hemplord comments

Posted in: NZ quake toll rises to 160; many still missing See in context

My heart goes out to all the anguished families. Some are probably still be hoping against all hope. What a horrible, horrible situation to be in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Christchurch quake may portend major seismic activity for Japan See in context

@kawachi: Good advice, thanks!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 14 killed in Mexico bar attacks See in context

The real problem with Mexico is endemic CORRUPTION. It's been going on for ages--way before the rise of the current drug lords. Even 30 years ago, Mexican politics was a very hazardous field, and any politician aiming to be a straight arrow knew his life could be cut short. Too many people at all levels are on the take, from lowly policemen to highly placed politicos, for any clean-up initiative to gain traction. It's like trying to climb up a rotten wooden pole, it crumbles under your grip and weight. A very sad situation indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Infant boy the first NZ quake victim laid to rest See in context

Before the Cabinet meeting, Key said long-term measures being considered include an extra levy on all householders under New Zealand’s compulsory quake insurance system to raise the estimated $4 billion needed to cover an insurance shortfall.

Compulsory earthquake insurance system? Wow, I'm impressed. Japan should also have such a system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Christchurch quake may portend major seismic activity for Japan See in context

If you haven't done so already, earthquake proof your home, especially large and heavy pieces of furniture, anything that might topple over, and everything made of glass (including windows) and pottery. This will reduce your likelihood of getting crushed and cut. When the big one hits, anything not secured in your home may become a lethal projectile. My own biggest concern right now: How to secure my large fishtank sitting on a deep window ledge, and my tall B&W speakers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Parents jailed over death of 4-year-old son due to malnutrition See in context

5 years for what amounts to the slow torture of a helpless child?! This is an absurdly light sentence. I bet this was not a jury trial, I can't imagine regular folks countenancing such a weak slap on the wrist. This is the type of case where I'd gladly volunteer to serve on the jury.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand earthquake toll at 145 dead See in context

I bet that's on the mind of lots of people. The problem is that God can be tried, convicted, and sentenced only in absentia...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand earthquake toll at 145 dead See in context

Civilized societies have a notion called liability, and another called compensation, mummet. Is there no recourse for being left a cripple for life through no fault of your own? Tough, deal with it? If ACC coverage is extended to foreign victims on the same terms as for kiwis, regardless of whether they choose to remain in New Zealand or return to their country, then it might be fine. If not, then the alternative is to sue. Who to sue, you ask? Use your imagination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand earthquake toll at 145 dead See in context

ExportExpert, thanks much for that detailed explanation! This led me to visit the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) website, which has put up a page for the Canterbury Earthquake. Reflecting your explanation, with regard to foreign tourists, ACC states that it may be able to help with the cost of treatment of persons who got injured in the earthquake while visiting New Zealand, but notes that "it is important to be aware that ACC replaces your right to sue for personal injury."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand earthquake toll at 145 dead See in context

What tremendous cost. I wonder what compensation, if any, those maimed and killed (or their families) with receive. For example, all those killed at the CTV building. Does anybody know what the system is?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 12 taxi drivers, fares killed in Acapulco See in context

Mafia scoundrels coming after me with blazing guns and swooshing machetes may mean "nothing personal really," but I would find such an attack uncomfortably personal for sure. As reported almost weekly by the media, the violence in Mexico DOES affect (as in kill) innocent bystanders. Much as I love Mexico, I'm going to stay bien tranquilo out of the country until things calm down. Succumb now to the charms of Mexico and you may well succumb, period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Softbank profits soar as iPhone subscriptions rise See in context

As far as I understand, Softbank has been operating its mobile phone service using 1 bandwidth as opposed to 2 for Docomo and KDDI, which is the reason behind the inferior coverage. Softbank is slated to receive a 2nd bandwidth in 2012 or 2013. When it does, my bet is that their coverage, which is not too bad even now (especially considering that it's been a one-legged racer running against two-legged competitors), will easily best that of its competitors, attracting even more users. As far as rates go, Softbank has a track record of upsetting the status quo and pushing rates down. To wit: Its participation in ADSL helped spur competition and destroy the ossified price structure, leading to the lowest prices in the world. As an ADSL user, I am very grateful. Once Softbank is done paying off its 1.8 trillion yen debt for the purchase of Vodafone, it will have lots of leeway to further lower its rates, assuming it hangs on to its high profit margins.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Starbucks gives logo a new look See in context

