Those are not valid defences

I’m rather fond of Japan. It’s a beautiful country with so many unique features, including its cuisine, architecture, writing, language and culture. Next month, I will even be heading to Japan to interview for a PhD position. However, that doesn’t mean I agree with all aspects of Japanese culture, nor does it excuse them from poorly-argued defences such as have recently been offered to the world in regards to the annual Taiji dolphin hunt.

The controversy was reignited this year by a tweet sent by the US ambassador to Japan. CNN covers the story here and includes some defences offered by the Japanese. There is also an interview with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe where he responds to the outcry. The interview seems to cover other topics as well and a relevant excerpt can be seen here, although I am not sure where the full interview is. The points I address come from both CNN articles and a short News24 piece. Continue reading

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Wolves in South Africa

Male Coywolf (Wolf X Coyote)

Male coywolf (wolf X coyote)

When I was in Port Elizabeth last week, I went, with friends, to the Tsitsikama Wolf Sanctuary. It is currently the only wolf sanctuary in South Africa and houses a number of wolves from zoos or that were originally kept as pets. Because of how they were raised, they can no longer be released into the wild. Even if they could be, they are not a native species to South Africa. It’s nice to know that there are people that are looking after these beautiful animals and, if you are in the area (It’s about an hour and forty minutes drive outside of Port Elizabeth), I would recommend a visit to support them. You can see some of my own pictures from the day below. Continue reading

Spying leftovers

Sorry for the sparse posting. I’ve been spending time with family and friends over the Christmas/New Year’s period. I was away for New Year’s with some of my family and am currently away again, staying with a friend. I will be home later this week and should then be able to start posting regularly again.

Over the past few months, I took note of a number of stories regarding how the US and UK were spying on essentially everyone. Many of them have already been posted (see here, here, here and here) but I still have a couple more that were not always focussed on the spying themselves or which were particularly interesting in light of the NSA’s actions. I’m posting all of them together here. Continue reading