One of the biggest differences for me living in Japan is that I only make my own lunch once or twice a week. There are a few reasons for this. I think that the main reason is the selection of quality “to go” and “ready” meals is much greater and more reasonably priced in Japan. If, as in the UK, comparable meals are out of my price range, I would have to make more of an effort to prepare my own lunches.
Another reason is the difference in my schedule in Japan, whereas in the UK I could easily spend a big portion of one of my consecutive days off on meal preparation for the following week, it is more of a challenge here. Although if I had the same schedule in the UK as here, I believe that I would increase the amount of lunches I would make for myself to three or four times a week. This would be because my preferred method of cooking, to bake or roast, would be much easier for me to do. It is much more common to have an oven in an apartment or house in the UK – it is in general – a standard in every household. There simply isn’t the space for it in my accommodation in Japan.
This does allow me to experience more authentic – and delicious – Japanese food while I am living here, so I am quite happy, currently, to be buying in lunch!
Ransomware is malicious code that is used by cybercriminals to launch data kidnapping and lockscreen attacks. The motive for ransomware attacks is monetary, and unlike other types of attacks, the victim is usually notified that an exploit has occurred and is given instructions for how to recover from the attack. Payment is often demanded in virtual currency to protect the criminal’s identity.
Ransomware malware can be spread through malicious e-mail attachments, infected software apps, infected external storage devices and compromised websites. In a lockscreen attack, the malware may change the victim’s login credentials for a computing device; in a data kidnapping attack, the malware may encrypt files on the infected device as well as other connected network devices.
Ransomware kits on the deep web have allowed cybercriminals with little or no technical background to purchase inexpensive ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) programs and launch attacks with very little effort. Attackers may use one of several different approaches to extort digital currency from their victims. For example:
The victim may receive a pop-up message or email warning that if the ransom is not paid by a certain date, the private key required to unlock the device or decrypt files will be destroyed.
The victim may be duped into believing he is the subject of an official inquiry. After being informed that unlicensed software or illegal web content has been found on his computer, the victim is given instructions for how to pay an electronic fine.
The attacker encrypts files on infected computed devices and makes money by selling a product that promises to help the victim unlock files and prevent future malware attacks.
To protect against ransomware attacks and other types of cyberextortion, experts urge users to backup computing devices on a regular basis and update software — including anti-virus software — on a regular basis. End users should beware of clicking on links in emails from strangers or opening email attachments and victims should do all they can to avoid paying ransoms.
While ransomware attacks may be nearly impossible to stop, there are important data protection measures individuals and organizations can take to insure that damage is minimal and recovery is a quick as possible. Strategies include compartmentalizing authentication systems and domains, keeping up-to-date storage snapshots outside the main storage pool and enforcing hard limits on who can access data and when access is permitted.
I’ve bought my tickets to attend an annual local festival this weekend called Live Earth. It will be my fifth time to go and with a fine and sunny day forecasted I can’t wait to chill out under the sun with my family and friends.
The name of the event and what it involves is clear- live music with an earth-loving theme. The festival highlights the importance of resources by encouraging people to bring their own tableware and cutlery. If you happen to forget to bring them on the day, you can rent them there for a hundred yen.
I love wondering around, bumping into people I haven’t seen in ages and checking out the various stalls that sell food, drinks, and clothing. There are other tents offering massages, yoga classes and even activities for children. Every year I am entertained by the organic and hippy sounds of Dewachen – most definitely my favorite performance throughout the day mainly because of the didgeridoo playing.
You don’t need to be a tree-hugger to go and it’s no Fuji Rock, but it has a great vibe. I also appreciate the warm and welcoming atmosphere and the people there that support and love Mother Nature.
With the warmer weather beginning and spring vacation just finished many of us are either blessing or condemning becoming sun-kissed. Growing up in the UK, a sunny day is something to be celebrated, with short sleeves and shorts, ice-creams and sea sides… and the inevitable red patches of sunburn. Due to the lack of sunlight in the UK, Brits are recommended to have 15 minutes in the sun without using sun-screen, this is because the body generates an essential vitamin through direct contact with sunlight: Vitamin D. This coupled with the notion of “a healthy glow” it has become very popular for us to tan, completely opposite to the traditional “English Rose” portrayed in classical British literature with pure white skin and dark hair.
