Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sequels in July 2013

July 21, 2013
General election of the upper house: beyond the policy

The Abe administration has won a lot of seats of the upper house. Some people, including me, are afraid that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will be outrageous. On the other hand, I saw a prediction that the Abe administration will stack. It seems that some subgroups which are anvivalent each other will be born in a huge organization. It is another pessimistic scenario.

Saturday, July 13, 2013
Quarter Pounder Jewelry, challenge of McDonald's

After jewelry campaign, McDonald's began to sell some hamburgers with salsa sauce. I tried eating one to feel no good. A previous Habanero Tomato burger was more delicious.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fired over weighted employees

Some ladies working at a casino were fired because of putting on too much weight. The Atlantic County Superior Court has decided that the dismissal was legal.

HUFF POST BUSINESS: Borgata Babes Lose Lawsuit: Waitresses Can Be Fired For Gaining Weight, Judge Rules

Indeed, the female workers being employed by the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa had accepted the casino policy that gaining more than 7 % of original weight may be a reason for dismissal.
They are called "Borgata Babes", which express their role well as a sex symbol.

The dismissed workers claimed that they were discriminated for their weight. But the court did not approve their allegation. According to the court, the Borgata Babe program had a sufficient level of trapping and adornments to render its participants akin to "sex objects" to the Borgata's patrons.

In a legal context, a contract between the employer and employees based on their free will of them should be respected. However, illegal contract is no more effective. So, whether a regulation about the weight is legal or not is the point of argument.

I support the decision of the Superior Court. Actually, I do not like the opinion to deal with some female workers as sex objects. Nonetheless, I think the regulation about body weight is not so odd or discriminating. There are lots of regulations about body weight in society.
The Babes must have recognized the character of this regulation. If they had felt discriminated, they would have not accepted the contract. Or they were tricked?

By the way, I think that the court should not have mentioned the character of Borgata Babes using the word "sex object". It will ignite an outrage of some activists to cause extensive arguments about gender discrimination. I think the matter of fair contract should be distinguished from human right.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The MTS act and suicide (4)

The MTS act and suicide (1)
The MTS act and suicide (2)
The MTS act and suicide (3)

The question is the suicide rate of the patients with mental disorders. I wrote that it is about 1% in a year in Japan. But it may be too much, even if Japan is a suicide rich country.

In my opinion, the hypothesis that about 90 % of the people who have committed suicide have some mental disorders is correct. However, it is doubtful that all of them were identified as mentally disordered while alive.
The result of the Patients Survey, that estimates the number of the patients with mental disorder, is deduced from the statistics of the hospitals. However, a Part of the people committed suicide cannot have visited the hospital. They are not added into the patients with mental disorders. Furthermore, it is easily imaginable that some people with mental disorders are not willing to visit the hospital. They are also not included in the statistics.

How many people with mental disorders in Japan?
It is not a simple question.

There is another statistic. The OECD health data suggest that about 10 million people have some mental disorders in Japan. It is about three times of the data of the Patients Survey!
Based on these statistics, the suicide rate is calculated at 0.3 % (29,024 / 10,000,000) in a year.

To be honest, I am doubtful of this data too, because it also suggests that one-fourth of Americans has mental disorders. It is far from reliable. I guess the definition of mental disorders in this survey is too wide in this statistic.

Are you confused?
Precise statistics are hardly established in this region. To begin with, the definition of mental disorders is vague.

There is another approach.
Some researchers have shown the data of suicide rate of the patients with a particular mental disorder.
The lifetime suicide rate of the patients with schizophrenia is 4 to 10 %, which with mood disorders is 6 -15 %, according to WHO.

Compared to them, the suicide rate among the MTS act, 1.5 %, is adequately small, at least at present.

In conclusion, I do not think that the scheme of the MTS act causes the suicide of the offender with mental disorders, even if further observation should be continued.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The MTS act and suicide (3)

The MTS act and suicide (1)
The MTS act and suicide (2)

So, We have reached the point of discussion.
The suicide rate of the people with mental disorders in Japan is 0.9 % in a year.

The total number of the patients alleged to the MTS act is 2,339 at the end of 2012, 36 of which have committed suicide, according to the article.

In general, the number of the offenders who commit serious cases under the condition of insanity or diminished responsibility is about 300 to 400 in a year in Japan. The description that there are 2339 cases of the MTS act in 8 years is suitable to this fact.

