blackbagger comments

Posted in: Harumafuji indicted over assault; JSA seeks to remove stablemaster Takanohana as director See in context

He went open to the police about a crime so he’s being punished because the people in charge of sumo didn’t want the bad publicity. That’s all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Arms show offers Japan venue to build military ties in Southeast Asia See in context

So here we are. Abe and co rattle sabres and say Japan needs to protect itself against aggression from N Korea and China, but it's really all about money. Make the public fear foreign aggression, so we can have an excuse to build more weapons, then sell them abroad. It's win win for Abe and his cronies in the military business.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Panel proposes easing teachers' workload as part of education reform See in context

How about letting kids not do club activities when the season is done? Let them have a rest.

As for teachers, some of the overtime is hard work, but a lot is just sitting around in the teachers room after school chatting and wasting time. In many cases especially young teachers feel they can't leave before the boss or they'll look bad, so they stay even if they don't have anything to do.

If the principals and VPs had any sense of decency they would leave early as a show that it's ok for the other teachers to leave. But many don't. Many principals will sit in their office after school reading a newspaper or doing basically nothing for hours, not realizing the suffering they're inflicting on their staff.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe, cabinet ministers promote Super Cool Biz See in context

You own 30 kariyushi? Just in case you want to wear a different one every day for a month? Congratulations, you win a prize.

It doesn't surprise me that Abe and his fan club would wear expensive shirts for a press photo and then immediately change into something more businesslike.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Drunk firefighter arrested for intruding into man’s home, falling asleep on bed See in context

While he was arrested I would love to think no charges were pressed as he did no harm and it wasn't intentional

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's antitrust watchdog considers action against Apple, carriers See in context

I don't think the issue is Galaxy vs iPhone here. It's Galaxy vs Japanese companies' android phones. How much discount do the carriers give for a Sony or Sharp smartphone?

Also, I think they need to pay more attention to the other aspects of how the big three carriers work to squeeze more money out of customers. In addition to the contracts and early termination fees people have mentioned, how about overcharging for data, or even worse charging you tons for unlimited phone usage, a service that almost no one needs and costs them nothing to provide.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: At old-style drinking places, the quest for Showa-era nostalgia clashes with reality See in context

I think it depends on the place. The shops opened specifically to cater to some Showa "boom" are going to be no better than chain restaurants, but I know a few places in Asakusa where the staff are always friendly and the food is good.

I would also disagree with Yoshida's assessment of the quality of food in chain restaurants. Most chain izakayas serve decent food but it's rarely good and rarely worth the price.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Details of TPP deal released See in context

70 years after someone's death for copyright is now and has always been just silly. And unnecessary IMO. I mean, if Disney lost copyright control of Mickey and all the early characters they could just sell their stuff as "official" products. And people would still buy it. TPP extending this provision to other countries does nothing but stifle artists trying to use what should be public domain by now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Impoverished foreign students fall into life of crime See in context

If the number of students is increasing by that much, but the crime rate among Vietnamese students is only increasing by 20% then that means overall bringing in more foreign students/trainees actually is reducing the crime rate. Which is almost always the case in any country. People go overseas to make a new life, and only a few are pushed into crime but the percentage of foreigners in any country committing crimes is almost always lower than the rate of people from that country, especially if you consider that (as is the case in Japan) most foreign committed crimes are visa related, not robbery, murder, arson, rape or any other much more serious crimes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: JOC officials 'astonished' by Tomita's theft denial See in context

I think implying he's a kleptomaniac is unnecessary. If he stole the camera then he stole it. That's all. I'm guessing someone gave him the advice to say it was a foreigner who slipped it into his bag, but whoever did that is an idiot. If he'd apologized and been done with it, then he could've gone on with his life, especially after paying the measly $915 fine he got, which was obviously the Korean legal system showing leniency for what they saw as a young kid who did something stupid on impulse but wasn't really a serious criminal. But now he's risking everything, and for what? Silly.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: EOS M2 mirrorless camera See in context

