The Week’s Links: Feb. 2-8, 2015

TA flight GE235
Transasia Airlines flight GE235 plunges out of the sky in Taiwan’s capitol city, Taipei.

Holy cow!! Early in the week a commercial airplane was caught on camera as it plunged out of the sky into a river in the city of Taipei, Taiwan. Watch the hair-raising video of the moment Transasia flight GE235 drops out of the sky and clips a taxi on the freeway with its wing.

The annual Sapporo Snow Festival is underway and an amazing—and massive—Star Wars-themed snow sculpture was built by no less than the Japanese army. The huge snow sculpture depicts Darth Vader and a couple of storm troopers, flanked by the Death Star and a TIE fighter, all looking quite badass.

An article in the Japan Times talks about a new trend of apathy or fatalism amongst Japan’s youth. The article describes the growing feeling among Japanese young people today that effort is not rewarded by success in their society and that there is no point in even trying anymore, and analyzes the possible reasons why this outlook is so prevalent.

And, this article posted at Gaijin Pot discusses the paradox of Japan’s religiosity and atheism. In a country where the number of people reporting affiliation with a particular religion equals two times the actual population—and up to half of those also report being non-religious—it would seem that there is a conundrum on our hands.

A young Japanese woman taking a smoke-break on Coming-of-Age Day. A look of apathy and fatalist resignation on her face? Or just thinking about some stuff?



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