Saturday, March 26, 2011

Did someone say "Postcard Project"? O,O

I am (still) on the AJET-Chicago Consulate mailing list. Every so often, a former JET or two gets in contact with the group to rally us all to certain projects. One Jennifer Bohn, now stationed with the Peace Corps at a high school in Tonga, is asking for postcards from as many places around the world as she can spread the word. Maybe you have some cool postcards and colorful stamps you're just itching to use. Well, here's your invitation:
Malo e lelei,

Greetings from the Kingdom of Tonga! My name is Jennifer Bohn and I am a Peace Corps volunteer here. My students at 'Eua High School and I are working on a project and we need your assistance. We are asking everyone outside of Tonga to please send us a postcard of your hometown/city.

We are trying to collect as many postcards as possible. This project will help enhance the student's understanding of other places and cultures in the U.S. and around the world. Postcards will be posted in the library, next to the new student-created world map. It doesn't matter if the postcard is from Green Bay,  Buenos Aires, Istanbul: we will take them all! Please send postcards to:

c/o U.S. Peace Corps
P.O. Box 24
'Ohonua, 'Eua

I will keep a running list of all the postcards received with their origin on the EHS Website. Everyone is encouraged to check to see if their postcard successfully makes it to EHS and to learn more about the school.

The project offers a great chance cultural exchange for everyone involved. The project begins now and will continue until the end of my Peace Corps service in December 2011. Please help out if you can and tell everyone you know! Feel free to forward this information to anyone and everyone.

If you have any questions/comments or want to know more information about my work in Tonga, please do not hesitate to contact me via my blog. Thank you very much or, as we say here in Tonga, malo 'aupito!

Personally, I am in an itchy-sendy state all the damn time, and it just takes the words "postcard project" for me to send the philately flying. Honestly, have you seen the new forever stamps at the USPS? Let's get those babies posted! XD

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Happy Lunar Perigee.

 Supermoon over the Catalina Mountains, Tucson, Arizona.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Don't Panic."

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all; hopefully you have some corned beef and beer (or at least beer) to get you through the evening.

If you or anyone close to you happens to be contemplating the purchase of potassium iodine in the near future, may I strongly recommend that you do not add to the uneducated, panic-driven run on such capsules unless you are living in the eastern half of Japan or intend to join the relief effort there within the next six weeks. No, there is no nuclear cloud coming to California. Hawaii is absolutely safe (watch out for that Kilauea, though).

This crap: exactly that; crap. A lulzy hoax born on 4chan. So many idiots have been trolled by these images and other hype that now there is a shortage of potassium iodine for the people who actually need it in Japan.

There are several hundred technicians and engineers being cycled in and out of the nuclear plant in Fukushima right now, 24 hours a day, working tirelessly to stop the reactors from going into full meltdown. They are the only ones in the world thus far exposed to any levels of radiation that could be deemed dangerous by modern medicine. Many of these men and women have lost their homes and their families to the quake and subsequent tsunami, but they are still volunteering to go into harm's way to avert a third disaster, doing all that they can to save their fellow citizens. The least we can do is not buy up all the pills they need to protect themselves from thyroid cancer.

Please spread the word. Tell people to cut this crap out. If you have iodine pills, contact your local branch of the Red Cross for a way to donate them. Thank you very, very much.

Monday, March 14, 2011

3.14 - Pi Day

It's Pi Day again; hope you've all had your slice today. The radiation situation is getting pretty serious in Fukushima. What kind of wicked misfortune is it that the only nation in the world to have been struck with nuclear weapons is now facing what could be the simultaneous meltdown of three nuclear reactors? Honestly. これがまんできなさそう。

Even though Japan is a modern, first-world country with some of the best disaster preparation possible, the scope of the damage done is truly epic. Please consider making a donation to your favorite international charity to ease the suffering of the displaced and wounded in this immediate aftermath. Please by donating now to the Red Cross.

NHK World channel, live in English:

Friday, March 11, 2011


Remember this little girl?

She lives here:

This is Kamaishi, at the end of the trainline I rode into town every weekend.

This is Kamaishi now:

Live feed of Japanese news: