Friday, March 18, 2011

Tokyo is the Best City in the World


I've been following what's going on in Japan very closely. So far the most reliable source of info seems to be the BBC. This report puts a lot of what we're hearing about the radiation levels in perspective.

I also check NHK's English language service at least once a day. NHK is Japan's national broadcasting service, similar to the BBC or CBC. So you can depend on the government playing some role in controlling what they say. But my take on things is that the Japanese government is pretty pissed off at TEPCO. So while I take everything NHK says with a grain of iodized salt, I think they're fairly reliable, all things considered.

I am not watching channels like FOX News at all. I haven't been following any big American news services. Those guys always seem more interested in increasing their ad revenues than in actually reporting. The few times I've checked any of their reports, they're so full of high priced special effects and graphics that I can't place any value on the reports themselves.

As for the so-called "alternative news sources" many of those seem just as over-the-top and biased as the commercial news sources, and possibly even hungrier for attention. Plus their own information sources are usually extremely dubious.

The BBC report above says that the psychological effects of the radiation scare are far more significant than the actual radiation, which is still negligible unless you're very close to the damaged reactors. The scares about radiation are actually hampering efforts to help those who have really been affected by the tsunami and the earthquake. Relief teams from foreign countries are staying away from Japan out of misguided fears over radiation, which is a damned shame. Almost criminally so, if you ask me.

This is all very personal to me. Some of my closest friends live in Miyagi Prefecture where the devastation was the worst, and in Tokyo, where a lot of people seem to be going quietly insane. People who were less than two miles away from the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unaffected by radiation. In fact many people who were in those cities when the blasts happened showed no effects of radiation. And the levels at Fukushima are far lower than those, even in the worst case scenarios.

Now I hear people in California are stocking up on iodine tablets. This is simply insane. Unless, of course, they're worried about their state's own nuclear reactors and how earthquake prone California is. But I really don't think that's the case. It's just pure misguided panic.

Look. I am as anti-nuke as anyone could be. I was in a band that did a song called Drop The A-Bomb On Me twenty-mumble years ago. I think nuclear power is dangerous and it's a big mistake to depend on it. I hope the recent events in Japan add some fuel to the anti-nuclear power movement.

But I am also not worried that Tokyo is going to become a radioactive wasteland because of something 128 miles away. I'm more concerned for my ex-wife's family freezing up north without heating oil and angry that rescue teams from America are refusing to come help because their organizers fear they might get sued or some such nonsense.

And here's the inevitable plugs for my talks and stuff in Saskatoon:

Today, Friday, March 18:

11:30am-1pm -Talk on Sex, Sin and Zen/intro to meditation, THORV 159 - third correction - not the Arts Building at all, but Thorvaldson. Saskatoon

2:30pm - meditation at the Multi-Faith Centre at Rugby Chapel, the old church on the west side of St. Thomas More College on College Dr.

7:30pm - introduction to meditation at
Ken Sailor's house, 422 10th St E.

For more information please contact Jan or Ken at 665-3430 or
ken.sailor@gmail.com

111 comments:

john e mumbles said...

El Numero Uno!

Swami Osama Satchidananda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swami Osama Humongous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

sorry

what/who is TEPCO?


Drop the A-Bomb on Me
a 'song' in which the title is the whole song itself

not much of a song really

sorry

Tornadoes28 said...

American rescue teams are not staying away. Marines from Camp Pendalton are being sent to Japan to aid in relief.

http://goo.gl/oOOqk

My wife's family lives within 75 miles of the Fukushima nuke plant. So far my Father-in-Law says things are ok and he is not leaving.

Haven said...

With proper precautions Nuclear Power is generally very safe and one of the most viable solutions to growing worldwide energy needs. Safety and environmental concerns are at the fore of newer nuclear technology, along with smaller plant size for more containable technology.

I'm a major proponent of other green and reusable energy sources though.

That said, things obviously go wrong and it can be scary. I have friends stationed over there and they're doing just fine.

Joel Schooling said...

Japanese cartoon explaining the nuclear scare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sakN2hSVxA

Hehe, cute.

Anonymous said...

"I am also not worried that Tokyo is going to become a radioactive wasteland because of something 128 miles away".....

This is incredible stupid. How childish you are! No wonder that the rest of this blogs articles are complete nonsense too.

Sanchez said...

