“A brief respite from modern life”


This is a short video (in Chinese with English subtitles) about a group of young Chinese people who have chosen to live a simple life up in the mountains.

“By the time you get to school, life becomes a repetition of (going from) point A to point B. When you graduate and get a job the repetition continues.”

I think there are ways to break out of your rut without running for the hills, but it’s a good reminder that when we do feel stuck in a rut, we should do something about it. To find something that helps you put your “mind is resting and your heart is at peace.”

The part about them having to go to the top of the mountain to get a signal in order to send text messages was pretty funny. If it were harder for us to use our phones, we might appreciate them more.

He’d like to teach the world to sing

Even if you only have the time to read the first few paragraphs of this article, it’s worth it. It’s about karaoke, and the guy who “invented” it (students in some classes will remember the name Daisuke Inoue from our Nobel/IgNobel activity, I hope). The reason he did so is pretty funny.

“Sing to Me” (from Real Life)

This video of the IgNobel prize ceremony is cued to the part where Mr. Inoue starts singing (it will open in a new tab).

Daisuke Inoue IgNobel

I categorized this in “peace” too, because of the IgNobel he won “for inventing a machine which teaches people to bear the awful singing of ordinary citizens  … and enjoy it anyway.”

“Firearms vs. Frappuccinos”

With another mass shooting in the U.S., gun control is topping the news cycle again. I have little hope that this tragedy will make a difference. The right to bear arms is too important to too many American citizens (even if that “arm” is a an assault rifle).

How bad is the problem? CityLab has created an interactive map of the U.S., comparing the number of Starbucks to the number of places you can buy a gun.

It’s pretty depressing:

firearms vs frappuccinos

Some cities, like Seattle (home of Starbucks), Washington DC and Chicago all have more Starbucks than gun dealers:

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 7.22.29 AM

but there are plenty of cities where the pink dots far outnumber the green. And Orlando, Florida (site of the recent shooting) is one of them:


It’s hard for us here in Japan to understand why it’s even an issue. But it is. If you can think of a solution that will make both sides of the debate happy, you’ll be ahead of just about everyone in the U.S., including the current president and the presidential candidates.