Wanda-kun comments

Posted in: Record high 5,467 people taken to hospital for heatstroke July 16-22 See in context

This just in: A record number of Japanese out in the midday sun without proper hydration proving that it's not only "mad dogs and Englishmen" who do this!

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Posted in: New memoir on racism by New Yorker living in Japan reaches #1 on Amazon See in context

Ugh. His formative years in Bed-Stuy and later might have been interesting, but he has has nothing new to say about Japan. By all means, visit his blog and you will be underwhelmed.

Most of the positive reviews are, guaranteed, log-rolling.

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Posted in: 48 hours in Honolulu See in context

"48 hours in Honolulu"

Is about 24-hours too long.

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Posted in: 'Non-existent children' fall through cracks because they've never been registered See in context

FadamorJul. 16, 2012 - 10:09PM JST I'd agree with you if we were talking about any first-world country OTHER than Japan, but Japan is losing its battle with gentrification.

I'm pretty sure "gentrification" is not the word you were searching for there.

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Posted in: 'Non-existent children' fall through cracks because they've never been registered See in context

It's not as if Spa is a particularly reliable magazine to begin with.

What's idiotic about the Japanese system is that birth registration is not handled automatically by the hospital or clinic. Family registers? How positively medieval.

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Posted in: Japanese are not LinkedIn enough See in context

VirtuosoJul. 16, 2012 - 07:54AM JST If you've got LinkedIn, be prepared for the SNS to grab the contents of your address book and spam everyone who's name is in it with invitations to join.

This is nonsense. The only invitations I ever receive from LI are to connect with people that I may already know (due to university or employment). The program does not have the ability to tap into your e-mail address book. That's hacking and LI would have been called on that long ago if it were happening.

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Posted in: Japanese are not LinkedIn enough See in context

LinkedIn? Most Japanese companies (and government agencies as well) barely know how to use the Internet let alone make use of networking sites, regardless of their value.

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Posted in: Marriage impossible - Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes split after five years See in context

Fairytale Hollywood couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes . . .

Hardly. In fact, most people thought she needed to have her head examined.

She's probably had enough of the Scientology nonsense and a career that's gone no where since the marriage.

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Posted in: Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor See in context

basroilJun. 29, 2012 - 02:38PM JST I suggest you stop talking nonsense. (Followed by blah, blah, blah about moving dirt.) Your math about earth moving, right or wrong, is unrelated to the issue of a reactor that experienced a partial meltdown and has a crack in it's interior containment vessel and the adjacent spent fuel pool with a bulge in one wall and, most likely, damaged fuel rod canisters.

The site simply needs to be shut down and everything left in place, an additional, wider, taller and thicker seawall built and then everything capped in concrete and lead. There is no cleaning up or decontaminating the site. If that was all that needed to be done, they'd be well under way in the process. They've done virtually nothing to date because reactor 4 and its spent fuel pond are too hot to get near for any meaningful "dis-assembly."

Again, we do not have the technology at this point to clean that site.

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Posted in: Zoo that lost 30 squirrels in typhoon 'recaptures' 38 See in context

OssanAmericaJun. 29, 2012 - 08:59PM JST A ggod portion of these articles are often poorly translated and the usual JT Jbashing crowd always uses it to criticize Japan itself or all the Jp people.

While this may be true sometimes, articles like this are also typical of what passes for Japanese journalism - never ask the obvious follow-up questions and Who, What, Where, When, Why and How are largely overlooked but a person's age, whether germane to the story, is always included. In fact, you may be correct in this case about shoddy translation as the article lists none of the squirrels' ages.

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Posted in: Zoo that lost 30 squirrels in typhoon 'recaptures' 38 See in context

Of course, only in Japan would you have squirrels, otherwise a common feral urban park dweller, in a zoo. I've never been to Ueno, but at Higashiyama in Nagoya they kept them in a cage next to house cats and they were flanked on their right by some small breed of dog.

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Posted in: Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor See in context

sfjp330Jun. 29, 2012 - 05:30AM JST If the people, who are not empowered to make decisions about a solution for Fukushima, cannot even reach agreement that something must be done. The only solution known to mankind is to put the reactor cores under water immediately by a cooperative action by international humanitarian, military, engineering and governmental communities. Drop the reactor cores and accompanying land masse into the nearby ocean without further delay.

You're joking right? If not, how do you propose that they move the entirety of a contaminated site dozens of acres in size weighing thousands (millions?) of tonnes without releasing lethal doses of radiation? And unless you are referring to the Japan Trench, how does otherwise dropping all this "into the nearby ocean" really help?

