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Rainbows bad! Initiative bad!

A rainbow cloud was spotted in Gunma prefecture recently. (Wonder if Takumi saw it ;P)

After the iridescent cloud appeared, the meteorological observatory and the Gunma Astronomical Observatory received about 20 calls asking about the phenomenon, with one of the callers saying, “Isn’t it a sign that something bad is about to happen?”

Well, that’s rather pessimistic! Just enjoy the pretty cloud!

On a somewhat related note, Chris (Man in Japan) writes about how conformity is praised and innovation is not.

We were learning how to make chairs last week, and the guy teaching us suddenly realised he’d shown us part of it wrongly, and that the seat would now be wonky. He looked appalled with himself, and shamefully told us we’d have to start the whole thing again. Chris and I ignored him and figured out a way to repair the damage ? it was steering away from the initial design, but it would result in an unwonky chair. Our teacher couldn’t really comprehend the fact that we’d just done it our own way; as far as he was concerned, the design was the one and only way to build that chair.

The next day we carrying on with our chair when the staff member in charge of the overall project came to see how things were going. Our supervisor (he’s a half-teacher) told the manager what had happened, and how we’d found our way around the problem. A few minutes later the guy in charge came back and said that we’d have to start the whole thing again because we’d made it the wrong way. I couldn’t quite believe it, an entire day wasted in the name of rules and efficiency. I said so, I explained how pointless this would be, but he refused to budge.

Well, they do have that phrase, “出る杭は打たれる” (deru kui wa utareru, or “The stake that sticks up will be pounded down”).