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Posted in: Toho sues U.S. studio over Godzilla copyright violation See in context

Voltage Pictures. Now where have I heard that name before...? Oh yeah! The studio currently going after Aussie downloaders The Dallas Buyers Club case). Hope Toho give them an absolute caning!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China dashes Hollywood's hopes for greater access in 2014 See in context

David Foley, I can see where you're coming from and often it's good to have some healthy competition to spur things along- but cultures, like endangered species can definitely be worth preserving as something unique and enriching to everyone overall. For this reason I support such measures to defend against being swamped.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Jackson outburst shows problems with 'other' faces See in context

I'm usually good at picking faces- bad at names, like a lot of people; but even I got momentarily confused when the media had a chuckle at the company which accidentally ran a tribute of Nelson Mandela using Morgan Freeman's face. A friend of mine with a Vietnamese mother told me she still has problems picking Caucasians out from each other, even though she's lived among them for 30-odd years. I think the reaction in this case was overblown and I can sympathise with the hapless reporter- despite the sensitivity surrounding race relations in the U.S.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: China dashes Hollywood's hopes for greater access in 2014 See in context

Both Japan and China should restrict the type and quantity of US films because : (1) The violent crimes rate per 1000 people in US is much higher that of Japan or China. Movies should be banned because of their violent content not based on true stories, like those about gangsters. (2) US produces a lot of "trash" movies. (3) Both countries should protect their movie industry.

There is so much about this that defies the real-world. Violent (or any other) American movies are hugely popular in countries with miniscule crime rates- and indeed in countries where crime rates have been in steady decline. On top of this, I've seen plenty of Japanese, Chinese and assorted movies where the protagonists and their enemies all lie dead in pools of their own blood at the end. Back to the main topic, I think countries have every right to quotas as a buffer for cultural reasons (China, France, Australia etc), to keep local content from being flooded by cheap mass-productions from overseas. The quality of U.S entertainment is in the beholder of course, but if you don't like it then feel free not to watch it and keep your kiddies away from it until they're mature enough to handle the context.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bieber is latest child star to battle public fall See in context

Eminem hit the nail 100% on the head with the song "We made you". Everytime I see a celeb scandal or someone going off the rails in the media, I get this song in my head...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Female Osaka school clerk's pay docked over tattoos See in context

Btw I'm cool with tattoos, don't have myself and being a whitey in an onsen over there was already enough of a put off for some of the elder locals (never mind that I followed the rules that they didn:t/wouldn't- but that's a whole different story) :p

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Female Osaka school clerk's pay docked over tattoos See in context

You can still find this kind of debate in Australia- a country where every second cafe worker or restauranteur sports a sleeve tatt or something noticeable on exposed areas. In that sense, we seem to be coming a full circle on tattoos where now not being inked at all is just as expressive, but opinion can be pretty divided in the press even though we don't associate tattoos with organised crime to anywhere near the extent that Japan does...I guess that's a bit of a tangent, but what I'm getting at is that we all know how Japan is, especially when it comes to the presentation of civil servants- and that even though the average person on the street might say 'What's the big deal?', that Japanese people as a group would probably agree that conformity on this issue is either important or understandable. As Alex Kerr pointed out; the education system in Japan is just as geared towards bringing kids up Japanese as it is towards tests and grades. I'd say it's unfortunate to the worker involved, but she should have known better in the job that she had. I was once called by my boss in Japan to tell me off for crossing the road the wrong way, so even as a foreigner I knew how picky people could be!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Couple die on Aomori fishing trip; carbon monoxide poisoning suspected See in context

This is pretty sad, and an unfortunate wake-up call after other similar incidents where people have either died or passed out after closing windows and firing up the yakiniku grill. Personally, I wouldn't have guessed that tents were that airtight (especially with winter winds), so it's a tragic reminder for people that simpler methods like rugging up, using hot water bottles or heat pads is a far better option for beating the cold.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think fad diets are effective in helping to lose weight? See in context

