When reading news stories on the internet about Fukushima:
– Look for facts and the sources of those facts, either as sources cited or as links. Check out the sources to make sure they’re legit. If a website cites other pages of itself, those aren’t sources.
– Check out any ‘experts’ quoted by doing a quick Google search on the person’s name. Find out if they’re qualified to speak on the topic. ‘Researcher’ is usually a codename for ‘conspiracy theorist nutjob.’
Did you notice that things have been shaking a bit lately? No matter how many years I live in Japan, I never get used to that. The Great Tohoku Earthquake of ’11 stretched my perspective a bit and made all the others before it seem like nothing at all, but it still freaks me out when the earth moves under my feet.
I learned a valuable lesson in March 2011 – I discovered that I had no idea how to prepare for an earthquake. Whether you’re in Japan, the earthquake capital of the world, or anywhere else (they can happen anywhere), here’s a rundown on what to do. Continue reading
If your kids go to school in Kawasaki City, you might want to consider home schooling. When high levels of radioactive cesium were found in the city’s school lunches, Mayor Takao Abe said it was there for educational purposes.
Since April 2012, Kawasaki, Japan’s 8th largest city, has been feeding its kids frozen oranges from Kanagawa that show a cesium level of 9.1 Bq/Kg. From September, it’s giving them canned apples from Aomori with 1.6 Bq/Kg.
At a press conference on September 4th, Abe said it’s important for kids to understand Continue reading
I saw the news this morning and it looked just like something from my hometown – an evil looking sky with a swirling tornado in it, bearing down on the countryside. Smashed sheds, upside-down farm equipment, twisted trees and electrical poles lying horizontally on the ground. It looked like springtime in Missouri.
It turns out that on Sunday afternoon, twisters ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture. One hit the town of Tsukuba where a friend of mine used to live. One 14-year-old was killed and about 40 people were injured, with lots of houses destroyed and other damage. Continue reading
When the news started reporting that there was a nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant, I started getting calls from teachers I knew. I used to be a recruiter and manager at an English school and these were teachers who worked there. They all had basically two questions – “What is going on?” and “Should we get out of here!?”
Both of those were tough to answer. The best I could do was to say that things looked really bad and if you’re worried, you should go home. Then, they usually asked me the third question – “What are you going to do?”