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Laguna comments

Posted in: Yellow sand observed over Tokyo, Osaka See in context

Oh, God - always hits me like s sledgehammer. I'll stay indoors with the windows shut until it's gone.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: The irony of Steve Martin's life isn't lost on him See in context

Sadly, he'd left Disney before I started working there, but I did run into him once in Burbank. I exclaimed, "Hi, Steve!" and he replied, "Hi, random guy!"

I mean, what else are you gonna say? - at least he replied.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Death toll in Moscow concert hall attack rises to 143, while 80 others remain hospitalized See in context

An offence against humanity, certainly. Yet it's difficult to conjure sympathy towards Russia as a whole as it continues its barbarities in Ukraine. Though these are two completely different subjects I understand, but they share a common plane.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: House Speaker Johnson committed to advancing Ukraine aid, but it will be difficult task See in context

Israel should be loaned money not granted it. It might spend it more wisely - and beneficially.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Hydrogen vehicle filling station opens at former Tokyo Olympics site See in context

A scant 100 years ago, gasoline stations were unusual. Then they became ubiquitous. The one in my neighborhood recently closed, likely due to reduced demand. Who knows what we'll see in future? - perhaps a diversified supply.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Yen falls to 34-year low against dollar See in context

Tho dollar always strengthens when global tensions worsen. Bad for my son, in Tokyo, but good for my daughter, in the US.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Posted in: Chinese EV makers challenging market leaders at auto show in Bangkok See in context

Frankly, I don't care which country makes the EVs - I just want them on the road. A friend of mine just took me out in his EV - he wanted to show me its acceleration, and damned if after two seconds I wasn't like, "Okay - that's enough!" Sooner rather than later, they'll become the standard, and all countries will catch up.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: Trump selling Bibles to encourage supporters to 'Make America Pray Again' See in context

We love God.

I can imagine how he went on: "Oh, yes, we love God. He's a great God, a big, beautiful God, like nothing in the sky. He came up to me, I had tears in my eyes, he is so great. Maybe not the greatest, but great."

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Posted in: Baltimore bridge collapses after powerless cargo ship rams into support column; 6 presumed dead See in context

The port should have used tugs to take the container ships beyond the bridge.

Wallace, that is a very good point - and it does stink of cost cutting.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: New national standards for Japanese-language schools to start April See in context

One other point: do NOT intend to learn from your spouse or significant other. There is no more common cause of a breakup than trying to turn your partner into a language teacher.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: ‘Shogun’ reimagined for new generation of TV viewers See in context

I read the book when I was a kid, and it opened my eyes to Japanese history and culture, however accurate. As usual, I'd recommend 15 hours with the book over two hours with the video.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: New national standards for Japanese-language schools to start April See in context

I got a decent education at the YMCA. I already knew kanji from my study of Chinese - just had to learn the Japanese pronunciation. And grammar was important. Most important was the awareness of the plain form (kudaketa), the simple polite form (teinei) and the advanced polite form (keigo) of the language. After a year, I had sufficient knowledge to learn the rest myself.

The staff at YMCA were committed, and there were many volunteers from the neighborhood who made themselves available for conversation. With their help, I was able to begin to function in society, and that is where my real learning came.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Catherine, Princess of Wales, praised for frank cancer admission See in context

I don't understand how one can be "praised" for a "frank" admission of cancer. It is a most terrible disease - my wife died of it, as did her father - and all afflicted should speak out to attract more innovative medicinal techniques to combat it. It can strike anyone, regardless of lifestyle. The only shame in having cancer is trying to hide it.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Global fertility rate to keep plummeting, major study warns See in context

Per capita income is the only meaningful measure. A falling GNP met with a more rapidly falling population would be a plus for all involved.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Have you ever done leadership training for work, come back to the office and thought: ‘That was a huge waste of time’? See in context

I was involved in leadership work with an IT company and came away with two points. First, engineers inherently want to concentrate on engineering, not management. Finding an engineer willing to accept a management role was like pulling nails. Second, the company was heavily compartmentalized. Leadership training, which transversed the various company departments, was highly useful in growing employees skilled with an overall view of the company mission.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Japanese men die in river near Washington state waterfall made popular on TikTok See in context

I'm from LA so have always loved the ocean. It is forgiving - waves come in sets, so there's (usually) a chance to escape even in the heaviest of surf.

