Powerful VICE movie about living in Japan’s nuclear evacuation zone

June 21, 2019 at 8:04 AM

Japan has had a complicated relationship with nuclear energy ever since it was harnessed at the end of the Second World War. This interesting and harrowing documentary tells the story of two men who decided to go back and live alone in ghost towns inside the Fukushima evacuation zone.

The Last Farmer in Fukushima's Post-Nuclear Wasteland: VICE INTL (Japan)

VICE: The Last Farmer in Fukushima’s Post-Nuclear Wasteland

From the YouTube description:

“Two years since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant went into full meltdown, and the resulting 20km evacuation zone was enforced, one farmer still remains behind braving high levels of radiation and loneliness to tend to abandoned animals.

His name is Naoto Matsumura, and he is the last man standing in the ghost town of Tomioka. Another farmer, Kenji Hasegawa’s town of Iidate was also evacuated due to high levels of radiation, he sought refuge in temporary housing. Faced with a post­nuclear world both these men share brutally honest views on the state of their lives, TEPCO, government inaction and some of the hardest situations they have had to face in the midst of overwhelming radioactivity.”

The Last Farmer in Fukushima's Post-Nuclear Wasteland: VICE INTL (Japan)

VICE: The Last Farmer in Fukushima’s Post-Nuclear Wasteland

Incredibly disciplined and serene, the two men in the documentary exemplify Japan’s staunch and disciplined values. There are some incredible anecdotes which make you stop and marvel both at the immense scale of the disaster, as well as it’s depressingly permanent impact on the lives of people and animals.

Japan continues to struggle with atomic energy, a struggle which despite the suffering will likely help future generations everywhere deal with their own physical and spiritual challenges in the face of nuclear disaster.

The Last Farmer in Fukushima's Post-Nuclear Wasteland: VICE INTL (Japan)

Wilfred Owen 1917 – Apologia Pro Poemate Meo / In Defence Of My Poetry

November 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM
WWI trench - Living among the dead

WWI trench – Living among the dead


I, too, saw God through mud –

The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.
War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,
And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child.

Merry it was to laugh there –

Where death becomes absurd and life absurder.
For power was on us as we slashed bones bare
Not to feel sickness or remorse of murder.

I, too, have dropped off fear –

Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon,
And sailed my spirit surging, light and clear
Past the entanglement where hopes lay strewn;

And witnessed exultation –

Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl,
Shine and lift up with passion of oblation,
Seraphic for an hour; though they were foul.

I have made fellowships –

Untold of happy lovers in old song.
For love is not the binding of fair lips
With the soft silk of eyes that look and long,

By Joy, whose ribbon slips, –

But wound with war’s hard wire whose stakes are strong;
Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips;
Knit in the webbing of the rifle-thong.

I have perceived much beauty

In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;
Heard music in the silentness of duty;
Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.

Nevertheless, except you share

With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,
And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:

You shall not come to think them well content
By any jest of mine. These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.

Wilfred Owen
Apologia Pro Poemate Meo
November 1917 

WWI - Scottish Highlanders marching to the front

WWI – Scottish Highlanders marching to the front

Review of Denver’s Sushi scene by a couple of Nigiri traditionalists

September 11, 2018 at 11:03 PM

Last year while attending the Super Computing 2017 conference representing Google I decided to give Denver’s Sushi scene a try.

Guided by Zagat as a first filter, my wife and I happily discovered that Denver knows sushi!

This is the subjective review of 4 Denver, Colorado Sushi restaurants by a couple who mostly enjoy traditional nigiri.

  • Monday – Sushi Ronin – The sushi chefs are the focus right when you walk into this cozy space. Excellent Omakase with a nicely varied combination. Best Uni we tried in Denver.
  • Tuesday – Sushi Den – Larger and more modern than all the others, the Toro was great and the lobster tempura was delightful.
  • Wednesday – Sushi Ronin – Second time here was deliciously consistent compared to Monday, high marks again for freshness and presentation.
  • Thursday – Sushi Sasa – The fish was disappointing especially for the price, rice was cold, snobby service and decor, not worth it.
  • Friday – Izu Sushi – A “dark horse” surprise not in Zagat, this was the only place in our tour de force that had impeccable Walu (Escolar) and the delicious Amaebi was very originally presented.
Sushi Ronin Denver

Sushi Ronin

Sushi Ronin Denver

Sushi Ronin Denver

Izu Sushi Omakase

Izu Sushi Omakase

Izu Sushi

Izu Sushi

Delicious amaebi with a glowing orb in the middle! Amazing job by Izu-Sushi

Delicious amaebi with a glowing orb in the middle! Amazing job by Izu-Sushi

Denver sushi restaurant ranking in order of nigiri sushi quality* and overall experience:

1. Sushi Ronin – 2930 Umatilla St, Denver, CO 80211

2. Sushi Den – 487 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210

3. Izu Sushi – 1528 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Not recommended: Sushi Sasa

*How do my wife and I define nigiri quality? 

We compare every sushi place to our favourite one: Fuki Sushi in Palo Alto, CA which we consider our “gold standard”. When we lived in the Bay Area the honourable Chef Hide delighted us there to no end.

Good Nigiri should “melt” in your mouth, the texture of any piece of fish or seafood should ideally be buttery smooth. The intensity of the savory flavour (also known as Umami) will unmistakably impact you. The rice should be at room temperature and sticky enough that it holds together as you maneuver the piece while dipping in soy sauce and the like but not so sticky that you notice it. Often a good balance of flavors blends into one savory sensation. 


Premium Airbnb Studio for Rent in San Antonio, Texas

August 19, 2018 at 3:33 PM

My wife and I buy properties and host them on Airbnb. This is one of our units.

If you need a place to stay in San Antonio, Texas that is stylish and professionally run then this is it.

Applause is due for my wife who maintains the highest standards of customer service to delight our guests!


Premium San Antonio Airbnb

Premium San Antonio Airbnb

Premium San Antonio Airbnb


Intro from Airbnb listing:

Private studio with cable TV and WiFi. Perfect for a medical visit, holiday, family or work trip!

Excellent location in Northwest San Antonio, 18 min from Downtown. We paid attention to important details like Self check-in with a digital lock, hotel quality mattress, charging stations, welcome bottles of water & snacks and coffee station.

5 min from Medical Center, 10 min to USAA, UTSA and 18 min to Lackland AFB, Downtown, and All San Antonio attractions. Perfect for BMT Graduations.