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Posted in: 'Elysium' delivers action, destruction and a deeper message on life See in context

Bertie, the director of this film and one of the main stars are South Africans, and it's produced by a South African and an English guy; the same guys behind District 9, which, while having some cool action scenes, also explored deeper issues of racism and segregation with a pretty subtle hand. I would expect the same from this film. If action and sci-fi aren't your thing, Smurfs 2 is killing it at the box office in the US right now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: B-grade cuisine: Japan's bizarre foodie fad See in context

I wouldn't say this is "Japan's bizarre foodie fad". Foodies in the US have been craving this "B-grade" stuff for the better part of a decade. Fancy restaurants are out and unusual deep-fried junk on a stick is the new fine dining for American foodies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA flight canceled after pilot exceeds safe alcohol limit See in context

Some cursory research has yielded the following: No one knows for sure when shochu started being produced in Japan, but it was previously called "Araki" - a katakana loan word for "arak" - a similar spirit brewed in the Muslim world.

The first ever written example of "Shochu" occurred in the 1500's. Korean Soju, on the other hand, predates that by a large margin. Given the fact that the two names are extremely similar, and that it used to be called something else in Japan, I think it's safe to say that shochu as it is known today was introduced from Korea.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Twitter, mixi join forces to counter Facebook in Japan See in context

Why is only mixi lowercase in this article? facebook and twitter both use all lowercase letters in their official logotype. Consistency, people!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: ANA flight canceled after pilot exceeds safe alcohol limit See in context

Shochu is Korean, not Japanese

-15 ( +2 / -16 )

Posted in: Best izakaya in Tokyo See in context

Ranger and Serrano,

The drinks and the fried foods at these places are likely to kill you just as quick as the smoke. Then again, you could get hit by a train before you even set foot in the door. Live a little - tobacco and alcohol have been essential aspects of human existence since time immemorium and there are plenty of other more immediate dangers to your bodily health.

Besides, if smoking and vice aren't your thing, you shouldn't be worrying about your next dinner option, you should be browsing online for plane tickets out of here; the whole country is practically an ashtray.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Why the increasing number of alcoholic women in their 20s? See in context

3 large bottles is a lot of alcohol. I used to drink 3 small cans a night as my one indulgence in an otherwise strict diet and hardworking lifestyle, but I could literally feel my tolerance increasing and cut back. It's worth noting that I believe the medical definition of a "heavy drinker" is different in Japan and the west. In the US, a "moderate drinker" will drink no more than 3 cans of beer per day. In some article I read recently, I learned that the Japanese definition of a "heavy drinker" is pretty significant - I think it was around 6 tall cans a day.

Also, I think it's much more worthwhile to pay attention to the warning signs rather than the amount: Are you drinking alone, lying to friends about your habits, drinking before sundown, curing hangovers with a beer, etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Cain says he won't be forced out of White House race by sex scandal claims See in context

The best thing that could possibly happen to the Democrats is a Cain nomination. It would be like watching Spain take on North Korea in the World Cup. Unadultered slaughter. I would almost have to avert my eyes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Republican debate shifts from Cain scandal to eurozone crisis See in context

Why is it that Herman Cain's complete incompetence doesn't make the news? Remember that debate he had with Newt Gingrich a few days ago? He had no idea what simple health care terms were. He's also been caught off guard with very simple foreign policy questions and proposed in seriousness limiting all bills to three pages.

Yet, not a single news article in my memory has ever questioned his readiness to take on the highest office arguably in the entire world despite ludicrously limited knowledge of economics, foreign policy and health care.

"left-wing bias"... right....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Eddie Murphy follows Ratner and quits Oscar gig See in context


He said "fag", not "gay". "Fag" is a serious slur that is often used with malice in the US. It's a big, big deal. It's the word gay men often hear as they are being beaten to death to by people that hate them for being different. It's a word that drives people to suicide.

You're right, meaning and usage change, and history dictates that sometimes we discontinue usage of what once were fairly innocuous words because they have taken on hateful and malicious meanings.

It's interesting that very few people ever complain that we've all gone too "PC" these days if a white guy uses the term "ni***er" (which ironically, I am forbidden from posting as is), but every time someone gets in hot water for using the word "fag", it's always, "those gays are just too damn sensitive! Get over it!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context

Even more telling facts about where Politico's allegiences lie:

The majority of Politico's web traffic is redirected from the Drudge Report, a right-wing bastion that notably endorses Politico frequently alongside George W. Bush.

