| Aug 27, 2016

Bears encroach on blurred human boundaries

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It is puzzling that the black bears have become aggressive recently, given their previous inclination to retreat when confronted by humans. My theory is that winters are shorter and that means shorter hibernations and more active time spent consuming dwindling supplies of food. They ...

Is Japan ready for the LGBTQ revolution?

| Jul 30, 2016

Is Japan ready for the LGBTQ revolution?

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This past spring, at a restaurant in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando neighborhood, I encountered something new in Tokyo: a prominent sign written in English on the door of the communal WC declaring it “gender-free.” In recent years, there have been a number of encouraging signs ...

China: more hegemon than bogeyman?

| Jul 16, 2016

China: more hegemon than bogeyman?

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Jeffrey Wasserstrom’s perceptive new book, “Eight Juxtapositions: China Through Imperfect Analogies,” presents some unlikely comparisons that are designed to challenge perceptions about China. Wasserstrom, a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, acknowledges flaws in his analogies — which include an exploration ...