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Posted in: Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor See in context

FadamorJun. 29, 2012 - 02:34AM JST And ANOTHER person offering their "expert" assessment of a highly technical engineering problem. It makes me wonder where were you people when all your "expertise" was REALLY needed and why you have to offer it here rather than where it would have done the most good?

Fadamor, I guess you don't understand that most of the Daiichi facility is now so "hot" that you can't even do the make-work "clean-up" that is supposedly happening. It's not a "engineering" problem at this point. We aren't trying to bridge a river or erect a cantilevered building. There is no science or engineering for cleaning up a reactor meltdown, which is what happened. It simply must be contained for hundreds of years or until, as someone mentioned up thread, we miraculously discover a way to neutralize the radiation. The longer the mess around with it, the greater potential for widespread contamination.

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Posted in: Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor See in context

JoshuYakiJun. 29, 2012 - 01:02AM JST This doesn't mean that only Fukushima is in danger but this is also a report that Tokyo and area is also being showerd (sic) with the possibility of deadly skyshine radiation.

Not likely at this time of year. The predominate weather flow from now until October is SW to NE. In fact, most fallout from "leaks" at Fukushima Daiichi will be out over the Pacific.

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Posted in: Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor See in context

There is no cleaning up this mess at this point. They lost that option on 3/11/2011. The only thing that can be done now is concrete and lead containment. They need to bury the thing a la Chernobyl. They no longer control anything happening there.

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Posted in: Facebook email switch prompts outcry See in context

Christina O'NeillJun. 27, 2012 - 09:24PM JST If Face book advertising is the real basis for the changes, Im afraid its lost on me, i choose not to achknowledge any of the adverts, it is soley a product on my PC to communicate with other users of my own choice

And that, Christina, is exactly why the FB IPO was such a disaster - next to no one reads the ads and they've already determined that, in the long run, there is no real way to monetize the site beyond selling your information and they can really only sell this once.

I know probably a half-dozen people who use false names and otherwise provide no personal data. These people, though being an infinitesimal minority of FB users, are of no monetary value to FB.

The ads they run on my page, by-and-large, seem to be for places and products that I am already familiar with, so why would I click on them? Instead, I click the block option giving the reason that most of the ads are offensive, racist or sexual. No need to help them.

I think FB gets most of it's information from teens and 20-somethings too dumb to protect their privacy, but also lacking any real income and, therefore, of little value to FB advertisers or to people who buy their information from FB.

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Posted in: Craft beer finds growing U.S. fan base See in context

motytrahJun. 22, 2012 - 05:15AM JST I think we would have seen this happen sooner, but there was a bit of a downturn post 9/11. A number of craft brewers went under because they depended on keg sales to bars and restaurants. Now, American beers are being imported into Europe.

Where do you live? Are you taking about the U.S. or Japan?

Craft brewing pretty much started in the Pacific Northwest with Redhook in 1981, quickly followed by Grants, Hale's, Widmer, Pyramid, Full Sail, Big Time, Deschuttes, Pike, Rogue, Maritime Pacific and Fish by 1993. These are just the better known regionally and nationally distributed beers/ales etc. made in Washington and Oregon.

The only thing that took time, as I noted above, is for the author to notice.

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Posted in: Craft beer finds growing U.S. fan base See in context

Craft beer finds growing U.S. fan base

Isn't this article about 10 years late?

As with teaching the world to appreciate good coffee, the U.S., hell, the state of Oregon alone, has reawakened the world to good beer. I think Oregon now has more breweries than are found in Germany and the UK combined.

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Posted in: Is U.S. heeding Watergate's lessons, 40 years on? See in context

Hell, the question ought to be is Bob Woodward heeding the . . .

Since he decided to become the stenographer for the Bush administration, even one of the reporters who "uncovered" the scandals (they were getting nowhere until Deep Throat started feeding them leads) no longer speaks truth to power.

As the cliche goes, nothing and everything changed after 9/11.

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Posted in: Brilliant Asian-Americans face 'bamboo ceiling' in U.S. See in context

HansNFranzJun. 19, 2012 - 01:44PM JST Yet, compared to Japan and China, the ceiling for Asians in the "Western world" is much less impenetrable. If anything, Japan and China must open their companies for foreigners first, then we'll see about the West

Actually, the lack of opportunities for Japanese returning from stints abroad, either in business with a non-Japanese firm or for an advanced degree, is much worse than the supposed "bamboo ceiling" in the U.S. for Asian-Americans. And because of this problem, fewer Japanese are studying abroad and are less interested in taking a position abroad.

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Posted in: Walking guides around Nagoya See in context

The guidebook that I used is called Buratto Osanpo Ko-su” (ぶらっとお散歩コース)by Shobunsha Publications.

