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Sunday, February 4, 2018


My flight from Japan to Honolulu was comfortable.  I was greeted by a Rainbow:

But I was on Japan Airlines, with a business class far superior to United/Continental:

When I returned home, I thought about who to thank.  Kyushu University, certainly, for absorbing all costs and giving me an opportunity to further pontificate about hydrogen and the future of energy.  I did not realize that my drafting of the original hydrogen bill in 1979 was especially remembered in Japan.  My rationalization in later life that while my life has not produced much, I have, indeed, planted a few seeds providing Simple Solutions for Planet Earth and Humanity into eternity.

I also wanted to thank my body for surviving a rather arduous six days.  I awoke at 5AM to catch two flights from Honolulu to Fukuoka, arriving late at night such that I only had around two hours of sleep, to be picked up at 7:45AM, for a full day where I gave a plenary lecture. served on a one-hour panel, then ending the day with a short statement at their dinner (which in Japan conferences is a reception).  Everyone stood around holding their drinks while somehow getting bites to eat while schmoozing.  I immediately found a table to sit and no one bothered me for almost half an hour.  Then people came around to talk, and some of the more memorable discussions occurred there.  I was finally dropped of after 8PM.

I was fine all week and the only potentially embarrassing problem was that one morning I looked down from where I was sitting, and saw that I thought I had forgotten to zipper my trousers.  Turned out the zipper had gotten off track and I couldn't figure out how to repair it.  Returning to my room would have cost $120 worth of taxi rides.  But I somehow survived all day.  My first time ever this had occurred.

But that was not the fault of my body.  I thus felt compelled to reward myself upon return to Honolulu by driving to Marukai and purchasing a $100/pound Japanese wagyu beef slice and $50/pound toro (fatty blue-fin tuna).  During my stay in Fukuoka I never did have beef nor sashimi, save for that fugu version.  The fish became a lunch, my Super Bowl brunch the next day (today) and breakfast as grilled tuna tomorrow:

Today is Super Bowl LII Day, and here are 52 facts, as, for example, today Tom Brady will become the oldest (kickers don't count) to play in the game, By the way, the Patriots in SB 51 last year were behind 28-3 at one point and came back to win the game.  And here are 52 facts about Super Bowl parties:
  • This will be the second-largest food consumption day in the USA, next to Thanksgiving.
  • In 2014 Weird Al Yankovic got 100,000 signatures to head the half time show (Justin Timberlake of SB38 nipple gate fame will star, and the question is will he somehow insert something Purple about Prince, who is from this city--the colors of the Minnesota Vikings's stadium where the game will be played).
  • Lowest ticket, if you can find it, is $3200.  In SB1 (that's the first one--headlined by 300 pigeons), a ticket cost $12 and the game was not sold out.
  • SB3 in 1969 featured Joe Namath guaranteeing the New York Jet's upset over the Baltimore Colts, and nine months later, the New York Mets also upending the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.
  • In 1983 the final episode of M*A*S*H with 106 million viewers became the most-watched TV broadcast in the U.S., to be finally broken in 2010 by SBXLIV with 106.5 million.  SB49 in 2015 currently holds this record with 114.4 million viewers.  Incidentally, Las Vegas, every year, fields bets worth averaging $115 million at recent Super Bowls.  But illegal betting of this game exceeds $4 billion/game, and should reach $5 billion this year.
  • A new SB Vince Lombardi Trophy is made each year by Tiffany of sterling silver.
  • There has never been a shutout.  Last year when the New England defeated Atlanta, 34-28, this was the first to go into overtime.
  • SB35 between Pittsburg and Green Bay had no cheerleaders, the only time ever, for neither team fields them.  This year, Corrine Chun of the Philadelphia Eagles will be on their squad.

Which finally leads me to North Korean singer Hyon Song-wol, said to be a former girlfriend of White-walled Leader Kim Jong-Un.  She supposedly was executed in 2013 for breaching an anti-pornography law.  Well, she is alive and her most famous song is Excellent Horse-Like Lady.  Last year she was appointed to the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea, and this year "led" the North in talks with the South for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which begins this Thursday, with the Opening Ceremony on Friday,  ending with the Closing Ceremony on February 25 at 8PM. or 1AM Hawaii time and 6AM Eastern Standard Time.

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