kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Body odor? Bacteria-embedded bodysuit may help See in context

It's not the sweat on your body that causes body odor, it's the bacteria

As far as I understand it, that's true. So that means you can theoretically fight em by getting other bacteria in there, either to displace or fight the smelly ones.

Smelly bacteria can build up in some synthetic clothes in spite of washing. Patagonia thermals used to be notorious for it. The solution is to wash them occasionally in vinegar or lemon juice. More recent tech underwear tends to have some kind of anti-bacterial treatment and is much better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4-year-old boy seriously injured after being struck by police car See in context

You can do a drug test anytime on hair. This is Yotsuya, just by Shinjuku. There will be pedestrians everywhere.

Hope the boy recovers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Paralympics expected to help promote understanding of disabilities: survey See in context

In the survey, 62 percent reacted positively to the sports event,

I'm not disabled and see many issues with the games, but it's good to see that at least a majority of the disabled themselves "reacted positively" to them. Their opinion is more important than mine.

The regular Olympics is very elitist, with the majority of competitors being rich. A huge chunk of Great Britain's team went to private school. Given the extra needs for disabled sports, I suspect their competitors may be even more elitist when seen against the whole disabled population. Some struggle to pay for a regular wheelchair, never mind a high speed one for doing marathons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: JR East aims to launch ferry route linking Haneda with central Tokyo See in context

I seem to remember hearing that the monorail was supposed to be better and go further, but they ran out of money when they built it. I think the Metropolitan Expressway is the same, a compromised best effort with the money available. It was the 1964 Olympics, so there was lots to pay for.

Haneda is now a fully-fledged international airport, so all transport should assume folks have luggage and accommodate them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Embarking on a 2nd career post-retirement makes economic sense See in context

“I know a woman,” he says, “who after college had no work experience at all.” She raised her kids, and in her 40s, the kids grown, she went job-hunting. She found part-time work with a publishing firm and worked her way up; eventually, still part-time, she was earning 2,000 yen an hour. By the time she retired at 70, she had set aside 50 million for her old age.

Run the numbers and this story is highly unlikely. Assume 1600 yen an hour as average wage and 50 million yen is 31,250 hours. She's "part time" so no bonus. The last 25 years have also seen very little interest on Japanese savings, so we'll assume zero RoI for convenience. 31,250 hours over 25 years (starting mid forties after "kids have grown up") is 1250 hours a year in pure savings. That means living on however many more hours of work and putting aside 100 hours' worth of salary every month, for someone supposedly working "part time".

She could of course have invested and acquired the sum through compounding, but it then becomes a story about successful investment at higher than typical Japanese returns, not one of building up large savings through "working part time".

This 20 million yen problem seems to assume people have a 200,000 a month pension as a starting point. Millions have far less.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Road rage suspect arrested after dashboard camera records assault See in context

I don't normally go for simple narratives but this really does sound like a spoilt brat messing things up for everyone else.

Hopefully some time in prison and a lifetime driving ban will teach him some humility. The roads are dangerous enough already without spoilt brats (insert much stronger word) with vendettas.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Sprinting to the future: Robo-shorts that help runners get ahead See in context

Wallace of Wallace and Gromit got there first, but these still look epic. For helping people with mobility problems, that is.

For covering long distances with reduced effort, they'll have to go some to outdo bicycles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gold-topped ramen, the newest gourmet noodle treat in Tokyo and Kyoto See in context

I remember reading that gold isn't found in big nuggets any more, and is made by leeching out of low quality ore with lovely chemicals like cyanides. It's generally done by poor people in poor countries, so no-one cares.

All that just so people can put it on ramen and post a photo on social media.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Relief for Tokyo 2020 after smooth triathlon mixed relay test See in context

I agree with smithinjapan. We're in pray-for-no-heatwave territory.

As it happens, the last 20 days in Tokyo have been 2.9C above average. That's an average of 2.9C above average 24 hours a day for 20 days. No respite at all. A Japanese link for the data is here.


My town has merely been 2.5C above. We've had five of the seven highest ever daily lows this August, which effectively means the highest overnight temps. I've definitely noticed my home not cooling down like normal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Heat on agenda again at newly-built Tokyo 2020 hockey venue See in context

The simplest solution is just for the spectators to stay at home. It's also by far the most eco solution. It solves the other problems with hotel rooms and train crowding. There are sports on worldwide pretty much every day. Go and watch them instead.

I saw a big mist sprayer last week outside the shopping center opposite Nagoya Dome. Some poor lad was standing there with a mop having to mop the ground at one minute intervals while apologizing in polite Japanese.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 1-year-old girl killed in 3-car crash in Shiga See in context

Child seat usage in Japan is slack. Enforcement by the police is non existent. Mothers in Japan undergo extensive prenatal education, but it mustn't mention car safety.

The photographs of this news story show a people carrier with three rows of seats, so that the car was big enough to physically fit a baby seat and two child seats with seat belts. I mention this because many cars that can legally carry five are not actually big enough once you fit baby and child seats. As the law stands, it is legal for that family to ride in a kei car, but kei cars by law only have four seat belts. Any family with three kids using a kei car will automatically have no belt for one child.