The fact that they didn't bother to release any new lenses at all with the M2 shows Canon doesn't really care about the mirrorless market.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Powerful Cybershot camera See in context

Great. If the price was even remotely reasonable. For that much money (and the weight) you might as well either get an entry-ish DSLR or a mirrorless, even if you are a beginner. The 1" sensor is very nice I'll admit, and the combination of the big-ish sensor with long zoom could be tempting for some people, but those people don't want to spend more than maybe 50,000.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Why it’s so important for Japanese celebrities to star in commercials See in context

A friend of mine who was in the tv business in Japan told me a different story. He told me most of the variety shows don't pay that much at all, and that the point of being in them was to get enough face time on tv that you become more popular. Get more popular and you get hired to be in very lucrative commercials. Repeat this cycle enough, and you might just get a big part in a regular drama. There you increase the value of your name, earn more and bigger cm bits, and so on. Then of course the truly talented/lucky stars get big parts in movies and if they make enough money and earn enough respect they can just go from movie to movie without jumping through all the hoops. Not sure if this is 100% accurate, and even if it is I'm sure there are a lot of exceptions, but I think it explains the prevalence of the same talents better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Quality vs cost in Japan See in context

This article sounds intelligent on the surface, but when you think about it for even a second you realize the same thing happens everywhere, and there is nothing special or unique about the ramen shop in Japan that despite being awesome sells its ramen at cheap prices.

As a real world example, take any one of dozens of Chicago pizzeria that all sell great food or they'd go out of business because the standard of quality is so high, but most rely on world of mouth to get customers, and have fiendishly loyal fans. They, like the ramen shops in Japan, are also cheap because that's what the market dictates.

The author is simply trying to find uniqueness when it's just the way certain elements of the restaurant (and other) industries work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Review: Tech in Galaxy S 4 doesn't come together See in context

If the battery life is good when you turn off these extra features, it'll be a great phone. Otherwise I say pass and get a HTC One.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to restart nuclear reactors once safety assured See in context

Never mind that Japan has tons of sources of geothermal energy, but they don't bother to tap them. Nuclear power is safe in general, when there are proper checks in place by unbiased 3rd parties and when the plants are built to properly deal with local conditions. Alas, in Japan we have neither. The people doing the checking are all in cahoots with the plant builders ,and corners are cut all the time to save a few bucks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Les Miserables' relies on close-ups for emotional punch See in context

Saw it yesterday. Overall it was good, but the insistence on constant close-ups got old quick. There's a lot going on in the world but you just don't get to see enough of it. I would pay serious cash to be able to see this movie again, filmed with a little more movement and a few wider camera shots, just to mix it up a little.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP favored to win lower house election See in context

As long as it's not Ishihara and Hashimoto I'm happy about that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Differences between men and women otaku See in context

Want to know the biggest difference between make and female otaku, as I've experienced it? Body odor...

Just kidding. I agree with CrisGerSan for the most part. You can't pin down the differences in such a simple way. But I also think a lot of the anime made specifically about otaku-ism are themselves over generalizing and over simplifying things, or inventing character types and presenting them as if they are a real category of otaku.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Thoughts on nature and agriculture in Japan See in context

Cool ideas... Until you pause and remember that fish didn't evolve to be caught by people. People found places where you can fish and returned again and again to get food. Yes, the thrill of fishing may be a part of the activity now, but the goal of fishing is to get food. Fish live to eat, reproduce and carry on their species, not to become food for anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Digital SLR camera D5200 from Nikon See in context

One question: did they bother to put on a 2nd dial so you can control shutter and aperture without having to switch?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's gadget failures: One man refuses to forget See in context

I wonder if glasses with no lenses, which are apparently popular nowadays, will enter his collection right along with the radio TV.

I certainly hope so, tho they aren't really in the same category. I love old crazy stuff like he collects. And sometimes they do the job better than newer stuff, they just couldn't sell because of cost, size or bad luck.