The suicide rate is calculated at 1.5 % (36 / 2,339).

However, this number is the cumulative total of 7.5 years, for the MTS act was enforced in July 15, 2005.

The suicide rate in a year should be calculated with the suicide cases in a year divided by the all active cases in a year.

The mean suicide cases is 4.8 in a year (36 / 7.5).

On the other hand, the number of active cases is not easily calculated, because the term of treatment is various in each case. Furthermore, the scheme of the MTS act has not been stabilized yet. Some of the designated hospitals are under construction. The number of the patients being treated in the MTS act is increasing. These mean that the cases entering the scheme are larger than the cases ending the treatment in the MTS act.

Theoretically, 300 to 400 cases enter the MTS act every year, and the term of the treatment is 1.5 years (inpatient care) plus 3 to 5 years (outpatient care). The mean hospitalization term is 574 days, according to an official report by the government in 2012. So, it is assumed that each patient will be involved in the MTS act for 5.5 (1.5 + 4) years. Therefore, a total of 1925 (350 * 5.5) patients will be involved in the MTS act at any time.

If 20 patients committed suicide in a year, the suicide rate would be 1 % (20 / 1925). It is not so miserable as the suicide rate of the patients with mental disorders, even if each case is regretful.

Moreover, the patients in the MTS act are severely disabled people. Most of them have quite poor social supports. They are much more risky people than other patients.

There are 36 cases of suicide in 8 years in the MTS act. The interpretation of the number is not easy.

To be honest, this analysis includes a notable disadvantage. I will refer to it tomorrow.

(To be continued)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The MTS act and suicide (2)

The MTS act and suicide (1)

To begin with, how much is the suicide rate of Japanese?
It can be calculated easily.

There are 32,249 people committed suicide in 2008 according to the Cabinet Office, the government of Japan.
And, the population in Japan was 127,692,000 in 2008.
Therefore, the Japanese suicidal rate was 0.025 % in 2008.

The next question is how much is the suicide rate of the people with mental disorders.

The World Health Organization (WHO) comments that 90 % of the people committed suicide have some mental disorders at the time of suicide. This idea is widely supported.

However, this was not authorized in Japan traditionally. Some researchers claimed that a lot of Japanese tend to commit suicide with his or her own belief, not due to mental disorders. They referred to "hara-kiri", an ancient custom, with which Japanese Samurai killed himself to compensate his critical fault. So it was assumed that the rate of complication with mental disorders in suicide cases was lower in Japan than in other western countries.

But this hypothesis seems to be wrong.

Mr. Yoshinori Choh has accomplished a survey with psychological autopsy to investigate the suicide cases in Japan. As a result, 89 % of the cases were suffering from mental disorders, also in Japan. His study is very comprehensive and reliable. Why does human commit suicide? -- Evidence from psychological autopsy (in Japanse)

After all, about 90 % of the suicide cases have some mental disorders in Japan. Therefore, 29024 people with mental disorders died by themselves in 2008 in Japan.

On the other hand, there are about 3,257,000 people with mental disorders in Japan, according to the patient survey in 2008.

So the suicide rate of the people with mental disorders in Japan is calculated to 0.9 % in a year.
It is surprising that almost 1 % of the patients with mental disorders kill themselves in a year, isn't it? I am frightened to imagine some patients in my clinic would commit suicide every year.

(To be continued)

Friday, July 26, 2013

The MTS act and suicide (1)

Yesterday, Ms. Eiko Asano reported about the number of suicidal cases on the Medical Treatment and Supervision Act.

Nara no Koe: Thirty six suicidal cases for 8 years on the MTS act (in Japanese)

The Medical Treatment and Supervision Act (the MTS act) is a new legislation of forensic mental health enforced in 2005 in Japan. Its official name is “The Act on Medical Care and Treatment for Persons Who Have Caused Serious Cases under the Condition of Insanity”. The purpose of this law is to rehabilitate the offender with mental disorders. Based on this scheme, offenders with mental disorders who committed a serious case under the dominant influence of mental disorders are to be treated by designated hospitals.

According this article, a total of 36 patients under the MHS act have committed suicide during 8 years. This number is reliable because it is based on a presentation by government officials. It is also consistent with information I heard in the past.

