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All Japanese look alike

Before you freak, consider the information that is given when police are looking for somebody:
  • Location (time/date)
  • Build
  • Age
  • Hair colour
  • Eye colour
  • Clothing
So, "We're looking for an Asian female, approximately twenty years old, last seen on Belmont Street Thursday evening. She is petit build, reddish-brown shoulder length hair, brown Epicanthic* eyes. She was last seen wearing a bluish-grey business suit.".

* - slanty, for people that don't know big words ☺

Okay - here's your lineup:

Japanese women

When side by side, you can tell they're all different looking, but from our method of describing people, they all qualify. Indeed, as we in the West have a variety of eye colours and hair colours, these are features often used to describe people. It was subverted by a girl I knew as a Care Assistant who changed her hair colour and style on a weekly basis...

But back to Japanese - if it's all more or less shoulder length reddish brown hair and big brown eyes - how do they describe the differences between each other?

It is clear that (eastern) Asians see things a little differently to us. Consider the following:

:-) :-( :-/ ;-)
These are happy, sad, meh, and wink.

Now consider:

(^_^) (;_;) (-_-) (~_^)
These are... happy, crying, unamused/whatever, wink.

In other words, pretty much the same thing. But what do you notice, other than Asian smilies being read the right way up? For us, in the West, we frequently use the mouth. Upturned for a smile, downturned for a frown. While Asians have it all in the eyes. Look, the mouth is '_' the whole way across.

I had this myself. I got a little spinning Hello Kitty keychain thing that you push a button and her head spins to reveal a face which tells you how your day will be. My first spin, I saw " ^ ^ ", and I was like "oh crap, p*ssed-off Kitty!". No, actually she doesn't have her eyes narrowed in anger, that's the Asian "yay! happy!" symbol. (phew!)

I'd be interested to hear from Japanese people their thoughts on this.

And, if you think I'm being racist here, put your money where your mouth is and enter the exam room of, then tell me how well you do telling the difference between Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese.


The night sky is a scary place!

Two weeks ago, driving home from work, my mother and I saw a small green flash near our neighbour's house, followed seconds later by a massive green flash that lit up the sky.
There was no huuuuuuulaaaaaa!!! or tripod, just our power was out for about quarter of an hour.

Then, coming home Tuesday, pretty much same place, same time, the night sky turned into day. A huge ball of fire streaking through the sky. I'd have liked to video it, even had my mobile in my hands, but the whole thing was done in about four seconds. I thought the thing was close, and about 200-300 metres off the ground. However reading news reports, and hearing the boom about two minutes later, it would indicate it was bloody massive and quite far away. The thing we both recall is it was spinning unsteadily as it travelled.

Newspaper report here (Ouest-France, in French) and here (Ouest-France, French).


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Rick, 26th July 2011, 00:19
On the faces test, I got 13 out of 18. Perhaps luck more than talent, mind you...

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