the_sheriff comments

Posted in: Popcorn line See in context

Lining up for popcorn, lining up for french fries, lining up for pancakes -- people's priorities are completely out of whack.

Now excuse me while I line up for Rokurinsha...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: In our plugged-in culture, with all its devices, how often each week do you switch off, tune out or enjoy some time alone without any electronic distractions? See in context

One of my favorite pastimes is to stroll down to Yoyogi Park, lie in the grass and read a good book. I'm rarely plugged in on those days. On every other day, I'm unfortunately plugged in more than I'd like.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Are you doing a lot of shopping before the sales tax goes up on April 1? See in context

I have to buy OVER THIRTY CANS of chu-hi to make the savings equal a single extra can.

Hey...I think I just talked myself into going grocery shopping.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Spring time See in context

For pure sakura viewing , my favorite park in Tokyo is Rikugien near Komagome station. For drinking and picnicking, anywhere with grass will do -- Tamagawa, Yoyogi Park, etc. A not too well known gem is Mitsuike Park in Yokohama. Not as crowded as Tokyo parks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: New 'Star Wars' film to be set 30 years after 'Return of the Jedi' See in context

I'd like to see an updated version of the slave Leia outfit -- on a younger actress, of course.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Peach Aviation ranks 1st in airline satisfaction survey See in context

I've been curious about how this LCC is so this news is encouraging to hear. Hope to give them a try on my next trip to Osaka. That seems to be their hub so I guess I could take a flight from there to their other destinations, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Former Toshiba engineer arrested over corporate espionage See in context

This has been happening way too much. Japanese employees get into senior positions at manufacturing firms. Then they're wooed by S. Korean and Chinese companies to come work for them, sometimes even after those employees retire, causing a hemorrhaging of knowledge from Japan Inc. -- from technological achievements to supply chain management know-how.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Cherry blossom forecast announced See in context

The beauty of impermanence...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Yoshinoya to raise price of gyudon by more than 3% See in context

When restaurants increase prices, they also often decrease the amount of food and/or quality.

But fast food gyudon is pretty nasty anyway. As long as tendon chain Tenya doesn't increase prices, I'll be a happy camper.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Number of Tohoku volunteers exceeds 1.3 million See in context

The spirit of volunteerism is admirable. Hats off to everyone who helped the victims!

That number is impressive but that's 延べ人数, right? (延べ人数 means if a person went up to Tohoku 4 times, that would be counted as 4 people.) In English, we tend to count each individual only once.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Chinese sue Japanese companies, gov't over wartime forced labor See in context

This is great news!! Finally, the 50 million people China put into forced labor will be able to have their day in court!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laogai

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Video games target Japan's silver generation See in context

Except for a score readout, what exactly about this "video game" makes it video?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't says bitcoin not a currency, but taxable See in context

This week, an alleged theft by hackers forced a Canada-based online business serving bitcoin traders and investors to shut down.

Hell hath no fury like a hacker scorned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s curious obsession with blood type and personality See in context

This makes perfect sense to me. Of course all people can be categorized into one of four personality types. There can't possibly be more personality types out there.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Posted in: '12 Years a Slave' wins best picture; 'Gravity' gets 7 Oscars; McConaughey, Blanchett take acting honors See in context

"12 Years a Slave" wins Best Picture...and it still hasn't hit theaters in Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Name your 10 favorite TV shows of all time. See in context

Overseas shows (in no particular order)

The Simpsons (seasons 3 to 9-ish) Cheers The Walking Dead PBS Independent Lens Star Trek TNG Twilight Zone NFL divisional playoffs/Super Bowl 60 Minutes Three's Company The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (my avatar pic)

.

Japanese shows (in no particular order)

Project X Gaia no Yoake Cambria Kyuden Tonight 2 London Hearts (guilty pleasure!) Mezamashi TV (just the Motto Imadoki segment ha ha) Ito-ke no Shokutaku Magical Zuno Power Sasuke Ainori

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Zushi passes resolution banning alcohol, loud music on beach See in context

But, of course, the proliferation of political speaker vans blaring their "manifestos" continues unabated...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Confused Japanese tourists trigger highway pursuit in Utah See in context

I'm not convinced by the kilometers/miles theory. Anyone who travels to the US and rents a car there should -- at minimum -- know that difference. Also, if the speed limit sign says 60, then you must make sure that your car's speedometer reads less than that when you drive, regardless of kilometers/miles units.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Obesity as a market failure See in context

