hooktrunk2 comments

Posted in: ANA, Oregon start-up to develop Avatars suitable for outdoor use See in context

Here's their home page. They are based in my hometown, so my old stomping ground might be crawling with these things soon. haha. http://www.agilityrobotics.com/robots#cassie

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Posted in: ANA, Oregon start-up to develop Avatars suitable for outdoor use See in context

Youtube video of perhaps the same robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghmmYQlFNbo Scroll ahead to 2 minutes to see a terrifying pair of robotic legs.

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Posted in: Sarcastic Koike says: Let's hold Olympic marathon on Russian-held islands See in context

She was obviously being sarcastic, which I would be at this point too considering many family of athletes have probably already bought air tickets. I wonder if the marathon can't realistically be held one one of the relatively flat highlands near Tokyo--Hakaone, Fuji highlands, Karuizawa, Nasu. That way, it's just a train ride away. Cycling is already being held in Izu.

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Posted in: IOC wants to move Tokyo Olympic marathons, walking races to Sapporo See in context

Kinda late to be asking to change venues isn't it? Love the idea though.

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Posted in: Typhoon death toll climbs to 72, as scope of damage spreads See in context

@Cosmos1

According to the current earth wind surface level, it is plain sailing for thousands of miles in all directions around the Philippines .

I often check that page as well, but if you go to the satellite view on the Weathernews Inc App, you can see something churning near the Philippines. Hopefully it fizzles out.

That home in the picture looks like it was beautiful. Hopefully it is repairable and I hope no-one died in that scene. .

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Posted in: Typhoon victims felt worst was over; then floods came See in context

This is similar to what we did, thinking that we would just wait for the ongoing alerts to let us know when to go to higher ground. Probably not a good idea to do next time. Luckily the rivers near us didn't breach. We live 5km from the Arakawa which was really high and just 1km from a smaller river that was threatening to breach just 2.5 km up river.

Time to stop building so close to rivers...

That would make most of the Kanto plain uninhabited, except for the hilly parts downtown. According to google, we live 6-9 meters above sea level which is 3-6 meters above the roads next to the rivers that would flood. Not much leeway.

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Posted in: Man arrested for allegedly molesting young girl in car See in context

I think the question should be, what did this jerk say to convince a JH girl to get into his car? A parents worst nightmare.

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Posted in: Scorsese slams Marvel films as 'not cinema' See in context

I have kids that enjoy seeing them, so I must watch Marvel flicks as well. As good as they are, the affect these kinds of movies have on the reviewing of true sci-fi flicks worries me. People who are used to more action judge anything else as boring and slow by comparison. I have tried to introduce sci-fi movies I grew up with and my kids just can't watch them. They fall asleep.

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Posted in: No kidding: Japanese airlines offer seat maps to avoid bawling babies See in context

Not to be preachy or anything, but again as a parent of formerly young, potentially noisy kids, I used to take both of my kids all by myself back to visit my folks in the US. It isn't just babies that can be annoying it is toddlers and nursery school age kids and even elementary school aged kids. By the end of the flights, I was usually plum exhausted from entertaining and distracting them so they would stay quiet. One flight, a man came up from behind me when we were disembarking and thanked me. He said he was full of dread when we three first sat in front of him, but that he was amazed how quiet my kids were. I must say, those kids activity books they stack in bookstores before holidays are great! Unfortunately, dads usually have to put the puzzles together, but my son loved helping me. Ha. The art of distraction.

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Posted in: No kidding: Japanese airlines offer seat maps to avoid bawling babies See in context

As a parent who survived traveling with young kids, I have to say that it is also torture and embarrassing for the parents when their kids scream. Luckily we found ways to calm them down fairly quickly, sort of. Usually it was from being super tired being in a strange place. A binky was a godsend for the air pressure, although not always helpful. Parents who ignore their kids drive me nuts.

JAL's plan probably won't work if a baby is placed at the last moment next to someone who wanted to avoid sitting next to one. Might cause more rage than it intended.

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Posted in: Japanese cattle farmers fear U.S. trade deal will be death knell See in context

The US beef I can currently get in the store is like chewing on shoe leather, just like it was when I grew up in the US. I was amazed at how tender beef could be when I moved here. I hope it is not the end of Japanese beef.

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Posted in: Post-typhoon blackout raises disaster readiness questions in Japan See in context

Slides and the like happen locally here and there where as wind damage can be widespread during a typhoon. Technology is changing all the time. They are burying some utilities in the US in underground precast concrete pipes that can be accessed via a manhole. Sure this is future stuff, but replacing technology would happen little by little and paid for over time.

