Mlodinow comments

Posted in: Abe asks business leaders to raise wages before sales tax hike See in context

That is the CEO of MHI seated between them, where pay "raises" have been less than 1% for years and falling bonuses actually means there is a pay cut. 3%, let alone 5% is a pipe dream. Every year Abe bleats the same fake request with the same result...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan asks employees not to contact Ghosn and Kelly See in context

I'm quite sure that the company can only "request" and cannot enforce such a rule. But if Saikawa and his cronies in crime remain in power I daresay it's likely that employees found contacting those two will be "overlooked" for future promotions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Seawalls may give false sense of security during a tsunami See in context

If a coastal city’s seawall is higher than a forecast tsunami, residents are less likely to evacuate promptly,

I daresay this is true but probably also partly due to that fact that if a tsunami higher than your sea wall is forecast you're going to put in extra effort to get out of there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: A Japanese idol got married, so his management asked fans on Twitter to decide if he should be fired See in context

It isn't legal, and he is free to leave the group.

Actually he should be free to stay in the group (if he so wishes) because otherwise it should be deemed unfair dismissal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: A Japanese idol got married, so his management asked fans on Twitter to decide if he should be fired See in context

I think many contracts signed in Japan are not actually 'legal' as such. Binding yes, but not what we would consider fair or reasonable.

A long time ago during a dispute I showed my contract to a lawer and they kind of laughed and said...'well, you signed it, so there's not much we can do'. LOL (and cry.)

I think this view of "you signed it so, even if it's actually illegal, too bad" also forms the basis for why forced confessions are irrevocable in Japan. Hard to believe that forcing someone to be single is legal in this day & age (especially in Japan with its pitiful birth-rate).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan board meets to discuss governance amid rising tensions with Renault See in context

It rather reflects the reality that Renault put up the money and expertise ( Ghosn ) to bailout Nissan when it faced bankruptcy and watched it flourish under Ghosn leadership. Maybe they should have let it fail then?

Exactly this.

Since Ghosn stepped down as CEO Nissan has seen a series of compliance breaches...Nissan reverting back to "traditional" Japanese business practices already? Let them break away & fail (again).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan board meets to discuss governance amid rising tensions with Renault See in context

“Nissan has communicated actively and transparently with Renault regarding this matter, and will continue to do so. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the alliance,” it said

The Renualt CEO has had to tell Nissan BoD members to stop contacting Renault BoD directors privately (it's against agreed procedure), and (as per comments above) Nissan has repeatedly failed to provide any actual evidence, and hence Renault's lawyers have asked for better documentation. What part of the communication in this circus masquerading as an investigation can be described "actively and transparently"? Renault haven't even had a proper chance to talk with Ghosn himself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 42 people injured after suspected gas explosion destroys buildings in Sapporo See in context

Why are so many people talking about city gas and gas tanks etc? The article clearly says they are deodorizer cans. What's more, puncturing them is now prohibited (for blindingly obvious reasons).

Police suspect that gas leaking from more than 100 deodorizer spray cans in the real estate office intended for disposal caught fire when a water heater was switched on.

So now the Fire Dept are saying the building wasn't up to code, but a quick walk down any major street in a large city in Japan and even an idiot can see buildings which clearly won't be up to code. One would think in a country with so many earthquakes, and reticulated gas in every major city, more checking would be performed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Town hosting wrecked Fukushima plant may allow partial access in 2020 See in context

Decontamination work has been conducted to make sure radiation levels will be below 20 mSv per year anywhere in the special zone by the spring of 2020. The government eventually aims to lower the levels below 1 mSv per year.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection, or the ICRP, sets radiation exposure under normal situations at 1 mSv per year and says 100 mSv of exposure over a lifetime would increase the possibility of developing cancer by up to 1 percent.

Why would you ever voluntarily do this to yourself? I feel extra bad for any construction works who are pressured into working on this project...or will this be assigned to a "foreign trainee program"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Panel proposes mass evacuation of coastal areas if mega quake hits See in context

Overseas cities prone to tsunami sometimes have markers within the city indicating potential wave run up heights. If you have a clear line of sight to the ocean you can judge for yourself but having markers around coastal cities would be very useful. I've only ever seen such markers in Japan near swimming beaches or small towns.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: GE's push to fix power turbine problem goes global See in context

@ bearandrodent

You'll find that Marubeni are deeply invested with GE turbines, and even despite this news they are continuing to fumble ahead with GE, preferring these defective turbines over proven ones from other manufacturers. Senior management perhaps think that if they choose other manufacturers they are admitting they made a mistake choosing GE. I'm not sure the exact reliability but the HAs are particularly problematic.

I see that Trump is forcing GE turbines on the Iraqis too now (Siemens had an order cut by half due to a threat to reduce rebuilding lending if they didn't buy from GE).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Transport ministry calls 25 airlines to meeting on pilots drinking See in context

41 incidents in 5 years is simply mind-boggling, but in fairness I'm sure it's not only pilots here. Also Singapore Air had an incident in September which resulted in complete cancellation of at least 2 flights.

Would it really be so difficult to have a central location in each airport (eg at the crew line at security or immigration area) where each crew member passing through gets breathalized? It literally takes seconds per person.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: SoftBank mobile services disrupted ahead of IPO See in context

Will visit them tomorrow to ask for partial refund for this month. Much sucking of teeth and "eee-tooo"s expected.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan hit by new inspection scandal See in context

Nissan is already under pressure following the arrest of its chairman

"Nissan is already under pressure after throwing its Chairman under a bus to avoid a merger with Renault"

Fixed it for you ;)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

Given the weird Japanese rule about people not being "dead" until a registered doctor declares them so I really hope that isn't the case with the 2nd person found. 10 hours is a long time in the Pacific Ocean without a life-raft, especially in December.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Drunk vice principal loses job after urinating in girls bathing area on field trip See in context

“Since I was completely drunk, I have no memory of the event. I had absolutely no intention of peeking at the girls.

