wipeout comments

Posted in: Worldwide COVID-19 death toll surpasses 3 million See in context

The many remaining studies show positive effects of HCQ.

On the contrary, this followed an entirely expected path: impressive claims from unreliable sources (anecdotal from China, maverick genius from Raoult) followed by instant failure at the first true test: scaled-up studies. And every one of those studies confirmed that HCQ provides no benefit in the treatment or prevention of COVID.

It's a classic demonstration of what the scientific method is and why it has been designed that way. Raoult's claimed successes have to be reproducible. The fact that they are not, and that controlled conditions and larger study groups confirmed and reconfirmed this, is the clearest demonstration possible that HCQ treatment is of no value.

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Posted in: Japan getting more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to immunize elderly faster See in context


Yahoo news, which is usually very liberal, posted that over 100 fully vaccinated people in Washington still got the covid, including some deaths

This is exactly as expected in the early days of a mass vaccination campaign for a widespread and highly contagious disease. There is no 100% effective vaccine for any disease.

Meanwhile, you can look at figures and graphs for the vaccine rollout in countries around the world. In January, Britain had both high transmission rates and high death rates. The peak positive test rate (68,000) was January 8 and the peak for reported daily deaths was January 20th (1,826). In both cases, this was Britain's highest in the pandemic so far, and came on the back of a very steep rise starting in October but really spinning out of control shortly before the Christmas period. With the winter coming on, this was a disastrous rise, and a looming catastrophe for the health service.

But starting in December, Britain vaccinated far faster than most other countries, and the fastest of any country with such a large population and such high transmission numbers. The drop in infections and deaths since January has been dramatic: down to 10,000 positives by 25th February and 4,600 now (from 68,000, remember) and down to 345 deaths on February 26th, and just 51 on April 1.

You'll have to make your choice about what it is that has produced this precipitous drop in Britain, but seeing as antivaccine sentiment is so often against mask wearing, social distancing, or lockdowns, the other choices available may not appeal to you. And the vaccination rate in each country, combined with the varying transmission/death rate, does show that reduction closely tracks vaccination. Slower rollout, slower drop, but a drop nonetheless.

This shouldn't actually be a surprise though. It's how mass vaccination has been working since the beginning of the 20th century.

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Posted in: 47 anaphylaxis cases reported in Japan after 580,000 Pfizer vaccine shots See in context

Based on the work of Prof. Didier Raoult, the fatality rate is around 0.07% when people are treated immediately.

No rational person is going to use the long-discredited findings of a bonkers French doctor to extrapolate COVID survivability rates to the global population.

Raoult is a bust. His only function is as a clownish cult leader for people who find science tiresome and inconvenient. HCQ is done with. It was done with more than six months ago. It ain't coming back.

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Posted in: 47 anaphylaxis cases reported in Japan after 580,000 Pfizer vaccine shots See in context


If you drink a product containing polyethylene glycol by accident you must seek medical attention immediately, yet apparently it's perfectly safe to inject directly into your bloodstream.

Out of interest, why do antivaxers believe that vaccines are injected directly into the bloodstream?

Watch a video, learn a fact.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Posted in: 6 tips to help you detect fake science news See in context

Also, as I often mentioned, there are 100's of studies investigating the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. If you take out all those that involve conflicts of interest (links to big pharma), you are essentially left with studies that all show a favorable effect.

Actually what kicked it off outside China was a completely rubbish study (of 24 patients) by Didier Raoult. All the talk of 'studies' showing dramatically effective results circled right back to him. Long before COVID he had an extensive track record of ethical violations, wacky science, bullying, and intimidation, so it should have been a surprise to no one that he claimed near perfect results for his treatment, produced data and conclusions that could be shot to bits without even trying, and angrily attacked anyone who dared to question him.

The science has left him behind, and HCQ has been found both ineffective and unreasonably risky as a COVID treatment. The book's closed on that one, but the Raoult cult is still open for anyone gullible enough.

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Posted in: Cabinet approves bill to reduce plastic waste, encourage recycling See in context


The vast majority of recyclables in my area are combined with regular rubbish and incinerated.

As always government statistics will include this "thermal recovery" as recycling. Boasting among the highest plastic recycling rates in the world at over 80 percent.

Are you saying rubbish is separated by households etc. for recycling (because of local requirements), then collected, combined with non-recyclable rubbish, and incinerated?

However you're trying to state it, it would be difficult to verify whether you're correct, partially correct, or you've got it all garbled. But that aside, incineration of separated plastics is recycling. Strictly speaking, recycling is simply the processing of waste into something else that can be used or that has value. It doesn't have to be in a form that you like.

There are two main advantages to thermal recycling (it goes under various names, but I'll settle for that). It provides energy. And it stops plastics from ending up in fields, forests, rivers, oceans. Or being exported. As a source of energy, it's productive - that is the recycling aspect. It would be far preferable for us, especially in Japan, to get through a lot less plastic destined for one-time use, but until that happens, which is clearly going to be no time soon, it's a pretty damn good way to get rid of it, and to get something from it at the same time. Japan is far from alone in using this method (e.g. Austria, Germany, Norway, and Sweden are all strong advocates of thermal recycling).

Even the NZ government does not sound as if it actively disapproves - well not in 1997, anyway: "Most plastic waste is not recyclable because of impurities, but tonne for tonne it has more energy than coal. Although it accounts for only 7 percent of landfill volume, it makes up 30 percent of a landfill's energy content. Even where the plastic is recyclable, the energy retrieval from burning is much higher than the materials retrieval from recycling. At present, plastics are not incinerated in New Zealand."


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Posted in: Woman dies from brain hemorrhage days after receiving coronavirus vaccine, but link uncertain See in context

So the covid vaccines appear to be 48X deadlier than the influenza vaccine.

Er no, it's not deadly at all, and neither is the flu vaccine. 48 x 0 is 0. So is any other number x 0.

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Posted in: New documentary paints disturbing picture of Woody Allen See in context

A lot of the focus is on Mia Farrow, but it is Dylan Farrow who returned to make the accusation as an adult, seven years ago, at the age of twenty eight or so.

Yeah, but it was Mia Farrow who busted out the allegation in the first place. Dylan was not old enough at the time to put that in the public sphere.

From the start, there were aspects to the claim that made the whole thing appear a bit fishy. While any father might have sexually abused their child - in the eyes of others, we can all be suspects in that regard, once such a claim is made - there is nothing in particular to indicate that Woody Allen would have abused his child. He had a spotless record where women (and children) were concerned. But for this single allegation, he has maintained it in the thirty years that followed.

Somehow the fact that so many people (not me, as it happens) are creeped out by his affair with Previn has been used to leverage the concept that he is a full-blown pedophile. That's a major red flag, because it's so logically flawed. Previn was 20 or 21 at the time the affair was discovered (her date of birth is unknown but is given as 1970 - accepting that and the timing of the affair makes her 21). However people try to cut it, she was an adult and old enough by a matter of years to make her own decisions on who she slept with. She has also, as far as anyone knows, lived a life that is consistent with that decision.

Very much in Allen's favour is the fact that he has been able to state his case, when he talks about it at all, without being caught out in lies, falsehoods, or inconsistencies. So has Soon Yi Previn. And there has been nothing so far to indicate that Moses Farrow is given to lying or getting his facts wrong.

Therefore, to dribble this sex-abuse story all the way up the field and belt it into the goal, there would need to be a lot more information and evidence against Allen, but it simply wasn't available then and it is never going to be available.

Further problems are that at least three of the family who are accusing Allen may be lying outright or deliberately playing fast and loose with the truth: credibility issues have been demonstrated for all of them. We can take Dylan first: her story about a train set and the room where the assault is said to have taken place has been dismissed as impossible by her brother. You yourself credit her memory as accurate, so you either buy into this story and its emotional detail, or you cut her a big pass and say she can't be expected to remember such things perfectly, so give her a break. The problem is that if that important detail is false, the assault itself may also be false, while the allegation of coaching would be strengthened. And there are no other sex abuse claims against Allen to fall back on.

Ronan Farrow is a huge problem. The drawback of being a journalist is that you can't erase what you've written from the record. He's made the choice to write about his family, and that's been looked at in great detail. His writing is riddled with claims that are based on exaggeration, bad research, and bad reporting, and he's had to row back from some of his positions. It never looks good when a journalist starts doing that, as wonder-boy Johann Hari also discovered.

Mia Farrow is the biggest problem of all. There are multiple allegations against her, and they are certainly plausible. They go well beyond "nightmare mother" - not in any way illegal - to physical abuse, which is. The conditions under which this could happen are certainly there: a seemingly pathological devotion to acquiring vulnerable children through international adoption. It's only the extremely naive who think that's a heartwarming story because some kid from some awful country lucked into getting adopted by a beautiful rich lady. Out of 10 adopted children, three died well before middle age, one by suicide, one by suspected suicide, and one after a miserable adulthood that amounted to a slow suicide. We have no way to know where they would have stood on Dylan's story as an adult, or what they would have said about themselves, but there are certainly stories that they were abused by Farrow. Two more of her adopted children, Previn and Moses Farrow, have cut themselves off from her, and neither of them have good things to say.

