HaraldBloodaxe comments

Posted in: Japan to keep Olympic stadium design as cost soars to Y250 bil See in context

90 BILLION increase in the bill. And this is just the beginning.

How much good could be done in the Tohoku area - which was shamelessly used as emotional blackmail to get this king of a ll pork barrel projects off the ground - with 90 billion yen?

This is an absolute disgrace. Politicos and their chums in construction are stuffing their pockets with money that we can't afford to waste.

When will the IOC get the same kind of scrutiny as FIFA recently enjoyed?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Accident prevention See in context

I've seen how very effective poster campaigns are here. Thanks to the Subway manner Campaign everyone demonstrates exemplary courtesy at all times.

3 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan soccer exec denies payment over 2002 World Cup vote See in context

I'm shocked - shocked - that a time-served amakudari good old boy could possibly be accused of back-room unaccountable misuse of the public purse.

Why, the very idea!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Mega-important debate: Do you shower before work or before bed? See in context

Both. Without fail.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: MERS sparks mask rush in Asia, but are they effective? See in context

Hampton, I think you have just provided us with the conclusive evidence with which to close this debate.

Do they offer a jot of protection against MERS-like viruses? No, of course they don't.

Can the public misconception that they are to disease what a crucifix is to vampire be manipulated? Yes it can.

If you're too socially maladjusted to let people see your face, bung one on. If you're planning to rob 40,000 from 7/11, one of these might help you to get away with it. If you wake up in a pile of tins at 5am, a mask and a packet of Clorets might help you to mutate your faux pas into a few brownie points, even give you the advantage over someone who came to work competent but without a mask.

But they are as much use as making the Sign of the Cross if you want to avoid catching a virus.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: MERS sparks mask rush in Asia, but are they effective? See in context

Chimborazo, no, dear boy, I do not think that washing hands is useless. I wish there were some way to make your typical salaryman aware that touching the tips of your fingers to a sprinkle of water for an instant after using the toilet is sufficient to stop you smearing your germs over every door handle and keyboard you touch.

But that's going nowhere, because what happens in the bog isn't a public display of hygiene. Now, regardless of how desultory this same chap's hand-washing may be, if he then puts the same bit of soggy paper over his mouth as he's been coughing into all morning, he gets brownie points for taking care of his colleagues' health. Sadly, they've all been getting a different kind of brownie point from him every time they've used a door or banister.

Hand washing is something that ought to be as reflexive as not gobbling out phlegm onto the station platform (another nil points because it's done where your colleagues can't see you, so it doesn't count). But it isn't. My local train station doesn't even have soap in the gents. Hand washing would make a difference.

Cheap masks worn all day don't . They are the enabler of the socially inept and the convenience store slasher, and the security blanket of the easily duped. They do nothing to prevent epidemics, as evidenced by the epidemics we have here every single year.

Now give it a rest and go and have a gargle.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: MERS sparks mask rush in Asia, but are they effective? See in context

Chikvi: and where do you stand on the disease prevention capabilities of wearing these totems on your chin?

Let me put this very simply for you:

If these things stop viruses being transmitted, why do we get an influenza epidemic here, every single year?

Once the announcement goes out that there's flu going round, there are masks on nearly every face on every train. Yet there is still an epidemic, no worse and no less severe than in Europe, where people prefer not to hide their faces behind magic gauze.

If these things worked, there wouldn't be just as severe an epidemic here as there is anywhere else. But there is. Every. Single. Year.

Ip so facto, they don't work.

QED.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: MERS sparks mask rush in Asia, but are they effective? See in context

Are they effective? Short answer - no.

A doctor friend of mine describes trying to stop a virus with one of these masks as like trying to stop water with a fishing net.

What these masks do provide is a handy way for those who wish to hide their faces from society - be that because they're waving knives at convenience store clerks or just because they're morbidly shy - a cheap and easy method to do so.

They also serve as a way for employers to not allow staff to take a day off sick, and for those who seek brownie points to get a cheap "look-at-me-boss-I've come -in sick-because-I'm such-a-hard-worker" shot in.

There is a chap in my office who wears one on his chin three days a week. Not covering his mouth and nose, but on his chin. He says it steams hs glasses up if he wears it right, but isn't quite bold enough to take the next step of not bothering with a mask at all.

These things are useless, and used by the misinformed or the inept.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Posted in: Gov't to up reconstruction spending in Tohoku by Y6.5 tril See in context

Not a word of accountability. Big business in Ginza coming up , along with a nice bonanza for the Yaks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Jurassic World' romps its way to box office records See in context

And yet we in Japan have to wait until 7th August to see it. I wish the Japanese film distribution industry would pull its finger out.

This film opens in Mongolia today, for God's sake. We have to wait nearly two more months. Just ridiculous.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners: study See in context

One of many reasons dogs are so very clearly superior to cats.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 5,000 ordered to evacuate after heavy rain hits Kyushu See in context

despite the widespread concreting of hillsides in an effort to shore them up.

Oh, that's the only reason, no doubt.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: 4 years after disaster, Fukushima workers get own rest area See in context

Would anyone else like to see, in the interests of the transparency promised by the Dear Leader, some documentation which explains where the trillions of yen of OUR MONEY has gone in the last four years, which was apparently of a higher priority than providing basic living facilities to the people who have been trying to salvage this monumental balls-up?

You can either do things on the cheap, or throw money at something. We seem to have chosen the second option. So where has the money gone? Someone has been getting this money and it clearly isn't being spent on even the most fundamental necessities. So where has it gone?

