chan was featured again...due to his untimely demise. Someone had come along in the night and sliced him off at ground level. Many people were upset and disgusted that someone would do such a thing. The news featured a dramatic rendition of the Voice of Dai-chan relating his life story.

It didn't stop there. It seems the criminal later regretted his actions, because the cut-off top of Dai-chan was surreptitiously replaced. That's right, it was set back on the spot where it had grown.

Osaka had its vegetable mascot back, but of course poor Dai-chan could not be brought back to life. Instead, they decided to do the next best thing and use the Wonders of Science to clone him. They made a number of Dai-chan clones and raised them with utmost care.

The story I saw on the news the other day reported that the clones had finally produced seeds. In the words of the scientist responsible for this project, "Most daikon are harvested before they have the chance to go to seed. The fact that he has so many children must make Dai-chan a happy daikon."

Yes, I'm sure the radish is thrilled. @_@

The plan is to plant the seeds in a daikon field next growing season in the hope that Dai-chan's hardiness will be inherited.

That's Japanese news for you. Endless entertainment.

School has been going as expected. Since the weather has grown colder, every class starts with the students clustered around the stove, shivering and complaining. Then the room finally warms up...and half of them fall asleep. They don't even bother to pretend to pay attention, they just plop their heads down on the desks and nap. They know winter break is just around the corner, and that makes it hard to take lessons seriously.

In random Warcraft news, I created my first Horde character. (Actually, I made her a couple weeks ago, but never got around to taking a screenshot.) The server I usually play on is PVP (player versus player), which means that the two main factions (Alliance and Horde) can attack each other nearly anywhere. Even if you don't want to fight, any other player can attack and kill you. Some people enjoy running around battling other players, but when you're attacked by someone 20+ levels higher than you are, there's not much you can do except die and hope they go away. (Sometimes they don't go away. I've been killed seven times in a row before.) For this reason, I've been too chicken to venture much into Horde territory. That means, however, that I didn't have a chance to see all the neat scenery that exists in those areas.

In order to have a chance to experience that content, I made a Horde character on a different server. (I picked one that wasn't PVP, so people can't fight unless both sides want to.) Here is Nakani, a Tauren hunter, with her pet lion. She's standing in front of the capital city Orgrimmar at sunrise. There is some really breathtaking scenery, and I've been having fun exploring it during spare moments when I'm not playing my other characters.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:kastra
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
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*laughs* I remember Daikon-chan! Glad to see the Japanese media hasn't become boring after I left. I actually enjoyed living in a country where that kind of thing was news. Made you feel a little safer when things like Daikon-chan was the top story. :)
[User Picture]
From:mtgat
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC)
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*boggles*

That is the best news story I've read all day.
[User Picture]
From:kataren
Date:December 12th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
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.....
Learn something new every day. Especially in Japan. *g* The "Voice of Dai-Chan" quite disturbed me though.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 12th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
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The "Voice of Dai-Chan" quite disturbed me though.

He even had an Osaka accent and everything...
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:December 12th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
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I'm so torn by the cloning. On the one hand, it honors Dai-chan the daikon. On the other, it's the exact opposite of everything Dai-chan stood for.

Also, 1) how mean do you have to be to be to kill a radish mascot and 2) how can they be sure that was really Dai-chan's top returned to the scene of the crime?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 12th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
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how mean do you have to be to be to kill a radish mascot

Very good question.

how can they be sure that was really Dai-chan's top returned to the scene of the crime?

I believe they matched it with the half still left in the ground to be sure it fit.
[User Picture]
From:wrenwyn
Date:December 12th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
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RE: Radish story! OMG! LOL That was cute.

RE: WoW horde char..she's very pretty. Xerxes and I made undead warrior/priest. His char was named Deadlock (his main is Greylock) and I made Deadwyn (my main is Wrenwyn, of course). hehe They were loads of fun and the players on Horde side did seem very friendly. :)

I haven't tried PVP because I felt it would be frustrating for me. When I'm in the middle of a quest, I would lose it if someone were to kill me. I admire that you tried it though.

Your WoW stories are so welcome to me. I really miss playing, and being without my computer, so I can't even reactivate my account is like torture! Please, keep passing them along...living vicariously is working to keep me sane. (=^.^=)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 12th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
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His char was named Deadlock (his main is Greylock) and I made Deadwyn (my main is Wrenwyn, of course).

Great names!

They were loads of fun and the players on Horde side did seem very friendly.

To be honest, that really freaks me out. After playing Alliance on a PVP server for a year, every time I see a Horde I instinctively expect it to attack me. When someone is actually polite, I'm thrown for a loop.

When I'm in the middle of a quest, I would lose it if someone were to kill me.

It's extremely frustrating. I tend not to let it bother me if it's just a one-time gank-in-passing. It's when the person corpse-camps you that I really get upset. I mean, honestly, what could possibly be interesting about sitting around the dead body of someone 20-40 levels lower just to kill them whenever they revive? Doesn't the person have better things to do?

...Some people are just juvenile and enjoy giving others grief.

I admire that you tried it though.

I wouldn't have, except my brothers had characters on the server first. They helped me out a lot while I was leveling.

Please, keep passing them along...

Will do!
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:December 12th, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
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They helped me out a lot while I was leveling.

Did your brothers hang out with you so other players wouldn't kill you? That's so sweet!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 12th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
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Did your brothers hang out with you so other players wouldn't kill you?

Yep, sometimes. It didn't always work...if someone came up and attacked while we were engaged in fighting monsters, they could still kill us. (That's the favorite tactic of such "gankers" because it's an easy kill...the monsters are doing a lot of the work for you.) But it was definitely easier than going it alone.
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