Fukushima Holiday Village proposed to Tap Fascination with Disaster
Julian Ryall in Tokyo
Tuesday, 05 November, 2013
Promoter counts on interest in ‘dark tourism’ to attract visitors to a proposed holiday village next to site of Japan’s worst atomic accident
In the exclusion zone around Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, where most people see a contaminated wasteland that will be uninhabitable for generations, Hiroki Azuma sees opportunity.
Azuma, a philosopher and cultural critic, has gathered a team of eight experts in various fields and proposed a plan to create a new community on the edge of the exclusion zone that will become a centre for tourists wanting to visit the epicentre of the second-worst nuclear disaster in history.
Azuma believes that the Fukushima plant, destroyed in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, can become one of the world’s most popular “dark tourism” destinations.
“The basic idea for the project came about after seeing the transformation of the area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant into a tourist area,” Azuma said.
Visitors would be able to stay at hotels in the new community – given the tentative name of Fukushima Gate Village – which would also have restaurants, shops and a museum telling the story of the disaster and the impact it has had on the lives of local people.
There are also plans for the village to have research facilities dedicated to developing renewable energy resources.
One of the main attractions would be bus tours to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, where visitors dressed in full protection suits and wearing respirators would be able to witness for themselves the scale of the damage caused at the plant and the ongoing efforts of emergency teams to regain control of the reactors and decontaminate the surrounding areas.
“The project is still in the early proposal stages, so there are no definite plans for funding methods at the moment,” Azuma said.
“For similar reasons, no estimations have been made about the number of people that will be employed at the site, although we are aiming for the project to be roughly half-complete by 2020, and fully complete by 2036.” Akira Ide, a tourism scholar, is part of Azuma’s team and said that as many as 500,000 people could eventually visit the planned community.
Experts believe it may take as long as three decades for work to decommission the four reactors to be completed – although that is something of a guess, as no one has ever confronted multiple nuclear disasters on this scale.
Azuma is convinced there will be an appetite for the destination in the future. “I do not foresee any particularly large obstacles to the project and visitors will be protected from radiation from the plant because they will only be allowed to visit areas that have been deemed safe,” he said. “If people can get accurate knowledge, then they have no need to be afraid of radioactivity in the area,” he said.
RUSSELL BRAND on the Consciousness Awakening to the NWO agenda
Brand then poked fun at MSNBC’s army of “actors” in the back of the shot who were supposedly tweeting, noting that they were merely a gimmick to create the impression that the program was a hotbed of news.
The anchors began to get visibly uncomfortable when Brand made the point that mass media was an operation in changing information “so it suits a particular agenda” and that viewers were being manipulated.
Instead of addressing Brand’s point, the anchors instead obsessed about the comedian’s accent and his clothing.
“You’re talking about me as if I’m not here and as if I’m an extraterrestrial,” responded Brand, “thank you for your casual objectification.”
“I’m a little nervous,” retorted Brzezinski, presumably not used to entertaining guests on her program who act like real people.
When the conversation began to break down, Brand asked , “Is this what you all do for a living?” before hijacking the broadcast to talk about Edward Snowden, the NSA spying scandal and Bradley Manning.
“Look beyond the superficial, that’s the problem with current affairs, you forget about what’s important, you allow the agenda to be decided by superficial information — what am I saying — what am I talking about — don’t think about what I’m wearing, these things are redundant, superficial — don’t be distracted,” said Brand as Brzezinski physically cowered.
Brand, who is a close friend of David Icke and was the only celebrity of note to draw attention to the Bilderberg Group with a recent tweet, is known for broaching topics of conversation which firmly go against the establishment grain. He also follows Alex Jones on Twitter.
His Brand X show routinely features guests from the counter-culture as well as those with controversial political views.
Comedian Russell Brand terrified anchors on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program by lecturing them about how the media distracts from real news by obsessing about superficial distractions.
MasterCard is joining the FIDO Alliance, signaling that the payment network is getting interested in using fingerprints and other biometric data to identify people for online payments.
MasterCard will be the first major payment network to join FIDO. The Alliance is developing an open industry standard for biometric data such as fingerprints to be used for identification online. The goal is to replace clunky passwords and take friction out of logging on and purchasing using mobile devices.
It’s for your own good, and it’ll probably fight terrorism too!