Rivers terrify me. They are unrelenting, and if you're caught beneath a snag, you're dead.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: What health risks to your skin do you need to know before getting a tattoo? See in context

I strongly urged my daughter not to get a small tat on her heel, but she did it anyway.

Now she has to cover it up whenever she visits an onsen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: China demands Japan start Fukushima treated water compensation system See in context

I frequent the Kyushu west coast. It is awash with garbage labeled in the Chinese language. Can we have them clean it up?

26 ( +29 / -3 )

Posted in: Nagoya elementary school students caught defrauding classmate for nearly ¥1 million See in context

When my son was in elementary school, he wanted a Play Station, which I refused to buy, so he saved his gift money and bought it himself. I was impressed and allowed him to keep it. He learned two lessons: how to target a goal and save to achieve it, and that video games are boring.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: What is a whale native to the North Pacific doing off New England? Climate change could be the key See in context

I wonder where they'll calve. In the Pacific, they generally do so in the warm, calm waters of the Sea of Cortez, Baja. Perhaps they'll do so around the Caribbean.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreigners trapped in violence-torn Haiti wait desperately for a way out See in context

It is tragic that Haiti has not changed since Graham Greene wrote "The Comedians." For an understanding of Haiti, you can read nothing better. It is available for free here: https://archive.org/stream/2015.182352.-the-comedians/2015.182352.The-Comedians_djvu.txt

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: India says some of its citizens have been duped into working for the Russian army See in context

Why aren't ALL Russian men over 18 being thrown into the meat grinder?

Fighto, I've heard that the vast majority per capita of Russian recruits are from minority areas. Putin does not want to stir up the hornet's nest that is Moscow and Western Russia.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump's daughter-in-law takes senior Republican Party role See in context

The RNC's cupboards are bare as many of their donors are donating to Trump's funds instead. Now the money that is left will also go to Trump. So much for supporting down-ticket races.

November will be another blowout election for the Dems.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Six couples file suit seeking separate surnames See in context

A local law requires a car owner to possess a parking spot within a certain distance from their residence. A friend had one near her parents' house but not near her paramours - she'd have had to secure one there at great trouble and expense if they married and she changed her address, so they simply did not marry. Over a parking space.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Osaka Prefecture eyes collecting fixed fee for inbound tourists from 2025 See in context

A "good" tax has two characteristics: it is cheap to collect and does not change behavior in a negative way. That is why paying for roads by taxing at the pump is "better" than paying a man to sit at a toll booth, and why "sin" taxes (those on tobacco and alcohol) are so high in many countries: to discourage consumption.

How this new tax will affect visits to Osaka, both in numbers and sentiment, and how it will be collected remain to be seen. On the surface, though, it appears unnecessarily complicated and prone to misunderstanding both by the collector and payer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's Riken Yamamoto awarded Pritzker prize for architecture See in context

kohakuebisu, I'd say it's not just the architecture, it's the residents. In the States, the communal space would likely be often used for communal activities such as barbecues or impromptu badminton games. Japanese are paranoid about "creating fuss" and thus are hesitant to utilize the space offered.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Putin ally says 'Ukraine is Russia' and historical territory needs to 'come home' See in context

Better look at an historical map of China before expressing such sentiments. Vladivostok is at stake.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 24 fishermen rescued from half-submerged ship in rough seas off Izu islands; 1 dead See in context

Damn. Two hours and a shipmate overboard. That must have been terrifying.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Don't let it bug you - how not to worry See in context

As social animals, the human group benefitted from containing members with various disparate traits. While having a majority of its members content to chow down on what was in front of them, the group benefitted by having a few who worried about what to do once the banquet before them was consumed. So if you're a worrier, note that it's likely genetic and take steps to ensure it does not negatively impact your life, but know that it is for a purpose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after throwing smartphone at police officer's face See in context

smart phone, dumb man.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

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