songwillem2011 comments

Posted in: Miranda Kerr’s photo shoot for Vogue Japan stirs up controversy See in context

One of the Japanese news blogs should run a survey to see what actual Japanese people think. I'm almost 100% certain they'll all support this utilization of Japanese fashion and be genuinely bewildered by all the pot stirring.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Redback spiders found in Tokyo for first time See in context

Oh dear. So now there are redback spiders and giant hornets in Japan. Lovely. A natural predator of redbacks are actually daddy long legs spiders which are endemic to most of the planet including Japan. In Australia many of us try to encourage them to live in ours homes because they routinely kill more dangerous spiders but there bites are at worst mildly irritating to humans not much worse than a mosquito bite. There's also not aggressive towards humans, they're only real drawback is the webs they leave everywhere. Since they're endemic to Japan perhaps they could be used as a natural solution to the red-backs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Why does Japan have so many overhead power lines? See in context

Underground power lines certainly have a whole lot of advantages safer and more durable being the most undeniable ones, prettier I think is really personal I've always thought those power lines look nice having grown up surrounded by jungle (bits of civilization like this have a certain appeal to people like me). But I wonder if part of the problem is the cost of having to rebuild underground power lines continually if they get destroyed. Remember this is Japan, it doesn't just have one natural disaster it has every natural disaster: landslides, earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes and of course people and their large vehicles.

Take traditional Japanese houses for instances they were originally built out of wood, on free-floating stilts and with relatively light walls and covering made of paper. This made them very vulnerable to fire and storms, it did give them moderate earthquake durability compared to brick and concrete of the time but most importantly it made them easier to build, repair and then rebuild. A friend of my once called them origami houses; they were designed to break in the safest way possible (as safe as you can get with a collapsing house) and then be rebuilt in the easiest and quickest way possible.

I think underground cables are more resistant to earthquakes (being buried and all versus suspended on poles that can crush you) and Japan could certainly build very durable underground cables having for instance built the Seikan tunnel connecting Honshu to Hokkaido but I can't imagine they or anyone for that matter can build indestructible ones that can endure all the earthquakes and landslides that frequent every corner of the islands. 1500 earthquakes are recorded in Japan each year with category 4 to 7 being common. Thus you have to wonder how much it would actually cost to make more power lines underground if you have to rebuild them every time a strong enough earthquake or landslide hits and rips them to bits. Laying them could already cost up to 10 times that of overhead lines (don't forget Japan rains and snows a lot) but what about having to clear them away after being destroyed then having to bury new ones again and again potentially every year. Suddenly costs could go from 10 times to 50 times. And that's not including the tendency for broken underground lines to be more dangerous, after all how do you find them after they've been bodily moved ten meters from where you laid them down?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Maglev train reaches 500 km/hour during first public test See in context

Suddenly I'm thinking of the latest Wolverine movie and how that fight scene outside the bullet train might have gone down with Wolvie's magnetic skeleton. :3

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Defense ministry wants its own early-warning planes See in context

The upcoming Kawasaki P-1 is actually equipped with a new AESA called the HPS-106 designed and built by Toshiba. It has four panels for 360 degree coverage. It will also be equipped with a new infra-red scope for missile detection. Capabilities have yet to be revealed but slightly altering the P-1 for total AEW functionality versus maritime patrol could be possibly be kept below a million dollars in investment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Asia arms up to counter growing Chinese might See in context

I don't think that tank is a Type 90, but the new one, the Type 10...

Those are indeed Type 10s not Type 90s. According to statistics Japan has about 50 million available for military service at present the problem is a lack of equipment to arm them all. Japan has no stockpiles of ammo or rifles like other countries do. For instance the American armed forces has something like a trillion rounds of 5.56mm stashed away for war and apparently something like a dozen M16 rifles for every active and reservist member. Japan has like a hundred thousand Type 89s to it's quarter million sized self-defense force. But industrially speaking Japan is above China and most other nations in terms of efficiency and about the same for heavy industrial and electronic output. Both have virtually identical material and resource shortages they need to make up with imports. Hypothetically Japan could bridge the gap in a few years with a higher budget and a few human resources reforms. Technologically it's also vastly superior across the board.

And Japan has this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVsuv-dbV0I

and this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFO-twUguOQ

and this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iZ0WuNvHr8

:)

OK realistically speaking China will probably fire off half it's nukes watch them get shot down by Japan's ballistic missile defense screen then go home and call it an accidentally launch.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: World War II film idol Shirley Yamaguchi dies at 94 See in context

Looking like that at 71 in that picture is very impressive.

In 1974, she was elected to parliament’s Upper House as a member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party and served until 1992. She was among the contributors to a private atonement fund for Asian “comfort women” used as prostitutes for Japan’s wartime military.