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Posted in: Post-typhoon blackout raises disaster readiness questions in Japan See in context

and can you imagine if it had been U/G

I doubt there would have been any damage if they had been buried. The concern with buried cables is with liquefaction during earthquakes. With wind damage, underground cables are safe unless a huge tree uproots the cables or there is a flood and the road is washed away, but with this typhoon it was the winds that were the problem. If cables are buried within prefabricated access tunnels, it would be easier to access a break.

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Posted in: Post-typhoon blackout raises disaster readiness questions in Japan See in context

Photos like this make it easier for me to understand the scope of the problem. I think it would have been extremely dangerous to have volunteers wandering around with live wires strewn about before crews could assess the damage. Also, poles like this normally take at least half a day to install and that is when cables are not in disarray and can simply be transferred to a new pole. What a nightmare this must be for the crews. I bet they are exhausted. Thank goodness the weather has cooled a bit.

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Posted in: Mayor of town in Miyagi bemoans lack of Olympic funds See in context

I took a trip up to Tohoku in August and noticed a lot of infrastructure construction going on. We took the Tohoku-chuo expressway from Yonezawa to Fukushima and it was FREE! and brand new. It is partially owned by the central government. Also, as we were headed north, either along the Joban or Ban-Etsu expressway, there was a convoy of a total of 100 dump trucks traveling south from Tohoku with the same green banner on the front. Someone is paying for whatever massive project it is and I doubt it is a private company. I'm not saying the mayor is lying, I just think that the central government is investing in infrastructure to help locals and businesses with logistics. Can you imagine how much folks are saving on Expressaway fees between Yamagata and Fukushima? That would normally be a ¥2000 yen trip one way. Of course the article speaks of Miyagi.

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Posted in: Test marathon gives Tokyo a taste of what to expect at 2020 Games See in context

The reason there were only Japanese in this race was because this race qualified as an Olympic Trials race. Two people from this race qualified for the Olympics. Osaku will supposedly make the 3rd spot if no-one breaks his time qualifying time(If I understood what was explained to me).

Today's temperature was totally doable, plus there was a nice cooling breeze. It wasn't as humid as a typical July/August day. Definitely warmer than it was forecasted to be though.

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Posted in: Alcohol detected in JAL pilot’s system before takeoff See in context

5 lemon sours! One is enough to do me under, or make it so I shouldn't even think about driving. Egads what a dumb way to end a career.

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Posted in: TEPCO struggles to restore power after typhoon See in context

@Norman Goodman

Are the doors locked from the outside?? Okay, I can see this happening to prisoners, but not free people who have half a brain left.

And once they leave the home, where are they supposed to go? Can they go sleep in the mall? How far away is the nearest cool public place they can go to? Most of the victims are elderly and I suspect have low mobility issues as well as cognitive problems and would have trouble thinking issues like this out.

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Posted in: TEPCO struggles to restore power after typhoon See in context

@ifd66

LOL - actually we live right on the shore of Lake Biwa :-) but in addition we shipped over a very effective insulation - effective for summer as well as winter.

As I suspected, you are getting most of your cooling from the nearby water. We also have imported insulation with a very high R value(I forgot how much), but living in the middle of a concrete jungle makes it impossible to ever be able to achieve any sort of natural cooling with the lowest morning temps are 27c. We also have the luxury of having the trees from the school across the street to cool the hot asphalt in front of our home, but still the general neighborhood air temps are too great. Once it reaches 24, I can open the windows in the morning, pop the Skylight and it is amazing how that flushes out the house.

I think Japanse cities need to rethink how much tree trimming they do. Inspect and trim only rotten or dangerous part of trees instead of the whole tree. Portland, Oregon gets plenty of strong wind storms, yet has a huge urban forest of big street and yard trees.

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Posted in: TEPCO struggles to restore power after typhoon See in context

How do you die from a lack of electricity?

@Norman Goodman

If the power lines were snapped because of trees downed in the wind and on a massive scale, it would be a challenge to restring everything quickly enough to prevent heat stroke from inadequate cooling in the concrete boxes that people live in these days. Even modern apartment buildings as of 20 years ago still had single pane windows with no heat resistant glass. The apartment we lived in before building a home was torture in the summer!

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Posted in: TEPCO struggles to restore power after typhoon See in context

We built our house 6 years ago and designed it so we have no need of AC and sell twice as much solar energy than we use.

@ifd66

I find this hard to believe unless you live next to a pond and have some constant wind blowing off the water to cool you off.

