Japan Today

Moondog comments

Posted in: 4 years after disaster, Fukushima workers get own rest area See in context

All TEPCO executives should be required to live at the plant site. Do that and you'll see conditions improve quite rapidly.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Posted in: 12 injuries reported from Saturday night's quake See in context

Cleo, hatsoff and Subaru are right. The "M" ratings are, for all practical purposes, meaningless. Only the Japanese Shindo scale is useful. So, if you want just one system, ignore any earthquake rating with an "M" after the number.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. decides not to investigate Toyota unwanted acceleration See in context

25years in Japan wrote:

It is easy to rest your foot on a brake pedal or accelerator pedal without depressing either.

True for accelerator, due to its design. Not so much for the brake petal. It would be tiresome to constantly hold the foot over the brake petal without pressing it. If it was intended that your foot constantly be on the brake petal, its design would resemble the accelerator petal.

Ummm, touching the brake pedal will not turn on the brake indicator light. It only comes on if the handbrake or side brake is on.

Uhhhh, you're kidding, right? Handbrakes and side brakes, also known as emergency brakes do not engage the brake lights. Ever. Only touching the foot brake does that. How do you think other drivers know you are braking?

When do you need to see a brake light when stopping ?

Wait a minute. Do you think I'm talking about the little light on the dash? Really? You know that there are brake lights on the back of the car, right? Those lights!

The fact is that swapping one foot from the accelerator takes longer than if your foot is already resting on the edge of the brake pedal.

Not in dispute. Nor is the fact that riding the brakes is A Bad Idea. Thirty million hits on Google agree. Here are a couple for your edification:

https://driversed.com/driving-information/city-rural-and-freeway-driving/covering-the-brake.aspx http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1203723

Another advantage of using both feet is that you can hold the car on a steep hill without rolling back and take off safely. ( I only use the side brake for parking )

Right heel on brake; right toe on accelerator. Or, just use your left foot on the brake to hold the car from rolling back (automatics only, of course). The real trick is holding the car and then starting to go on an icy hill with a manual transmission. Learned how to do that when I was a kid back in Colorado.

Advantages also include towing another vehicle whereby you can keep a tow rope taught through braking and at the same time use the accelerator.

Really? I'm guessing you have never rope-towed a car. When you tow with a rope, the car in front doesn't use the brakes at all unless it's an emergency. The car in back brakes for both cars--to keep the rope taut and avoid snapping it.

A lot of proffessional drivers use both feet when driving automatic cars.

Really? Pros? Links, please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: American Airlines debuts new jet aimed for long flights See in context

[Non-stop] Denver to Tokyo

After 30 years of changing planes in Seattle and San Francisco, this would be wonderful news to me if I hadn't already moved back to the states

"And since the Dreamliner has fewer seats than jumbo jets, airlines feel less pressure to slash fares to fill them up. That boosts revenue per passenger."

This, on the other hand, really takes the shine off the news.

The late-2014 collapse in oil prices reduced the savings from more efficient planes. But still, Pilarski expects that the Dreamliner will remain in demand, for now.

Apparently, the natural reaction of airline executives would be: "Hey, look! Fuel prices are down! We can keep our stinky guzzlers!" [sigh]

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. decides not to investigate Toyota unwanted acceleration See in context

25years in Japan, I have to agree with Clamenza. Using the left foot for the brake would, indeed, be faster but only if you drive with your foot riding on the brake pedal. But riding the brake pedal also a bad idea for two reasons:

(A) Touching the brake pedal will turn the brake light on even though you are not braking. Then, when you brake, there is no change in the lamp hence no signal that you are stopping.

(B) A light touch on the pedal might cause the brake pads to lightly touch the brake disk or drum causing heating that impairs stopping ability when you actually try to brake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. decides not to investigate Toyota unwanted acceleration See in context

When I learned to drive (over 50 years ago) I was taught that it was illegal to use the left foot on the brake. Of course in those days most cars had manual transmissions.

