Heatwave in Japan In the summer of 2014, I visited Japan, the land of my ancestors. My wife, Joan, had lived in Japan for a year when she was in her 20s, but I had never been. Unfortunately, we arrived in the middle of a record-breaking heatwave. I had developed a nasty heat rash around both ankles and couldn't wear socks. When I tried wearing ankle socks, the brushing of the pant legs made my rash unbearably itchy. So, in ultra-fashionable "dress for success" Tokyo, I had to wear loose-fitting shorts and slippers…Read more »
COVID-19 in Seattle region schools
It's been a scary couple of weeks in the Seattle area. That's because Seattle is "ground zero" in the U.S. for the virus called COVID-19 (colloquially, coronavirus). Scores of cases have arisen in the Seattle area, 80 cases in Washington state [postscript: 120 cases. 3/8/2020]. The disease killed 10 elderly people in a nursing home in Kirkland, just east of Seattle. This region is in the national news every day now. At least three students that I know of (Everett SD, Seattle SD, Shoreline SD) have tested positive and are in quarantine as…Read more »
Climate change and the English teacher
I will probably not live to see the long-term apocalypse toward which our species is hurtling. My daughter will. But even today, the effects of climate change are obvious. The extreme weather phenomena we’ve seen in recent years—massive wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding—smack us in the face like a dead fish with evidence. The fact that some media outlets—I’m looking at you, Rupert Murdoch—continue to voice skepticism and even flat-out denial that carbon emissions are causing this and will continue to cause this, astonishes me. Climate deniers are a bunch of old men, my…Read more »