melguy comments

Posted in: Tourism flatlines as visitors avoid Japan See in context

Most Japanese restaurants in the USA are run and staffed by Chinese, but the locals simply can't tell the difference. There's simply no comparison between authentic Japanese food and ersatz overseas versons of it. I was blown away the first time I had a typical Ryokan dinner here.

Tourism has its downside. Kyoto is doing some terrible things to attract Chinese tourists here.

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Posted in: Japan's economy shrank more than government's initial estimate See in context

Japan is pioneering a new type of economy - the "post-growth" economy. Many western countries are not far behind. It will be very interesting to see what the J economy is like in 20 years time.

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Posted in: Kan feared Tokyo would become uninhabitable due to nuclear crisis See in context

And in Japan nuclear costs around 6.3 to 7.7 yen per kWh

Rubbish. You have forgotten the costs of decommissioning, which are high but unknown because it's never actually been done, and the astronomical costs of the inevitable nuclear accidents.

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Posted in: It’s less a matter of eliminating radiation than learning to live with radiation. People here could be scrubbing rooftops, discarding soil and unplugging tree roots for decades. See in context

A bit of digging reveals that some testing for SR-90 has occurred, but it's not being publicised much here, probably because by now it's likely widespread in the milk supply. Perhaps it's time to switch to milk from Kyushu. But it's impossible to avoid milk products that are used in various processed foods, unfortunately.

See "Widespread radioactive strontium contamination around Fukushima" at http://tinyurl.com/45yljaf.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: It’s less a matter of eliminating radiation than learning to live with radiation. People here could be scrubbing rooftops, discarding soil and unplugging tree roots for decades. See in context

and even worse, 7.6 billion Bq of Neptunium

76 trillion Bq = 76 TBq (TeraBecquerels) actually. Personally I'd be more worried about the 140 TBq of Strontium-90. It seems that there is no testing going on for Sr-90 contamination anywhere in Japan, certainly I've seen no reports of testing for it or levels in food. And it's a killer, causing bone cancers and leukemia.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Noda is steering the wheel in the direction of going back to the old mold, pretty much being a mini-LDP in all aspects. See in context

Well, it's just a quote. Presumably the professor had more to say than that. A Google News search for his name reveals plenty more recent quotations, including:

Noda seems to be giving up on the idea of changing the means of government, says Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo. [He] will be working more closely with the bureaucrats, trusting them with more discretion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Romney's jobs plan: cut taxes, slap China, drill oil See in context

And as for the Drill for oil in Alaska" part of his plan:

Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster (Michael McCarthy, The Independent) http://tinyurl.com/3hh2gk8

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: James Murdoch 'knew about' News of World phone hacking See in context

Picture looks like the face of satan to me.

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Posted in: Romney's jobs plan: cut taxes, slap China, drill oil See in context

America's biggest problem is actually the huge number of so-called "low-information voters". The average US citizen spends the grand total of 5 minutes working out who to vote for, and can be misled with ease.

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Posted in: Romney's jobs plan: cut taxes, slap China, drill oil See in context

No, it's the conservatives who are destroying the empire, and trying to turn average americans into minimum-wage slaves, while demanding taxpayer funded bailouts for wall street and the banksters.

And mr obama is showing himself to be a true conservative at heart.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Universal Studios Japan kicks off Halloween season See in context

All Hallows' Eve and the Christmas of times past have almost nothing to do with the crass vulgar commercialism that is the raison d'etre of the modern "festivals" Halloween and Xmas. Just like Mother's Day, which was invented by a greeting card company wanting to sell cards, and Japan's White Day, invented by Japanese confectionary comanies! As for the Japanese versions of Western festivals, they are truly strange, but no less commercialized.

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Posted in: Gemba: China should play fair under world rules See in context

China lives by one rule - look after its own interests, as defined by the communist party.

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Posted in: Japan to seek IAEA advice before restarting reactors See in context

Actually, Japan could shut down all its nuclear reactors (it almost has) and manage quite well, provided that it continued to promote energy saving, and used fossil fuels (mainly gas) to fill in while alternative renewables were developed. The downside is greenhouse gases, but it would absolutely eliminate the risk of another meltdown.

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Posted in: Cheney: U.S. would have been different if Hillary Clinton were president See in context

William Broyles (Newsweek)

There is one bold thing Obama could and should do. He should bow out of the race for reelection and throw his support behind Hillary Clinton - the leader we should have chosen in the first place.

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Posted in: Hosono says all of Japan should help with Fukushima's contaminated debris See in context

This is madness. He hasn't thought this one through at all.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: 17 dead, 54 missing as typhoon moves northward See in context

And for all those here blaming the victims, most of the dead have been taken by flooded rivers washing away houses, and by landslides, not by their own foolishness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 17 dead, 54 missing as typhoon moves northward See in context

Here in Kyotofu we were warned of up to 500 mm yesterday, but the mountains of northern Nara ensured that most of the rain fell down there. It was quite amazing to watch on the rain radar how the most intense rain just got stuck there and couldn't move north to clobber us. In the end we got 100mm max, and they got 1500, the poor buggers.

