Life in face of unpredictable climate events

Merely two months ago in July a catastrophic rainstorm broke out in Western Japan, causing many casualties, and I reflected on a city’s resilience against such extreme climate events. Last week Japan was again struck by two devastating hazards, the supertyphoon Jebi and the deadly earthquake in Hokkaido.

Jebi has been the worst typhoon striking Japan in 25 years, leaving so far 11 dead and causing imponderable economic damage, particularly to tourism. Osaka and neighbouring cities bore the brunt of the storm and the Kansai airport was closed indefinitely because of the flood. Just the same week Hokkaido experienced a 6.7-magnitude earthquake, which killed 44 and cut energy access to 5.3 million residents on the island.

The typhoon and earthquake struck Japan unpredictably, leaving residents suffering and tourists stranded in Osaka. Despite the innovative technologies we have at hand, we cannot predict all climate events and natural hazards. And when one breaks out, we are caught off guard, just like this time. And life is just as unpredictable. We never know what life has in store for us. So we should live in the moment, and enjoy.


天災難料 生命無常

今年七月,日本西部暴雨肆虐,造成大量傷亡,使我反思到城市建設在抵禦極端天氣上的重要性,不足兩個月,颱風「飛燕」襲日,北海道亦發生強烈地震,天災接二連三,帶來災難性傷亡。

「飛燕」是日本近二十五來最強勁的颱風,共造成十一人死亡。其中大阪和鄰近城市為重災區,關西機場亦因水浸不知何時重開,為日本經濟特別是旅遊業帶來難以估算的損失。同一星期,北海道經歷6.7級地震,共四十四人罹難,地震同時導致停電,受影響人數達五百三十萬。

颱風和地震毫無預警來襲,不僅使居民受苦,旅客亦滯留機場,受影響人不計其數。即使我們擁有多麼先進的科研和技術,亦不能準確預測自然災害,一旦災難性氣候事件爆發,我們又會像這次般被殺個措手不及,但後果可能更不堪想象。天災難料,生命無常,我們難以預計生命為我們準備了甚麼,因此此刻更應活在當下,享受生命。

Five years of Knowledge, Innovation and Creativity, Happy Birthday to Knowledge Capital!

It is always a pleasure to visit Knowledge Capital (ナレッジキャピタル) in Osaka.  Every time, there is something new going on.  No exception this time – it is the 5th anniversary celebration, cum the launching of global education alliance.

haveaniceday.ac.osaka.hotel.marriott

The electronic arts performance, the exhibition and the seminars were all amazing.  I particularly like the idea of rebuilding the historical study classrooms, some even with themed decoration such as green, for holding talks and seminars.

For those who are interested in visiting Knowledge Capital, it is situated in Grand Front Osaka, about 5-minute walk from Osaka Station.  InterContinental Osaka is my all time favourite as it is actually part of the complex making it super convenient.  But I did not stay there this time due to the need to commute to the north of Osaka.  I stayed at Courtyard by Marriott Shinosaka Station, which turned out to be very nice for its close proximity to Shin-Osaka station, bigger rooms and a variety of restaurants nearby.

In fact, it was very nice meeting old friends and making new ones from Japan, Poland, Thailand and France. Once again, happy birthday!  Kanpai (Cheers)!


融合智慧、科技和創意 — 恭賀Knowledge Capital成立五周年!

每次去大阪的Knowledge Capital(ナレッジキャピタル)都留下難忘的回憶,因為總有別開新面的主題活動,而今次則是Knowledge Capital的五周年慶祝典禮,同時亦是全球教育聯盟(Global education alliance)的簽署儀式,很是熱鬧。

典禮節目豐富,電子藝術表演十分精彩,展覽和研討會引人入勝。我特別支持翻新舊教室的建議,亦可為一些課室增添主題設置,例如以綠色為主題,用作舉辦講座和研討會。

Knowledge Capital位於Grand Front Osaka商廈內,在大阪站下車後走約五分鐘就到,十分方便。同樣位於Grand Front Osaka內的大阪洲際飯店是我最喜歡的酒店,加上又鄰近Knowledge Capital,這次本應入住,但此行我需要到大阪北部,所以就選了靠近新大阪站的新大阪拉弗雷飯店,除了交通便利外,酒店環境舒適,房間寛敞,附近還有林林總總的食肆,是個不錯的選擇。

這次能夠和老朋友再聚,又認識了來自日本、波蘭、泰國和法國的新朋友,實在是滿載而歸。在此再一次祝賀Knowledge Capital五周年誌慶!乾杯!