Mlodinow comments

Posted in: Anxiety prevails over state of emergency declaration See in context

I'm surprised (well, not really) that more shops aren't practicing proper social distancing. The only one that I've seen so far is Starbucks, where they have packed away 30-50% of the chairs to make sure customers sit at least 1m away from each other. Now even they will close for a few weeks, but I am quite sure that next weekend I will still see throngs of neigbourhood children and parents down at the small park on my street, playing together and happily ignoring the pleas for their own safety.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What will life in Japan under a state of emergency look like? See in context

The barber who cut my hair and shaved my face was wearing a mask but I am not and unfortunately he sniveled several times.

By all accounts I've seen Covid-19 does not cause a runny nose. It may block your sinuses, but not cause them to run. Your barber most likely had allergies or something quite unrelated. If you are so concerned you probably shouldn't have gone out to get a haircut.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Joseph caught in middle of spat between World Rugby and JRFU See in context


I'm no big fan of SANZAR, but the reason the Sunwolves were kicked out is because the JRFU, in another amazingly stupid decision, pulled their financial backing of the club. You can't really blame the other clubs for not wanting to prop up the Sunwolves who had something like 4 wins from 3 seasons at the time of the decision.

The success of the RWC with the Japanese public really showed that the JRFU made the wrong decision, but try telling the oyajis that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers withholding tax system on casino winnings by foreigners See in context

My understanding is that only large wins in the USA get taxed (more than $1,000 or so) and that they have to be on bets at odds greater than 300 to 1 (meaning jackpots and the like). This means that players of most table games will not face withholding tax.

Unless they set fair tax-free winning margins and a reasonable tax rate I don't think they are going to take many people away from Macau and Vegas. A handful of medium sized casinos dotted around Japan hardly offers the experience either of the big two do.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Fans allowed to bring food after shortages at Rugby World Cup venues See in context

@Kameel: For alcohol it was beer or highball only. Non-alcohol, I think tea and a couple of Japanese type softdrinks like Calpis etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fans allowed to bring food after shortages at Rugby World Cup venues See in context

I went to NZ vs Sth Africa & waited literally a full hour for food. One smart beer girl was plying her trade actually along that line it was so insanely long.

And then the next day I got an email about how now ppl can bring their own food in but there would continue to be Japanese and "international" food available. I'm genuinely puzzled as to what the international food option(s) were. The only one which could be remotely considered in that category was a plain sausage on a stick, no bun, no sides, just a sausage on a stick...otherwise it was just yakisoba, etc).

If they bothered having more than 4 staff at each food/drink window and served decent food they would make a killing. So many people I saw left the queue or didn't bother joining it because they saw how insane it was. Did they seriously not understand that people like to much on something along with their beer?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawmaker who made Russia war remarks suggests same with S Korea See in context

I always wonder why the people who are most enthusiastic for war are also the ones who are the least enthusiastic about personally being the first to step off the boat onto the beach.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hunters, police search for bear spotted multiple times in Sapporo See in context

Yeah amateur hunters (in Japan invariably 60+ year old men) shooting a wild animal on the move in residential neighborhoods is really smart. In literally any other developed nation, the city would call on zoo or wildlife/game officials to sedate and relocate the bear, with lethal means only as a last resort.

But this is Japan :(

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't urges 7-Eleven to take preventive measures after 7pay fraud See in context

From other sources I understand that as many as 900 accounts were used illicitly, which to me begs the question of how the IDs and passwords were disclosed. They may have been hacked, but they may have been sold by an inside source.

Other news sources are saying the password reset system could be used to send a password reset to an email of the hackers choosing, and the hacker could then perform the reset using (in many cases) using publicly accessible information such as date of birth.

Quite unbelievable that such a high profile company can mess up something simple like a password reset.

Side gripe: Also unbelievable that many Japanese companies don't allow users to include alphanumeric symbols (#$@* etc) in passwords. Cyber-security seems to be a joke in most Japanese companies. It wouldn't have prevented this hack it seems, but I'm sure many people get hacked every day because of it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic stadium 90% complete; opening set for December See in context

It looks unbelievable! This stadium will be a lasting legacy of what will be an amazing Olympics. I can already see the Japanese 4×100 relay team soaring around to the gold medal to the roar of 100,000 wild fans in the Stadium!

Nice dream, but...

Organizers say about 45,000 of the 60,000 permanent seats have been installed

Apparently temporary seating is only possible by putting seats on the running track, which would probably annoy the Japanese 4x100 relay team. It's also one of the most boring stadiums I can think of, modern or otherwise.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Whale of a time See in context

The sheer irony in this photo. Japan recognizes that there is money to be made from whale tourism but instead throws public money into killing them. Akin to cutting off their nose to spite their face...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Airports in Japan to introduce facial recognition for foreign visitors See in context

I registered for the automatic gate (15 min process) only to find that you still need to go to fill out a departure card & visit the officer at the window! What a complete waste of time...true automatic gates will be very welcome provided they can be used by residents and not just short term visitor departures. Knowing Japan though, I'm not hopeful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Elderly driver, passenger die in Fukuoka 5-car crash; 9 in hospital See in context

he collided with a vehicle before entering the intersection some 600 meters further on where his car hit at least four other vehicles

Did he not even realize he'd hit the first car?

You'd think that as people get older they would drive slower (at least that's generally the case in my country), but here in Japan if anything they seem to drive faster. Tragic that this accident had to happen to take this clown off the road.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Clever alarm system invented by Japanese railway company will wake even the deepest of sleepers See in context

"Alexa, set alarm for 730". There. Done. Now, I have ¥100,000 for other stuff.

