Japan

The Fukushima Fearmongers

What unites the left and right: a radioactive plume headed for the West Coast

Welcome to the first major nuclear disaster of the Internet age. 

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Western newspapers have come up with some creative explanations for Japan’s dropping birth rate, many of which revolve around the (unsubstantiated) idea that Japanese people don’t like sex.

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If anything good can come from the absolutely awful attacks on Muslims in Burma, it would be the realization among certain Westerners that Buddhism is not some special "peaceful" faith different from "Western" religions.

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When Japan’s new prime minister Shinzo Abe unveiled his economic program last December, it was greeted with skepticism. How could Japan, which had record levels of government debt, hope to improve its economic performance by incurring still higher levels of debt through an ambitious spending program? But so far, Abe’s “three arrows” of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, and structural reform seems to be hitting their target. In the first quarter of this year, Japan’s economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent. That’s compared to 1.8 percent in the United States.

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Toyo Ito's Pritzker Prize

An architect with a sense of the body

Architecture, by definition, lives a world of big money. Buying land. Commissioning, then giving rein to, while reining in the designer. Doling out fees for structural engineers, HVAC technicians, lighting consultants, work permits. Excavating. Selecting, procuring, shipping various building materials to the site. Paying construction workers, site overseers, project managers. It takes a lot of cash.

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It is tempting, in view of Barack Obama’s re-election, to look back on his first term as a rousing success, but it was not. Obama got his initial stimulus and his healthcare bill, but he made political errors in the first two years that helped Republicans retake the House and a majority of governorships in a crucial redistricting year. And in 2011, he made back-room concessions on the budget that seriously imperiled the economic recovery. So I still don’t share Jon Chait’s halcyon view of the Obama presidency.  But Obama learned from the difficulties of his first term.

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The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War By Halik Kochanski (Harvard University Press, 734 pp., $35) The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery By Witold Pilecki translated by Jarek Garliński (Aquila Polonica, 460 pp., $34.95)   ONCE, THE Allied history of the Second World War—the Anglo-American history of the Second World War, the Victors’ history of the Second World War—was the only one we thought mattered.

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IN MITT ROMNEY’S 2010 campaign book, No Apology: The Case for National Greatness, the former Massachusetts governor cites twelve countries that the United States has invaded for the “cause of freedom.” Readers expecting to learn about World War II or the downfall of Slobodan Milošević might be surprised by Romney’s list.

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TED Talks are more popular than ever. They're also more vapid, bland, and fraudulent.

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