July 5th, 2005

Happy Birthday, USA

Spent the day with two other families. Between the six adults we represent pure-blooded white, black, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese. (Only the Japanese children are pure.)

The food we had was just as diverse: Korean BBQ (by yours truly), kosher bageldog, takoyaki, watermelon, edamame, and plenty of junk food.

We also had athiests and believers, but that didn't really factor in...

The day was spent at poolside, and the night in front of the local town's fireworks. Everybody had a great time, and it's going to be one of those memories I keep with me for a long time.

Perspective

These are old facts, courtesy of A. J. Jacobs, but they bear repeating:

The Taiping Rebellion was a Chinese upheaval in the mid-nineteenth century that took an estimated 20,000,000 lives. Our own bloody Civil War, which occurred around the same time, took only about 4 percent of that estimate.

On August 9, 1945, a B-29 spent 10 minutes over Kokura without sighting its aim point. It then proceeded to its secondary target, Nagasaki. I didn't know that Kokura was the primary target for that atomic bomb. Strange to think the subtle things that change the course of history.