Sachie's blog

Peaceful solution to the disputed Diaoyu-Senkaku islands

Yesterday I (Japanese woman) went to two Chinese grocery stores in Luxembourg to buy a bag of Japanese rice from California, Korean seasoned seaweed, imperial-dragon gyoza wrappers, and Taiwan highland (gao shan) oolong tea.

In Mexico and Spain, people mistook me as a local resident and asked me directions in Spanish. Similarly, Chinese and Korean people often talk to me in their languages. Happily, I try to make conversation with them, using some words which I have learned from Chinese, Taiwan, and Korean friends over the years (i.e., hello, 1, 2, 3,..., delicious, so-so, it doesn't matter, thank you, see you, I love you, etc).

Maybe, it was just a figment of my imagination, but yesterday one of the Chinese owners was slightly distant, not as cheerful as usual. Though, later I realized that she put two extra oranges in my plastic bag for free. Then, I thought of the ongoing dispute over the islands among countries.

Today I was reading two articles by Gavan McCormack who presents background information about the territorial disputes (The first article is translated into 中文, 한국어, and 日本語): "Small Islands – Big Problem: Senkaku/Diaoyu and the Weight of History and Geography in China-Japan Relations".

Right to water

Nice documentary film recommended. Watch below:

As a citizen, it is time to ask oneself if it is worth or simply feasible to fight against international corporates and local industries for the human right to good-quality, drinkable, and affordable water.

...and of course, the excellent film of Annie Leonard and her team:
"Story of stuff: Story of bottled water"

Also, you may be interested in:
"Challenge corporate control over water: think outside the bottle!"

...and this: "Public water works!"

...and this:


最近、すぐれたドキュメンタリー映画を立て続けに見ました。その一つが“Bottled Life”です。配給会社が後でいい日本語タイトルをつけるでしょうが。無理やり日本語にすると、「ペットボトルに入れられた命、生活、暮らし」とでもいいましょうか。

ペリエ、サンペレグリノ、ヴィッテルなど、70品目以上のミネラルウォーターを幅広く手がける世界最大の食品メーカ・ネスレ(Nestlé)をめぐるドキュメンタリーです。スイス人ジャーナリストRes Gehrigerが、本社、アメリカ・メイン州、パキスタン、ナイジェリアなどを取材し、ボトルウォーター・ビジネスの戦略・実態にメスを入れてます。自国スイスに本部をおく巨大多国籍企業のひずみを、スイス人が告発し複数の映画賞を受賞した労作です。



Solar Windmill Boat3.11以来、どこの国でも政府の助成なしには、不安定な原子力産業をささえるのは、いよいよむずかしくなってきている。

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012は、原発の建設費は推定費をはるかに上まわり、建設工事も大幅に遅延する傾向にあると報告している。

ちなみに、フィンランドのオルキルオト原子力発電所三号機の建設は5年遅れで、必要費は100〜120%予算超過(60〜66億ユーロ)。フランスでは、2007年にフラマンヴィル原子力発電所三号機の建設開始、2012年に商業運転開始の予定が、竣工は2016年に延期となり超過額はすでに60億ユーロにのぼっている(World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012、34ページ)。莫大な予算超過分は、当然、国民にはねかえってくる。





Modeling human well-being and societal progress

For those who already read our article "Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life" in Social Indicators Research and have become interested in modeling, you may want to watch Tony Buzan's video on Mind Mapping. It may give you an idea of modeling as I think that modeling and his mapping are closely connected.

And, the book Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist (Second Edition - link to Morgan-Kaufmann Publishers) by Allemang and Hendler is very nice, very progressive and pedagogic to learn about modeling.

Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life

Our paper (with the title above) has been published and is available as "Online First" on SpringerLink now:

When we started creating our eLab in 2006-2007, it was probably one of the earliest ones. Now there are many eLabs, especially nice ones in the UK and other universities. Though, I understand that many researchers focus on eScience, while we are more interested in eSocial Science and measuring societal progress.

We have written the earlier versions of this paper for the last three years. And, as the time has passed, we have learned new stuff, and tried to make the paper shorter and less technical. Therefore, quite frankly, the paper is getting outdated as technology advances so quickly. Though, our article provides a general introduction to eSocial Science.

A good news is that we've got a new idea. Although we cannot go into details at this time, what we wish is we make it accessible and useful for as many people as possible.

We hope to update you about progress on this site (by the end of this year, if possible). Also, we will see you at future conferences and meetings! At the moment, we are interested in the 9th IEEE International Conference on e-Science in Beijin, China in 2013:

あじさい革命雑考 ╾╾ おまわりさん。デモの目的を、わかってらっしゃらない?!

