John N Swegan comments

Posted in: Dead body found in real-life 'Totoro’s Forest' in Japan See in context

This may be out in left field, but if it were a child that was kidnapped and molested, I'm pretty sure that the perpetrator would have tried to bury her in at least a shallow grave to prevent the body from being found. This is, providing that it is the girl that went missing last fall. A lot of things need to be considered. What was the weather like in Japan between September 21 and when the remains were found: importantly, when did the weather start turning cold. In my meat packing days, the building was kept below 8° to help keep meat fresh. How soon did it start dropping and remain so? Then there's the fluctuation between day and night temps, and wild animals. Cold temps coupled with easily accessible food sources, some animals, especially small rodents like rats and mice, would have many meals on the remains.

If she was abducted, after getting lost heading back to the camp, I think the abductor took her elsewhere, then returned the body after the initial search for her.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Switch to teleworking prompts boom in ‘digicam-friendly’ clothing See in context

Makes sense. Walter Cronkite, CBS News anchorman for a few decades discovered this and often wore anything from shorts to blue jeans when he presented the evening news, but you'd never know it as he always had a white dress shirt, tie, and jacket while on air behind his desk.

As for used clothing, it's actually common here in the US. Most is donated to various charities and resold at thrift stores. I have a great Pierre Cardin Hawaiian shirt I picked up at Goodwill for $2. (~215¥) Even used, these go for $10- $50, (1076.77 - 5383.88 ¥) And I'm not a small man.

Often, these thrift stores carry just suit jackets because the pants wore out and people donate the jackets and are resold for about $5. For video conferencing, they're perfect. Dress shirt? $2. Tie? $1. You can look professional for under $10 (

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Posted in: Tommy Lee Jones gives pandemic advice as coffee-loving alien in Japanese commercial See in context

@starpunk, I'm in the same boat as you. I got hooked on Japanese culture watching anime in my late 50s. Ads in the US are a mixed bag, which explains why the Super Bowl commercials are so popular: it's just too bad that the creative forces in America aren't as creative as they are in Japan. I could also point out the actual cost of the commercials here versus there. but production costs, regardless of CGI tech, between the two companies is huge. Also, the use of YouTube to allow people to see the commercials when they choose shows the popularity. Put out a good commercial, and the people will come: not only for the commercial, but for the product.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online See in context

I often hear, or actually, read from people that trash her, but interestingly enough, she is a good writer and a blessing to the world.

Things she's done to prove her worth?

She wrote books that young people were actually interested in reading. Remember the release parties at bookstores around the world when a new novel came out? It actually got kids to imagine what it was like being a student at Hogwarts, on tenterhooks as they turned each page. She treated her readers like adults. I'll be honest, I thought I was going to be in for a big disappointment as I started reading Sorcerer's Stone. First page, I was like, Okay, this was written for a 9 year old... but by the second chapter, her writing style showed that she could write for an older audience. In fact, any 9 year old that read that first book likely saw their reading skills jump up a couple years level. She did not dumb down her writing. Later books carried somewhat adult themes, other than battle and deaths. Remember how disappointed we were when Syrius died? We finally saw a ray of hope for our hero, only to have the rug pulled out from us. That's reality.

Aside from her writing skills, she has used the money to make England a better place. First, she enjoys paying her taxes. I'm sure that, as a writer, she could have found some way to go to a tax haven for artists (like Ireland) and lived tax free for life, but she recalled the years between 1990, when she first got the idea for the story, and 1997, when it was first published. After having her first child, her husband divorced her. Trying to raise a child as a single parent is difficult. It's never mentioned if her ex was a deadbeat dad, but during that period, she ended up receiving what we here in the states would call public welfare. She has more than paid back the cost of those benefits with her tax payments, with the belief that there is someone receiving them now and will follow her example.

She has not had an easy life, but show her true spirit in her philanthropy. When I see that she plans on using some of the proceeds to help those stricken by the pandemic, I can easily see that her caring about her fellow humans is on par with the greatest.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: HBO throws out rulebook with streaming launch See in context

considering AT&T is the parent company, it's no wonder they'll start high. Give it a year, and it will realize they started at too high a price point. Watch, within 6 months they'll have a super smokin' deal on the service: sub to our service of only (eg: $5.99 for 6-12 months) or around there and they'll see people clamoring to join... knowing that a large percentage won't remember to cancel after the deal is done. As a former AT&T employee, I'm very familiar with this strategy. You almost need to set a reminder in your phone to cancel.

On the plus side: they DO have a good selection.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Pandemic claims another U.S. retailer: 118-year-old J.C. Penney See in context

I never had good luck shopping at Penney's. More than once I left in disgust because I couldn't find what I was looking for, ending up going to Sears or Target. Hell, even Kmart, which can give you an idea how long I've boycotted the store. It was a time when there were no Walmarts in the area. Amazon was decades away from being founded. He internet was still ARPANET.

