Alfie_in_Tokyo comments

Posted in: Japan enacts 1st law allowing for military space use See in context

the satellites are limited to spotting objects as small as 1 meter at maximum

You mean only slightly better than google earth's old pix? C'mon. They could probably pick out a middle finger ok

Quite so weedkilla: back in the late 1980s I saw some pictures taken using a Russian spy satellite. I was in the Army at the time. The pictures were shown to me by someone working at a London-based military HQ. From one of the pictures I could pratically make out the cards in the hand of someone sat on the edge of a square in Moscow. Probably enough to have phoned his mate and told him what his opponent had in his hand: two Aces, two Kings and a Three. Technology we know about and technology that exists are usually two different thimgs.

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Posted in: Japan enacts 1st law allowing for military space use See in context

I read this story first on the UK's Guardian newspaper website, where it quotes the US Ambassador as follows:

*"Our capabilities have increased dramatically because we are spending more on defence than we were 10 years ago," Schieffer said this week.

"That helps Japan. I don't think it is unfair of us to suggest that Japan needs to look at that and make an assessment. A hard choice, perhaps, but Japan needs to spend more on defence," he said.*

Whatever you all may say about Japan, no doubt they are being urged on by the US in this instance, especially because of the US's desire to militarise space further and - I would imagine - to have a friendly, hi-tech nation with their own space programme on board.

Ah, the irony of it all: US wins war over Japan and brings in law to cap their defence spending. This in turn has a positive effect on Japan which, unlike most other industrialized nations actually spends 1% or less of its GDP on defence. A good thing in my book, leaving more money to be spent on more useful things than killing machines.

So, now the US Ambassador to Japan and - presumably the wider US administration - is hedging Japan towards increasing their defence budget.

Victor reforms and pacifies the vanquished. 60 years later they are urging the country to ramp-up their military.

Funny old game life, isn't it?

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Posted in: Stallone See in context

Is he pulling back on that bow for dramatic effect, or to stretch out the wrinkles?

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Posted in: Japan to propose copyright fees on iPods, digital hard disk recorders See in context

The proceeds would go to recording companies, songwriters and artists.

If the proceeds went to the latter two of these then I could handle this proposal, just about. The outdated business practices of the recording industry aside, the people who write, and perform the music should get something back for what they do. It is obviously easier for people to do all kinds of production and promotion themselves now - with the internet, a Mac with ProTools on it etc - and there are lots of people doing that.

If all you folk downloading music for free were told that all the money, after overheads for manufacture and promotion, recording etc were taken out - went to the artist: would you pay money for your music then? How do you propose that the musicians get paid and earn a living?

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Posted in: Japan running short of butter See in context

switch to olive oil and stop imitating tasteless Americans.

Ahem, excuse me but the best butter comes from either England, New Zealand or France.

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Posted in: Toymakers actively developing eco-friendly products See in context

All of these moves taken to potentially address one issue usually end up causing others. Supermarkets in the UK have started using a huge amount of bio-plastics to replace plastic packaging. Two issues here; one, the material gives off increased amounts greenhouse gases as it decomposes in landfill and often needs higher temperatures to degrade. Second, as with bio-ethanol [petrol replacement] vast tracts of land are now under cultivation for these eco-materials that were once used for cultivating food. Tricky being green, huh? :-)

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Posted in: Woman arrested for beating sister to death with rock in Yokohama See in context

I agree with rjd_jr. There is stuff to fix here in Japanese society and a degree of owning-up to the issues faced by society from the Japanese themselves. However, how many Japanese people read this website?

Plus, a perpetual stream of doom-laden news also has its own effect, in one part to numb people to such stuff - causing them to switch off - and on the other hand to paint an overly depressing view of life.

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Posted in: Woman arrested after trying to flush infant down toilet in Nagoya See in context

This lady should be put away for a long time.

What precisely would that achieve?

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Posted in: Komura urges China to come clean on Tibet See in context

“There is a wide gap between what the side of the Dalai Lama is saying and what the Chinese side is saying. I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle,” Komura said.

No, I think the situation is probably a lot more complicated than either the Dalai Lama or China are making it out to be.

