Japan Today

Leeroy comments

Posted in: Japanese version of 'Saturday Night Live' to debut in June See in context

The show could go either way. Many here point out that it's not likely to feature any political satire at all, but I'm actually okay with that. I like political satire but I do think the American comedy scene is overly obsessed with it. A lot of top rating comedy shows in the US are political satire based. Even South Park has gone that way in recent years. I like it to a point, but I have always thought satire is a bit cheap and easy most of the time.

If the Japanese version fails, I son't think it will be for the lack of political satire. The problems I can foresee would mostly involve having the same old Japanese "tarento" on it all the time. Mind you, that's not too different from the original SNL. When SNL has good people on it, it's great. A lot of the time though it can get painfully drawn out.

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Posted in: Tokyo fitness expert launches English personal training services See in context

Treadmill has been the best form of exercise for me. Nothing else really comes close. Thats probably why people are there day after day, because it is working for them

Define "working" though.

If you take it to mean weight loss, then spending hours on a treadmill will "work", but you'll be losing both fat and muscle. Look at the bodies of middle distance and long distance runners. They are scrawny. One such reason is because excessive running is degenerative to muscle tissue. Especially on the legs. Running for hours a week is also over-training. The body simply doesn't get enough rest to recover and repair muscle. The overall effect is reduced lean muscle mass which in turn leads to a slower metabolism which can lead to greater fat gain. People who go to the gym and do hours of cardio really are in a cardio-trap. Add in the long term effects of jogging such as joint, ankle and foot problems and massive amounts of cardio probably end up doing more harm than good. A lot of people do it because they think they are burning calories. They are but you'd have to run for four hours just to burn off the muffin you ate for morning-tea. It's easier to just not eat crap in the first place and work-out properly.

The Bootcamp guy is right. Huge amounts of cardio work is a waste of time. Improving your lean muscle mass with short but intense resistance exercises dramatically improves your lean muscle mass and in turn your lipid profile. Dunno if I'd pay to do these bootcamp lessons though. High intensity training is nothing new and is all over the internet for free.

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Posted in: 150 years of dieting fads and still no quick fix See in context

Ketosis; swear by it for serious weight loss. Some trash it and say it's dangerous because you eat a lot of saturated fat with it. There are plenty of studies showing that it's a safe and perfectly natural state and does not affect your cholesterol levels in a bad way at all.

Don't do it for too long. A few weeks of a keto diet will shed a significant amount of fat in most people. Just get the excess flab off, then switch to a diet rich in whole unprocessed foods. Limit things like rice (white or brown) and starchy foods like bread and certain fruits and vegetables to very low levels, or preferably none at all. Exercise vigorously for short periods each day to build some muscle mass and you'll be as fit as a fiddle.

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Posted in: Yuko Takeuchi goes behind scenes of 'FlashForward' See in context

The show was already starting to grate on me, but sometimes you just want to see how a show pans out. After the awful "Japan episode" aired I stopped watching FF altogether. One of the few shows I've started watching but couldn't stomach seeing it through to the end.

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Posted in: Does J-pop really suck? See in context

J-pop stars like Hikaru Utada who have tried to make it in the West fall flat even with English-language albums.

That's because she's dreadful in English. She may have lived in New York a long time and is fluent in everyday English, but I don't regard her a true native English speaker in that she clearly can't play with English words and syntax in the same way your average educated native English speaker can. Seriously, her English lyrics sound as if they were written by a 7 year old.

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Posted in: Japan's young generation pursues stability over promotion See in context

Most of us, Japanese or not, tend to have old-fashioned ideas towards work and our subsequent lives. The rest of the world is slowly catching on to new ideas and the realization that employment for life is dead, Japan is alarmingly burying its head in the sand when faced with this issue.

The luxury of lifetime employment (if you can call being an indentured company slave luxury) is gone yet so many in Japan and elsewhere refuse to believe that the individual is ultimately responsible for their career, lifestyle and retirement.

Economies thrive when people are ambitious and have drive to succeed. Trying to secure a steady salary as an employee for the rest of one's life is anything but ambitious. Entrepreneurial spirit is what powers the economy while generating lifelong wealth and satisfaction.

It really is a shame that the majority of today's graduates in Japan can't see this. Is it their fault though? Not necessarily. We learn from our parents, teachers and society as a whole. Unfortunately Japanese society has taught its children to fear change and ambition. The result will be Japan's status as a world economic and cultural power sliding into insignificance. This all may sound overly negative. It's not like I want this to happen but it's inevitable unless there is a drastic change in thought here.

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Posted in: Do you think restaurant menus should list the calorie content for each item? See in context

I agree. As a Body builder. I really would like more of a breakdown and or nutritional value of foods that I buy, but I think there is a misconception that EVERYTHING in Japan is healthy and natural

Totally. While I feel the term "bodybuilder" is too generous for me, I am an avid weight-trainer and low-carber on the nutritional front. The amount of times I'm in the supermarket and find products with no nutritional information on them whatsoever is quite remarkable. Not even a calorie count. For some reason deli and small-goods are terrible for this.

I don't really think a breakdown of calories is something I want to see when I go to a restaurant. I know what's good and bad for me already, but I do think there should be a law passed making nutritional information mandatory for all food products.

