chardk1 comments

Posted in: World's oldest man dies at 113 See in context

Well, that's some consolation for John McCain. He may not have won the office of President, but at least he's the world's oldest man.

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Posted in: North Korea's Kim using gifts to win support See in context

You have to admit that considering he only has two means of persuasion, bribery and punishment, Kim Jong Il has managed to get his way for quite a long time. Now to see if Junior will be so lucky . . .

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Posted in: Gundam See in context

Now if the Japanese could just combine this thing with Asimo and KOBIAN so we can have an 18 meter robot with seven emotions that can kick a soccer ball and carry trays of tea, that would be truly awesome. Weird, but awesome.

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Posted in: Robot expresses human emotions See in context

wow... I first thought it a was a Kano-sister just by the thumbnail...

Haha, I bet Kyoko Kano would have to imbed some motors in her face to communicate emotions at this point.

Seven emotions, that's five and a half more than the average Japanese person can be bothered to express, so I guess they are building these robots to show schoolkids in 2020 what a full range of emotions looked like back in the olden days.

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Posted in: Chinatsu Wakatsuki goes topless for charity See in context

Eh, whatever her reasons if Chinatsu does something to generate enough funds to build a school in India she's accomplished more than any of her critics I wager. If I were poor, I'd take the person helping me out for their own selfish motives over the idealistic big talker who watches me starve while he pontificates on the true meaning of charity any day of the week and twice on Tuesday.

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Posted in: Kyoko Kano says she refused marriage proposal from British guy See in context

Everyone in Japan who can be bothered to check (admittedly not a lot of people) know Kano shimai are made-for-TV characters and not real people (they are two B-level "actresses" who knock off Dewi fujin) and that pretty much everything they say is a work in the same way that pro wrestling is a work. And yet the Japanese media reports the things they say with a completely straight face. I guess some would call it being "respectful" but others would just call it terrible journalism.

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Posted in: Takarazuka star Hana Hizuki to retire See in context

Lonely, middle-aged single OL's across this great nation must have been devastated at the news.

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Posted in: Namie Amuro shines in the bathtub for new hair-care commercials See in context

Ah, U2 wrote a song to perform at Obama's inauguration, Amuro had a song "created" (by whom she doesn't say) for a shampoo commercial. Says it all really about the self-proclaimed "Queen of Hip-Hop."

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Posted in: Maya Kobayashi turns freelance presenter See in context

What I don't understand is how Japanese people divide females in the entertainment industry into actresses, CM spokepeople, fashion models, TV show hosts, announcers, etc. As with Kobayashi there really isn't any distinction between them in terms of qualifications and what they do (sit there, look pretty, read off some lines), and they will do any of the above if offered anyway. I guess she thinks it's more genteel to refer to herself as a joshiana but, she may as well call herself "gum hawker" or "comedy show judge" since she is just as likely to be doing those things as presenting the news.

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Posted in: Companies angry over thoughtless students amid economic downturn See in context

If you don't like an interviewee's response DON'T HIRE THEM. Don't whine and moan about how you didn't like their attitude or whatever. On the other hand, if so many interviewees have this "bad attitude" that you have to hire some of them, maybe, just maybe, society is changing and it's your inability to adapt that is the problem. This to me typifies one of the main problems of Japan today, people seem reluctant to deal with actual problems other than to insist "this is not the way it is supposed to be."

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Posted in: Aso says world religions can learn from Japan See in context

When the PM is this out of touch is it any wonder there are problems? Setting aside how wrong Aso is on his characterizations of religious doctrine, IMO Japanese people under 30 are just as lazy if not lazier than people living in Judeo-Christian nations. In terms of NEETs, freeters and parasite singles who have mommy cooking and cleaning for them long past the point of shameful spongery, Japan doesn't compare all that favorably to a lot of other countries, and many of the slackers here don't even seem to be having that much fun, just gloomily apathetic.

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Posted in: Cars are no longer as appealing to young people in Japan See in context

Really depends where you live. If you live in central Tokyo you certainly don't need and may not even want a car unless you have a family to lug around on weekends. However, there are many areas in Japan where it would be pretty inconvenient or actively impractical not to have a car, so it seems fairly ludicrous to assert people in general should or should not need this that or the other thing.

