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  • Sep 092014

    This is a remix. Both in response to fanboy drool, haters hating, and what amounts to proxy marketing by largely co-opted and copped-out mainline jurnalizm. Contextually and temporally relevant versions have been published here twice before. The why is as follows:

    By any objective assessment, the buildup to the iPhone 6, iOS 8, and maybe an iWatchy-whatever announcement has successfully buried all of 2014′s most exciting technology stories. Barring like, a fusion energy breakthrough or aliens or some shit, it’s pretty much forgone that this will last through the end of the year. Continue reading »

    Jul 122014



    The Lovechild of Blade Runner and Inception
    We’ve all marveled (some drool) at the incredible cityscapes of the world’s largest city, our home: Tokyo.

    The contiguous urbanization, beginning at Tokyo Bay, crawls westward and disappears beneath the sky, farther than we can see – not only by distance, but also due to the basic curvature of the earth. It’s just that vast. Continue reading »

    Jul 122014



    Hoeing an Increasingly Tough Row
    Japanese farmers do not have it very easy. Naturally, it’s a lot of really hard work, much of which, even in 2014, is hardcore manual labor; the bulk of Japanese farming remains only partially mechanized (if at all). Hours are long. Profit margins are slim. With the possible exception of personal pride, the upsides are minimal, and effectively nothing looks to be getting better.

    Here in Japan, as is the case in the United States, for example, although farming and ranching are generally considered honorable professions, understandably, almost nobody wants to do them. Moreover, the fact of the matter is that Japanese agriculture is massively propped up by government support and aggressively protective trade policies, i.e., in an open market, Japanese farmers, already an extreme minority, would vanish.

    Oh, and another thing:
    According to the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (PDF – Japanese/日本語), approximately 60% of those actively farming here in Japan are over 65 years old, and only 10% are under 50. Push out 30 years, and even with continued subsidies and such, farmers are going to literally vanish. Continue reading »

    Mar 092014


    • • •

    To celebrate the reboot of Carl Sagan’s seminal ‘Cosmos,’ we now present a repost from May 8, 2012. This classic is one of the most popular posts of all time – and I’m allowed to call it a classic because I’m the only only one with admin access around here. It’s also one of the few Anthrobotic posts to include a ham-handed, homemade infographic.

    The question then at hand has finally been answered, and so congratulations to Dr. Tyson. Learn more about the new show, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, by clicking on those words that were right before these words right here.

    -The Janitor

    • • •

    A Showdown to Fill Big Shoes
    In 1996, after he gave so much of his life to us, we lost one of the most excellent humans who ever lived - Dr. Carl Sagan. Without him, the Western world has longed for a go-to science ambassador and suffered the lack of a charismatic, broadly appealing leader, communicator, and popularizer.

    Try as they might, with commendable and hopefully continuing effort, Stephen HawkingRay KurzweilBrian Greene, and Bill Nye just don’t have the juice to truly inspire those who aren’t, well, fairly dorky to begin with.

    But Now, Contenders Have Emerged!
    Among many accomplished and respectable practitioners and promoters of science and scientific thought, the field has narrowed, and it is now clear that there are but two: Continue reading »