This can't just be dismissed as too much focus on Farrow. She provides the entire context by which Allen was placed under suspicion in the first place. It's interesting that the people who have broken away from Farrow (Allen, Soon-Yi Previn, Moses Farrow), seem able to speak with some relief at being free and do not seem to have anything they are anxious to hide.

While the response to Moses Farrow was a joint statement from the children who stayed on the team. A joint statement. That hostagey approach fits exactly the picture that Moses Farrow put out there in the first place.

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Posted in: New documentary paints disturbing picture of Woody Allen See in context

Dylan Farrow was seven years old, which is certainly old enough to remember what is done to you.

It is, but it doesn't follow that everything someone says happened when they were seven is true. Dylan Farrow gave details that have been disputed as impossible by her own brother, who is familiar with their living space. That creates a problem, because it makes her story harder to substantiate. What should have served as persuasive, disturbing detail makes the central claim much less plausible.


So the wider context, which also throws up considerable doubts, remains important. Specifically, Mia Farrow has been described as abusive (both psychologically and physically), manipulative, and dishonest. Some of her own children have made these claims about her, and that coaching was part of her modus operandi. Those are no less plausible than claims that Allen abused Dylan Farrow. Potentially they are far more so.

Mia Farrow's allegation of sexual abuse was made only after Allen's affair was discovered and they were engaged in a bitter custody battle. Not completely unusual, by any means, and certainly not automatically true. Around the same time, she also made claims about Soon-Yi Previn that she had never come out with before - that she was several years younger than stated on her official birth document (completely unprovable) and that she was mentally incompetent - in the language of the time, retarded (not particularly evident from Previn's own account of herself, either then or at any time since). This doesn't do much for Farrow's credibility.

So does that mean Dylan Farrow definitely wasn't abused? No.

Does it mean that Dylan Farrow wasn't abuse and could have been coached since the age of 7 in repeating a story that isn't true? Completely possible.

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Posted in: Which music from the past 70 years do you think people will still be listening to 100 years from now? See in context

Bob Dylan, I'm not so sure, but the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Duke Ellington will definitely be timeless classics.

You needn't worry about Dylan, his place in music history is secure. The public gets it, musicians get it.









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Posted in: Tokyo District Court upholds ban on dual citizenship See in context

it should not be a shame to hold more than one, since your lifestyle may dictate it, though only one should be used for travel under

At the moment, many countries (and Japan is one of them) prefer that you enter and leave their territory on their passport if you have their nationality. They accept that you may have left a country on one passport and are using another to arrive in theirs, and have no problem at all with that.

Dual nationals when travelling with two passports are advised to have the 2nd available to show if requested, but not to show it unless requested - in other words, keep it to hand but preferably out of sight until needed. Sounds sensible enough. Immigration officers are trying to process you in and out on one passport; they can also do it quicker, and you tend to have stronger rights, if you're a "home national". It's also good practice not to give them more information than they need or want.

But obviously there's no perfect solution that will work with all officials in all territories.

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Posted in: Tokyo District Court upholds ban on dual citizenship See in context


My business demands probity in even sphere, no ducking and diving. I had to make a decision it is as simple as that. I have given my word, when starting the business, a word of honor to investors that there considerable investment capital for the outset would be safe in my hands. To obey the rules, not only in business, buy personally in life.

Fine words, but the renunciation procedure is voluntary, and legally, all you did (if you ever did submit an RN) was make a voluntary choice to end one of your nationalities.

That is a right. It's also a legal right not to end either of them - hardly ducking and diving. No country grants nationality with the expectation of future renunciation. They simply provide a legal mechanism for it to happen if the nationality-holder requests it.

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Posted in: Tokyo District Court upholds ban on dual citizenship See in context

What in the heck are you talking about? She was required to affirm Japanese citizenship by renouncing any other citizenship or she would no longer be a Japanese national.

It doesn't work that way. Officially the procedure is branched into the submission of either of two forms: the carefully named "choice of nationality" (国籍選択届) (kokuseki sentaku todoke), which is exclusively a declaration that the applicant chooses Japanese nationality. Failing to make this declaration does not now or later make a person "no longer a Japanese national", because it does not alter their existing Japanese nationality status.

The other form is an actual application to renounce Japanese nationality (国籍離脱届) (kokuseki ridatsu todoke). This leads to the termination of Japanese nationality. 

The first form does not require "renouncing any other citizenship", it contains some wording that mentions "abandonment" of other nationalities (notably it does not use the term 離脱). And regardless of the wording used, Japan has no jursidiction over that: you can and do submit the 国籍選択届 without renouncing the other nationality.

