2012年07月31日

国がなくても問題なし 国抜きで五輪に出る方法


No Country, No Problem: How to Make the Games Without a Nation
( TIME )

If Olympic marathoner Guor Marial wins the gold medal on the Aug. 12,
he’ll proudly stand atop the podium while an anthem plays over the
loudspeakers:

Immortal spirit of antiquity,
Father of the true, beautiful and good,
Descend, appear, shed over us thy light
Upon this ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed thy unperishable fame.

If these lyrics sound totally unfamiliar, take heart: they’re not
part of any national anthem, because Marial is the first Olympian to
ever compete without a country.

Marial -- who hails from South Sudan, which just celebrated its first
birthday as a country -- will compete as an independent athlete at
the London Olympics, under the auspices of the International Olympic
Committee (IOC). So if he wins a gold medal, the “Olympic Hymn” --
yes, there actually is one, and yes, it has words -- would be played
in place of a national anthem. If he is able to take part in the
opening ceremony -- his U.S.-based lawyer is trying to rush the
documents -- he will march under the five-ringed Olympic flag.
Independent falls between Iceland and India in the parade of nations.
“It’s like he’s from nowhere,” says Pere Miro, the IOC’s
director of relations with national Olympic committees.

Marial is a refugee from the Sudanese civil war; he’s been living in
the U.S. since 2001. He has a green card and refugee status, but is
not a U.S. citizen. Marial does not have citizenship, or a passport,
from South Sudan either. But even if he did, he could not compete for
South Sudan, since it has no Olympic team. Organizing a national
Olympic committee is not at the top of South Sudan’s priority list.
“There’s very little structure there for sports right now,” says
Miro.

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | エンターテインメント | このブログの読者になる |

2012年07月27日

この地でマッカーサーは消え去らず


No Fading Away For MacArthur Over Here
( TIME )

More than six decades after U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur
stepped down as lord and master of Japan, he remains a towering
figure of the postwar era -- an enigmatic, controversial and yet
revered figure who helped rebuild and remake Japan from the ashes of
war.

Ordinary citizens can get a glimpse into the MacArthur persona during
a rare public viewing this week of MacArthur’s former office
overlooking the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. The spare,
wood-paneled room has been carefully preserved and is open to the
public to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the return of the
former General Headquarters building to its civilian owner.

“MacArthur was very important to Japan’s recovery,” says John
Mock, visiting professor of anthropology at Temple University in
Tokyo. “In terms of managing day-to-day affairs, he didn’t have to
do a lot. His job was to be a figurehead and he did that very, very
well. He was this august, distant figure -- almost imperial-like --
and that is exactly what the Japanese needed.”

MacArthur had a well-developed sense of theater and chose his
headquarters carefully. The Dai-Ichi Insurance Co. was one of the few
intact structures left in Tokyo at the end of the war. It stood
across a wide boulevard from the palace. MacArthur requisitioned the
building, gave the company three days to move out and moved into an
office on the sixth floor. From there he could look across a moat and
high walls onto the palace grounds.

MacArthur refused to call on the Emperor. When eventually Hirohito
made the pilgrimage across the street to MacArthur’s office, a photo
was released of the tall, relaxed MacArthur standing next to the
diminutive and buttoned-up Emperor, making clear to all who was in
charge.

MacArthur was relieved of his post in April 1951 for publicly
disagreeing with President Harry Truman over handling of the war in
Korea. He returned to the U.S. and in a farewell address to Congress
he said, “I now close my military career and just fade away, an old
soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see
that duty.”

In Japan, neither MacArthur, nor his office, has faded away.

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | 日本 | このブログの読者になる |

2012年07月25日

オーロラ銃撃事件でバットマンを責めないで


Don't Blame Batman for the Aurora Shooting
( TIME )

The tragic shooting in a Colorado movie theater, in which 12 people
died and approximately 50 were wounded, has understandably caused
both fear and confusion. Given that this shooting happened to take
place at a showing of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises,
I’m already fielding questions about whether Batman somehow caused,
in whole or in part, this shooter to commit his crimes. The simple
answer is clearly “no.”

At present we know very little about the shooter James Holmes, and
so we’re obsessively focusing on some of the more superficial
details of this case. It’s worth noting that The Dark Knight Rises
is playing in 4,404 out of 5,331 total theaters in the U.S. this
weekend (and many of those theaters are showing the movie on multiple
screens). Had the massacre occurred a couple of weekends ago, we
might have been parsing The Amazing Spider-Man or The Avengers or
even The Hunger Games for “clues” as to the shooter’s motivation.
Summer blockbusters tend to be violent, which brings us to the next
misconception, which is that violent entertainment leads to actual
violence.

