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wanderlustNov. 25, 2014 - 03:24PM JST
Expect the usual roll-out of...regrettable...misunderstanding...consider actions to prevent repetition...
Posted in: Honda admits failing to report 1,729 deaths, injuries to U.S. regulators
wanderlustNov. 21, 2014 - 06:12PM JST
culminating in an unexpected event during the highly scripted games...
culminating in an unexpected event during the highly scripted games...
And what was the unexpected event?
Posted in: Japan raises military profile in naval war games with U.S.
wanderlustNov. 19, 2014 - 08:38AM JST
Envelopes will be changed from brown to white...
Posted in: IOC changes Olympic bidding process
wanderlustNov. 17, 2014 - 10:14AM JST
Mega banks - micro service. Maybe if they increased their lending to individuals and SMEs (Small and Medium sized enterprises), and stopped propping up dinosaur institutions in Japan that are 'too big to fail', they would see some positive impact on their businesses, and the overall Japan economy.
Posted in: Japan megabanks post lackluster half-year profits
wanderlustNov. 13, 2014 - 08:00AM JST
Didn't know that you could put the words FIFA and Ethics together in the same sentence!
Posted in: FIFA ethics chief to make 2018, 2022 World Cup statement
wanderlustNov. 12, 2014 - 10:00AM JST
For most physicians in Japan, without drug company sponsored education meetings, they would still be practising medicine based on what they had learned at university 10~20~40 years ago. There is no requirement for continuing professional development here, unlike that which many healthcare professionals undergo around the world.
It is true that sales and marketing budgets do exceed research budgets in most R&D based drug companies, but with a 1 in 10,000 success rate in going from a new chemical entity to a fully marketable drug, costing more than 1$billion and taking on average 10 years, the companies have to cover their costs, and make a profit for their stakeholders.
Society also demands safe and effective medicines, which can only be proven through extensive clinical trials and then post-marketing surveillance programmes. These cost money. The high cost of a pill is the cost of the information and regulatory requirements, not the cost of the chemicals and production.
Whilst meetings are often sponsored by drug companies, they are governed by extensive local and international pharmaceutical marketing codes, and companies usually provide funds as unrestricted educational grants to faculty and meeting organising committees. They have limited influence over the content of the meeting. They are allowed limited advertising, and hospitality is bound by reasonable limits.
Physicians themselves are some of the most greedy participants and attendees, demanding that all meals and travel are paid for, that they receive higher levels of hospitality than permitted, and require services beyond that specified in promotion codes, e.g. spouse benefits, presentation support, first class travel, drinks and other forms of entertainment.
Finally hospital pharmacy and therapeutics committees, comprising a number of different specialities, including pharmacists, nurses, administrators and other medical staff decide on which medicines a hospital buys and uses; based on evidence of greater efficacy, less side effects, improved cost-benefit, more convenient packaging and other factors. They can limit the number of 'similar' medicines in stock, in their formulary, and often negotiate better pricing deals with companies to save money.
This also prevents a company expensively targeting a particular specialist to promote their medicines, and many overbearing and persistent requests to include a new medicine are followed by the comment, 'Who bought you dinner last night?'
Posted in: Each time new medicines are released, the companies spend a lot of money to hold study meetings for doctors, which are actually advertising bids. As a result, high-priced new medicines are prescribed more frequently, which pushes up medical costs for the public.
wanderlustNov. 11, 2014 - 09:13PM JST
The only 'real' investigate reporting here is by the tabloids, who don't care too much about corporate advertising or toeing the establishment line, and do not belong to the 'kisha club'; a great example being the exposure of Olympus.
Companies spend billions of yen in advertising, and none of the papers want to risk losing any of it. The mainstream media will only touch sensitive subjects when they have been reported in foreign media, and they have to have some sort of obligatory response. A good account of this is in Gamble and Watanbe's book 'A Public Betrayed: An Inside Look at Japanese Media Atrocities and Their Warnings to the West'.
