Monkeyz comments

Posted in: French ban on Islamic veils put into force See in context

The problem with these laws and rules regarding veils and headscarves is:

If the option is to go out in public with no veil/scarf or remain home ... a lot of women will be forced to remain home. Being in a western country does not spare women from things like FGM or honor killings. Some women probably make a free religious choice to cover themselves. And some might not. For those who do not, it isn't so simple as just not wearing it. These laws turn those women into prisoners.

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Posted in: Signs of the times See in context

I imagine poop bags might work the way they work in space. You have a kind of ... adhesive ring around the bag to attach it to your butt, and then you ... go.

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Posted in: Young woman found dead in Fukuoka love hotel See in context

A lot of love hotels won't let two people of the same sex in. (Yes, they are actually watching.)

Just saying.

I assumed that their evidence that someone went in with her was something along the lines of a used condom, but that might just be my own speculation.

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Posted in: Morinaga starts 'summer time,' calling employees to work at 8 a.m. See in context

I mentioned the idea of daylight savings once, or even just moving Japan's time zone over to another. The reaction was something like, "But ... but ... what about the schools! And the workplaces!!" As if it would be just IMPOSSIBLE to change schedules to suit the new times.

I got similar reactions when I suggested that workplaces should offer flex time or stagger start/finish times. Japan as a country is like a person with really bad OCD. If you change the routine, you're going to throw everything into chaos.

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Posted in: Japan should change its outdated, U.S.-imposed medical marijuana laws See in context

One of the things that exacerbates crohn's disease is stress, so I guess the marijuana makes some sense. There are probably several way more legal, cheaper ways of dealing with that stress, however.

In the end it's about money, but also about Japan being very black/white about things. Either all drugs are evil or all drugs aren't. Kentaro up there just told us how dangerous marijuana is, and I've heard from a lot of Japanese adults how awful and deadly-dangerous it is as well.

Since drugs and drug use aren't so prevalent, I think the first step is going to be convincing Japanese people that there are "bad" drugs and "less bad" drugs. (I don't think pot is harmless, but the effect is generally extreme laziness rather than violence or harmful health effects.) It's kind of ironic, since Japan is the second largest consumer of prescription drugs in the world and they're so fiercely anti-drug. But if they love their prescriptions but hate the "illegal" drugs, perhaps if they can just shift mj from one category to the other, there will be a shift in the mentality too.

viola drug arrest.

So, do they play the viola during the arrest, or was the viola high on crack? I'm not sure what a viola drug arrest is supposed to be. (Moderators often complain about lose/loose even when it doesn't affect the discussion, so I see no reason why I can't complain about viola/voila.)

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Posted in: Have it your way at Burger King this spring See in context

They had a breakfast menu for a while, but if Japan loves anything it's cutting down the menu til it looks like everyone else's menu. Either it wasn't profitable or OMG CHOICES!! RUN!!

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Posted in: Dog days See in context

Also, given that spaying/neutering isn't all that common in Japan, I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more clone puppies in the future.

Irradiated mutant clone puppies. Feel free to make a cartoon out of that.

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Posted in: Man arrested on suspicion of kidnapping 2-year-old girl in Sapporo See in context

I think it would help to know what kind of games the parents were playing. Were they playing those "medal" games that are just like gambling? Were they playing something that required lots of concentration, like a rhythm or shooting game? Were they using the UFO catcher machines? And was one playing while the other watched, or were they both engrossed? Getting the answer to these questions would help in determining if the parents were really being super-negligent or not.

Also, this is why you get those kid-leashes. Kid can't walk off if they're velcroed to your wrist. I just had another thought ... what if she was in a stroller but got out? I've seen plenty of parents park kid + stroller somewhere while they go do something else. Hmmm ...

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Posted in: Osaka couple arrested for suffocating 3-year-old boy in garbage bag See in context

Dentshop, I don't think that this one counts as a murder. I'm not totally up on Japanese law, but in the US I'm sure it would be something like "negligent homicide" or something to that effect. Kind of like how in Japan there's that funky category of "rape resulting in death."

I wonder if the couple were just exceedingly stupid. Maybe they didn't even close the bag, but thought he could breathe fine and didn't realize that bag + face = suffocation. In any case they were stupid ... but I do believe based on how people discipline their kids in Japan that they probably didn't want him to die. How many stories have we all heard of toddlers locked out of their houses--sometimes on balconies--in the winter? And kids who are disciplined in that way are likely to do the same to their own children. Japan needs some serious DV and child abuse awareness campaigns to teach people proper reactions to problems in their families.

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Posted in: Body of newborn infant found in mountains near quake-stricken Miyagi city See in context

Wtf was the mother thinking? Maybe, "I don't want to try to raise a baby in an evacuation center" was somewhere near the top of the list ...

