The rise of Daesh has resulted in a huge increase in hate crimes against Muslim citizens. This is due to claims by the terrorist organisation that their abhorrent actions are supported by Islamic doctrine, despite being repeatedly and strongly contested by the Muslim community. In a backlash to anti-Islam rhetoric, a steadily louder claim has emerged that all religions are a source of evil. This seems to have upset a large number of Christians who believe that Christianity is fundamentally a force for good.Read More
The Hokkaido Sun Guest House was right in my neighbourhood, situated between my apartment and closest supermarket. The fact I couldn't find it was therefore perturbing.Read More
I arrived back in Sapporo just before Typhoon Lionrock smacked into Hokkaido.Read More
On Sunday night, I fulfilled all of my deepest fantasies.Read More
"If we could not confirm your arrival by 1:00 in the midnight, we consider the guest as NO SHOW CASE."
What did that even mean?Read More
For two nights after the movers scooped up my worldly goods, I stayed at a friend's apartment. I would rate the "Heidi Hotel" with an 8/10Read More
I climbed up the metal ladder to the wood and concrete box and launched myself onto the mattress. The space was a cross between a shipping container and Hagrid's hut. It even had a window. I loved it.Read More
"What about tomorrow?" The three men in the blue uniforms of the Sekai moving company were crowded around a cupboard containing shoes. This is a standard feature right by the entrance of any Japanese apartment: the movers had not yet got further into my home.
"It's fine," I assured them in my limited Japanese. "You can pack everything."
"But... tomorrow..." One of the movers looked across from the cupboard and gaped in shock. "Aahh!" he pointed at my feet. His two colleagues crowded close. "She's wearing shoes."Read More
Even with earplugs, the noise was loud.
Click. Whir. Tic tic tic. Klonk.
I stared up at the plastic contraption holding my head in place and thought: How does anyone have sex in here?Read More
I was in my Japan apartment holding a bag of rice and haggling like it was a market place in Delhi. Both of these facts were unexpected.Read More
On my last day in Canada, I attempted to break into a high security deposit box and steal a priceless antique diamond.Read More
If you switch on your phone to discover that weather conditions have stalled a bunch of trains, do what I didn't do:
Roll over and go back to sleep. Your plans are on ice.Read More
"I would never do a PhD! It's completely useless. An utter waste of time!"
So. This was awkward. I looked down at my plate. It held a cookie decorated with a green duck.Read More
“It’s too late to use the toilet. They’ve been announcing that for the last 40 minutes and now you’ve missed your chance!"Read More
"Are you here on holiday?"
The answer was bound to be 'yes'. I had fallen into conversation with the elderly lady sitting beside me as we had sought out the shuttle bus to transfer to the airport's domestic terminal. I was connecting from Tokyo to Sapporo, she was bound for Osaka. Judging from her accent, we had both just stepped off the London Heathrow flight.Read More
It has long been on my bucket list to be captured in a glass by a giant joker.
Well seriously -- whose bucket list ISN'T that on? No ones.Read More
When I arrived home one evening, I discovered I had been sent a box of magic. Raw, spreadably glutenous, brown yeast extract magic in six incredible different varieties. The note that came with it was clear: "I expect a full review".Read More
The closing ceremony for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly marks not only the culmination of a two week science conference, but also the official change of the Executive Committee. This did not go well.Read More
I took paltry few photographs at Pearl Harbor. This was because each time I viewed the scene through my phone's camera, I mentally captioned it: "Me at the site where 2,500 people met their end!"Read More
Today, I became annoyed by an article in 'The Guardian'. It was a piece discussing the consequences for the Nobel Laureate British biochemist, Sir Tim Hunt, after his disastrous speech at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul last week.Read More