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Showing posts from June, 2016

How to Fire in a Gas Kiln...

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Pretty educational video this, how to do it properly in your own handmade kiln, with Stedmark #100 burners. Love his accent. "Trying not to panic...."





And here you see his results:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmGMR95FRtE

Japan's Green Party

Writer Winifred Bird has done us all a favour and interviewed the good people over at Japan's Green Party, which was formed in 2012. Read it over at Nippon.com.

Despite this heightened awareness of issues core to the Greens’ platform, the party has yet to see a matching leap in support for it, Ishizaki says. “In the longer term, though, our party plays an important role by simply existing. We’ve got members in place here and there around the country as members of municipal assemblies, representing citizen interests. Each of them is fighting single-handedly to protect values like human rights, pacifism, and the environment. For people like these, the Greens can be a vessel for their hope that one day someone representing their views will join the National Diet. All we can do is hold on to our vision and goals, strengthen our network, and do the steady work to expand our organization.”

UK Votes Out Of The EU

I'm really sorry and worried that the UK has voted to leave the EU. Most of voters in cities voted for the remain, but countryside voters were against. It shows a sense of bias that the EU has only benefited rich people in large cities.

Indeed, I can agree that farmers are usually left out of the Brussels quagmire debates. And so many others, like here in Japan, are old people living in the rural towns that do not feel much benefit from Trade Liberalization and large shopping centers that offer all kinds of imported goods at low prices, mostly from China. But why does this translate to the right-wing vote?

I'm from the southernmost province of Sweden. We voted for joining the EU some 20 years ago. Sweden did join, but later opted out of the Euro. Since then, the EU has grown to include 28 countries. It may have been more manageable and more democratic back then. But why did the UK right-wing Cameron government embark on this stupid vote in the first place? Incredibly foolish. …

MOX Fuel at Ikata in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku

I was hoping this would not happen. Protesters are also outside the plant. They read out a statement protesting the insertion of nuclear fuel into the No.3 unit. The statement said the system for transmitting electricity to the plant cannot withstand a powerful earthquake and the plant's safety cannot be guaranteed. A stable power supply is needed to maintain the cooling of the reactor. One of the protesters said that in view of the powerful temblors that struck Kumamoto, the operator should not rush the process of inserting fuel into the reactor.

NHK World: Fuel loading begins at Ikata No.3 nuclear reactor

Workers have begun loading nuclear fuel into a reactor at the Ikata power plant in western Japan. The operator plans to restart the reactor in late July.

They started removing units of fuel rods from a pool on Friday, and placed them into the No.3 reactor one at a time. Sixteen of the 157 units of fuel rods are the type of fuel called MOX, which is a mixture of …

Fukushima Coverup: Nuclear Reactor Core Meltdown

Now it is rather official. Back in March 2011, as events unfolded, we were not told the truth. We saw the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear reactors live on TV. But we were not told the rest of the story:

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The head of Tokyo Electric Power Co. apologized Tuesday over his predecessor's instruction not to use the term "core meltdown" in describing the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in the early days of the crisis, calling the instruction a "coverup." "It is extremely regrettable. People are justified in thinking it a coverup," TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said at a press conference in Tokyo. The remarks came after a report published last Thursday said then President Masataka Shimizu instructed a vice president, who was taking part in a press conference on March 14, 2011, not to use "core meltdown" in describing the state of damaged reactors. The report suggested that efforts were made…

Post Peak Oil

When I started Kurashi some 10 years ago, the issue of peak oil quickly was brought to my attention by some great people that knew a lot about energy issues. The blog to follow back then was The Oil Drum and there were others. Since then, it is thought that peak oil did indeed happen around 2006-2008, so we are now in an era of uncharted territory, which some of us started to prepare for back then. I focus on consumption issues and what is called "Responsible Consumption" - meaning we should consume resources that are finite (like oil) as little as possible... Thus I have no car, try to buy locally produced food, and care about my electricity bill. I also make some of my own veggies, although that is just a small step in the right direction, I know.

Thanks Pandabonium for the link to Our Renewable Future, a book and website that is a great resource about this era. Nice to see that the debate has matured to this level (despite what you may see in the mainstreem press in some …

Bhutan 100% Organic

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Koa Tasaka, head of Consumers Union of Japan where I work, has a great affection for Bhutan, the small kingdom north of India. He is impressed by their agricultural practices: they have announced that the entire country will become 100% organic.

The Guardian: Political parties in the Himalayan kingdom unite to eradicate chemical fertilisers and pesticides as part of its Gross National Happiness programme

Agriculture and forests minister Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji and opposition leader Pema Gyamtsho, who held the post in the previous government, say there is a united commitment to rid the country of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
While no formal timeframe has been put in place, both politicians believe that the goal is within sight as long as practical natural solutions can be found to the pest and disease problems still affecting a few crops. In order to speed up the search for these answers, Bhutan recently brought together experts on organic agriculture from across the world.

Congratulations, C W Nicol

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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko listen to C.W. Nicol as they walk together in Afan Woodland in Shinano, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday. | POOL / KYODO
Emperor and Empress visit central Japan forest managed by British-born author C.W. Nicol Kyodo

Jun 6, 2016 SHINANO, NAGANO PREF. – Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Monday paid a visit to woodland restored by British-born writer and environmentalist C.W. Nicol in Nagano Prefecture.
The couple took a stroll in Afan Woodland in the town of Shinano, with the Emperor asking Nicol the names of various plants. As he walked through the forest, the Emperor said, “It feels good.”
The wooded area, which takes its name from a forest park in Wales, had been cut down and was neglected for more than 40 years until the 1980s. The 75-year-old author, who now has Japanese citizenship and has been a columnist for The Japan Times since 2002, has long been involved in efforts to restore its original ecosystem by taking care…