| Aug 25, 2012

A plan for a healthy TV diet

The world is going to pieces. I know because the television told me so. Global warming, economic meltdown, regional conflicts, partisan politics, Justin Bieber. Is there anything good happening? Anywhere? “The problem,” says my luncheon mate, “is not the world. It’s you.” Now how ...

| Aug 11, 2012

The race to be at rest

“Japanese are supposed to be polite. It’s a defining part of the national character.” And before that argument can crash, I back it with . . . “In the same way that bees have buzz, cows say moo, and pigeons on the street go ...

| Jul 28, 2012

The buzz about cicadas

Japan is entering cicada season, so let me start with a modest observation: Cicadas are the ugliest bugs on earth. I can state this not because I am an expert on bugs, but rather because I am an expert on ugly. In regards to ...

| Jul 14, 2012

The fear of phobias

A peek at “The Phobia List,” a webpage cataloging the accrued fears of our mighty human race, finds a list of over 500 documented phobias. Some on the list are interesting all by themselves. Such as . . . Barophobia — Fear of gravity ...

| Jun 30, 2012

Where the wild things aren't

“I have this idea to get rich quick,” says this friend. Like me, he is underwhelmed by his Japanese income. Unlike me, he still has dreams. He also has my attention. For we all want to get rich and “quick” is by far the ...

| Jun 2, 2012

A different health standard

It was Friday the 13th. And two health officials showed up at our door. Not doctors. Desk workers. With the unblinking gaze of brains on hold. “You’re a 57-year-old male,” said one. “You’re latest health check shows you have bum kidneys. You’d better watch ...

| May 19, 2012

The list of lists

They grace the Internet like snack foods at a cocktail party. And I wonder . . . does anyone have the willpower to ignore a bowl of trail mix? Or a plate of cheese and crackers? I know I don’t. So it goes with ...