Posted in: Media not doing their job on covering political fund use
wanderlustNov. 10, 2014 - 09:50AM JST
Classic natural development with erosion and deposition leading to the formation of an oxbow lake,...also known as resacas in Texas and billabongs in Australia.
Posted in: Kizuro Village is a hidden natural beauty and feng shui power spot
wanderlustNov. 08, 2014 - 10:53AM JST
Dambusters, Lawrence of Arabia, Pink Panther, James Bond (various), Magnificent Seven, Jaws,
Posted in: Name some movie scores that are so famous that after hearing only a few seconds of the music, you can immediately name the movie.
wanderlustNov. 07, 2014 - 01:23PM JST
So they are only transparent when dead? And drained of fluid. And skinned. And processed...
A bit misleading...
There are some fish and eels that are truly transparent, when alive and swimming in the sea!
Posted in: Scientists make see-through mice
wanderlustNov. 07, 2014 - 12:23PM JST
@reckless - we care for her. Her care costs are currently paid through parent's pensions, father gets a small carer's allowance, and our family contribution. When permanent care is required, parent's savings have enough for around 10~12 years of care, depending on how investments perform, and we don't expect anything to be left in their wills for us. Beyond that we don't know, as we (3 siblings) shall all be pensioners ourselves then.
Posted in: People are desperate to find ways to handle dementia patients.
wanderlustNov. 07, 2014 - 11:30AM JST
In many cases, the carers have greater needs than the patients that they care for. While many children and relatives look after the family members out of a sense of filial duty or responsibility, their own lives are made exceedingly difficult caring for someone 24 hours a day. They still have goals, feelings, ambitions and dreams, while their relative is more or less just existing in a twilight state from minute to minute.
My own mother now has severe dementia, and now the mother-in-law is developing it too. They still live at home. She has zero sense of her surroundings, does not recognise family members; cannot handle anything to do with money, electricity, water, gas or anything sharp, and needs constant supervision when not asleep. She has to be basically locked up in the house, only allowed out when accompanied, as she has in the past wandered out at night-time into neighbours' houses, deposited family valuables in their garbage bins or letter boxes, while they in turn are worried for their children and their own security. We feel guilty for almost imprisoning her, but alarms and other control devices have proven to be useless.
She is doubly incontinent all over the house; has no sense of hygiene, is resistant to showers and baths, and will often respond to suggestions with pure aggression, that rapidly evaporates. Travel anywhere with her for more than an hour or two must be meticulously planned. You cannot leave your own valuables anywhere, as she may pick them up and place them somewhere, with no recollection of where they have gone.
Drugs only delayed the inevitable deterioration for a few years, or put her into a sedated condition; side-effects were also troublesome. She is still physically strong, and may live for another 10~15 years, as longevity runs in the family, though her lack of hygiene does make her prone to infection, which in turn affects her moods.
The occasional day when she is looked after at a care home, or a carer comes visiting does provide some relief, and a chance to do something for yourself; but at the end of a particular difficult day, when you have got her into bed and cleaned up the mess, you sometimes find yourself thinking, 10 more years of this! Arghhh!
Carer and support services are good, and try their best to help you; healthcare, legal and financial advice is available, though nowadays with privacy and data protection issues, sharing of information between different groups is not as good as it should be.
Let's face it, society is not currently equipped to manage and take care of the growing numbers of dementia patients, and their immediate carers.
wanderlustNov. 07, 2014 - 10:40AM JST
With all those chauffeur driven BMWs and Mercedes required for the 'Olympic family', special traffic lanes, smiling hotel staff, top-of-the-line food and beverages, media involvement and privileges galore, the Olympic organisers will not reduce their standards if they can help it.
Posted in: No quick fix on reducing Olympic costs, says Asian chief
wanderlustNov. 06, 2014 - 09:28AM JST
The company will probably appeal....and try to reduce the payment.
Posted in: Restaurant ordered to pay Y58 mil damages over employee's suicide
wanderlustNov. 04, 2014 - 11:23AM JST
With 15~20 single malts to choose from in the 'drinks cabinet', have never found myself reaching for a Yamazaki or Hibiki. Still find them a little rough, there is an edge to them that none of the family like. Nikka is definitely the hardest to drink, even as mizuwari or with lemonade!
