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as_the_crow_fliesJul. 22, 2013 - 12:54PM JST
Just one problem. The mamachari is solid, but it's basically a crap bike. Heavy to ride, inefficient and totally unsafe for taking kids. The fact that people do it here is no reason to copy them, still less to import the actual bikes! Just take a look online and you'll find loads of safer designs for transporting children. You need a lower centre of gravity if you increase the amount of weight you want the bike to carry. Is the article trying to say the Dutch also transport kids a lot on mamacharis? I thought they had front and rear carriages, with extra wheels for this. Also, if you compare the leg position of someone on a mamachari to something better designed, you'll see it takes much more effort to push the mamachari.
Posted in: Japanese mamachari bicycles arrive in London
as_the_crow_fliesJul. 20, 2013 - 01:44PM JST
This piece was probably a reject fro Tatler magazine, (http://www.tatler.com/magazine) and thought if he took it to the other side of the world, maybe noone would be any the wiser and would pay him a few yen for it. Looks like he was right ... As a Brit, I cringe when I see something like this, just in case someone actually gets the idea it represents any kind of reality.
Posted in: In Britain, a summer of quiet revolution
as_the_crow_fliesJul. 19, 2013 - 10:37PM JST
So, what's next? Diesel powered jock straps for women?
So, what's next? Diesel powered jock straps for women?
@BertieWooster: codpieces, perhaps?
Anyway, as Maria said, to each their own, male or female.
Posted in: Men’s bras appear to be on the rise in Japan
as_the_crow_fliesJul. 19, 2013 - 12:13PM JST
“My back feels supported by my chest and relieved.”
“My back feels supported by my chest and relieved.”
'Fraid I have trouble understanding this. I've been wearing one of this contraptions for many score years, and I don't think my back has ever felt relieved because my chest is supporting it. In fact, first thing I do when I get home, is change and take the damn thing off. Specially in this weather. On the train, I can just feel the sweat running down from under it. I would bin all of mine if I didn't feel socially pressured to use one. Added to which, medical research seems to be showing that actually there is no evidence bras are any use in "supporting". And if you did want a supportive type one, it would definitely be a sport type one, not the ones in the photo.
The article seems to be very unsure of whether it's talking about cross dressing, or whether moob-men are looking for support, or if we're really talking about cravings for some kind of corset. Weird indeed.
as_the_crow_fliesJul. 19, 2013 - 12:01PM JST
Whether or not he uses the Internet for campaigning, I'm rooting for Yamamoto. It's great that he's able to reach so many people using his online presence, but what inspires me about him is he's a triumph of substance over form. He actually has a platform beyond that of self advancement. He's passionate, he's articulate, and I think he's campaigning because he has a mission. I hope he gets elected, though I know the odds are very much against it.
If you see his videos of campaigning, you will see that there is a crowd around him when he speaks, and they are actually listening to what he's saying. Oh, and he doesn't wear white gloves, and clutch a bunch of microphones like they were roses. He just gets up on his soapbox with his megaphone, and what he says comes straight from his head, not from a script. We need more Yamamotos in politics in Japan!
Posted in: Few candidates savvy enough to take advantage of Internet campaigning
as_the_crow_fliesJul. 10, 2013 - 12:44PM JST
I don't understand how a politician (and a former president at that) can hold dual nationality, especially considering Japan doesn't allow it for adults.
Yes, Pukey, that's not the half of it. During his presidency, there was a scandal at one point that he was ineligible for president as he hadn't been born in Peru. After that it was clearly established (by the fujimori side) that he was in fact born there, and as Peruvian as they come. Didn't stop him from faxing his resignation while on a business trip when the sh*t hit the fan there, and then using his second generation Japanese status to get quickie Japanese nationality. In 2 weeks! Course then, with his ultra rightist backers here, helped by savings cannily spirited away while president of Peru, he lived the life of Riley for five years, even running for office. Don't think even his backers and handlers could convince Japanese voters however of his patent gaijinidad - I didn't actually hear him speak Japanese, but I don't think it would have impressed a true son of Yamato, his intended electorate. Running around in a bullet proof vest at the front of the commandos after they stormed the Japanese embassy to end the siege back in 1997 wasn't enough of an election ticket here.
