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Month: March 2013

Wrong Way Round – Day 19

Wrong Way Round – Day 19

Nayoro – Esashi (名寄市 – 枝幸町) – 106km On an island of lengthily unpronounceable place names, this was the lengthiest and most unpronounceable I came across. A little further up the road in the only marginally shorter and more pronounceable Otoineppu, I went for lunch at a busy soba restaurant, where the same young man was taking the orders, cooking the food, serving it to customers, doing the washing up and working the till. ‘What do you recommend?’ I asked…

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A tribute to Steve Jobs

A tribute to Steve Jobs

Back in the late nineties, I was lucky enough to get hold of that most prized of possessions, a Hotmail address with my christian name first, my surname second, and no dots, dashes, numbers or anything else extraneous in between. Purely for illustrative purposes, let’s pretend that my real name is Billy Nugget, and that the address in question was billynugget@hotmail.com Even then, there were already scores of other Billy Nuggets using Hotmail, but I just happened to sign up…

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Earthquake / 地震

Earthquake / 地震

I awoke on the morning of Friday 11th to the sound of my mobile phone, which is often silent for days at a time, but which on this occasion was – so to speak – practically ringing off the hook. Assuming it was junk texts or people asking if I could do a day’s work (by that point I had already completed my final day as a sound recordist, so was in no hurry to pick up), I had a…

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Heroes and miracles

Heroes and miracles

One of the most famous videos of last year’s tsunami was shot in Rikuzentakata City, Miyagi Prefecture, and makes for pretty terrifying viewing. If you fast-forward to four minutes in, however, you will notice a small group of people trying to outrun the approaching wave of debris and muddy seawater. Setting aside what was going on in the background for a moment or two, you may be surprised…no, forget that: you will be astonished to learn that all of those…

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