At least I’m doing better than this guy.

Time for some other stuff.

The cost of regular unleaded in Japan has hit 164 yen per litre in some parts (like mine) so the government is asking anyone who’ll listen to do something about it. The general reaction from everyone else has been “I dunno”. For a start, I guess they could stop buying overpriced melons and coffee or going on luxury cruises around Japan. Perhaps putting more effort into fixing the economy instead of telling girls to stop fixing their faces on the trains may also help.

At least they’ve finally officially recognised the Ainu as a people.

Gen Y is hitting the office blocks of Japan. Watch this space.

Toyota has developed a new kind of hydrogen powered hybrid system for cars, as well as new petrol/hybrid models, but the future really is in developing an affordable all-electric system.

Looks like AIDS is no longer a major threat to some of us – but best wrap up to make sure, right?

An interesting, but very wordy article on how the changes in the world since the end of the Cold War have created a kind of global hegemonic way of thinking. The idea is interesting since if we all think the same way, then there’ll be no dissenting opinions, and those in charge of determining the way we all think will take us to wherever they want to go – which may not be good for the majority of us. Variety gives us more options, and it’s good for us intellectually as well. It’s good to be able to quote Ghost In The Shell at this point, “If we all reacted the same we’d be predictable. And there’s more than one way to view a situation. What’s true for the group is also true for the individual. It’s simple. Overspecialize and you breed in weakness. It’s slow death.”

So, why did Obama win? And why does it play out more like ‘Why did Hillary lose?’. (To give her credit, she’s done much more than any other woman before her – unlike certain movies) Now the focus is on what will happen next, and, like I’ve noted before, it looks like Obama really is not the candidate of change he’s making himself out to be.

In a move that’s surprised no one, the Chinese government are now clamping down on the media in the lead up to the Olympics. Now the US is reconsidering the sales of crowd control weapons since they might be used in a clampdown on human rights protests (ya think?!?). I do love the Chinese guy in charge’s response to everything: submit your complaint in writing, even your complaints about the complaints taking too long to respond to! At least the streetlights will be funky and the souvenirs will be… errrmmm… unique!

Proof that skiing in Australia really is expensive! Flying to Hokkaido is cheaper!

Looks like Spring has arrived in Hong Kong.

Australia actually gets more tornadoes than the US, but since most of them happen in the desert, they don’t affect people so much – except when they do touch down in a city.

PETA went after a US university for having a live eagle mascot. Their response in the last sentence is a classic!

Some good reading I’ll try to pick up.

Josef Goebbels would be laughing in his grave knowing that one of the countries that beat the Nazis is now burning books. The article reads like a horror story – and what’s worse is they think they’re doing the right thing!!

Goebbels would really like how the US has turned out actually…

Another person not to trust. Beware of smiling accountants clutching Bibles.

And the religious nutcase trifecta is complete.

Students in Ukraine really know how to protest.

I still think Christopher Walken did it better in Pulp Fiction…

Some people really do have too much time on their hands

And who hasn’t considered going nuts in the office just one or twice in their lives?

Did you enjoy reading this? By 2012 it could be all gone. (The Dan Rather talk posted in the comments is also worth a look.)