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Posted in: The TV viewer's guide to sumo bout fixing See in context

I don't know, this whole match-fixing scandal seems to be turning into a "stupid story-line"...

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Posted in: 3-year-old boy falls between bullet train and platform during trial run See in context

For the record, 16cm (6.3 inches) is far wider than the average 3-year-old's skull or chest cavity, and almost as wide as their shoulder blades. It is definitely way longer than their feet, making this kind of accident pretty easy to imagine.

I agree with Zinny, the retractable stepping boards are a great idea to solve the problem. They can be made a part of the opening/closing mechanism of the train doors, and would keep this kind of accident from happening. This isn't just a problem in Japan, either. The London Underground system, the NYC subway, and the Paris metro all suffer from the "mind the gap" problem. I'm amazed these types of accidents don't happen more often.

On the plus side, the kid is okay.

On the minus side, Gramma almost had a heart attack.

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Posted in: How sweet See in context

Pastry chef = junk food maker?

That's a tough one...I mean they're close, but still, most pastry is made with 'real' food and not laden with all the high-tech chemicals that junk food is just crawling with. Either way, they both create a lot of empty calories.

But, if you eat a fruit tart, that's good for you, right??? Right??? :)

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Posted in: Drinks all round See in context

A lot of the differences in the flavor of sodas from country to country is dependent on the sweetener.

In the US all of the major producers have switched to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) since the early '80 because of the cost advantage. In Mexico, Coca-Cola is sweetened with cane sugar. Despite what the drinks makers tell you, there is a HUGE difference in flavor. The difference is particularly pronounced in Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper. (Some native Texans will drive a hundred miles or more to the original DP bottling plant to stock up on sugar sweetened "Dublin Dr. Pepper." I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's SO good.)

In border states in the US, you can buy Mexican Coke in certain grocery stores, and although it's far more expensive it sells extremely well. Also, Pepsi has introduced limited runs of "Throwback" sodas that are sweetened with cane sugar.

I don't know for sure which sweetener is used for mass market soda in Japan, but for a lot of the non-soda beverages, I know Dydo uses HFCS for its' fruit beverages.

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