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Posted in: Hikaru Utada advises fans not to buy her album See in context

horrible English songs like "Easy Breezy" ("your easy breezy and I'm Japaneezy..."

I know she was born in NYC and spent a long time there but all her English lyrics are really weak. No depth and overly literal as if they were written by someone with a somewhat limited knowledge of the language. As a result, I think she should stick to the Japanese market and not tick off a record company trying to sell her material.

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Posted in: 'Hobbit' films to be made in New Zealand as planned See in context

Were not the Lord of the Rings films produced in more than one country?


Obviously some work was done elsewhere but as they were produced by Peter Jackson's own production company, the majority of work was done in NZ.

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Posted in: NZ may lose 'Hobbit' filming over actor dispute See in context

Somewhere, somehow, some kiwi actors and movie workers started to think they are the all blacks of the movie world. Never believe your own press.

More like the Australian union, the MEAA, promising some lofty kickbacks to a few Kiwi signatories. I can't understand why the handful of NZ actors are signing with this union from Australia who have effectively killed off overseas film production in Australia. I don't think they understand the implications at large here. The entire NZ film production industry stands to lose here.

The MEAA aren't a legally recognized bargaining entity in NZ and haven't even filed their earnings in NZ for the last three years according to NZ tax laws. It just sounds like typical union tactics. "If we can't have it, they can't have it."

There is a huge chance Warner Brothers will pull production offshore now. If they do, I can't see many movies being made in NZ again.

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Posted in: Haneda international terminal See in context

I think they could definetly improve rail links to Haneda. While it's quicker for me to get there than Narita, last time I had to go there it took a lot longer than it should have. The Keikyu line at Shinagawa station needs a serious refit. Tourist friendly signage needs to be improved as Keikyu's trains have a variety of destinations from just one or two platforms. It could be a nightmare for newly arrived tourists. Then there's the fact that neither them or the monorail have trains that are well suited for travelers with luggage etc.

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Posted in: Haneda international terminal See in context

Alpha> Interesting price you got there. I've been looking up going to Taiwan recently and everything flying out of Haneda is always a lot more than Narita.

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Posted in: Haneda international terminal See in context

If only the flights from Haneda were cheaper. It seems to be another way for vendors to bump the price up some more.

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Posted in: Mao Kobayashi launches new burger See in context

Wow....what a newsflash this is.

That said, what's with burgers and this country? They're obsessed. I hands down know more people here who eat at fast-food joints than I do back in my home country.

Japanese people eat the healthiest diet in the world? My posterior they do

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Posted in: Majority of weight-loss products fail to cut kilos See in context

Just be careful with low carb-high protein diets, they are associated with kidney failure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, kidney stones and cancer. Read up on ketosis too.<

For every article about kidney failure and such, there are an equal number of articles stating the opposite.

You don't have to go to extremes either. You don't need a massive amount of protein to build muscle but you do need a bit more than usual. Simply limiting your carb intake by monitoring the glycemic load of foods and not going over a certain limit in total glycemic load for a meal, is a pretty good way to eat. A good general rule of thumb for daily nutrition is 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat with the majority of fat being unsaturated fats.

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Posted in: Majority of weight-loss products fail to cut kilos See in context

Most people are unaware of basic nutrition which is why so many are overweight or can't lose weight properly. When it comes down to it the majority of us eat too many carbs. Carbs are present in bread, rice, pasta and anything starchy like potatoes. Sure we need some carbs but we typically eat way too many. When you limit your carb intake to a bare minimum and get the rest of your calories from protein and fats, you limit your body's insulin production and in turn limit the body's capability to store fat. Never mind what Japanese tell you about eating rice everyday. Rice has a ton of carbs and will cause huge insulin spikes. Even worse is that they eat white rice that's devoid of nutritional value. Brown rice is a lot better but should still be severely limited if you're serious about weight loss/control.

Being in shape is about 90% diet and 10% exercise in my opinion. A previous poster mentioned high intensity training. This is also paramount to fitness. A lot of people go to the gym but just do hours of exercises when all that's needed to stimulate muscle growth is one 45 minute high intensity workout to failure. Or worse, they do their hours of repetitive exercises and then eat whatever they want afterwards.

In a nutshell, good low carb diet plus regular high intensity exercise gets the job done well. Pills, supplements and workout videos are mostly a complete waste of time and money.

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Posted in: All Blacks See in context

I was going to go to this but learned that tickets started at 10,000 yen. If that's the case, it's a rip-off. They're just treating Japan as a cash cow much like all the has-been boy bands do here.

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Posted in: Halloween party See in context

I went to it at Womb in Shibuya last year just coz I could get in for free. Yeah, it did rhyme with game and not to mention so crowded that it made the Den-En Toshi line in rush hour look like a picnic. The whole affair was just like their Metropolis podcast. As in cliched and overly "try-hard".

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Posted in: Last train blues See in context

Seoul's train system is definitely not 24 hours. It runs a similar schedule to that of Tokyo's. Plus if you want to get a taxi there after the last train, prepare to be totally ripped-off. Your taxi driver probably pile in as many random customers too. Even stop along the way to pick more up. Be prepared for your driver to be drunk too.

World-class nightlife is also highly questionable.

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