Category Archives: Japan

Our situation after the earthquake

Dear Friends,

Thank-you for your messages and thoughts. We’re safe and well in Osaka, so far. The earthquake was large but only affected the north/east of Japan. Actually the earthquakes (one large, one medium) did not directly cause many causalities but the resulting tsunamis did and have caused many deaths in coastal areas.

The nuclear situation is worrying, we have to rely on the news reports. Some interpretations say that even in the worst case scenario, the effects would still be ok and “contained”. I think it is too early to say, especially long-term. There’s not so much balanced foreign reporting, as news outlets can’t get out of their “news sells” pattern. Meltdowns/explosions are words that sell papers, or eyeballs. The facts are less clear. But we are in no immediate danger, as of 11am 14th March. Things could change by the hour. There is a 70% danger of another medium/large earthquake in the near future.

Our thoughts go out to those directly affected by the earthquakes and tsunamis. We trying to remain calm and get our heads round this all and see what we can do to help.
I will update this post and reply to comments as events change.

Air-conditioning at night, too hot too cold? Here’s an idea

It’s the start of the summer season here in Japan.  Toasty 36C days and 30-31C nights.  It’s a bit too hot to sleep without air-conditioning but for some reason when we set it to 28C it is too cold, and when we set it to 29C it is too hot.

Jamie caught a cold maybe because of the air-conditioning itself and maybe because of the dust being kept in the air by the air conditioning being on.  While he doesn’t have asthma, his lungs are sensitive to dust.  But he is also the one that sweats a lot and wakes up at night if it is too hot.

So when we took him to the doctor’s we asked the doctor’s advice and she said one idea is to turn on the air-con in the next room, and keep the door between them slightly open. That way the air temperature isn’t too cool and there is less churn of dust.

That’s what I’m doing right now, and he’s been sleeping for almost 3 hours.  Hope it works at night too :)
BTW I don’t claim that this idea is eco-friendly.

Stop the blink tags

I’ve noticed that there are an awful lot of bricks and mortar establishments using the equivalent of <blink> tags to catch people’s attention. I’m talking about flashing lights, some as “subtle” as emergency or road work rotating lamps stuck on top of signs. Some pachinko palours have bright and excessively powerful strobe like lights.

Does it catch people’s attention? Most likely. But at least subconciously there are negative connections tied to the memory of the shop or business. One being the irritation, and one of unsophistication of the business. When there is so much competition out there, you want to be remembered, but you want to be remembered in a positive light (pun intended). Most web sites have learnt this from experience, I just wish the real world would follow suit.