Some people claim that the MTS act is inappropriate referring to the number of suicidal cases. They criticize the program to make the patient reflective to his own crime performed at a designated hospital. I wonder that they imagine that the therapist force the patient to be full of remorse for the crime. Nonsense idea!

Indeed, reflection program is one of the techniques in forensic mental health. However, the purpose of it is not to harm the patients. Confrontation to the crime is a necessary stage for the offenders to overcome his behavior. Meanwhile, the patients learn how to deal with his mental symptom not to let it deteriorate through the program. Traditionally, mental health practitioners have avoided talking about the crime of the patient. Therefore, patients could not consult anyone about his offense with honesty. The rich structure and staffs on the MTS act have realized it for the first time.

We also have to deal with the number of the suicide cases quite carefully. Most people who criticize the MTS act seem not to allow any suicidal cases. Of course suicide is the worst scenario for anyone concerned. However, suicidal accident is inevitable in mental health practice. I have some suicidal cases each of which is extremely miserable. Nevertheless, I must not abandon mental health practice, for a lot of patients are waiting for me calling for help.

Then, is it true that the suicide rate on the MTS act is high?

(To be continued)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Challenge of Julian Assange to Senator

Today’s news is occupied by the report of Wikileaks.
Mr. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks has launched a new political party entitled “Wikileaks Party”. He also prepares to be a candidate of Senator in Australia.

Wikileaks Party has transparency as an ideology. Mr. Assange is also concerned about the issue of refuge. They are quite suitable to his position and biography. On the other hand, it is interesting that he is trying to enter the political world with the means of general election. I considered that he was an anarchist. Indeed, the USA deems him as a high-tech terrorist.

He stays at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Of course he has to move to Australia to take his own seat of the Senate. However, The British government seems to arrest him for the allegation against him of rape in Sweden, if he leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy. So his political activity cannot be realistic.
Wikileaks is fielding 6 candidates other than Mr. Assange to get the seats in the next election in Sep. 2013. If Mr. Assange cannot go back to Australia, Other candidates will have to play a more important role. But they are not well known compared to Mr. Assange. Furthermore, Mr. Assange is hard to get along with. They were quarreling among themselves in the past. I think the way to the seats for Wikileaks is quite severe.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Madoka Magica the Movie

Today, the blue ray disc package of Madoka Magica the Movie was delivered from
This film is a cinematic version of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, re-edited from the original TV animation version. I watched this movie in a cinema to be impressed very much.

To be honest, I have got two series of Madoka Magica already, one of which I bought in Taiwan, the other is an English version (of course both are TV version, not cinematic version). Therefore, this is the first Japanese version I got.

The package is quite cute.

In the hard case, 2 BDs, 1 CD, and a booklet are contained.

The soundtracks of cinematic version are recorded on the CD. Unfortunately, original background musics in the TV version are not recorded.

The quality of the graphics is amazing.

However, I cannot watch these splendid movies on my iPad or Kindle Fire, for copying a material in a BD is prohibited in Japan, even if for personal use. I think it is ridiculous. If I ripped the data of the BD into my own Kindle Fire, the author of the product would not suffer any damage.

Therefore, I will not buy any BDs which is not coupled with a digital copy if possible.

By the way, the new movie of MadoKa Magica is coming soon. I wonder it will be good work, for the original Madoka Magica is extremely completed as a story.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ranking of edit in Wikipedia

The researchers at Oxford University have clarified which page is most frequently edited in Wikipedia. Edit wars; Wikipedia’s most controversial topics

According to this report, the 5 most controversial topics in English are below: George W. Bush, Anarchism, Muhammad, List of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc Employees, and Global warming. Circumcision, United States, Jesus, Race and intelligence, and Christianity are subsequent.

As Wikipedia in English is world famous and utilized almost all over the world, the result suggests that these topics are widely discussed. Indeed, Mr. George W. Bush is strongly criticized for his decision of attacking Iraq. His position in the history of the USA will not be determined for some time. Until then, the battle of editing will be continued.

Religious issues are also likely to be under discussion. We haven't completed the biography of Jesus Christ yet.

The relationship between race and intelligence is also a sensitive issue. I am interested in this riddle as far as an academic concern. But I am afraid that the researcher who reached the conclusion would be outraged from both racists and equalitarians.

