inshikoku comments

Posted in: 'Mad Max' voted best movie of the year by international critics See in context

As the movie's promo says, 'What a lovely day!'

Director George Miller must have happy feet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you ever use your smartphone to avoid interacting with other people in certain situations? See in context

I am older, so I am more likely to have had more experience interacting with people speaking on a personal level. Consequently, I have more experience avoiding unwanted interaction, even with maniacs on trains who obsessively want to practice English conversation.

Still, people on mobile phones, and smart phones, lots of them are doing Line, which is also interaction though of a different sort.

I don't have Line, mainly because I prefer to interact in just one medium at once. Nor do I have time or need another online social network.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Time for black or gay 007, says Brosnan See in context

I recall people being aghast at the choice of Daniel Crag all those years ago - aghast over his hair colour!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The greatest of Japan's Great Buddhas See in context

There are a few ferro-concrete statues of Kannon, like the bust one looming scarily to the west of Ofuna Station just north from Kamakura. Also standing 'Kannons' in lots of places, like the Sendai one (Sendai Daikannon), which at 100 meters is the 6th tallest statue in the world and has a golf club and a Best Western Hotel next door, and one just up in the hills north of Kochi City. I have seen a few others around on travels driving on the freeway system up and down Japan (eg. Sendai Daikannon is right near the Tohoku freeway just north of Sendai City-proper).

Kannon is a female Bodhisattva, so I am not sure if this equates with 'Daibutsu' or Great Buddha.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Mobile language apps help millions learn less, more often See in context

About 28 years ago I got the Nihongo no Kiso books 1 and 2 (the ones with no English) and methodically did them all, about 10 pages a night. I got the grammar OK, but the kanji I could just never pick up. There was furigana, so I could cope.

But I have scarcely met a person who has ever finished a whole self-study course without an institution to back it up or to award something. This is one trouble with people commenting here and also making decisions (informed or uninformed) about how to learn languages, or anything else for that matter,

Lots of these apps and other independent learning packages are non-teacher approaches to learning. Interestingly there is some reference in the article use of dynamics from computer gaming and the like - the characteristic of which is people making key decisions spontaneously as well as having to navigate and negotiate a field in new ways. It is for this reason that more orthodox learning programs like Berlitz and Rosetta Stone are at points where they need to adapt or die. Yet, at the points when these two enterprises started out (Berlitz Direct Method well over 100 years ago), they were new, non-traditional and cutting edge too.

What appears to be driving new approaches using apps on phones, etc. is economic demand - of money and time.

However, a bunch of flashcards to help people learn vocabulary or expressions is not the sum of what there is in language learning. ANd any language educator, or experienced learner, would tell of a limit or a threshold. But the suppliers and makers of the new apps and other new types of programs are not counting on their customers thinking about these things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Typhoon Goni slams into Kyushu, injuring 13 See in context

A few trees pushed over in Kochi too, plus all the sunflowers at my uni not looking very sunny face down on the muddy road.

Hope other places in Shikoku and Kyushu are OK.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think is the biggest threat facing the world in the near future? See in context

Other: resources management

Water is a main resource, but I think also about the smaller, crucial ones like materials for medicines, minerals for computer and smart phone hardware.

Lots of the politics and economics kicks off from here

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Belgian politician lobbying AKB48 producers for concert See in context

Lolicom paradise overflow, like the picture, like the froth from a glass of Stella

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 'Kawaii' queen Kyary Pamyu Pamyu eyes global domination See in context

Interesting how some artists from here hit it off overseas, and many don't. Why? Something about KPP which is hard to pin down - like a pink taffeta skirt. What?

Too sweet for my cup of green tea though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sado Island to host annual Earth Celebration music festival Aug 21-23 See in context

Saw Kodo twice in Yokohama in the early 1990s. Best two live concerts I've ever seen.

Wanted to go to Sado Island for the Earth Celebration 20 years ago. Was in Niigata last week too. But now work!!!

Well, there's always next year ... with or without Leonard Eto.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hundreds dead, millions displaced as monsoon heaps misery on Asia See in context

Oddest thing (though probably not so surprising) is that all this has not really made news here.

