smartacus comments

Posted in: What are some of your favorite Christmas-themed movies or TV shows? See in context

Miracle on 34th Street, The Bishop's Wife, Christmas in Connecticut, We're No Angels, The Santa Clause, the Christmas episode in Season 2 of Happy Days and Christmas episodes of The West Wing in Seasons 1 and 2.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Name your 7 favorite TV comedies of all time. See in context

Get Smart

I Dream of Jeannie

The Munsters

The Beverly Hillbillies

The Three Stooges

The Benny Hill Show


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands of Australian students skip school for mass climate protest See in context

Children today are so much more mature than my generation was at that age. Look at what that 11-year-old said. When I was 11, all I was interested in was eating junk food, watching my favorite TV shows and playing sports. I knew nothing about social issues. I'd love to compare these Aussie kids with a group of similar Japanese kids. I wonder what the Japanese girls would be more interested in talking about - the environment, the prime minister's policies...or Hello Kitty.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Where do you like to buy furniture in Japan? See in context

Usually IDC Ohtsuka. I know they are expensive but the quality is top notch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for fatally stabbing Filipino woman See in context


I don't know why you are making fun of the police. The victim filed a complaint and they issued a warning, which is what they are required to do by law.

However, for reasons we don't yet know, she went to that pub with him on Thursday night. That is not the police's fault, nor could they have prevented it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada See in context

I'd like to hear from recovering drug addicts on the question of marijuana. If there are any readers who are recovering addicts, what do you think? Is it harmless?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What are some of the weirdest examples of English used for product, brand or company names that you have seen in Japan? See in context

Apart from the usual ones like Creap, Calpis and Pocari Sweat, I'm always amused at the names Japanese automakers give their cars. Many of them sound weird, like Vitz, N-Box, Pajero, etc. Then there are the low cost carriers like Peach and Vanilla Air.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for killing brother charged over father's death See in context

This one of those truth is stranger than fiction stories. I wouldn't want to accept a drink from that woman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers 10-day holiday period around 2019 imperial succession See in context

Personally, I don't want a 10-day holiday then. I'm taking three weeks off in July. Why do we even need 10 days holiday then anyway? You can still celebrate the new emperor's succession without having a long holiday. And if you're planning to leave the country for 10 days, that defeats the purpose of celebrating the event.

Anyway, these holidays will be mainly for government, banking and post offices and the like. The retail sector will not be having holidays, nor will the hospitality industry or the manufacturing sector that has production lines working around the clock. Night shift workers will still work their shifts.

There are too many national holidays in Japan, as it is. I like my job and prefer to work. To quote someone (I don't know who), if you like your job, you will never have to work a day in your life.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Japanese cheesemakers fret over EU trade deal See in context

I actually like Japanese cheese from Hokkaido, and imported cheese, too, especially Australian cheddar. I'm looking forward to cheaper European cheese but I'll still buy Japanese camembert and brie, also.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Mother, 6-year-old daughter killed in car crash See in context

Looking at that wreckage, I doubt seat belts would have made a difference. It's amazing the 4-year-old boy survived, though.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: The number of one-yen coins in circulation has fallen sharply in Japan, and the government has stopped minting new ones for circulation, while deteriorating units are being withdrawn. Do you still use them much? See in context

In Australia, they discontinued using small coins years ago. Now when you buy something for, say $2:98, you just hand over $3 and they don't give you any change. Everyone is used to it now. I think the same will happen in Japan. I do feel sorry for the charity donation boxes, though, because that's where I put all my one-yen coins.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe planning talks with Iranian president See in context

What will Trump and Pompeo have to say about this? They have been trying to get the EU to stay way from Iran. They won't be happy about Abe meeting the Iranian president. Japanese oil importers have already caved in to U.S. bullying.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Emperor, empress visit flood victims in Okayama See in context

Whenever I see photos like this, which are very touching, I wonder how Masako will do when she accompanies her husband on these trips when he becomes emperor next year. I think she has to be allowed to go out and about with the crown prince now. She needs to be seen with him more often in public and should be with him in France now. Because it isn't going to get easier for her. She is going to have a lot more duties as empress.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: What are some movies or TV shows that had gut-wrenching scenes that made you cry? See in context

I cry all the time when scenes make me sad. Too many to mention, but here goes.

Movies: Titanic and A Night to Remember (people drowning as the ship went down upset me); Gone With the Wind (when Melanie died); Breakfast at Tiffany's (it's so melancholy, especially when Audrey Hepburn is singing Moon River); The Sound of Music (not sure which scene, final one I think as they cross the Swiss Alps as the choir sings Climb Every Mountain); Lorenzo's Oil (watching the boy suffer was too much for me); and ET (when he parts from the little boy. I wanted to go with him).

