titian comments

Posted in: US investigators interview Asiana Airlines pilots See in context

Yes, it might be a pilot error (amplified by cultural issues) - some air crashes happened due to the unability of pilots to realize and prevent the stall (Air France Flight 447 in 2009, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 in 2009, XL Airways Flight 888T in 2008, Pulkovo Flight 612 in 2006, Vladivostok Air Flight 352 in 2001). B777 of British Airways Flight 38 crash-landed very similarly short of the runway in Heatrow in 2008 due to fuel starvation problem - partially frozen fuel-oil heat exchangers of the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. However, the B777 of the crashed Asiana flight was powered by Pratt&Whitney engines that are not known to have such problems.

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Posted in: Sumo wrestlers take part in anti-yakuza parade See in context

Great! Now it's a time for Japanese politicians and police to finally have some anti-yakuza initiative...

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Posted in: JAL, ANA, others reroute flights to avoid N Korean rocket path See in context

About 20 flights including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Delta Airlines will be rerouted between Thursday and Monday, when North Korea says it will launch a satellite. ... Airline official Norio Higashimine said each flight will carry more fuel in case of an unexpected route change.

I guess, if Japanese politicians accepted the invitation and agreed to send observers to NK, there would be no need to have such a wide time window of rerouted flights, and no "unexpexted" route changes. Wondering who is going to pay the unnecessary risks and losses of the air companies?

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Posted in: Man stabbed to death in hospital; son dies in apparent suicide afterward See in context

Police believe he committed suicide but have not said whether they think the son might have killed his father.

I guess it's too hard for the police to reason that far...

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Posted in: U.N. expert: Fukushima not as bad as Chernobyl See in context


I already wrote about food chain accumulation, fish do not metabolize Cesium so it does not get concentrated.

I wish you are right. However, according to many marine and nuclear scientists, “Plankton absorbs the Cesium, the fish eat the plankton, the bigger fish eat smaller fish — so every step you go up the food chain, the concentration of cesium gets higher.”

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Posted in: Japan says dumping radioactive water in ocean doesn't violate law See in context

I don't agree with the posters here who believe that the dumped contaminated water will be diluted and not dangerous at all. We could not be sure about this without an extensive research (and so far I am unaware of such). Due to bioaccumulation, the toxic or radioactive substances can be observed in some marine species of the food chain in lethal (for human) doses, even if the concentration in water of these substances is "not dangerous", according to the claims by TEPCO and the Japanese government. There are many examples of bioaccumulation - of mercury (salmon, tuna, whales, dolphins, hijiki, and - the extreme case - Minamata bay disaster (1956)), lead (vegetables grown near the roads before banning the tetra-ethyl-lead in gasoline), DDT, strontium, etc...

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Posted in: U.S. sending robots to Japan to help with nuclear plant See in context

All of the machines used to assemble cars in the automobile industry are "robots". We tend to mistakenly think of robots as having a human shape, and carrying out human-like motion.

Yes, I agree. However, in this context, I think there is a need for additional features of the robots, not pertinent to the car assembly ones:

a) autonomy (or partial one - e.g., remote control),

b) robust locomotion, especially in rough, challenging terrain,

c) intelligence - need to "think" what to do when dealing with a priori unknown or uncertain situation,

d) learning - ability to optimize their future actions based on their own past experience.


These features are similar to the ones of the real humans, and therefore (probably) we tend to assume humanoid robots in this situation.

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Posted in: U.S. sending robots to Japan to help with nuclear plant See in context

There is a good article in IEEE Spectrum magazine from March 22, 2011: "Can Japan Send In Robots To Fix Troubled Nuclear Reactors?" which explains well why the answer is "No". For me, the reasons are in the hardware (i.e., it's not radiation-tolerant), morphology of the bots (not robust enough in challenging terrains), and in the culture (e.g, Japanese bots have been most of the Japanese bots are designed for entertainment - with the intention to dance "bo", assume sumo postures, play musical instruments, play game (soccer), etc... Sadly, in Japan, most of the autonomous, robust, learning, and adapting robots are @ Universities in a phase of research projects only.

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Posted in: Japan protests over Chinese chopper that neared warship See in context

AdamB and Samuraiblue:

Thanks for comments, you mentioned very relevant points. And there is an e-mail circulating in Naval circles regarding the Russian flyby over the USS Kitty Hawk. Not sure about the lock signals obtained by Russian jets - if my memory is correct, Russian media reported that they were playing with some electronic countermeasures.