Hi Brad.. I think you are being rather irresponsible in what you are saying about the Japan quake aftermath. I goggled what you said about rescue teams from America refusing to go to Japan and help. Most of the quotes I found are coming from you and other Buddhists who are repeating it. I heard of a Brit team that got turned around because of a paperwork error but I think you are just wrong on this and it's really insulting to the folks who did go over there to help. There are hundreds of Americans and Brits and others in Japan helping them out with more coming everyday. 13 countries sent rescue teams. The American military is involved. So it doesn't make sense that you are angry with relief effort unless you know something we don't. Where are you getting your information?

Auntie said...

Thanks for the Beeb link - I have been trusting their news stories more than any of the other stuff people have been trying to scare me with, but then I used to work there, so I am biased

john e mumbles said...

"A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?" -Oscar Wilde

I'd say the same about the #1 slot.

Anonymous said...

post in which Brad criticizes people for not helping in Japan situation, yet doesnt make any effort of his own to help Japan situation

post in which Brad criticizes news media for all of their ads during coverage of Japan situation, while including his own plugs in his blog post about the Japan situation

Anonymous said...

Right.. noticed both.

Anonymous said...

"post in which Brad criticizes people for not helping in Japan situation, yet doesnt make any effort of his own to help Japan situation"

How do you know what Brad is or isn't doing?

"post in which Brad criticizes news media for all of their ads during coverage of Japan situation, while including his own plugs in his blog post about the Japan situation"

This blog is not news media - it's Brad's blog.

Anonymous said...

So the media shouldn't advertise but bloggers should?

john e mumbles said...

"You can never get enough of the things you don't need, because the things you don't need can never satisfy."
- Marvin J. Ashton

Like #1

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I had my car retired last spring.

Mumon said...

Brad,

This is all very personal to me. Some of my closest friends live in Miyagi Prefecture where the devastation was the worst, and in Tokyo, where a lot of people seem to be going quietly insane. People who were less than two miles away from the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unaffected by radiation.

I share your sentiments (largely) about Tokyo - though I can name a number of cities that are at least as good as Tokyo. Including Osaka.

But I share your sentiments - it's very personal to me.

As I have said, my father was in charge of the structural engineering (not the reactor design) of some of the Fukushima reactors.

And I'm an engineer too.

I would not be so familiar with Japan if not for him, and if not for Fukushima. All - ALL - my contacts with Japan arise in some form from his original engagements with Japan 45 years ago!

I am glad that my father is not alive to see this, frankly.

I hope your family is well and ignoring Ken Wilber's advice.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Brad,

I'm not sure what news you are watching, but it is pretty darn clear that the nuclear situation is on a knife-edge. Why would relief organisations send personnel into a potentially very dangerous place, just so they can become victims themselves.

Search and Rescue teams have been leaving because there is nobody left to Rescue from the rubble. They are not there to provide food aid etc.

Rorty said...

Why do Democrats want to reinstate the military draft?

Bizarro Seagal said...

We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.

Voton said...

Great post, and thanks for the NHK link. Have you noticed that the same people who are opposed to nuclear power are the same people who would scream, cry and bang their heads against the wall if they had to stop playing with their fucking Wiis for a half-hour because of rolling black-outs?

anon #108 said...

Dear Mr Bizarro Seagal,

Do you have agents in the UK? If so, I would like to audition for your roster of scripted on-air callers.

Thank you.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bizarro Seagal said...

Mr. 108,

We do not presently have agents in the UK. However, If you can read from a script do a passable American accent, you could be the first.

Sincerely, BS

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john e mumbles said...

"With me; it's just a genetic dissatisfaction with everything." -Woody Allen

We're number One!
We're number One!
Awww shit.

Voton said...

I'm just guessing here, but the only thing that's green around Mysterion's place is the crotch of his Hanes tighty-whities.

Mysterion said...

Voton:

What else are you WRONG about?

O.K. It's not quite the dead of winter in Norway here in California. And I am certain that there is MORE I could do with our little California 2Bd2Ba 1100 square foot Bungalow. We will insulate the floors this summer (so we can tear out the carpet and put in recycled oak hardwood floors.

anonymous anonymous said...

The government found radioactive materials in spinach and milk..

Piss up a rope mysterion.

Swami Osama Prana Das said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swami Osama Prana Das said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It might all be back to normal - in 15,000 years.

Lessons in Chernobyl By ELLEN BARRY
The abandoned Middle School No. 3 decays in Pripyat, Ukraine, part of the contaminated area surrounding Chernobyl.

The consequence of nuclear meltdown is a problem that does not exist on a human time frame.