Sorry, Penney employees, but it took time, but my boycott worked. Shows I'm patient. Well, that and the fact they pissed off a large number of potential customers over the last few decades.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Drive-in theaters experiencing renaissance in U.S. due to pandemic See in context

Home videos and cable TV weren't the only culprits behind the closing of drive in theaters. The death knell was played with something called Daylight savings time. As a kid, we could head to the drive in about 8, started getting dark between then and 9, and two features (Sometimes a third, but often just the first feature was played again) First film I saw at the drive in was Follow That Dream with Elvis Presley. Last movie I saw at the drive in was with my wife was Little Darlings with Tatum O'Neil and Kristy McNichol. They were a staple of my teen entertainment (including the backseat mambo) as dating often revolved around them once we got cars.

The drive-ins around here are long gone: replaced by Walmart stores. The joke many of us tell about the drive in days is to point at whichever Walmart replaced the drive-in and say, "Ya Know, more babies were conceived in women's underwear than any other spot in the county."

I did my part to make the joke work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What Japan's 'hikikomori' can teach us about self-isolation See in context

I became disabled about 12 years ago. Still, I tried interacting with people, but finally said the hell with it about 4 years ago. The only ones I interact with are my daughter and her kids. I usually do my own shopping, trying to stock up for the month so I don't have to go out into reality. I have the internet, Order my manga and light novels from Amazon, and stay active on social media, but I don't feel like dealing with people after decades in the workplace. At least I don't have a wife anymore that wants to drag me places like she used to do. Work hard all day, could barely walk when I got home, and she'd want to run run run: not even give a chance to find my center.

Reality pretty much sucks, and this is why I'm hunkered in the dark, commenting on a news source a world apart from my reality.

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Posted in: Over 100 episodes from the best part of 'Sailor Moon' anime will be free to watch online See in context

I only watched a few episodes a couple years ago, but never really got into it. My son, on the other hand, went through puberty, and a lot of boxes of Kleenex, watching this show. Best let him know

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Posted in: Japanese artists in New York sing 'Sukiyaki' together in heartwarming video See in context

I remember when this song was released back here in the US back in 1963. Sakamoto Kyu did such a good job on singing it, 5 year old me loved it, even without understanding a word. Sometime later, an English translation was released by other artiists, but Sakamoto's version will always be my favorite.

@Jalapeno you'll find an article about the song on Wikipedia, and the answer to your question at

I regret most of the Japanese music I'm acquainted with are from Anime, but this song breaks all language barriers, and is a perfect representation of today's world.

RIP Sakamoto Kyu.

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Posted in: Does anime need to start being more politically correct for overseas audiences? See in context

Westerner here: in the mid-west of the US. Should Japan make it's anime and manga PC? NO!

Anime reminds me a lot of the Underground Comics here in the US back in the 60s and 70s. Artists were totally ignoring the Comic Code Authority that had been in place for nearly a decade because some nut-case psychiatrist said comic books were a bad influence on our children. What we then called "The Beat Generation," a group of young artists with a Bohemian lifestyle, gave birth to the hippie movement which took the establishment to task with comic books. Focusing on sex, drugs, and rock and roll, these artists were the forerunners of today's independent comics, but they practiced freedom of expression.

I've only delved into anime/manga in the last 4-5 years, starting with a box set of Ranma½. The violence in the program was no worse than the US cartoons from the 40's and 50's, but it was only different in that is would, on occasion, show that women have nipples. They didn't even bother to shade them in. The PC crowd in the US doesn't want us to know about women having nipples, yet nature not only keeps giving them those, but even give the men nipples, too. for nearly 40 years, US comic books didn't even allow men's nipples to be shown.

What started this "Make anime PC" movement really pick up steam was the main-stream release of Interspecies Reviewers (異種族レビュアーズ) which is a sex comedy. while it falls short of being hentai/porn, it comes close. It reminds me of the teen sex comedies from the US back in the 1970s (or even the Italian sex comedies of the same era. Those were hilarious!) But not every comedy was a sex comedy, just like not every anime is a sex comedy. My grandkids (yes, I'm that old, but a newcomer to anime) look to me to recommend their anime viewing and manga choices because I've become knowledgeable in the US comics and cartoons. So far, they've liked about 99% of my recommendations because I do what a responsible adult would do: I screen the shows first and decide if A: I like it. (not everything I like is appropriate for teen girls) and B: if there is a hook that would allow the girls to enjoy it. Shows that have passed these screenings and the kids loved them are Astra no Kanata, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun, Zombie Land Saga, and Dr. Stone, to name a few recent shows, but there are a lot more.

I'm going to give the anime and manga creators the same advice I'd give US animation and comic book studios: Use your creativity and push the envelop. Don't aim for "Everyone", but aim for originality. I don't like every anime and manga that comes across my desktop, and I do try to keep some variety in my viewing and reading. But it's my choice. Treat your audience as adults and they will come.

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Posted in: Lawson to open experimental checkout-free convenience store See in context

I've heard of similar co-op stores in the US, but, like the experimental Lawson store, limited to specific people (co-op members) I'm glad Lawson's Japan is working to make the chain profitable. I was born about an hour's drive from where Lawson's headquarters used to be, so I grew up consuming their products. (Us older folks in the mid-west still relish the memory of their chip-chopped ham) Would love to see them expand into the US again, with their Japanese cuisine. It's getting very popular thanks to anime becoming so popular here. I live in a city in a rural area, but in the last 3-4 years have seen about 4 Japanese restaurants pop up, while Chinese restaurants have been a mainstay of the area for decades.

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