By the way, which words are hot in Japan?
A blogger investigated about the pages which are frequently edited. The result is below: [New Japan Pro Wrestling, an association], [Gate: Self Defense Force fought on the battlefield, a fantasy novel], [Valvrave the Liberator, an animation], [Amachan, a TV program], and [Kraftwerk, a German music group].

What a hell! I know none of them. To begin with, they are all the contents belong to subculture. Do Japanese people never talk about politics, instead of animation?

No, it is not true.
Wikipedia in English is a world estate. Innumerable people are editing from time to time. Therefore, universal topics are more frequently rewritten than local topics. In contrary, Japanese Wikipedia is almost only watched by Japanese (or foreign people who are interested in Japan culture). Moreover, few people are fond of editing Wikipedia in Japan. After all, editors in Japanese are quite limited. Therefore, the hot topics are influenced by the concern of the editors at the point.
In conclusion, this result is quite occasional, I think.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Raped woman imprisoned in the UAE

Aljazeera reported that a Norwegian woman who became a victim of rape was sentenced to 16-month imprisonment in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Aljazeera: Expat appeals UAE sentence after rape charge

She visited Dubai on a business trip and was victimized. After the incident, she called for police, but she was charged with having extra-marital sex, consuming alcohol without a license, and perjury. The man who raped her was sentenced to 13-month imprisonment by out-of-wedlock sex and alcohol consumption.

It seems a ridiculous story, but similar cases often occurred in the UAE, according to right groups in the UK.

The root of this problem is the atmosphere of discriminating women in Islamic countries. Islamic rules strongly prohibit women from touching men. In some countries, women have to go abroad to call for medical care because a male physician cannot exam the body of a woman. Sexual taboo is adopted much more for women than for men.

Religious background should be respected. However, it is no good that some kinds of people are harassed based on religious precepts. Every religion is to give pupils happiness, not to torment.

Indeed, some Islamic countries began to change the laws to free women from inconvenient rules. But, some conservative people are opposed to this movement.

Now the Norwegian woman was sheltered at the Norwegian Seamen’s Center in central Dubai. She has already appealed against the ruling by a Dubai court.
It is fortunate that a Christian group is caring her. In contrast, it is ironic that many Christians do not allow same sex marriage. But recently the opinion against this issue is controversial among the Christians.

The difference of legal systems between countries also makes the problem complicated. In the UAE, proof of rape requires either the confession from the perpetrator or 4 witnesses of adult males. I feel it is almost impossible to prove the rape for the victim.
This situation contrasts with that rape is broadly defined in Northern Europe. Mr. Julian Assange was prosecuted in Sweden for rape because he did not use a condom.
In Japan, rape is hard to be proved. Most victims hesitate speaking about the case in a trial. In contrast, gropers are quite easy to be arrested. Some cases of false charge are reported recently.

More or less, globalization will make this kind of conflict come to the surface. We must argue more rationally. And we have to seek the answer which is acceptable for all of us.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

General election of the upper house: beyond the policy

Today is a general election of the upper house in Japan.

The vote rate seems to be low. The NHK news reported that the vote rate would reach 32.64 % at 6 PM, lower than the last time by 6.96 %. The final vote rate will remain about 50%, which is nearly the lowest in recent years.

NHK news: vote for general election ended. (in Japanese)

My past entry: Why do we vote?

One of the reasons is that the result of this election is easy to predict. The Abe administration and ruling Liberal Democratic Party is widely supported. On the other hand Democratic Party is severely criticized because of poor administration during these 3 years. Japan Restoration Party also aroused hostility due to the comment of the leader, Mr. Toru Hashimoto, about comfort women. After all, opposite parties are too weak to compete to Liberal Democratic Party.

My past entry: Mr. Hashimoto recommend soldiers to use sex industries: true meanings and meaningless

On the other hand, some candidates belong to Communist Party seem to win the election in Tokyo and Osaka. It is rare for Communist Party to get the seat at a small electoral distinct. Not a few people begin to have doubts for the capitalism even in big cities. It is an interesting tendency.

Mr. Miki Watanabe, the founder of Watami, a huge food service company seems to lose. He is criticized as a dirty employer who operates employees just like slaves. I think this criticism is biased. Perhaps he is an excellent manager, but a successful manager is not always a successful politician.