A big reason obesity is on the rise is because Western society has become too accepting of it. There's not as much shame in being obese as there was in the past. Japan has a ton of candy and fast food but why is the obesity rate only 3% here? Because the ijime culture of Japan looks down on obesity so people are less likely to eat to such excess.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Shake hands or bow? How do you usually greet Japanese business acquaintances? See in context

If the meeting is in Japanese, bow; if it's in English, shake hands.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Scary moms' power Japanese figure skating See in context

I live near an ice skating rink in central Tokyo. I often leave the house at 6 a.m. to go to work and I invariably see mothers taking their daughters to the rink as I pass by. This happens all throughout the year, not just during vacation periods. These girls may genuinely want to skate themselves silly and then go to school for a full day of studying but I suspect that some of these moms may be imposing their will on their daughters.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Virginia vote on Sea of Japan hands victory to South Koreans See in context

I'm a native of California and I'm gonna suggest that they create a bill to revise our school textbooks so that Virginia is renamed as East Kentucky.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Posted in: Ohio killer takes 25 minutes to die with new drug cocktail See in context

I have no pity for murderers and rapists.

15 ( +25 / -11 )

Posted in: Retired cop kills moviegoer for texting in Florida theater See in context

In situations like these, the knee-jerk reaction is to blame the assailant with the gun and start complaining about how lax gun control is in the US. I'm all for reforms to gun control laws but it's important to take a deep breath and assess the situation since there's enough blame to go around to all parties.

State of Florida

Having some of the loosest gun laws in the US

Oulson (the shooting victim)

Texting in a theater Taunting and throwing objects, popcorn or otherwise, at Reeves. I'm no lawyer but does this not constitute assault?

Reeves (the shooter)

Escalating the situation to deadly force Reportedly an ex-SWAT team leader so should've gone for an incapacitating shot as opposed to a kill shot

Reeves should definitely go to jail and get life (or death) but Oulson was also asking for trouble. Sometimes, just swallow your pride and remove yourself from a situation. Oulson should've complied and done his texting outside.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo Starbucks store starts selling beer, wine See in context

I hope Starbucks never have establishments in the United States which sells beer in Starbucks. I would hate to see drunks and such.

This has been going on for years.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/24/business/la-fi-starbucks-beer-20120124

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gaming controller turns your iPhone into handheld game console See in context

Gaming controllers for smartphones are nothing new. But Sony's Xperia Z1 has official support for PS3 Dual Shock controllers out of the box. That'll make the MAME experience sooo much better!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman jumps off building in Shinjuku, landing on man below See in context

We don't actually know if she was a jumper. Maybe it was foul play. Were her shoes on or off?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'America's Got Talent Live' announces tour including Season 8 winner Kenichi Ebina See in context

Kenichi was truly amazing. Good on him! His video game performance was truly mind-blowing.

I actually hadn' t watched the finale yet so I was kinda bummed that my RSS feed of this headline totally spoiled it but I'm glad he took the top honors.

Now if only they'd have more danger acts next year...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe, Inose discuss how to make Tokyo more visitor-friendly See in context

3) Employ more foreign speakers in major areas Visitors will need to ask for directions to venues, restaurants, and so forth. You'll need foreign speakers to give such information or to interpret for those who can. Make very visible information booths that are staffed with competent speakers.

4) Create an interpretation help line When visitors are out and they need to talk with a local, they can call a toll-free number and an interpreter can be a communication bridge for both parties (Docomo has a similar service). Admittedly, this is hard to pull off logistically but at the very least, have such a service for the police that koban officers can use to communicate with visitors.

5) Barrier-free access This isn't just about the Olympics but the Paralympics as well. Tokyo (and Japan, in general) can be very unforgiving to people with disabilities. There are curbs that just drop off to the street so people in wheelchairs have no way to get up/down. There are bike parking spaces that completely obstruct the yellow roads for blind people. And I don't know how substantiated this is but I heard that the Braille used in public areas isn't always correct.

Just to name a few ideas...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe, Inose discuss how to make Tokyo more visitor-friendly See in context

There are many ways to improve Tokyo's visitor-friendliness.

1) Street names Some of the major streets have names but there are also many that don't. And even for the ones that do, there aren't always street signs in convenient locations. (Tied to this is better and more logical urban layouts but this is impossible, especially by 2020.) Add more street names, add more street signs, and make a consistent way to translate them into English. You can't call a 区 a "ward" in one area and a "city" in another.

2) Consult with more foreigners Instead of pulling together locals (especially monolingual ones) to think about how to improve the city, get input from foreigners -- ideally specialists in urban planning.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

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