Both CEO Fred Ryan and the patriarch of Politico financier, the Allbritton family, have donated to George W. Bush presidential campaigns.

Not only, as stated previously, was Fred Ryan personal assistant to Ronald Reagan, he is also the current Board Chairman of the Reagan Library, and to this day maintains close ties to the Reagan family.

According to a Washington Post article, Joe Allbritton, "donated the portrait of Reagan that hangs in the White House. Former president George H.W. Bush has attended Allbritton’s post-Alfalfa brunch. When George W. Bush’s inaugural parade passed the Riggs [a bank of which Allbritton was CEO] branch on Pennsylvania Avenue, he spotted Allbritton and said, 'Hey Joe, how are you doing?'"

Jonathon Martin, a reporter at Politico who was featured in a clip on Sean Hannity's show recently speaking on the Cain story, previously wrote for the right-wing National Review.

Do you need any more evidence whatsoever that Politico clearly has friends in the Republican party?

Also, consider this: many top-tier Republicans think Herman Cain would be political suicide for their party (why else does he have no endorsements from party leaders?), and Mike Huckabee said on Monday that he can "almost guarantee" the story was given to Politico by a Republican.

So, if this is a smear campaign at all, evidence is pretty strong that it's an inside job. Sorry fellas.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context

sailwind, arrestpaul,

The Politico story is not more specific because it legally cannot be at this point. The women both signed nondisclosure agreements as part of the settlement. They are not allowed to go into details about the case with anyone in the media unless they are specifically released from the agreement by the NRA. One of the women has come forward (as of Tues. night) and said she wants to talk about it but must be released from the agreement before she can do so.

That's why the Politico story was thin on details. The only source they chose to protect was whoever dropped the dime on Cain in the first place and he could have a million different reasons to he would want to remain anonymous - this is (sadly) common practice in the news. Newspapers are ethically bound to honor requests for anonymity and it is frequently a prerequisite for sensitive information.

Honestly, it's not rocket science. I have demonstrated pretty unequivically Politico's strong ties to the Republican establishment. How exactly does it serve them to suddenly turn liberal for no real reason?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context


We know the settlement was 5 digits - so anywhere between 10K and 99K. If it's in those upper ranges, that indicates something very serious happened. If it's in the lower ranges, it might have been a throwaway case that they preferred to pay out just to make go away. We don't know yet, and that's why I've refrained from commenting on it - at the moment, I'm just here to debunk the ludicrous "liberal media" conspiracies that still somehow get traction these days despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

But, as I said before, Cain himself estimated the settlement at "two or three months of pay". If he's talking about his pay, that's a lot of money and indicates something far more serious than just comparing a woman's height to that of his wife.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context


I take Politico's reporting with a grain of salt, but rarely do news outlets (even Fox News) outright falsify stories. There's a difference between portraying a story dishonestly and outright making it up. Even Fox News has retracted and/or corrected stories that were discovered to be fabricated or dishonestly reported - doesn't mean they always do it, mind you.

I am a self-proclaimed liberal, but unlike the conservative drones who get their news solely from Rush Limbaugh and Fox, I get my information from a multitude of sources, then compare and contrast the reporting.

There's another major difference between Politico and Fox (and Limbaugh) - Fox News relies almost entirely on political pundits to drive ratings. Pundits are not obligated to tell the truth. Politico works more like a traditional newspaper, so they have much less leeway to inject unverifiable opinion into their materials.

Also, sailwind, since you apparently haven't read the news this morning: Herman Cain has stopped denying the charges and has acknowledged he was involved and there was a settlement. Essentially an admission of guilt.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context


This happened when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. It's a business association. There are no coked up, teenage fry cooks working there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context


See my previous post. Educate yourself. Then start talking.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context

Since the usual JT conservative rank-and-file can't seem to comprehend how the media works, I thought I should elaborate on who dropped this story in the first place:

Politico says they got the information from anonymous sources, but that they know the names of the women who filed the charges (meaning the story is verifiably true).

A little bit about Politico:

It has been the sponsor of two Republican presidential candidate debates

Its President and CEO is Frederick Ryan, former assistant to Ronald Reagan.

