wipeout comments

Posted in: Do you think a protest rally similar in scale to what happened in Hong Kong could ever happen in Japan? See in context

The Japanese won't have demonstrations like those in Hong Kong on this type of issue, for the Hong Kongers have lots of experience of what democracy is and means. The Japanese are, as (I think) Gen. MacArthur put it, like children when it comes to democracy, meaning that they had no idea what it was until they were defeated in WWII.

The important difference is that life in Hong Kong is tied up with life in China in ways that simply have no equivalent here in Japan, and no strong relevance.

The big demonstrations in Hong Kong since the 1980s have been about Hong Kong's future, directly or indirectly, and always in relation to China. There was the huge reaction to the Tiananmen massacre (and the large-scale annual vigils for the next 30 years) the demonstrations against the introduction of a security law (required under the Basic Law), the Umbrella Revolution, and now these demonstrations against an extradition law.

Obviously people in Hong Kong are concerned about China: it's the only neighbour with which they share a land border, and their maritime borders are entirely with China. Hong Kong is surrounded. You can't go more than a few miles in any direction without being in PRC territory or waters: that sharpens the mind and contributes to the anxieties that people may have about Chinese influence.

There really isn't much value in comparing the reluctance of Japanese to take part in street demonstrations with the willingness of Hong Kong people to (occasionally) do so. It's not that Hong Kong people value freedom more, it's that they're justifiably far more worried about losing what freedom they have - potentially all of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

If you're saying your country, you can say the UK.

He can also say Scotland. Frankly, it sounds better than UK anyway, which either as an acronym or in full is about the dreariest name imaginable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

Much of the previous paragraph is due to my Western upbringing

You sure are fixated on the Western thing. Why not just stand up for the country you're from, or those you were educated in: it's not as if all Western countries are the same when it comes to education, or as if you've experienced them all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

We need national conscription to enhance patriotic behavior like Taiwan or Switzerland. Both are safe, wonderful and great countries.

Bizarre logic. Taiwan and Switzerland have conscription for completely different reasons. In Taiwan's case, it's due to an actual military threat from China that has existed since the end of the civil war that resulted in the KMT establishing itself (and the so-called "Republic of China") in Taiwan.

In any case, for some years now it has been Taiwan's intention to phase out conscription and move to an all-volunteer system. Obviously it wouldn't be attempting to do that if it considered conscription a necessary means of instilling patriotism (and as only men are conscripted, your idea applies to only half the adult population).

What is the purpose of comparing Taiwan and Switzerland to Japan anyway? You can make the same safe/wonderful/great claims about Japan, or any wealthy country. Taiwan in recent decades has been prosperous, but it was never an especially orderly place - it's as beset with social problems as Japan, if anything rather more so. A very poor safety culture - reflected in shoddy building practices, terrible fire safety, airline incidents and disasters, serious industrial pollution, low driving skills, and an absolute disregard for traffic rules. There has been (much needed) progress in many of these areas, but it's often insufficient, and it's all very recent.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: We will leave EU by Oct 31, Johnson vows in pitch to be UK PM See in context

Only by preparing to leave without an agreement could a no-deal Brexit be prevented

Or ensured. Or something.

Worth a gamble anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says Sarah Sanders to leave White House at end of June See in context

Many people in the country don’t buy that line that he’s the most dishonest

Only the rabble that buy into his personality cult. They don't count. It's like expecting Scientologists to see through L. Ron Hubbard.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Four-time Tour de France winner Froome in intensive care after high-speed crash See in context

Never realized it was such a dangerous sport.

Speed, hard road surface, flimsy vehicle, high position, no body protection, and a silly little plastic helmet. The risks are pretty obvious. It's a question of willingly accepting the risks; not whether they exist.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says Sarah Sanders to leave White House at end of June See in context


No, she just has contempt for Democrats.

Lies aren't a way of expressing contempt for one specific group while sheltering other groups from contempt. Lies are lies, and when Sanders opens her mouth, she lies to everybody. Time and again she has been in the position of stating things to the press that she knows to be untrue, that the press knows to be untrue, and that the public knows to be untrue.

That is not some clever little political game, and no one is winning. It is simply an indication of the immorality of the current administration.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Abbott device helps in cutting blood sugar in type 2 diabetics: study See in context

it's usually quite easy to deal with by simply not consuming it. No carbs.

That's certainly not in line with the recommendations of diabetic associations. And in what way is no carbohydrates "quite easy"? It would mean cutting out all of the following, and more:




Spaghetti and other pasta




Sweet potatoes






etc. etc. etc.

There are also carbohydrates in lower percentages in mushrooms, avocado, cabbage, and even spinach and lettuce.

A no carbohydrate diet is an extreme diet - a cult, essentially - and it shows, both in the kind of people who promote it and the contexts in which they promote it. Diabetes requires fairly drastic - and for many people, not easy - lifestyle changes, but it doesn't require this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kimigayo: A guide to Japan’s controversial national anthem See in context


For the freedom to disrespect our country. 

