| Jun 30, 2012

The toad tax and other ways to raise money

Read my lips: no new taxes! Just old ones raised. Civil service workers are taking a pay cut to help pay off Tohoku earthquake and tsunami debt, the government is discussing raising pension payments while cutting benefits, Tokyo Electric Power Co. is raising electricity ...

| Jun 23, 2012

The most exciting season

Welcome to the rainy season. Welcome to the invasion of insects! Contrary to what most people will tell you, I think the rainy season is the most exciting part of the year in Japan. Believe me, you’re gonna see plenty of strange things. Every ...

| Jun 2, 2012

A 100-mile race — it keeps you runnin'

Paul Walsh has just finished running 156 km. For fun. Around the bottom of Mount Fuji. If you think he’s crazy, then you’ll have to incriminate the other 611 people who also finished the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji (UTMF) 100-Mile race held this past May ...

| May 19, 2012

Reasons I don't buy a nuclear restart

I’ve heard many excuses for the nuclear accident that happened as a result of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, followed by reasons why we should return to nuclear power. I don’t buy any of them. 1. “We were unprepared for March 11.” ...

| May 5, 2012

English fluency and alligator pits

When I used to teach English at university, I was sure to leave an impression on my students on their first day of class. I’d tell them that as Japanese speakers, they could only speak with a mere 130 million people. But if they ...