The battle between Mr. Taro Yamamoto and Mr. Kan Suzuki in Tokyo was a close fight. Mr. Taro Yamamoto is energetic person. But I dislike him for his opinion on the atomic power plants is much warped. Mr. Kan Suzuki had contributed to the revision of election law to utilize internet activity for election. Unfortunately, Mr. Suzuki seems to lose the seat.

The term of representatives in the upper house is 6 years. And the next general election is 3 years after. The administration of Liberal Democratic Party will be stable for a while. I think it is not bad for Japan. Many prime ministers had changed again and again in recent years. However, I do not think that a strong political power will improve the situation of Japan. The thing Japan truly needs is various activities of citizens, not an absolute political initiative. It is the best that politicians have not to do anything. I shall not expect the politicians, instead concentrate to my own business.

Postscript: Mr. Miki Watanabe finally got a seat. He said he would make efforts in Japan.
The final vote rate was 52.61 %. It is the 3rd lowest in after the WW II, according to Asahi Shinbun.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quarter Pounder Red Spark

I missed limited burger 1 week ago, so I challenged again today.

McDonald's has sold Quarter Pounder Jewelry series since 2 weeks ago. Each hamburger can be bought at only one day.
And Today is the day of "Ruby Spark".
"Ruby Spark" includes 5 slices of Chorizo, pepper jack cheese, and avocado filling.

I went to nearby McDonald's at 11 AM. The store was so crowded that I had to wait for 20 minutes.

It was put away in a dressing box.

And opening the box, I met Ruby Spark.

Look at it!

This tasted a little hot because of Chorizo and Jalapeño sauce. Avocado matched the meet very much. Fried onion made a nice flavor.
However, it was difficult to bite, for the Chorizo were sticking out.

Hmm, it is truly delicious. But, unfortunately, I do not hope to eat one so often.

Recently McDonald's raised up the prices of some hamburgers. Continuing to gain interests is quite difficult for food service industries in Japan. McDonald's will be struggling.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sentenced Russian activist and abuse of psychiatry

Mr. Alexei Navalny, a Russian anti-government blogger, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for embezzlement on July 18, 2013.

According to the court decision, he had conspired to steal timber worth 16m roubles ($500,000) in 2009 when working as an adviser to Kirov's governor.
His trial was argued for its political intention as I mentioned. I do not know the actual meaning of his behavior but I feel this prosecution is quite arbitrary. Identification of one’s malice to do damage financially to others is very vague.

An arrest on a separate charge is a common way for the government to eliminate a political enemy. It is not different in other countries, to say nothing of the case of Mr. Julian Assange.
In Japan, Mr. Koichi Hamada, a great politician belonged to Liberal Democratic Party was prosecuted for the breach of trust. As far as I understand, he simply failed to get interests with risky investment. Mr. Hamada died during the trial in the age of 83.

As a specialist, I have to refer to the abuse of psychiatry. The Past Soviet Union had utilized a mental hospital as a concentration camp. Persons who opposed to communism were hospitalized compulsorily, deemed as mentally disordered. Many psychiatrists participated in this activity.
We have to be quite critical to such rude behaviors.

By the way, it is numbered as one of the 3 abuses of psychiatry.
Do you know the other 2 things? They are, holocaust in Germany for the patients with mental disorders, and excessive amount of mental hospitals in Japan.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chinese restaurant syndrome, another illusion

After talking about the fictitious Finland syndrome, I have to mention Chinese Restaurant syndrome.

The Chinese Restaurant syndrome was named in the 1960s. It begins from that some American tourists experienced slight headache or other dysfunctions after eating Chinese cuisine. Some people suspected that some kinds of spices contaminated into Chinese cuisine were harmful. However, the Chinese restaurant syndrome had never reported since the 1970s.

Nowadays, it is generally believed that taking too much glutamate at once may cause sickness. Glutamate works as a neurotransmitter in the human brain. But it is unknown whether oral taking of glutamate confuses the synapse of the brain immediately.

Glutamate is one element of tastiness in the fish. So most Asian, including Chinese and Japanese, are fond of glutamate. After the artificial synthesis of glutamate and its introduction into the market by Ajinomoto, many Chinese and Japanese began to use glutamate for cooking. Nonetheless, the relationship between Chinese restaurant syndrome and glutamate has not been clarified yet. Some researches failed to recreate the phenomenon at the laboratory setting.