That's a freedom too, but in any case they're likely to have a different opinion from you - and probably a more learned one - on what amounts to disrespect for the country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump an impolitic guest on trips abroad See in context

Queen Elizabeth and Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako would disagree. They got along great with Trump.

Queen Elizabeth has had a lifetime of practice putting up with some pretty odious state representatives without letting on what she really thinks. She has practically raised it to an art form.

The fact that she can tolerate a state visit by Trump and his crew of brats is not a sign that Trump's okay, just that she's dealt with worse - though not from the United States.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Kimigayo: A guide to Japan’s controversial national anthem See in context

I almost completely agree with this, but I gotta say it pisses me off to no end when rich NFL players can't be bothered to stand for the anthem, which is not Republican or Democrat, it's a symbol of the country that allows them to prosper as they do, and they should show some respect.

They do. For freedom.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Apple leaves iTunes behind as it harmonizes software See in context

Correction: "converting that much material to FLAC": I mean "to ALAC"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Apple leaves iTunes behind as it harmonizes software See in context

First storage these days is very cheap. HDD's are cheap. I have my music on a 2TB external drive. The FLAC occupy about 500GB. My collection of mp3/ma4 are about 1TB. You can buy 8TB for good cost.

You're right about storage being cheap (though let's not forget that Apple is in the habit of gouging its customers for hardware with higher storage).

Personally, I don't make much effort to save storage space when I accumulate files. That said, I don't go out of my way to waste it either, and replicating 1TB worth of files just to have them in both the FLAC and ALAC versions, and that for no other reason than Apple's lockout of FLAC - well, it's just profligate. The example I gave is realistic enough for anyone who holds a decent collection of music; and converting that much material to FLAC can be the difference between having a hard drive that's nowhere near full and having to get an additional drive at 8000 yen or so. 3 and 4TB HDDs are about the standard at the moment; after that the cost per TB increases significantly.

No matter how you look at it (and 8TB storage - good cost? - is around 16000 yen minimum), doubling an entire music collection merely to achieve file compatibility instead of using a major format like FLAC is just pissing away space.

There's no work involved converting the FLAC files, just import them into iTunes and the conversion is automatic.

That's not "no work". As I already said, with a large number of files, they all have to go through correctly; before that, you also have to do the necessary finding, selecting, organizing and setting for processing them. "No work" would be not needing to generate them in a new file format in the first place.

Additionally, you can't just import them into iTunes like that. Not in my version. FLACs can be converted, which has to be done with third party software, and then the converted files, which are not FLACs, can be imported into iTunes.

I agree that it would be better to be able to play FLAC files directly on all Apple devices.

Better than jumping through hoops for no good reason? For sure.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Apple leaves iTunes behind as it harmonizes software See in context


Isn't converting FLAC files into Apple's own lossless files the same? 

Far from it. Take 1 TB of FLAC files on a 3TB drive, convert them all to ALAC, and then consider what you've just done. First there's the work involved in successfully handling that many files, some of which are likely to be in subfolders and sub-subfolders. Then there's the hit to your storage space: a 1/3 full drive has gone to 2/3 full, with no benefit other than that of a crude workaround to achieve iTunes compatibility that could, if Apple had been less user-hostile, have been incorporated in iTunes in the first place - just like any other media player, and most especially the audiophile players.

Clearly being forced to convert to ALAC is not the same; non-Apple software and equipment routinely handles FLAC files. Apple doesn't.

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Posted in: Hospitals in Japan: Invasive checkups, bungled diagnoses, botched operations? See in context

I know someone who went by ambulance to a Tokyo hospital with a kidney stone. They gave him an X-ray, said "There's nothing wrong with you." In agony he took a taxi to another hospital where they properly diagnosed him with an MRI

Unlikely. MRI isn't used for imaging kidney stones. X-ray and CT are the usual methods.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Corbyn accuses Trump of interfering in UK politics with Johnson comments See in context

Yes, by being weak, capitulation and appeasing the enemy.

So Americans care, don't care, which is it to be Mr Spokesman? You've already taken two opposing positions on that in this thread.

Your latest statement is that Americans do care what others think. Are you going to hold on to that, or scuttle back to the don't care corner?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Automated train travels in wrong direction, injuring 20 in Yokohama See in context

More like most people are paranoid of anything new and innovating. You know why we continue to see these types of accidents? Naysayers like you who would rather go backwards than forwards

That's hardly logical.

Concerning this line, it's not especially innovative, and definitely not new. It's a closed, driverless system that uses rubber-wheeled trains to cover a 10.6 km distance in 26 minutes: that's a decidedly sedate average speed of about 25 km/h. It's on the expensive side, costing 50% more than the JR journey from Yokohama to Shin-Sugita, which is the same distance.

