smithsonianmag:

Mar 27, 1912: The First Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees Are Planted in the U.S.

On this day in 1912, the first two Japanese cherry blossom trees were successfully planted by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Japanese Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the U.S. over 3000 trees to demonstrate the growing relationship between the U.S. and Japan.

Every spring, Washington D.C. commemorates the initial planting through the National Cherry Blossom Festival. 

As we wait for this year’s blooming period, treat yourself to this delicious spring recipe!

Image: Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. 2013 (Diana Alvarenga)

via pbsthisdayinhistory

(via smithsonianmag)

pbsthisdayinhistory:

December 11, 1941: Germany and Italy Declare War on the United States
On this day in 1941, Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Fascist Italy’s Benito Mussolini declared war on the United States in support of their ally, the Empire of Japan. The U.S. government responded by quickly passing resolutions of war against the two Axis powers. 
Although the United States had previously claimed neutrality in Europe, these declarations led America into the European conflict of World War II. Three days prior, President Franklin Roosevelt had declared war against the Empire of Japan, the third Axis power, following the surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. 
Explore Ken Burns’s timeline of World War II to discover the most important and consequential events of this global conflict.
Photo: President Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany, Dec. 11, 1941 (Library of Congress).

pbsthisdayinhistory:

December 11, 1941: Germany and Italy Declare War on the United States

On this day in 1941, Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Fascist Italy’s Benito Mussolini declared war on the United States in support of their ally, the Empire of Japan. The U.S. government responded by quickly passing resolutions of war against the two Axis powers. 

Although the United States had previously claimed neutrality in Europe, these declarations led America into the European conflict of World War II. Three days prior, President Franklin Roosevelt had declared war against the Empire of Japan, the third Axis power, following the surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. 

Explore Ken Burns’s timeline of World War II to discover the most important and consequential events of this global conflict.

Photo: President Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany, Dec. 11, 1941 (Library of Congress).

pbsthisdayinhistory:

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Attacked
On this day in 1941, a surprise aerial strike was conducted by the Imperial Japanese navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan’s goal for the attack was to use it as a preventive measure to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions across the world.
The surprise attack not only struck a serious blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet, but also served as the critical factor for the United States joining World War II.
George Macartney Hunter was a naval officer assigned to the USS West Virginia stationed at Pearl Harbor. Read his journal notes from that day.
Photo: A small boat rescues a seaman from the 31,800 ton USS West Virginia burning in the foreground (Library of Congress).

pbsthisdayinhistory:

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Attacked

On this day in 1941, a surprise aerial strike was conducted by the Imperial Japanese navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan’s goal for the attack was to use it as a preventive measure to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions across the world.

The surprise attack not only struck a serious blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet, but also served as the critical factor for the United States joining World War II.

George Macartney Hunter was a naval officer assigned to the USS West Virginia stationed at Pearl Harbor. Read his journal notes from that day.

Photo: A small boat rescues a seaman from the 31,800 ton USS West Virginia burning in the foreground (Library of Congress).

shortformblog:

For fans of scrolling: Hop on this page. Hit your down arrow button (or if you roll that way, your trackpad) and watch the most elaborate car commercial you’ve ever seen.

I think that title goes to Honda.

shortformblog:

For fans of scrolling: Hop on this page. Hit your down arrow button (or if you roll that way, your trackpad) and watch the most elaborate car commercial you’ve ever seen.

I think that title goes to Honda.

shortformblog:

The Washington Post has a great slideshow sampling the various ways newspapers played Pearl Harbor on that fateful day in 1941. Here are two; there are a bunch of others, too. (images via the Newseum collection)

At my parents’ house I have a copy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. My grandfather was serving in Hawai’i and sent my grandmother the paper. It, and other old papers and magazines, are stored in a hand-carved chest he was able to ship home from Beijing a few years later.

Prized possessions.

(via shortformblog)

todaysdocument:

“THIS IS NOT A DRILL”

At 7:55 a.m. December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers and torpedo planes attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, catapulting the United States into World War II. In less than 2 hours, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was devastated, and more than 3,500 Americans were either killed or wounded.

"

I’m sitting in a Thai restaurant listening to a guy explain to his girl friend that Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia. “Near Japan?” “No. Southeast Asia. Near Cambodia and Laos.” “In the Middle East?” Not exaggerating.

Then he told her there’s a dictatorship in North Korea and people can’t leave and she goes, “They can’t go on vacation?” I SWEAR TO GOD.

This girl hates when people say caramel because she insists it’s carmel. So today might be the day I murder my first human.

Haha she just ate too much sriracha. And asked who sang the song on right now. The song is Layla. For fuck’s sake.

"

— A friend relates and reacts to a conversation she’s overhearing


Buddhist priests of the Big Asakusa Temple prepare for the Second Sino-Japanese War as they wear gas masks during training against future aerial attacks in Tokyo, Japan, on May 30, 1936. (AP Photo)

From The Atlantic’s “World War II: Before the War" series

Buddhist priests of the Big Asakusa Temple prepare for the Second Sino-Japanese War as they wear gas masks during training against future aerial attacks in Tokyo, Japan, on May 30, 1936. (AP Photo)

From The Atlantic’s “World War II: Before the War" series


JAPAN—Mount Fuji, 1961.
Burt Glinn/ Magnum Photos

JAPAN—Mount Fuji, 1961.

