Billions of yen in relief donations come through Internet sites – The Mainichi Daily News

Billions of yen in donations for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake have come through a variety of donation websites taking advantage of the Internet to organize people’s humanitarian efforts.

Depending on the website, donations as small as 50 yen can be made, either via mobile phones or computers, through easy-to-use electronic transfer services. Many sites display the total amount and number of donations received and have exceeded 100 million yen in donations. One site had gathered more than 1.2 billion yen. The collected funds are sent to groups like the Japanese Red Cross Society.

via Billions of yen in relief donations come through Internet sites – The Mainichi Daily News.

Not all foreigners are leaving Tokyo

Over the last week there have been many newspaper articles saying “Thousands flee Tokyo”.  (See one example in the Financial Times and another one in the British Daily Mail.)

Well, not all foreigners are fleeing Tokyo or Japan. Here is one report by Alex Bieber who is not afraid to stay and who is rather ashamed of people who have left. (If you have a Facebook account, you can read the Japanese version here. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can download the PDF here.)

Another foreigner, an American, who lives in Tokyo and who is not leaving is Mike Rogers. He is also angry at many non-Japanese who have left Tokyo or Japan.  He has written many blog posts on this subject, but here is one example. He has also provided lots of facts and links to such useful sources of information as Radiation levels in Shinjuku, radiation levels in Tsukuba, comments by phone from the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir John Beddington.

What is needed is factual knowledge which allows you to interpret the information from the TV and newspapers. This has finally been provided by some TV programs, and I wrote about them here and here.

Here is a very interesting chart which shows how much radiation you get from different activities, starting with the very lowest dose – sleeping next to someone!

The situation at Fukushima remains critical, but it looks as if it is stabilizing. And as Sir John Beddington said,

this is very problematic for the area and the immediate vicinity and one has to have concerns for the people working there. Beyond that 20-30km, it’s really not an issue for health.

How to donate to Japan earthquake charity efforts

In Japan:

Japan Red Cross online donation site


Outside Japan:

Donate to Japan Disaster Relief here: 

For more information:

Below is a comment left on an article about American airline flight attendants being concerned about flying into Tokyo.

My wife was Purser on a flight descending into Narita, Tokyo’s International Airport, when the earthquake struck. Her flight eventually ended in Osaka. When the crews were returned to Narita they visited shelters and left what food they could find as well as their own jackets, scarves and gloves.

Upon returning home, two days later than scheduled, she put out a call for warm jackets and cold weather gear. She and other crew members also purchased, out of their own pockets, as much preserved milk and flashlights as they could carry.

Yesterday the crew returned to Narita with more than 20 large bags of jackets, blankets, gloves and the milk and flashlights. Our entry way is still stacked to the ceiling with more jackets and clothing that will be going in every day with the flight attendants.

Were they nervous about it? Of course. How could one not be worried with the legions of science illiterate reporters spreading hysteria? Still they went to work and are doing far more than their jobs require.

March 16 session report

Thank you to all of you who attended today. We managed to have a very interesting session, as usual, despite the sadness in our hearts.

(Click the image above to visit the Japan Red Cross donation site.)

Today, we discussed the first 3 items on the list of sections from St Exupery’s “Wind, Sand and Stars” (see the previous blog entry to read the entire list)

  1. Guillaumet lost in the Andes – chapter II, section II, page 30-40 (end of chapter II)
  2. Chapter IV (pages 48-62) – the cyclone
  3. Chapter V, section II, pages 68-74 (end of chapter V) – night in the Sahara

We had some difficulty understanding section 3.

Update: After reading section 3 again, the key seems to be the last paragraph on page 71. He is remembering a house he lived in when he was a child. For some strange reason, the memory of this house becomes very strong to him while he is lying on the sand of the Sahara night. He realizes that his existence, his meaning, is not just the present (Sahara), but also his past. When he was a child, he liked to tease his old nurse (“Mademoiselle”): she was so domestic and domesticated, while he enjoyed being a rough, wild boy. But now he realizes that it was not only his wild rough, boyish adventures that created his personality, his character: it was also the house and the quiet, solid, domestic routines that formed his character and are still a vital part of him, perhaps even more solid and important than his present Saharan adventure.

I think this is what he means by “But that night in the Sahara, naked between the sand and the stars, I did her justice.” In other words, he finally discovered a reason to respect that domestic and tame Mademoiselle.

What do you think? Any other, different interpretations?

The next session will be on Wednesday April 27th. If this is inconvenient, please let me know. I plan to continue reading “Wind, Sand and Stars”, continuing down the list  of sections.

March 16 session

Dear Readers,

Our next session will be next week. I plan to focus on the following episodes from “Wind, Sand and Stars”:

  1. Guillaumet lost in the Andes – chapter II, section II, page 30-40 (end of chapter II)
  2. Chapter IV (pages 48-62) – the cyclone
  3. Chapter V, section II, pages 68-74 (end of chapter V) – night in the Sahara
  4. Chapter VI, pages 76-82 (end of chapter VI) – the snakes under the table
  5. Chapter VII, section I (pages 85-90) – the gazelle in the Sahara
  6. Chapter VII, section V pages 106-119 – Bark the slave
  7. Chapter IX, pages 174-189 – the Spanish Civil War
  8. Chapter IX, section VI pages  215-224.
  9. Chapter X – conclusion.

We won’t read ALL the above sections next Wednesday! But I would be interested to hear your comments. In particular, I hope you will tell me those sections, episodes, sentences or phrases which you particularly remember.

I look forward to seeing you Wednesday March 16th.