Japan Today

Sperry comments

Posted in: Who would you say has been the most famous fictional character of the past two centuries? See in context

tmarie, Christie's Poirot books have been in continuous publication since the first one in 1920. The books and stories have been translated into over 40 languages. There have been numerous films, television, and radio productions made of the stories.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think democracy is the best form of government? See in context

Not really, since the systems commonly (mis)represented as democracy really aren't democracy. However, it seems to be better than most of the other systems currently in use around the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Would you like to see U.S. military forces leave Okinawa? See in context

It is long past time for the U.S. remove its forward bases in Japan and allow Japan to take control of its own defense.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Which movie or TV president do you wish the real-life U.S. president could be like? See in context

How about Martin Freedman?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Which form of renewable energy do you think is the best alternative to nuclear energy? See in context

All of the above. One, single replacement source simply will not work. Taking advantage of the wide array of alternative generation sources should be paramount. Use the source or sources that fit best with the local needs and scale. For example, put short-drop hydro installations in small communities with adequate running rivers and streams. Use geothermal (see Iceland for examples) in volcanic areas. Solar in the cities, wind offshore, and so forth. One size does not fit all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you fear a nuclear confrontation between the West and North Korea? See in context

Kim Jong-Un is not the most stable of leaders. I would not put it past him to launch a nuclear warhead at either South Korea or Japan given provocation. He has amply demonstrated his willingness to do what he should not do.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Can 'nekonomics' save Japan’s economy? See in context

@FightingViking. Foundering is correct. It's an intransitive verb meaning to fill with water and sink. Rather apropos, yes?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Are you worried about losing your job to a robot or some other form of automation? See in context

Same here @Thunderbird2. I do that for my firm and more. I won't say I'm irreplaceable, but I cannot be replaced by a robot for at least 50 years. The tech doesn't yet exist.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: A prayer for 2016 See in context

@Matthew Simon, Yep, that's Disney's Chip from Chip n' Dale as in Rescue Rangers. It looks like he's got another mask below that one. Note the second nose and mouth below Chip's nose and teeth.

Is there such a thing as kid's medical-type masks with cute things like animal muzzles printed on them?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Are you financially better off than you were this time last year? See in context

Due to inflation and the general cost of inflation, my real buying-power has dropped over 5% this year over last year.

Adjusted for inflation, I'm making less now (in terms of buying power) than I was 10 years ago.

It just doesn't pay to go to work these days. Well, at least it doesn't pay well.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Should bloggers and tweeters be subject to the same libel and slander laws as traditional media outlets? See in context

For good or bad, blogs, vlogs, and Twitter feeds are replacing other sources of information. Holding bloggers and tweeters to the same laws AND enforcing those laws would help reduce the incredible amount of misinformation and out-and-out lying that goes on.

It might even reduce the amount of trolling that goes on. Not by much, but every little bit helps.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?” See in context

There are between 20 and 30 "holidays" around this time of year, from ancient Saturnalia to Yule to Hanukkah to Christmas to the recent, silly-yet- oddly-compelling Festivus (for the rest of us). It's not about just one religion or belief system over another. It just doesn't matter what you celebrate or don't celebrate. Enjoy the season. Or don't.

You have the right to be as happy or miserable about it as you please. You don't have the right to tell others what or how they should celebrate.

Finally, the reason for the season is the 23.5 degree axial tilt that our little planet has. That's all.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: What would you do in the following situations? See in context

These problems are not at all unique to Japan. You will run into them in them in pretty much any country with businesses and restaurants. The "correct" responses seem quite appropriate.

One thing with the restaurant scenario, though. In many restaurants, the server will simply take the plate back, remove the offending item, maybe move a couple things around so it looks slightly different, and bring the same plate back.

When I have to send back an order due to a problem, I ask for something else that's completely different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Boats with decomposed bodies recently found drifting off Japan See in context

@Brian Wheway; "North Korea as the impoverished state prone to poor harvests", well that blows the theory of communism! "

North Korea is a dictatorship, and only refers to itself as Communist. Any system of government will fail if it does not follow the precepts of that political system. Here, the NK government only takes the label and does not follow the actual practices.