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Posted in: Bush gives $17 bil loan lifeline to GM, Chrysler See in context

The UAW should get the deal they negotiated with the Big Three? The government has no right to interfere with the existing labor agreement? The government is already interfering by bailing the companies out! This is not an issue of legal contractual fairness at all. You try going to court and saying "your Honor, the other party to my contract doesn't have money he owes me under our deal and if he goes bankrupt I'll have no claim against him, so please GIVE him money to pay to me. And mind you, make sure it is the full amount, don't cheat me out of my deal!" Utter nonsense, the judge would laugh you out of court.

Ask Americans who used to be in the steel, textile or electronics manufacturing industries how much their labor contracts with favorable terms kept them warm at night and put food on the table once the companies went bankrupt or moved all production overseas. I want the US auto industry to prosper and the workers to get a fair wage but the UAW has no leg to stand on from a negotiating standpoint, and that isn't being anti-union it's just a fact.

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Posted in: Gackt to perform theme song for new 'Kamen Rider' show See in context

Is he providing the mask for Kamen Rider as well, i.e. his face?

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Posted in: U.S. auto industry problems spell trouble for Japan as well See in context

I tend to agree with Tatsumaru in the medium to long run, but IMO issuing an ultimatum for the UAW to agree to slash pay and benefits of its hundreds of thousands of members within a few days is unrealistic. The original plan was for the $14 billion to be an emergency bailout until the Big 3 presented a more comprehensive recovery plan in March. I don't really see why Congress couldn't impose the same deadline on the UAW and let the plan move forward for now, unless this really is just about union-busting.

Both sides have it wrong, the anti-UAW politicians shouldn't hit the kill switch on the US auto industry just to stick to unions, and the UAW should not get all of their members permanently laid off as a matter of abstract labor organization principles. Both sides are showing a remarkable lack of vision.

I do have to say that the union-friendly liberal media (and it pains me to say that as I am a liberal and generally wince at liberal media-bashing) who decry how Congress bails out Wall Street but not Detroit are off base. For the past two decades GM and Ford have been consistently losing money on the auto side, but have kept afloat by issuing debt and selling auto leases, loans and other credit transactions and by selling cars to rental car agencies which they also happen to own. Chrysler is owned by Cerberus, which is just a giant hedge fund. The Big 3 have been nothing more than unprofitable storefronts for credit transactions which means Wall Street has been subsidizing auto workers for years, not the other way around. If anything the Big Three have been playing this shell game in order to deal with the high overhead presented by unionized labor, and that has contributed to making them the unwieldy, unhealthy businesses that they are today.

Anyway, it doesn't matter if the UAW is right or wrong as a matter of principle, current economic conditions simply will not sustain its demands.

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Posted in: Erika Toda says she will spend Christmas working in Italy See in context

I've been living in Japan for a few years, at any given time there are half a dozen "red hot" young stars of either sex who are entirely indistinguishable from each other, their predecessors or successors. It seems to me that you can walk into any popular cafe in Shibuya on a Saturday afternoon, grab a cute girl and plug her into the spot of Aragaki Yui or Toda Erika and no one would notice or care after a few weeks. AKB48 seems to be almost a kind of postmodern take on the dime a dozen nature of female idols, but before you scoff you know a couple of them will break out as stars in their own right.

I mean, I'm glad these girls have honest work in a down economy but who are these people who can be bothered to join their fan clubs and buy their calendars and albums? You may as well be a fan of blank sheets of paper.

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Posted in: Angry Ford dealer in South Carolina blasts Japanese imports in ads See in context

Interesting how Mr. Welch is so hostile toward not foreign carmakers in general, but only Japanese carmakers. I suppose it is just a coincidence that BMW builds cars in his home state of South Carolina.

For a people who supposedly value their freedom, independence and Christian virtue, Americans sure complain a lot about how there isn't enough external pressure on them to do the right thing. If Americans think it is important to support the Big Three, nothing keeps them from buying domestic cars. But hey, it's always easier to bash other people than take a good hard look in the mirror (made in China).

