Forth!

CRW_2326.jpgI just saw a swallow flying over the US military fields outside my office windows. Finally the weather is getting back on its tracks, and moved of the chilly winter of +8 degrees yesterday to optimistic spring-like + 12 this morning, and should be safely over 20 by tomorrow. So, maybe I can finally pack away the last wool clothes and hats I’ve been using still this week (quite embarrasing for a Finn, wearing a wool shirt and a hat in +10 degrees when the folks back home are rejoicing in t-shirts in the same temperatures… )
The change in weather seemed to take away my period of uselessness, and in a sudden bout of inspiration, I skipped the gym (again!) and instead wrote the first draft for the Society for Neuroscience meeting abstract. It came out short, flashy, bold and sexy (imho), and even though it’ll definetly bounce back from the boss, I’m so content with myself that I probably won’t be able to accomplish anything more this week., even though I most definetly need to do something about the upcoming visit to MIT, as well as decide whether or not I want to take a side trip to Yale while on the east coast. (Also, I just got the news that at the aforementioned Soc. Neurosci meeting, the inaugural lecture is going to be given by none else than Dalai Lama! eek!)

In local news, the tension between Japan and China is getting worse and worse. No one should have any doubts about where the crowds are controlled; if the PRC government would care at all about ending the riots, they’d have done so long ago. Nicely timed for Japan’s appeal for a permanent seat in the UN’s Security Council, the disputed stretches of sea between Japan and China and Korea (I guess there’s no politically-biased name for it) have again surfaced and I’m just waiting for the next round of the Kurilian island game.
The magnitude of this national denial is enormous – for a country that claims and believes to be modern, democratic, civilized… in a word, one of the good guys. Of course, China’s recent history is not so innocent either, and nobody (to my knowledge) is burning Chinese products on the streets because of whitewashed Chinese schoolbooks – and, because of this, I suspect that the Japanese Foreign Minister’s proposition to launch a joint study project with the Chinese to find out What Really Happened might not be realised ever.
Anyhow, for the very personal reason of having China and North Korea very close, specifically, close enough for missiles to reach me even though the only launching devices available were manpower, I’m slowly starting to feel a bit nervous.

Again, I planned to write an insightful essay on the subject of free scientific publication, after realising that there is at least one group of journals (PLoS Biology and pals) that indeed do publish the articles under Creative Commons licence and also had spent some time getting acquainted with some online ‘communities’ who do their own peer reviewing – such as the Faculty of 1000. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch; publishing in PLoS Biology costs something like $1500 per article to the *authors*, and access to Faculty of 1000 has a yearly membership fee that is at least foo high for me to pay personally.
But, as you see, I managed to fill up most of the space next to the veery aartistic photo on the left already; and, even though I really think the subject should be discussed, it again is left for the others to carry.

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3 thoughts on “Forth!

  1. Just when I was asking you is there anything intresting happening in politics or economy. So I chose Japanese media reactions to the riots in China as the East Asia media reading course paper’s subject. What Japanese online papers (in English) are you following?

  2. Suvi: mainly Japan Today (http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=home), sometimes also Japan Times Online (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news.htm). Japan Times Online boasts with “All the news without fear or favor”, but actually (interestingly!) Japan Times is always late with it’s content as well as weirdly selective – for instance, today’s news have nothing about the riots in China, while Japan Today has 3 articles on the issue! One of the most entertaining features of Japan Today is its commenting board – each hot news snip is followed by lively discussion. Japan Times has a big section on cultural and language-related issues as well as good columns.
    Harri: … eh, I guess my life is just so boring and empty that I need to fill it up by inventing entries into it:) No, seriously, what keeps me writing is the knowledge that friends are reading it. I guess it makes me feel less distant, like I am part of their lives if my words are part of their morning blogstroll:)

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