(Psst! This is the place where the editor places a hyperlink to the book. Your welcome.)

Nice. You're own web page can't handle Japanese characters.

Forget it.

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Posted in: Brilliant Asian-Americans face 'bamboo ceiling' in U.S. See in context

There is still a great deal of racism in the U.S., but it really depends on where you live. Seattle elected an African-American to two terms as mayor, in spite of having fewer African-Americans than the demographic percentage they occupy in the nation as a whole, and Washington State had a Chinese-American governor, now our ambassador to China, for two terms.

Asian-Americans tend to have their greatest representation in business and government leadership in those parts of the country where they have historically been a well-represented minority - the West Coast and NYC to a lesser extent. You won't find this to be the case in the the Mountain West, Midwest or the South because Asian-Americans comprise just a fraction of the population. As it is, Asian-Americans make up a much smaller portion of the U.S. population with people from S. Korea showing the greatest gains in population and Japanese-Americans on the decline as a group due to the lack of immigration.

Contrary to what Mr. Tseng claims, Asian-Americans is not the "fastest growing multi-cultural group (whatever that means)" in the U.S. Hispanics have been the fastest growing group for a couple decades now where as the percentage of Asian-Americans has flat-lined.

The two groups considered Asian that have shown the most dramatic rise in the last decade have been Indians and Pakistanis. I personally do not classify these two nations, nor Bangladesh, as Asian as their cultural traditions are in no way related to China. Similarly, it could be argued that Filipinos are largely outside the great Asian traditions as well and are just as Hispanic as some Caribbean and Latin American nations. Remove these three groups, and you see a different story demographically. I realize this is not the way demographers or some cultural anthropologists think, but my guess is that if you ask a Korean or Japanese whether they consider people from the three nations of the Asian subcontinent Asian that they would answer in the negative. We already know what people from the "Middle Kingdom" think.

Americans of Asian descent still comprise less than 6% of U.S. population, up from about 4.5% two decades ago, whereas Hispanics make-up almost 1/3 of total U.S. population and growing (about 17 million versus 100 million).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Have your tobacco rolled by sexy women at Japan’s first 'shag bar' See in context

IncenseAndPeppermintsJun. 16, 2012 - 03:41PM JST It might be possible to get tobacco without any of the junk in it, unlike with prepackaged cigarettes. If so, this idea is a plus.

Yes! While it is a given that sucking smoking into one's lungs, be it tobacco, marijuana, wood, burning tires is not good for one's health, cigarette tobacco is especially pernicious. Both the tobacco and the paper, at least with commercially produced cigarettes, is processes with chemicals that assure that they both continue to burn even if no air is being drawn through the cigarette. Pipe tobacco and cigar tobacco are free of these chemicals. Stop smoking either one, and they quit burning. So while the tar in cigarettes is bad for you, I suspect that it's primarily the paper and the added chemicals that make commercially produced cigarettes especially bad if you're going to smoke anything on a regular basis.

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Posted in: Have your tobacco rolled by sexy women at Japan’s first 'shag bar' See in context

ModeratorJun. 15, 2012 - 09:35AM JST Readers, "shag" in this story refers to tobacco.

While that's true, the usage borders on archaic. Most people hear the phrase "shag bar" and they're going to be thinking knocking shop, not a place where you have someone else roll a cigarette for you.

Again, language fail.

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Posted in: Have your tobacco rolled by sexy women at Japan’s first 'shag bar' See in context

Thunderbird2Jun. 15, 2012 - 10:27PM JST When smoking was permitted on the bus I used to get off and my jacket smelled like an ashtray. So yes, ban it in all public places.

What? I've been in and out of Japan for more than 30 years. In all that time, smoking was never permitted in either buses or in subway cars. Only on long distance trains.

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Posted in: Have your tobacco rolled by sexy women at Japan’s first 'shag bar' See in context

Cigarette smoking is one of the most "overrated" forms of cancer. Most people who smoke for a lifetime (40-50 years) will never contract either cancer or emphysema. And even if they do, it will be after a lifetime (40-50 years) of smoking. It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of smoking related deaths happen at the end of life, not when one is in his or her 30-60s.

http://tdi.dartmouth.edu/documents/cmm/Risk%20of%20Death.pdf

The biggest problem with this "business model" is that most people, including younger Brits, think first of shag meaning sex and the very old fashion usage of shag meaning tobacco (not the act of rolling tobacco) a very distant second.

Language fail.

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Posted in: From left to right, U.S. haunted by 'decline of empire' See in context

sfjp330Jun. 09, 2012 - 06:46AM JST Wanda-kunJun . . . If you didn't know, China is already doing that. China will equal U.S. in R&D investments in ten years to around $600-$700 billion annually. Nothing symbolizes China's drive to be a dominant player in the tech world more than the giant technology park in Beijing that has some of China's biggest tech companies.