Fukushima is the scam of the century. It makes FIFA look petty.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Blatter says he will resign as FIFA president See in context

I want to know the following:

A) How much Blatter defended as a golden parachute for this sudden attack of doing the right thing;

B) His tax arrangements for the parachute.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Blatter says he will resign as FIFA president See in context

Anybody else want to know how much of a golden parachute he'll reluctantly accept for this? i.e. How much he demanded before doing "the honourable thing"?

I'd also like to know how much tax he's going to be paying on it.

And will this resignation immunise him against any future investigation into his role in the systemic corruption?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation? See in context

Short answer to the question: Yes it is.

Longer answer: Yes it bloody is, it's sodding dreadful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: M8.5 earthquake strikes near Ogasawara islands See in context

Is anyone else waiting for the message from TEPCO reassuring us that absolutely everything is absolutely fine at the damaged plant, where tens of thousands of tons of contaminated water are stored in leaky tanks and the reactor buildings are so contaminated we can't get close enough to find out what kind of hell is going on in there?

I won't sleep tonight until I get the all-clear from the experts who have done such an exemplary job thus far.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Does it bother you when people talk on smartphones on buses, trains or in restaurants? See in context

I really have no objection to someone using their phone at a reasonable volume. What I do object to is when oyajis sneeze without covering their mouth on the train, or share the delightful sound of snorting their nasal mucus up back into their skull with that rich basso profundo resonance every thirty seconds.

That's a lot less bearable than someone's voice to a loved one breaking the earnest silence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Taiji fishermen vow to continue dolphin slaughter See in context

locals who say they are victims of anti-Japanese bias.

And there it is - the reflex victim card. These thugs shame all of Japan in the eyes of the world and then make out it's foreign racism to blame for international disgust.

If it's so humane, let's all have a look at it.. You can't pretend it's culture and hide it behind tarpaulins.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: M5.6 earthquake rocks Kanto region See in context

UK9393 - let me get this right - I'm supposed to show deference and respect to the man who repeatedly put my life, and the lives of my colleagues in danger by blocking emergency exits in direct violation of the law?

Thank you for the advice, I'm off to the fire station today. But the man who made it necessary is a bellend, whether or not you choose to regard him as my feudal overlord.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: M5.6 earthquake rocks Kanto region See in context

Serious question, folks. When this kicked off today I noticed that some halfwit had placed a row of desks directly in front of the emergency exit, making it inaccessible from one direction and making it necessary for the 40+ people in the room to thread their way through a narrow dog's-leg between desks and the wall from the other. Of course, is were any one of the workers to forget to tuck his chair neatly under his desk in the panic of an emergency evacuation, the 50cm or so we are all expected to thread our way through would be completely blocked.

When I raised this point to management, the standard wagons-in-a-circle began, the decision to put the desks there was made by a man in his late 50s so it must be safe, even though this knob was busted not six months ago piling boxes up in front of the main exit.

My question is this: who do I get in touch with? There must be some government agency with the authority to check disaster preparedness - or just basic health and safety. I'm going in tomorrow with my camera. Who do I send the footage to to get something done before there's a genuine emergency and people get killed by the negligence of this shiny-suited, barcode-headed bellend?

Serious question, ladies and gentlemen. I would really like your advice.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: 'Minister of Toilets' aims to transform Japan's public loos See in context

I would be more likely to feel serenity during my visits to the Temple of Cloaca were someone to educate Japanese salarymen that it isn't strictly necessary to hawk up phlegm as loudly as humanly possible and then gob it out into the washbasin.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Minister of Toilets' aims to transform Japan's public loos See in context

I wonder if this (doubtless very well-funded) new appointee will be able to make the revolutionary step of making soap available in lavatories. Department stores are all well and good with automatic flushing, warm seats and all the other accoutrements to a satisfying excretory experience, but if one spends the day in a park and would like to wash one's hands before enjoying a picnic, nine times out of ten you're out of luck.

Similarly, once you get out of the inner-city areas, most train stations seem to view soap as an outrageous luxury, making it a statistical probability that most banisters and handrails are smeared with faecal remnants.

In 2015, in a country which seeks to promote itself as a global leader, is it really too much to ask for the Minister to get a bit of soap in her bailiwick?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Taiji mayor says dolphin hunt will still go on See in context

Dolphin hunt will go on, and who will continue to pay for it? We will. While the government is nothing but largesse for crooks and barbarians like this, they don't have any spare change at all for where it's needed - Tohoku.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan ups ante in race to boost influence in Asia with cash See in context

And next year they'll be telling us to fork out 2% extra on everything we buy, an "unfortunate necessity" because we must be responsible and reduce the debt.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Handling radioactive waste at Fukushima plant could be improved: IAEA See in context

And the award for Understatement of the Year goes to...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Clam crowds See in context

Look closely and you'll see the usual motif - 10,000 people on one of the few times in the year they're allowed to enjoy themselves, and they all flock together to do the same thing and there isn't a smile between them.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: 8 places you need to visit to really understand Japan See in context

I've been to all of these places, and I wouldn't say I really understand Japan. I remain baffled.

A better title for this would be "A list of places in Japan".

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Posted in: 2 cabinet ministers visit Yasukuni shrine See in context

Pokes Chinese person in the eye

Typical Chinese, always complaining about having a sore eye.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe, Xi meet but wartime legacy casts shadow See in context

...seeking to fix a relationship damaged by territorial disputes and a bitter wartime legacy.

And of course the best way to fix a relationship is, the day before you're scheduled to meet, make a point of not apologising to score brownie points with revisionist supporters at home.

What a risible little toad Abe is. Let's see how big he feels when Chinese tourists stop coming over to prop up his failed economic schemes.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

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