Gotta love this time of year in Japan. The days are warm enough to wear shorts but the nights are still cool and crisp. The rice paddies have been ploughed and are awaiting being flooded to start the planting of this year’s crop. I can see a dozen or more from my study window so I’ll be right up to date as things happen! The noise from the frogs and other critters will be ridiculous come the evenings – we’ll see who’s louder; them or the Shinkansen!

Russia’s becoming more and more of a proto-Fascist state, which is nothing new of you’ve been reading the papers, but this article summarizes recent developments quite well. There was also something interesting about Russia’s continuing sphere of influence in the former Soviet states.

‘1984’ is looking more and more like a documentary, especially if you live in the UK…. But it’s not the only scary thing happening in the world (of course); take a look at the routine drugging of illegal immigrants in the US, or the next ‘great distraction’ for the upcoming US election.

A post-Bush world… what will it look like? Whatever it does, it’s going to take a long time to undo the damage, if at all. The numbers don’t look good.

The Global Peace Index is out and Iceland has topped the list again with the USA in 97th place (down a spot) and Australia in 27th (down two). Japan is 5th (but I guess old people can’t lift those heavy guns…).

You know it may be too late to do anything about climate change when serious scientists start proposing crazy solutions, such as dying the sky purple. Another is to sue the oil companies a la Big Tobacco for screwing up the environment. But it IS possible to go green. One city has cut its electricity use by up to 30% – in a month!

Don’t laugh at me as I drive my Mitsubishi rollerskate. These little cars are hot! (The tank is 30 litres and I last filled up after going 450km on one tank!)

Oil is not the only force behind the food crisis. Here’s a look at how the World Bank and the IMF are also responsible for what’s happening. There’s also a bit about how to go against them and save your country’s food supply at the same time. Go Malawi!

With the Aussie Dollar continuing its strong run against pretty much everything, the long term effects are starting to be felt, especially in what’s left of Australia’s manufacturing sector.

But the burning issue of the day is, will Warnie roll one over against the Poms!?

Now we can all scowl at the pregnant women using mobile phones. Do they hate their children that much???

Pervert.

I support this uplifting experience. My cup runneth over. But I should be brief and not (G-)string you along.

I can’t decide if this is funny or sad, so I’ll go with pathetic.

You’ve heard of books that have changed the world, but how about books that screwed up the world?

Mugshots are also forever in the Internet Age.

I want one of these – and possibly also one of these (at least I’d have a reason to get a DS!).

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