This interesting article provides a critique of the recent publicized study that suggests occasional marijuana use can significantly increase the risk of schizophrenia. It provides insight into conventional wisdom, bias and failure to properly place science in context.
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their threat level from "Miffed" to "Peeved". There is some concern that things will worsen and security levels will be rapidly be raised yet again to "Irritated" or "a Bit Cross". Londoners have not been "a Bit Cross" since the 1940 Blitz when tea supplies all but ran out.
The new 7 wonders of the world have been voted for and announced.
Overall, I think the selection is pretty good. However, I would have replaced Brazil's statue with the Sydney Opera House. The logistics behind the design of the Opera House were amazing, and it is unlike any other building.
I'm British and used to work in London, so the recent bombing incident brings back memories of similar events in the past. The IRA would often leave bombs during Christmas in places like the restroom in Harrods in order to kill a few innocent tourists and create unease. However, as many people have noticed, the British are used to this kind of thing and it has very little effect except to bolster our resolve and temporarily increases sales of tea.
One blogger describes the British as brave, unflappable and open-minded. I think this is generally true. In addition, I've noticed that the British will tend to look for the humor in almost any tense situation; victims in train wrecks have been known to crack sick jokes about their own predicament whilst waiting for help. For example, here's a quote from someone who lived through the World War II blitz and was caught up in the recent Canary Wharf explosion:
"I've been blown up by a better class of bastard than this!"
That is just classic! Click here for some similar stories.
I know that several visitors to this site knew my old friend Rocky Stewart, who tragically perished in a plane crash in the Cascades last fall. This news update reports that the plane wreckage was finally found by some hikers. Rocky was a great guy who is missed by many.
What's the intersection between Japan and the supernatural? Hello Kitty Crop Circles, of course! According to this article, Sanrio commissioned Surface to Air (New York) to make some crop circles celebrating the Kitty's 30th birthday. It could be a hoax, but it's pretty funny anyway. Thanks to Jennifer Rice of Brand Mantra for sending me this link.
Kiribati, Christmas Islands is the first well-known place to experience New Year's day. The first major cities to enjoy New Year are Wellington, New Zealand (hi Malia), and Sydney, Australia (hi Blair).