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Posted in: GREE, Unity extend business partnership See in context

As the virtualized realm of cyberreality and social networking takes over daily life, the actual physical economy will matter less and less (to those who are still alive and have an internet connection). What these new games and gadgets offer is, simply put, escapism. In a world of dwindling resources, where each person's share of the physical realm decreases over time, it is no wonder that physical reality fails to satisfy. But thanks to the new, intimate, glowing handheld mobile computing devices, the unsatisfactory real world can be blotted out, and replaced with a cleansed, bouncy, shiny version of society in which little avatars utter terse little messages. In the cyber-realm there are no sweaty bodies, no cacophony of voices to suffer through - just a smooth, polished, expertly branded user experience.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Radioactive cesium detected in tea products in Saitama, Chiba See in context

Contamination is in Chiba and Saitama how did it get there?

Fell from the sky, of course.

I don't think this typhoon will have eased their (Tokyo's) problems.

A good rinsing will have moved a lot of radioactivity into the streams, rivers, and bays. Not so good for the marine ecosystem, but the dilution factor is huge, and it will have reduced a lot of contamination in gutters, drains, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Melbourne named world's most liveable city; Tokyo 18th See in context

It's funny that Melbourne has hit the top of the list about 10 years after it started to really decline in liveability. A victim of its own popularity it's getting far too big too fast, and suffering as a result. Urban sprawl and severely overcrowded public transport are some of the problems. Currently 4 million, it's expected to be 6 million, and bigger than Sydney within 15 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Rice shipped from Fukushima Prefecture See in context

Let's suppose that the testing was careful and thorough, and so the rice has less than 500 Bq per kilogram.

1) That doesn't make it radiation free, but that's how it's being described in much of the media coverage.

2) Personally I'd rather not ingest any radioactive caesium or strontium at all. I don't need internal radiation, for me or for my kids. So it may be "safe" but it's reasonable to want to avoid eating it unless levels are unmeasurable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Rice shipped from Fukushima Prefecture See in context

Here's another point of view on the topic at the Independent.

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/why-the-fukushima-disaster-is-worse-than-chernobyl-2345542.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: TV commercial of the week: Gin no sara sushi delivery shop See in context

The other one with the nurse is good too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sugarless candy See in context

Are yes, Xylitol artificial sweetener - guaranteed to cause onara, and bowel cancer too, if you're not so lucky. And don't give it to your wanchan: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm244076.htm

Kraft is also a shameless user of Genetically Modified (GM) food ingredients. They've even done this to Vegemite now they own it, and they admit using milk from cows given genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone.

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Posted in: Ratings agency releases list of world's 10 safest airlines; JAL safest in Asia See in context

ATRA is a private agency, doing this for profit. It's just like Moodys or S & P, selling information to their clients.

ATRA solutions products and services provide air transport market stakeholders with greater insight into the growing complexity of air safety issues to enable more timely and informed business and investment decisions.

Their 15 criteria are:

Net financial result Total number of passengers Total number of employees Total number of cabin crew employees Total number of aircrafts Average fleet age in service Percentage of aircrafts on order Fleet homogeneity Number of aircrafts no longer in production Number of aircrafts considered at risk Total aircrafts-km flown In house maintenance capability Number of accidents during the last 10 years Dedicated flight academy pilot-training facilities Dedicated full flight simulators

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Posted in: Chinese news agency urges Noda not to make relations worse See in context

Noda should send all the Fukushima rice, peaches and seafood to Beijing as a token of Japanese esteem.

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Posted in: Australian man throws $50,000 of jewels out with rubbish See in context

Even if half was gold, that's still only about 15 ounces - not very heavy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Rice shipped from Fukushima Prefecture See in context

Growing food in fallout zones is so stupid and shortsighted - better to pay farmers not to grow. But what's worse there appears to be no testing for strontium 90 being done anywhere in Japan. Strontium accumulates in bones and meat and is more dangerous, especially for children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Bolt is human; his sport's rules are not See in context

Lots of complaints about the rule when the advertising drawcard gets the chop. It's about money.

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Posted in: People should stop thinking that they will be safe. Japan is a quake-prone country. I recommend that each of us should visualize how to protect ourselves from the collapse of something if a quake stri See in context

There's lots of quakes, but most cause limited damage. A few cause significant death and damage. Only one so far has caused widespread radioactive contamination, and perhaps the collapse of the local nuclear industry. (It wasn't the tsunami, it was the earthquake that ruptured cooling pipes.) That's one collapse I don't want to be protected from!

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