Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Good old English songs with positive thinking

The contents of many good old English songs are actually very decent. Some cheer people up in times of stress or troubles with messages of concerns and encouragement for those who are not in good condition. Of course,'there are also songs'-'in all languages'-'that serve to spread vulgar 'cultures', decadent lifestyles,'crude individualism or hedonism.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Japan's political deadlock under world watch

Japan's PM Noda has reportedly warned that public life (in Japan) ''will grind to a halt unless lawmakers manage to break a political deadlock and pass a new financing bill''.'The political dynamic in Japan has also come under pretty close observation by America. The one-upmanship among politicians in Japan to acquire and show the''righter-than-thou' nationalist credential is of ongoing concerns to neighbours like China.

Japan's nuclear business shifts focus overseas

According to news reports from Japan, Hitachi is shifting focus of its nuclear business overseas. It is said that the Fukushima disaster has caused problems for nuclear power and'/'or related business in Japan.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Joan Baez still well-known for "Donna Donna"

Joan Baez, the American folksinger who popularized Gracias a la Vida in the English-speaking world, is still fairly well-known in many places in the world for singing, 'with a voice of deep passions, Donna Donna. Other memorable songs that are still associated with Baez include'We Shall Overcome, 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone and also Suzanne.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fukushima leak effects could last for decades

It has been pointed out that the contamination of sea life on the east coast of Fukushma could last "for decades". 'Thus, it can be expected that 'the conditions or situations will be watched and studied in years to come by,'among other scientists, environmentalists and ecologists as the impact, in many dimensions, could also affect other countries.

Concerns return over Fukushima fish & water

Elevated levels of cesium can still be detected in fish 'off the coast of Fukushima as concerns over some of Japan''s sea species 'hitchhiking' on the tsunami debris moving to the west coast of North America are ongoing.'What to do with the huge quantity of contaminated water at the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima is another major issue.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nuclear crisis plant in Japan said to be stable

A commisioner of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, was reported as saying that the condition at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is now stabilized, although the overall situation "remains precarious".

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Greenpeace: Fukushima monitors not reliable

Reportedly, Greenpeace has said that (Japan''s) government radiation monitoring in areas near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is not reliable. 'Recently, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crecent Societies observed that the Fukushima disaster hasn't ended, and urged government(s) to be more transparent in information flow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

South Korea's lawmakers visit Dokdo (Islands)

A group of South Korean legislators visited Dokdo (Takeshima) earlier today. Japan, 'as expected, protested diplomatically in response. USA has been appealing to its 2 treaty allies in Northeast Asia to solve the territorial dispute amicably. South Korea has already rejected Japan's proposal to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice '(ICJ).

PM Noda's cabinet rating records all-time low

Despite repeated reshuffles to boost popularity, 'the rating of Noda''s cabinet in Japan has reportedly hit all-time low. Politics in Japan has been in a state of flux for a while and both mainstream parties have been trying to show a 'righter'-than'-thou' image for political mileage. It is not quite clear yet whether politicians from both main parties'in Japan will also engage'in one-upmanship on the concerns in Okinawa. Meanwhile, Noda''s Justice Minister Keishu Tanaka has just resigned.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another 'class' row emerges in British politics

While Andrew Mitchell's plebgate affair is still being debated, there is now another 'class' row involving Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. In hard times, this type of issue is as politically sensitive as the earlier elephant'-hunting trip of Spain's King Juan Carlos in Africa, even 'though the jobless rate in Britain is still far below that of Spain.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

'High' official in Britain resigns over class row

Andrew Mitchell, 'Chief Whip of the British government, has resigned over what is known as plebgate (affair). British society, like all other societies on earth, 'are certainly still changing as the results of many material and ideational factors inter'-operating in a complex process, especially in an era when many people are not very happy with "cuts".

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Concern over an ocean experiment in Canada

According to reports, a Californian businessman's pretty questionable experiment on the west coast of Canada 'has caused concerns as well as outrage among scientists and also government officials in Canada. Meanwhile, there are also reports that Canada's government officials knew about the 'geoengineering' project and that they did not stop it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rare & stunning fish washes ashore in Mexico

According to reports, a rarely seen fish recently made its appearance in Mexico and it stunned many beachgoers. It is believed that the 20-feet long fish typically lives 3,000 feet below the surface of ocean(s). How much do we really know about life below the surface of waters '? Of course,'a science authority of the US government has already said categorically that mermaids, the half'-human and half-fish sea life in many legends all over the world and Western fairy tales,'do not exist.

