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Steve FabricantAug. 20, 2015 - 07:33AM JST
OTC medications are a ripoff/racket here in Japan. I also bring the biggest jar of generic ibuprofen I can find. Sunscreen. And I forgot Almond Butter. And XXXXXXXXXXXL condoms, you wimps!
Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad?
Steve FabricantAug. 19, 2015 - 11:14PM JST
Wow, deodorant really heads the list. Maybe the Japanese are right about kusa gaijins. And the heavy condom imports tell a related tale. I bring back Parmesan cheese and Peet's coffee.
Steve FabricantJul. 10, 2015 - 08:28PM JST
Agree, typhoons are not the reason they shouldn't be here.
Posted in: 23 injured as typhoon lashes Okinawan islands
Steve FabricantJun. 22, 2015 - 08:15PM JST
Bowling, now there's a game worthy of the alcoholympics. I hope the US succeeds in fielding Team Leboski.
Posted in: Baseball, bowling, squash among 8 sports shortlisted for 2020 Games
Steve FabricantJun. 01, 2015 - 07:59PM JST
This is great. I hope they come out with a hot-climate version.
Posted in: Ear cover serves as low-priced hearing aid
Steve FabricantMay. 19, 2015 - 02:31PM JST
If we are going to have to start speaking Mandarin in Okinawa, it won't be because of a Chinese military takeover if the US goes away. It will be because the China is getting better and better at what we used to be good at - industrial innovation, infrastructure development, education, fighting its own poverty, engaging in constructive world trade, foreign assistance, and NOT stupidly meddling in strategically vital regions in the pretense of promoting their way of life and politics by military force. How much does it cost the US and Japan to keep thousands of warfighters, their highpaid supporting contractors, and their contented families ensconced on Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan? Whatever you guess, you are probably off by a hell of a lot of money that the US should be using for better purposes. Go ahead and "bad" this - the truth can be painful sometimes.
Posted in: Japanese worry over Osprey safety after fatal Hawaii crash
Steve FabricantMay. 12, 2015 - 08:12PM JST
The headline should have been "Wannabe typhoon sashays into Okinawa."
Posted in: Tropical storm moves toward Honshu
Steve FabricantApr. 07, 2015 - 07:14PM JST
At least I give this report more credence than that scaremongering "plume" that purported to show radioactive water lapping on the western US shores a few days after the explosion. Note to nuclear-haters: we don't actually need "sky is falling" any more than necessary.
Posted in: Radiation from Fukushima disaster detected off Canada's coast
Steve FabricantJan. 20, 2015 - 08:28PM JST
200 millionl!!!?? Those guys must think they're in Silicon Valley or Wall Street. Where do they think they can park all that, not that they will ever see any of it on this earth.
Posted in: IS threatens to kill 2 Japanese hostages unless it receives $200 mil ransom
Steve FabricantJan. 15, 2015 - 11:17AM JST
Undeniably true that a lot of money has been mis-spent on "developing" Okinawa. When I visit mainland cities I am surprised how shoddy many seem compared to Naha, but there was also the matter of the total devastation in 1944/45 that the Japanese government rightly assumed responsibility for. What is NOT needed are more grand administrative and social welfare buildings and boondoggles like the OIST "technology incubator" that result from the wet dreams of bureaucrats with unlimited budgets. Quite possibility it is not yet possible to find a group of Okinawans with planning skills and with enough distance from the construction firms to plot a realistic future for this prefecture, but until that happens I think a dose of austerity is good medicine.
Posted in: Gov't cuts budget for Okinawan economic development
Steve FabricantJan. 13, 2015 - 08:12PM JST
USN - of course it is a reaction. "wrong but strong" vs. "right but weak". When it comes to guiding a country down a path, I'll take the latter, thank you.
Posted in: Putin, Netanyahu in top 10 most admired in U.S. Why?
Steve FabricantDec. 25, 2014 - 01:39PM JST
“Panic-based decisions are not sound crisis management,” said Jonathan Bernstein, president of Los Angeles-based crisis management company Bernstein Crisis Management
Gotta love this journalist.
Posted in: Sony tries to save face with 'Interview' flip-flop
Steve FabricantDec. 21, 2014 - 09:21PM JST
Interesting that a Google search on "The following substances are found in flu vaccines: aluminum, antibiotics, egg protein, formaldehyde, human aborted fetal apparatus (dead human tissue), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and thimerosol (mercury)," turns up several dozen anti-vax and religious websites, but NOT C.D.C. nor is there any citation that connects it back to CDC.
Now why would that be?
In addition, the CDC never said that the flu vaccine is ineffective.
