Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hecky's Talaan:

Some say your best friend is yourself. And to be the best-of-friends, you need to take care of the relationship. So, how are you taking care of yourself? What do you think you'd be like in the future?

I was on the road early this morning listening to NPR. NPR's Scott Simon interviewed Matt Sly, co-founder of Sly, a computer science Yale MBA student, set it up so that people could write an email to themselves and have it sent in the future. You could have the general public read it too. To date, some 386,268 letters have been written to the future. A book compilation is forthcoming this Fall 2007.

I've written mine and if you get to read something about the four Fs and C.O.W.S, that email's mine!
Enjoy thinking about your future and emailing yourself. If you have time to waste, have fun reading others'.
Here's a few samples:

Dear Future Me,

Send someone a love letter anonymously. Someone lonely, sad, and depressed, much like yourself in this moment past.

(written Tue Dec 20, 2005, sent Sun Feb 5, 2006)
Hey self.

you're 18 years old. you are sending yourself a letter to god knows how far away in the future, just to remind yourself how stupid and cheesy you once were, silly enough to do these things such as write yourself when you're old.

if you get this message, congrats on making it this far. remember, the journey is never over.

-your younger, less mature self

(written Sun Jul 11, 2004, to be delivered Wed Jul 11, 2029)
Dear future me,
youre trying to remember arent you? checking the writing style, seeing if it matches yours now. well tough. im not you and you're not me so i think we'd both better deal with that and move on. we both know i'm immature compared to you. also im whiney, bored and filled with issues that would make a grown man laugh. you'll no longer be a teenager by the time you read this you lucky lucky man. so how are you anyway? got a girlfriend? a steady job? still on your course at university? did you pass your first year? you didn't deserve to either way. we both know that. still writing? plays? stories? books? films? you can't live your life according to escapism and other peoples feelings, you know that don't you. there are three hundred thousand people like you in this country. most of them are better educated, smarter, more sensible and, lets face it, better writers than you. but don't give up. you've decided to do something and that, my friend (do you mind if i call you that?) is something not to be taken lightly.
only after disaster can we be resurrected its only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything nothing is static everything is evolving everything is falling apart
you used to believe those words.


(written Sun Mar 21, 2004, sent Mon Mar 21, 2005)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Comfort Women House Resolution Petition Update: 800 and growing str ong

The truth is out there and PM Abe needs to find find it, confront it, and respond to it in an honorable way.  He dishonors his countrymen with his statement. 



Comfort Women House Resolution Petition Update:  800 and growing strong

Posted by: "M. Evelina Galang"   mevelinag

Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:30 pm (PST)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The petition to support Comfort Women House Resolution 121 is two weeks old and 800 signatures strong. Though it began as a United States petition to House Speaker Pelosi, we have received global support from citizens in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Singapore, Austria, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan. If you go online you can read comments written by our international community, expressing concern, outrage, apologies, compassion, and testimonies from survivors of WWII comfort stations. It is turning into an amazing international document of support.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Abe said, "I express my sympathy toward the comfort women and apologize for the situation they found themselves in".  While this sounds like an apology, Prime Minister Abe is not taking responsibility for Japan's Imperial Army's action under the direction of the Japanese government. He is not apologizing for these war crimes. His statement falls short of a sincere apology.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has decided not to take action on the Comfort Women issue until after Prime Minister Abe's U.S. visit April 26-27. This gives the petition one month to grow and to truly support House Resolution 121. If it passes, Congress will ask Japan to take full responsibility for the systematic rape and enslavement of the 200,000 women and girls during WWII.

More importantly, the petition itself sends a strong message to surviving Comfort Women. It honors and respects their experiences and demonstrates to them that the global community hears them and believes them. Their experiences are a part of history.

I urge you to send the petition around. Continue to post the link on your blogs, continue to send out email blasts and to announce the petition to your friends, your colleagues and your family members. After all, this is about our women. This about how we choose to treat one another. Let's aim for 1000 signatures at the very least. Let's see if we can find 200,000 signatures for each of the women who suffered during WWII.