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Posted in: Kagawa Univ associate professor and kenpo black belt punches woman See in context

If I had a nickel for every person who injured me in some way on the train without apologizing ...

I was once standing there with a man dozing while hanging onto the rings in front of me. His briefcase was between his feet. He reached down to get his briefcase at his stop and WHACK smacked me in the forehead with his elbow on the way up.

Did he apologize?

F-no. He stared at me wide-eyed and dashed off the train.

Did I chase after him and beat the crap out of him right there?

Of course not.

I always thought martial arts was for learning to control your anger. When I was in MA we were told that we'd get our belts revoked if we ever got in a fight where we were the aggressors. That whole, "You learn it so you never have to use it" thing. I guess his dojo was a bit different.

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Posted in: Happy dog See in context

Holy crap, is she really short or is that a GIANT dog?

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Posted in: 28-year-old man accused of punching 2-year-old boy to death See in context

Someone mentioned adoption earlier on, but this guy's attitude is precisely the one that prevents most Japanese from being able to even fathom adoption.

Ask some Japanese how they feel about adoption and you'll be kind of enlightened. Or saddened. Mostly it's the "it's not my child so I would never be able to love it" kind of attitude. That whole soto/uchi thing. I know we have that kind of attitude in the West, but I also know that adoption rates are super-duper low in Japan.

And when you have that kind of mindset about children that aren't yours, punching an unrelated child to death really isn't that unfathomable. You don't love it unconditionally, you can't even imagine loving it ... it's just this THING that's in the way and causing you stress, like a fly buzzing around your head.

Change the mindset and you'll see fewer of these sorts of murders. Until then, I would be VERY WARY about letting your new boyfriend watch the kiddos. (I think there are a lot of dudes with anger management/control issues in Japan as well, and that doesn't help one bit.)

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Posted in: Yakuza tone down events, step up relief efforts in quake-stricken areas See in context

I heard the yakuza were out there helping when the Kobe earthquake hit as well. At least they're good for something.

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Posted in: Don't forget your pets when disaster strikes See in context

First, I thought PETA was against companion animals and likened it to slavery or somesuch nonsense (okay, I will concede that cat "owners" are slaves, but that's all).

Second, I think animals are very important members of a family. HOWEVER, if it's a choice between sleeping in a car in a very unsafe area and taking Mittens along with me, Mittens is going to have to fend for himself. I'm not going to jeopardize my safety for a cat who can take care of itself in a pinch.

Japan is a bad example because the view people have of animals is a bit behind the times. But I would never fault someone for making the tough decision to leave an animal behind in a disaster. It sucks, but the animal is probably better off and much safer left alone in a house than trucked along in a tiny, cramped little carrier to sleep in a car on a freezing night.

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Posted in: Toyama man arrested for stealing earthquake collection box See in context

The bigger travesty was that there was only 3000 yen in the box.

Although if it's going to be stolen, I suppose it's good that there wasn't so much money inside.

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Posted in: Radiation discovery fans food fears in Japan See in context

Another thing to consider is that perhaps the amount in X amount of tap water is safe, but if you eat multiple contaminated foods and drink multiple contaminated drinks, is it still harmless?

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Posted in: Radiation detected in Fukushima milk, Ibaraki spinach after nuclear accident See in context

Only read/get your information from reliable sources.

The problem is that, historically speaking, Japanese officials have not been reliable sources. Japan has a history of cover-ups when things like this happen. Sometimes it's just like how a doctor might not tell a patient that he/she has cancer (not sure about now, but used to be standard practice in Japan). Because they don't want to upset anyone or make them panic. But far better to tell the truth than to keep people in the dark regarding their health.

With a history of lies and obfuscation, the question is whether we can take them at their word when they say the radiation is minimal and that there are no risks. Perhaps there are no risks. Perhaps it is just as they say. Or perhaps it's far worse and they just don't want to incite panic.

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Posted in: Divorce means liberation for some, virtual servitude for others See in context

@Nessie - in Japan, unfortunately, they are. I'm not sure how it works, but I had a lot of students who would tell me they were working 6-8 hours 5 or 6 days a week and it was a "part time job." I still haven't figured out what that means, but I imagine it must mean the wages are hourly and not salaried.

It sucks that there might be women out there who are batcrap crazy, but they're still in a disadvantaged situation when it comes to making a living after a divorce. And this is why I think that being a housewife does a woman no good. Oh sure, you get a tax break if your wife's income is below xx amount, but then she gets screwed if the marriage goes belly-up. A lot of employers won't hire people over 35.

