That little waving cat sculpture in Chinese restaurants is called a “Maneki Neko.”

The “beckoning cat” turns out to be Japanese, not Chinese, and is properly rendered as a ceramic sculpture, rather than shiny, gold plastic. It’s beckoning passersby to enter the establishment, although the gesture doesn’t really translate, since in the West, that’s how we wave hello and goodbye. They appear to date to the 1870s. →

Links for November 10th

Nieman Reports: A Local Newspaper Endures a Stormy BacklashThis is the story of how the tiny Idaho Falls Post Register bravely uncovered a series of cases of pedophiles acting as leaders in area Boy Scout troops, as told by the managing editor of the paper. In the face of an angry public very much in […]

Links for July 9th

GAO: Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin Would Provide a Financial Benefit to the GovernmentGetting rid of the $1 bill would save the government $184M/year. Not an enormous amount, on the scale of the budget, but there's no getting around that $184M is a very large amount of money indeed. Ten years ago, […]

Links for May 5th

Wikipedia: Timeline of Web BrowsersA family tree for web browsers. There are a lot of browsers here I hadn't thought of for years. HotJava, ViolaWWW, and Cello, in particular. Voice of America: Historian Recounts Role of Chinese Americans Who Fought in US Civil WarIn 1861, there were only 200 Asians living in the Eastern U.S. […]

We’re parroting China’s own POW torture techniques.

The U.S. military learned its torture techniques by imitating Chinese communist methods from the Korean War. And how did they learn about these methods? From a 1957 U.S. military study of how so many American POWs came to make false confessions. They even reused the original chart of techniques, changing only the title, “Communist Coercive […]

Goode gets caught telling a tall China oil-drilling tale.

In order to fulfill his twice-annual quota of saying something totally nuts, Rep. Virgil Goode informed a WCHV radio host last week that China is drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba. I wish I knew what Goode was thinking when he says such foolish things. He’s doing no favors for himself, his district, […]