I guess I should really go public with the fact that I have been getting the seasonal vaccine since it first was made availlable and have never had the flu or any side-effects. Like that proves anything either?
Steve FabricantDec. 20, 2014 - 11:06PM JST
Even if it is "only" 60% effective, that makes it a very good bet against a week of misery or worse. The Health Depts are not strongly recommending everyone get the shots but only the young and elderly, who are at risk of the worst consequences of the flu. That seems sensible to me.
Steve FabricantNov. 18, 2014 - 06:05PM JST
I see we have one of those simple 200-pounders here: "To the victors go the spoils". Don't forget that China and the Soviet Union were our allies in the Pacific War too. If it's blood that he means, lots more Okinawan civilians died here than US troops. so by that accounting they deserve their island back.
Posted in: Okinawa vote a blow to Japan-U.S. ties, say analysts
Steve FabricantNov. 15, 2014 - 08:10PM JST
The Philippines does a good job of catering to Muslim visitors, but that was made easy by their indigenous Muslims who now are a large presence in Manila. In any case, what's the big deal about labeling menu items as halal in a restaurant in a touristic area, or putting a small sign in the window? And if you resent tourists wiith money (like Mr. Leach - perfect!) then you shouldn't object to seeing foreigners sleeping on park benches either.
Posted in: Japan tries to tap growing Muslim tourist market
Steve FabricantNov. 04, 2014 - 10:51AM JST
I had to think long and hard about this news. First, as "excellent" as the best J-whiskies are, they do not offer the great available taste range of Scotch single malts. Someone who settles in on a couple of Yamazakis as their only whisky is depriving themself of so much else. Second, I also used to only drink whiskey neat until I watched a video by a rather over-the-top Scotsman who gave instructions on the proper savouring and drinking of Scotch - and to my surprise he insisted that the whiskey should be diluted to about 50 proof with water. Yes, water - the same stuff that WC Fields never drank because fish make love in it. Well, after some experimentation I am now in agreement with the guy, because when slightly diluted you get all of the flavor and subtlety without the burn. And any good Scotsman knows the bottle lasts longer that way, and that is no small matter when it happens to be something like Lagavulin 18.
Posted in: Japanese single malt whisky named world's finest
Steve FabricantOct. 19, 2014 - 05:01PM JST
A few years ago when hybrid vehicles were becoming numerous, there were questions raised about the lifespan and re-usability of their batteries. They seem to be lasting longer than most engineers expected, but I recall reading that when their capacity becomes degraded to the point that they are unsuitable for the vehicles, they could still be used to backup intermittent electricity sources such as solar. I envisioned mountains of ex-Prius batteries wired to the grid through giant inverters. I wonder what happened to that concept?? And BTW, I don't believe there is any real problem with the "quality" of the solar power that is fed into the grid since it all gets conditioned by electronics.
Posted in: Green power floods Japan grid as premium prices bite
Steve FabricantSep. 19, 2014 - 09:51AM JST
Circumcision would not be an effective public health measure in Japan because of the very low prevalence of HIV here. It also has been shown to be ineffective for transmission by gay men, which is the main reservoir of infection in Japan. As for its efficacy in other settings, by citing a particular situation in Zimbabwe kchoze obscures the fact that when it is done properly and men abstain for at least 6 weeks afterward, it is very effective in reducing heterosexual transmission. One issue is that circumcised men are more likely to engage in risky sex, and in some countries HIV has been transmitted through blood during the operation.
Posted in: Foreskin clip joints take unwary males for a ride
Steve FabricantAug. 25, 2014 - 02:44PM JST
All the kiddies and nannies were found in a condominium. Surely a misnomer!
Posted in: Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'
Sep. 05, 2015 - 07:13PM JST
Plenty of Yaks in Edogawa - I lived there for 4 years. No doubt there's a…
Posted in: Man tells girlfriend to sell her organs to pay him Y1.5 mil
I also wonder how the athletes are going to fare.
Oxygen is vital for any…
Posted in: Organizers must provide spectators with necessary cooling items and medical services, including first aid, to cope with the heat.
Sep. 05, 2015 - 07:11PM JST
Could you provide concrete examples of when this has happened?
Check your history books.
Posted in: Attempts to deter migrants don't work
I'd also add that Japan's local airports, Haneda included, largely have extremely short runways. I just…
Posted in: At LCCs, which are focused on short-distance flights, pilots go through many takeoffs and landings. Takeoffs and landings involve many nerve-wracking operations, so this additional stress on top of the accumulated flight hours is a concern.
Sep. 05, 2015 - 07:06PM JST
What about the three dozen retired generals and admirals who back the deal? Do you "take…
Posted in: Obama gets Iran deal win as Democrats amass enough votes