I still remember the lady--in her 50s or so--who said to me that all women should work (she worked) in case they got divorced (she was happily married). You never know what's going to happen, and if your husband cheats or is abusive or any other thing that can break up a marriage, you don't want to be living off of 120,000 a month or less.

Also, something really needs to change as far as work culture so that women have more security. A lot of the social and cultural rules in place now seem to favor forcing women into unhappy marriages with no way out.

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Posted in: Yoshino Kimura shares opinion on ideal wedding for Cartier See in context

@herefornow - Changing dresses is a staple of Japanese weddings. Normal = 2-3 times. High maintenance I'm going to put at 5+.

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Posted in: Ko Shibasaki celebrates Hollywood debut as Keanu Reeves’ lover in '47 Ronin' See in context

This is a Samurai movie, Samurai are Japanese, why would you need to even look "in the west"?

Are you saying that there are no Japanese people in western countries??

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Posted in: UNIQLOOK See in context

Sometimes Uniqlo has nice stuff, but I agree that lately I've just been pretty uninterested. They seem to be pretty stuck on "skinny" cut pants, which only look good on people who don't have a figure.

The last time I went into a Uniqlo, which admittedly was a few months ago, all I saw was flannel and puffy jackets. They had very little interesting, stylish clothing and oodles of flannel and puffy jackets. I left pretty quickly. I do check the website from time to time to see if there's anything I would want to go try on, but usually ... no. Not for a while now.

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Posted in: Global brands give something special to their most loyal fans See in context

I have a bag that was a limited edition made just for Japan. I bought it because I liked the pattern and only found out later that it was limited and Japan-only.

But knowing how nuts people are, I wondered how many people bought it JUST because it was limited.

I think all people are urged on by those words, "limited time only," but the Japanese are the worst about it. Way too many obsessive collectors per capita.

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Posted in: Why do you think such a big deal has been made by media and police about a student's online cheating during university entrance exams? See in context

I too would be surprised if it hadn't happened before. But THIS time someone got CAUGHT! So we have to milk this story for all it's worth. Forever.

And I also agree that part of it is probably the fact that these tests are so important to determining your future. Not everyone is going to get into Todai, and if someone cheats to get into a good school, those who DIDN'T are going to want blood.

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Posted in: 49-year-old man dresses as woman, enters female public bath area See in context

I imagine that he got into the bath with his towel over his "parts" as people often do. But the lack of anything resembling breasts and a generally male body shape probably gave him away.

Makes me wonder, since it isn't mentioned, if he was just trying to get his jollies, if he was just a transvestite (but maybe still trying to get his jollies), or if he was some poor transgendered soul who wanted to bathe in the "proper" environment. Since it's Japan I'm going to assume the first one, but ...

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Posted in: Bra wars See in context

How about they make a bra that doesn't have an inch of padding inserted in it next? I want a bra, not a bullet-proof vest.

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Posted in: Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog Hachiko See in context

What I love about this story is that someone obviously thought it would be A-OK to feed STICKS OF YAKITORI to a dog. At least that wasn't what killed him.

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Posted in: 14-yr-old boy held over attempted murder of elder brother in Chiba See in context

There are many reasons why this could just be the fault of the brother and not of the parents. By age 14 a child is pretty well thinking on their own and learning to form their own ideas about the world. Children can be influenced by many things other than their parents.

Kids are like sponges. They soak up all kinds of influences around them. And each sponge is constructed differently. There may have been absolutely nothing the parents could have done to prevent this, save for locking the kids in boxes underground.

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Posted in: What do you think of love hotels? See in context

For those asking, there are indeed sites that list a lot of love hotels. You can even check which amenities they have. But they're in Japanese. Just google "rabuhosagasu" in Japanese and you should find a few sites. I don't know of any particular ones with reviews.

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Posted in: Parents jailed over death of 4-year-old son due to malnutrition See in context

Ten is old enough to know what was going on. I wonder if they questioned the other child.

Encephalopathy can be caused by malnutrition but also by metabolic disorders. Malnutrition and low weight can be caused by a lot of medical conditions. One would wonder why the parents didn't take him to the doctor if this was the case, but I've heard of dumber reasons for people dying. I saw on one program a child (around this age--3 or 4) who was extremely malnourished because he was so picky about his food. I'm not saying the parents are telling the truth, but more exploring, "What if ..."

And yeah, can we please stop referring to dead kids as "angels?" Anyone who's ever spent time with a 4-year-old boy would not use the word "angel" to describe the child. We don't know the character of the kids, who could be little hell-raisers for all we know, who tipped their mentally unstable parents past the breaking point. It's unfortunate when anyone is killed by someone they trust with their life, but come on. Painting the kids as "angels" and the parents as "monsters" ignores reality.

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