Personally, I think his presence here became an embarressment to those same right wingers who took him in when he first legged it from Peru, and there were behind the scenes moves to tap him on the shoulder. Otherwise I can't explain how he got it into his head to land in Chile of all places, where the then president had herself been tortured under Pinochet's brutal dictatiorship in the 70's and 80's, and there's no way he could quietly transit to Peru, where he hoped the Fujimorista machine could once again manipulate the judiciary and let him walk. Anyway, thankfully, the Chileans did what they did, and the Peruvian got him extradited for human rights abuses and corruption, tried and sentenced. In other words, justice was done.
By the way, JT, the article incorrectly suggests he was extradited from Japan. Despite years of requests and detailed depositions from the Peruvian government of the time , the Japanese government refused to extradite him. No surprise there.
Anyway, I'm glad to know that he remains in the right place, that justice was done, and he's serving out his sentence. Good luck to him with the paintings and the memoirs.
Posted in: Fujimori writing autobiography in prison
as_the_crow_fliesJun. 24, 2013 - 03:19PM JST
As this is a Japan, not US-oriented site (or purports to be), it would make more sense if this article is just cut and pasted from a US site, to add a Japan angle. It could include the increasing social inequality, fading in legitimacy of the idea touted for decades that all Japanese were middle class (in reality the upper class elites run things, and there has been a large working class, which economic changes of the last 20 years is swelling with people falling out of the middle class), and open disillusion with anti-democratic government manifested since the start of the Tohoku "reconstruction" fiasco and the Fukushima circus. Despite this, the apathy manifested by too many Japanese (given what's going on, and the assault on their living standards) really stands out in contrast to other places where the middle class are standing up for justice. A pity that articles are simply parachuted in from the other side of the world without giving some local context - that would be the most interesting bit.
Posted in: The global middle class awakens
as_the_crow_fliesJun. 24, 2013 - 03:06PM JST
The key to this will have to be trustworthy independent reviews. If the dominant message on the site is just hospitals blowing their own trumpets, it's not going to give potential users the information they really need. Reliable recommendations or criticisms, on the other hand, would be really useful.
and how weird to have a question about why the site includes hospitals outside Japan. Why wouldn't it? And it's widely known that the standard in places like Thailand is very high, while the cost is low, and most staff speak fluent English. If a site's going to be oriented at non-Japanese speakers, Thailand is likely for many illnesses to be the preferred choice. Of course for a chronic illness, or one needing long-term follow-up, like a transplant, people may want to be closer to home.
Posted in: Health info just one click away
as_the_crow_fliesJun. 24, 2013 - 02:34PM JST
Unfortunately, the far smarter Spanish and Turkish people are making it clear that many of them don't want this corrupt, expensive circus coming to town, leaving the people to foot the bill while the fat cats make a mint out of it. Therefore it will come by default to Safety Japan. I fear we're stuck with it, people, whatever many may think. Most aren't in favour, it's just apathy about protesting that has won the toss. So everyone, take a deep breath of those radionucleides being released this very moment over the city from incinerators around Tokyo and draining into the waters of Tokyo bay from the rivers, or being dumped directly into it, and give a shout for the Great Safety Olympic C~I~I~I~R~C~U~S~S~!!!
Posted in: Olympic Night
as_the_crow_fliesJun. 18, 2013 - 02:28PM JST
I would like to see some mention, even once, about the working conditions and rights about those domestic workers. Presumably, they're not the class of "women" whose participation in the workforce the writer is interested in. Conditions of forced labour and abuse are well-documented worldwide. Although I notice he does say that the workers should be able to work for more than one household which would address this problem at least a little, considering Japan's miserable human rights record for workers coming on these kind of unskilled visas, I can see desperate women (they nearly all are women in most places) being exploited by unscrupulous employers. Still, I'm sure, that won't trouble the writer, who no doubt lives in an expat bubble where having servants is normal.