I think a case can be made for using both feet but only if the driver will never be driving a manual transmission. Using the same foot for the brake and clutch is impossible and the idea of switching the brake foot when changing from auto to manual is a very bad idea. Imagine using a manual truck at work and then an automatic the rest of the time.

Many people will never drive a manual so perhaps there could be an "automatic" license which, once accepted, can never be converted to a manual license.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Self-driving cars hold key to future highway: Google exec See in context

Self-drive cars will arrive in increments. Fadamor mentioned enhanced cruise control. Coming next (and soon!) are cars that read speed limit signs and refuse to exceed that speed. In a few decades, knowing how to drive a car will join knowing how to drive a stagecoach. There will be people who can do it but most people won't have a clue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't discusses ways to keep streets, sidewalks cool during 2020 Olympics See in context

Ditto to the calls for moving the dates to October. Only idiots would hold the Olympics in July in Tokyo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's population falls for 4th straight year See in context

A shrinking population is a good thing for Japan which currently has about 4 times the population it should have considering the size of the country and its natural resources.

As for supporting the growing number of elderly, increases in productivity over the past 20-30 years that computers have brought mean companies are doing the same amount of production with a fraction of the number of workers that were previously required. This increased productivity creates increased profits that can be taxed to support the elderly.

The large number of elderly is just a temporary bulge that will pass in 20-30 years. It would be a tragic mistake to pass up this chance to reduce the population by choosing the uncertainties that go with balkanizing the ethic population of the country.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Kansai International: The airport that’s never lost a passenger’s bag See in context

My favorite airport, hands down, is Tampa, Florida. From your car to the gate, nothing is far, ever. It's a master of 3-D design using trains and elevators. There are no moving sidewalks because, well, they aren't needed. Yes, it's not a "big" airport but it has about 60 gates which makes it bigger than KIX (around 40) and about the same size as Narita in Tokyo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese fans get first look at Apple Watch See in context

Let's see. The iPod didn't come out until about 20 years after the Walkman. That's why the iPod never went anyhere. /sarcasm

Apple naysayers crack me up. Reminds me of the first iPhone release in Japan. There was no shortage of naysayers explaining why the iPhone would fail in Japan.

The Apple Watch isn't the first computer watch. Will it be the best? I don't know but I know that only a fool would bet against it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: The PS4 is selling like hot cakes all over the world…except in Japan. But why? See in context

tes tes wrote:

@moondog, Would you consider reading a book a waste of time? Or going to an art exhibition? Or watching a live sports event? Or taking a walk through a park? Others may consider these a waste of time, but it's just how people like to enjoy their free time.

Yes and no in varying degrees. Like I said, it's just my opinion. Note that I included "moronic" (not just waste of time) in my description. That's a "loaded" word, of course that adds an element of insult. That wasn't an accident, of course, but speaks to the mindlessness and lack of usefulness of gaming. (Unless you include development of talent for piloting drones for the CIA, which I would not consider truly "useful.")

You might claim that a walk in the park is also mindless but nothing could be further from the truth. Walking and thinking is a creative tool used by some of the best minds. (Steve Jobs comes to mind.)

I once spent seven months camping alone in the Rocky Mountains and don't consider it to have been a waste of time. I did a lifetime of thinking and also had many exciting adventures that I wouldn't trade for anything. But of course you or others might think it a waste (if not impossible) to go seven months without gaming. You are welcome to your opinion. (Even though it's wrong! ;-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: The PS4 is selling like hot cakes all over the world…except in Japan. But why? See in context

sighclops, you're right of course though I was speaking of time, not money.* My comment was just my opinion and while I won't bother defending it, I'm sticking by it. :-)

*And, yes, I know "time is money."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: The PS4 is selling like hot cakes all over the world…except in Japan. But why? See in context

Maybe more Japanese are seeing "gaming" for what it is--a monumental and moronic waste of time.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Marijuana an inescapable issue for health chiefs, say experts See in context

MarkG, I guess you missed the irony in my statement that the only risk of Marijuana use is incarceration. If the only risk of use is incarceration, then incarceration is clearly an inappropriate result. The law should be changed.