Thanks to those who have signed the petition and are spreading the word. To sign the petition go directly to http://www.gopetiti /comfort- women-house- resolution. html or for more information you can go to


M. Evelina Galang
Assistant Professor, English
University of Miami

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Indiana Jones of beer dead: "beer is the most feminine of drinks...:


Alan Eames

The Indiana Jones of beer, he traced its history in the Amazon and Egyptian tombs

Roger Protz
Friday March 23, 2007
The Guardian

It is due to the work and travels of the indefatigable writer and anthropologist Alan D Eames that we know that a Sumerian poet, writing around the year 3000 BC, said, "I feel wonderful, drinking beer in a blissful mood, with joy in my heart and a happy liver." Eames, who has died aged 59, was known as the Indiana Jones of beer. His travels took him not only to Egypt to unravel the origins of brewing in the Old World but also to remote regions of South America to discover how the ancients there also concocted a life-enhancing drink made from grain.
Eames, who was born in Gardner, Massachusetts, was the son of Warren Baker Eames, a Harvard-trained anthropologist. Eames graduated from Mark Hopkins College in Brattleboro, Vermont, and moved to New York City in 1968, where he opened an art gallery. In his spare time he researched beer in New York Public Library.
Following in his father's anthropological footsteps, Eames delved deep into the origins of beer and, along with Professor Solomon Katz of the University of Pennsylvania, developed the theory that beer, even more than bread, played a key role in creating settled, civilised societies.
Eames wrote: "Protected by alcohol, beer had a palatability lasting far longer than any other food stuff. A vitamin-rich porridge, daily beer drinking increased both health and longevity, reducing diseases and malnutrition... Ten thousand years ago...barley was domesticated and worshipped as a god in the highlands of the southern Levant. Thus was beer the driving force that led nomadic mankind into village life."
Eames ran several bars in New England that sold a wide range of beers from many countries. He was the founding director of the American Museum of Brewing History in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, and was a regular lecturer at beer camps held in the premises of the new wave of small craft breweries that began to transform beer appreciation in the US from the 1970s. He broadcast regularly and was an adviser to film-makers in Hollywood on beer-related themes. He was the author of many books on the subject, including his major work, The Secret Life of Beer (1995) and the delightful A Beer Drinker's Companion (1986), which had quotations, writings, songs and poems about beer going back 5000 years.
Eames made extensive forays into the Amazon in search of a legendary black beer made by tribes in the region. He declared that centuries ago beer was fermented as a result of young virgins chewing grain and then spitting their saliva into brewing vessels. The result of his travels resulted in a black beer called Xingu being brewed commercially in Brazil and exported to North America.
Xingu raised eyebrows and hackles. It was a "bottom-fermented beer" - that is, a lager - and was brewed with hops. Neither lager brewing nor hops were available to the ancients whom Eames claimed had developed black beer. But he was used to controversy. He stood outside the small clan of professional beer writers and criticised those who tasted beer in the comfort of their homes rather than paddling up the Amazon or visiting Egyptian tombs.
Some doubted the authenticity of certain aspects of his work and his description of himself as "the King of Beer" did little to quieten the critics. He claimed he was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the leading American magazine All About Beer, though the publishers say no such award has ever been made. Julie Johnson Bradford, the editor, says discreetly that Eames was "a colourful man".
Controversy aside, he was passionate about his subject and a trenchant critic. One of his favourite beers was the legendary Ballantine's India Pale Ale. It was a victim of takeovers, mergers and consolidation, passing from one brewery to another like a parcel of old socks. Eames said of it in Ale Dreams (1986): "Ballantine's India Pale Ale. Jesus, this beer is a holy sacrament! Dangerous, high-test, 44 magnum ale, its bitter, woody suds, reeking of spruce sap, overwhelm the nose and palate - God, this is fabulous ale ... Years later, as a saloon keeper, I'm selling the same wonderful ale. Now fallen ale, exiled to a new, ugly, stubby bottle with some stupid adman's nonsense label. The American beer industry - take the best ale in America and use all our advertising and packaging skill to render it such that no one in their right mind would ever venture to try it."
In recent years, Eames stopped travelling and declared he was happy to stay at home in Vermont with his family and dig the garden. He was married four times and died in his sleep of a respiratory problem. He is survived by his fourth wife, Sheila, his sons Adrian and Andrew, and his daughter Elena.
· Alan Duane Eames, author and beer expert, born April 16 1947; died February 10 2007