'Hitchhiking' sea species reach North America

According to recent UK reports, 'some 60 types of Japan''sea species that are 'hitchhiking' on the tsunami debris to the west coast of North America may pose threats to the local sealife of America and Canada. Have 'sufficient financial and human resources been allocated to deal with the looming threats 'to environment and ecology of the regions ?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

IFRC: nuclear disaster in Japan not ended yet

Japan's Ashahi Shimbun has quoted a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies '('IFRC')' as stating that the Fukushima disaster has not ended. 'The spokesman Matthias Schmale added that here is a need for the Japanese authorities to be more transparent 'in the dissemination of information on the subject. Meanwhile, the social discipline of the many ordinary people in Japan in stoically coping with the almost simultaneous disasters of tsunami, earthquake and nuclear crisis is still fairly inspiring and praiseworthy, although that has not stopped the rise of 'an anti'-'nuclear movement and 'a surge of more critical ideas on corporates' social responsibility.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Astronomers found new planet with four suns

A team of American and British astronomers 'have reportedly found a planet illuminated by 4 different suns. 'Another planet 'whose surface is said to be covered by diamonds and graphites has also been found.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reports from nuclear crisis-hit areas in Japan

According to a group of journalists ('from South Korea''who visited a town close to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, fear of radiation remains. Scientist Miho Nagasawa further observes that even 'abandoned dogs around the area suffer psychologically as a result of shock and stress. Earlier, 'it was aslo reported that mutant butterflies were discovered.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Japan's political blues & economic challenges

According to analyst Bruce Gale,'Japanese politics is characterised by "leadership blues" while being confronted with "economic challenges". Japan''s domestic politics and the implications on its foreign policy is under close watch by neighbours, like China, 'Russia and South Korea as they still remember well those bad old days when Japan rampaged in their homelands and as Japan is now 'in territorial rows with them.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tepco now admits Fukushima crisis avoidable

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has reportedly admitted that the Fukushima nuclear crisis was avoidable. Tepco's admission of the failings was made 'only more than one year and a half after the crisis. In July this year, 'a parliamentary panel in Japan 'had already reached the conclusion that the Fukushima crisis was a "'man-made'" disaster.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Toyota first knew of products' defect in 2008

According to a report published in Japan, Toyota first knew about the switch defect four years ago (or in 2008). The largest automaker has recalled for fixes 7.'43 million vehicles worldwide, 'including Malaysia.

Newly found planet may be diamond-covered

A literally twinkling planet,'whose surface is believed to be covered in diamonds and graphite, 'has reportedly been spotted. Exploration and studies of outer space 'have deepened with new technologies or tools. Individuals and societies with scientific outlook must always be ready to accept new 'discoveries 'or knowledge previously unknown to them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Toyota's woe as fresh opportunity for Detroit

According to one observation, the quality control problems and safety issues faced by Toyota (and Honda) would give America's automakers "an opening" and also "a fresh opportunity" in the automobile market. It is, 'meanwhile, very unlikely that the automobile industries in Italy, France and Germany, 'among others, 'have not also seen the opening.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Titanic film watched with a questioning mind

Reportedly, 'it has been shown that Titanic passenger Jack could have lived. 'Now, there is also an effort to show that Richard III was not as wicked as William Shakespeare portrayed the English ruler in his play.

Toyota' s recalled vehicles number 14 million

According to information 'published just now by the Washington Post, Japan's Toyota has recalled some 14 million vehicles since 2007. The latest recall involves 7.43 million vehicles worldwide, including India; and it is is the largest single recall in the carmaker''s 75-year history.

Toyota recalls seven million vehicles globally

According to reports, Japan's car manufacturer Toyota has announced to recall 7.43 million vehicles globally over some safety concerns. The sales of Japan''s cars in China's market have also been hit hard as the result of Japan''s territorial row with China over the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands which has strained China'-'Japan bilateral ties pretty seriously.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gracias a la Vida ... que me ha dado tanto ...