From the passenger's point of view, there's no real advantage to trains of this type - slower, more expensive, less comfortable (motion-wise) - other than the likely choice being offered between a line of this kind and no line at all. It's a bit of a toss-up whether it would be preferable (and cheaper both for operators and passengers) just to run buses instead.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Automated train travels in wrong direction, injuring 20 in Yokohama See in context

Having worked with many engineers in Japan, I was often shocked by assumptions Japanese software engineers would make, such as assuming a system should never get confused

It's a bit early to say if that's the reason for this accident. It does seem to line up uncommonly well with Boeing's 737-Max problem though: today's New York Times has an article entitled "Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change"


And after the first crash, Boeing unwisely committed itself to denying there was a problem with its automation, which now looks to have been the sole reason for two crashes, both with no survivors.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: DeGeneres recounts sex assault as a teen See in context

The step father is deceased so he cant defend himself.

Predeceasing the victim is kind of a risk of preying on the young.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Without heart disease, daily aspirin may be too risky See in context

I wonder when the 'correction' regarding Big Pharma's poisonous MMR multi-antigen vaccination protocol of immunologically immature and vulnerable infants will come out.

You're way, way, way off-topic, and Wakefield's MMR garbage was debunked anyway. He's a fraud and an full-blown antivax wackjob. Take it somewhere else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Study urges mandatory measles jabs as cases surge See in context

Another good example is the yearly "Flu jab"... BTW It's yearly now... Seems like scam.

Are you denying that the virus mutates?

The need for the shot to be administered annually rather than once only, or once + a booster, is one of the most basic facts about influenza vaccination. To not understand this means there's almost nothing you can say on the subject that's worth hearing.

There are some medications that are proven, and effective preventative treatments for diseases that had afflicted us in the past

That's very big of you, not rejecting the entire field of pharmacology.

This is what makes me cautious over "Blindly" accepting the need to "vaccinate"

Caution is something else entirely. You're simply claiming a right to be totally uninformed about vaccination while posting opinion on the subject that is scientifically and logically unsound.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 AI robots guide visitors during test trial at Tokyo Station See in context

A couple of Kiwi friends visited for Golden Week and they couldn't have been more underwhelmed with what Japan has to offer in the high tech department.

I guess it depends how narrowly they choose to define high-tech, and how well-travelled they are. But some people are just jaded no matter what. I assume they are at least aware that New Zealand barely has a manufacturing sector to speak of, while Japan dominates some fields, and holds its own very nicely in others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Pro-Europe vote fragments but limits nationalist gains in EU election See in context

It's very sad to see the far right rise in France. This was unthinkable 15 years ago.

It was very thinkable. Jean-Marie Le Pen won 16.8% in the first round of voting in the 2002 presidential election. That's 17 years ago.

Le Pen and the National Front were already a rising force in the 1980s. The National Front won 9.65% of the vote and 35 seats in the 1986 legislative election; Le Pen won 14.4% of the vote in the 1988 presidential election, and 15% in 1995.

People have been concerned about the National Front for as long as I can remember.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Pro-Europe vote fragments but limits nationalist gains in EU election See in context

I think people know what the values and culture of my home county of the USA are.

Oh it's one of those is it?

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Posted in: Parts of Japan experience record high temperatures for May See in context

Rainy season will no doubt bring torrential rain to mainland

Well yes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Pair of Hokkaido melons fetch record ¥5 mil at season's 1st auction See in context

Amazing! I wish I could afford to pay 5 Million yen for these Yubari Melons.

I wish you could too. It would be the perfect blend of gullibility and kneejerk nationalism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson stakes leadership claim as Brexit brings down May See in context

A no deal brexit is pretty much inevitable now and that's fine; no one should be forced to stay in a union.

It's likely to be the opposite of fine.

As to being "forced to stay in a union", the UK could have negotiated with the EU in good faith, passed its deal in a parlimentary vote, and implemented an orderly withdrawal according to the terms of the deal. It has chosen not to do that, and the odds of putting together a deal and then passing it in Parliament during the few months left before the extended deadline runs out are not that high.

The UK has been made to see that it doesn't have the upper hand, or any hand at all really. This is how some have convinced themselves, against all reason, that no deal is the best deal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Tearful British PM May says she will resign on June 7 See in context

Should have gone six months ago when it was obvious her Brexit deal was headed for a record defeat and the Tories held the Vote of No Confidence in her. 

On the bright side, after a short and orderly campaign to choose a new leader, her successor can throw together a brilliant deal that the Tories can totally get behind. Some lucky beggar is about to be given the chance to really shine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Same-sex couples start registering marriages in Taiwan See in context

A Taiwanese friend says that there is still a majority (not sure how big) of Taiwanese who don't like this, and say that this is just a strategy to set Taiwan apart from mainland China. 

Taiwan is already apart from mainland China. Do they not understand what 70 years of separation and 30 years of democracy means?

Taiwan-China unity does not stand or fall on gay marriage. Jesus.

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