And there is another typhoon in the Philippine Sea heading towards Indochina which this morning was 925 hectopascals.

In contrast the heat here this year is a change from so many typhoons here last year and so on.

Well East Asia is just like that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese journalist pulls a 'Weiner' in Thailand See in context

uploaded it through popular messaging app Line to about 150 journalists

This is an error in judgement if ever there was one - how to alienate oneself without even trying. And he probably didn't even get the girl!

a vomiting emoji from one group member

Yeah, right!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: AP Investigation: Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio's filth See in context

Um! Reading through the whole report leaves me speechless.

The pollution is one thing. The fact that people from the IOC down have done too little or nothing all this time, is worse.

Perhaps an athlete boycott might occur. Still, it is interesting that people such as the Austrian sailing team persist in practising there. Is glory worth all the vomit talked about?

It makes me wonder what people may really have to swim through in Tokyo's waterfront in 2020. I remember it (and Tokyo Bay) being fairly good - I hope my memory is still correct.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Yellow Shinken Sentai ranger Suzuka Morita transforms into swimsuit model See in context

Many teenage boys and young men across Japan were probably sitting at the edge of their seats waiting ...

I didn't know if I should continue laughing or continue reading.

Obviously I continued reading, until this bit

Morita spent the photo shoot on the beaches of Shizuoka Prefecture’s Izu Peninsula with a bunch of crabs, later saying, “There were so many crabs, we just lazed around with the crabs.”

For many, this is a welcome change; some men reminisce about their boyhood crushes on the yellow ranger, only to find her now all grown up and strutting her stuff. Others, however, are taking offense, hoping their childhood image of the spunky heroine is never tainted by the evils of eroticism.

Then I really did burst out laughing.

Nobody could have ever planned a text like this.

Btw, her bum is fine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Bowing is an important outward sign of contrition by Japanese company executives caught up in a scandal. But how sincere do you think the act of bowing is, as an apology? See in context

After my wife's sister's funeral, as part of the family, we had to bow to 438 visitors paying respects, twice!

Um, let's just say that there is a seriousness threshold.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sky airs Froome data as Tour de France nears Alpine finale See in context

Cycling's millstone: a history of doping taints

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Long-established Japanese companies such as Toshiba tend to have a highly hierarchical structure, making it difficult for employees to challenge top-down decrees over cover-ups to "save face" for the See in context

From what I know of the Toshiba issue is that profit was exaggerated and there was failure at disclosure - basically auditing and accounting practices are either shite or just unethical.

Hierarchical structure and tatemae (cover up) corporate and management culture are one thing, but I think that the Toshiba now is showing up problems in financial governance across the board. Just going through a list of developments in auditing and governance regulations from the Japan Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA) now (http://www.hp.jicpa.or.jp/english/accounting/history/development.html), the standard (ie. good practice) rules all seem to be in place - lots since the end of the 90s and early 00s when lots of corporations caused financial institutions to write off truckloads of bad debts.

But what JICPA says is all well and good unless it is applied. It seems that more fundamentally there is a problem with compliance. There are so few mechanisms for making compliance ensured. But this is a problem all through Japanese community - there is the perpetual ironical circumstance of there not really being any laws or rules for anything until they are applied. Rather there are are millions of well-trodden convention or custom-based pathways. This includes drivers being lazy about stopping for red lights and even corporate governance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: As Amazon turns 20, a look at its biggest bets See in context

For all its convenience, ranges of items and other things affecting service to consumers, Amazon does epotomise dislocation of labor and small business due to electronic automation, maybe more than any other corporation.

People still do not know how to deal with that - we cannot all be, for instance, Amazon hardware maintenance and servicing workers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Touche See in context

Actually it looks like a 'no-hit' (on the throat guard at the base of the mask).

However, it looks like the Ota is really fast, actually very fast, with a strong beat attack as the American opponent was advancing (notice how his weapon is swung right out to his right and he is trying to bring it back in a hurry to parry Ota). However, Ota was maybe too quick to be able to line up his attack, making it go off target (ie. no hit). He did not need to lunge though, as he already had right of attack after beating his opponent's weapon to the side (fencing has lots of rules that a normal sword fight would not have) . I think that he sort of lunged (it is not even a good looking lunge) out of habit.