I'm fairly active and couldn't shake my excess weight until I started to take note of what I was eating, and made some modifications to my diet which became completely normal and unnoticeable to me: switching white bread for wholewheat bread (debates over wheat aside, you're doing yourself a huge favour with a change to wholewheat); cooking up brown rice; reducing salt and sugar (especially sugar in my case as I was unaware how much a couple of teaspoons in each coffee were really stacking up over a day; and getting plenty of sleep. Studies are only just starting to show that gut bacterium respond and in different ways to the foods you eat, and can have a huge influence on weight loss or gain- so ideally just moving enough during the day and ditching bad habits will go a LONG way in getting to your goal. As a bonus, you'll be surprised how much more you enjoy the occasional treat- whereas you'll notice more and more how people nowadays are overindulging and turning what used to be standard meals into something resembling Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving feasts. At the risk of rambling on, in Australia as a kid, fast food meals were a rare treat and dinner was fairly low key...Fast forward to now and it's amazing how binge eating has become a past time, and people don't seem to notice how much food they're stuffing themselves with (not to mention boozing!).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What is the most environmentally friendly way to keep warm in winter? See in context

Seconded on the bubblewrap on windows; or you can get the rolls of stick-on plastic insulation from a home hardware center for about 700 Yen each. Weather strips are only a few hundred yen and really do a good job of plugging leaks of air coming in and out. Insulating curtains make a huge difference- and look for the ones that reduce sound and are good for use in summer as well. A fan running on the lowest setting on top of a shelf can cycle the warm air back down from ceiling level and will make a noticeable difference.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Indonesian, Australia leaders trade jabs over spying allegations See in context

The opposition Labor Party should not be trying to score any points out of this either, as surveillance towards Indonesia has most likely occurred for years or decades under successive governments. Indonesia is probably feeling pressed about the whole asylum seeker issue which is one of Abbott's hardline themes and is now capitalising on leaks which highlight what would otherwise be seen as the unwanted but standard conduct among nations. Nobody in their right mind should be surprised (and I agree that the phone-tapping has probably gone too far), but this situation is going to require some delicate face-saving, public backing down and diplomacy by both sides.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Use your smartphone as a projector to create a dazzling 3D light show at home See in context

How utterly boring.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: NRA says tainted water may have to be released into ocean See in context

Globalwatcher, my understanding is admittedly vague, but what I understand is that the radioactive particles are mostly attached to larger particles in the water, which can be filtered and extracted relatively easy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Pope's revolution - not all are pleased See in context

"Do not depend on religion , but on reading the BIBLE .The bible is complete guidance for human being ."

I agree on not depending on religion, but a definite no to the last bit. Every single person who I've met with the same opinion on following mostly or only the bible, have all been very, very fruity. At the very least, an educated mainstream follower or theologian (Catholic or otherwise), could point out verses in the bible which are open to interpretation and aren't to be followed literally etc. If we are to assume there is a God, I could never believe he plonked us on this planet with our brain capacity to only follow the written word of his bronze-age adherents and hold ourselves back.

Anyhow, as for fundamentalists, I'll let Colonel Kira from Star Trek Deep Space Nine sum it up: *"I've always found that when people try to convince others of their beliefs it's because they're really just trying to convince themselves."


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: No-one can contain China, says analyst See in context

Trying to contain China either overtly or by subtle means is inflammatory and ultimately cements existing xenophobic attitudes. I've been interested in China's rise for a while, but it is telling when Chinese friends of mine have been saying for a few years that Western media have been blowing the rise of China completely out of proportion- Now media outlets are slowly waking up to the fact that China could have its own series of "lost decades", ala Japan. I think it's more important that China balances out domestically with regards to its internal markets and the political situation; and can replace its ambitions with a focus on consolidation and improvement of its lot.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Lawson store closed after employee puts photo of himself in freezer on Facebook See in context

I think the ice cream companies should be forced shut pending an official investigation, and the offending convenience store worker executed for his actions- I say this as a faux Japanese neighborhood biddy with 10 imaginary cats.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Panda back on view after being confirmed not pregnant See in context

*when asked

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Panda back on view after being confirmed not pregnant See in context

Urgh Combinibento, I'd never stoop to an awful pun like that. Although I did hear that asked for the "meal of the day", staff at the Zoo's cafeteria replied "pan da!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Facebook time See in context

Abe's translator is smirking to herself and updating her status: "LOL in a LAME meeting, but Facebook rep can't trawl my written data FTW!!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe leaves for Europe to explain 'Abenomics' at G8 summit See in context

"Hello Europe! Well you see, it's like this; It's kind of like a pyramid scheme but uniquely Japanese. You wouldn't understand. Thank you".