The previous design looked MUCH better, more sophisticated and also more recognizable. If they wanted to do away with the word COFFEE, they should have replaced it with 3 stars or some other symbol for balance and left the rest of the design as is. Also, the previous 2-color scheme provided more contrast and visibility and as such was superior, IMO. If they wanted to save on printing (a valid consideration), they could have made the whole thing green but kept the STARBUCKS lettering and the wheelbarrow rims. All in all, the new logo lacks punch. It went from screaming BRAND to BLAND (which might work in Japan--just joking ;).

As far as taste goes, I'll take Starbucks over Doutor's dishwater (jus de chaussettes, anyone?), which is invariably strengthened with a hearty dollop of nicotine, any day!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New iPad browser app makes reading Japanese websites easier See in context

makdad, you are right. The dictionary does work using the described method. Also, it's good to know that the dictionary is quite a comprehensive one.

Two more issues I've noticed, which may be related. 1) I don't seem to be able to select words in headings, because the entire heading gets selected as a single paragraph. In Safari, such selection is possible, perhaps because Safari allows you to expand the page much more by pinching it out. 2) The displayed page moves somewhat haltingly when flicked. Again, this is unlike Safari, where a flick sends the page on a smooth glide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New iPad browser app makes reading Japanese websites easier See in context

Just downloaded and tried it. The Japanese lookup function is great. However, the dictionary is extremely basic and as such, will serve only the most basic of needs. For example, the following basic terms are not in the dictionary: 後回し、無関心、警察庁. More specialized terms such as 子宮筋腫、体外受精、高齢出産 are of course not covered at all.

All the above terms were picked up from just two very short articles. In conclusion, the existing dictionary is so lacking that it is almost useless.

Giving users the option to use external dictionaries that they already have, such as the excellent WISDOM English/Japanese dictionary, would be excellent.

Looking forward to upgrades in this area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: To fly through ash or not? That's no easy question See in context

The problem is the lack of studies on the effects of ash on airplanes. In the absence of such information, flying is a gamble. Who knows, we may not get plane crashes right away as a result, but further down the line, maybe even years later, we might. Unlike sandstorms, ash clouds damage planes not just through mechanical, but also chemical action, which though not necessarily immediately visible is sure to cause accelerated obsolescence. In the absence of any hard data, standards and established safety guidelines, flying through ash contaminated air is really a giant gamble. Hopefully governments will be responsible and fund the required research. In the meantime, I would prefer not to fly on airplanes that have been compromised, through that is probably impossible...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Volcanic ash may hover over Europe for days See in context

LIBERTAS, thanks for this local perspective! Hope you guys can ride this out safely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sister act See in context

Nose is actually a Japanese name, and as such is pronounced quite differently from the English word.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The flip side of metabolic syndrome - being too skinny See in context

It is true that Asians are by and large slim, although things are changing fast in this respect: China is currently grappling with an pandemic of obesity and related problems as people there become more affluent and lead more sedentary lifestyles. The spread of U.S. style fast foods in Asia will no doubt feed this trend. I predict that Asian waistlines will balloon like McDonald's earnings in Asia. As a matter of fact, I am tempted to bank on it and buy MCD shares to help finance my preference for slow (and preferably organic) food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: JAL named most punctual major global airline in 2009 See in context

JAL's excellent punctuality record is a reflection of Japanese society at large. The commitment to keep promises--such as a timetable--at any cost, even if that cost is considerable, might be derided by some as impractical, stupid or even fanatical, but the payoff in terms of trust and goodwill may also be considerable. All things considered, the short-term economic loss occasioned by such a commitment may well translate into long-term returns. I hope JAL manages to stay alive long enough that it may learn from its mistakes and reap the benefits of what it's been doing right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo experiences coldest mid-April day in nearly 50 years See in context

Sleet is currently falling in my part of Tokyo (Machida). I can hear it hitting the skylight in my study as I type. Many here are making ironic comments about global warming. Are you aware that global warming might usher in a new ice age, as the melting glaciers and icebergs reduce the salinity of the oceans, causing a shift in the circulation of the oceans? This cold spell might be a harbinger of worse things to come.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites


©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.