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House Atreides comments

Posted in: 'Game-changing' Japan stem-cell study questioned See in context

igloobuyer said: Being able to duplicate experiments is what proves they are real - so far only Wakayama has been able to do so, but he was by himself. Hmmm, I hope this doesn't turn into another case of Japanese lying.

You forgot about Charles Vacanti.

Vacanti says he has had no problem repeating the experiment...

Now, why would Vacanti be lying? It was Vacanti that originally discovered spore-like stem cells and asked Obokata to look in to them.

Obokata worked with top stem cell scientists to show rigorously that these cells were triggered to return to a stem cell-like state by an environmental stress, such as being placed for 30 minutes in a mild acid bath. They submitted the first paper to a journal in April 2012, but it was rejected. Over the intervening year and a half, they continued to answer questions.

Since the exact protocol they used hasn't been published yet, it's too early to call this another Hwang Woo-suk.

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Posted in: Foreign direct investment in China rises 16% See in context

chucky3176 said: Samurai, Japan needs China far more than China needs Japan. That's just fact.

What Japan really needs to do is get out of China before it implodes.

Since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, the level of private domestic credit in China has risen from $9 trillion to an astounding $23 trillion. That is an increase of $14 trillion in just a little bit more than 5 years. Much of that "hot money" has flowed into stocks, bonds and real estate in the United States.

And it's only going to get worse.

And at the same time China's money supply and credit are still expanding. Last year, the closely watched M2 increased by only 13.6%, down from 2012's 13.8% growth. Optimists say China is getting its credit addiction under control, but that's not correct. In fact, credit expanded by at least 20% last year as money poured into new channels not measured by traditional statistics.

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Posted in: 'Game-changing' Japan stem-cell study questioned See in context

We'll know more when they publish the protocol.

Vacanti says he has had no problem repeating the experiment and says he will let Obokata supply the protocol "to avoid any potential for variation that could lead to confusion".


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Posted in: China concerned at Japan holding weapons-grade plutonium See in context

China concerned at Japan holding weapons-grade plutonium

That's funny coming from a country that itself has nuclear weapons and writes articles about nuking the United States.

Chinese calculations for nuclear attacks on the U.S. are chillingly macabre.

"Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego," the Global Times said.

"The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans," the Global Times reported.


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Posted in: S Koreans killed as bomb strikes Egypt tour bus See in context

The deadliest attacks have been claimed by the Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, whose leadership is drawn from militant Bedouin who want an Islamist state in the peninsula.

That about sums it up. The Sinai peninsula is basically a war zone and anybody that traverses that area does so at their own peril.

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Posted in: 5 Japanese divers found alive; 2 still missing off Bali See in context

AKBfan said: surely this should have the word "the bodies of" in the title? missing since Friday will almost inevitable mean that they are no longer with us.

Good news. Four divers have been found alive which means there's still hope for the other three.

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Posted in: Japan may lift arms export ban for international groups See in context

Japan in 1967 drew up "three principles" on arms exports, banning sales to countries with communist governments, those involved in international conflicts or those subject to U.N. sanctions.

That might have made some kind of sense in 1967 but its a suicidal policy in 2014.

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Posted in: 25 years after Soviet exit from Afghanistan, Taliban say U.S. faces same fate See in context

"Today America is facing the same fate as the former Soviet Union and is trying to escape from our country," the Taliban...

The US will be downsizing but they won't be getting out. Contractors will take over when the soldiers leave. The US has already done the same thing in Iraq.

The U.S. spent more than $200 billion on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade as its reliance on private support grew, according to congressional estimates. In all, more than 5,000 contractors now work in Iraq as intelligence analysts, security guards, military trainers, translators and cooks. ... Of the roughly 5,000 contractors supporting the American diplomatic mission in Iraq, the State Department said, more than a third of them are U.S. citizens. They work for companies like Triple Canopy Inc., which provides security guards for U.S. diplomats, and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., LLL +0.37% which helps the State Department vet Iraqis seeking jobs with the U.S.


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Posted in: Japan on backfoot in global PR war with China See in context

"Japan is very worried that China is winning this propaganda war," said an Asian diplomat based in Beijing. "Their diplomats have been asking how they can better put their side of the story and win people over in the West."

There's no PR war to win. Most countries neighboring China already view China as the primary threat to their national security. That's why you see an arms race going on in Asia right now. Australia just came out with a report stating that China was their number one threat.

Australia's greatest future threat is China, a just released Australian Strategic Policy Institute report concluded.


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Posted in: Japan study looks to big data for signs of Alzheimer's See in context

Researchers in Japan will trawl through huge amounts of data to search for possible precursors to Alzheimer's Disease in a bid to identify who might develop a condition affecting millions around the world.

The same people likely to develop Type 2 diabetes will also likely develop Alzheimer's Disease.

Suzanne de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Brown University, has been working on these phenomena in humans and rats. When she blocked the path of insulin to rats' brains, their neurons deteriorated, they became physically disoriented and their brains showed all the signs of Alzheimer's. The fact that Alzheimer's can be associated with low levels of insulin in the brain is the reason why increasing numbers of researchers have taken to calling it Type 3 diabetes, or diabetes of the brain.