Good on her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Auto seat detects drowsy, drunken driving with new sensing technology See in context

If this works this would be a great boost to road safety everywhere. I sincerely wish them the best of luck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Chibatman called in by police; receives their official approval See in context

If this man made his own Bat Signal and offered it to the police do you think they'd put it up? If he did I hope they would.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Index ranks Japan as Asia's most efficient innovator See in context

Correction: "There are other real factors that I don't think are considered..."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Index ranks Japan as Asia's most efficient innovator See in context

JeffLeeSEP. 13, 2014 - 09:25AM JST As a long-term resident of Japan, I've had to wait before most major innovations come here, after they've already caught on in the rest of the developed world. Cell phones, internet, email, wi-fi, mp3 players, e-commerce, smartphones, streaming net TV, etc., etc., etc.

Development in Japan is weird in that it's not pervasive or rapid. I've always thought that this was due to two major reasons. 1) Japan is full of respected old people who don't care, in Western societies even the elderly feel pressured to get the latest smartphone or gadget as a social norm. 2) Japan has to deal with frequent natural disasters. This is more anecdotal but it seems to me that one of the main reasons lots of Japanese settle for charcoal burners rather than decking out their houses with reverse cycle air-conditioning systems in their ceilings is in case their house gets knocked down by an earthquake in winter and they desperately need a source of heat. Why invest in higher tech if it's just going to get destroyed?

I find this index useful but not comprehensive. There are other real factors that are not considered like what the countries actually make, this list I don't think will count suddenly inventing feasible nuclear fusion reactors as anything more than a +1 to its numerical list. With that in mind I would've thought Japan today would rank second or third behind South Korea and Taiwan but only by a tiny margin.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan carries out world's first iPS stem cell implant surgery See in context

Wow, that was fast. I remember it was about a year ago I posted a comment wishing luck to Japan on JT on this topic. Well again good luck Japan my father needs this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Report: MH Flight 17 likely downed by 'high-energy objects' See in context

Modern missiles and anti-aircraft shells use thousands prefabricated tungsten cubes each about the size of a child's fist fitted into the warhead. Exploding at thousands of feet per second it's a thousand times more effective than just shrapnel from missile parts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. discussing offensive military capability for Tokyo See in context

In a democratic country, the people should know what their diplomats or military officers are doing, before things get too late. Secret diplomacy is disastrous, and it is so true in a talk of building military capability of aggression.

Indeed. A lack of military transparency should only really occur when they need to conceal actual military operations, you know to protect the soldiers themselves. Otherwise everything else should be shown to the public. It's their taxpayer after all.

Defensive weapons can change to offensive weapons instantly. There is no defensive weapons in the world.

That's why they're called weapons after all. But they're specifically referring to strike weapons namely things like surface and submarine launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, guided bombs, bombers, strike fighters. Things design to attack road convoys, military bases and harden installations. As it stands most of Japan's weapons are only dedicated to destroying tanks, aircraft, ships and submarines. They do have some bombs but only for striking outposts not for turning missile bases into smoldering craters, they don't even have anti-radiation weapons (weapons designed to take out enemy radar).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Concern growing in Australia over plan to buy Japanese submarines See in context

I can agree in principle with the need to retain a local military shipbuilding particularly in the outbreak of war when supply lines become dubious but Australia neither has the facilities nor the expertise. The best thing I think here is to find a compromise between both first by buying most of the subs from Japan outright then by acquiring a license and building maybe 1 or 2. In the process Australian shipbuilders should start investing in taking classes in Japan the same way Japan took classes in Europe then go from there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Balancing act See in context

@Probie point taken and I apologize for sounding cruel even stupid but I was neither condoning nor condemning this particular instance rather I was giving an example (perhaps not the best) to convey the point that not every instance of trained animal behavior is based on negative reinforcement or cruelty but that positive training exists as well. And that we shouldn't be so quick to judge and condemn, though on closer inspection of this picture I am now a little concerned by what looks like a string tied to what is possibly a collar. But I'm not going to outright condemn this since most of us do the same with pets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of karaoke? See in context

One of Japan's many great gifts to the world next to flip-flops, lucky cat statues, folding fans, sushi, anime and a system for accurately measuring and responding to tornadoes. But like most things it's fun when done right horrible when done wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Birthday boy See in context

Supposedly the Imperial family gets by annually on about the equivalent of $3 million by state stipend much of which is spent on the upkeep of their appearances and housing. By contrast the British royal family receives the Sovereign Grant of about 38 million pounds. The Duchies I believe also provide some income to the royal family, I think Lancaster and Cornwall provide about 30 million pounds. This is on top of the money the Royals make in their day jobs or via assets owned.

