Robert Macpherson

For Robert Macpherson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'Downton Abbey' thrives as viewers look for romance

Jan 13, 2014

'Downton Abbey' thrives as viewers look for romance

The global success of “Downton Abbey” is vivid proof that romance and drama are alive and well and thriving on the small screen, its executive producer said last week. In a telephone interview from London, two days after season four of the post-Edwardian soap ...

With 'selfies,' world turns lens on itself

Dec 28, 2013

With 'selfies,' world turns lens on itself

Stuck on a ledge halfway up a 1,000-meter cliff in Oman, his climbing rope sliced in two by sharp rocks, Jimmy Chin did what anyone else would have done in his predicament. He took a “selfie.” “I had some time to figure out what ...

In tablet era, U.S. debates cursive script

Nov 3, 2013

In tablet era, U.S. debates cursive script

For third-grade pupils at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School in suburban Ellicott City, an hour’s drive from Washington, learning to write joined-up letters is a no-brainer. “I like writing it sometimes. It’s kind of fun,” said Oren Dubensky after he and his fellow 8-year-olds mastered ...

Wet noses to the touchscreen, iPads go to the dogs

Aug 27, 2013

Wet noses to the touchscreen, iPads go to the dogs

You may or may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly try to get Fido to use an iPad. New York dog-trainer Anna Jane Grossman has done just that, with success — although a lack of apps ...

Korean War vets in U.S. look back with no regret

Jul 26, 2013

Korean War vets in U.S. look back with no regret

In the bucolic surroundings of America’s premier home for old warriors, memories of the Korean War run deep. Half of the 468 residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington are veterans of the 1950-1953 conflict — and looking back, they have no ...

Password fatigue haunts Net users

Jun 26, 2013

Password fatigue haunts Net users

Looking for a safe password? You can give HQbgbiZVu9AWcqoSZmChwgtMYTrM7HE3ObVWGepMeOsJf4iHMyNXMT1BrySA4d7 a try. Good luck memorizing it. Sixty-three random alpha-numeric characters — in this case, generated by an online password generator — are as good as it gets when it comes to securing your virtual life. ...

Feb 3, 2013

Social media stirs up Super Bowl advertising pregame buzz

Nearly 180 million Americans will settle in front of TV sets with beer and chicken wings this weekend and, over four hours, watch commercials interrupted by a football game. Well, all right, the gridiron showdown Sunday in New Orleans between the Baltimore Ravens and ...