Good news all around!

Hello everyone!

Do not worry, I will not bore you about my personal life this time. In other good news, this blog is officially re-opened for all kinds of ranting-purposes.

In more good news, the ozone layer is healing! Probably in my dying days, the ozone layer in the stratosphere will be back to the levels it was when I was born. Yay for Generation X! See BBC: Ozone Hole Stable

Further good news: Reuters: Lebanon UN Force Given Strong Mandate UN Peace-keeping operations need to regain respect. In that sense unfortunately we are not living in the days of Dag Hammerskjold anymore. Maybe they can test the new Leopard II PSO (wonderfully named so for "peace support operations"... lest one forget it is a main battle tank!).

Actually, on August 15th, the day the Showa Emperor surrendered to the Allies, I made the trip to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine (as did Prime Minister Koizumi). While I did not much care for the styled-up Yakuza's and their hanger-on girls that were in attendance, nor the loud and annoying right-wingers disturbing the peace of this beautiful shrine (seriously, it is a wonderful shrine and I think those so-called "Yasukuni-protecting" right-wing extremists are those that damage it the most.), I did go on to pray to those 2.5 million whose lives were lost in wars and apparently my wishes were heard. When I got into work, the truce in Lebanon was all over the news.

I admit, that the truce happened before I went, but I only got to know about it afterwards. ;-) I have attached a picture from the Shrine. Imagine it surrounded by thousands of people in the searing Tokyo-summer-heat.

Finally, that committee that is meeting in Prague to define planets seems to have dropped that idiocy of naming every large rock a planet, just in order to keep Pluto and seems to be leaning towards going with a more practical solution that will drop Pluto, but keep the classical planets. Even better, while that slightly dodgy Japanese businessman Dice-K Enomoto of Lifedoor-fame has failed his physicals to be the next space tourist, instead, a much more deserving person is going to go: Anousheh Ansari, the female American CEO of Iranian origin who is behind the Ansari Space X-Prize.

Happy good-news-day!