My Internet Wanderings


Antiques Roadshow’s Most Valuable Find Ever

Man I wish I had $1.5 mil so I could buy these badass rhino cups!

Via The Huffington Post: Antiques Roadshow’s Most Valuable Find Ever

Russell Brand – For Amy (Winehouse)

Many of you have probably read this already

For Amy

Also, a very nice piece by two drug policy activists


John Stewart on ‘Fox News Sunday’


<a href="Watch the latest video at” target=”_blank”>Exclusive: Jon Stewart on ‘Fix News Sunday’

Via John Legend

The Bilingual Advantage

I knew being multilingual had it’s benefits! This is a very interesting article from the New York Times:

The Bilingual Advantage

This Is The Most Horrifying Tsunami Video I’ve Seen Yet

We’ve all seen a lot of tsunami videos in the last month, but none of them have the visceral impact of this one.

Via Mashable: Dramatic New Video Of Japan Tsunami

360 Degree View Of Japanese Destruction

This would be really cool if it wasn’t so sad.

Via Damage in Rikuzen-Takada-Iwate Prefecture

The Hidden Cost Of Carry-on Luggage: $260mil/yr

Basically by not checking your bag, lines are longer, and more TSA personnel are needed to scan luggage.

Via Time: Not Checking That Bag? It’s Going To Cost Everyone

Understanding Japan’s Nuclear Crisis

This is a very good article in plain language about the crisis and Fukushima. A must read.

Via Ars Technica: Understanding Japan’s Nuclear Crisis

My Observations On Northern Japan And Foreign Media Coverage

OK, a lot of friends and family are e-mailing about conditions here in Japan. I personally am in Osaka. Things are more or less normal down here. For me, the short-term worry is shortages and rising prices of goods. Long-term I worry about radiation leaking into ground water and contaminating food supplies.

A lot of people ask me about who and what to believe from the media. I take it as a matter of course that any government will at the very least downplay any disaster. We’ve seen it with the Gulf oil spill and Katrina in the US. I personally assume it’s worse than the rosiest veiwpoint, but not as bad as the gloomiest.

As I’m typing this, Japanese TV is showing people in Sendai who are trying to get messages to friends and family in Japan. Phone service up there is very very bad. I’m seeing how there are severe shortages of water, food, gas, and kerosene for heating stoves. The foreign media seems to focus on the nuclear aspect of this disaster. I have a theory as to why this is. First, the Japanese government doesn’t want to cause a panic here in Japan, so they are more than willing to encourage the media to broadcast feel-good and hardship stories. Second, we have all seen the aftereffects of natural disasters almost ad nauseam in the last few years. Katrina, Haiti, China, the Indian Ocean Tsunami. But this nuclear disaster, especially the severity, is new. We’ve never seen this before, let alone so close to the largest city in the world. Third, there is a culture and language barrier. I think it’s easier for foreign media to invite nuclear experts into the studio than send reporters into the field. Especially given the radiation danger.

Ok, let’s be real. I’m sitting here in Osaka. I haven’t been watching the news all that much. It’s sad, scary, and 24/7. I really have no idea  what is happening up there. All I can do is speculate. I am by no means fluent in Japanese. These are my personal reflections on what is going on. I would welcome any comments and different points of view. Tell me what you think.

4 Questions About Potassium Iodide

Just read this article about radiation and potassium iodide pills. Very informative.

Via BoingBoing: Should I Take Potassium Iodide Pills?

Japan’s Nuclear Power: A History Of Bungling, Cover-Ups

A verrrrry intersting article from Yahoo News covering the last 40 years of Japan’s nuclear power companies. Reminds me of the Deepwater Horizon debacle. Not really surprising.

Bungling, Cover-Ups Define Japanese Nuclear Power

Online News Overtakes Paper

According to a recent report, online news is now the prevalent news source. Almost half of this is consumed in mobile form. I’m not surprised especially during this last week. I get most of my news from Twitter nowadays.

Via Engadget: Online News Overtakes Paper, And Nearly Half Of It Is Mobile

AT&T Makes Calling Japan Free Until End Of March- Update!

This is a nice surprise. It applies to wired (60 mins) and wireless customers starting 3/11 to 3/31.

Via Engadget: AT&T Makes Calling Japan Free Until End Of March

I just looked on the AT&T page and can’t find any info on it.

UPDATE: I knew this would happen. Verizon and Sprint have too.

Update 2: Found AT&T’s page and Verizon’s. Not Sprint’s though.

Update 3: T-Mobile has waived fees too. I imagine everyone has at this point.

Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Q & A

This is a very informative Q & A article about the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Via Yahoo! News: Nuke Crisis Raises Many Questions, No Easy Anwers

Japan Quake: 7 Easy Ways to Help

These are pretty simple ways to donate/help the relief effort in Japan

Via Mashable: Japan Earthquake And Tsunami: 7 Simple Ways To Help

700+ Front Pages From 80+ Countries

These are front pages from around the world

Fareed Zakaria – Are America’s Best Days Behind Us?

A very interesting Time article by Fareed Zakaria.

Are America’s Best Days Behind Us?

National Cherry Blossom Festival To Charge

In an effort to cover the estimated $300,000 cost and curb huge crowds, the National Cherry Blossom street fair will begin charging a $5 admission fee. The fair is April 9th. The National Cherry Blossom Festival website has announced that the peak blooming period is March 29-April 3.

Via Washington Post: Cherry Blossom Street Fair to Charge Fee

How To Get Your Weed Across The Border

Use a catapult!

Weed-Firing Catapult Discovered At The US-Mexico Border