The Imperial family is also not allowed to own property, assets or hold money even physically. Customarily the royals are considered too pure to sully themselves with something dirty like money. All palaces and residences of the family despite being worth a fortune (in the late 80's the Tokyo palace was worth more than most of land of California) was actually handed to the state after the war. The occupational forces also seized all other assets throughout what was the empire belonging to the family most of which was either spent, given as reparation or returned to the Japanese state.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Balancing act See in context

Everyone's so alarmingly and cynically quick to assume animal cruelty and judge the owners guilty. There's a bar in Japan which has monkey waiters the reason being that the monkeys taught themselves to serve after watching the owners and mimicking their actions. Positive reinforcement via food treats later and those monkey now serve beer and towels to patrons. No beating or coercion involved at all.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Birthday boy See in context

Aw

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Which industries do you think Japan still leads the world in? See in context

Tyres.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Which industries do you think Japan still leads the world in? See in context

Automobiles in general still though growth is slow, shipbuilding in most instances though they've lost ground to South Korea in the civil sector due to costs one should point out both technologically and scale-wise Japan is way ahead of the Koreans. Case in point for the last ten years Korea put out three submarines with German help, three destroyers with American help and one amphibious ship on it's own. Japan put out six submarines, four destroyers, three amphibious ships, two light helicopter carriers and one large helicopter carrier all by itself, for less money and with less problems. Even America, France and the UK can't compete. On that note Japan is also a leader in military technology and radar and for it's budget still has one of the most powerful armed forces. Chemicals, pharmaceutical and medical products (in the medical lab I work at all the best equipment and disposable supplies are Japanese). Video games, scientific and business methods like lean manufacturing and the Fujita scale, popular media, fashion, clothes, food and cuisine and powered exoskeletons. Of the couple of dozen power suit designs that work nearly half are in Japan and three or four are in production and sale. No one else is even close.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Chiba Batman See in context

I think he's sitting on something, a stool maybe. I've seen this guy on his Batpod (really nice ride) he's plenty bigger than this pic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: New life for old VW See in context

What a lovely setting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Although most Japanese don't share Abe's enthusiasm for Japan in jackboots, Brand Japan suffers from Abe's revisionist views because he is the nation's leader 24/7 and the world scrutinizes all of his See in context

Japan still ranks 4th in global popularity and most of the downgrading comes from China and South Korea which rank way lower and have their own political agenda anyway. Abe might lack the apologetic nature of his predecessors but looking at those who came before him I don't any amount of contrition will ever be enough.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's 'Golden Bolt': 103-year-old challenges world's fastest man See in context

Sorry forget to link it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's 'Golden Bolt': 103-year-old challenges world's fastest man See in context

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ysb-Oko3Bg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese companies need to regain the animal spirit they lost over the past 20 years to lead innovation and sell products abroad. This is something that the government and business have to take more s See in context

A lot of innovative entrepreneurship occurs only with small start-up businesses that have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Every Japanese company from Toyota to Panasonic to Capcom originally began as something small sometimes something that broke off from something bigger. A meager band of men with dreams who made them happen. As companies get bigger they mainstream themselves and focus on profit over innovation, take less risks and try to please their shareholders. Everyone does it, that's democracy people vote to be safe but in many cases companies start to fragment and those people who leave form new companies like seeds falling from an aging tree. Very Shinto when you think about it. To some extent this is already happening. Tango Gameworks and Comcept started by legendary game makers Shinji Mikami and Keiji Inafune look an awful like emerging videogame companies in 80s. And then of course we have cybernics company Cyberdyne that are making robot suits and are gaining stock fast.

Another thing that should be noted is that manufacturing edges in the near and distant past have been due far more to technology than labor costs. A key aspect of Britain's success in the Victorian period was the steam engine, before it ships and cannons similarly with America with heavy industry and cars. That was Japan's big edge, it had quality as well as low costs. Now it only has quality but that's being trumped by prices and the fact that it's neighbors especially South Korea can more or less match them for lower costs. Japan needs a silver bullet as significant as the steam engine or the firearm. Something no one else has like fusion power or cybernetics. Of course in today's world of globalization chances are companies will just take all this tech and put them someplace cheaper, that's pretty much what they're doing today. About the only thing that can stop it is if the countries they're trying to move into are either really unstable or outright reject them. The problem with 1st world countries now is that corporations and governments are trying to hollow out the middle class. Basically to keep business in country while every pursuing the lofty goal of profit they're trying to recreate the foundation of coolies and cheap laborers they once had. Sooner or later I reckon the whole world will look like the movie Elysium with Matt Damon. Poor masses living and working on Earth for the sake of the rich living in space.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Robot printer autonomously moves around room See in context

This will be very useful in offices and workplaces. Depending on the time of day and foot traffic it can take ages just to get to the printer to grab a document I just printed. To save costs often something like a dozen computers distributed across entire floor will be linked to just one printer located in another room through a maze of doors but if we have something like this then so much time could be saved and spent on other more productive things. Plus people tend to forget what they print in the daily hustle, I've forgotten documents myself only to have them handed to me by colleagues. I'd be grateful for a machine that suddenly appears at my side document in hand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Onodera tries once again to get Saga support for Osprey deployment See in context

What are all these anti-osprey people going to do when the JGSDF starts flying Ospreys with rising sun marks on them?

I for one plan on remaining opposed to them. Cool, fast and long range as they are reliability is debatable I just don't see why Japan needs them. The Chinook they build under license is good enough for carrying supplies to shore and their flying boats like the US-2 have longer range for amphibious troop delivery to small islands. They should just spend their money upgrading those instead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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