The Children’s Book That Caused Japan’s Raccoon Problem Today, raccoons are a nuisance animal in Japan, rummaging through trash, stealing goods from vendors, feasting on crops and even damaging ancient Japanese temples with their sharp claws and abundant poop. But their invasion started back in 1977, when the kids of Japan were going crazy for a cartoon raccoon named Rascal. He was cute and mischievous and the star of an anime series adaptation of a favorite children’s book, written by American author Sterling North. As Eric Grundhauser over at Atlas Obscura explains, the book, entitled Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era, was released to western audiences in 1963 and told the story of North’s adventures with his childhood pet raccoon.
The Simplest Explanation Of Global Warming Ever Earth energy budget diagram, with incoming and outgoing radiation (values are shown in W/m^2). Satellite instruments (CERES) measure the reflected solar, and emitted infrared radiation fluxes. The energy balance determines Earth's climate. Hysteresis: The Phenomenon Behind the Anti-vax Movement Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccines are a safe and effective tool for the prevention of childhood diseases, a significant minority of the U.S. population remains skeptical of the practice, as evidenced by the persistence of the anti-vax movement. This has sometimes made it a difficult task to achieve the desired level of coverage required for the protective effects of “herd immunity” to kick in. Now, researchers from Dartmouth College have investigated this phenomenon, uncovering a key factor in why it may be so hard to increase the numbers of people being vaccinated. In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Feng Fu, an assistant professor of mathematics, and colleagues showed that a phenomenon known as "hysteresis" may act as a roadblock for efforts to increase vaccination rates. Hysteresis can be seen in many physical systems, however, it can also be applied to human society.
How Animals Behave When We Aren’t Looking By Artist Julien Tabet Julien Tabet is a 21-year-old French artist who creates incredible photo manipulations of animals. He started creating his clever edits a little over a year ago and in this short time gathered a whopping 95k followers on Instagram. Although the artist does all of his work in Photoshop, he doesn’t believe software can be a passion. But he says imagining the improbable fascinates him: “I love to surprise people. I feel that I can offer something fresh to their lives and break them out of their boring routine, by offering a perspective.” Julien chose animals for his manipulations because he believes they are much more humble and innocent when compared to humans.
Kanji of the year, meaning 'disaster,' symbolizes 2018 amid natural and human calamities KYOTO – The kanji sai (災, disaster) was picked as the Chinese character best describing this year’s social mood in Japan, amid a string of natural and man-made calamities, a Kyoto-based kanji promotion organization announced Wednesday. Chief Buddhist priest Seihan Mori of the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto wrote the character 1.5 meters in length and 1.3 meters in width with a giant calligraphy brush on traditional washi paper at the temple’s annual year-end event, where the kanji of the year was revealed. The selection came after Japan was buffeted this year by torrential rains in the country’s west and an large earthquake in Hokkaido, heightening public awareness of the importance of disaster prevention measures.
The 1% Won't Owe Social Security Tax After April 2019 click 2x Without question, Social Security is this country's most important social program. It can rightly be called a financial rock for millions of elderly Americans, with the benefits provided accounting for more than half of all monthly income for 62% of retired workers and the program single-handedly keeping 15.3 million of those aged beneficiaries above the federal poverty line. But it's also a heavily criticized program for the way it collects revenue. Image source: Getty Images. Social Security's primary sources of funding, explained
The Root of All Cruelty? The philosopher David Livingstone Smith, commenting on this episode on social media, wondered whether its writer had read his book “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others” (St. Martin’s). It’s a thoughtful and exhaustive exploration of human cruelty, and the episode perfectly captures its core idea: that acts such as genocide happen when one fails to appreciate the humanity of others. One focus of Smith’s book is the attitudes of slave owners; the seventeenth-century missionary Morgan Godwyn observed that they believed the Negroes, “though in their Figure they carry some resemblances of Manhood, yet are indeed no Men” but, rather, “Creatures destitute of Souls, to be ranked among Brute Beasts, and treated accordingly.” Then there’s the Holocaust.
Japanese Aesthetics 1. Introduction Two preliminary observations about the Japanese cultural tradition to begin with. The first is that classical Japanese philosophy understands the basic reality as constant change, or (to use a Buddhist expression) impermanence. The world of flux that presents itself to our senses is the only reality: there is no conception of some stable “Platonic” realm above or behind it. The arts in Japan have traditionally reflected this fundamental impermanence—sometimes lamenting but more often celebrating it. Delayed, not saved: Foxconn's Wisconsin "factory" announcement is a bid to help Trump save face After announcing that, inevitably, it wasn't going to build an LCD factory in Wisconsin, and would instead use its $4.1 billion subsidy to build a modest R&D facility employing out-of-state skilled workers; Foxconn reversed itself and promised that the factory was back on. The factory is not back on. LCDs are pure commodities, among the lowest-margin components, and about to be made obsolete by OLEDs. There is zero business-case for building these outside of Asia-Pacific. It was a stunt, it was always a stunt, just like it was a stunt all the other times they did it. The reason for the announcement is that Donald Trump called them up and asked them to announce that the factory would be built.
Study: Religious fundamentalists and dogmatic individuals are more likely to believe fake news New research provides evidence that delusion-prone individuals, dogmatic individuals, and religious fundamentalists are more likely to believe fake news. The study, which appears in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, suggests that the inability to detect false information is related to a failure to be actively open-minded. The rise of online social media has led to growing concerns about the spread of unsubstantiated rumors, misleading political propaganda, and blatantly false articles designed to create viral web traffic.
Tricking and treating has a history Over the past few decades, Halloween celebrations have gained in popularity, not only with children and families, but with all those fascinated with the spooky and scary. As a scholar of myth and religion in popular culture, I look at Halloween with particular interest – especially the ways in which today’s Halloween tradition came to evolve. A pre-Christian tradition Many practices associated with Halloween have origins in the pre-Christian, or pagan, religion of the Celts, the original inhabitants of the British Isles, as well as parts of France and Spain. The Celts held a feast called Samhain – a celebration of the harvest, the end of summer and the turn of the year. Samhain was separated by six months from Beltane, an observance of the beginning of summer, which took place on May 1 and is now known as May Day.
Women protest judicial system after incestuous rapist walks free：The Asahi Shimbun Hundreds of women in Tokyo protested two recent court rulings in which the judges recognized that rapes had occurred but allowed the perpetrators to walk because the victims could have offered more resistance. At a rally called “Standing demonstration protesting sexual violence and sexual violence court rulings” near Tokyo Station on April 11, the demonstrators expressed disgust with the rulings and held signs that read “#MeToo,” “Yes Means Yes!” and “Give judges an education on human rights and sex!” “I am confounded and terrified by the not-guilty rulings,” said Minori Kitahara, a writer and activist. “I am afraid that victims of sexual abuse will not be able to raise their voices after such verdicts were given.” The rulings in March by the Nagoya District Court and the Fukuoka District Court both found the suspects not guilty of “quasi-forcible sexual intercourse.”
Medicaid work requirements: Where do they stand after the blue wave? The 2018 midterm elections have dealt a significant setback to President Trump’s agenda in the legislative arena. However, there are still many ways for the Trump administration to keep swinging away at the Affordable Care Act. One particularly effective unilateral instrument is the regulatory process – that is, the implementation of statutory law by executive agencies. This may prove particularly consequential for Medicaid, the health coverage program for those with low incomes or disabilities. One particular area of attention for scholars like me is so-called community engagement or work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries. These mandates generally require beneficiaries to conduct work-related activities or lose coverage.