After all, Chinese restaurant syndrome should be deemed as an illusion. Simply. You need to eat what your body matches.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No exist syndromes of Finland

If you see a phrase with the word "syndrome", you should be doubtful. At least, I recommend that in Japan.

To begin with, "syndrome" is a medical term to direct a certain group which is not completely identified as a definite category. For example, "metabolic syndrome" is a potentially harmful state composed of hyperglycemia, hypertension, obesity, and so on. It is not a particular disease.
Therefore "syndrome" is sometimes easily used for naming a certain character or tendency which is not clarified. In medical region, practitioners cannot wait for the establishment of a new concept of a disease before starting to treat the patient. So, temporary or vague naming is allowed to some extent. But we should be cautious not to pretend to understand a unclear concept with naming it "X-syndrome".

(Interestingly, metabolic syndrome was called "syndrome-X" in the past.)

Do you know "Finland Syndrome"? If you not, it is glad.

It origins from a cohort study performed by the Ministry of Health in Finland. The result was published in JAMA, a world famous medical journal in 1985. Subsequent reports are also published.

Multifactorial Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases in Middle-aged Men
Risk Factor Changes, Incidence, and Mortality

In this study, participants are divided randomly into 2 groups, one of which are treated with some medical drugs and counseling, others are not treated. The result is surprising. Some medical diseases occurred more frequently in the treated group.

In Japan, some reporters seemed to misinterpret the results.
The rumor that, it is proved that temperate lifestyle is rather harmful to the body, was spread. Some people were encouraged to smoke. This research was introduced as an example that too much consciousness of health could damage health. This irony was named as "Finland syndrome".

The fact is that, it is nonsense.

The conclusion of the study did not say that temperance was harmful. It only suggested that some kind of medical drugs could cause adverse effects which offset the benefit of medication.

Now in English, "Finland syndrome" does not exist. I could not find this word also in Wikipedia Japanese version. With Google search, some websites which examine strictly about this concept appear on the top of the result. However, not a few people may believe the myth even now.

I am sorry that Finnish people are annoyed by the rumor, in spite of the accomplishment of this great research.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Search engine battle for election

I saw odd news about internet tricking today.

Yahoo News: “Arrest” as a related word to a candidate of upper house: malicious manipulation? (in Japanese)

You know, internet search engines such as Google suggest some related words when you input a word. It helps you to know which words are focused related to the matter that you are concerned. Sometimes this system directly supports you. For example, if you type “Kindle” at the Google search window, the words “Kindle Paperwhite”, “Kindle fire”, and “Kindle fire HD” appear. Then, you can know about Kindle series.

One day, a person who wanted to learn about a candidate of an upper house typed his name. Then, the search engine replied “Mr. XXX, arrest”.
How did he feel to watch it?

Usually, this kind of related word appears after a lot of people searched the words together. You may imagine the news published that the candidate was arrested. However, the fact was that the candidate was not arrested.
Actually, several blogs seemed to exist describing his arrest. But they denied his arrest. According to this article, it is possible that some malicious persons attempted to relate the candidate to the word “arrest” intentionally.

In Japan, advertisement via internet for election has been released since this summer. Surprisingly, it had been illegal for candidates to write his opinion into BBS during the definite term of election. Therefore, it is just recently that a lot of politicians began to use the internet to improve their reputation. Most of them are struggling to optimize internet to win the election.
Of course, it is possible that some people opposing a certain candidate will try to humiliate him with internet. The Japanese government has warned of mimicking a candidate.

I am doubtful that this case was planned by an organization opposing the candidate. I think it was too lenient as a negative campaign.

For citizens, it is essential to have literacy for using internet.
Although the system of related word is convenient, we should not depend on it completely.
Convenient system must be polluted by other noise. There are innumerous computer viruses. We see a lot of spam emails everyday. It is as the same as real direct mails.
I think it is in vain to regulate this kind of plots. We can only ignore the noise.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quarter Pounder Jewelry, challenge of McDonald's

Today I went to McDonald's to eat a special hamburger, and in vain.

McDonald's have been performing a special sales campaign since the last Saturday, named 'Quarter Pounder Jewelry'.

It sells a new hamburger only in every Saturday for 3 weeks. Each hamburger is composed of some gorgeous materials, such as pineapple, truffle, avocado, and so on. It costs 1,000yen (about $10).

