shirokuma2011 comments

Posted in: Man on flight from Japan held in LA after smoke grenade, leg irons, body bags found in luggage See in context

Well except for the bulletproof vest and flame-retardant pants, neither of which are particularly illegal to own, or wear on an airplane, everything went through in checked luggage, so this has little to do with how pre-boarding screening of passengers is handled. None of this stuff sounds as though it would trigger an alarm in a bomb-screening machine, and maybe not even in an x-ray of the luggage, so unless they are opening and examining by hand every piece of luggage that gets checked (and even the TSA doesn't do that), I can see how this stuff made it onto the airplane, especially if there were no guns in the mix.

More to the point, what had he intended to do with all this stuff??

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Ian Tozer's Roti - no tablecloths, fast service and real food See in context

The Bang Bang Chicken Salad needs no introduction

Well, yes it does, if you've never eaten at the restaurant and have no idea why someone would choose to eat this dish five days a week for a year.

Sunday steak night sounds like fun--it's so hard to find a good bone-in steak in this town without having to sell your house to pay for it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gourmet 'standing' restaurant a Tokyo hit See in context

There's a French restaurant chain called "Ore no French" that's doing the same thing (in Ginza, Ebisu, and elsewhere), they've got lines out the door for what looks like really great food at remarkable prices, though in very cramped surroundings. Like Chef Shimada, they also emphasize the importance of turning tables, estimating they need do about 2.5 turns a night to break even (the typical high-priced sit-down French place will do 1 or maybe 1.5 turns), which works out to a maximum of two hours a table. Tokyoites are used to crowding, though, and don't seem to mind balancing glasses, wine bottles, and numerous plates on what amounts to barely a cocktail table...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Does racial bias fuel Obama foes? See in context

In the case of the President, and in many parts of the country, I think it goes beyond race, to a more generalized "He ain't like us" sort of attitude. The suspicious name, the childhood in Indonesia, the allegedly forged birth certificate, a youth spent in Hawaii, of all places... These all add fuel to the fires of ignorant thinking that smolder across an alarmingly broad swath of our country. Outside of a handful of major cities, America has yet to truly embrace a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural future, and I think that, indeed, the rich old white men of the Republican party and other constituencies do, indeed, feel threatened by President Obama's having gained the presidency as a person of color. (I count Michael Steele's unspectacular two-year stint as head of the RNC as an aberration...)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Hyogo school says it was unaware that suicide boy was victim of bullying See in context

There are any number of ways bullying can take place without anyone but the parties involved being any the wiser--off school grounds, after hours, online, etc. But educators and parents should learn to recognize the signs of bullying in the everyday interactions of victim and perpetrator, and certainly schools need to get past this irresponsible "just kids being kids" attitude, especially in the upper grades as bullying goes from being focused on things like looks or parentage, to deeper issues like sexuality, disability, or personal beliefs. It's fine that bullying is being dragged into the open as a root cause of many of these youth suicides, but it's just as important to identify what's behind the bullying in the first place, something that's almost never mentioned here, and certainly not something that's ever tracked statistically.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nix the tiki bar: Hawaii tourism gets authentic See in context

Actually it was the Protestant missionaries, not the Mormons (who arrived quite a bit later) who were allegedly responsible for the mu'umu'u... and they seem to be going out of fashion pretty much on their own.

This is all good though, now if we could just see more live Hawaiian music in Waikiki, there are so few venues left for live performances!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: German customs demand $475,000 for Japanese musician's violin See in context

A.k.a. "kidnap for ransom," plain and simple.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested over hit-and-run death of woman in Tochigi See in context

I'm glad they caught him, but people really just have to be more careful... I've seen so many near-misses involving phones and bicycles and cars and train platforms... Glad also that JT used "identified as" instead of that awkward "has been named as" they seemed so fond of.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Lights emitted by smartphones eroding your sleep See in context

I definitely sleep better since I stopped taking my iPad to bed... :-)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Even non-alcoholic drinks should be limited to those 20 years old and up: survey See in context

I dunno, when I saw the non-alcohol "near beer" lined up with regular juices and sodas in the vending machine in front of my house (and not in the beer vending machine next to it), it did get me thinking about the impact of marketing it this way. Most retail outlets have agreed to segregate near-beer, alcohol-free canned chuhai and other adult-like beverages, shelving them with their alcoholic counterparts and away from soft drinks, but there is no requirement that they do so.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ice cream entrepreneurs urge Italians to stay at home See in context

Great story!! Too bad "mura mura" means something completely different in Japanese... Now if only New York's Big Gay Ice Cream Shop would open a store in Tokyo, all our ice cream needs would be fulfilled... :-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 78 TB cases reported at Tokyo elderly care center See in context

The infections might have spread as the man, who died in April, was seen walking around the wing and spitting on people, according to the report.

That'll do it every time.