When I did fencing years and years ago, a tense shoulder would send a good attack off target everytime, Fencing with foil was a wonderful way to get some discipline and control - speed comes with thinking ahead. It is very very difficult to react coherently at those kinds of speeds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Heart-warming father-daughter Toyota commercial moves Japanese viewers to tears See in context

Interesting looking at the history of kids riding in cars, child's carseats use of or lack of.

ANd that end bit of the 'daughter's' CM, where they smiled/laughed in a situation in which 99.9% of people would instead say 'Abunai! Chanto mae ni mite yo, baka! Moooo, itsumo atashi ni miteru de hen de sa!' (Watch out! Watch the road, you idiot. Jeez, you are always looking at me and I think that's strange!), or something like that.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Posted in: 3 men attacked by wild boar in Saga Prefecture See in context

A bit boring for the boar.

-1 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Land of the rising sister: Japan’s search for gender parity See in context

This is a good read, about someone with some unpretentious good sense.

A pity people like Matsukawa-san cannot so easily replace the ossan oligarchy parading around sometimes opening their mouths to utter stupid things.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: What behavior by waiters in restaurants annoys you the most? See in context

In Japan, no real problems because staff generally do their jobs well with a modicum sense of responsibility, but other places (Australia, US) when waiting staff become too familiar - can't they just serve?!; or other places (Britain, some places around Europe, South and SOuth East Asia) where staff are despondent, detached to the extent that service does not occur - can they serve us, in this lifetime?!.

Otherwise presumption of tipping really sucks - that makes service in Japan and a few other places around where tipping is not presumed a cut above other places.

Alternately, I wonder what answers JT would get if they asked what behaviour by customers really annoy (serving staff)?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Wimbledon set for heat breaks -- but only for women See in context

I remember in 1983 at Wimbledon with the large servings of strawberries and cream (about 5 quid then) melting fairly quickly. Didn't stop McEnroe saying the f-word.

I was working for a bank in Hammersmith in west London, the temperature went over 30 degrees centigrade, and the told us to go home - twice. The reason given then was no air conditioning, and there wasn't.

So, 35 degrees in Pommyland! Soon it will be 35 degrees in Shikoku and 35 times as humid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't employees to start work early, finish early in July, August See in context

In Shikoku the time before/after 6am/pm when the sun rises/sets in summer/winter is fairly similar. When I lived in Yokohama and Sendai, which are so far east, I hated going home from work in autumn with the sun setting around 4 pm but rising before 7. Nagasaki has the opposite problem.

Abe's initiative would not solve anything, just make it worse for suckers in Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama and farther afield who would have to leave on trains for work an hour earlier, and get an hour less sleep after their

often-alcohol fueled bonding sessions [that are] practically compulsory

How much is Abe just trying to be Koizumi, he of the 'Cool biz'?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Are futons awesome or simply awful? See in context

We have a 4 or 5 cm softer tempur-type mattress with a similar thickness firmer one on top of a wooden bed with two lines of slats, all from Muji. Firm but giving, and the mattresses can be rolled up smaller than any futon. I just hope we can get the same outside of Japan when we move.

Futons or beds - try asking the same question in winter when the air up to 10 cm above the floor is noticeably colder than above.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Rest time See in context

Like that Parisian Expressionist picture (by Seurat I think), by the Seine in summer. But not quite.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 10,000 textbooks recalled over 3-armed girl illustration See in context

Actually, the teacher or mother in the picture has only one arm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-Bangkok police chief arrested for gun possession at Narita airport See in context

Ex-cop fro Thailand LEAVING Japan WITH a hand gun!!!

It is all odd! I would have thought that Thailand it would be easier to just do the business there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think are some of the most beautiful scenic spots in Japan? See in context

Eastern end of the Inland Sea, the coasts of Awaji and NE Shikoku around Naruto. Some industry stuck down a sound in Naruto but out of sight - otherwise no industry, just some aquaculture plus whirlpools, bays, beaches, hills forests and that consequential bridge, and brilliant sunsets. Unfortunately I missed out on a job at the university there and so am not able to live there to enjoy it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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