Anonymous said...

At least the radio active spinach will be free of ecoli.

retired said...

Do you mean E. Coli?

john e mumbles said...

'You can always improve your situation. But you do so by facing it, not by running away." -Brad Warner

OK, I am beyond feeling bad about it, I accept that I am Number One (1). That's me, ME. And dammit, I'm a good person, people like me...

As I am running away, I realize I am running toward...myself (!)

Improved!!!

anonymous anonymous said...

"Now I hear people in California are stocking up on iodine tablets. This is simply insane."

Agreed. mysterion tried to blame this on Republicans. He is pitiful.

Anonymous said...

What people in other parts of the world might not realize is that Charlie Sheen is a pretty typical Californian, only with money.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion unbelievably wrote: "I did not blame anybody. I stated republicans were buying up the KI pills in a panic. I know this for a fact. Walgreen's is next to Trader Joe's on Lakeshore in Oakland. I was shopping at Trader Joe's and, on my way out, noticed an obese man weeping next to his Ford F-350 Crew Cab + Camper Urban Assault Vehicle. When I asked him why he was stressed, he said "No Iodine capsules."

"You're a republican, aren't you?" (I asked next)."

I think I will just leave this bit of compassion as is with no further comment. mysterion usually deletes his more paranoid fantasies so this is a real treat.

Bob Dole said...

What liberal hogwash. Myesterion brags about shopping at "Trader Joe's and Peets Coffee."

This is what is wrong with America.

Ben Wilker said...

Microgeny recapitulates ontogeny which recapitulates phylogeny which recapitulates cosmology.

Anonymous said...

MARCH 19, 2003
BUSH: 'American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger'...

MARCH 19, 2011
OBAMA: 'Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world'...

Republicans, Democrats.. No difference. Only the terminally delusional think there is.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...

"You're a republican, aren't you?"

Buddhism is the first developed science of meta-cognition (thinking about thinking).

As a group, conservatives tend to act on emotion (e.g. fear) rather than reason.

As a group, progressives tend to act on reason (e.g. consequences to the food chain) rather than fear.

Koan practice [a PDF], which nearly all Buddhist Sects encourage, is about developing reasoning. And Zazen provides an opportunity to think sans the interactions that ignite emotions (DUH!).

As you have already been informed, there are few graduate schools of psychology which do not explore some of the concepts developed and tested by the early Buddhists. I don't know if Pat Robertson's college or Jerry Fallwell's College, or Jimmy Swaggert's College even have graduate programs in psychology. Like LRH, they might just be more interested in washing the brain than developing it.

Buddha light is not Buddha lite.

CAPCHA = metaye

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion said: "it's the republican that should be pissed on."

Like I said.. Hoisted by his own words.

Anonymous said...

Whenever mysterion says something particularly offensive, he usually deletes it quick. He doesn't want anyone to see what he really thinks, that he's full of hate.

Luy Ham said...

The 3-Body Workout (sometimes called "Integral Kata") covers all the bases: physical, subtle, and causal. This routine can be scaled up or down, expanding or shortening any of its segments. The standard version (represented here) takes about 10 minutes, and can be used as an effective daily practice. We also teach an expanded version that takes about an hour. If you're pressed for time, and feel you just need to get in touch with your three bodies, the 10-Minute Module is an excellent way to go.

The 3-Body Workout begins with Ever-Present Suchness, or the is-ness of all things. The practice is grounded, first, by simply noticing That which never changes, in which all things arise (the causal), and invoking the free relationship of consciousness to all conditions. The workout then proceeds to exercise all three of your bodies—physical, subtle, and causal—in an integrated way. It ends witha meditation that prepares you to re-enter the world with presence and clarity.

http://integrallife.com/awaken/body/3-body-workout-0

Anonymous said...

The mysterion quotes above are only a small sample of the man's true feelings. Some people deserve to be pissed on. Some people should have their rights taken away. Some people should be executed. Do you think I'm exaggerating?

Ben Wilker said...

At the moment your desire ceases, and you stop seeking that object, ever-present awareness shines through as the true source of love and happiness. From this place you experience a love awareness that is not tied to, or bound to, or generated by a particular individual. What this individual instead offers, is a momentary rest; a momentary stopping of your grasping and clinging and self-contracting. When you rest in the presence of this relationship, you're actually resting in your unqualifiable self—the source of all love-bliss. In their presence, you've stopped seeking and simply love.

http://integrallife.com/the-feeling-of-eros

Ben Wilker said...