One of the most well'-known and popular Latin American folk songs is Gracias a la Vida. The Spanish-language song was first made famous in the English'-language world by American singer Joan Baez who also sings many fairly great folk songs in English, like We Shall Overcome. Gracias a la Vida 'was originally composed by a Chilean musician and songwriter Violeta Parra (1917'-1967) who was a progressive activist.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

South Korea reacts to chemical plant gas leak

The government in South Korea has declared a ''special disaster zone'' around an area affected by toxic gas leak from a chemical plant. In a separate incident, 2 malfunctioning nuclear reactors were shut down. There is indeed a fairly pressing need for us to be more conscious of the potential danger posed by the activities of these high-risk plants.

Monday, October 08, 2012

New technologies & tools for universe survey

As more and more technologies or tools have been invented to survey the universe, new knowledge has surfaced.'It is fairly clear that some old books that claim to know all already are not to be read so literally. But, as British scientist and historian of science 'Dr. Joseph Needham (1900-1995) and his team of intellectual collaborators discovered and recorded in Science & Civilisation in China, there were conscious and systematic efforts to articulate sciences (including mathematics) and apply technologies in China''s ancient societies and the product of the intellectual 'labor are still preserved in many classic books in Chinese.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

New telescope & supercomputer for Australia

Australia has set up a pretty powerful radio telescope for scientists to survey the universe, such as "all" the galaxies and also black holes. 'It has also launched a new supercomputer which is said to be capable of performing 40 trillion calculations in one second. 'The new machine is to be used also for research works relating to studies of the universe.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Blue plaque unveiled for musician Robin Gibb

A blue plaque was recently unveiled at the Oxfordshire 'home of Robin Gibb ('1949-2012'). Singer and musician Gibb, who passed away on 20 May and was laid to rest on 8 June, 2012, 'was a member of Bee Gees band whose popularity in the English-using world,'including a segment of Malaysia and Singapore, endured for 40 years since its 1958 debut. Good old English songs and music have doubtlessly contributed to the making of the multicultural landscape'in Malaysia and preservation of the English language among folk of all races, 'beliefs and also classes.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Politics in Japan to face complex uncertainty

A Japanese scholar also opines that it's "'almost certain that the next general election ('in Japan') will not produce a parliamentary majority for a single party" and it "will enter a period of profound uncertainty". PM Noda has reshuffled the cabinet 3 time within a year of his office. Noda himself is, 'of course, Japan''s sixth prime minister in six years. Whether to open up more sectors of its economy to foreign capital is a difficult decision for'any government in Japan to make as domestic resistance, particularly from the agricultural interest, is fairly strong.

Remains of legendary Maya queen discovered

Archaeologists in Guatemala have reportedly found a tomb of another Mayan queen. In recent years, more and more elements of the Mayan civilisation have been unearthed by archaeologists around the region. Not too long ago,'Britain's archaeologists also discovered some bones they believe to belong to the controversial King Richard III while their counterparts in China found a portion of 2,000-year old beef in a pot.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Andy Williams' truly memorable voice of love

Great singer Andy Williams (1927'-2012) has passed away but his love songs, such as Love Story and Speak Softly, Love 'live on in the hearts of millions of fans all over the world as love is, 'by nature, borderless.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Political dynamic in Japan under close watch

Japan's PM Noda has reshuffled his cabinet for the third time.'Former PM Abe has been elected to head the LDP to attempt to regain power. Whoever wins in the next poll, 'can Japan solve the basic problems it faces at home as well as those with its neighbours in Northeast Asia'? Is there a Tokyo-based major party which can effectively address the multidimensional grievance and basic concern of people in Okinawa '? Is there a real choice in the system for liberal or progressive people ? Japan''s domestic politics and external relations are under fairly close observation in coming months,'especially by neighbours in the region.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Okinawa people's grievance multidimensional

According to a New York Times article, 'the resentment of the people of Okinawa runs deeper than their concern over the safety of Osprey. Many Okinawans perished in the last weeks of the Pacific War as the militarist elites in Tokyo used the islands and inhabitants as a shield.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Noda reshuffles Japan's cabinet in hard times

Earlier today, Japan's PM Yoshihiko Noda reshuffled his cabinet amid political difficulties at home and strategic tension 'in Northeast Asia. How to revitalise the economy is also a challenge for the two parties. How to balance the requirement for energy security and 'the demand of a growing anti'-nuclear movement is not easy for both parties too. Protest against 'the deployment of Ospreys to Okinawa is still strong.