KanjiBox for iPhone Taking a small break from my break to introduce:

KanjiBox for iPhone

By far the best way to spend your Summer while improving your Japanese (whether at the beach or on a crowded Tokyo subway, wedged between two sweaty salarymen). This application works on all iPhone and iPod Touch models (provided they run iPhone OS 3.0 or later) and is entirely offline (doesn’t use any internet connection at all).

More info and screenshots on KanjiBox’s website

And of course, for our ipod-deprived brethren, there is always KanjiBox for Facebook: free and full of fun multiplayer goodness!

Nearly two decades ago, good ol’ Lisbeth the 2nd famously declared the year closing an annus horibilis

In fact, 1992 was no particularly bad year unless you were a male heir to the throne of Britain with marital problems or minor royalty with a taste for topless frolicking…

In 1992, the world at large was not doing much worse than usual. Western Europe was entering a decade of economic prosperity, things were starting to look up on the eastern side and the US was taking a breather in between two Bushes. Bloody coups, genocides and paramilitary dictatorship seemed to be ever so slowly becoming less of a common occurrence in South America and Asia, and while Africa was not doing so great, one could at least hope that, with old age, an entire generation of Western-backed dictators would eventually come to pass. Not such a bad era for music either: in 1992, Nirvana had just released Nevermind and Black Eyed Peas had not yet been spawned from the darkest recess of stale junk pop marketing.

It is nigh-impossible for one person to give an objective appraisal for such a scale as the entire world, particularly without the hindsight of a couple decades: the year Sally broke your heart or you lost your pinkie to a freak juice-blending accident will always overshadow that earthquake where 10,000 people died in some remote country you have never heard of.

Yet, I cannot help but feel rather depressed by what seems to be happening in the world these days. And I am not talking about broad general issues and the no-doubt very fucked-up things in store for the future, 40ºC English Winter days included. I am talking about today’s factual state of the world.

Let’s Have a Look, Shall We?