The Exercise Pill On The Way
Medical News Today
Going to the gym is a great idea in theory. Once you get there, though, I think we can all agree that it almost always seems like a terrible idea. A terrible idea full of grunting and being sore where all of the things around you are covered in a fine sheen of other peoples’ sweat. Luckily, researchers may have made a breakthrough that could finally release humanity from the curse of going to the gym without dooming them to life as a grotesque shut-in — a pill that simulates some of the effects of physical exercise. In case there was any doubt, yes, we live in the future now.
If research from the Scripps Institute is any indication, “Do you even lift?” jokes could soon be a thing of the past. In a paper published today in the journla Nature, a team from the institute describes a compound that, in tests on lab mice, stimulated the production of a protein known as Rev-erb which is responsible for regulating the body’s internal clock. When they produced more Rev-erb, lab mice developed new mitochondria — the organelles that power cells — and strengthened their existing ones, basically entering Super Saiyan mode.
Mice treated with the drug were kicked into metaboloic hyperdrive, using more oxygen and burning more energy throughout the course of the day. The result was that even when kept on a high fat diet, mice creating more Rev-erb lost more weight and had improved cholesterol when compared to their untreated peers. According to a report in The New York Times, some of the treated mice got even lazier after the treatment and still continued to lose weight.
Though the research is still years away from being relevant to humans, researcher Thomas Burris is already being kind of a killjoy about the fact that we could one day have a pill that replaces going to the gym. Burris told reporters his team is more interested in developing compounds that can simulate the effects of exercise for people who can’t be physically active, rather than a fitness aid for those who just don’t want to. Clearly, that is needlessly discriminatory against millions of perfectly decent and utterly lazy people the world over. Speaking as one of them, we want a drug to replace physical activity, we want it now, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Just as long as we don’t have to resort to getting off of the couch.
UNICEF Machine Purifies Sweat into Water
UNICEF and Gothia Cup; the largest international youth football tournament, have partnered with creative agency Deportivo and engineer Andreas Hammar to create the Sweat Machine. The device has been designed to promote a campaign by the United Nation’s child-focused charity, highlighting that 780 million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water in many parts of the world.
Participants and visitors of the cup in Gothenburg, Sweden are invited to submit their sweat laden clothing. The device spins and heats the articles to remove the sweat (similar to a washing machine). The vapour then passes through a membrane that only allows water molecules through. The sweat is then transformed into clean, drinkable water which UNICEF claims;
“is cleaner than local tap water.”
The machine will be present for the duration of the tournament which runs from the 14th to the 20th of July. It will attract over 37,000 children from over seventy participating nations. Since its launch, over 1000 people have sampled other’s sweat.
A heart warming story that will bring a lump to your throat….
This proves all things are possible through imagination, dedication and heart.
In his faded coat, tinted prescription glasses and scuffed shoes, he looks like just another pensioner scraping by on a tight budget. But the man pictured here is Ingvar Kamprad, the reclusive Swedish founder of Ikea. And he is worth £15.7billion.
That makes him the world’s seventh richest man, but the 81-year-old admits he is still “a bit tight” with money.
He takes easyJet flights, drives himself around in a 15-year-old Volvo, and has furnished his modest house almost entirely with Ikea items – which he assembled himself.
He boasted that he changed his barber of many years’ standing after finding another who would cut his hair for only £6.
And when he arrived at a gala evening recently to collect a businessman of the year award, the security guards refused to let him in because they saw him getting off a bus when he arrived.
A former Nazi sympathiser in the years immediately following the Second World War, he is a self-confessed alcoholic who admits he has an ongoing problem with drink. But he says he has it under control and adds that he “dries out” three times a year.
His eagerness to save money extends to his visits to London, when he shuns taxis and prefers to use the Tube or buses.
A simple life: Mr Kamprad’s Swiss home, furnished almost entirely with items from Ikea
He now lives in semi-retirement with his wife Margaretha in a villa in Switzerland. The couple are often seen dining out in cheap restaurants and haggling over prices in the market. He always does his food shopping in the afternoon, when the prices in his local market start to fall.
Recently, a statue of him was erected in his Swedish home town, and he was invited to cut the ribbon. It was reported that instead he untied it, folded it neatly and handed it to the mayor, telling him he could now use it again.
Explaining his frugal nature, he said: “I am a bit tight with money, a sort of Swedish Scotsman. But so what?
“If I start to acquire luxurious things then this will only incite others to follow suit. It’s important that leaders set an example.