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Posted in: Kano sisters release animation DVD starring their alter-egos See in context

So the women who aren't sisters and not really rich and not really attractive (and in Kyoko's case, hard to tell if really a woman) are NOW presenting us with their alter egos?

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Posted in: Pop group Exile opens outlet for 4 days in Tokyo Midtown See in context

They didn't "open a store" in Tokyo Midtown, they're holding a four-day event selling band memorabilia at the Tsutaya.

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Posted in: Sanyo electric bike can recharge itself as it goes See in context

aedfed, I ride a Trek 7.3FX in Japan which I presume would qualify as the kind of bike you say normal people should ride here instead of electric bikes. I like it fine but it tends to make me realize why it is not what many people want or need.

I agree for students and many young professionals without kids, an EAB is overkill. But if you rode in Japan for 15 years you know most people here, and just about all adult women and older people, ride "mama-charis." What they want is a big sturdy bike with lights, built-in lock, grocery basket, metal fenders, rear rack for child seat and very importantly, a centerstand so they can get kids and groceries on and off without the bike falling over. Speed and distance are not significant concerns, the bike will be used for puttering down to the train station and the shotengai. For these people EAB's make a lot more sense, basically it's a gentsuki you can ride on the sidewalk without a license, not a bike replacement.

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Posted in: Sanyo electric bike can recharge itself as it goes See in context

I still say a good bike with an aluminum frame and between 18 and 30 gears gives excellent performance at a price less than an electric bicycle. It's also much easier to ride if you lose the power assist.

A perfectly fair point, but not really the issue for a lot of people interested in this kind of bike. There are lots of housewives, older people, salarymen etc. who want a smooth, easy ride at all times and a bike that is literally no sweat to ride even in the summer. I live in Yoyogi Uehara, a quite hilly area, and I can say that a $1000 regular bike would be small comfort to a someone schlepping around in August from Uehara to Hatagaya. Factor in a business suit, 60-year old knees, a child seat, a basket full of groceries, etc. etc. and hands down, anyone who isn't primarily interested in getting a workout is better off with an electric-assist bike.

I think Americans sometimes fail to understand that for the overwhelming majority Japanese people, bicycle riding is not a hobby, a sport or an environmental statement, it's just a form of transportation. They just want to get from point A to point B with some shopping bags with a minimum of fuss. And from that standpoint it's hard to argue with "less effort required, period."

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Posted in: Sanyo electric bike can recharge itself as it goes See in context

So, does this mean an average human or an athletic human? An average human can put out 1/10th HP, while an athletic human can put out 1/4 HP. So what is the horsepower of the Eneloop? 1/5th HP or 1/2 HP?

The current eneloop has a 240-watt motor equivalent to 1/3HP. If one assumes that the current eneloop which offers 50% power is intended to slightly exceed the power production of an athletic person, the new eneloop presumably will have 1/2HP or more in order to provide 66% power.

The 2X power only operates at below 10 km/h, and the 1X power up to 24 km/h, speeds that can easily be exceeded by the most casual of riders. The Japanese government has no interest in having people flying around at 60kph on the sidewalk. In any case working the motor to reach and sustain such speeds would drain the battery after only a few miles.

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Posted in: Sacked Japan air force head defends WWII actions See in context

Not to get all technical, but they did consciously change the name of the country at this time to Dai-Nihon TEIKOKU, the Great Japanese Empire. There is a reason why the Japanese insisted the King of Japan be called an Emperor. As Tamogami freely admits, Japan engaged in imperialism to keep up with the West. I don't care how good your intentions are, how do you build an empire in the span of a generation without any military aggression, through coincidence and luck?

People like Tamogami don't seem to understand, even if it is possible to ponder the question of "ultimately did Japan do more harm than good?" that is not really something for Japanese conservatives to take aggressively assert and take credit for. It's like the son of a slaveholder saying "hey, Blacks in America are better off on the average than Blacks in Africa, so they should be THANKING us for slavery. We can't have good race relations until blacks show the proper gratitude toward people like me." You can't take "credit" for something you never intended to happen just because things turned out a certain way.

