18 March 2011

Rainy London morning

It's raining in London today. I walked to the Starbucks in Bloomsbury, which was packed and decided to come down to Russell Square instead, where it is much less busy and I was able to get a table with an outlet for my (now three year old) EEEPC. I forget about this little computer from time-to-time and don't use it, which is really a shame because it does everything I could ask for and is super light. Especially when there is an Internet connection, it is perfect for me and sates my desire for an iPad. This is fine for now.

I was going to post some complaining about sensationalist reporting on the 'crisis' in Japan, regarding the nuclear power plants. There is a crisis in Japan, but it has to do with the ocean swallowing up 15,000 people, not a troubling, difficult to solve, but ultimately very unlikely to cause widespread damage, problem at the nuclear power plant. The news I read in the Tube magazine this morning was maddening, a headline like 'Messages from the edge of hell' or something, referring to the people working at the power plant. No, hell right now is the shelters with minimal food and water, and elderly people without meds. That's hell. I got worked up about it, but I don't know why: it does no good. Nuclear power is a political issue and much more frightening than the earthquake for some reason, so it leads the story.

For what it's worth, this whole thing has made me much more eager to see nuclear power more widespread with improvements on safety in new reactors. But that's just me. How many people died mining coal last year? What is the cumulative environmental effect of burning coal for electricity? We need some honest cost-benefit analysis here: no source of energy is perfect.

Reminds me a bit of the birth control decision making process...

Fatblueman (who is oddly neither fat nor blue) mentioned the need for us to think about a campaign to make affluence history. I think that's spot on. We need to use less, have less, consume less, and be happier. This would help a lot, I think. I think we're getting there, though, at least in America: the baby boomers tend to want more and bigger and better, but I see less of that in Generation X and my generation (what are we called again?). Hopefully we can get there.

Yoko and I had a talk last night about how most of the people who died and will die were likely older people, 50s+. It's the nature of rural Japan: the young people have left for the bigger cities. This doesn't make the tragedy any less tragic, but it's a strange thing to read about an 85 year-old person dying in a collapsed building. They were right at the end of their life before the earthquake. Does it make it any less tragic? Yoko thinks the elderly people might be more willing to give food to the younger people. Strange, complicated business tragedy is.

And I have to go to work to teach my Pedagogic Grammar class. I am feeling lethargic today and yesterday, partially because I am trying to level my weight off which brings with it a set of frustrations. First, you eat only a little bit more, but you stop losing weight, so you have less of a feeling of accomplishment and you still feel like you aren't eating a whole lot. This will taper off in time, and I am not not foreseeing any conditions that might contribute to an upswing in my weight for the next three months at least. Having gone through three upswings in the last six months based entirely on my lack of careful eating, I am tired of it and more likely, I think, to avoid eating a lot in the short term as I don't want to keep doing this. A healthy lifestyle is the goal. Next step is, in about two or three weeks, provided I stay level, is to stop counting calories and try to do this naturally. Not sure that will work, but I need to get to that point eventually. For now, I suppose I will just have to feel crappy as I try to sustain myself.