Spread it.

Something came up in class the other day that I feel should be widespread knowledge. As in, if it were more widely-known, it would change how people vote for their president in the coming election. In the interest of raising awareness, I'm leaving this post unlocked. Feel free to repost, link back, and spread it. Please.

The building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt met with so many unforeseen issues that it led to the creation of the entire field of cost-benefit analysis: measuring the perceived cost of an action against future benefits in order to decide if that action is worth doing. This analysis concept has since become de rigueur in almost all aspects of industry, politics, and policy. For example: environmental legislation is evaluated on a cost-benefit basis. How much will it cost to put scrubbers in coal-burning power plants? Do the future benefits justify that cost?

In environmental policy, "benefits" include things like human lives saved, or lowered rates of cancer. In order to fit into the framework of cost-benefit analysis, these are given monetary values.

In Democratic analyses, human lives are given higher worth, which allows a larger number of environmental regulations to become "worth" passing. In Republican analyses, human life is valued lower, making environmental legislation seem costlier and less justified.

To be clear: Democrats quite literally value human life more than do Republicans.



Dear Terra Nova,

Let's talk. See, the thing is, I want to like you. I really do. You have a fascinating premise, and I'd love to see you tell a good story with it. You could be really fun! Unfortunately, what you've delivered so far... isn't.

1) You're set one hundred fifty years in the future, so why are all the clothes exactly on trend to 2011? Think about fashion from 1911, a hundred years ago. If we saw anything like that today, we'd assume it was a costume. Fashions change, fast. Everytime I see a modern baseball cap in 2149, it pulls me right out of the story.

Speaking of change, let's talk about social norms. Why do all your characters act like they grew up in the 1950s? If the main male character tries just one more time to forbid his brilliant scientist wife from doing anything halfway interesting, I think I might hurl. If the teenage boy keeps talking about "courting" the girl and about asking her parents for permission..? Seriously, that would be considered eccentric NOW. 150 years in the future, he must sound like a Civil War reenactor.

2) OMFG why do people keep sneaking out of the colony?! You live in a world with fucking dinosaurs! Big, scary, ridiculously fast, meat-eating dinosaurs! On what PLANET does it seem like a good idea to sneak out without telling anyone where you're going? You literally went off to look at pretty flowers! Why do you people not ACT like you live in a world with DINOSAURS? It's not a fun lark to break the rules! It's life or death! HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?!

3) You've got a kick-ass premise with the Sixers - a good mix of moral ambiguity and an air of incipient menace. You've built up this really interesting mystery about priorities and agendas and who's really working for whom. You've got an awesome antagonist and, need I say it again, DINOSAURS? So why in holy hell did the last episode focus on a gambling ring? Also, a meteor? Seriously? Let's consider:
a) At this point, most scientists think a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs.
b) You are living in the time before that meteor.
c) One assumes that at some point, that same meteor will come along to wipe out you lot.
d) And your meteor preparedness plan entails yelling, "Everybody, down!"???
(e) I accept that an exploding meteor in the atmosphere could cause an EMP. That is not my issue. My issue is how you fixed your broken tech. You fixed a scanner by putting a single chip in it. It popped up with lights and screens and electricity and stuff. Before the power supply was back online. Just saying.)

Not to mention that the writers have a bad case of telling instead of showing. The last episode had at least three blatant instances of it. "As you know, Bob..." Bah. In a scene where people are waving a bunch of fire at a dinosaur and very *clearly* herding it, is it really necessary for someone to say "Keep it heading North! Straight to Terra Nova! Send it to Taylor!" (She then cackled maniacally and twirled her mustache. Tru fax.)

...sigh. I can't. This show had such potential for fun and intrigue, but it just doesn't have enough thought put into it. And the bizarrely conservative social attitudes on display make me wonder if we're going to get storylines about choosing not to have abortions. I think I'm done.

The rest of the TWEWY photo set is now up! More than twice as many as I initially posted, so be sure to check them out. I'm pretty sure I have every location in the game. Where possible, I've added in links to screenshots in the descriptions of the photos. Please take a look and make me feel like the effort was worth something. :D

This world waits for you.

The World Ends With You Tour of Shibuya

If you climb the grimy, flier-covered stairs of the Udagawa back streets, past record shops and clothing boutiques, you might find yourself facing a wall of complex graffiti that will be very familiar to fans of The World Ends With You-- one of the best Nintendo DS games ever released.

