9 03 2009


Japan: Agriculture the latest trend among celebrities

22 02 2009

Global Voices Online » Japan: Agriculture the latest trend among celebrities.

The Japanese economy, as confirmed by the head of the Bank of Japan’s research and statistics department Kazuo Monma (門間一夫), is facing one of the worse slowdowns in its modern history, with a GDP that has declined at a rate of 12,7%. Nonetheless, TV programs and lifestyle magazines are doing their best to inspire hope among their viewers and readers that not everything is lost.

Recently, in fact, a new trend has been spreading among Japanese V.I.P.: farm work. More of a few of these V.I.P. are celebrities who have decided to follow the example [jp] of pop-star Shiho Fujita (藤田志穂). Fujita announced the launch onto the market of rice produced by her company, with a view to redeeming the image of the gyaru [girls following a particular fashion style], who are often perceived in Japan as addicted to junk food.

おばあちゃんの畑, Granny’s vegetable garden. By nozawa.takeshi

The reaction of many bloggers about this “agriculture boom”, so heavily discussed on TV and in newspapers, has however been skeptical. In response to this trendy return to Mother Nature, in fact, some of them criticized what they see as people making light of farm labour.

Worth a look

8 02 2009

Some interesting blogs some or all of us may find helpful:

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference and Social Science

Dot Earth
of the NYT

Environmental Valuation and Cost-Benefit News

And especially:

Resilience Science

‘Grocery Pains’: the cognitive impact of impending catastrophe

12 01 2009

What do you think the social effects of reports like this are?

Do they inspire? If so, what–change, disillusion, anger, nihilism? Apropo a chat with JT and the Zizek vids below, when the scale of a projected crisis is this large, what’s the natural human response? Can we cognitively handle data like this in a productive way? If so–how?


27 12 2008

What happens when you get three UBC grad students to channel their otherwise disruptive workplace verbosity into one blog?

We don’t know. But that’s what we intend to find out.

If we’re still here, rambling away, in four months time, it can be hailed a major academic success.