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John Becker comments

Posted in: Cabinet OKs schools to use banned imperial order as teaching materials See in context

Teach it as part of the history of a failed empire that turned itself around and became a great country through the efforts of its people.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Posted in: Minister yells at press after he criticizes remaining Fukushima evacuees See in context

We need more reporters like this to push these peoples buttons and make them show their true colours.

Not with "gotcha" questions, but with real substantive questions like the ones this reporter asked.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Posted in: Octopus balls become octopus planets with amazing tweak to 'takoyaki' recipe See in context

If you go to Dotonbori in Osaka and get takoyaki, you have to eat the first one right away. Don't worry about the burn and the blister, you have to do it. And, like climbing Mt. Fuji, you never have to do it again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Is hanami in Japan actually all that fun? See in context

Ueno Park is a circus, but even in the city, you can go to Shinjuku Gyoen for a more civilized experience. There are still a lot of people, but it's a lot quieter and more polite.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Paul McCartney making album with Adele producer See in context

It bears mentioning that Sir Paul will be playing a few nights at Tokyo Dome at the end of April, and a couple of nights at Budokan just prior. There may still be tickets available for the Budokan shows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan history revisionists bolder under Abe: analysts See in context

For what it's worth, I've canceled the 7 nights I'd been planning to stay in APA hotels for my next visit to Japan. Never again.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Chinese, U.S. aircraft in 'unsafe' encounter over South China Sea See in context

Who has more right to be there?

Nobody. Everyone has the same rights in international waters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Organic thin-film PV cells used to create power-generating window See in context

Why block sunlight coming through a window? Why not locate regular PV panels on the exterior of a house everywhere but the windows? Then you can have more area for panels, more efficient panels, and nothing blocking light from entering the interior of the building. This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The Three Degrees sue Sony over royalties See in context

According to a complaint filed on Tuesday night, the group has “never received one penny” of royalties under an oral agreeing it struck in the mid- to late-1970s with the former manager, producer Richard Barrett, for a 75% share.

An oral agreement? Lotsa luck, girls.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Exhibition charts 500 years of evolution of robots See in context

I saw one of the Pepper robots in a hotel lobby in Osaka last year. I didn't really interact with it, but it was fun to see other people do so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think will be the biggest difference between candidate Trump and President Trump? See in context

Candidate Trump was merely an annoyance. President Trump is a danger to the entire world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 killed on river rapids ride at Australian theme park See in context

It's interesting that the article starts with, Sydney.

That's just a generic thing, like a story about the US might start with "WASHINGTON" or about France might start with "PARIS."

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Debris recovery operation in sea carried out for first time since Fukushima nuclear disaster See in context

Even though water is a great isolator of radioactive material the half life of such material is 30 years. So they should not start fishing there for at least another 25 years.

At which time, half of the original radioactive material will still remain.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Scientific evidence grows for e-cigarettes as quit-smoking method See in context

I smoked a pack a day for 32 years. I got an e-cig in 2011 and after just 4 days, didn't need cigarettes anymore. I used the e-cig for roughly 5 months, then quit using that too. I've been cigarette-free since July 26, 2011 and nicotine-free since January 2, 2012. I have no cravings, even in the situations that required a cigarette back when I was smoking. And it's much easier to survive the long flight to Japan when I visit.

I can't say that an e-cigarette will work for everyone who is trying to quit smoking, but it worked for me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: How useful do you find customer reviews on shopping sites such as Amazon and Rakuten? See in context

I tend to ignore the 5-star and 1-star ratings, because they often gloss over the detail I'm looking for. People who rate more in the middle do so for a reason, and sometimes they write detailed reviews that answer the questions that are keeping me from ordering.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China wants a successful G20 but suspects West, allies may derail agenda See in context

“China is angry with almost everyone at the moment,” - perhaps there is an apparent common denominator here?

Yes, obviously. It's China.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Brussels 'flower carpet' has Japanese theme See in context

That's beautiful work! But from first glance at a little thumbnail version of the image, I thought it was a picture of a Daruma with one eye painted. :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan awaits emperor's video message on possible abdication See in context

When this was first being talked about, it was going to be a live address. The IHA put an end to that idea. I expect nothing surprising or even very interesting from this.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Edward Snowden talks about film dramatizing his life See in context

I've had a hard time with this. I respect Snowdon for having the courage to stand by his convictions. He exposed some things the American people needed to know. He also exposed some things that probably should have stayed secret.

I wish he'd shared the information with a few American news organizations, rather than just dumping it on WikiLeaks. He could have been a modern day "Deep Throat" and some reporters could have picked up on the legacy of Woodward and Bernstein. And a few people in power really could have had their feet held to the fire.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: New Godzilla movie looks darker than ever in latest trailer See in context

I'm surprised Godzilla is approaching Tokyo from the south. Should have been from the north. Say, somewhere around Fukushima. Wouldn't that make more sense?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Smaller Japan tech firms thrive in OLED niche See in context

The article mentions the facts that OLED displays are thin and flexible. It fails to mention the fact that OLEDs can display colors that are more true to life. LCD displays can't do the color red - the closest they get is dark orange. OLED can display deep, rich reds. This is very important for photographers and others who need the most accurate displays possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Landmark Sony Building in Ginza to be demolished in 2017 See in context

I'm glad I got to visit the building this year; I hadn't been before and probably won't get another chance before it's gone.

Here's a bit about the building, from Sony's official corporate history. Scroll about halfway down the page:


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Throughout history, in every time and country, there have always been con artists. Why are they always with us? Is it because because people are fundamentally dishonest or gullible? See in context

Some people have no scruples. Some people have no common sense. The rest of us chuckle at them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: The Kong Show: Rock band KISS helping to revive Ukiyo-e See in context

These kinds of pop culture crossover prints became popular when Tokyo woodblock print maker David Bull and American artist Jed Henry began collaborating on their ongoing "Ukiyo-e Heroes" series of prints, depicting famous video game characters in a classical ukiyo-e style reminiscent of Yoshitoshi. You can see them at ukiyoeheroes -dot- com.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Beatles music producer George Martin dies at 90: Ringo Starr See in context

The Beatles were world changers, both musically and culturally. Mr. Martin had a lot to do with the musical part.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Rolling Stones to play March 25 show for free in Havana See in context

I hope things continue the way they're going right now. I hope Havana develops its own economy, not just a tourist economy. I hope the profits don't just go to foreign investors. And I hope Fidel lives long enough and still has his wits about him to see that the world isn't ending when it all happens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Young couple among 18 publicly caned in Indonesia's Islamic Aceh See in context

As repellent as it may be to us.... their house, their rules.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese pitching ace Darvish back on the mound See in context

Just a year after Tommy John surgery? Very fast. But if he feels ok, great. I hope he doesn't have any problems this year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Rock comes out swinging at Oscars; 'Spotlight' wins Best Picture See in context

I thought Rock's opening monologue was good. But the race issue permeated the whole night, and it got a bit strident after a while. Ok, we get it. There's a problem. We all agree it's there, though we might not all agree about the severity. Address it, acknowledge it, move on.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Pro boxing in Rio? A bad idea in so many ways See in context

Any sport that relies on judges for scoring is ripe for corruption, controversy and incompetence. It's bad enough in figure skating and gymnastics, but boxing is laughable. The Olympics don't need boxing, or tennis, or golf, or any of the other major international pro sports.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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