Avigator, your experience with "pain killers" has no bearing on the medicinal use of marijuana. If you were having dozens of seizures every day and marijuana was the only medicine that would stop the seizures, would you refuse marijuana "because you hate the effects of being drowsy?"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Marijuana an inescapable issue for health chiefs, say experts See in context

MarkG, the only significant risk to use of Marijuana is incarceration.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Marijuana an inescapable issue for health chiefs, say experts See in context

It is long past time for governments to recognize that marijuana is not the evil threat they have claimed it to be. It's safe for recreation and has many medicinal uses, too.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Record iPhone weekend sales top 10 million: Apple See in context

Memo to all chuckling about the guy who dropped his phone. It was undamaged.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Apple a decade behind Japan on mobile payment curve See in context

The headline word "behind" suggests inferior technology as much as it means "late to market." However, this is not the case. ApplePay introduces significant improvements to NFC payments. For folks who want privacy and security, ApplePay is the a huge improvement. Merchants receive only a one-time payment token. They do not receive the credit card number, customer name or anything else besides the amount due. Likewise, Apple does not receive any info about the store, purchase or location. All they do is use the token to send the amount to the card company. Moreover, if you lose your phone, no one else can make purchases because it checks the fingerprint on every purchase. Privacy and security superior to anything Japanese products during their ten years of stagnant technology.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese fans already lining up for Sept 19 release of iPhone6 See in context

I think the AppleWatch looks pretty cool. Lots of designs, colors and band options as well as display options.

What I like best about it is the way it works together with the iPhone. When a call or text comes in, instead of a ring tone or beep the watch will 'thump' your wrist from the back of the watch. Then you casually look at the watch (as if checking the time) to see the text message or name of the caller without needing to dig out your phone.

Of course, you can make a voice reply to the text right at the phone or tap to inform the caller you're busy, in a meeting, etc., again without pulling out your phone.

As for "ApplePayment" it's true that it's old hat in Japan but Apple's version has some wrinkles that older systems do not have. For example, you can use any credit or debit card to make payments (and select which card on the fly) and, when you do that, none of the info on the card, including your name, is passed to the merchant. They get a one-time transaction number that is used to process payment. Your card info stays locked in the phone in an encrypted fingerprint protected box. Payment can be made only if the owner of the phone pushes the fingerprint sensitive button.

And whatever shortcomings the AppleWatch has (too thick, maybe?) remember that it's version 1.0. Remember how clunky the first iPod was? (And it was a smash hit!) The iWatch will only get better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Obama says that after 9/11, 'we tortured some folks' See in context

The use of torture, which is a violation of both US and international law and which represented an abandoning of long-charished American ideals that go back to George Washington who forbid his army to abuse captive enemy prisoners.

The use of torture was a top-down decision that originated in the office of VP Cheney and was supported by Pres GW Bush, Sec of Defense Rumsfeld and various others in the administration. It started at Gitmo and spread to Iraq and was conducted by both the CIA and the military. The FBI resisted it and for that reason was shut out of the interrogations in spite of the fact that they had the most qualified interrogators.

The administration had a team of lawyers, mainly David Addington, who was VP Cheney's legal consul and John Yoo, Deputy Chief in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Consul who produced, er, tortured legal opinions that attempted to justify the illegal practices.

Many lawyers opposed the policy, most notably Alberto Mora, the General Consul of the US Navy. For their opposition, opponents were simply cut out of the loop to keep their dissenting opinions out of the papers.

Of course, when the torture at Abu Grave was exposed, those at the top used their power to limit punishment to the lowest ranks of enlisted soldiers.

Learn more about this sordid chapter in American History by reading The Dark Side by Jane Mayer (Anchor Books, 2009).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 children, mother fall to deaths from 14th floor of Chiba condo See in context

gogogo wrote:

Fall is the wrong word, this is a selfish stupid mother.