You have a fighting chance of understanding this better if you read this. It's long but informative.


Frankly you'd find it more productive than making unfounded accusations about Naomi Osaka lying.

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Posted in: Tokyo District Court upholds ban on dual citizenship See in context

As a half and half, English/Japanese, I choose to relinquish my UK passport. I did not renounce my British culture, when a push comes to a shove, I had to make a choice. One day in the future, times will chance, they always do, and I might be able to obtain duel nationally.

For people who have had UK nationality from birth, the only way to relinquish it is to do the required paperwork on the British side (submission of an RN form plus supporting documents) and pay the fee. That's currently £372 (about 50,000 yen). Someone who was British from birth and hasn't done that is still British. This is why the distinction between passport and nationality is crucial: no longer possessing a passport is not the same as no longer possessing nationality. For a whole range of obvious reasons, you can be a national without a passport. This is very common. You can also be a national without knowing it. This is not particularly unusual, especially among people who believe that nationality can lapse.

A child born today in Japan to a British and a Japanese parent is British by default (the birth doesn't even have to be registered with the British). Subsequently, at any age, nothing on the Japanese side, up to and including filing a 国籍選択届 (choice of [Japanese] nationality) has the slightest effect on their British nationality.

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Posted in: Chinese court jails 10 Hong Kong democracy activists for up to three years See in context

How can it be called illegal or a border crossing, as China has always said Taiwan is part of China.

They were intercepted 45 miles southeast of Hong Kong. Leaving Hong Kong waters at any point involves entering Chinese waters. There is a maritime border encircling Hong Kong: going clockwise, it starts at the eastern extremity of the HK/China land border, and meets the land border again at the western extremity. Almost nowhere in Hong Kong is more than a few kilometres from the land or sea border with China.

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Posted in: Tokyo governor warns of explosion in COVID-19 cases See in context

Now most people will not be travelling during the holidays, we will surely stamp out this virus.

Yes. A pity then that we didn't bother in any of the last 11 months, when infection numbers were lower. Is it just that it would have been too easy?

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Posted in: Chinese court jails 10 Hong Kong democracy activists for up to three years See in context

The CCP claims all of these waters and Taiwan are an integral part of China... so how, exactly can these people be arrested for crossing any border?

Very easily. There's a strictly enforced border between Hong Kong and China. Moving out of Hong Kong by sea involves crossing an undisputed maritime border into Chinese waters. Crossing the border in either direction without authorization is illegal (Hong Kong people have no doubts on this), and know that if caught, arrest is probable rather than possible. It's always been this way, both pre- and post-handover.

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Posted in: Activist, champion: Naomi Osaka selected AP Female Athlete of Year See in context

@Peter Neil

What are you talking about wipeout?

It's in my earlier comment. Were you too busy downvoting to pay attention?

Have another look: "I've never seen that claim in her words". Fairly simple, I'm suggesting that you put some substance behind "She did not renounce any supposed American citizenship as she claimed she did". That's your basis for saying Osaka is being dishonest. If you can't demonstrate she claimed it, which you haven't, then you're not in a good position to "discuss" her dishonesty on that question.

"As she claimed she did". It's your statement. Aren't you willing to actually back it?

I already checked the Congressional Record of people renouncing citizenship all the way back to 2019. You can check it yourself.

Yes I've seen it, months ago, and commented on it, months ago. But it was a different context. They don't publish information on what people say or didn't say about their citizenship. You need a quote from Osaka saying she had renounced her American citizenship. Why on earth you think the Congressional Record would....do you really need to have this explained to you?

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Posted in: Activist, champion: Naomi Osaka selected AP Female Athlete of Year See in context

@Peter Neil

Nothing turned up yet?

Baffling, ain't it.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 481 new coronavirus cases; nationwide cases 2,382 See in context

I hope you're not implying that herd immunity can only be achieved by vaccination.

I am saying directly that buying COVID herd immunity (an unknown percentage developed in an unknown timeframe) by allowing the disease to spread uncontrolled is absolutely the crappiest way to achieve it.

And I'm saying it's no surprise at all that you think that's the best method.

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Posted in: EU kicks off COVID-19 vaccine campaign See in context

Good one, did you see the one where they used an empty syringe:


That's not very bright. It seems you haven't progressed much since your "vaccines are injected directly into the blood" days.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 481 new coronavirus cases; nationwide cases 2,382 See in context

I suspect that the real infection numbers are about 100 times greater than the confirmed numbers (maybe higher). At this rate, we'll reach herd immunity before they start administering vaccines in Japan.

