Hello Kitty is not a cat

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– she’s a British school kid

You would be forgiven for having thought for your entire life that Hello Kitty was a cat.

After all, she does kind of look like one – and she is called Kitty.

But her creators Sanrio are adamant. She is a British school kid called Kitty White and she lives just outside London (although no-one is saying exactly where).

In fact, she has a whole life story and a family that includes a twin sister called Mimmy.

Earlier this month Hello Kitty was pictured in space for the first time, celebrating her anniversary

Although Sanrio has a whole website dedicated to Kitty’s biography, her appearance has suggested that she is animal rather than human – an assumption that also fooled Christine R Yano.

She is an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii and is curating an exhibition about the cartoon character.

“That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat,” she told the LA Times.

“She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat.

“She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature.

“She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”

Yano claims a lot of people don’t know Kitty’s really a person and that many of her fans who are aware “don’t care”.

And the reason Kitty is British?

“Hello Kitty emerged in the 1970s, when the Japanese and Japanese women were into Britain,” said Yano.

“They loved the idea of Britain. It represented the quintessential idealized childhood, almost like a white picket fence.

“So the biography was created exactly for the tastes of that time.”

So now you know – Hello Kitty lives in the suburbs of London, is approximately five apples tall and was born on 1 November. And she’s certainly not a cat.

Source: BBCNews

I thought Japanese was more complicated

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Not having learned anything formal in Japanese, apart from konichiwa, I was always under the impression that Japanese was complicated. I guess the complication arises from the unfamiliar characters. I always imagined 1,000s of characters like Mandarin or Cantonese (see, I do know that there is no such language as Chinese). It appears that I was wrong, there is a limited alphabet; which in itself makes the prospect of learning Japanese a lot simpler. Not that I am going to, I have enough fun screwing up Portuguese and Spanish.

The Ultimate Way to Remember the Japanese Alphabet’s Order

OK, quick fact about the Japanese language – words can be written left to right like the English language when you write it out like ねこ. However, you read Japanese from up to down, right to left when the Japanese characters are displayed in a vertical manner.

The Japanese alphabet is thus displayed in a chart as shown above, which is read up to down, right to left. The order of the letter columns is very strange, but luckily my Japanese sensei for 10/11th grade taught my class a memory trick that I will never, ever forget.

A – A
T – TO
M – MY


Reposted from: The Ultimate Way with thanks

Spitfires in Burma ‘could be found’


The Spitfires were concealed by the RAF in 1945 to prevent them falling into Japanese hands

British and Burmese authorities could work together to find 20 Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the World War II, officials say.

The case of the missing planes was raised when PM David Cameron met Burmese President Thein Sein.

A Downing Street source said it was “hoped this will be an opportunity to work with the reforming Burmese government”.

The exact location of the planes is unknown.

The planes were buried in 1945 by the RAF amid fears that they could either be used or destroyed by Japanese forces, but in the intervening years they have not been located.

At the time they were unused, still in crates, and yet to be assembled.

Until a general election in 2010, Burma was ruled for almost half a century by a military junta.

It has been reported that experts from Leeds University and an academic based in Rangoon believe they may have identified the sites where the craft are concealed using sophisticated radar techniques.

On Friday, officials said President Thein Sein was “very enthusiastic” about the prospect of finding and restoring the planes.

A Downing Street source said: “The Spitfire is arguably the most important plane in the history of aviation, playing a crucial role in the Second World War.

“It is hoped this will be an opportunity to work with the reforming Burmese government, uncover, restore and display these fighter planes and get them gracing the skies of Britain once again.”

Source: BBC News

MkVII Spitfires RAF 152 Sqn, Themaw - Burma 1945

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