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Posted in: Poisonous pufferfish sales blow up as prices drop See in context

Only Fugu in the wild are toxic. Fugu become toxic when they eat organisms that are toxic.

Thanks to advances in fugu research and farming, Japanese fish farmers are now mass-producing fugu as harmless as goldfish. Most important, they have taken the poison out of fugu's liver, considered both its most delicious and potentially most lethal part, one whose consumption has left countless Japanese dead over the centuries and whose sale remains illegal in the country.

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Posted in: Kerry presses China to ease Internet controls See in context

China needs to be reminded of Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

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Posted in: Nanjing seeks UNESCO listing for massacre documents See in context

According to the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post, it is the third time that Nanjing has submitted the documents for inclusion in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register...

Meanwhile, the Chinese government denies committing genocide in Tibet and continues to harbor fugitives charged with genocide.

High Court Judge Ismael Moreno asked Interpol to issue orders for the detention of former President Jiang Zemin, ex-premier Li Peng and three other officials for questioning on charges brought by Tibetan rights groups in Spain.

China submits documents relating to genocide in the past while committing genocide in the present. What sort of lesson are we suppose to glean from all this?

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Posted in: Crimes against humanity in N Korea, U.N. panel finds See in context

But justice remains a distant prospect, not least as North Korea's ally, China, would be likely to block any referral to the International Criminal Court.

Not surprising considering China itself has been charged with committing genocide in Tibet.

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Posted in: Nippon or Nihon? No consensus on Japanese pronunciation of Japan See in context

Just pronounce it the way it was originally pronounced: Hinomoto.

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Posted in: With Toyota exit, cracks appear over Aussie PM's tough line on corporate handouts See in context

With all these businesses leaving Australia, you have Australian men leaving as well. This has resulted in a so-called "man drought" in Australia.

One of the reasons we have a man drought is because men are increasingly heading overseas to work.

"The man drought is most evident during the working years - people in their mid 30s to mid 60s - and is a sign of the global workforce flow and the propensity of Australian men to take advantage of overseas work opportunities," he says.


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Posted in: Man who caused ANA plane diversion to Alaska says he was drinking See in context

The sworn statement by FBI special agent Angela M Strause also says dozens of pill packets were found in Ochinero's carry-on luggage, which he said were used for treating conditions such as psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

He's clearly mentally ill. His behavior upon boarding says it all.

"He was berserk from the moment he got on the plane. He was yelling and screaming, spitting on the floor. He was smacking the back of my seat and other passengers' seats."

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Posted in: China criticizes Japan's move to seek compensation over 2010 ship collision See in context

Japanese media cited Transport and Construction Minister Akihiro Ota as saying the government would sue for compensation of 14.29 million yen in the Naha district court on Okinawa.

The Chinese don't really care about the rule of law. They blew off ITLOS and the Philippines. They were also a no show at the Spanish court that charged them with genocide in Tibet. The Chinese will ignore any judgment that the Okinawan court hands down as well. They invaded Tibet and East Turkestan and continue to occupy them illegally. Seriously, what would the rule of law mean to a country like that? Answer: Nothing.

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Posted in: Golden jump See in context

GG2141 said: Frenzel played Akito like a chump.

Watabe actually did pretty well. Just look at what happened to Evgeniy Klimov. He started the cross country race in third place behind Watabe and finished dead last. Congrats to Frenzel, Watabe and Krog.

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Posted in: U.S. bans commercial ivory trade See in context

"This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild," the White House said in a statement.

It's a start. However, the largest market contributing "to the further decline of African elephants" is the one in China.

China accounts for around 70% of the global demand for ivory, which is known as "white gold" in the country. China has been under pressure to take more action to protect rare and endangered species and to fight the illegal trade.

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Posted in: Chinese state media slam Abe's 'gangster logic' See in context

Chinese state media slam Abe's 'gangster logic'

The real gangsters are the Chinese. A Spanish court just charged the Chinese with committing genocide in Tibet.

Spanish High Court Judge Ismael Moreno issued arrest orders on Monday for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, ex-Premier Li Peng and three others. Moreno noted that he was obliged by a separate judicial ruling to order the arrests, which he had declined to issue in April last year.

China's response: throw a temper tantrum.

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Posted in: Unruly passenger forces ANA flight to land in Anchorage en route to New York See in context

"He was berserk from the moment he got on the plane. He was yelling and screaming, spitting on the floor. He was smacking the back of my seat and other passengers' seats."

Why did the plane take off with him on board? He should have been arrested at Narita.

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Posted in: Headline of S Korean magazine angers Japanese readers See in context

They should have changed the title to "How to date Korean women who haven't been exposed to radiation."

According to the results, Jongno recorded 0.21 microsieverts, or degree of radiation absorbed per hour. Songpa recorded 0.15 microsieverts per hour.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) set the current safety standard for radiation exposure, 0.5 microsieverts per hour.

