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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'
Steve FabricantAug. 22, 2014 - 09:54PM JST
It is excellent baseball and a hell of a lot less boring than watching MLB. I admire the fine sportsmanship. If that's some Japanese aberration, I'm all for it.
Posted in: Fanatic fans oblivious to sleazy side of Koshien high school baseball
Steve FabricantAug. 15, 2014 - 09:15AM JST
If this is really such a dangerous part of the world, the US military should definitely not be bringing their dependents here. The whole establishment might have been suitable for the colonial era up until 1972, but since then has just been a relaxing overseas posting ("deployment" sounds too serious) costing both countries billions of dollars a year that mainly goes back to big contractors. Give some of the land back that is now used for housing, schools, and recreation and maybe there would be less objection to the new base.
Posted in: Buoys floated off Futenma replacement site in Okinawa
Steve FabricantAug. 14, 2014 - 08:48PM JST
"When everything is said and done, it's the price for the losing the war."
A truly simple and simpleminded equation. I haven't heard about any Vietnamese bases in the USA, and that only ended 40 years ago, not 69.
Steve FabricantJul. 08, 2014 - 08:25PM JST
Power went out at 9:45 am in my part of Naha and is still out at 8:30 pm. We just drove around and it appears it was just local, about 1-km radius in the area bordering Haebaru. Hope it comes back before the fridge gets too warm, but we enjoyed a candlelight dinner.
Posted in: Typhoon sweeps across Okinawa; 10 injured, 1 dead
Steve FabricantJul. 03, 2014 - 11:14AM JST
I'm waiting for the movie. Someone in Hollywood must be working on the screenplay right now.
Posted in: Nature journal retracts stem cell paper
Steve FabricantJun. 25, 2014 - 11:24PM JST
The 50% increase in the road tax is a major shafting of people who bought a Kei expecting that they could save money over the life of the car by giving up some performance and luxury. The size and performance restrictions were intended precisely so they did not compete directly with larger cars, just as motorcycles do not compete with cars for market share. So to reduce the cost savings in order to make them less competitive is really backasswards policy.
Posted in: Tiny cars leaving Japan?
Steve FabricantMay. 26, 2014 - 09:41AM JST
There was a student/teacher group in Okinawa and Tokyo last week from Lapland! Santa Claus will have some special goodies this Xmas.
Posted in: Japanese retailers target new big spenders - tourists
Steve FabricantMay. 22, 2014 - 12:45PM JST
Agree with WilliB ^^. Kinko's, a massively successful chain of photocopy shops in the US, has survived a long time, although who knows what really goes on behind the counter late at night? My online bank changes its name every few years and that's just confusing as hell.
Posted in: Kinki University to change pervy English name
Jan. 28, 2015 - 03:32PM JST
Her parents, friends and family didn't recognize that she was mentally unstable?
Posted in: 19-year-old girl arrested for killing 77-year-old woman in Nagoya
McCain, a Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the kingdom was emerging “as…
Posted in: Obama meets new Saudi king to shore up ties
Jan. 28, 2015 - 03:26PM JST
what the heck is yomping
Yomp (Your Own Measured Pace) an army march in full kit.…
Posted in: Organizations for karate, squash, snooker and 10 pin bowling are lobbying for their inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Which of these, if any, would you like to see included, and which current Olympic sports would you like to see dropped?
Communist love prancing around showing off their antiquated cheap weapons of war. But, all those weapons…
Posted in: China to hold military parade to 'frighten Japan'
Jan. 28, 2015 - 03:24PM JST
If it's not Godzilla, it's a giant ape. Life in Tokyo must be rough.
Posted in: Going ape