Posted in: ACCJ urges immigration law revision to allow hiring of foreign domestic workers
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 25, 2013 - 04:14PM JST
As a qualified language teacher, ex-JET and Japan taxpayer, I have to agree with most posters here, that this is a dumb move which will produce more of the same - a bunch of well-meaning genki graduates, with a puffed up sense of their own importance having a few cocoon years out in the sticks, spouting their grassroots cultural exchange number as still mouthed by the same tired old amukudari coots who run the programme and the Min of Education, while the English education machine in Japan still bumbles along incompetently, repeating the same errors as it has done for the past 25-odd years, and producing the same abysmal results. A Waste of My Taxpaying Money. Scrap the programme, create a system to second, say a couple of thousand Japanese Teachers of English, who have a few year's teaching experience, to work overseas in state schools around the world. If possible, they can teach Japanese, and also work as teaching assistants in EAL (English as an Additional Language) classes, or if they speak another foreign language like Chinese, in those classes, to see how modern language teaching works. They can then bring back best practice from all those different countries, from Sweden or Spain (places where state EFL programmes are really producing results), to the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, ... Also, they are likely to develop a real feeling for English through these experiences.
As for the old grassroots cultural exchange chestnut that some JETs like to bang on about like old records, Probie has said it. That old song about people who've never met a furriner out in the sticks - chances are that several kids with Japanese names are from bicultural homes, but the parents have relabelled them to avoid bullying. So actually do the exchange at the grassroots level, **NOT **through JET. There are sure to be Chinese, Filipinos, Burmese, Koreans, Indians, Nepalese, Brazilians, whatever - **they **are the ones that exchange should be going on with - after all, it's most likely their children in schools who are being bullied and ostracised, and their cultures denigrated. I speak here from several years experience of seeing dozens of children who the official narrative considers the wrong colour getting hell in schools.
Some JETs also spout the official line about increasing understanding between countries. To which I say, frankly, B#ll#x. Nothing to do with English teaching, and I don't to be honest care what people might feel about Japan at the end of their experience. That's their own private business, but it's simply irrelevant. If anyone wants to do a Japan experience, then by all means come over and get a job in an eikaiwa, but taxpayer's money here should not be thrown at you.
As for the JET programme's official line whining that it's not about language teaching, while on the other hand the government is once again claiming that it's going to improve English speaking in Japan by "exposing" Japanese youth to furriners through JET just seems to grind on, without anyone pointing out the total logical disconnect.
And kharashima, I agree that Japan is wasting the opportunity to make the most of Japanese like yourself who have a very high level of fluency in English. For what it's worth, I had a similar experience in the UK with Spanish. Despite it being my home language, teacher training colleges wouldn't accept me for Spanish teaching courses because I hadn't studied it at university. Like someone else suggested, maybe you should train as a regular teacher, rather than going the JET route. But at the same time, your point about not understanding different native speakers is a bit bizarre. Maybe you need to get around a bit more until you're able to cope with all the varieties of English around, from Glasgow to Goa.
Posted in: Gov't plans to increase number of foreign English teachers to 10,000
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 25, 2013 - 03:36PM JST
President Park's a bit late to warn about the shift to the right. Personally I think it's more of lurch than a shift. Don't think a lot of people here are really aware of how strong and far-reaching the move is.
Posted in: S Korean leader warns Japan against shift to right
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 25, 2013 - 03:31PM JST
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners across Japan, who have bought land and built a house at the top of a cliff are probably at this moment quaking in their socks. I live in Yokohama, and the way they stick houses at the very edge of ridges like the one in Shizuoka is just A Seriously Bad Idea. If you walk along any of the few which haven't been built over, you can see straight away that the soil is basically mush, and as @nandaka pointed out, many ridges are probably running above fault lines. A few houses are sure to topple over in some places following heavy rain/high winds/quakes/floods or a combination. There's a real need for planning controls to stop this kind of building on the brink.
