Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Blue Light Bear

On the evening of the Hugo Awards, I spotted Leigh Ann Hildebrand in a beautiful dress decorated with dozens of blue LEDs. It was very striking. The following evening at the BASFA meeting in the Con Suite during the Dead Dog party, Leigh Ann came and distributed the glowing LEDs, which were made by securing the LEDs to watch batteries with Velcro dots. I wore mine for a while, but when Lisa arrived with travelswithkuma we just had to give it to the Bear.

To everyone's surprise, the blue light stayed lit for days. Indeed, as of this writing, ten days later, Kuma Bear's blue light is still glowing. This photo is from a few days later inside of Lisa's trailer.

Outdoors, the light is somewhat more subdued, as seen in this shot of me holding Kuma while standing in front of the giant redwood tree in Mehama just before we left for Fernley.

Lisa says that Kuma Bear is very taken with his Blue Light. We came up with several different names for him before it dawned on me that there's a very plausible story here surrounding anime.

We postulated an anime series about a little bear that, in time of dire need, magically transforms into a super-powered fighter of evil with the power of Aoi Kawaii (blue cuteness) radiating from his glowing blue power stone in his forehead. The series' Japanese name literally translates as "Magical Ursine KUMA BEARU."

(Yes, we know that the Japanese word for "bear" is "kuma." We reckon that rendering the "Kuma" in hiragana and "Bear" in katakana — it being an exotic foreign word — would be about right, and that as far as we can tell, at least some people would appreciate the multilingual pun, just like the pun in the original Japanese name of the series Speed Racer, which was Mach Go Go Go — "Go" being the number 5 in Japanese but definitely understood with its English value "go".)

Eventually, the series was picked up for translation into English, but rather than try to deal with explaining the title pun, the English-language packager renamed the series Blue Light Special. Unfortunately, before it actually got aired, Sears got wind of it and sued the packager for infringing on the trademark Sears owns through K-Mart, and the entire project collapsed under a cloud of legal wrangling.

So we have been variously calling Kuma "Blue Light Bear" and "Magical Ursine Kuma Bear" all week. Lisa says Bear doesn't mind being considered both special and magical.
Tags: kuma bear, lisa, renovation

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