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Mlodinow comments

Posted in: Gunma man arrested for attempted marriage of woman without her knowledge See in context

All the commenters here saying they should change the law & require both parties to be present for marriage/divorce. How can we expect companies to allow BOTH people a half day off to go register on the same date? All companies are extremely busy and cannot possibly allow it! /s

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Nearly 200,000 could die if M9 level quake hits northern Japan See in context

So 220,000 buildings are destroyed but only 200,000 people die? I guess they had to come up with a number, but I wonder what factors were considered...

In the Tohoku quake the numbers were approx 18,000 dead and more than 123,000 houses totally destroyed (I don't know how many non-houses were also destroyed). Not all houses will be occupied at the time, and tsunami evacuation warnings will be issued, giving people time to get away. Of course these numbers will vary greatly depending on the time of day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Delta variant confirmed in New Zealand; virus case total increases to 7 See in context

Can the "family members" leave and return? Basically NO.

Of course they can. On return to New Zealand they are subject to quarantine, and leaving depends on the situation in their destination, not NZ. Does it make it more difficult? Sure. Impossible? No.

I'm not arguing with you because you are posting facts, but I have to say that it is more than difficult to get back to NZ now because of the total lack of space in MIQ. That has been made worse by Govt sanctioned missions such as the Olympics, Expo Dubai and even (apparently) attendees of a mountain-bike festival.

As an NZ'er outside of NZ and waiting to get back, infrequent flights combined with MIQ basically makes it impossible. The Govt arranging free and expedited MIQ for returnees from Aust. last month was really a huge slap in the face to those waiting patiently in other countries & who hadn't gone on a lark across the ditch. Given that we are now over 1.5 years into the whole thing I would've expected a much better (read: fairer) system by now, such as introducing a wait list etc.

Other than that though, NZ is certainly doing much better than most other countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Relatives remember JAL crash victims on 36th anniversary See in context

Hmm. Not entirtely accurate. The repairs were orderd by JAL but were carried out by Boeing technicians, who failed to follow Boeings official repair process. Boeing later admitted to the faulty repair.

However JAL inspections failed to pick up the faulty repair.



Anothing I clearly remember is that the American military had personell and equipment for a night rescue and offered help, but the Nakano government refused and instead waited until it got light in the morning? Several people died on the mountain that night that did not need to.

Both of these points were covered in a Discovery Channel series ("Seconds Before Disaster" I think it was). A terrible tragedy that can and should have been avoided, made worse by the "oh no one can be alive, let's just wait until morning" attitude of the first response leaders.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Toshiba apologizes to shareholders after vote probe See in context

I was going to make a joke about them only firing outside directors, but the CEO beat me to it by not only not removing anyone (not reappointing is different to removal) but by stealing my idea and limiting punishments to outside directors.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Pot-shots politically driven; Tokyo Games to go ahead: Pound See in context

Don't go to Tokyo

Dick Pound, kindly follow your own advice.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga says tackling COVID-19 takes priority over general election See in context

In all honesty, holding an election in pandemic conditions would be the height of folly, since the outcome is entirely predictable. Nobody ought to risk getting sick while voting, not even LDP supporters.

I'm not going to argue with you on that. One would think that with half a year left the bureaucrats could start planning for a mail-in election, but that would be too forward thinking I suppose. Best wait until there is no time left and then proclaim that no one could've foreseen the difficulties in holding a regular election!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: 107 victims of 2005 fatal train derailment in Hyogo remembered See in context

Whilst I remember this crash from the time, what shocked me the most was the Seconds from Disaster documentary afterwards, which showed that only one person (a doctor) stayed the night looking for more survivors in the crash. He successfully saved one more woman and reported that other people were alive but died during the night. Whereas the main contingent packed up for the night & came back in the morning. I can't imagine what it must have been like for those people having to simply wait for death in the dark.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 1st batch of 400,000 doses of Pfizer COVID vaccine arrive in Japan See in context

400.000 doses?

So that's enough for 200.000 people!