The game takes place in Shibuya, and it reproduces landmarks and neighborhoods so faithfully you can use your DS as a map of this vibrant and diverse area. I recently spent a day walking around Shibuya and photographing as many of the locations and backgrounds as I could. This set of photos is the first half of the results. Part two will come later in the week.

Check out the real Shibuya here.

Just so you know

Dear Obama,
Please stop saying we need to end our dependence on foreign oil. The oil fouling up the Gulf coast is domestic oil by definition. Right now, you are implying that you do not intend to end offshore drilling, thus setting us up for further disaster in the future.

Words mean things.

From Japan With Love,


Tokyo and surrounding-area people!

Were I to host a hanami party this week, would you come? I'm thinking Monday, from noon until whenever people want to leave. We'd be in my neighborhood, in a tiny park surrounded by sakura trees, next to a picturesque canal lined with many more. It'd be potluck, so you'd bring food or drink and possibly something to sit on, and friends-of-friends would be welcome.

Sound interesting? Would you come?


So I'm not exactly known for any kind of creative output, but I did manage to think of something to offer on help_haiti. Go here to bid on me as your personal Tokyo shopper! Starting bid is $1, and I'm open to hunting for pretty much any Japanese merchandise.

I need add nothing

If you are reading this right now, you have more luxury than someone in Iran could ever hope for right now. If you are watching TV or a video on youtube, updating your status on Facebook, Tweeting, or even texting your friend, you are lucky. If you are safe in your home, and were able to sleep last night without the sounds of screaming from the rooftops, you need to know and understand what is happening to people just like you in Iran right now.

They are not the enemy. They are a people whose election has been stolen. For the first time in a long time, a voice for change struck the youth of Iran, just as it did for many people in the United States only seven months ago. Hossein Mousavi gained the support of millions of people in Iran as a Presidential candidate. He stands for progressiveness. He supports good relations with the West, and the rest of the world. He is supported with fervor as he challenges the oppressive regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On Friday, millions of people waited for hours in line to vote in Iran's Presidential election. Later that night, as votes came in, Mousavi was alerted that he was winning by a two-thirds margin. Then there was a change. Suddenly, it was Ahmadinejad who had 68% of the vote - in areas which have been firmly against his political party, he overwhelmingly won. Within three hours, millions of votes were supposedly counted - the victor was Ahmadinejad. Immediately fraud was suspected - there was no way he could have won by this great a margin with such oppposition. Since then, reports have been coming in of burned ballots, or in some cases numbers being given without any being counted at all. None of this is confirmed, but what happened next seems to do the trick.

The people of Iran took the streets and rooftops. They shout "Death to the dictator" and "Allah o akbar." They join together to protest. Peacefully. The police attack some, but they stay strong. Riots happen, and the shouting continues all night. Text messaging was disabled, as was satellite, and websites which can spread information such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and the BBC are blocked in the country. At five in the morning, Arabic speaking soldiers (the people of Iran speak Farsi) stormed a university in the capital city of Tehran. While sleeping in their dormitories, five students were killed. Others were wounded. These soldiers are thought to have been brought in by Ahmadinejad from Lebanon. Today, 192 of the university's faculty have resigned in protest.

Mousavi requested that the government allow a peaceful rally to occur this morning - the request was denied. Many thought that it would not happen. Nevertheless, first a few thousand people showed up in the streets of Tehran. At this point, it is estimated that 1 to 2 million people were there. Mousavi spoke on the top of a car. The police stood by. For a few hours, everything was peaceful. Right now, the same cannot be said. Reports of injuries, shootings, and killings are flooding the internet. Twitter has been an invaluable source - those in Iran who still know how to access it are updating regularly with picture evidence. People are being brutally beaten. Tonight will be another night without rest for so many in Iran no older than I am. Tonight there is a Green Revolution.

For more information:
here and here
Here - near constant updates
Here - ONTD_political live post

دنیارابگوییدچطورآنهاانتخاباتمان دزدیده اند
Tell the world how they have stolen our election

- original post by one_hoopy_frood

Quick not-dead update!

This entry is short because I am really starting to dislike the Japanese keyboards. Anyway. Sitting at an internet cafe in Shinjuku, have seen sakura and taken pictures.

Apparently, no internet cafe in Japan wants to let me access my webmail. Therefore, if you want me to see something, you`ll need to send it to my gmail account. This goes for anything in the last two weeks, and for anything in the next week as well. I have stories to share once I get the internet back permanently. ^^

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