*"Anyways, 40 min after the CO called away the alerts, a Russian Su-27 Flanker and Su-24 Fencer made a 500 knot, 200 foot pass directly over the tower...it was just like in Top Gun, shoes on the bridge spilled coffee and everyone said,"Holllllllly ***!".

*I looked at the captain at this point and his face was red. He looked like he just walked in on his wife getting **** by a Marine. The Sukoi's made 2 more high speed, low altitude passes before we finally launched the first aircraft off the deck...an EA-6B Prowler!"*

But, again, I was trying to say that this was a good example about the international standards of how to deal with such situations. Not the same as the current case with the Chinese chopper.

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

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Posted in: Japan protests over Chinese chopper that neared warship See in context

The intent could be a provocative, indeed. I doubt the chopper approach itself is a problem however. These things (approach, overfly, escort, ets.) seem to happen often in international waters (and sky). Probably - some references by JT to the relevant international laws would be interesting.

Remember just another, much more serious case which was dealt calmly: "On 9 October 2000, two Russian aircraft, a Su-24 Fencer and a Su-27 Flanker, overflew Kitty Hawk at about 200 ft (61 m) of altitude." The official response from Clinton administration: "In neither case did the [Navy] feel that any protest was warranted, and, therefore, no protest was made to the Russians."

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Posted in: Russian FM talks tough to Maehara on dispute with Japan See in context

About Yalta Conference (February 4–11, 1945), From Wikipedia:

"Roosevelt asked for Soviet support in the U.S. Pacific War against Japan, specifically invading Japan"..."Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Germany"

The Agreement:

"The former rights of Russia violated by the treacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall be restored, viz.: (a) The southern part of Sakhalin as well as the islands adjacent to it shall be returned to the Soviet Union...The Kurile Islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union."

The dates: The defeat of Nazi Germany: May 9, 1945.Soviet invasion to Japan: August 9, 1945 (exactly 3 months later).The unconditional surrender of Japan: August 15, 1945.

Few questions: Why Japan did not stand as firmly (as today) against the occupation of the "Northern Territories" before surrendering? How Japan interprets the meaning of " unconditional surrender"? Is there any historical precedent, when the outcome of a major war is reverted in favour of the aggressor and loser (and more recently - the moaner)?

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Posted in: Hypersonic missiles could challenge U.S. naval supremacy See in context

Cruising at about Mach 6 (7,300 km/h), this scramjet-powered missile will carry six times more kinetic energy than a similar weapon at Mach 1.

The formula for kinetic energy K is K = m V V / 2, therefore, if the speed V increases 6 times, the energy K will increase 6 6 = 36 times (if the mass m* is the same in both cases), rather than 6 times, as the author claims.

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Posted in: 8 police stung by hornets in park See in context


If you see one, don't kill it cos it releases hormones to bring on the hordes.

Yes, hornets are very dangerous social insects, and they do communicate by releasing "alarm pheromones" (not hormones :-). And, they sometimes falsely interpret an unrelated odor as such a pheromone...

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Posted in: Truck driver arrested for death of elderly woman in hit-and-run See in context


you see these trucks speeding along and pulling this horses*@t driving everyday

Yes, me too, and I wondered why this happens. While driving my car I had a deliberate attack by a truck, which could be even classified as failed attempted murder. Probably the driver got mad because my sports car overtook his truck in a double-lane mountain road and he went on a wild revenge. I went to the police immediately and gave my full account, supported by a photo of the truck with the number plate clearly seen. The police quickly found the company, the truck etc., and did ... absolutely nothing, as "no one is injured nor died". Sure, it is understandable (but not excusable) that many truck drivers are overworking, exhausted, and are on drugs to be alert. Also, it is well known that in Japan often truck companies = construction business = yakuza.

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Posted in: Chechen militant claims Moscow subway blasts See in context

HeyLars, it's right that what Elephunk says is his personal experience about Chechnya and Russian-Chechen relations, but it aligns perfectly with what is already very well documented. I am very surprised to see how you persist in you attempts to demonstrate that you have no knowledge at all about it... BTW, there are no excuses for the terrorism.

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Posted in: Wipe-out See in context


What happened to the dude driving? OK? Injured? Dead?

The Sauber car, driven by K.Kobayashi, lost its front wing during the opening lap. With a complete loss of control, he collected the Williams car of Nico Hulkenberg (blue livery). Very dangerous accident, but both drivers are fine. The safety standards are very high in the modern F1, as the F1 monocoque is designed to sustain such impacts.