One of my biggest culture shocks when I first moved to Thailand, was the amount of “whitening” products that were available, certainly comparable to the amount of “tanning” products that are available in the UK. When I moved to Japan, I was expecting to see a similar variety of these “whitening” products and although I have seen some, there are less than I expected. There is a greater selection of sun protection products however and this seems, to me, to be a more natural and healthier option. Although it is not unusual to see a sun parasol in Thailand, they are much more common place in Japan. This with the UV protection clothing and higher SPF sun-screen, it is certainly easier to maintain a whiter skin shade.
Do you think it’s better to tan or not and what are your reasons?
The first Monday of May is a bank holiday in the United Kingdom. It is called May Day in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is known as the Early May Bank Holiday in Scotland. It probably originated as a Roman festival honoring the beginning of the summer season (in the northern hemisphere). In more recent times, it has been as a day to campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights.
I feel very blessed to have spent another wonderful Golden Week with good friends and family. We spent ten days in Phuket relaxing, catching up with friends, island-hopping, and eating authentic Thai food. There are too many highlights for me to mention, but one of them would have to be visiting the islands of Phang Nga and Phi Phi. I have visited these islands over a dozen times and they continue to captivate me. Nature truly has a magical way of healing and rejuvenating your mind and body. The picture below is one of my favorite spots in Phi Phi.
I hope you all had a splendid Golden Week.
Some people believe that the day of the week you were born can say a lot about who you are. Fortune-telling by days of birth is different in many parts of the world with astrology being the most popular.
One that I can vaguely recall is a nursery rhyme. I can’t remember which version of the rhyme I learnt so this is the traditional rhyme I found online.
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.
It may ring true for some people, but I don’t take it too seriously. Just enjoy it for its lightheartedness.
There is a saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, a great many people do not eat it though! During my late teens and early twenties, I did not eat breakfast very often. I found that I had little time in the mornings and was too rushed going to school and later to work. Most of the time that I was at university I would eat breakfast, it becoming one of the only times that all of my flatmates were in the same place. We would enjoy catching up with each other as each of us ate different things. On special occasions we would indulge in a large cooked breakfast, a fruit salad and coffee.
I rarely have such a big breakfast these days! I adapt my regular breakfast to the country that I am living in. In the UK I would often eat porridge, in Thailand I would eat egg and rice and in Japan I usually have Miso soup. It really is delicious!
What do you eat for breakfast?
Caffeine is a big one. Most of us know not to drink coffee when bedtime nears. That’s because caffeine can stay in your bloodstream, actively inhibiting sleep, for six hours or more depending on your sensitivity. Caffeine is found in several foods and beverages, including tea, sodas, chocolate, and even some pain relievers.
Smoking is another sleep stealer. Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant that can make it hard to fall asleep or can also deliver a less restful sleep. So that’s another reason to quit smoking.
Alcohol before bed can also create problems. While alcohol might help you fall asleep, your increased blood sugar can actually cause you to wake up and make it more difficult to go back to sleep. Alcohol eliminates REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which occurs in the second half of the night. In other words, drinking will make you wake up very early and not get back to sleep. The general recommendation for alcohol use is no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two for men.
Eating too much or too heavy of a meal before bed or going to sleep hungry can disrupt your sleep as well.
And of course, while staying hydrated is a good thing, drinking too much water before bed will undoubtedly lead to waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom run. This is especially the case as we get older. Aging is associated with decreases in both slow wave sleep and REM sleep, and the biggest culprit is our need to urinate in the middle of the night. So although you don’t want to go to bed thirsty, you might choose to suck on an ice cube rather than drink a whole glass of water in the hours before bedtime.
Golden Week is quickly approaching but I don’t have any big travel plans. It may sound funny but actually I couldn’t be happier. Typically, vacation brings to mind something a bit more exciting than staying at home for a week, but in my case I couldn’t imagine anything better right now. I have many personal goals for this break that I can only achieve alone so I will be busy in a different way than most others I assume. Of course, I do love traveling (and I will later this year), but a bit of solitude in the Iyo countryside is all I need at this time in my life.