Burt Glinn/ Magnum Photos

(via ifuckinglovespace)


Expedition 28 Launch (201106080008HQ) (explored)
The Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early Wednesday, June 8, 2011 carrying Expedition 28 Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Mike Fossum and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

Expedition 28 Launch (201106080008HQ) (explored)

The Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early Wednesday, June 8, 2011 carrying Expedition 28 Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Mike Fossum and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

(via ifuckinglovespace)

theatlantic:

Japan Earthquake: Two Months Later

Two months ago this week, on March 11, the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan. As of today, nearly 15,000 deaths have been confirmed, and more than 10,000 remain listed as missing. In some coastal communities, where the ground has sunk lower than the high tide mark, residents are still adjusting to twice-daily flooding. Many thousands still reside in temporary shelters because their homes were either destroyed or lie within the exclusion zone around the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Now that tourism season has arrived, Japan — especially Fukushima prefecture — is finding itself hit by yet another disaster: visits to the country have dropped by 50 percent.

See more images at In Focus
[Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images]

theatlantic:

Japan Earthquake: Two Months Later

Two months ago this week, on March 11, the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan. As of today, nearly 15,000 deaths have been confirmed, and more than 10,000 remain listed as missing. In some coastal communities, where the ground has sunk lower than the high tide mark, residents are still adjusting to twice-daily flooding. Many thousands still reside in temporary shelters because their homes were either destroyed or lie within the exclusion zone around the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Now that tourism season has arrived, Japan — especially Fukushima prefecture — is finding itself hit by yet another disaster: visits to the country have dropped by 50 percent.

See more images at In Focus

[Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images]

(Source: The Atlantic)

Tags: news Japan

DO NOT TRAVEL WITH THIS COUPLE

Telegraph:

Swedish couple have honeymoon from hell

A newly-wed couple on a four-month honeymoon were hit by six natural disasters, including the Australian floods, Christchurch earthquake and Japanese tsunami.

Stefan and Erika Svanstrom left Stockholm, Sweden, on December 6 and were immediately stranded in Munich, Germany, due to one of Europe’s worst snowstorms.

Travelling with their baby daughter, they flew on to Cairns in Australia which was then struck by one of the most ferocious cyclones in the nation’s history.

From there, the couple, in their 20s, were forced to shelter for 24 hours on the cement floor of a shopping centre with 2500 others.

"Trees were being knocked over and big branches were scattered across the streets," Mr Svanstrom told Sweden’s Expressen newspaper. "We escaped by the skin of our teeth."

They then headed south to Brisbane but the city was experiencing massive flooding, so they crossed the country to Perth where they narrowly escaped raging bush fires.

The couple then flew to Christchurch, New Zealand, arriving just after a massive magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated the city on February 22.

Mrs Svanstrom said: “When we got there the whole town was a war zone.

"We could not visit the city since it was completely blocked off, so instead we travelled around before going to Japan."

But days after the Svanstroms arrived, Tokyo was rocked by Japan’s largest earthquake since records began.

"The trembling was horrible and we saw roof tiles fly off the buildings," Mr Svantrom said. "It was like the buildings were swaying back and forth."

The family returned to Stockholm on March 29 after a much calmer visit to their last destination China.

But Mr Svanstrom – who also survived the devastating Boxing Day tsunami that hit southeast Asia in 2004 – said the marriage was still going strong.

He added: “I know marriages have to endure some trials, but I think we have been through most of them.

"We’ve certainly experienced more than our fair share of catastrophes, but the most important thing is that we’re together and happy.

Mrs Svanstrom added: “To say we were unlucky with the weather doesn’t really cover it! It’s so absurd that now we can only laugh.”

theatlantic:

As the Fukushima nuclear reactors continue to send low-doses of radiation outward and calls intensify to review the American nuclear plant fleet, a key research program that studies the health impacts of small amounts of radiation exposure could face elimination. 

The Low Dose Radiation Research Program faces major budget cuts as part of cuts to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science’s Radiobiology budget [pdf].

Columbia biologist David J. Brenner, who studies radiation but is not funded by the DOE program, told The Atlantic that losing the low-dose radiation program “would really hurt our capabilities, moving forward, either to figure out how to respond sensibly to a large scale radiological event in this country or to figure out the best way forward in terms of the future of nuclear power.” 

Read more at The Atlantic

nprfreshair:

New York Times energy reporter Matt Wald talks about the history — and future — of nuclear energy in the U.S. He says regulators in the U.S. are closely watching the situation in Japan: “If we’re lucky, we’re heading for a situation like Three Mile Island, in which you have a very long cleanup period in which you can remove the damaged fuel from the spent fuel pools and then, essentially, you got a reactor that can be decommissioned in the normal way. If we’re not lucky, you end up in a Chernobyl-type situation where you can’t get the damaged material out and you build some type of sarcophagus and then you sit there and you watch it for the next few centuries.”

nprfreshair:

New York Times energy reporter Matt Wald talks about the history — and future — of nuclear energy in the U.S. He says regulators in the U.S. are closely watching the situation in Japan: “If we’re lucky, we’re heading for a situation like Three Mile Island, in which you have a very long cleanup period in which you can remove the damaged fuel from the spent fuel pools and then, essentially, you got a reactor that can be decommissioned in the normal way. If we’re not lucky, you end up in a Chernobyl-type situation where you can’t get the damaged material out and you build some type of sarcophagus and then you sit there and you watch it for the next few centuries.”

Tags: Japan news