I am a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying the diversity and evolution of whelks. This summer I was sponsored by the NSF (USA) and JSPS (Japan) to work with Dr. Seiji Hayashi at Nagoya University in Japan to collect buccinid gastropod (whelk) tissue samples and examine whelk shell collections at musems throughout Japan. Sugoi! Some of the snails that I study are pictured to the right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cicadas and Cameron Diaz

Japan has lots of cicadas. In Japanese they are called, "say-mee." Just this morning I noticed 3 cicada exoskeletons on tree trunks, leaves, and cement posts around the Nagoya campus. So far two cicadas have flown into me (all of us are okay). It reminds me of New Jersey! The cicadas are LOUD and start their noises at about 4:30am and go until sunset around 7:45pm. Another thing all over Japan are advertisements with Cameron Diaz! She is the spokesperson for SoftBank -a big Japanese phone company- and therefore is on billboards, the subway, and television commercials in which she dances through the streets. It is pretty funny.Interestingly, many other American movie celebrities endorse various products sold in Japan such as watches (Brad Pitt), coffee (Tommy Lee Jones), and Nescafe (Meg Ryan). In addition to Japanese buccinids, Japanese insects, and Japanese maples, I am now somewhat obsessed with Japanese advertising featuring Americans.

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