Mlodinow comments

Posted in: U.S. to cut $25 mil in aid to hospitals serving Palestinians See in context

@Texas: Yes it's quite clear that the USA, which provides billions to Israel each year and is now stripping even humanitarian aid to hospitals on the Palestinian side, is not an independent arbitrator.

When a person (or a country) who is not truly independent tries to force the party they do not support to take a bad deal, that is called bullying. In this case, it is bullying of the very worst kind. If the USA wish to be honest about the Palestine situation, let them come out and openly admit they are for Israel and against all Palestinians, including the moderates and innocents.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Aso says initial budget requests for fiscal 2019 likely to reach record high ¥102 tril See in context

Don't worry, Premium Friday will save us all !!

/sarcasm

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: China's $100 mil rugby competition plans stalled See in context

Please don't write an article about rugby union using the word "league" because rugby league is a completely different sport.

Why rugby never grew in Japan is because the professional teams are all owned by companies. To truly grow a sport you need grassroots level support and local teams flowing into semi-pro or fully professional provincial teams. Sponsorship is fine but personally I couldn't care less about any sports team which is owned and run by a company rather than a club/union.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe vows further efforts to attract 40 mil foreign visitors by 2020 See in context

It's easy to think more is better when whenever Abe visits anywhere he gets a police escort on the highway & crowds at his destinations are strictly controlled. 40m is waaay to many given the current infrastructure. Unless large numbers of people start coming in through Nagoya and other 2nd tier airports I doubt they can even bring in such a number let alone give them an acceptable experience.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Yamato admits intentionally overcharging for moving services See in context

Rather than a pay cut at the top, which is rather meaningless seeing as executives receive large salaries, I would prefer to see the direct managers responsible all fired en masse, together with anyone above them who did or should have known of the discrepancies. Seriously, what is it with Japanese companies and this kind of fraudulent activity? It seems to happen every week.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. accuses China of 'super aggressive' spy campaign on LinkedIn See in context

Reckless: I've had a few like that (although usually from "western" accounts), claiming to be from subcontractor agents and asking things totally unrelated to me scope of work as published on Linkedin. I would say that more than half the unsolicited requests I get there are from Chinese manufacturing companies...could be legit but some of the accounts have very strange histories etc. and my company is probably fairly attractive for industrial espionage type activities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: JRFU still hoping big crowd will watch All Blacks, Wallabies in Yokohama See in context

oops, it's 20k in fact!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: JRFU still hoping big crowd will watch All Blacks, Wallabies in Yokohama See in context

The ticket prices are crazy considering it's now a dead rubber and the stadium is so large. I would love to go but it's a big ask to pay 17,000 yen for the privilege of sitting ahead of the try lines rather than behind them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Drones offer high-tech help to Japan's aging farmers See in context

kurisupisu, you forgot that the govt will hand out massive subsidies to farmers, the way they buy them lots of other equipment already. Gotta keep those food prices artificially high!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Coca-Cola gears up for Tokyo 2020 Olympics with tall vending machine See in context

From the aerial pic, the vending machines are on a slightly elevated platform, so that's a standing jump - good luck to anyone who isn't 2m tall. Would've been nicer to allow people a 3 or 4 step run-up to compensate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Smoking-linked losses in Japan estimated at over ¥2 trillion See in context

"We have found that smoking not only increases medical costs but also leads to financial losses in a range of areas such as nursing care," he said.

This information was available 30+ years ago, but I suppose I should be thankful accurate costs are now available in Japan. This Govt doesn't even breathe unless there is money to be made on the side somehow so better this info is known

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump adviser Kushner says he will publish Mideast plan soon: newspaper See in context

Way to talk down to the Palestinians..."willing to talk with them" lol. You'll be more than lucky if after what Trump did with the embassy they even let you in the territory.

How does the USA expect that the Palestinians will view a Jewish mediator (Kushner) meeting with Netanyahu (rabid Zionist) and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman (another Jew known for his hard-line pro-settle position) to discuss the fate of occupied Palestine? May as well not even bother with the pretense that the USA cares about the whole issue...it would be more honest.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Lower house passes antismoking bill See in context

Freedom. Choice.

Freedom has nothing to do with it if your actions endanger others, which smoking clearly does. You're free to choose going vegetarian, free to choose coffee over tea, free to peacefully protest against what you think is wrong, but blowing carcinogenic smoke over other people is not your right.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: New Zealand to tax tourists to fund infrastructure See in context

If they have a tourist boom, should they already have increased revenue for tourism? (For example, hotels pay taxes according to income, right?) This strikes me as rank opportunism.