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Posted in: What are your views on parents hitting young children as a means of punishing or disciplining them? See in context

Everton2: the modern world you are speaking of is the same one responsible for divorce, separation, erosion of family life, both parents out at work, too many pressures too early on children, and a dozen more things that contribute to less time being spent with kids by less members of their immediate and extended families.

I hope that your black and white approach to the occasional smack means that you have paid strict attention to all these other areas of life?

There are a lot of reasons why I would agree with you - about certain people not being fit to be parents. The odd smack is not one of them though.

My kids have had - on very rare occasions - a smack across their hand or the back of their legs when nothing else had worked. Balanced out with all the other things I, my wife and our extended family do for our children I dont see that rare smack is a reason to have me struck off as a parent.

Surely, like pretty much everything in life, it is question of balance. Use something all the time and its effect is non-existent. Use it very, very rarely and it can be useful in reaffirming the location of the line that shalt not be crossed.

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Posted in: Ebi-chan in new McDonald's TV ad See in context

I like the way that when you say McWrap it sounds a bit like Mac-crap.

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Posted in: Manner poster See in context

I find this better than the way similar signs were phrased back in England: "Would you behave like this at home?" For most British yobs and slobs, the answer would be a resounding 'yes'.

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Posted in: Japan won't let Chinese security guards accompany Olympic torch relay in Nagano See in context

Interesting that a lot of people find the politicizing of the torch relay sadenning. The torch relay itself was an event created for the 1936 Berlin Games as a way of upping the drama and expanding on the notion of the link the Nazis were making between aryan power, beauty and strength and that in mythology of the Greeks who started the games. So, the torch relay was an invention of the Nazis, masters of political propaganda.

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Posted in: Weather girl See in context

Maybe she is pointing to the islands that used to be part of Japan.....

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Posted in: Train power failure See in context

Thought it was a picture of the TMG's new plan to 'uncrowd' the streets after an earthquake.

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Posted in: Fertility festival See in context

Odd picture to chose to highlight this festival as it sort of skews the whole inference of the event from its tradition towards it being just another street parade for knobbly-kneed, over-the-hill transvestites.

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Posted in: The high cost of kids See in context

Life is expensive. Introducing other little people into the equation just adds to the costs. And in line with rjd jr's comment about what other wise investments one could use the money for, I'd be interested to see this article balanced out with one about how much money the average Japanese dog lover wastes on clothes, pedicures, sunglasses, health-clinics and the like for their daft dogs......

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Posted in: 70-200mm telephoto lens See in context

I agree. Plus, that picture you have illustrating this article is of the Nikon 70-200 pro zoom lens.

This item from the above review:

"which makes it possible for you to take bright photographs in dark places with high speed shooting without blurring"

...is like me reviwing the new Ferrari and saying it:

"has a 6litre engine and 650hp meaning you can go really fast if you press your right foot down hard on the little rectangular pedal that sits on the floor."

Please, I am a pro-photographer. If you want to review pieces of pro gear, for christ's sake get someone capable of writing even half-way decent copy.

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Posted in: High-speed digital camera See in context

Yes, but the latest Canon DSLR has a full-frame CMOS sensor, capable of taking pics up to 22Megapixel whch you could enlarge to cover the side of a building. Plus a proper flip-mirror and shutter. I admit 60fps is impressive but a 20X digital zoom sounds impressive until you see the quality of it compared to a traditional optical zoom.

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Posted in: CHIYUKI Autumn&Winter Collection 2008 See in context

70s music came back. 80s music came back. The Rubik cube came back. Looks like heroin chic is back too...

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Posted in: Cloverfield See in context

Looks like orange is the new black for Nishioka :-)

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Posted in: Sakura See in context

Yes. Google the photographer.....

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Posted in: Celebrity Australian chef introduces Japan to the pleasure of breakfast See in context

VoxMan is right. My mu used to make scrambled eggs like this, about 35 years ago. Everything comes around I guess. However, rather than all this fuss about eggs, can anyone tell me where I can get some real bacon in this country? I can cook great scrambled eggs myself but the absence of a nice piece of salty, semi-crispy, rind-on British back bacon is causing me some anxiety now...

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