Find the Highland and Speyside whiskies are the easiest to drink and the smoothest, the peaty Islay malts taste a little too medical.
Of course it could be that I have lousy taste, but everyone is entitled to their opinion...
Posted in: Japanese single malt whisky named world's finest
wanderlustNov. 04, 2014 - 11:04AM JST
The relief that the patient feels, no pain anymore, as well as the family and healthcare professionals witnessing no more suffering are immense.
Saw it for the first time when practising in hospital in the 70's when a family asked if we could speed up the demise of their 55 year old relative, who was in agony with an inoperable and untreatable ear cancer that had spread into the brain area, secondary cancers (metastases) riddled his body, and his body weight was reduced to less than 30 kg.
At that time, terminal care pain control was in its infancy, and breakthrough pain occurred more often than happens nowadays. The patient was lucid and well aware of his situation, but felt unable to ask the nurses, so asked his family instead to ask for a solution. After a long discussion, the patient was put on high doses, but not overdoses of two drugs, and passed away peacefully within a couple of days.
The family were very grateful, and passed on the patient's thanks that he was allowed to choose to go. The first of many such encounters.
There should be safeguards with such actions, that healthcare professionals are not pressured into premature actions, and that possible vested interests of relatives are considered. Clear guidelines with an unambiguous protocol should be established. I also feel that police, lawyers and judges should be less involved with the majority of such decisions, and more lay public are consulted, as they are often the ones who understand the situation more clearly.
Posted in: What is your stance on doctor-assisted suicide by terminally-ill patients?
wanderlustNov. 02, 2014 - 10:13AM JST
Late November is good enough, plenty of time for sales opportunities. Though in the UK recently, I was horrified to see that there was a Christmas tree in the entrance of a local restaurant at the end of September.
Posted in: Christmas decorations and light displays are already up in some parts of Japan. Do you think it is too early?
wanderlustOct. 31, 2014 - 12:21PM JST
I thought that decommissioning nuclear power plants was going to be a growing area of profit for Toshiba? Or maybe that's included in power generation/ energy infrastructure?
Posted in: Toshiba's half-year net profit surges 43%
wanderlustOct. 30, 2014 - 07:51PM JST
Just build a great big wall around the Middle East conflict zones, with a few opening for jihadists to get in (passports not necessary) and non-combatants and maybe oil to come out, and then let them get on with shooting, blowing up and beheading each other. The Chinese did it, the Romans did. The the rest of the world can then live on in relative peace.
The last one with a head left on can turn any remaining light off....
Posted in: Australia passes laws preventing young people from going to fight in overseas conflicts
wanderlustOct. 30, 2014 - 10:12AM JST
Probably need to hire an IT person in every branch to switch on, programme, maintain and update them...
Posted in: Nestle 'hiring' 1,000 robots to sell espresso machines
Nov. 28, 2014 - 06:39PM JST
Accordingly, disclosure of GMO content should be clearly spelled out in any commercial sale of food,…
Posted in: U.S. orders calorie labeling for chain restaurants
Nov. 28, 2014 - 06:35PM JST
During 80s bubble era, there were tons of "unskilled" laborers, and there wasn't much trouble. When…
Posted in: Do you think Japan should allow immigration by unskilled workers?
Nov. 28, 2014 - 06:24PM JST
Phil's slightly unorthodox batting technique was fun to watch, and his cut on the off-side was…
Posted in: Australia mourns death of cricket star
Nov. 28, 2014 - 06:14PM JST
Donations should also go to efforts to fight climate change caused by this excessive display of…
Posted in: 1.2 million Australian Christmas lights set record
Nov. 28, 2014 - 06:09PM JST
Actually I'm kind of sympathetic with some of the Communist party's ideals. They are the only…
Posted in: Japanese Communist Party says it will reverse most of Abe's policies