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Xeno23May. 20, 2013 - 11:01AM JST
Selling to whom? Is there any research to confirm this is a positive marketing approach, or is there just a whole bunch of former / wannabe otakus piling onto a bandwagon?
This article says a lot of companies etc. are doing it, and sure, I see it all over the place, but is the general public really into it - more likely to buy or pay attention, or do they simply have no choice?
If your favorite brand of natto suddenly has moe packaging, what do you do? Me, I'd find another brand, and so would a lot of folks I know.
Posted in: 'Moe' madness: Gov't realizes selling power of cute 2D girls
Xeno23May. 20, 2013 - 03:46AM JST
My mother always said college is about three main things and a distant fourth: 1. Learning how to think. 2. Completing something difficult, 3. Developing an informed mind, and 4. Entry expertise for a profession. There's no question anymore that 1, 2, and 3 have vastly fallen by the wayside in higher education all over the world, and 4 can be marginal if you're not in a good program.
College is a joke if the student is a joke. The problem is that most pre-college educations overwhelmingly produce such jokes. That doesn't mean those four foci aren't still available, it's just that in the directionless democratization of college access, emphasis on them has been so watered-down you have to really work at it to find and attain them.
If one Timmy can't think, you teach him, but if 10,000 Timmys can't think, but can pay, the nearly irresistible temptation is to nerf the program and take their money.
The solution is twofold: 1. reinstate exclusivity to college education, but no one is going to admit or engage that; and 2. Staunch greed in college administration - and that ain't gonna happen either. So for the vast majority of students, sorry, but you're f***ed. You'll waste your money, end up deeply in debt, and get almost nothing out of it.
There will always be those, however, who are smart enough to make good use of their time at college, and here's the thing: it's not always obvious who those people are. Some don't realize this until they get there. So, what to do? I say leave it as it is. It's a numbers game: colleges still produce valuable graduates, and likely more than ever, even if the mean quality is down.
And, unpalatable as it may be, there's the social Darwinism aspect: It will require hitting a watershed or a tipping point before the whole college education thing undergoes a correction. That will result in a lot of casualties. Sad, but true.
Posted in: Is college worth it?
Xeno23May. 20, 2013 - 03:08AM JST
Florida winner is lucky in another respect: no state income tax. But, the taxman will certainly do a number of this winner.
According to a recent article, the first assessment recalculates your tax bracket, then takes your money based on that, which can be upwards of 50%. Then come regular tax time, they reassess your bracket again, and tax based on that. If you plan to gift any of it, like to your family, if you give more than $14K / year / person, they levy a 35% tax on the gift!
Teh gubmnt luvz dem som lotsery winrz!
Posted in: Winning ticket for $590.5 million Powerball lottery sold in Florida
Xeno23May. 14, 2013 - 06:07AM JST
@Lizz & @Alphaape excellent posts and spot on topic; the real question here is what do we do about the poor dispossessed souls caught in a cycle of crime and violence from which there's no apparent avenue of escape? Most gun issues would be moot if the root cause of such tragedies, crime violence, was effectively addressed.
But this is a difficult and deeply complex problem without the kind of easy solutions governments like, and it's exacerbated by the facile idea, apparently held by many of the power elite, that those most affected aren't important. This has just got to be incorrect, because given half a chance this currently dispossessed population could be just as valuable to society as any other segment.
What a "war on crime" really needs isn't more laws, but more understanding, because with understanding can come more effective strategies. Reduce crime properly, and you don't need more laws. If government and politicos spent as much on an effort to understand crime and violence as they do on their campaigns and pet projects, who knows what we'd accomplish?
What we need is a "moon landing" like commitment to understand and address crime and violence; any money spent on such a program would be far better spent, and have far greater positive long term effect, than funding positioning campaigns on hot topic bluster. All this argumentation over the gun issue is a tragic distraction from the real issue.
Posted in: Gunmen open fire at New Orleans Mother’s Day parade; 19 wounded
Xeno23May. 10, 2013 - 03:29AM JST
I have fond memories of TAC growing up an expat kid in the 60's and 70's. My family had a membership because my father's company footed the bill. As has been said, it was a great place for family members, because of the many seasonal parties, athletic lessons like swimming and tennis, a bowling alley, movies, summer camps and ski trips, shops featuring American goods; the Sunday buffets were awesome.
One funny thing I remember is that back in the day the Soviet embassy, or one of its satellites, was butt up against the TAC and every once in a while, as we lounged by the pool eating our hamburgers and sipping our milk shakes, we'd see a grim Soviet face or two looking down at us; sometimes kids. We'd laugh and point. Sheesh, what a bunch of brats.