The assumption in Japan that children only ride in the back, regardless of how many child and baby seats may be in there, also means that Japanese cars are not fitted with a switch to turn the passenger-side airbag off. Many imported cars have a switch, in readiness for situations where kids unavoidably have to ride in the front. While not ideal, it is naive and unrealistic to assume this will never happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: How come Japan's opposition parties can't mount a credible challenge to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the Komeito Party? See in context

Large parts of the country are dominated by pork barrel politics, so this strengthens the incumbents. The money printer funds it all. Its hard to convince Japanese voters when all you can offer is ideology and not point at the shiny new (loss making) highway/stadium/conference center built during your time in office.

The LDP itself has traditionally been full of factions, but they somehow manage to pull in the same direction. Historically, you could have said the same thing about the Conservative Party in the UK, but that is now ripping itself apart over Europe. The LDP may do the same once a sufficiently divisive issue emerges. The current way is not cast in stone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Climate deniers get more media play than scientists: study See in context

"Balance" in the media is a joke, to be honest. What really matters is how much power is behind any position. In the case of climate change denial, it has been a huge amount of power behind something that is inaccurate science. 97% vs. 3% of don't knows and the odd opponent is not balance.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 8-year-old girl drowns in Toshimaen pool See in context

It's easy to find photos of the pool in question on Google. It looks like an Olympic sized swimming pool, hence the depth, with an inflatable playground floating in the middle. There are several large inflatable platforms in between the slides, trampolines, etc. that make up the playground. The idea is that its something that kids bounce around on and jump off into the water. The platforms look easily big enough to get trapped under. They should probably have nets to keep kids going under them, fine nets that would not tangle a hand or foot. I'm sure swimming under the mats was fun for some of the kids, something that some kids would boast about no doubt, but the ability to go under them has ultimately led to this tragedy.

As a parent myself, it would be nice for play facilities to be designed so that you do not have to watch your kids literally 100% of the time. Not because of a lack of love or to let the worst parents zombie out on smartphones, but because there'll always be split seconds when you lose sight of your kids and its tiring being constantly on edge. For me, that is not what a leisure pool should be for.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Short look See in context

The flag gives me the jitters. If it predates the aggressive, expansionist Japan of the early to middle 20th Century, then yes, it doesn't need to be banned. However, I do think Japan could do a much better job of explaining the flag's history and celebrating its longer and more peaceful usage. If it gives people the jitters, myself included, it is because little has been done to stop people associating it with conquest. Just as little has been done to stop ultranationalists owning Yasukuni as a place where Japan's conquests are to be celebrated, not one where we solemnly remember the dead.

(I recommend anyone who likes to point out that Yasukuni has Class A war criminals look up what that expression actually means. It is enough to say Yasukuni has war criminals. Class A is the crime against peace of starting a war. Given that many wars have been started since WWII without any politicians being prosecuted, Class A is questionable in its application and cannot be held up as some gold standard of war crimes. Yasukuni is probably more problematic for enshrining Class B war criminals, people who were directly responsible for atrocities like mass murder of civilians or POWs)

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: Double disqualification after heat shortens Olympic triathlon test event See in context

Two big heatwaves in two years in Japan, July last year and this year in August. Japan is hot to start with of course, but heatwaves still make it much worse.

To summarize, I think we're left praying for no heatwave during the Olympics. If the average temp is 2-3C above average like this year, scheduling events in the morning makes little to no difference. I hope its just an anomaly of this heatwave, but my town has had five of the top ten highest daily lows, i.e., highest overnight August temps, in fifty years of records. I've noticed my house not cooling down very much overnight this year. Its been very sunny, about 50% above average, so I can't blame it on cloud cover trapping heat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kyoto temple puts faith in robot priest See in context

"Japanese people don't possess any prejudices against robots. We were brought up on comics where robots are our friends. Westerners think differently."

Anyone who equates machines with humans is prejudiced against humans.

As it happens, I think there is some value in religion, but none in any religion that claims our spirituality should be guided by science-fiction stories in comic books.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Double disqualification after heat shortens Olympic triathlon test event See in context

Some classic jobsworth application of the rules here in a meaningless event. Was it made by someone wearing a blazer?

This is also from a sport that got its widest and most positive ever coverage when a top runner carried his collapsed brother over the line.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: What sort of wearable tech do you see being developed in the near future? See in context

I agree with theFu. There is huge demand for health related tech, some of which will be of more value than others. Some will be driven by fitness, not health, by sport heart rate monitoring companies like Polar and Garmin. Tell a triathlete that monitoring lactic acid or blood oxygen might improve his or her times and another $500 watch will fly off the shelves.