At this point the argument that mass homicides can be explained, even
in part, by violent entertainment is scientifically unproven, as
I’ve noted with colleagues Mark Coulson and Jane Barnett in the
Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations. A 2002 report by the U.S.
Secret Service found little evidence that mass homicide perpetrators
consume unusual amounts of violent media. Few people doubt that
violent entertainment is more available now than at any point in
history. Yet as Stephen Pinker documents in his latest book The
Better Angels of Our Nature, we are living at the most peaceful epoch
in human history. It would probably be difficult to find very many
young men in the U.S. who haven’t seen at least one of the Batman
movies, yet despite this and all of the violent entertainment options
available, youth violence has been steadily plummeting, and is at its
lowest levels since the 1960s.

But we tend to focus on the shootings with cultural overtones, and we
read too much into those overtones. This is a common reaction of a
frightened populace looking to fix random, usually uncontrollable
events. The wishful thinking underlying this impulse is that if we
could get rid of those “cultural” influences, mass homocides would
go away. In some cases, knee-jerk speculation tends to be plain
wrong. Much of the blame for the Jared Lee Loughner shooting in
Arizona was initially placed on right-wing political speech, which
proved to be a red-herring. And violent video games were blamed in
the Virginia Tech Shooting, although official investigation revealed
that the shooter did not play violent video games.

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | 米国 | このブログの読者になる |

2012年07月20日

天才と自閉症が共有するもの


What Genius and Autism Have in Common
( TIME )

Child prodigies evoke awe, wonder and sometimes jealousy: how can such
young children display the kinds of musical or mathematical talents
that most adults will never master, even with years of dedicated
practice? Lucky for these despairing types, the prevailing wisdom
suggests that such comparisons are unfair -- prodigies are born, not
made (mostly). Practice alone isn’t going to turn out the next 6-year-
old Mozart.

The study found a few key characteristics these youngsters had in
common. For one, they all had exceptional working memories -- the
system that holds information active in the mind, keeping it available
for further processing. The capacity of working memory is limited: for
numbers, for example, most people can hold seven digits at a time on
average; hence, the seven-digit phone number. But prodigies can hold
much more, and not only can they remember extraordinarily large
numbers, they can also manipulate them and carry out calculations that
you or I might have trouble managing with pencil and paper.

Surprisingly, however, the study found that not all of the prodigies
had high IQs. Indeed, while they had higher-than-average intelligence,
some didn’t have IQs that were as elevated as their performance and
early achievements would suggest. One child had an IQ of just 108, at
the high end of normal.

There was something else striking too. The authors found that prodigies
scored high in autistic traits, most notably in their ferocious
attention to detail. They scored even higher on this trait than did
people diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of
autism that typically includes obsession with details.

Three of the eight prodigies had a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder
themselves. The child who had spoken his first words at 3 months,
stopped speaking altogether at 18 months, then started again when he
was just over two-and-a-half years old; he was diagnosed with autism at
3. What’s more, four of the eight families included in the study
reported autism diagnoses in first- or second-degree relatives, and
three of these families reported a total of 11 close relatives with
autism. In the general population, by contrast, about 1 in 88 people
have either autism or Asperger’s.

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | 科学 | このブログの読者になる |

2012年07月17日

オスカー俳優のアーネスト・ボーグナインが95歳で死去する


Oscar-Winning Star Ernest Borgnine Dies at 95
( TIME )

Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often
villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against
type as a lovesick butcher in “Marty” in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95.

Borgnine, who endeared himself to a generation of Baby Boomers with the
1960s TV comedy “McHale’s Navy,” first attracted notice in the early
1950s in villain roles, notably as the vicious Fatso Judson, who beat
Frank Sinatra to death in “From Here to Eternity.”

Then came “Marty,” a low-budget film based on a Paddy Chayefsky
television play that starred Rod Steiger. Borgnine played a 34-year-old
who fears he is so unattractive he will never find romance. Then, at a
dance, he meets a girl with the same fear.

“Sooner or later, there comes a point in a man’s life when he’s
gotta face some facts,” Marty movingly tells his mother at one point
in the film. “And one fact I gotta face is that, whatever it is that
women like, I ain’t got it. I chased after enough girls in my life. I-
I went to enough dances. I got hurt enough. I don’t wanna get hurt no
more.”

The realism of Chayefsky’s prose and Delbert Mann’s sensitive
direction astonished audiences accustomed to happy Hollywood formulas.
Borgnine won the Oscar and awards from the Cannes Film Festival, New
York Critics and National Board of Review.

“The Oscar made me a star, and I’m grateful,” Borgnine told an
interviewer in 1966. “But I feel had I not won the Oscar I wouldn’t
have gotten into the messes I did in my personal life.”

Those messes included four failed marriages, including one in 1964 to
singer Ethel Merman that lasted less than six weeks.

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posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | エンターテインメント | このブログの読者になる |

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