Based on an unfounded assumption that herd immunity just "kinda arrives".

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Posted in: Activist, champion: Naomi Osaka selected AP Female Athlete of Year See in context

@Peter Neil

Let's discuss her dishonesty about renouncing American citizenship.

I suggest that first you provide some evidence of how she has been dishonest.

She did not renounce any supposed American citizenship as she claimed she did to represent Japan in the Olympics.

I've never seen that claim in her words. Do you have anything to hand?

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Posted in: Masks block 99.9% of large COVID-linked droplets: study See in context

You love to pretend you have all the answers, but when pressed for an answer....

It's clear that while saying you understand the science "at least as well as" virusrex, you don't.

A path to some kind of understanding for you (by removing an important obstacle that prevents it) would be not to misinterpret the conclusions of a paper - a massive blunder that simply underlines your faulty comprehension and faulty reasoning. There's a reason that conclusions are generally short and expressed in plain English. A competent layman should be able to work through them and understand what was said. An honest layman should be able to admit if they are unable to follow the reasoning contained in the conclusion The worst option of all is to cook up a conclusion that was not in the paper and present that as the conclusion reached in the paper. That's the line you're trying to work.

Those conclusions may be incorrect. While that's completely feasible, you'd need to present an argument showing why you believe so: for example, faulty data, faulty methodology, faulty reasoning. You haven't done any of that.

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Posted in: Kitchen equipment piles up as pandemic shutters Japan's restaurants See in context

Whenever I have sold household items to Hard Off, they offered about ten percent of the item's value...

Value is subjective. Why should they give you more? They provide the convenience of an instant sale, and they'll also take almost any old crap off your hands. If you have a different price in mind, you'll have to put in the work to find the person in Japan who will pay it. That would take you considerable time and trouble, with no guarantee of success.

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Posted in: Johnson cancels UK Christmas gatherings, shuts London shops over virus See in context

So you are calling me a liar?

"No one is being exposed to anything" is the kind of thing everybody says. It's not an actual judgement of risk, just an assumption and a demonstration of special pleading. It's the same assumption that has spread COVID widely in the United States, killed many, and harmed many more.

Would you say that you're being called a liar? I'm not seeing it.

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Posted in: Messenger RNA: How a long shot idea led to COVID-19 vaccines See in context

mRNA-based vaccines have great potential in the future, but I would not want to risk taking it now for a disease like covid19, which has a very low death rate if treated appropriately

We don't only vaccinate against death. That would be pretty stupid.

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Posted in: Takeda CEO urges transparency in virus vaccine rollout See in context


You can probably still get the virus and pass it on even after being vaccinated so I don't see the point. Natural immunity from contracting it seems far better 

Don't see the point? Seems? How persuasive.

And then straight to a link to an article by a libertarian wackjob. What a surprise.

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Posted in: Takeda CEO urges transparency in virus vaccine rollout See in context

There are numerous reports that the vaccines only prevent the development of the virus to a serious disease in people who have taken it. Whilst this is a very good thing and the vulnerable need to be vaccinated, it does not stop people getting the disease asymptomatically or still spreading it to others.

It certainly does not say that in the report you linked. The report quotes a vaccine researcher, commenting on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: "That remains one of the biggest unknowns – whether these vaccines will interrupt transmission" and the journalist states "It remains an unknown for all the vaccines now under development, with a definitive answer many months away."

If you don't understand the difference between those words and your own interpretation of them, that "the vaccines only prevent the development of the virus to a serious disease in people who have taken it", how about rephrasing it in unmistakable terms: there is a vitally important difference between "we don't know whether it does", which is a common and correctly cautious standpoint in science, especially in the early days of something, and "it doesn't".

We saw the same at the beginning of the COVID outbreak in China, where human-to-human transmission was not reported as confirmed until around January 19.


What might seem blindingly obvious now was not obvious then, and in infectious disease outbreaks the difference is crucial. It is not good to wrongly state it one way or the other, simply basing a conclusion on "what it looks like".

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Posted in: 4 die after being buried by snow in Yamagata See in context

Metal storage sheds sold in snow zones are spec'd for 1m of snow on them, houses can take much more.

Not a reasonable assumption. There's a lot more area on a house roof - and people living under it - you can't just extrapolate from a shed.

It varies depending on the pitch of the roof, age of the roof and building, and the wetness, ice content, and age of the snow. Those are all factors that affect the loading or the ability of the roof/building to withstand the load.

Two feet of snow left on a roof for too long is considered a lot. Many areas of Honshu and Hokkaido routinely get far more than that.

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