Policy Mic.com and JETAA Ottawa

It’s been more than a week since I’ve posted here, so I figured I should probably write something giving a small update on what I’ve been doing.

About a month ago I was contacted by PolicyMic.com editors and asked if I would be interested in writing for them.  Obviously, I was and have since written 2 articles, with more in the works.  Both were kind of re-purposed blogs, so, if you look at them and you’ve read my previous posts, they may seem similar, but hey, I was just trying to get it done.  They’re probably a bit better too, seeing as there are legitimate editors reviewing the articles.  I really like how they’ve set up this site.  It’s like a public forum meets a news page.  News is created by users who know about their subjects and then debated and debate is encouraged.

Here’s a youtube video explaining how the site works. Continue reading


Digital copy of Quakebook now free

You save 100% Click the image to go to the U.S Amazon page

That was something I definitely didn’t see coming.  The digital copy of Quakebook available on Amazon US, UK, DE and the Sony Reader is now free.  With over 3,000 downloads from Amazon in the 2 months since it was published, the Quakebook team has decided to make the ebook free.  In 12 hours after doing so, over 3000 more people downloaded the book.

The plan was laid out in a recent blog post on Quakebook.org.  Here’s the section that outlines why this decision was made.

Continue reading

Canada continues to support Japan through local events

For the last month or so I’ve focused on the fundraising aspect of the crisis in Japan and not much has really changed with that.  Before I get into listing the upcoming events that I’ve been made aware of recently.  I wanted to put out this article from the Japan Times written by an American who became a Japanese citizen about the “fly-jin” and difficulty being a Non-Japanese person in Japan during this ordeal.

Better to be branded a ‘flyjin’ than a man of the ‘sheeple’  A short quote from the end of the article is below.

But it’s the NJ [Non-Japanese] who got it particularly bad, since the worst critics were from within their own ranks. The word “fly-jin,” remember, was coined by a foreigner, so this meanness isn’t just a byproduct of systematic exclusion from society. This is sociopathy within the excluded people themselves — eating their own, egging on domestic bullies, somehow proving themselves as “more dedicated than thou” to Japan. What did these self-loathers ultimately succeed in doing? Making NJ, including themselves, look bad.

That being said, the situation in Japan is still dire.  Over this past weekend friends running Hearts for Haragama, a grassroots charity in Fukushima that I’ve written about previously trekked to help clean up.  The pictures show that almost 2 months after the earthquake and tsunami, there is still a lot that has to be done.  They also give hope as the owners of the Haragama Kindergarten had a small wedding on the beach, a wedding that was supposed to happen on March 12th.

Continue reading

48 hours without posting – Quakebook and News

Sorry for the lull in posts.  Real life is kind of getting in the way, along with working on Quakebook.  I’ve managed to round up contact details for just about every single JETAA (JET Alumni Association) group worldwide and I’m hoping that through JETAA, the word about Quakebook can be spread to local Japanese International Associations and then have it spread from there.  Kind on keeping with the Quakebook motif, spreading the word through contacts and social media.  If anyone is interested in checking out the press release, you can see it here.  The book should be available through Amazon in the next few days.  And even if you don’t have a kindle, you can download software to your PC, Mac, Blackberry, Android, Ipad or Iphone for free from right here.  If you have a blog, feel free to link to the Quakebook page, as I have on the right.  Just grab the image that I have from here and link it.  Continuing with the guerrilla marketing theme, they have created posters for people to put up around their neighbourhoods or at their local library.  You can grab those here.

Ok, enough about Quakebook.  Please don’t see my involvement in Quakebook as abandoning the issues going on in Fukushima.  If you check my Twitter feed (to the right), you’ll see that I’m still retweeting information that I think is relevant.  And if that’s not entertaining enough for you, check out what happens when you get a phone call from the media after 3 hours of sleep.  You say things like:

“It became very confusing, especially with the nuclear thing.”


“…you probably don’t know nuclear reactor Japanese.”

In the end, at least it got the word out.  I do have more to say about my short lived experience with the media, but I just don’t have time to throw it all down.  Have a look at the article.  Kanata man contributes to book on Japanese quake.

Alright, back soon with relevant things.