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Posted in: Manner poster See in context

All of the manner posters are bilingual, why not kill two birds with one stone. This one concerns behavior more specific to Japanese people, but that doesn't mean they should change the basic format. It would clearly be more stereotypical if they made warning posters in separate languages that purported to define the bad behavior of each group.

I'm not sure I would consider middle-aged men drinking until they puke and pass out to be acceptable behavior even at home. Ah, viva Japan!

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Posted in: Is Japan becoming a 'drug heaven?' See in context

Japan, says Friday (Nov 21), is becoming “drug heaven.”

Compared to where, Singapore?

Personally, I'd rather have people get baked than have them get so strung out they drive trucks into crowds, but I guess that isn't the Japanese way.

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Posted in: Japan to be known as 'Samurai Japan' at WBC See in context

Are the women's national teams going to call themselves Chattel of the Male Head of Household Japan to draw on their own contemporary status with the Samurai? As long as we are going with tradition.

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Posted in: Woman downs 383 bowls of soba in 10 minutes See in context

This is frigging disgusting and it's an indictment on society that this kind of thing passes for entertainment.

Yeah, that's terrible that people should pig out occasionally for fun, in civilized societies people understand they should grossly overeat every meal.

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Posted in: Japan's burgeoning class: Working poor See in context

I am a Democrat who supports Obama, but geez people, at some level you have to hold individuals accountable for their own actions.

It doesn't seem to make any sense to blame society or capitalism for this particular person's predicament. Lots of people work their way through college. It doesn't have to be Todai, he couldn't go to a vocational school, nothing? He got "bored" working at his parents's shop so with a high school education, no training, no plan, no money he just showed up in Tokyo and it's society's fault that nobody handed this guy a well-paying job?

Not to say things in Japan aren't a bit dire but if the subject of the article is any indication at least part of the problem is a surplus of listless young people with neither plans or skills. 9 man a month is not a lot of money, but at even a piddling 800 yen an hour that means he's only working about 25 hours a week. My wife's cousin is a high school dropout, he busted his ass for years as a truck driver, dishwasher and construction worker. He finally bought an old ramenya with his savings when he was in his early forties, and now ten years later he is quite well off, with a couple of yakiniku restaurants. If he lived his life like the subject of this article, he probably would be homeless by now.

The race can go to the swift OR the steady depending on the distance one is willing to traverse, but with some of these people it's like they aren't even showing up at the starting line. I'm not saying everyone can be successful but I don't see a shred of evidence this guy is trying hard and failing, just failing.

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Posted in: McCain dismisses poll numbers; insists he will win See in context

Yeah, man these anti-GOP journalists are so biased that McCain-Palin never had a chance. Like that raging liberal Karl Rove who said on Fox News today that McCain has "a steep hill to climb," projected that as of today Obama would win in a landslide and criticized the McCain campaign staff for infighting and disloyalty that undercut the ticket. What can McCain do to fight this tide of biased liberals who won't even cut him any slack when he puts them on his payroll.

Noted political columnist David Frum, who is about as liberal as Rove, in the Washington Post: "John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him ... [he] has alienated and offended the great national middle, which was the only place where the 2008 election could have been won."

Plus the BBC polled people in 22 countries and found in every single country, Obama had more support than McCain. Stupid biased world! We will bomb them until they understand freedom and democracy means agreeing with American neocons!

I don't have a problem with pragmatic conservatism. I think George H.W. Bush was a highly underrated President. But McCain ran a lousy campaign in what was not a favorable year for the GOP. You want to ban abortion, cut taxes and build up the military then run on that, don't support the same trillion dollar bailout as the Democrat and then call the other guy a socialist and then cry when the media calls you a hypocrite.

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Posted in: 'Too beautiful' Aomori politician losing supporters See in context

She's not a 60-year old stuffy Japanese guy and so of course people will not respect her so much as a politician.

What has this person done to be respected as a politician regardless of her age and gender?

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