Hydrangea Revolution (Ajisai Kakumei in Japanese) in Japanフランスに住んでいると、デモは日常茶飯事のように見かける。群衆の巨大パーティー、ハレの場という雰囲気が常にあるけど、時には耳をつんざかんばかりのシュプレヒコールが鳴り響き、発煙筒の黄色い煙りが目にしみて、その大混雑から早く立ち去りたくなる場合もある。ヨーロッパには、劣悪な労働条件で働いていた人たちが、デモをして今の社会保障を勝ち取った記憶がまだ生きている。大人も高校生たちも、デモの重要性をよく知っている。



Hydrangea Revolution (Ajisai Kakumei in Japanese)

Anti-nuclear protests are flourishing in Japan like hydrangeas that are in bloom everywhere now. A recent wave of protests is now called Ajisai Kakumei, or Hydrangea Revolution. I do not know who has started to call it, but it is nice as it reflects Japan's ikebana culture. More importantly, I believe that ajisai symbolizes tenacity, and the protesters are as hardy and prolific as ajisai flowers.

Reportedly, 200,000 people gathered outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo on June 29, protesting against the restart of a nuclear power plant. It was one of the largest public protests since 1960s. Also, many more people protested in other big cities.

For example:

See 1) the video: people are shouting "Saikadou Hantai, or No Restart (the reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture)" and "Noda Koso Yamero, or Noda Quit (It is Noda who have to quit)."

Enfin, c'est pas trop tôt! (as French people say).

Finally, same-sex marriage (in French, "le mariage homosexuel") to be legalized in France.

This is good news for my gay friends and also a good progress for a democratic country with the motto of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" (Liberty, equality, fraternity or brotherhood/sisterhood).

According to France Info (radio) this morning, the new Socialist government will propose a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.  If the French government will pass the law in 2013, same-sex married couples will receive the same rights and benefits as other married couples.

Thus, by 2013 France will join the eleven countries that legally allow same-sex couples to marry: the Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2008), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010), and Denmark (2012).

Actually, my hero Coluche, very popular French comedian and the founder of "Les Restos du Coeur" (Restaurants du Coeur - Restaurants of the Heart), who also protested against racism, already supported marriage equality in 1985.  Watch the video!

Excursion to Paris and the German Connection (!?)

Galerie VivienneThe photo (bottom) is the view from the copy machine room of the Maison de la culture du Japon in Paris. (Also, the Galerie Vivienne and roses in the Jardin du Palais Royal).

It was a regular trip to Paris with my husband to fill up with energy. One of my energy sources comes from Book Off, used Japanese bookstore. One of the books I bought this time is written by Setsuko Ono. The book title (in Japanese) is A Woman Flying Alone in the World: Twenty-Eight Years of Experience at the World Bank (Tokyo: Kodansha, 2005). The author's brother-in-law was John Lennon, and her older sister is Yoko Ono. Dr. Ono worked for the World Bank as a senior adviser. Her book seems to confirm my impression that some existing international organizations may suffer partly because some powerful people in development are very keen to promote their own self-interests (rather than to devote much of their energies to fighting global poverty).

Watching the BBC World news at the hotel lobby, I thought of the plight of the people in Syria as well as of Marwan, my old Syrian friend, medical doctor, and businessman, whom I lost contact with.

That night (last Wednesday) we went to watch the movie The Avengers. I wondered if it was one of the movies whose release dates were postponed because of the Fukushima event.

Coming back from Paris, I was checking emails. Lately many of my email correspondents are German people as I find much important work on nuclear and environmental issues has been done by German experts. As you can imagine, nuclear matters are the subject to which I devote a great deal of my thought nowadays.

Our future energy policies

We the citizens of the world deserve the leaders with a visionary energy policy for the future like Mycle Schneider.  I hope that the people of the Japanese nuclear power village watch this video to understand the need of abolition of nuclear energy and the complete switch to renewable energy.

His article last year "Nuclear Fallout Comes With Aura of Arrogance":








母が批判するのは、首相がこの時期、めまぐるしく交代したことだろう。近衛、東条、小磯、鈴木。リアリストの母は結局、お偉方も父の楽観主義も信じていず、衣類そのほかを荷造りしてせっせと岡山へ疎開していた」 (89〜91ページ)。

「すでに盟邦ドイツは降伏しているのに、鈴木貫太郎首相は一億玉砕を唱えていた。その暗示はどれだけの人に効いたろう」 (94ページ)。









Herman: A cake of friendship that takes 10 days for preparation

Herman takes some fresh air after its journey

This is about Herman, a recipe given by Céline. It never occured to me that there is such a cake that requires ten days for preparation! What's even more amazing is there are people who happily take ten days to prepare such a cake!!

I thought that it is a sort of “intangible heritage of humanity.” Even if the UNESCO does not declare it, I would endorse my recommendation. It is a cake of friendship from Alsace, France. Is it called the cake of friendship because you need to think of Herman all the time, take care of it for ten days, and then share the Herman dough with your friends? Or maybe, as Herman stays in your kitchen for ten days, it certainly becomes your very good friend! Probably, the former explanation is the right one, as the latter implies that you eat a quarter of your friend in the end. Whatever interpretation can be given, Herman is special. Remember. A key to successful cake baking is respiration: Herman's steady breathing. Also, it needs to stay out of a fridge. I imagine that it is something similar to cheese making in a cave.

Ladies and Gentleman, here is Céline's recipe of THE Herman!

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