And exactly how, pray tell, do you know that? Do you have some evidence that the rest of us do not?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Court rules against man who sued NHK for using too many loan words See in context

According to this story, "English provides the bulk of loanwords." I cannot tell you how many times I have read or heard this ridiculous statement, mostly by Japanese.

Apparently the Chinese loanwords, which are by far the most numerous loanwords in Japanese, were borrowed so long ago that the average Japanese doesn't recognize them as foreign. Usually I have to take them into a discussion of onyomi (pronunciation of Chinese characters derived from the Chinese pronunciation) and kunyomi (pronunciation of Chinese characters based on yamato kotoba corresponding to the meaning of the Chinese character) before they get it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to ease strict dancing laws for clubs, other establishments See in context

In my post just above, the "1." is some sort of automatic formatting. I had actually written "1948." Gotta remember to use Preview, I guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 1-yr-old girl dies after being hit by car in Iwate supermarket car park See in context

M3M3M3JUN wrote:

I take your points, but last time I checked it was the driver who is responsible for checking their 2 meter blind spot right?

Yes, of course. Now ask me how many times during my 50 years driving that I have ever seen someone get out of their car, check for children in the blind spot in front or back of the car, and then get back in and pull out. (Hint: it's fewer than once.) And what about the kid who runs behind the car while you're re-fastening your seat belt.

Put the blame wherever you wish. The bottom line is that parking lots are dangerous. This is why children need close supervision.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 1-yr-old girl dies after being hit by car in Iwate supermarket car park See in context

M3M3M3JUN wrote:

I think the way people park their cars in Japan (reversing backwards into the space) means that they often leave the parking space at very high speed, since they are already pointing forwards.

There is no indication that speed was a factor in this incident. For what it's worth, it's much safer to back into a parking space than to back out.

... remember, the driver is (probably) sitting on the right side of the vehicle but turning left out of the parking spot... so there might be a blind spot.

Probably? Might? If the driver was in a foreign car with left-hand drive, it would have been mentioned. There was most certainly a very large blind spot. The car was turning left meaning the driver's view of the ground to the left was obscured by the hood. Because the driver is on the right side, a one-year old would be impossible to see even two meters from the car.

... the legal responsibility is on the driver in the parking lot to drive at a speed where they can stop almost instantly for anything.

Speed is not an issue in this case. The child got hit because the driver did not see her. Drivers don't stop for things they do not see.

Your "important questions" are fine to ask but it really doesn't matter exactly how far behind the mother that the child was walking. The mother is responsible for protecting the child and that would include noticing a car with a driver and the engine running and monitoring of the child until she was past the car.

Sadly, it seems the mother's mind was elsewhere.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Policeman discharges weapon after suspect strikes him and tries to steal his bike keys See in context

Juan Rodriguez wrote:

I agree with Horenzo, this cop did a great job!

There is absolutely no situation in which firing a gun into the air can be part of "doing a great job." Only idiots fire guns into the air. As other posters have said, the bullet's do come down and they are deadly.

In 2011, a man in Ohio fired a gun into the air and killed a 15-year-old Amish girl driving a horse-drawn buggy more than a mile away.

On July 4th, 2013, in Virginia a 7-year old boy was hit by a stray "celebratory" bullet as he walked to a July 4 fireworks display with his father. It wasn't until he was being treated in hospital that doctors discovered the gunshot wound in the top of Brendon's head.

In the US, firing a gun into the air is illegal. In March, a man in Philadelphia was sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun into the air even though no one was injured. (The sentence was long because it was his second felony.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Kinki University to change pervy English name See in context

All they really had to do is say, "Kinki University is in Kinki, a part of Japan that includes Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. It's a place, not a proclivity."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 crew of S Korean ferry indicted for murder; 11 others face negligence charges See in context

Murder is not a legal term. I read elsewhere that "negligent homicide" was being considered. Perhaps that is what is called manslaughter in some places.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan should stabilize population at 100 mil by 2060: panel See in context

I agree with the posters who think 100 million is much too high. For a country the size of Japan, 30 to 50 million would be at the extreme high end of a reasonable number.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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