…crap today.

At last, I have a day off but my throat feels like it’s lined with razor blades. Almost ran out of voice last night at work, but managed to scrape (pun) through without it cutting (pun) out!

At least my awful sense of humour hasn’t left me.

The weather’s crap outside too. Nature feels the same way I do today. Good day to stay inside…

So, I’m drinking as much Vitamin C as I can, I’m on the Net and cruising the morning papers.

I often tell students to read the papers and use the Net – especially the higher level ones. Goodness knows, they may also improve their world view. Some of the ones who I know DO read the internet in English are some of the most balanced, wise and interesting Japanese I’ve come across in my time in Japan…. actually, people who read more than the TV page and Sports Section the world over are generally more interesting, in my opinion.

So, I thought it was time to give you a rundown of the daily ritual. Sometimes it’s twice-daily since I usually do another round when I get home after work.

1. Slashdot. It’s called ‘News for Nerds’ but it’s usually the first with the lastest in development in new technology. I usually skip the bits on Open Source software and the high tech stuff and go for the consumerables and the cultural articles.

2. The Drudge Report. One of the better news blogs, and certainly one of the longest-running and (in)famous. Matt Drudge may be right-wing, but he’s fast. If something’s going down, this is site is usually the first to report it.

3. The Sydney Morning Herald / The Age / The Australian. I do the big three of Australian newspapers. I also visit The Advertiser but not on a daily basis. The SMH and Age are basically the same paper but with a little difference according the to city they’re designed for. The Australian is there for balance, although the editor leans more to the right for my liking. These ones I tend to crawl through, reading anything that catched my eye. It’s the only way to keep up with what’s happening at home. The ‘Tiser is great because it contains news that no one else will find interesting unless you live in or come from Adelaide!

4. Fark. This one gets my vote as the *best* news blog in the universe. I get my weird, funny and interesting news from here. I also get a lot of my desktop wallpapers from the Photoshop forums and Farktography sections. An awesome page.

5. Crisscross. The old Japan Today webpage that was bought out recently. This one’s good for combining news about Japan from a variety of news sources although it can be a bit too brief for my liking. I need some interesting meat on my newsey bones.

6. Mainichi Daily News. ‘mainichi’ means ‘daily’ in Japanese so it’s the Daily Daily News. That kind of makes sense in a Japanese kind of way! This one is good for balancing crisscross as well as having an excellent ‘weird Japan news’ section.

7. The Register. Another tech page. Balancing Slashdot, this one is based in the UK. Home of the BOFH, this site was shown to me by one of my former housemates who works in networking. The BOFH has got to be one of the funniest online humour sites, even if you’re not up with all the tech-lingo, you’ve got to enjoy the way they undermine corporate life.

8. Guerrilla News Network. One of my doses of left-leaning news. This site collates a lot of articles from journalists and bloggers. Often interesting and thought-provoking. I really like their weekly ‘Good News Roundup’. I wish other newspapaers would do the same thing.

9. ZNet. Also on the left side of the political spectrum, this one contains writings from many well-respected writers, journalists and others on a variety of topics. I have especially appreciated the coverage of what’s been happening in the US and Iraq since 2001 as well as the translations of articles about Japan that have appeared in the press here but I haven’t been able to read.

10. Rajah. I have to include my favourite WWE page here. YES, it is mindlessly violent entertainment. YES, it is horribly right-wing, jingoistic, patriotic and sexist drivel. But hey, everyone needs a vice – and this one’s MINE! Get over it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen usually gets me through breakfast and getting ready for work, or sees me through post-work dinner and ready for bed!

Time to get more Vitamin C!