Japanese Mascots (Yuru-kyara)

Everywhere you go in Japan, you’re sure to stumble into a sign, poster, or merchandise with a cute character emblazoned on it. There seems to be a mascot arms race here in Japan and with good reason: The right mascot can bring prestige, popularity, and a boatload of money with it. Let’s take a look […]

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Triassic Park

To expand further upon my experience at the Petrified Forest National Park, I want to talk briefly about the research that has happened in the area: who was there and what they found. Like most literature, it doesn’t really mention anything about the native populations who were there and how they felt about things, which […]

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio

If Maricopa County and Phoenix are known for anything, it is probably the over-the-top sheriff that runs these parts. Self-billed as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” his zeal seems to have caused him more trouble than it’s worth.

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Universe Best Song

With many shows like (Insert nation) Idol, X-Factor, and (Insert Nation)’s Got Talent, it’s no surprise that Mongolia has its own unique take on the talent competition. I think it’s rather interesting, and a wonderful idea: Universe Best Song. The premise of the show is simple: You must sing a song in a foreign language. […]

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Indiana Jones and Mongolia

A few weeks ago, there was a photo exhibit in my city from Ulaanbaatar tucked away in a small set of rooms in the back of our culture center. I would have never been able to find this place by myself, nor would I have known about its existence had a friend of mine not […]

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The Old Man at the Rest Stop

He haunts the two story grounds where all the buses and some of the private cars go to rest, shuffling along and always on the search for salvageable goods. His coat is two sizes too large, lightened by the dust of the earth that is slowly decaying into nothing but desert sands and irritable grains […]

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He meant well When he lit The Korean Torch and set The stove ablaze. He didn’t realize That the smoke Would reveal Diving light And stifle Busy routine. It was not His fault but The electric Candlelight Failed at that Moment. Outside, A man bathed In light High in the air Clipped with Needle noses […]

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Red Hero

I’m not the biggest fan of Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaan Baatar (which translates to Red Hero in English), but one question I should address is this: Who is the “Red Hero?” Damdin Sukhbaatar. Sukhbaatar, of course, translates into English as “Axe Hero.” The short story is that he’s a hero of the revolution that brought […]

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The Cult of Chinggis

That’s how the Russians referred to the Mongolian reverence of the late conqueror Chinggis Khaan upon their orders to remove the conqueror from the popular consciousness.¬†They wanted to remove anything that could be a distraction from loyalty to the state. Chinggis’ spirit banner, the physical embodiment of his soul, was lost forever during the socialist […]

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