Radiation in districts ranked highest to lowest are Jongno (0.21), Yongsan (0.195), Gwangjin (0.195), Junggu (0.19), Nowon (0.19), Gangseo (0.18), Seocho (0.18), Gangdong (0.18), Dobong (0.18), Jungnang (0.18), Gangbuk (0.18) and Seongdong (0.175).


And then they wonder why South Korea has such high rates of thyroid cancer.

However, Korea broke the world record in the incidence rate and its increase: for women, 80.2 (2008) per 100,000 and an annual increase rate of 23.6% (1999-2008)

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Posted in: Documents reveal chaotic U.S. military sex-abuse record in Japan See in context

The same thing happens at all US military bases.

But the documents show that, as it is at U.S. bases everywhere, U.S. service members who commit sexual assaults are most likely to abuse comrades-in-arms.

It literally goes with the territory.

The NCIS provided more than 600 case files - seven years of detailed but heavily redacted executive summaries of sex-crime reports. The four military branches provided an additional 400 files covering narrower time frames.

Put those documents through The Declassification Engine.

In the parlance of the day, the project is tackling these documents with the help of Big Data. If you put enough of this declassified information in a single place, Connelly believes, you can begin to predict what government information is still being withheld. Many documents are declassified only with certain text redacted, for instance, and Connelly aims to develop tools that predict what text has been removed.


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Posted in: Night of demons See in context

Serrano said: You'll find 'em in Japan's largest city, Tokyo.

Tokyo doesn't have a Namahage tradition or festival. The only place in Tokyo you'd regularly see Namahage is at an Akita themed restaurant. As the caption states:

... Namahage Sedo Festival. Held over three nights every February in Oga City, Akita Prefecture, it is one of the five major festivals of the Tohoku winter.

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Posted in: Night of demons See in context

Serrano said: I think this is the main cause of most Japanese people's strange behavior, most of them were scared half to death by these Namahage when they were little kids, ha ha

Nonsense. Namahage is a Tohoku tradition. You won't find them in southern Japan. There's also a very similar tradition in Europe.

Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas Day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells.


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Posted in: China rejects U.S. criticism on South China Sea See in context

Guiseppi said: I am sure China took note. I am sure everybody took note. Apparently to win at the ICJ you have win militarily first.

China's claim to the South China Sea is a bit different from the Ligitan and Sipadan case.

The case of Sipadan and Ligitan is completely different. Malaysia won the case for the reason effective occupation because those islands were ownerless (terra nullius) when they were disputed by Indonesia and Malaysia.

Many people misunderstood, thinking that the two islands were once Indonesia's and then taken over by Malaysia.

It was not the case. Indonesia and Malaysia claimed the islands and they did not manage to settle the dispute through negotiation so they brought the case before the International Court of Justice. The court then decided the case based on a principle called "effectivites" or effective occupation. It confirmed that Malaysia and its predecessor, Great Britain, had done a lot to the ownerless islands compared to Indonesia and its predecessor, the Netherlands, had done.

As a senior government official once said and I agree, Indonesia did not lose any islands it just failed to add two more. This might sound like a joke but the statement explains the situation nearly perfectly.


Both Indonesia and Malaysia settled their territorial dispute through ITLOS. China is a signatory of UNCLOS but rejects ITLOS. As President Aquino has stated:

"That is all we aspire for...that all of us will follow international law, especially those that we all freely entered into like UNCLOS - the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea," the President stressed.

"Nobody forced any of us to be a signatory there. China and the Philippines are signatories to the same. And we are hoping that we all live up to the commitments expressed in a treaty such as that," he said.

China can ignore ITLOS but as a signatory of UNCLOS it has certain obligations. Article 290(6) LOSC requires that "the parties to the dispute shall comply promptly with any provisional measures prescribed".

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Posted in: China rejects U.S. criticism on South China Sea See in context

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei urged the U.S. to take a "rational and fair attitude," and reiterated China's position that its claims are based on history and international law.

If China's claim is based on international law, then China should have no problem presenting its case before an international tribunal. The reality, of course, is that China is a no show at ITLOS. So not only does China reject U.S. criticism, it rejects international law.

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Posted in: Toyota halts Venezuela production See in context

Venezuela is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Corruption is difficult to measure reliably, but one well-known measure is the Corruption Perceptions Index, produced annually by the Berlin-based NGO, Transparency International (TNI). Venezuela has been one of the most corrupt countries in TNI surveys ... [Venezuela is] one of the 10 most corrupt countries on the index in 2012, ranked 165th out of 176 (tied with Burundi, Chad, and Haiti).

2013 results here: http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/

Companies such as Toyota must go through a complex bureaucratic process to obtain dollars.

Complex = Currupt

The government will resume weekly dollar auctions to companies on Feb. 10 after scrapping this week's installment because it said there were fraudulent bids.

But there's a reason why the government doesn't want bolivars traded on the open market.

However, in 2013 Venezuela reached an annual inflation rate of 56.2 percent - the world's highest - which is a 30 percent increase since Chavez took over in 1999, according to the same World Bank report.

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Posted in: Hard work See in context

paulinusa said: What is that he's pushing? A broom? A floor duster?

Well, if you really must know it's a floor squeegee.

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