TV: The West Wing when Leo's character died; and the last scene of season 3 of Downton Abbey (fans will know what I'm referring to, and from what I read online, millions of other fans felt the same way).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New book by Woodward says Trump wanted Syrian leader killed See in context

Given what we know about the chaos in the White House and how many senior staff have left or been booted out, I have no doubt Woodward's account is accurate. We know what Rex Tillerson said about Trump and he denied it at the time.

So of course, Mattis would deny making those comments. He has to. Anyone who wants to keep their job would deny it. That's natural.

If Trump really believes the book is libelous, then he should sue Woodward. See how far that gets.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Happy Halloween in September See in context


I have never heard Halloween referred to as おせつぶん. Setsubun takes place in early February. Before Japanese started calling Halloween ハロウィン, it was referred to as Kabotchasai (Pumpkin Festival), but I don't know how far back its history in Japan goes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 Japanese basketball players sent home from Asian Games after spending night with prostitutes in hotel See in context

I think the problem is that they were wearing the national team's uniform when they went off with the women, which made it a perfect story for the newspaper that broke the story. If they had not been in their uniforms, no one would ever have found out (or probably cared).

It's the same with most countries' sporting teams. When you are abroad and you are wearing the uniform of the national team, you are like an ambassador for your country.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Posted in: Prosecutors not to indict mother who dropped 2-year-old daughter from balcony See in context

Usually in cases like this, when the suspect is deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, she (or he) will be committed to an institution. For how many years we don't know. That information is seldom publicly released.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: If you were to bury a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now, what items would you put in it that would give whoever found it in 2118 some idea of what life was like in 2018? See in context

It would be interesting to see how primitive our gadgetry would look to people in 2118. I'd put in some money (both coins and paper currency), a smartphone, digital camera, photos of hamburgers and pizzas, TV sets, computers, cars, aircraft, cinemas, etc. On the other hand, maybe some of those things will still be in use in 2118.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Today marks the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War Two. Are there any circumstances that justify war? See in context

Yes. If your country is invaded or attacked, that probably justifies war (unfortunately).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: His name is Idris Elba, but will he be first black Bond? See in context

I don't think it would work for such an iconic character as Bond. It would be like making Superman, Charlie Brown or even Santa Claus black. It would be a great action movie, no doubt, but to me, at least, it would not feel like a James Bond movie, just another action film like Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher etc.

Having said that, after two or three movies as Bond, audiences might accept Elba. But then when he's had enough, who follows hi? Another black actor or do they go back to white?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Temperature tops 40 C for 2nd day in row See in context

I was outside briefly this morning and was surprised at how few people wear hats or caps. Growing in hot Australia, we always wore hats. Aren't hats fashionable for men or boys in Japan? Maybe hats don't go with their work wear during the week.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What are (or were) your favorite comic strips? See in context

Oops, I meant Gary Larson's The Far Side.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What are (or were) your favorite comic strips? See in context

Growing up, I loved Peanuts, Blondie, Andy Capp, Beetle Bailey and the Phantom. Later on, I liked Trudeau's The Far Side.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Number of nonregular workers in Japan hits record high in 2017 See in context

Are nonregular workers eligible for pensions when they retire? Does anyone know?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's World Cup squad returns home; Nishino's time as coach over See in context

This is one of the things I like about Japanese fans, whether it is their soccer, Olympic, baseball or any other team returning from an overseas contest. They welcome them whether they win or lose.

I wonder how many people turned up at the airport when the teams from Argentina, Germany, Colombia, Spain, Portugal, etc returned home. And we know what happened to the South Koreans.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: In team sports, who is more likely to win between a star team and a team of stars? See in context

A star team will usually win because they are in top form and functioning as a unit (the All Blacks in rugby union are a good example). A team of stars (those so-called Dream Teams) will do well, but sometimes their egos get in the way of teamwork or their playing styles don't mesh.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Referees in spotlight after contentious decisions See in context

Too many penalties are spoiling rugby games. The All Blacks are the only team that is still scoring several tries in most games. Australia used to play a great running game. Remember the Ella brothers and David Campese.

The game is losing its popularity in Australia. Last Saturday, 44,000 people watched Australia play Ireland. On Sunday, 82,000 watched the rugby league State of Origin game. Rugby league is a far superior spectacle, even at club level.

With rugby union, it's not just the controversial refereeing decisions. There are too many rules regarding penalties, especially in the rucks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What advice would you give to someone who may be a stalker (if they would listen) to help them stop their obsessive behavior? See in context

If such a person realized they had a problem like that and were willing to listen to me, I would say:

You can't force someone to love you.

What you are feeling is an extreme form of addiction. It's not love.

Give yourself some breathing space.

Do something to try and take your mind off the object of your obsession. A hobby or sports, but don't date another person while your mind is on the object of your obsession.

Don't check his/her Facebook page every two minutes.

Don't go to places or events where you think he/she will be?

Don't be ashamed to seek professional help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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