Santa Claus has many faces, races

Dec 24, 2013

Santa Claus has many faces, races

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In Atlanta, Georgia, children of many races share their Christmas wish lists with a black Santa Claus. In Houston, Texas, Santa dons a red zoot suit and dances to jazz as he hands out gifts in Mexican-American neighborhoods. In Indian Country, Native American Santas ...

HIV: 'The fire across the river'

Nov 30, 2013

HIV: 'The fire across the river'

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When 44-year-old Tokyo resident Isao was struck down by chronic diarrhea in June earlier this year, AIDS was the furthest thought from his mind. “I just thought I had a regular illness,” said Isao, who asked for his surname to be withheld. However, the ...

Nov 16, 2013

Fifty years later, conspiracy theories live on

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“Any concerted plan that placed Lee Harvey Oswald in the gunner’s seat,” wrote Norman Mailer in “Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery,” “would have had to have been built on the calculation that he would miss.” Yet Mailer, whose research took him back to the ...

Oct 22, 2013

Apathy is the real enemy in NSA affair

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One of the most disturbing aspects of the public response to Edward Snowden’s revelations about the scale of governmental surveillance is how little public disquiet there appears to be about it. A recent YouGov poll, for example, asked respondents whether the British security services ...

Mike Mills looks at depression in Japan

Oct 22, 2013

Mike Mills looks at depression in Japan

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Among all the many trips American film director Mike Mills has made to Japan since he first started coming here in the mid 1990s, one incident in particular has remained with him. “One time, I was having coffee with a friend,” he told The ...

Kanpai! Sake through the ages

Oct 12, 2013

Kanpai! Sake through the ages

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"A civilization stands or falls by the degree to which drink has entered the lives of its people, and from that point of view Japan must rank very high among the civilizations of the world."

Camera artist casts new light on Jomon millennia

Sep 28, 2013

Camera artist casts new light on Jomon millennia

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The Jomon Period of Japanese history is so shrouded in the mists of time that any bid to fathom its secrets stretches even the usual bounds of prehistoric archeology. Yet as amateurs and experts alike have continued unearthing examples of Jomon pottery and stone ...

Seed bank sprouts support a-plenty

| Sep 14, 2013

Seed bank sprouts support a-plenty

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In a sunny corner of Tomoko and Kenji Usui’s garden, surrounded by marigolds and goldenrod, there stands a peculiar little house. The thatched roof is tall and pointy like a witch’s hat, with flowers growing around the brim. The porch is wide and shady, ...

Olympic stars of the future look forward to 2020

| Sep 14, 2013

Olympic stars of the future look forward to 2020

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Thursday night was warm and clear in Yokohama. A cloudless, gradually darkening sky stretched over the 400-meter track at the Yamato Sports Center — seemingly boundless in its ability to absorb the shouts and laughter coming from the 20 boisterous young members of the ...