3

"A six-year old boy startled me one day by clarifying the whole matter: When introduced to me as a man who draws Bugs Bunny he became very indignant. ‘He does not draw Bugs Bunny, he draws pictures of Bugs Bunny.’” —Chuck Jones

The above are ideas for a book that eventually became “Chuck Reducks: Drawing from the Fun Side of Life”, published in 1996 with a foreword by Robin Williams. 

3

Watanabe Miyuki’s Seitansai 140922 - Letter from her mother

To Miyuki,

Like last year, I will be writing your seitansai letter this year as well. First of all, Happy 21st Birthday. From when Miyu came into this world, the time we’ve been able to spend together has been very little, and recently I’ve been looking back at the time from when you were a baby to your ealier years. 

Half a year after you were born, you were put into a nursery school. Because of that, I have only been able to witness events in your life such as when you were able to hold your head up by yourself or when you rolled over, but all the other major events happening as you were growing up occurred at the nursery school. In order to cure my loneliness because of this, you leapt straight into having a lively school life, without being a bother to your teachers or me. 

The Miyu in primary school was an energetic girl, and loved playing outside. The moment I have never forgotten was when you were in your first year at school and you had come home. I was putting your clothes in the washing machine when I decided to check your pocket, and inside were a huge number of bugs. Not just in one pocket, but in both pockets. At the time, I thought I was going to have a heart attack from how disgusting it was.

When I asked Miyu about why you had so many bugs in your pocket, you told me ‘These are the bugs that Miyu likes the most so I wanted to take them home to give to you and make you happy’. But when I told you that ‘These bugs have lives too,’ you apologised to the bugs, saying ‘I’m sorry bugs’ and carried them back to where you found them while crying.

You still have that kindness within you now. When you eat food that you find delicious, you always take me there afterwards so I can try it as well, or you would bring some home for me as a gift, and you have so much kindness within you that I can’t even put it into words. 

You know Miyu, I’m so happy to be your mother. That’s why I want you to always give your fans, those who help cheer you on, encourage you and support you, happiness. I’d like Miyu to be able to make your dreams come true along with the fans. I’ll be supporting Miyu on from the shadows as well. To everyone surrounding Miyu, thank you very much for always supporting her. 

Lastly, to all the members of the seitansai committee who put this amazing seitansai together, to everyone who came today, thank you very much. I am so thankful to all the people who cheer on and support Miyu no matter what. Please continue to watch the dreams the Miyuki envisions along with her. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu.

P.S. I didn’t get to say this yet, but congratulations on winning the janken tournament! You’re finally standing on the start line where you can give back to your fans. Please continue on while hold the feeling of thankfulness in your heart for all the people who support you. 

From your mama

Fukushima radiation still poisoning insects

Eating food contaminated with radioactive particles may be more perilous than thought—at least for insects. Butterfly larvae fed even slightly tainted leaves collected near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station were more likely to suffer physical abnormalities and low survival rates than those fed uncontaminated foliage, a new study finds. The research suggests that the environment in the Fukushima region, particularly in areas off-limits to humans because of safety concerns, will remain dangerous for wildlife for some time.

The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station disaster released massive amounts of radiation, much of which drifted out to sea. Humans were evacuated to safety and their exposure to radiation was minimal. But local wildlife were exposed both externally to radiation in the environment and internally from contaminated food sources. Joji Otaki, a biologist at University of the Ryukyus in Nishihara, Japan, and his colleagues have been conducting field studies and lab experiments on how such radiation affected the pale grass blue butterfly (Zizeeria maha), a species found throughout most of Japan.

In a previous experiment, Otaki’s group fed butterfly larvae leaves of the creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata) with radiation in the thousands of becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) gathered near the power plant within a few months after the accident. (For comparison, the Japanese government set a limit of 100 Bq/kg for human consumption of rice, meat, and fish, and 50 Bq/kg for milk and infant formula.) Larvae that dined on the radiation-drenched leaves had low survival rates and high incidences of physical abnormalities such as unusually small forewings. These results corroborated field surveys by others that turned up fewer butterflies in contaminated areas than would normally be expected.

The new study shows that radiation can damage larvae even at much lower concentrations. Otaki and colleagues collected leaves 16 to 20 months after the accident, after short-lived radioactive contamination had decayed, but this time from locations ranging from 59 to 1760 kilometers from the power plant; contamination levels ranged from 161 to 0.2 Bq/kg. They found that as contamination increased, mortality rates and incidences of abnormalities increased. “These results suggest that low-dose ingestion of approximately 100 Bq/kg may be seriously toxic to certain organisms,” the team writes in a paper published today in BMC Evolutionary Biology.  

In another experiment, the researchers divided offspring of the butterflies into two groups, feeding larvae either the same contaminated leaves their parents had eaten or uncontaminated leaves. Larvae fed the contaminated leaves had even lower survival rates and more abnormalities than their parents, whereas those feeding on clean leaves largely reverted to near-normal in both mortality rates and frequency of abnormalities.

The findings from Otaki’s group are “groundbreaking,” says Timothy Mousseau, a biologist at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, who also studies the effects of radiation on wildlife near Fukushima and Chernobyl. He notes that there have been “almost no studies” on how ingestion of radiation-tainted foods affect wildlife. Still, Mousseau cautions that the results should not be directly extrapolated to humans. “I think butterflies as a group are likely to be much more sensitive than humans to radiocontaminants,” he says. He adds that Otaki’s findings suggest that insects that survive after eating contaminated leaves might evolve tolerance to the low levels of radiation likely to persist in the Fukushima region for decades.

hello autumn

[LISTEN]

01. Autumn // Paolo Nutini 02. End Of The Affair // Ben Howard 03. Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us // Keaton Henson 04. Santa Monica Dream // Angus & Julia Stone 05. Country Song // Jake Bugg 06. Ragged Wood // Fleet Foxes 07. Leaves In The River // Sea Wolf 08. Angel // Jack Johnson 09. Let Me In // Gabrielle Aplin 10. My False // Matt Corby 11. All Those Nights // Chase Coy 12. Set My Heart // Sons & Lovers 13. Autumn Sweater // Yo La Tengo

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video