Twenty-plus years ago, Tom Ashbrook and I were both in Japan, reporting on its ups and eventual downs. He did so for the Boston Globe, I for an outstanding literary-political monthly founded in 1857. He has since been a high-tech entrepreneur, author of a book (which I really liked) about that high-tech adventure, and now a successful WBUR/NPR radio host. I was on his On Point program today, talking about, in part, a compare-and-contrast between Japan and China plus other topics. Webcast here.

I fear that the Tom Waits-like effects on my voice of 30+ months of breathing l'air Chinois are becoming more evident each time I open my mouth. Oh well. Finally I have an excuse to start smoking.*
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* Just a little joke. The one thing my parents said they absolutely, completely, unconditionally would not allow would be for their kids to smoke. My dad brought up this point one evening after he had, by chance, spent the entire day at the office telling one patient after another that the cough they'd been having or that tickle in their throat was actually lung- or throat-cancer. And he was a normal internist, not an oncologist! It impressed me.

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