In any case, a facility like this should be conducting annual TB tests of both patients and staff, especially given that TB, while not as common as it used to be, is increasingly resistant to existing pharmaceutical therapies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Darvish says he's `not worthy' of being All-Star See in context

The way he squeaked out what was a very messy 10th win, I'm glad to hear he's got his feet on the ground and realizes he's still got a ways to go in making his adjustment to a new game and a new environment.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: TEPCO to buy 1 million tons of LNG a year from Qatar See in context

Germany may have made some changes, but building renewable power capacity (solar/wind/etc.) to equal 13-20 nuclear reactors in just a year sounds wildly unlikely given the low efficiency/output of renewable sources. One way they did change their "mix" was to shut down some reactors and replace those sources with nuclear power generated outside the country--something Japan is not able to do.

Despite a number of large-scale renewable projects currently in the works, Japan is pretty much stuck with non-renewable energy for the time being. There go their ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Apple kicks Google Maps off iPhone, adds Facebook See in context

I think Apple is deluding themselves if they think they can provide better mapping data and technology than Google, which has spent tens of millions of dollars on the effort. Apple will have to go to third-party sources for its map data, and with Google pushing ahead with new layers, new views, new GPS technology on many fronts, anything Apple chooses to provide in place of Google Maps is bound to fall short of the mark.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: If this crossed the Pacific Ocean and it's this big, that means that just about anything of our worst nightmares could cross the Pacific Ocean. So we're kind of frightened of what's to come. See in context

I wonder what exactly this guy's "worst nightmares" involve? Unless he lives on the beach, what has he got to fear, exactly?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: The latest singles pick-up spot: Buddhist temples See in context

Some of those monks are hot too (well, if you like shaved heads and glasses), which helps attract the ladies. They've even got their own photo book (available from Amazon in Japan)...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Porn star Sora Aoi draws crowds of crazed Chinese men like few others can See in context

Well, good luck with that.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Hashimoto clashes with Osaka officials over tattoo survey See in context

This is sure to push any LGBT municipal employees way back in the closet. I'm sure none of them will be surprised if at some point he decides to go after that population too, claiming that public servants have a responsibility to set an example by getting married and having babies...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hashimoto clashes with Osaka officials over tattoo survey See in context

And now he's saying that tattooed people are gangsters.

He's never said that. He has said (in this case, as well as in the matter of requiring school principals to enforce teacher compliance with standing and singing the national anthem) that municipal employees/public servants, by virtue of their roles and responsibilities, should be held to a higher standard of conduct, one of which--in his opinion--is refraining from tattoos in a country where they still carry considerable negative connotations.

I don't agree with him, or his actions in this matter, and I'm surprised this has yet to generate any legal blow-back.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Defiant Gaga rocks fans -- and censors -- in Manila See in context

Devil worship?!?!? Ahahaha...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Why do you think Facebook's stock failed to live up to the hype in its trading debut? See in context

I don't know that it "failed to live up to the hype." They did raise $16 billion,after all. If anything, the fact that the stock didn't jump dramatically on the first day would seem to indicate that it was priced more or less appropriately for the market, and any future rise will depend on improvements the company makes in growth and in its bottom line.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb in coma See in context

Best wishes for his recovery.

The band notched up record sales of more than 200 million during a career which has spanned seven decades.

Seven decades is pretty amazing, considering they've only been at it since around 1958...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese-Brazilians go 'home' to tap economic boom See in context

Over the last few years, many of those who came to Japan to seek their fortune have found a force pulling them back across the Pacific, as Brazil’s economy races ahead.

A force, indeed. A bum's rush cash offer from the Japanese government to depart on the next available flight.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs amid restructuring See in context

Funny how the different major media re-interpret essentially the same story. This version talks about boosting their television business, which is part of their DNA, but the same story in the NYT notes that:

"Promising change and announcing a string of goals, Sony’s chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, detailed on Thursday a revival plan that included a shift away from the company’s unprofitable television business and a plan to cut 10,000 jobs."

So which is it? Sony makes great TVs, but if they can't make money off of the business, they should move on to other opportunities...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: How to prepare teriyaki chicken in a rice cooker See in context

500ml of Coke sounds like an awful lot for just four chicken wings...

There used to be an interesting recipe for faux "Peking duck" floating around the internet that involved using chicken thigh skin, Coke, and a hair dryer...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: NHK apologizes for April Fool's Day Twitter joke See in context

Apologizing defeats the whole purpose of the "joke". The Japan Times ran an article that said Tokyo Sky Tree was going to offer bungee jumping, which I'm sure caught a few people, too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: What are some of the weirdest examples of English used in ads or on T-shirts, bags, etc, that you have seen in Japan? See in context

That reminds me, just the other day I saw a restaurant supply (meat/veggies/etc.) truck in Akasaka labeled "REEFER CARGO". I think it was meant to refer to the truck's having a refrigerated cargo section, though...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 417 foreigners sit for Japan nursing exam See in context

This number does not include nurses from China, who have been taking the test in small numbers for the past couple of years, and passing at a rate of about 95%. They have somewhat of a built-in language advantage, at least in terms of reading and writing, but many come from nursing schools (4- and 5-year university programs) that also offer a Japanese language track, so that by the time they've arrived here for training specific to the nursing exam, most of the have already passed the JLPT Level 1. Since they are not on an "official" government program, however, their successes apparently don't count in the government's reckoning...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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