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Monday

The Pokemon Seizure makes me Hungry.

In 1997 on this day, that classic parental admonition of "Television will rot your brain" was given  sudden urgency.  Seems, over seven hundred Japanese schoolchildren became dizzy and nauseated while watching an episode of the popular Japanese cartoon series Pokémon.  Some even had seizures.  Hospitals across the country were inundated with retching, convulsing kids, and a few parents, in scenes reminiscent of a really bad Japanese sci-fi movie.

"I was shocked to see my daughter lose consciousness," said Yukiko Iwasaki, whose eight-year-old suffered a seizure.  "She started to breathe only when I hit her on the back."

The spasmodic mass reaction was triggered about 20 minutes into Pokémon episode 38, "Computer Warrior Porigon," which, like other episodes of the top-rated show, was produced in an intense version of animation known as anime.  A vivid explosion, with pulsating strobe-light effects, apparently walloped those kids with their eyes glued to their television sets on the evening of December 16.

Warning, the following episode has been know to cause seizures in young children.  Watch at your own risk:




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Finally, on this December the 16th, I think we should remember the hungry:  it was this day in the year 2007 that experts from the world Bank, with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund and a few United Nations agencies, updated their statistical tables from the Regan/Bush era projections to admit that the estimated numbers of poor people in the world was five-hundred million more than previously recorded.

As Eduardo Galeano said in his book Children of the Days,  "They, the poor, already knew."

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