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Google's wearable Glass gadget: cool or creepy? See in context

At least with this technology you could have some control over where is appropriate for wearing these devices. I'm pretty sure the movie industry will lead the way in having them banned outright from cinemas, and other establishments will automatically follow suit. There is a fair bit of a media beat-up about Google Glass, but some of it is fair- like facial recognition technology which borders on scary considering its potential use for stalking and possibly picking people out of a crowd. That said, a major supermarket chain in Australia recently ran into trouble over the sale of video recording pens; and video recording watches can easily be bought online. Iffy websites that owe their existence to voyeur material are going to be even bigger winners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 84% of women don’t want to see men's nipples at office: survey See in context

I didn't even realise mine were noticeable under my shirt until a student pointed it out and the other kids in the class started giggling...Got some darker shirts and always threw on the undershirt if I wore white after that! As for the office, I'm sorry but if someone told me my nipples were offensive, I'd probably throw back a comment about their breath- I don't miss that about Japan!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Farmers resume planting rice near crippled Fukushima site See in context

It's probably easy for me to say, but if I were a farmer there is no way I could sleep at night wondering if some of my produce slipped detection and was poisoning anyone- kids especially. Like someone else said, I wouldn't mind paying a government levy on rice to compensate and relocate farmers in that area of Fukushima. I understand that farmers have worked in that area for their whole lives, but unfortunately detection flaws and loopholes are going to happen again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Germany most popular country in the world; Japan No. 4: BBC poll See in context

This just reminds me of South Park's episode where the Germans beat the Japanese in the awards for Earth's least funny people, and Merkel went on a tour trying to tell jokes :p

On the holidays issue, I found the Japanese attitude towards them to be like one big massive Catholic guilt-trip: Thou shalt not take lengthy holidays; Repent and shower your office in cookies, confess your sin and say 7 Hail Mary's to your shacho.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: A visit from Thai PM See in context

Handshakes 'can' be a good giveaway of who thinks they have the cards- although when it comes to the Japanese the interpretation of many common gestures can go right out the window. As the Thai PM is also Asian, it's a little iffy to apply standard Western norms. On the other hand, if you look at photos of Bill and Hillary Clinton taking a walk, you can clearly see she's taking the lead and considers him to be her property. Although, sometimes you just have to take some things at face-value as coincidental posturing. The best examples of power play handshakes can be seen with European/US leaders. Most Western leaders are given a rundown in how to try and 'gain the upper hand', so to speak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Same-sex marriage gains traction around world See in context

I'm going on, but if the Bible is to be taken literally, polygamy, slavery, incest and genocide could all be acceptable under certain conditions or when "necessary". As society changes and modernises into an urbanised structure, it stands to reason that there is some leeway, but wickedness, greed and murder are all constant no-no's throughout the old and new testaments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. study sees China using 'coercive power' on Japan See in context

Sorry, am I missing something here? How is paying the neighbourhood protection racket so much more enlightened than participating in alliances for mutual assistance?

We have to spell out each country's name in full with the Colony descriptions so the world know they are just a semi sovereign nation, not yet mature okay?

If these countries are smart, they will see China as a Protector like in the old days where tributary countries pay homage to China

Fortunately I think China is a bit more reasonable than wanting to be basically worshiped and paid off like a neighbourhood mobster protection racket.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: The 5 most popular snacks in Japan See in context

I too, thought the ranking categories were odd. Maybe they should have asked people's favorite branded snacks from each major category: Chocolate, chips, senbei etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mister Donut Japan to change product ingredients for first time in 42 years See in context

Seconded on the Angel Creams: Leave them alone! (Going by the name I'm not sure I wanna know what they're made of anyhow :p )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Free gifts, cheap coffee no help as McDonald’s Japan troubles continue See in context

Is it just me, or is that a bloodstained Ronald clapping his hands together with an "Itadakimasu". Cameraman is a goner...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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