A pattern of dangerous penis-shaped technologies?

Amidst the fear over quakes, water safety, and radioactive fallout, I do not mean to come off as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, or even an antiquated “mother earth” feminist. Still, it is impossible to ignore, in all the dioramas, illustrations, and video footage all the penis-shaped technologies at the heart of Japan’s natural and man-made disaster.

Most obviously, the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are all boxes (or were boxes, until the explosions) that cleverly conceal what appears to be a giant dildo of radioactive nuclear fuel rods, with torus doughnuts of water at the base and a steel containment vessel pointing this unholy mess of danger and energy sky-ward.

Japan’s protector/daddy/occupier the US military flew its Global Hawk man-less planes to take detailed images of the disaster. These are the drones that support the video distance warfare that delivers bombs throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. It’s good that these planes have some non-military uses, although I nearly spit out my drinking water when I saw on television these giant black penises flying through the air.

The storyline seems to be that we are dependent on reckless technology that happens to look like enormous penises. And that we can only contain the damage they cause by employing their similarly shaped flying cousins. We are then treated to a parade of government officials, energy company spokespeople, and nuclear epxerts– all of whom seem to be male– who promise vaguely that everything is mostly under control.

What is your favorite penis-shaped disaster technology?

Illustrator fixated on Japanese men’s hair

I was delighted that Japan-based illustrator Josh McKible shares my interest in Japanese men’s hair, and will be displaying his illustrations on my favorite new online magazine, Snow. In addition to the beautiful art, McKible references trendy hair salons and advice on face shapes and styling tips.

For Style #362 above, a Medium Wolf, here are the details: “Suitable for triangle, oval and square face types. A hard wax is recommended.”

Ceramic explosion

Yikes! I was drawing the third line on the first of three mugs, when suddenly the mug exploded in my hands! I had made the shape, shaved off the excess clay, carved my name on the bottom, and painted three layers of green glaze. Fortunately, the other two mugs cooperated with my decorative efforts.

I have orders for a total of six mugs, due sometime next month.

Hard prune

Hard pruning, ginko trees in Nakano

A crew of ten has been methodically hard pruning the ginkos on the main street in front of our apartment complex. I am amazed at the skills and resources devoted in Tokyo to public trees.

In San Francisco, the city is content with a 20 minute training session and a couple of chain saws. In Tokyo, trained arborists climb the trees, use hand saws and prune the trees into perfect shapes.

Hard pruning, ginko trees in Nakano

More flower pots

More flower pots; glazed

I am working extra hard at the ceramics studio to get ready for the student show on November 21. Above are the finished pots that I blogged on Oct 20.

Below are five more that have been glazed but not final-baked. I am experimenting with geometric designs.

More flower pots; glazed but pre-baked

Finally, I am still experimenting with different shapes. Round with a straight side is the most practical for commercially-bought plants. I’ve also tried square, and below you can see triangular and oval (before biscuit frying).

More flower pots, triangle and oval

I’ll be in the studio a lot over the next weeks.