100,000 minus whatever you paid for the Alexa speaker ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Australia takes Sony to court for refusing refunds on faulty PlayStation games See in context

As Peter above says, the selling entity is the one responsible for the refund (in Aust). Whether or not they can get a refund from the game developer is their problem, not the customer's and is the price of doing business in Australia. Other countries, New Zealand, Germany etc have similar consumer protections. Not being able to complete a game is a fundamental flaw in the game & one could imagine the ACCC have an excellent case.

If Sony continued selling the game after becoming aware of the fault (and it's likely they did given their stance) they have opened not only the company but also all employees aware of what they were doing to exemplary regulatory fines.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Man assaults wife after learning she trolled his YouTube videos for six months See in context

Isn’t she also guilty of defamation?”

Being able to prove what you said is true is a complete defense against a defamation suit. So if he is bald/balding he can't possibly claim defamation. Plus, he does indeed seem to be an idiot as claimed...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Polanski's wife hits out at Tarantino over Sharon Tate See in context

Andrew: The thing about statutory rape is even if they consent, it's still rape. They're children. Plus, she said no multiple times but he still went ahead...

Re: the story, it seems mostly about Sharon Tate than Polansky. Perhaps Tarantino didn't want to be seen consorting with a child rapist?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: NYC mayor asks Tokyo governor to support ban on Japan's ivory trade See in context

So the people saying "hey NYC also isn't perfect" agree with killing an endangered species in order to make trinkets from it body parts? Bizarre logic tbh.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: 13 teen boys caught peeping into girls’ hot spring bath during class trip See in context

Seeing as so many male commenters here are saying boys will be boys, imagine yourself as a young woman and having to attend school (likely for 3 more years) with adolescent boys who have seen you naked, and who will no doubt remind you of that fact at every opportunity. Are you SURE no punishment is in order? seriously....

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Car hits group of preschoolers in Shiga Pref; 2 dead See in context

If Shimoyama's car was hit by the other car & then propelled into the children it seems odd that she would be arrested immediately rather than taken for questioning. There must be some other information which was not published?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 74-year-old driver arrested for hitting 2 elementary school children See in context

If the sun was so bright why not wear sunglasses? And as Mirai said, it's a basic rule that if you cannot see you either stop or slow down to an appropriate speed. Blaming the sun is saying you knew there was a problem but you did nothing about it, and now 2 children are badly hurt.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Virtual model imma to pose in fashion magazine with real models, advertising makeup brand See in context

Of course regular photos are also retouched but it seems to be a step further down the road to misleading advertising if there is no real model to show the product on. Especially with the level of subtility required with makeup colours etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 160 kms of Hanshin Expressway to be closed during G20 summit in Osaka See in context

Wouldn't it be easier to helicopter them in if there is such a security risk? Or to hold the summit in a more out of the way location? Stupid plan organized by idiots.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Kamakura passes ordinance against eating on the go See in context

Eat at home and don’t go to Kamakura. You won’t annoy the residents living in the tourist areas, and you won’t get a fine. 

The article clearly states there is no fine:

The ordinance, intended to encourage an improvement in manners, neither stipulates any fines nor imposes any sales restrictions on shops and stalls.

...therefore making it a complete waste of time & taxpayer money. Now we'll see locals harassing tourists to follow the ordinance no one outside of the locals has any idea exists. Perfect!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Companies still reluctant to relocate from Tokyo despite tax breaks See in context

They expect employees to also move out of the city to follow their jobs? Talk about reinforcing the "job for life" ethic which helped get Japan's economy into the mess it's in (and can't get out of).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Akita police sergeant arrested for paying high school girl for sex See in context

So she accepted the cash, does the deed, then over time feels bad and complains to her mum about it, then he gets arrested... This is happens all the time in Japan. Both are stupid in my opinion.

She was 15. The reason there is a statutory minimum age is because minors are prone to error of judgement and are thus vulnerable to exploitation (like in this case). You are advocating that statutory rape is okay, which is just plain wrong.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Moon shot: Toyota, Japan space agency plan lunar mission See in context

One thing though. Why are moon missions relevant now? Only cause the Chinese claim they reached there? Moon landing was in the 60s and we are in 2019, why hasn't there been any missions for that period of time? technology is way advanced now then in the past.

You actually answered your own question. Advances in technology, especially robotics, means that missions can now be performed by robots or semi-autonomous rovers, and are a lot cheaper without the added cost of having to keep humans alive. This is what has enabled us to travel to Mars, even though we lack the ability to safely send a human there.

With regards to the moon, what would we actually send a human there to do which couldn't also be performed by a machine? There is really not much to do there yet other than explore, so much better to send a low risk rover mission than a human who could quite easily die.

Once space agencies/companies get serious about sending humans to Mars, probably that's when you'll start seeing manned missions to the moon again, so that it can be used as a staging/fueling base for deeper space.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka one of new Barbie 'Sheroes' See in context

These Barbies are actually useless because they are not actually for sale. Mattel only made one of each & gave them to the women they were modeled on. What is the point? How are they supposed to inspire children if they can't play with them?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's Sunwolves show they fit in Super Rugby See in context

Will be interesting to see how they go when they get their national team players back. Hate to be "that" person, but they certainly have the lowest number of domestic players in Super Rugby by a long margin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ootoya to close most restaurants for a day on March 12 for staff training after video prank See in context

Knee-jerk overreaction as usual. My own company also held "training" due to one senior manager's illegal compliance breach. Rather than hold training for senior managers only they decided to have training for only non-senior managers. Interesting call seeing as only very senior managers have the authority to do what he did.

Agree with other posters, seeing as I actually have a brain & know not to post naked videos at work (where you would be easily identifiable) I would sooner quit a part-time job than go through a one day training.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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