Posted in: Tokyo American Club membership tops 3,500
Xeno23May. 09, 2013 - 01:53AM JST
There are quite a few Maid Cafes in the USA now too, in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Las Vegas; ran a simple search of the Internet. From what I can tell, they do about the same things, and primarily cater to the same demographic. Anywhere anime culture has taken root, they seem to host at least one; Europe and other parts of Asia too.
Posted in: The past, present and future of maid cafes
Xeno23May. 07, 2013 - 01:13PM JST
The question isn't what do you like better; it's what is more loved in Japan. Look to Japanese culture for the answer; modern and traditional. Cats are more prominent. Dogs have only recently come into their own, because more people can afford them now, and they're fixated on toy breeds.
When I was a kid in Tokyo (60's & 70's), pretty much the only people who had dogs were rich folks, or gaijins, or the odd coot. Dogs were expensive to keep, and needed a lot of space. Toy breeds weren't generally around; it was mostly Akita-ken, Dobermans, Alsatians; not even that many Shiba-inu. I don't recall ever seeing genuine stray dogs, for example.
Dogs, if I'm not too far wrong, weren't widely used, if at all, for work in Japan, and not for war or policing before the 20th century. Cats are all over the place in literature, temples, art - although keeping them as pampered pets wasn't much practiced. The stray cat population is huge and historically very long-standing, even in places like Miyakejima - don't forget Tashirojima.
The plight of lost and abandoned pet dogs from the Tohoku disaster has brought dogs to the fore front lately, but cats have dominated in Japan for centuries.
Posted in: Which are more loved in Japan: Cats or dogs?
Xeno23May. 07, 2013 - 12:48PM JST
Blink. What would dear daddy or beloved gramps say? I'd really like to have overheard the porch talk between the grown ups on this one.
Posted in: N Korea removes missiles from launch site: U.S. officials
Xeno23May. 07, 2013 - 12:43PM JST
Artificial rain? What's it made of: petroleum distillates? The rain isn't artificial; it's real rain - inducing the precipitate is accomplished artificially.
Posted in: Artificial rain can be produced during the rainy season and stored in dams if scarce rainfall is forecast for summertime.
Xeno23May. 07, 2013 - 12:35PM JST
The witty dialogue is probably lost on modern audiences. You have to actually listen to the Marx Brothers and know a few things, be able to recognize rapid fire puns, double entendre, verbal gaffes. Their comedy is actually quite deep and subversive; audiences of the time knew this.
Same for Laurel & Hardy and Abbot & Costello, though the latter duo is a quite step down from the others. The Stooges don't compare; I like them, but they shouldn't be on the same list.
Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Mack Sennett: amazing stuff, and while their incredible sight gags still hold up, I doubt most folks have a lot tolerance for silent films anymore. Too bad.
Posted in: What do you think of old-time comedy acts such as the Three Stooges, Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy? Do you think their brand of comedy still holds up today?
Xeno23May. 05, 2013 - 02:14AM JST
There is a culture war going on in the USA, but the gun issue is simply one battle front, and the reason it gets so much attention is because its an easy target and spurs hot debate. It's also an excellent vehicle for diverting attention and energies into a morass with very little chance of deeper socially significant impact.
At its root, the culture war in the USA is a profoundly difficult issue: intransigent subjective agenda exacerbated by entrenched entitlement-bias. This pervades virtually every debated issue in the USA at all levels. From the gun debate to educational revisionism, from foreign policy to local politics, and the big bugbear of social ills in the USA, crime: it's fueled by entitlement bias.
But the sad fact of this culture war is that virtually all combatants are on the wrong side: they're pretty much all fighting to insure that their collection of entitlements win out over one or more countervailing sets of entitlements. This is not the way to fix things.
In truth, the real struggle is for values like responsibility and accountability, tolerance and respect, rational and critical thinking, cooperation and compromise, and the courage and commitment to face the tough issues and genuinely work toward something better for everyone even if you don't personally like where it takes you.
The culture war in the USA is being fought by, and between a bunch of five-year-olds...
Posted in: NRA kicks off annual convention, saying it is fighting 'culture war'
Xeno23May. 04, 2013 - 01:10AM JST
Nice building anyway, and the flag is pretty cool. Like what UNESCO does; should do more of it. Wish UNICEF was run better, and had more impact.
Posted in: A failure to lead at the U.N.
Xeno23May. 01, 2013 - 10:06AM JST
@Cynthia Popper: I don't live in Tokyo anymore, but I grew up there an American expat, and whenever I'm back, I pretty much fall into gone-native mode all over again. Be interesting to learn if you / others can discern a difference b/n old-timer expats and relative newbies - and what that is.