When I am not an object, I am God. When I seek an object, I cease to be God, and that catastrophe can never be corrected by more searching for more objects.

Rather, I can only rest as the Witness, which is already free of objects, free of time, free of suffering, and free of searching. When I am not an object, I am Spirit. When I rest as the free and formless Witness, I am with God right now, in this timeless and endless moment. I taste infinity and am drenched with fullness, precisely because I no longer seek, but simply rest as what I am.

Before Abraham was, I am. Before the Big Bang was, I am. After the universe dissolves, I am. In all things great and small, I am. And yet I can never be heard, felt, known, or seen; I AM is the ever-present Seer.

http://integrallife.com/awaken/spirit/always-already-brilliant-clarity-ever-present-awareness

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Wilber said...

Still others tried to reinterpret evolution itself so that it could be made to yield values similar to those championed by religions. This impulse provided the initial drive for the creation of "evolution of consciousness" theories such as those of Blavatsky, Henri Bergson, Ernst Cassirer, Jan Smuts, Erich Kahler, Jean Gebser, Erich Neumann, Aurobindo Ghose, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Julian Jaynes, and Ken Wilber. The question of the evolution of consciousness was by no means introduced by spiritually oriented writers, but has always been present in the mainstream of evolutionary biology.

Anonymous said...

Mysterion said: "Charlie Sheen is not your typical Californian.."

Wrong again Charles! He is typical and native born. Next you provide a list of typicals headed by Richard Nixon and Herbert Hoover? No dude, those guys aren't typical. You are typical. Charlie Sheen is typical. Half-smart blowhards who think their shit don't stink.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Usurper said...

Welcome, everyone, to the MYSTERION blog. It used to be Brad Warner's, but MYSTERION's comments by far dominate even the posts limply posted by Mr. Warner now.

And thanks to his numerous detractors, MYSTERION receives exactly what he wants so dearly: the rapt and continued attention of his readers.

The King is dead!
Long live the King!!

Anonymous said...

It's true, like Jundo, Mysterion understands that more people read this blog commentary than his own blog, so here he is.

Anonymous said...

Myserion: Funny, I think you are delusional too. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

It's true, like Jundo, Mysterion understands that more people read this blog commentary than his own blog, so here he is.

Bizarro Seagal said...

I want to go up to the closest white person and say: 'You can't understand this, it's a black thing' and then slap him, just for my mental health.

Anonymous said...

It's good that you are worried about your mental health Bizarro.

anon #108 said...

Anonymous said...

It's true, like Jundo, Mysterion understands that more people read this blog commentary than his own blog, so here he is.

Where? Where, I mean, is Jundo?

Jundo hasn't posted on this blog for some time. (I don't believe for a moment that the anonymous "Jundo said..." treeleaf re-posts and excerpts are posted by Mr Jundo Cohen. Do you?)

Tippy Cal (typical) said...

what/who is typical?

how?

Yunmen Wenyan said...

Kwatz!

Mysterion's Posterior said...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

3 Billy Goats Gruff said...

Please don't feed the trolls.
Especially not the pustulant ones.

Moon Face Buddha said...

http://www.rawilson.com/csicon.html

"No normalist has yet produced even a totally normal dog, an average cat, or even an ordinary chickadee. Attempts to find an average Bird of Paradise, an ordinary haiku or even a normal cardiologist have floundered pathetically. The normal, the average, the ordinary, even the typical, exist only in statistics, i.e. the human mathematical mindscape. They never appear in external space-time, which consists only and always of nonnormal events in nonnormal series."

Anonymous said...

mysterion is an atypical bigot. An odd confluence of repulsive personality traits in one weird package.

Anonymous said...

Dad?

Anonymous said...

National Geographic Magazine tells us that the average person on planet Earth is actually a 28-year-old Han Chinese male named Wu.

Wu Who said...

you don't say

Anonymous said...

Dad?

Gerald said...

"Jundo hasn't posted on this blog for some time."

Jundo has done his share of trolling so I would be surprised if he didn't post here more often than we realize.

john e mumbles said...

achtzig!

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

M, Go back to sleep. You're only dreaming.

Anonymous said...

And calling me a republican.. Ha!

You'd be lost without your labels.

Anonymous said...

I won't add my ignorance to the debate about what is going on specifically with the reactors in Japan, but some of the information contained in Brad's link raises questions about the BBC being 'the most reliable source of info'.