More and more tourists try to get more for their buck by freedom camping (meaning they rent/buy any old van and sleep on the side of the road), buy food from supermarkets etc. So although hotel income may have increased somewhat the additional tax is nowhere near enough to help cope with the increased tourist load. Unless you want to go on a nature walk with 10,000 of your closest friends a la the top of Mt Fuji?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Suspected train groper arrested after climbing up transmission pole in escape bid See in context

Should have tasered him down...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Long-haul fight: Farmers battle Narita airport See in context

"I do organic farming with no pesticides."

No pesticides but I'd prefer not to eat vegetables grown underneath so much airplane exhaust....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's condom industry looking to benefit from Rugby World Cup, Tokyo Olympics See in context

I agree with mmwkdw, even the thin ones feel like they are already stretched & very little actual give. I used to use the big boy ones but the shape is not great. Durex designs provide a much better fit by not being the same shape all the way along but it's a shame they are impossible to find in Tokyo anymore. Which is weird given their huge market share overseas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan gov't debt hits record-high Y1,087 tril at end of March See in context

Not surprised. The J Govt single-handedly props up the likes of my company by providing them business via ODA infrastructure loans, and I'm sure that's only a small part of what they spend to prop up the wider economy/jobs market.

Japan has no hope of paying off or even reducing its debt until the population stabilizes but that isn't projected to happen for something like another 50 years or so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ecstasy may relieve the agony of PTSD: study See in context

Seeing as it has never been put through a serious clinical trial, the benefits & risks are not actually clearly understood (despite being listed as Schedule A/ Schedule 1 by many countries. The reason being that it was patented almost 100 years ago and thus is not able to be patented again (and so any company would be able freely manufacture and sell it on the back of another company's research).

As such, if there is a use of value to people and a way can be found to reduce risks to an acceptable level then all the better. Hope the trial bears fruit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: MariCar go-kart driver mounts pavement, causes serious damage in accident See in context

How did she go so terribly wrong on a straight piece of road? Carts don't have great momentum because they are relatively heavy, so to hit something on the sidewalk with any great force she would likely need to have been accelerating on the footpath itself. Sounds like she panicked.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Aston Martin back F1 plans, Ferrari stay silent See in context

The car in the photo looks like an updated JZA80 Toyota Supra

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Robots helping with elderly care in aging Japan See in context

Why not use rescue animals rather than a mechanical thing like a robot. It seems extremely cold and heartless to expect the elderly to be "entertained" by robot animals instead of the real thing. (especially when there are so many in shelters around the country)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Major retailer Ito-Yokado to ban tenants from selling ivory items See in context

It really shows the kind of leadership Japan has when businesses feel the need to ignore government inaction and take the initiative to prevent trade of endangered animal parts. Good on those companies!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: This disaster-preparedness app could save your life See in context

Is this a news article or just a shill for this app? The app is hardly original, there are several others out there & on top of that all mobile phones are Govt warning system capable anyway.

And don't get me started on ballistic missile warnings..what a joke.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't demands dismissal of forced sterilization damages claim See in context

@Kazuaki, your link is to a page showing (i) that forced sterilization was discontinued by those few other developed countries which practiced it in the 1970s (although I note that several occurred in the USA until 1981) and (ii) that compensation is now being/has been paid.

Regardless of the fact that what other countries do/did is completely beside the point and these poor people deserve compensation for having their already disadvantaged lives made even worse, did you even have a point? Seems you shot your own argument in the foot by not reading the linked information properly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Ruling parties agree on casino visit restrictions for Japan residents See in context

Now that the casinos will be priced beyond what most residents will be willing to pay, how do the casinos propose to recruit enough Japanese/Chinese/Korean/English speaking (and skilled!) dealers? Seems mad to basically hinge all their bets on tourists. It's not as though Japan is as conveniently located as Singapore & Macao...plus the language difficulties for tourists.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: High court finds cell phone TV owners obliged to pay NHK fees See in context

FYI: If you call to NHK and tell them "I sold/disposed of my tv" they are obliged to cancel your payment, even if you signed a contract previously.

Source: someone i know did that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Narita airport gets OK to expand hours for takeoffs, landings See in context

So if you live in Tokyo those new flights will be unusable because the trains will have stopped running already. That's some great planning, I'm sure tourists will be so happy at having to pay for an expensive taxi on top of the bus/train from Narita!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese 'mommy' team gives wake-up calls to adults so they won’t be late for work See in context

At first I thought the voices were recorded as a ring-tone you could set as the alarm sound. But it's an actual phone call? If you can't wake up to the alarm itself, why do people think they'll wake up for a phone call?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Spanish PM's 'Japanese-style strike' remark shows warped view of working in Japan See in context

My labour union (which I am forced by company rules to join) explicitly told me that they would never strike, not under any circumstances. It makes this idiot's comments even more laughable. Unfortunately, it also makes my union a toothless/clawless tiger :(

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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