I think the era of Japanese innovation will come again. Yes, JP companies lost a lot of maneuvering room when they got too big, but look at phone makers. The best phones in the world were all made by JP companies until the iPhone came along and toppled a stagnant market. And at the moment all the phones are dominated by android or iOS, but the JP companies are starting to make good handsets again. Japan will come around in other areas, too, especially as big companies shave off the fat. Or if they don't they go under as they should.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Some interesting tidbits about Tokyo's 23 wards See in context

I think whether subunits of a metropolis are called boroughs, wards, or are themselves separate cities depends on the culture and how the metropolis grew up. When they drew up the ku plan for Tokyo I think it was to try to unify areas that had been up till then under separate leadership. I think boroughs are more for places where the city as an entity existed long before it grew to a huge size requiring separate govt for each area.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure Los Angeles also has the same system, right? They call the sub-units Cities. Anyone from LA want to correct me on this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Softbank CEO embroiled in Twitter war after donating $500,000 to Hurricane Sandy relief See in context

It may seem like boasting or showing off or trying to ingratiate yourself with new markets, but who cares? Son has donated so much the past two years first after 311 and now to New York. It helps people. That's all that matters. And publicizing donations may seem to be in bad taste but it also raises awareness.

Like in the case of AKB48 giving after 311. Say what you want about the group, but they gave huge donations in comparison to their individual salaries, and their donations could easily help shame bigger stars into being more giving and being more aware that help is needed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 says public support for Olympics rising See in context

Ugh, just think about the roads that could've been fixed and jobs that could've been created if all the money spent on courting an Olympic bid would've been spent on something that actually benefited the city.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: A month after download law, consumers spending less on music: survey See in context

Ah, gaijinfo, you beat me to it. Study after study always show that the big illegal downloaders are also people who spend money on legitimate music. Just look at the stats the article cites: "analysts suggesting that just one in 10 downloads were legal." 1 in 10 tho still results in a profit. 0 downloads = no money made by anyone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Worker says Fukushima nuclear plant crisis crew not told of danger See in context

OK. He may have gotten only 20 millisieverts in that situation, but the people who were in the water got much much higher, especially someone who got enought radiation to cause beta burns. Fortunately for them, exposure would be mainly on their legs and feet. If they'd been in the water up to their waists it would've been a lot worse. My gut, though, says whenever they mention how much rads a certain worker gets it is almost always rounded down significantly. Truly tragic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Skeleton found in closet of house being demolished See in context

I'd like to think when they tear down my old apartment building they'll probably find a few.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: New 'Star Wars' movies - dream come true, or cosmic yawn? See in context

I have to agree with Thomas Proskow completely, animatronics are always better. Can you imagine how awesome Grievous might have been if he'd been all real pieces on stage (and given a better end, sheesh)? I think somewhere along the line people got drunk on CGI, whereas really, for a robot there are so many ways you can do it for real and cheaply and still look great. I mean, a close-up of a robot only requires a remote controlled head on a stick and it's fine. Maybe add CGI for lights, force-fields and coloring touch-ups but that's all. And if cutting back on CGI forces you to make fights without fake ninja moves, then even better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's radiation monitoring unreliable: Greenpeace See in context

It's just like Joseph Garrett Baxter said, measuring radiation is simple. The quality of the machine determines the results, tho in actuality now it's not so hard to get a machine that produces excellent results.

The thing that scares me most, tho, is not the hot spots we focus on so much. Yes, they are dangerous but not many people will be sleeping in a gutter in Fukushima City.

What is really scary is that right around Fukushima Station and the eastern part of Date City I got measurements over 1 microsievert/hour just walking around town, at waist level. And many other people and organizations have got the same readings. These are the levels of radiation people living in Fukushima are being constantly exposed to, and are more of a concern IMO. These are the levels that will contribute to people getting vastly higher doses than they should be exposed to.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

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