@iraira: Jeez, all those old venue names... Al's Bar; gone but not forgotten. At least The Ukranian Cultural Center and Dancing Waters are still there - I hear, and still booking shows. Wonder if they're still as wonderfully seedy as back in the day...
Posted in: Five things I like about expat guys
Xeno23May. 01, 2013 - 08:40AM JST
@spahnmatthew I don't know if Bassfunk is referencing this, but the IDF that springs to my mind is the Israel Defense Force, and they are buying Ospreys. Bassfunk may be suggesting the MV-22s must be okay if the IDF is buying them?
Posted in: More Osprey aircraft heading to Japan
Xeno23Apr. 29, 2013 - 01:54AM JST
Part of the problem is the date of celebration and what it means. What if it were a different date, say November 29, which is the date of the first convention of the Diet in 1890? Now, that date has its own problem, since it was the Imperial Diet, but it was also the date of effect for of the first national constitution in Japan, so in a sense it marks the first day of modern, national sovereignty.
Posted in: Abe says restoration of sovereignty day signals hope, pride
Xeno23Apr. 28, 2013 - 11:34AM JST
While the horrors suffered and endured should never be forgotten, not sure a rainbow painted choo-choo train and a tourist attraction conveys the right message. Which isn't to say that if it brings much needed jobs and revenue into a depressed area it's not a good thing, but it's precisely the trivialization of the past that leads us to repeat it.
Posted in: Myanmar looks to revive abandoned 'Death Railway'
Xeno23Apr. 28, 2013 - 02:59AM JST
Hm. So I guess it wasn't certified for airworthiness before... well, that explains everything.
Posted in: Ready to fly again
Xeno23Apr. 28, 2013 - 02:52AM JST
Why is credibility even a topic WRT Twitter? It's a bunch of people sounding off on everything and anything imaginable, which is the only thing it's supposed to be anyway. This equation with journalism is ridiculous. Sure, you can get on-the-spot reports, but the vast majority of those reports are gonna be from "just some guy" or "just some gal", so not taking that into account is silly.
It's often interesting to hear what the average Joe or Betty thinks, and get enough viewpoints and a general picture can be derived, but that's it.
Posted in: Truth and consequences - a dilemma for Twitter and its users
Xeno23Apr. 23, 2013 - 12:08PM JST
Let's consider the word "clever": typically dictionaries define it with other words like: adroit, skillful, mentally quick or nimble, resourceful, exhibiting ingenuity and inventiveness. Is this what we're talking about? Because none of that requires University education. Discussing Nietzsche or Schopenhauer isn't clever, in and of itself, and when was the last time you heard someone describe a Nobel laureate as clever?
Good poker players, that's cleverness; wringing cash out of internet rubes - yeah, that's pretty clever. But do you equate cleverness with what a respected physician, scientist, or top legal mind does? Not so much, because what they do is far more profound. A dog balancing a crisp on its nose; that's clever.
One would hope that in the course of earning a University degree, one also hones and harnesses innate or acquired cleverness in balance with knowledge and expertise to result in intelligence, but it don't always work out that way.
Posted in: Are Tokyo University students cleverer than other people?
Xeno23Apr. 23, 2013 - 11:35AM JST
They're certainly changing it, but for better or worse it's too early to tell. Let's not forget it took traditional news media hundreds of years to evolve into what many of us think of as "Golden Age" journalism, and that only happened in the 20th century. This whole alternative news thing is just in its infancy.
Posted in: Are social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, changing the news gathering and reporting process for better or for worse?
May. 21, 2013 - 04:00AM JST
girlintokyo: the cars do NOT like to share the road with bicycles, and many drivers are…
Posted in: Road traffic laws in Europe and the United States are simple, whereas in Japan pedestrians are always exposed to the risks of bicycles bumping into them from all directions...It is time for us to go back to the original point of the road traffic law, where bicycles and cars share the road.
May. 21, 2013 - 03:56AM JST
Let´s all get to real point : 3rd millenium belongs to the Chinese Growth in every…
Posted in: China trying to strengthen its claim to Okinawa
May. 21, 2013 - 03:53AM JST
Two statements made by N. Korea according to the article: 1. Military training ... is the…
Posted in: N Korea fires 6th missile in three days
May. 21, 2013 - 03:52AM JST
Serrano: There's nothing wrong with riding a bicycle on the sidewalk as long as you go…
May. 21, 2013 - 03:49AM JST
China should think very carefully about this. Many nations and peoples have been taken by force.…