Nikkei Matsuri

I took transit to the Nikkei Centre in Burnaby for some stimulation. The normally quiet garden where seniors play gateball was jam packed with people lining up for Japanese street food, as kids hoisted the portable shrine and marched around to the beat of a drum. Inside, with admission, more games and food and gifts for sale, as dancers danced on stage. And the museum featured Kayla Isomura's sobering exhibit featuring photographs of what Nikkei descendants would take with them if they were to be suddenly uprooted today, providing an intriguing perspective on the role of historical consciousness.

Science Borealis Cartoon

Here's a cartoon I did for the latest Science Borealis newsletter. I usually pick a post that is highlighted for inspiration. This one was about invasive species. Apparently cats do a lot of damage. This was cartoon was sort of in reaction to all the cute cat memes.



1808 cat.jpg

Crazy Rich Asians movie

I enjoyed this romantic comedy of a Chinese American woman facing the machinations of her boyfriend's unexpectedly crazy rich Singaporean Chinese family and friends. I had only heard the audiobook sequel borrowed from the library, so it was interesting to see the origins of those characters. I don't really care for these kinds of money vs love stories, but the rare thing for me was to see the variety of roles for Asians speaking English as locals (English is apparently common in Singapore), so that I could actually imagine myself as the lead, if I were younger ;-)

The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies

I enjoyed this novel I borrowed as an audiobook from the library. It is written as a first person narrative by a doctor who takes a holistic approach to medicine, in the sense of attending to the psychological or spiritual aspects of a person and not just the physical, though he is also very attentive to that as well. He also ponders the medical ailments of characters from literature. I liked the series of episodes involving different characters as they grow old in Toronto, though I thought it ended a bit abruptly and maybe a little sadly.

Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Martinetti, Lebeau & Franc

I have only read one Agatha Christie mystery. I was turned off after realizing I couldn’t have figured out what happened because she didn’t give you all the information. But I liked this graphic version of her life, drawn with simple lines and colouring. They began with her mysterious disappearance, which they ascribe to her response to her husband having an affair. They playfully include her chatting with some of her characters. I had a vague memory of her as a white-haired old woman, so it was interesting to see her as a vivacious young woman with red hair.

The Disaster Artist

This is a meta movie based on the true story of a strange rich guy who makes his own movie, which was unintentionally funny. I don't understand the main character but when he does something weird in the movie, he refers to it as human behaviour, like people are unpredictable. I wonder if Franco, who has done some other weird movies, admires someone who does what wants. The reception of a thing is out of your hands. You might have talent or not, but you put your art out there and let things go as they may.

Interstitial #Curiosity Collider

If Dr. Frankenstein or maybe more appropriately, Mary Shelley, worked at Ikea, perhaps such diagrams of exploded parts, mechanical and organic, might come of it.

Dr. Uchida, one of the collages of female scientists on display, remarkable to me for being a NIkkei.

Disembodied hands manipulating scientific equipment with brightly painted fingernails.

Interstitial, the spaces in between. Filling those gaps of perception and perspective.

You go, women of STEAM

A Midsummer's Equation

I borrowed this audiobook because it was based in Japan and I was curious about it. But it turned out to be even more interesting than I expected, because the main character was a scientist and it took place in a small seaside village. The different levels of jurisdiction and protocol seemed to be very Japanese in its procedures as did the secretive nature of the crime itself, the attempt to keep unseemly matters hidden. The crime rate is very low in Japan but now I wonder how much of that is because people don’t want to talk about things.