Guess better than nothing .... but then again ....

Hopefully they have other shipments in the works and this shipment will only be used for initial doses, not wastefully kept in storage for 3 weeks until the 2nd dose is required. I'm still worried about the availability of low dead space syringes though...I really hope that 20% will not be wasted due to a syringe shortage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'To the moon' or to a lawyer, GameStop investors cope with stock's rollercoaster See in context

Seems some people are unaware of how Gamestop is changing its business model. Over 30% of its sales are online, they're significantly broadening their instore service menu (build your own PC with specialist tech guidance, etc) and Ryan Cohen of Chewy fame is onboard to help transform the company further. Sure, it's not currently worth what it's trading for, but to say it's worth only $20, as the short-sellers were claiming, is equally disingenuous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man to be extradited to Japan for aiding Ghosn's escape accuses U.S. of 'betrayal' See in context

as can be seen by their chosen defence of insisting what they did wasn't a crime, in Japan, even though it is indisputedably a crime in their homeland

You do know that different countries have different laws, right? For example, openly carrying firearms in certain parts of the USA is legal, but try that in other countries (including in Japan) and very soon you will be surrounded by armed police pointing large guns at you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan secures extra Pfizer vaccine doses; Feb 15 approval expected See in context

Redbear, I think the complaint is that govt review/approval process should begin for the other vaccines as well. Of course this may (okay, will because Japan is insisting on clinical trials involving not just Asian people but "Japanese" people) require action from the relevant pharmaceutical company, which might be the cause of the hold-up, but the govt should also be highly motivated to get this under way.

Just my opinion of course, but if (as this article says) half the country gets the vaccine this year, the govt will try to open up business as usual even more, I see greater risk for those poor unfortunates who were unable to get vaccinated. Recent strains are reported to be preferring younger people than the original virus, and if one of them further mutates to induce more severe symptoms as well we could be in trouble.

I agree that Japan has done well on the ordering of vaccines, but let's wait and see how the govt approval and administering of them goes. Japan has a large population and it won't be easy.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Kono to handle coordination of coronavirus vaccinations See in context

From what I've seen, there is a disconnect between Suga's "vaccination starting the end of Feb" and the Health Ministry's "we need to run thorough stage 1 & 2 testing before vaccinating the public, which will take a few months".

Has anyone heard how Suga plans to start vaccinating without approval of his own Health Ministry? The sooner we start, the better.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: As Diet opens, Suga pledges to get pandemic under control, hold Olympics See in context

“I will stand at the frontline of the battle with the people's cooperation."

In their new year opening messages, 3 CEOs and basically all the division heads at the Japanese company I used to work at used exactly this "I'll lead the way!" expression, and every year failed to do so and simply followed the market down.

If Suga really has the ability to control the current outbreak, we don't need words we need action. Real, effective action is about a year overdue! The only leading I see him doing is that of his buddies to end of year drinking parties while he tells the rest of us to be home in bed by 8pm.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: KDDI to offer cheapest large data mobile plan amid gov't pressure See in context

5G service areas are still quite abysmal. Maybe by the end of 2021 it will be worth it but hopefully by then more companies will have followed Rakuten's lead of charging the same for 4G and 5G services.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man with axe smashes New Zealand Parliament doors See in context

Parliament building is just an office for politicians, so we didn't see any need to make it all pretty etc.

It's nickname is the Beehive due to the design and was designed to withstand a direct hit from a mag 7.5 earthquake.


11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Police still hoping killer's DNA will break 20-year-old Setagaya multiple murder case See in context

Agree with Expat. Given that the suspect is of mixed ancestry they may well have access to a non-Japanese passport and able to live the rest of their life outside of Japan. If that's the case then I can't imagine the J-police ever catching him - he would be stupid to come back given the risk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawyer for 89-year-old driver of car that killed woman, 3-year-old daughter blames faulty brake See in context

Even if the brake didn't work (Narrator: "it did"), he would still be guilty of driving at least 90kph in a zone which undoubtedly (because of the traffic lights) doesn't allow such speed, causing the death of 2 people.