How would he know the 2nd part if he really had no memory of "the event"? Please tell me Japanese judges have the awareness to ask him such questions for the record.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Kelly denies underreporting Ghosn's salary See in context

It really says it all that Nissan have already permanently replaced him. A normal company would suspend the accused, provide all their evidence to the authorities, & wait for an official charge or confirmation of the guilt before doing so (actually, almost what Renault have done). As others have commented, that other officials "turned a blind eye for a few years" means they are in fact guilty as well. Why are they not also behind bars?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC head Bach visits Fukushima with Abe See in context

Definition of irony: IOC calling for a "clean" Olympics

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors weigh bringing charges against Nissan over Ghosn case See in context

So he basically brought Nissan back from the brink of ruin (which no Japanese CEO seemed able to do) but is now claimed to have been so absurdly stupid as to under-declare his salary, which he knows the company is obligated to report directly to the tax office? There is more to this story than meets the eye. I also seriously doubt he does his own tax, no doubt it is prepared by the company itself, as is done for all regular employees in Japan.

Seeing as the police have now decided to "detain" him another 10 days without officially charging him, he clearly hasn't admitted anything to them. Interesting that this may backfire on Nissan both with charges, and given that Renault are not going to do anything without strong hard evidence.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese, S Korean trawlers collide in Sea of Japan; 13 rescued See in context

Toshihiro: I have no details of course but I wonder if this is part of the answer

The collision occurred northeast of an island known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan,

Possibly each boat thought the other was "trespassing" or something. Certainly looking at the weather it looks clear enough & you'd think fishing boats so far out would have radar or a transponder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 340,000 foreigners may flow into Japan in 5 years under new visa system See in context

Abe said at the lower house plenary session that the exact figures are "being examined now" but the estimate will serve as a ceiling for the number of foreign workers to be accepted under the new system unless there is a major change in the economic situation.

I lol'd. Chance of a "major change" you reckon huh...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA apologizes for flight delays due to pilot's drinking See in context

I fly ANA almost every month for work and although the airline is good enough and generally on time, it is hardly my favourite (for quite a few reasons).

I was on a Singapore Airlines flight a couple of months ago which was cancelled due to a drunk pilot. With the lives of so many people in their hands, and given that commercial pilots only fly one or two flights a day would it be so difficult to arrange a quick breath-test before they fly? It only takes a few seconds to blow into the machine and it seems that drinking pilots is more of a problem than people would like to think. Thank goodness this one called in sick!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Williams to earn 50th cap, Perenara in at scrumhalf for All Blacks See in context

If they get that many I'm sure most of the middle stand seats will have been given for free to school kids, handed out by rugby unions, etc. I seriously can't see that many people forking out 20k+ per ticket - especially at that stadium where the closest seat is still 20m or more from the pitch.

The 7k I paid (for seats behind the dead ball line no less) was a big enough rip off considering that stadium...I have a friend who paid equivalent of 10k JPY for halfway line seats at NZ vs Sth Africa a month ago and much closer seats to the pitch to boot

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Robot station security guard unveiled to media ahead of Tokyo Olympics See in context

I'd like to see this security wine bottle try & maneuver its way through Shinjuku Station (or any other major station). It might be able to avoid stationary obstacles but how about the added factor of 10,000 moving humans?

It will either bump into someone (causing outrage, deep bows, and it gets canned) or it will end up remaining stationary for large parts of the day (useless).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump reluctant to abandon Riyadh over missing journalist, wants evidence See in context

Trump would probably believe even such an excuse as "he accidentally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving" as long as there was a dollar in it for him...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 88-year-old woman in coma after being hit by cyclist See in context

To be honest, I really dislike those lights. The design is horrible as they don't shine down but directly in the face of oncoming traffic. Blinding!

It's because a lot of (mostly middle-aged) cyclists here point their lights up instead of down to the road where they are supposed to be pointed. I am reeeaaally sick of being blinded by such extremely bright LED bike lights. It's quite difficult to bite my tongue sometimes and not give them a serve.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA’s Paris branch manager assaults passenger after consuming 6 glasses of wine See in context

having to resign from a management job at ANA after 30 years is a pretty big punishment.

For an assault which caused a cervical sprain? Do you know the force required to cause such an injury?

He deserves jail, not simply being "forced" to resign.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mai Fujimoto brings crypto to the masses See in context

Bitcoin Jesus lmao...he supports BCash and has been a pariah in the Bitcoin community for some time now. Please do some research before posting copy/paste articles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Real estate redevelopment in an aging society See in context

During the same time, the number of daily users of Ginza Station has increased by 7,400.

Unsure of the total daily users of Ginza Station but 7,400 would probably fall within the margin of error for a regular survey. Even assuming this is a mechanical ticket count, 7,400 still seems like a pathetically small increase and given that tourist numbers have multiplied several times over during the same period you'd think if Ginza 6 had any impact at all it would have increased much much more. Strange statistic to quote.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: All Blacks show ominous strength in depth one year from World Cup See in context

Another back, Karl Tu'inukuafe, was perhaps New Zealand's best player on the night, further underlining their strength in depth.

He is, in fact, a prop...not a back. He's called "Big Karl" for a reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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