Apr 1, 2004

Thursday scrapbook

Asian Open-source Dept. - Japan, China, and South Korea expect to sign an agreement this weekend for the joint development of a Linux-based OS to compete with Microsoft Windows. Reasons cited are increased competitiveness of IT industries and protection of networks against "viruses and other factors."

Big Brother May I? Dept. - A California representative said Tuesday that, in exchange for Japan providing Self Defense Forces (and an appearance of international support) in Iraq, the Bush administration "allowed Japan to invest in a major oil field project in Iran." Now that was mighty big of Mr. Bush.

Homeland Security Dept. - Following accusations of racism and spreading anti-foreigner sentiment, the Ministry of Justice's Immigration Bureau was forced to revise their website for reporting visa-less foreigners. Originally, those filing reports were given mulitple choice options such as "foreigners make me anxious" and "foreigners are a nuisance to the neighborhood." These options have been removed and now the response is free-form.
Also - More bureaucracy to cut through police red tape?

Jail/Bird Dept. - Kyoto chicken farm executive arrested for allegedly selling live birds and eggs for a week after thousands of chickens had died at his farm.

New Math Dept. - A nationwide tax-inclusive price display law went into effect today, requiring retailers to display all prices with sales tax included. What started as a hamburger buying tip has become a hassle for retailers. And kiss goodbye to that psychological benefit of paying only 99 yen. This because Japanese accounting methods round all fractions down.

Refusal To Study Dept. - "Karaoke boxes smoky dens of juvenile delinquency." So what's new? Turns out the real culprit here may be those cigarette vending machines someone left sitting around - everywhere.

What Goes Around Dept. - Building owners throughout Japan are suspending revolving door use following last friday's accident. Meanwhile, questions are being raised as to why these doors caught on in the first place. "'Everyone who has watched Hollywood movies from the 1950s or 1960s is familiar with [revolving doors] and feels excited to see them,' an architectural expert said."


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