China may get there yet, but presently the Chinese are doing no meaningful original research or design. China's modus oporendi has been to, not unlike Japan about 50 years ago, "borrow" or, at best, reverse engineer European, American or Japanese technology. Their home-built aircraft are copies of Boeing and Airbus and their "gee whiz" trains are copies of German and Japanese.

China's universities, by most accounts, are second rate at best. Again, you can turn about as many engineers as you like, but if they are second rate to being with and really don't have anything meaningful work, they are just one more member of the under or unemployed.

China had surpassed South Korea and Europe in total patents and closing in on the U.S. and Japan. However, China's most successful companies to date have proved at mimicking an existing technology or business model than creating breakthrough innovations. They still have some ways to go.

The factoid about patents is precious since the Chinese have zero respect for intellectual property rights and they have a lot more than "some ways to go" as a technological power and unless they liberalize their society, they'll be like a better healed version of the Soviet Union, but never innovative or sustainable.

China's looking at serious, can't suppress the news social unrest in the next decade as it's still export dominant economy cannot make the leap to domestic consumption at a sufficient level to make sure that too many Chinese aren't left behind.

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Posted in: Are Americans ready for a Mormon president? See in context

*realmindJun. 09, 2012 - 01:04AM JST The Mormons are very close to unification Church members. I think it is time for Unification Church to control and lead the USA

And Oswald was the lone gunman and Elvis ain't really dead.

Care to provide a few credible links documenting this?

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Posted in: From left to right, U.S. haunted by 'decline of empire' See in context

sfjp330Jun. 07, 2012 - 07:40AM JST What politicians are bemoaning is the loss of manufacturing jobs which require no more then a high school diploma. This is the real issue facing U.S., the lack of suffiently educated workforce to take up those new jobs at intel, microsoft, google, etc.

Actually, no. As Frank Vaughn notes, the U.S. universities are still the finest in the world. And while it's true that many of the advanced degrees go to foreign students who then take their talents home, there are more than enough home-grown mathematicians and engineers.

The fact of the matter is that many of the U.S. best tech companies (Google is not a tech company per se, though they are certainly trying to become one) prefer to hire foreign talent on H1 visas because they come cheap (racing to the bottom is not unique to low value added manufacturing/assembly). This is so important to Microsoft that it was the last thing Bill Gates personally lobbied Washington for on behalf of the company before effectively retiring.

Furthermore, scientist, engineers and mathematicians are, on the whole, a very productive class of labor, i.e. you don't need as many of them to get the work done (see Robert Reich's The Work of Nations for an explanation of this). Consider India and China, two countries often thought of as the U.S. potential replacements for economic leadership, for how this can go wrong. Both nations are turning out too many technical specialists. Like the old saw about guys with PhDs. in English driving cabs in NYC, well this is true as well in India, but they're technically trained. You can produce as many engineers, scientists and mathematicians as you like. But the laws of supply and demand still dictate how many of these highly-skilled people are actually needed in our, mostly, work-a-day world.

The only way nations like India and China can ever hope to absorb this surplus of skill is if they both embark on multiple government-sponsored programs with the sort of messianic zeal that the U.S. did with our space program. Only if both nation's governments decided to tackle agriculture, pollution, water supplies and energy with the sums of money and more that they both waste on their militaries could they hope to achieve full meaningful employment in the technical fields. Hoping that they otherwise can somehow get a leg up in manufacturing for consumer goods and services by producing all these techies is a pipe dream.

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Posted in: From left to right, U.S. haunted by 'decline of empire' See in context

America has been in economic decline, in relative and absolute terms, since the 1970s. Many people were predicting even greater decline in the early 80s when the economy was again in recession and federal debt was growing. We recovered from that and may do so yet again.

No one, particularly not the writer above, can predict "the end" of any empire. And the U.S., in spite of what idiots like Niall Ferguson may insist, is not an empire. We have been a hegemonic power since the end of WWII and remain one, if diminished. Currently, for good and ill, there are no other nations with the economic and military reach of the U.S.

What is necessary for a U.S. resurgence is a dramatically reduced military budget (we could cut ours in half and still have the most lethal with the longest reach), greater investment in public health and education. and a more progressive federal tax system. What happens vis-a-vis China is pretty immaterial and needn't be a zero sum game.

China's economy may continue to grow but, like India, the nation is so over-populated that only so much per capita economic growth can be expected without greater and more equitable legal strictures for running the country. It remains to be seen whether China can achieve this.

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