Princes of the Yen


A most excellent documentary on how the Japanese became an economic miracle thanks to their economic planning —  via Window Guidance, a process by which the Bank of Japan imposed where the credit went, and what quantity of it. It also shows how unbridled capitalism, which took hold of the country in the 80s, made it prey to boom and bust cycles and caused it to become the most indebted country in the world.

You can watch it in YouTube.

Talking about the future in English

aj will, going to (4).jpg

We can talk about future plans and events in English in many different ways. For example, we could just use the present simple:

My train leaves at 8:30 tomorrow

Here, we are speaking about a future event using the present. We need to indicate the time, of course. We can also use the present continuous for arrangements and appointments:

I am meeting Maria tomorrow.

She is playing football Thursday evening, so she cannot meet you.

We also need to use a time expression, generally. Sometimes we will use it without a time expression when it’s something that is about to happen:

(the bell rings) “I’m coming!”

Another option is using going to. We use this option generally when we have decided to do something, even if we have not arranged it or made an appointment. We can also use it in past to express you had plans for something that didn’t happen in the end.

I am going to study law from now on.

We are going to buy a new car.

She was going to take the exam yesterday, but she had an accident.

Going to is also used for predictions, when they are based on evidence we can see.

(we see some very dark clouds above the city) “It is going to rain a lot!”

Another way of talking about the future is using will. Will is used when we make a spontaneous decision:

Is Jessica coming? Then I’ll go too!

Will is also used when offering something,  when you are agreeing or promising to do something, or when you are asking someone to do something.

That exercise is really difficult. I’ll help you a bit.

I’ll give you the book this Friday.

Will you please shut the door?

It is important to remember not to use will for arrangements or schedules.

Emma will work next week.

Emma is working next week 

Finally, we can also use will for predictions, like going to. The difference is how sure we are of the prediction we are making:

It’ll rain next week.




A phone with a keyboard

Now, I’m perfectly happy with my iPhone SE, which is less than a year old and works almost flawlessly. I’m also happy with my Macbook Pro. This does not mean I don’t still keep some of my previous preferences, such as Thinkpads (I still sometimes turn on my X60s, and still consider it to be an amazing laptop – maybe the best ever) or phones with physical keyboards. The last keyboard-equipped phone I owned was a Palm Pre (look it up, amazing phone and wonderful Operating System) but I have periodically had these impulses to go back to an older phone with a physical keyboard. I’ve looked up and nearly bought the Nokia E72, but I’ve always ended up getting other models. I’m yet again tempted by the BlackBerry KEYone.


The phone is beautiful in a business-like way, understated and elegant. This is specially true for the kind of people who also like business laptops, of course, as they share much of the same… aesthetics. BlackBerries. Thinkpads. Airports. Briefcases. Business cards. A double-shot latte with in a medium-sized cup, best bang for the buck, intense flavour, no sugar, trying to lose some weight. In any case, this phone is not only what I like looks-wise, it’s also actually good, according to the reviews. Good battery life, nice camera, latest Android version, an all-around good package.