Changes to RBA Act will further entrench the depoliticisation of economic policy and reduce democratic accountability
Today, I consider the latest development in the entrenchment of neoliberalism in the Australian policy…
This Tuesday report will provide some insights into life in Kyoto for a westerner in the age of Covid. Today, I report on stone fords across rivers, bears, monkeys, and more. All the before and after work action from Kyoto.
I run a lot in the mornings. I love running. I also love data. So the two come together on a daily basis.
The Kamo River near where I am living in Kyoto (in the University district) is a magnificent running resource.
The problem though, is that if you want to run 10 kms or 12 kms say, then the access points at bridges (typically but not exclusively) to the river are in discrete units of distance (there is either a bridge or not) and those units may not correspond to where I have to turn to get back home after heading north or south along the river to meet my distance goal for that particular run.
Solution: These stepping stone fords, which are strategically placed in between the main road bridges across the river and provide a little more continuity in distance measurement.
They are also fun to cross – the gaps between the stones are not all that close so you have to jump.
After rain, the river rises in height and flows very quickly and the stones become a sort of dare test course with water lapping over the tops.
Anyway, I use these fords a lot.
Foreign visitors to Australia often express some anxiety about the spiders and snakes that roam free there – well, roam free is a bit of an overstatement but they are there and no-one who knows really feels threatened by them.
While walking in the mountains to the East of Kyoto – last weekend, we were confronted with signs warning us about the aggressive monkeys that live around where we were.
What does an aggressive pack of monkeys do I wondered.
The sign, however, had the effect of stopping our journey up these steep steps to a cave, that was the shrine for some ‘kami’ or another.
Then after work last Thursday, we took off on our bikes to ride another mountain road (there was a little light left) and we came across another sign as follows:
Who would have thought?
It is a warning to beware of the bears that apparently hang out in that location.
We decided not to hang around.
Apparently, they are Asian black bears and usually run away when they see humans. Usually, of-course, is not always.
We also had just been to the bakery near the University and I had a lovely baguette sticking out of the basket on the front of my bicycle, which might have tempted some roaming bear to see us as food.
I really want o go back there though because there are old castle ruins in the forest near to that point.
So maybe all my running training will help if a bear lobs up while walking the forest trail to the ruins.
Speaking of which or not, one noticable thing about daily life in Japan is the locals seem to like packaging.
For some time, I have been trying to work towards living without packaging and plastic for obvious reasons. That pursuit is hard in Australia but we have managed to reduce the amount we consume by a substantial margin.
There is packaging everywhere and in everything and often a product has multiple layers of plastic packaging from the outside bag to inside satchels to even more micro packages over individual items inside the inside satchels.
The current award for excessive packaging goes to the cheese cubes we saw in the supermarket the other day.
Now, first, I like cheese and as a vegetarian, cheese is an important part of my diet.
The Japanese do not eat much cheese and it is hard to get any vintage or tasty type hard cheeses in the standard supermarket.
So you can imagine my joy when I found what looked liked cheese cubes in the refrigeration area.
Upon closer inspection I saw that the plastic bag holding the cheese cubes was not the extent of the packaging.
Inside, each individual 2cm square cheese cube was individually and delightfully wrapped up in – you guessed it – a plastic bag. Stacks of these little packages within the main package.
If we are to save the planet, the Japanese will have to get over the seemingly boundless plastic packaging.
Anyway, having fun here!
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2022 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.