More details about the accident: http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/formula-1-news/231173/kobayashi-expects-contact-caused-wing-loss/

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Posted in: Toyota shareholders in U.S. sue over fallen stock price See in context


Important Decision: Do not sell cars where customers are pat of the decision making process and do not like taking it the way Japanese do.

I do not understand the link between the Toyota issues with the Japanesness. Do you mean that the Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi cars are not Japanese anymore? Or do you want to say that cooking and hiding the relevant data, or misleading the customers are the most important features of the "way Japanese do" the things?

I think Elephunk explained it very well in his post.

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Posted in: March is worst month for suicides of salaried workers See in context

It seems to be a well done research. At least we know now that DNA is not to blame, as the former internal affairs minister Mr.Kunio Hatoyama claimed. Also, I suspect that March is bad because of the seasonal fluctuations in biological rhythms as both the body and mind are most tired of the winter season. In northern countries, for example, it can be as extreme as the winter (AKA sunlight deficiency) depression. And this may well cumulate with the factors, mentioned in the article.

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Posted in: Spaceman See in context


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi takes part in a training session... Why?

Plain simple: in order to train how to use the Russian-made hardware installed (for whatever reason) in the ISS. And is has nothing to do with the "funding to the Aerospace program in Japan."

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Posted in: Drift gang leader, 19 others arrested See in context

40 years old and still a boy-racer? L.O.S.E.R

Yes, but his spirit is still young :-)

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Posted in: Drift gang leader, 19 others arrested See in context

The police did a very pathetic job against them. Wondering when they will be equally pathetic to the real dangers to normal drivers, passengers and pedestrians - drunk drivers, red signals violators, arrogant dump truck drivers, and those who disobey the traffic priority rules... And yes - the boosozoku which terrorises with their huge dB our danchi almost every night...

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Posted in: Aizu: A castle, sake and red cows See in context

Sounds nice. One more attraction, with a feature not common for Japan: Aizu University (est.1993) which offers to gaijins full-time, permanent positions identical to those of Japanese.

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Posted in: Two women attacked by man with umbrella in Shinjuku See in context


Titian's remark about the KGB probably is prompted by an incorrect memory of the poisoned umbrella used by the Bulgarian secret service to kill a defector in London years ago.

And your comment is maybe prompted by apparent lack of knowledge about the maker of the umbrella. Wikipedia: "...surreptitious ricin poisoning of the Bulgarian émigré Georgi Markov, shot with an umbrella-gun of KGB design, in 1978".

Moderator: All readers back on topic please.

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Posted in: Two women attacked by man with umbrella in Shinjuku See in context

I thought only KGB is using an umbrella as a weapon! Agree, the size and color of umbrella should be carefully investigated, and those kind of umbrellas should be banned. Ever better if everyone having even a legal umbrella is fingerprinted.

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Posted in: Teacher, wife busted for filming women in toilet 'just for fun' See in context

Well done Sensei! It seems that toilets are seen as something funny in the modern Japanese mass culture:


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Posted in: Vast search of Atlantic Ocean for Air France jet See in context


is could it have been bad turbulence? I have never heard of a flight at cruising altitude simply falling out of the sky - only the Swissair crash out of New York sounds at all similar to this...

Yes, it could be...But it should be a very strong one, to cause a structural damage, and it should have been seen on a plane's weather radar. However, the modern planes, including A330, are very strong. Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the ocean near Nova Scotia in 1998. The reason was a fire in the cockpit which burned the electrical insulation and caused a complete electrical failure. The A330 case also reminds me of the Pulkovo Flight 612 (2006) crash near Donetzk. The reason was a pilot error while flying in a severe storm - flying too high in a thin and "hot" air (-30 degrees instead of the usual -50) and exceeding the alpha limit which caused the plane to enter a flat spin. The T-tail aerodynamic configuration of the Tupolev 154 renders the recovery from flat spin nearly impossible (However, A330 has an "alpha-floor" - a robust protection - via auto thrust - against the approach of critical alpha).



Also: Southern Airways Flight 242 (1977) had problems due to storms. The plane lost thrust of both engines and crash landed. The cause was "the ingestion of massive amounts of water and hail which in combination with thrust lever movement induced severe stalling in and major damage to the engine compressors":



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Posted in: Aso See in context

Aso says Japan can cash in on the overseas popularity of Japanese ‘‘anime,’’ comics and fashion.

Right! I am not sure about the fashion, but sure, anime and manga are the best Japan can offer to the "enrich" the world's cultural heritage.

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