Posted in: Shizuoka tea field landslides may not be over, warn officials
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 25, 2013 - 03:24PM JST
Why stop at the mother? Go after his brother, his girlfriend, his father, his grandmother, all his neighbours, his friends and everyone who works with him, all his friends on Facebook for that matter ... Oh and every health worker at every hospital he's ever visited. Yeah, great logic there!
What a moronic law. Of course his employer has a responsibility to check he's fit to operate any kind of heavy machinery. But he's an adult, FFS! That makes him legally responsible for his actions. And the man himself should be heavily penalised, because his actions have caused really terrible consequences for so many people. But anyone else? Gimme a break.
Posted in: Mother, employer of epileptic crane driver ordered to pay compensation over fatal accident
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 06, 2013 - 12:14PM JST
65 member task force? Umm, do I smell a whiff of amukudari here?
Maybe they should kick off with a working group to decide whether to talk about setting up the task force to prepare for the talks on whether to join the talks on entry to the TPP. That would create work for more old codgers.
Posted in: Abe launches TPP task force
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 06, 2013 - 12:12PM JST
Agreed, very 1950's. Maybe that's why they sell so well in Japan.
As others have said, if they're dangerous to health, why not ban them?
Posted in: Fabric fresheners potentially harmful to health, warns consumer center
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 05, 2013 - 12:56PM JST
There are already loads of people (mostly women) qualified as care assistants who refuse to do it because it's a demanding job and the pay is crap.
The suggestions of reducing minimum wage taxes, increasing pay and improving the working hours so people can easily do it part-time are the way to go.
Posted in: We need to increase the number of care workers by a million...by 2025, for which we have to consider strategies.
as_the_crow_fliesApr. 01, 2013 - 01:54AM JST
My verdict, after using it daily to transfer from Toyoko to Yamanote for three years is, it's a godawful mess! They put in this supposedly amazing connection, (like everyone in Kanagawa has soo been gagging to have a direct ride to deepest Saitama), but they overlooked the minor detailette of how to change trains. Just went through it today and found the Shonan-shinjuku to Yamanote line transfer equally messy. and that's all within JR land. Designed by the village idiot indeed. I think I'm going to reroute my commute to avoid Shibuya altogether, even if it costs me more.
I mean, didn't anybody even stop to think about how they would make the transfers worse?
And who cares if it's more "popular" or not, FFS? We just want the frickin station to work as a station! Apparently, if we can hang on for four more years, it's all going to be sorted. What kind of A$$ backwards planning is that?
Posted in: Shibuya's new underground station garners negative reviews
as_the_crow_fliesMar. 05, 2013 - 02:53PM JST
I had an iphone for a while and was paying around 7000 a month for it, including the service and the actual phone. I've downsized back to a common and garden clamshell phone for email and calls, and it sets me back around 2000. Does the job, costs very little. Can't understand the poster who said a basic phone costs them more than a smartphone. If someone can tell me which provider will rent me a smartphone for 2000 a month I'd love to know about it!
Posted in: Japan’s 'Galapagos phones' strive to survive in a smartphone world
as_the_crow_fliesFeb. 17, 2013 - 05:43PM JST
"The old Kabukiza building was demolished in 2010 due to worries over its ability to withstand earthquakes." (sic) Truth: "The old Kabukiza building was demoloshed to make way for a 195 meter skyscraper.".
The previous story they used to justify it was that the toilets were outdated. As you say realist, it's all about money.
Posted in: Renewed kabuki theater lights up
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:36PM JST
What if she is lying about it?
It doesn't matter. He admitted to sleeping with her…
Posted in: Olympic judo champion loses appeal over 5-year jail term for rape
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:33PM JST
Singapore has to understand that it would be NO WHERE without the HARD WORKING poor, underclass…
Posted in: 4,000 foreign workers questioned after riot in Singapore
Many are calling it the Buster Posey rule after he was seriously injured at a home…
Posted in: MLB intends to ban plate collisions
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:32PM JST
What if she is lying about it?
Dec. 12, 2013 - 09:27PM JST
you really have only 2 possibilities in capital crime- the death penalty or life without parole.…
Posted in: Japan hangs two death-row inmates