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Will robots end up creating jobs or end them?

Mar 10, 2013

Will robots end up creating jobs or end them?

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At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a management robot is learning to run a factory and give orders to artificial coworkers, and a BakeBot robot is reading recipes, whipping together butter, sugar and flour and putting the cookie mix in the oven. At the University ...

What Japan needs to do

Jan 13, 2013

What Japan needs to do

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With its economy spluttering, large parts of its northeastern region still devastated by the effects of the mammoth Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 — and releases of radioactive materials that followed — its population shrinking and aging at unprecedented rates and its citizens ...

Survivor pens 'too painful' 3/11 tale

| Dec 16, 2012

Survivor pens 'too painful' 3/11 tale

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‘March 11, 2011 — We will never forget the day. The disaster …After the massive earthquake occurred, the huge tsunami destroyed this area. Many citizens were lost and the survived people also received the deep crack in their hearts.I had a narrow escape from ...

Dec 9, 2012

Apocalypse made in Japan

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A world-ending cataclysm is common to many mythologies. The Biblical flood narrative is the best known and follows a fairly typical pattern: wrathful deity, mass destruction, surviving remnant — in this case the righteous man Noah and his family. We gather from these tales ...

| Dec 4, 2012

'Were we marines used as guinea pigs on Okinawa?'

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Newly discovered documents reveal that 50 years ago this week, the Pentagon dispatched a chemical weapons platoon to Okinawa under the auspices of its infamous Project 112. Described by the U.S. Department of Defense as “biological and chemical warfare vulnerability tests,” the highly classified ...

The Fish Tree

Nov 25, 2012

The Fish Tree

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Once upon a time there was a child who, being a child, simply didn’t know what to make of himself. “Look,” said his mother. “I brought the sun out for you. Go out and play.”“With the sun?” “Why not with the sun?”“Mom?”“Yes, child. Yes, ...

The war legacy that binds Okinawa and Vietnam

Nov 11, 2012

The war legacy that binds Okinawa and Vietnam

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As the motorbike taxi I’m aboard zigzags through the traffic in Da Nang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, a bus pulls out of nowhere, causing my driver to brake, swerve and slam us into a sidewalk stack of bamboo cages packed with soft plump ducklings.It’s as ...

Sexy's back for womenswear

Oct 28, 2012

Sexy's back for womenswear

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For what seems like an eternity, kawaii (cute) fashion has ruled the Japanese womenswear roost, and at times it’s looked as if we would never see a return to edgy, chic styles.But the designers are playing their cool cards now, and they brought sexy ...