The article states that 'It has been estimated that 17 million were exposed to significant radiation after Chernobyl and nearly 2,000 people have since developed thyroid cancer having consumed contaminated food and milk as children', with an addendum that 'A new UN report [see below for context for the veracity of this report] on the effects of Chernobyl has been released, which concludes that contaminated milk "led to a substantial fraction of the more than 6,000 thyroid cancers observed to date among people who were children or adolescents at the time of the accident (by 2005, 15 cases had proved fatal)". It adds: "To date, there has been no persuasive evidence of any other health effect in the general population that can be attributed to radiation exposure."'

Really? From an article by Alexander Cockburn:

'The benchmark catastrophe amid peacetime nuclear disasters remains the explosion in the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station on April 26, 1986, in the Ukraine. Denial that Chernobyl actually killed and is killing hundreds of thousands of people is crucial to the efforts of the nuclear lobby. Earlier this week Fergus Walsh, the BBC’s medical correspondent, comforted his audience with the amazing nonsense that by 2006 , Chernobyl had prompted only sixty deaths from cancer! I’ve read the same drivel many times over the last few days. They get their buttress from a shameful report overseen by the UN’s nuclear lobby, published in 2005-6.

In 2009 the New York Academy of Sciences published Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, a 327-page volume by three scientists, Alexey Yablokov and Vassily and Alexey Nesterenko, the definitive study to date, a lot of of it citations from scientific papers with detailed health statistics.

In the summary of his chapter “Mortality After the Chernobyl Catastrophe,” Yablokov says flatly, “A detailed study reveals that 3.8–4.0% of all deaths in the contaminated territories of Ukraine and Russia from 1990 to 2004 were caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe.… Since 1990, mortality among the clean-up teams has exceeded the mortality rate in corresponding population groups. From 112,000 to 125,000 liquidators [ ie members of clean up crews] died before 2005—that is, some 15% of the 830,000 members of the Chernobyl cleanup teams. The calculations suggest that the Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout.”'

When the Saints Go Marching In said...

When the Saints Go Marching In: Modern Day Zen Hagiography
by Stuart Lachs

http://mandala.hr/samsara/Stuart_Lachs.When_the_Saints_Go_Marching_In.pdf

Abrahamic Lincoln said...

Leave me out of this.

Krysten B said...

Great BBC Article. Very well written. Thank you for sharing.
...I am trying to explain this to as many people as I know (misguided panic, american media...)FYI I plagiarized a sentence from you for my facebook status.

Calvin the Worm said...

unfair discrimination, based mainly on irrational fears

Silly Abe said...

Lincoln was so GAY.

Anonymous said...

Japan had a tsunami and Brad has mysterion. I feel bad for Brad.

Green Dragon said...

Calvin The Worm,
What do you call 1,000 unemployed evangelical pastors?

A good start.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fish said...

This is a really good infographic that gives quantifiable dosages/effects of nuclear radiation.
http://xkcd.com/radiation/

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be funny if all the people who came here to enjoy Brad's blog just started drifting away.. except of course for mysterion and a few hardcore trolls. Sometimes a troll will say something really interesting.

john e mumbles said...

A random search turned up this inspirational quote, listing it as number one:

1. Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. - Helen Keller

What a card! You're El Numero Uno in my book, Helen.

Grimm's said...

An Anonymous troll said...
"Sometimes a troll will say something really interesting."

Really? when?

hippiechic said...

What happened over in Japan is such an enormous tragedy and my heart goes out to those affected by it. Hopefully, things will start to get better and repairs can begin.

Anonymous said...

mysterion is like a republican in many ways. He believes in quantity over quality when shoveling in the comments.

99 said...

arizona

us

Bizarro Seagal said...

I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet.

Moichido Gaddafi said...

Anonymous @ 1:37 PM said...

"Wouldn't it be funny if all the people who came here to enjoy Brad's blog just started drifting away.. except of course for mysterion and a few hardcore trolls."

Wouldn't it be even funnier if that has already happened and nobody has noticed?

Also, why did you mention Mysterion separately from the "hardcore trolls" as if he is not one of them? Did you mean "Mysterion and a few OTHER hardcore trolls"?

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Soft Troll said...

Real men believe in neither, and at that time shirk aphorisms.

K'ung Fu-tzu said...

Empty barrel makes loudest noise.

Mr. Bronson said...

Real men don't give a damn about anyone else's definition of "real men".

No Sale said...

Liz died. She started out before Godzilla.

Anonymous said...

the mysterion virus.