That being said, NK is an excellent example of why Communism cannot work in the real world.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think digital payment options will ever completely replace cash? See in context

No. Probably never. There will always be those who prefer to pay or be paid in hard currency.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. eyes food exports to growing Asia under TPP pact See in context

Let us not forget that the only "farmers" that will benefit are those that work for the large conglomerates, Cargill, ADM, etc. Only the frankenfoods and GMO's will be sold and shipped, which benefits Monsanto and not the small, family farms.

This is a match made in Hell and now the world will pay the price for the greed of a few multi-national CEOs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Which actor’s portrayal of James Bond is your favorite? See in context

James Bond, as written by Ian Fleming, was a cold-blooded killer. He was the government's hit man. He didn't have to be clever, or a genius, but he had to get the job done by any means necessary.

Connery fit that form almost perfectly. Initially, Fleming didn't like the idea of Connery as Bond. He changed his mind after seeing him in Dr. No. As a result, he made Bond Scottish from Glencoe in You Only Live Twice.

What's good enough for Ian Fleming, is good enough for me.

I'd like to think he'd approve of Daniel Craig as well, as opposed to the poncy sexual acrobat that Moore played.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Does it bother you that governments may be monitoring your email and phone calls? See in context

The bad thing is you may inadvertently get surveilled. The monitoring is done by computer. If certain words, combination of words, or phrases are detected, the conversation or email is flagged and tagged automatically.

So it is possible that if you are innocently discussing certain current events or use certain names and/or titles, you will come to the attention of those in power. And it is very possible that they will look at you more closely and pay more attention to you and those you communicate with.

This is not a good thing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: SoftBank warns droid owners not to try sex with them See in context

Sex robots have been part of Science Fiction for at least 50 years, perhaps longer. Ray Bradbury's 1949 short story, "Punishment Without Crime", is about a man who 'kills' a robotic copy of his wife and is punished for the 'murder'. It is hinted in the story that the 'bots can do more than cook and clean.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Drone crashes, bursts into flames at bicycle racing event in Gunma See in context

There are gas-powered drones/quadcopters. They are used for longer flight times and distances and heavier loads. It's likely that Air Media was using one. The rain caused the electrics to short, the drone crashes spilling fuel, the fuel ignites, and there's a fire.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Kanye rants at VMAs; Miley Cyrus flashes breast See in context

Huh. I didn't know VMA was still going on. I thought it had died off.

No big thing. Just rich brats giving meaningless shiny things to each other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think is the biggest threat facing the world in the near future? See in context

The biggest threat is ignoring any of the four above plus ignoring the takeover of political and legal systems by monied interests.

All of these problems are intertwined. Focusing on one or two to the exclusion of the others simply exacerbates the problems.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korea fires warning shots at North soldiers See in context

Nothing to worry about. It's just NK's way of testing the DMZ and looking for mines. Just run a few NK troops though the area. If they get blown up, there's mines. If they get shot, the SK troops are awake.

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Posted in: China slams U.S. human rights record See in context

Pot, meet Kettle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mega-important debate: Do you shower before work or before bed? See in context

A shower in the morning to wake up. In the evening only if it's been particularly strenuous or stressful day, or if I'm going out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Can Islamic State be eradicated by military means? See in context

Getting rid of religious extremists, no matter what religion, is like playing whack-a-mole. You take down one and another pops up elsewhere. They have to be marginalized physically, politically, morally, economically, and every other way possible. You may not get rid of them, but they lose all power to affect large groups of people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Does it bother you when people talk on smartphones on buses, trains or in restaurants? See in context

It's not so much that they're talking on the phone. It's that they are usually talking far too loud.

Modern cell phones can pick up normal, conversational levels of speech. They can transmit it clearly, depending on the carrier. There is no need to shout.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Starbucks comes to Tottori; poster compares it to Perry arriving in Japan See in context

Well, there goes the neighborhood.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Should the abductee issue be part of the agenda for the six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear program? See in context

The talks are about NK's nuclear programs. Any discussion of abductions will only obfuscate the nuclear concerns and run the talks off the rails.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: JAL plane aborts landing after car spotted on runway at Tokushima airport See in context

The responsibility clearly falls on the tower for not keeping track of an authorized maintenance vehicle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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