You could also argue that going far in excess of the speed limit, failing to maintain your car in a safe manner and killing 2 people is possibly even worse. A "shaken" car check only gives you a snapshot of your vehicle's condition. It is up to the owner to ensure it is maintained properly and is safe to drive on the road - which he didn't. Of course this is all moot - he clearly hit the accelerator.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's new ambassador to China to be quarantined for 2 weeks See in context

As he should. My own country also required foreign diplomats to quarantine upon arrival, although unlike regular people they were allowed to quarantine in their own residence. It seems some people commenting here think diplomats are immune to the virus due to protection under the Geneva convention?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to give tax breaks for long-term foreign residents to attract financial experts See in context

And here was me thinking it was a serious tax break, and not something only people with rich relatives would ever worry about. Of course, if the inheritance tax were ever a genuine worry, there is no doubt rich people would find a way out of it or simply wouldn't declare it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after kicking woman in stomach See in context

The man who witnessed the fight called police who rushed to the scene.

Doesn't sound like a fight...more like a viscous assault.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: President of Fujitsu subsidiary arrested over fatal car accident See in context

Hitting and killing him is bad enough, but to not stop at all? If you hit someone in your car hard enough to kill them, no way you didn't notice. If he gets off this is a massive travesty of justice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 6,000 premium apples stolen from Iwate orchard See in context

oops...misread the article, the apples could have been stolen during the day it seems

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 6,000 premium apples stolen from Iwate orchard See in context


I did summer work at an orchard in university. As these are "premium" apples I'm guessing the trees are well maintained, so I would guess you could probably strip a tree in a few minutes if you didn't take much care of the tree & took every apple you could (instead of waiting until it's the correct ripeness. Not sure how many apples these trees hold but possibly around 20-30 per tree, so the operation wouldn't have taken long. You'd need night vision though, or at least minimal lighting to see what you're doing. It would be pretty dark in a well-sheltered orchard at night.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. judge delays extradition of 2 men accused of helping Ghosn escape from Japan See in context

They've been charged with only assisting Ghosn to jump bail so that as soon as they land in Japan prosecutors can detain them and add one new charge per 23 day period in order to keep them "for questioning" (lawyer-less interrogation) for as long as it takes to get them to confess to anything the prosecutors want them to.

It seems to me that there must be some way to challenge extradition based on that human rights aspect, but seeing as their lawyers didn't argue that perhaps there simply isn't.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Posted in: Yakuza have their fingers in Go To Eat campaign See in context

You don't need a criminal lawyer, you need a criminal lawyer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 2-hour virus test to be available at Narita airport See in context

My cousins family of four were charged NZ$13000 for their two weeks quarantine.

If they were residents or if they applied for a humanitarian exemption it would have been free. NZ only charges non-residents and for residents/citizens staying for less than 90 days.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Munakata Taisha and the forbidden island of Okinoshima See in context

In this day and age, that women can still be banned from visiting an island in an OECD country is bizarre. Especially given that it is for religious reasons in a country with one of the highest "convinced atheists" ratios in the world.

For reference: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/atheists-countries-list-six-world-most-convinced-a6946291.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK apologizes over tweets said to fan discrimination against Koreans See in context

I wonder if "Shun" was aware that those Koreans were likely used as slave labour and that is why they were celebrating the end of the war in that manner? (if that story is even true at all). The problem with children's viewpoints is that they can be somewhat simplistic and they don't always see the reasoning behind certain actions.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan extends 5,000-spectator cap at events until end of Sept See in context

I seriously doubt there is any real difference in allowing 500 people or 5,000 people into an event. If there is even one infected person there they are going to spread it to others. Whether they spread it to 10 or 100 people, either way it's going to create several new clusters. Of course, with trains the way they are in the big cities, commuting is also risky if you touch anything, and train station/public toilets too. We could really use some leadership at the top, but no hope for that anytime soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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