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The Roomba home vacuum cleaner is iRobot's best-known product, but the company also makes the PackBot, designed to go places humans can't, or prefer not to.

Two PackBots are now in use at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, along with two of iRobot's heavier-duty Warrior models.


"Tucson tower, Tucson tower, do you read?"

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Following several incidents in which air traffic controllers were found sleeping on duty, the Federal Aviation Administration has added air traffic controllers to a number of control towers around the country. Including Tucson International (!) Airport.

Somewhere in Tokyo: Back to Normal

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Tokyo Year Zero

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The damage caused by the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami to the nuclear reactors in Fukushima has left the Tokyo area badly short of energy, and the power utility – Tokyo Electric Power Co. (boo! hiss!) has implemented a system of rolling blackouts outside the Tokyo metropolitan area, and asked residents and businesses to cut back their power use as much as possible.

That's part of the background to this cartoon. The rest of the background is that despite Japan's (well-deserved) reputation as a law-abiding country, quite a bit of sexual harassment goes on, and quite a bit of that occurs in the capital's famously overcrowded trains (it seems Japan's first women-only train cars were put into service in 1912!).


Meanwhile, in Shibuya

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One of the potentially most damaging side effects of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown crisis that is gripping Japan is an austerity campaign that has seen the cancellation of hundreds of events, calls to skip the nation's traditional cherry blossom-themed celebration of springtime, and – probably most important - the cancellation of the season finale of 24, a show so famous here a parliamentarian recently suggested the prime minister could learn a lesson or two about disaster management from Jack Bauer.

The problem, of course, is that if people sit home all day (and night), not spending their money, businesses will go out of business. Thousands of businesses will go out of business.

Opposable Thumbs

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A dog rescued from the sea atop the floating debris of a house has been re-united with her owner, three weeks after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.
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Politicomix by Roberto De Vido is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License