It’s nearly time to head off for another week of imparting my glorious language on the unsuspecting masses. We’ve switched days off now so I have Sundays and Mondays free to pursue what I pursue. I need to do my tax forms this week, which promises to be interesting. Piles of paper and struggles with the Japanese language will no doubt be the order of the day.

On Sunday I went to the Himeji Science Museum with a friend. They have a working Foucault’s Pendulum there, which we got to see slowly move its way around the compass. We also both fell asleep in the planetarium – despite the warnings not to do so!

I’m almost over this cold.

Speaking of which, there’s now some hard data to back up the anecdotal evidence that this was a really cold winter. It makes for some interesting reading – especially the stuff about the sunspots, and the graphics. We’ll have to wait and see if this is part of some wider trend. Nevertheless, I’m planning on investing in some warmer undergarments in preparation for next year…

Continuing the science theme, a scientist is designing an organism that can change atmospheric CO2 into methane, which can be used as fuel. It’s a very interesting idea but there are a couple of interesting drawbacks to it. Firstly, you’re still putting CO2 (back) into the atmosphere. Secondly, methane is a terrible greenhouse gas in itself, so containing the end product will also be very important.

Another science-ish article is about this hybrid car from Italy, which may (or may not) be the sexiest thing on four wheels. I certainly wouldn’t mind driving it!

Scary article of the day comes courtesy of China, which is accelerating its military buildup.

Only one in five families has sit-down meals together nowadays. This may be in part due to the fact that so many people are now in prison

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is trying an interesting version of online distribution.

Finally, as I get older I keep on thinking about my role as a man. I haven’t had the chance to be a father yet, and I think I’d like to. In the meantime, what’s the best thing for me to do as a man? It certainly isn’t doing things like playing sports or climb mountains – my body simply isn’t up to it any more thanks to hernias in my lower spine… so this was some food for thought.

Another kind of thinking person’s sustinence – this interview with the creators of Battlestar Galactica looks at some of the legal issues within the universe of the show. A very interesting read.