The paper was publicly endorsed by George W. Bush.

The paper is financed by Robert Allbritton, himself endorsed by the conservative New Republic.

Although, unlike Fox News, politico has only ever been accused of having a "slight tilt" to the Right, it's undeniable that it retains strong connections to the Republican party. As I said earlier, either Politico's evidence against Cain is so strong they felt obligated to drop this story, or someone on the Republican side has decided Cain needs to go.

I can't speak for exactly what happened during Cain's tenure at the NRA, but he was on the political talk show circuit late Monday, saying the settlement amounted to "two or three months of pay" - if he's referring to his pay, that's a lot of money, and suggests something seriously untoward happened.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Republican candidate Cain denies report of sexual harassment See in context

Looks like Cain has backpedaled and admitted knowledge. He even recalls what departments the women were from, and roughly the amount of the settlement.

Also, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Politico was and is well-connected to the Republican establishment. They are no "liberal media". Either they're confident enough in this bombshell that they felt obligated to drop it, or some very powerful conservatives have decided to pull the plug on Cain.

"liberal media". ha!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan intervenes in currency market to weaken yen See in context

Wait, don't intervene yet! I haven't transferred my student loan fees yet!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Adopting English as workplace language in Japan has its downside See in context

Anything in Kuchikomi is to be taken with a grain of salt because it's not based on actual reporting, just a couple of interviews with obviously biased sources.

It makes perfect sense for Rakuten to go all-English, what with its agenda to expand globally and all. Same goes with Uniqlo - wasn't there a story just a few days ago about how Uniqlo's sales in NYC are outpacing Tokyo sales?

And I this line: “We’re seeing more journalists who speak English but lack reporting skills,” the magazine hears from the foreign editor of a leading newspaper." is clearly misleading. Japan's press is notoriously unethical and slapshod. Anyone that got a journalism education in the US would have an immediate advantage. My guess he's hiring non-journalists for their English skills, in which case, what exactly did you expect?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's coffee culture See in context

Gajininfo and Samuraiblue,

That's per capita, you need to look at total imports - the statistic I found is pretty old, granted, but it puts Japan at 7.74% of all world importation of coffee beans; ie, number three behind the US and Germany.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Coroner: Amy Winehouse drank herself to death See in context

You should encourage your friend to see a doctor, Smith. Delirium Tremens can be fatal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Taxi driver killed after taxi goes off road onto train tracks below in Tokyo See in context

Sad the driver died, but I'm fixated on the idea of the passenger suffering dual broken arms. His life is going to be pretty difficult for the next few months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese woman sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug smuggling See in context

It'll be interesting to see how the Japanese public reacts to this. I'm predicting nonstop, 24-hour news coverage and mass condemnation of the decision.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Obama announces total U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by year's end See in context

I'm certain Rick "n---rhead" Perry or Herman "Right of.... Return...?" Cain could have done much, much better with their extensive knowledge of global politics and the sensitive way in which they handle people with different beliefs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Occupy Wall Street movement flexes muscles one month on See in context


The Koch brothers exploit loopholes in the law to illegally sell goods to Iran. So, I suppose it's not just OWS the Iranians support.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's coffee culture See in context

"American coffee" refers to espresso and water and the name was invented by Italians, not the Japanese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Obama announces total U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by year's end See in context

A lot of these guys coming back will end up jobless, maybe even homeless, and you'll see mental health issues spike as they return to the general population. Of course, the conservatives will claim to "support our troops" while also demanding budget cuts that destroy health care and re-integration programs for veterans.

Cut outdated weapons programs? God forbid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's coffee culture See in context


Good to know. I didn't see any statistics, but recalled a travel show mentioning Jamaica's coffee trade relationship to Japan.

I was very interested in coffee when I lived in the US, but it's just far too expensive to maintain that lifestyle in Japan. I even brought my grinder and french press in my luggage but gave up on it after seeing whole bean prices.

I will have to give Miyakoshiya a try.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's coffee culture See in context


The sourness is a characteristic of the growing region. Japan imports most of its beans from Jamaica, if I'm not mistaken.

I think the Japanese have a unique "coffee culture" and it goes back a long way, but here in Tokyo I have never come across any kind of artisan coffee shops or small privately run places other than the old bubble era ones the author talks about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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