Since no-one has mentioned it, Japanese companies have already developed exo-skeletons -wearable robots- that help elderly do manually tasks like picking fruit. Rather than have a hip replacement and months of rehabilitation, it may be easier in the future to just supplement your lower body strength with robot legs that you would wear like a brace.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Shiitake farmer looking to build on her mushrooming success See in context

It's a common story, but basically there is no money in primary produce like shiitake. So what you have to do is either go super-high market, like this lady supplying Michelin restaurants, or process them into something people will pay a premium for. Pasta sauce, dashi powder, etc. Which is great for that producer, but is pretty niche and is therefore not the answer to Japan's farming woes. There is only so much demand at this price point.

fwiw, shiitake will grow on pretty much any hardwood log, not just the shii oak tree.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 23 dead, 13,000 people hospitalized in week in Japan due to heat See in context

Yeah, brutal heat out there. Be careful everyone.

55% are over 65s, so I hope the government can target older people and get the message out to them. People get weaker as they age, but we are also getting record average temperatures, meaning that coping mechanisms that may have worked for older people in previous heatwaves at lower temps are no longer enough. They, and indeed all of us, have to adjust to this new normal.

400 exhibited severe symptoms that required at least three weeks of treatment

I suppose its the way Japanese report things, but isn't it weird to say someone hospitalized last week "required at least three weeks of treatment"?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Four frustrating attitudes women in Japan run into when interviewing for jobs, grouped by age See in context

Age 31-35: “Ah, so you have young children. Are they still little? I see…”

"Another legitimate question, when there are kids in this age employee's missing work rises because the kids are ill or there is no one to look after them."

The reality is much worse than that. It's not just a case of the mother missing work because her child is ill, the mother may have to miss work because the other mothers in the PTA like to have sessions and commitments during office hours. A mother may also have to miss work because she is looking after her non-ill child during a class shutdown. This can happen due to as few as four or five other kids in the same class being ill. Based on my experience , I would say there is an 80% chance of a class shutdown (gakkyu heisa) happening during winter at my kids' school. For working parents, that means scrabbling to find a caregiver for the following day.

Until schools and pre-schools are run in a way that frees parents to work without OTT demands, you cannot unilaterally blame employers for not wanting to employ the prime caregiver of any child, usually the mother. The main obstacle to the mother working is not employers, it is mothers who don't work giving zero support to those who do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The rugby-mad duo cycling from Twickenham to Tokyo See in context

What a great adventure. 600km a week, so plenty of time to look at the scenery and talk to people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fewer fireworks events in Japan next summer due to Olympics See in context

Nothing to do with the Olympics, and I bet its different for big cities, but I bet my inaka town loses money with its fireworks display. The national taxpayer will be paying for it in the form of some tourism grant, so its viewed as free money and no-one cares. From going many times, it is obvious that it's mostly locals there spending very little money. I bet someone in the town hall cooks the books to create an economic benefit from it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Cup Noodle’s Nissin releases ultra-nutritious instant ramen See in context

25g of protein, 10g of fiber, so pretty good. 350 yen a time is not so good.

I might just stick with soba.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 1 cyclist killed, another injured by car going wrong way on national highway See in context

National highway here means kokudo, a road that will have a generously-sized lane in each direction. This isnt just someone crossing the center line on a narrow road.

Hit and run means leaving someone for dead. It is completely inexcusable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese Bon dance picking up popular tunes as it goes int'l See in context

In some places, this can be like sports day in that they have practice sessions beforehand. If all you do is turn up at the festival and have a bit dance, trying to follow the moves, that's great. It's not so great when its every Tuesday and Thursday night for a month before the festival, your wife has to go off and practice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: UK economy shrinks for first time since 2012 as Brexit bites See in context

I'd be annoyed with myself if I was buying something and it went up 3% overnight. That's just for shopping. A 3% rise overnight in one of the costs of doing business would be big for many companies.

There was an article the other day saying that one of the largest travel agencies doesn't hedge, so there must be plenty of companies in plenty of fields not doing it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Semitrailer driver arrested over hit-and-run death of 11-year-old girl See in context

He hit her and dragged her bike for a kilometer?!

fwiw, I don't think you are supposed to ride a bike across a pedestrian crossing. If its a junction, you either ride on the road and follow the cars' traffic light (same rules as cars) or get off, become a pedestrian, and push your bike over the pedestrian crossing following any pedestrian signals. As a cyclist who drives, I think a cyclist crossing a pedestrian crossing at speed when there are turning cars is dangerous. Bikes appear on crossings much faster than pedestrians. I teach my kids to get off their bikes and push at pedestrian crossings. The driver is still massively at fault, DUI and hit and run, so none of this excuses him. I'm only saying it to help people stay safe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: UK economy shrinks for first time since 2012 as Brexit bites See in context

1000 yen is now GBP 7.75. Going the other way, 127.5 to the pound.

I think the UK is doing genuine self-harm. I base this on what business (CBI) and senior civil servants say, not politicians. I don't particularly care whether the UK is a member of the EU, but abandoning free trade with it and expecting bountiful trade with places much further away, including Trump's USA, is madness. Chucking away freedom of movement is also a betrayal of the life chances of young British people, my own children included.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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