We have a super insulated home, moisture absorbing wall paper and wood construction throughout, double pane windows, a skylight in our vaulted ceiling to get a nice circulation of air bottom to top and vent the warm air, landscaping surrounding our home instead of concrete and large eves to create shade over the windows but STILL, there are so many hot stuffy days like today were I would be sweating buckets without AC or Dehumidify going. What's your home's secret?

I hope TEPCO can get the power back up fast for these folks.

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Posted in: 3 children, 1 man drown in rivers See in context

How awful hear this. However, there's nothing wrong with river play. You just have to be wise about it. Look for drop offs and don't go near them. Play on the opposite side where the fast water flow. I think with proper parenting, it teaches a lot of respect for the river. RIP

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Posted in: Basket fall: Asia and Africa out of World Cup at first hurdle See in context

@theFu

It has to start somewhere. I have a couple Japanese friends who happen to be over 6 feet tall and love basketball who co-host a basketball club in Adachi-ku for elementary and Junior high school age kids. Also, I think Hachimura is helping to fuel the passion for the future of Japanese basketball. I doubt it will ever surpass baseball, but I hope, with kids growing taller by the year, that BB will become something more than a novelty.

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Posted in: Japanese woman held at Sydney airport on drug smuggling charge See in context

Never carry anything someone asks you to carry onto a plane. Tell them to mail it instead. "I'm sorry, my bag's too full." If she's guilty, I'm guessing it was a pachinko debt. If casino's start opening, there will probably be more news like this, sadly.

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Posted in: Pavement generates power using sunlight See in context

Those of you saying that solar paving doesn't work should reread the article. It speaks of the failures and how this product will be different. There are plenty of streets that are in constant sun(as opposed to this photo). Now they should try to figure out how to pave the whole street instead of just small portions of it. I think with any emerging technology, patience is needed. Of course solar above the road can get more light, but you also have to pay for the poles, extra wiring, and a ladder truck is needed to maintain them. Can you imagine how much the poles themselves would cost?

As for roofs, the architect who designed our home said that piercing our roof with screws would cause problems and that calking would have to be checked often. Plus electronic equipment recommended life is 10-15 years. The control box was way too expensive negating any gains received. That is the down side to solar panels on individual homes. I am all for using the sun however.

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Posted in: Russian climber killed by falling rock at Mt Fuji See in context

@ClippetyClop Not saying I am for a gondola, but there are volcanos active volcanos in Japan that have ropeways and gondolas. Hakone comes to mind and it passes directly over where the eruptions usually occur. Mt. Nasu has one and there are more that are slipping my mind. As for ownership, you would need to talk to Fujisan Hongu Sengentaisha, which is a Shinto shrine that supposedly owns the mountain. The fact that it is a World Heritage Site might dictate the most what goes on up there. Surely a gondola would make the ascent seem safer, but can you imagine the lines to board the thing? I bet you'd have to make a reservation a year in advance.

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Posted in: Russian climber killed by falling rock at Mt Fuji See in context

My condolences to her family. Such a sad article to read.

Snow: No, the mountain is not snow covered during climbing season.

Danger: Walking outside your door is probably more dangerous than climbing Mt. Fuji, in general. There is a lot of support up and down that mountain and the chances of being hit are astronomically small. It is a huge mountain.

Long line: The line you have seen steadily moves toward the top. The crowd at the top makes watching the sunrise a more memorable event. I have climbed the mountain on the first day and there was hardly anyone up there and not as magical without the crowd, believe it or not.

Again, I am so sad to hear this news. RIP

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Posted in: Starbucks vs two popular Japanese coffee shops: Which gives best value? See in context

With that reasoning would you call McDonald's a Japanese restaurant or 7-11 a Japanese convenient store or Mr. Donuts a Japanese doughnut shop? They might be run better than their American counterparts, but it doesn't make them Japanese. Right? Or am I wrong? Anyway, my vote is Dotour, but their smoking policy keeps me away.

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Posted in: Starbucks vs two popular Japanese coffee shops: Which gives best value? See in context

Moderator, Tully's is an American coffee shop. Founded in 1992 in Seattle, but I guess since it is run via a franchise instead of directly from the US H.Q. like Starbucks is, you are thinking it is a Japanese coffee shop?

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Posted in: Mountain hikers warned to protect themselves amid spate of strandings See in context

These days checking the weather is so easy to do in order to get an idea of what might be coming(even though weather forecasts are still very inaccurate). The Weathernews app is pretty comprehensive and has two rain radar models that are sometimes completely different, but good enough). Also carry meds like ibuprofen and bandages(doesn't take much room). I got received a thigh injury after both heels slipped in a clay area of a trail when I was still 5km out from the trailhead--calmed my muscles enough to be able to reach my car. I will never go hiking the day after a typhoon again. Way too wet still.

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