“I look at the money I’m about to spend on myself and ask if Ikea’s customers could afford it.
“From time to time I like to buy a nice shirt and cravat – and eat Swedish fish roe.”
Mr Kamprad was 17 when he founded Ikea in 1943. The name came from his initials, IK, with an E for Elmtaryd, the family farm where he grew up, and an A for Agunnaryd, his home village.
He came up with the idea of flat-packed furniture when he was trying to fit a table into the boot of his car – a friend suggested he should take the legs off, and the rest is history.
He opened his first store in 1965, only to see the wind smash the neon sign and cause a fire which burned the place down. From that inauspicious beginning-Ikea has grown from a village-based mail order business to a multinational empire with a turnover of nearly £9billion a year.
It is 21 years since Ikea opened its first British store, in Warrington, Cheshire, taking the furniture business by storm and bringing the joys – and frustrations – of the flatpack to countless homes. Ikea is now Britain’s fourth biggest furniture retailer despite having relatively few branches.
It has been claimed that more people read the Ikea catalogue than the Bible – and that one in ten Europeans have been conceived on an Ikea bed.
The company is now run jointly by Mr Kamprad’s three sons Peter, 44, Jonas, 41, and Matthias, 39, because their father does not want any one person to have total control.
Interesting Quotes from the Recent Past
“Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”
– Dr. Lee DeForest, “Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television.”
“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.”
- – Admiral William Leahy , US Atomic Bomb Project
“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
– Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
“I think thlt;br /ere is a world market for maybe five computers.”
– Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
– Bill Gates, 1981
This ‘telephone’has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us,”
– Western Union internal memo, 1876.
“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”
– David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper,”
–Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,”
– Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy,”
– Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.
“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
– Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University , 1929.
“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value,”
– Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre , France .
“Everything that can be invented has been invented,”
– Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.
“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon,”
– Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.
And last but not least…
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
– Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
Memory: Remembrance of things to come
- 08 October 2012 by David Robson
The discovery that memory evolved to allow us to predict the future rather than recall the past has some very strange implications
WHEN thinking about the workings of the mind, it is easy to imagine memory as a kind of mental autobiography – the private book of you. To relive the trepidation of your first day at school, say, you simply dust off the cover and turn to the relevant pages. But there is a problem with this idea. Why are the contents of that book so unreliable? It is not simply our tendency to forget key details. We are also prone to “remember” events that never actually took place, almost as if a chapter from another book has somehow slipped into our autobiography. Such flaws are puzzling if you believe that the purpose of memory is to record your past – but they begin to make sense if it is for something else entirely.
That is exactly what memory researchers are now starting to realise. They believe that human memory didn’t evolve so that we could remember but to allow us to imagine what might be. This idea began with the work of Endel Tulving, now at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, who discovered a person with amnesia who could remember facts but not episodic memories relating to past events in his life. Crucially, whenever Tulving asked him about his plans for that evening, the next day or the summer, his mind went blank – leading Tulving to suspect that foresight was the flipside of episodic memory.
Subsequent brain scans supported the idea, suggesting that every time we think about a possible future, we tear up the pages of our autobiographies and stitch together the fragments into a montage that represents the new scenario. This process is the key to foresight and ingenuity, but it comes at the cost of accuracy, as our recollections become frayed and shuffled along the way. “It’s not surprising that we confuse memories and imagination, considering that they share so many processes,” says Daniel Schacter, a psychologist at Harvard University.
Over the next 10 pages, we will show how this theory has brought about a revolution in our understanding of memory. Given the many survival benefits of being able to imagine the future, for instance, it is not surprising that other creatures show a rudimentary ability to think in this way (“Do animals ever forget?“). Memory’s role in planning and problem s/divlt;br //blockquoteolving, meanwhile, suggests that problems accessing the past may lie behind mental illnesses like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, offering a new approach to treating these conditions (“Boosting your mental fortress“). Equally, a growing understanding of our sense of self can explain why we are so selective in the events that we weave into our life story – again showing definite parallels with the way we imagine the future (“How the brain spins your life story“). The work might even suggest some dieting tips (“Lost in the here and now”).
It is still early days, but what’s clear is that we are at the beginning of a long and exciting journey. “The one thing that we really have learned is that memory is extraordinarily more complicated than anyone would have thought 10 or 20 years ago,” says Tulving.
David Robson is a feature editor at New Scientist