McDonald's seems to have been conservative to introduce expensive materials. I guess it is to suppress the cost price. Other hamburger restaurants like Kua Aina have been selling Avocado Burger. So McDonald's are loved by people who prefer to low cost meal.

In Japan, the need for a low price is widespread due to the long standing deflation. The Companies have been struggling to cost cutting. However, the situation was changed by Abenomics.
Therefore, it may be beneficial for McDonald's to change its image of cheap products.

I guess this campaign has a meaning as an experiment for McDonald's whether high grade hamburgers are accepted to the consumers.

And the result seems to be grateful.

The new hamburgers were sold out in early time.
I failed to get it.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Revealing malingering

Though I am a forensic psychiatrist, I usually engage in clinical practice.
The other day, I was asked by a medical student how to identify the person that he was malingering.

It is not so easy task for a practitioner, because we always perform clinical practice on the assumption of the honesty of the patients. If I suspect the patient tell a lie about his or her mental status, I cannot establish a therapeutic alliance with the patient. It causes us so many troubles that I hardly offer a good care. Therefore, it is rational that both the patient and the therapist trust each other.

Some patients do not want to get recovered. To be deemed as a patient is often beneficial, so called 'second gain'.  The reasons are various. Some patients want to avoid their own duty. Others want to revenge to their family. To distinguish the second gain is important in treating the patients with some kinds of mental disorders such as conversion.

However, patients with second gain are truly patients, not malingering.

Actually, malingering occurs in other than clinical situation.
I have seen a defendant who pretended to be suffering from auditory hallucinations. He claimed that he was commanded to peep a public bath of women by the God.

My grand boss was completely deceived by a criminal who had committed a murder. The criminal pretended to be schizophrenic to be deemed as not guilty for the reason of insanity. His attempt had almost completed but was finally revealed.

I replied to my student that there are three types of malingering we sometimes encounter.

(1) Drug abuse
(2) Insurance
(3) Lawsuit

All of them are associated with the trouble of money.
After all, we have to be cautious with money.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three levels of internet security

The Japanese government made a silly mistake about internet security.

The Next Web: Japanese officials reportedly use wrong privacy settings on Google Groups, leaking internal memos

It was revealed that Japanese government officials had been using 'Google Groups', an internet sharing service powered by Google, for official use keeping internal information exposed to the public.

The default setting of Google Groups lets the contents readable by others. The officials had failed to change this setting.

It is a quite human error. But the level of the risk is terrible. If an important national secrets  were leaked, the result would be disastrous.

The government sent a notification to official not to use free internet services. I am doubtful that this caution will prevent the next accident.

I think the risk for use of the internet is divided into the 3 levels.

The first, a simple error like this case.
Uploading a private photo such as porn to the public is frequently reported.

Did Anthony Weiner Tweet a Picture of His Weiner?

It is a technical error, so the prevention is also simple, but hardly to be carried out.
The best way is not to use your PC or other devices for a particular purpose. But it is not so easy. Furthermore, some types of errors such as sending an e-mail to a wrong receiver are unavoidable.

The second level is company risk.

The scandal of Mr. Snowden revealed that even Microsoft has been participating in hacking by the US government.

Edward Snowden says Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft gave direct access to NSA

The company you rely on can fail to protect your personal information. Sony Computer Entertainment was hacked to be stolen personal information including the credit card numbers.

PSN got severely hacked, your personal information was stolen

The last way of vulnerability is to administer your own server. Banks have own security system each other. The government should do the same.
However, there is no absolute security on the internet. Official websites of the governments are often cracked by hacking groups.

After all, the ultimate secret is not to be set as easy to copy status. To be quite primitive, the material is the most rigid.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Naming matter with games or other

It is a sequential story from yesterday.
I also pay attention to some naming of gadgets.

The name 'iPad' was criticized in some people as an inappropriate name, for 'pad' reminded you a sanitary napkin. There are several jokes around its naming.

Another giant of IT world, Nintendo named a new product 'Wii' in 2006. This was a computer gaming machine with some innovative features. Nintendo must consider that the name 'Wii' resembles to the word 'We'. However, I heard a rumor that this naming was not appropriate because 'Wii' was similar to the word 'Pee'. I do not know how many citizens in the US were conscious about it. It is difficult to imagine the response of the people in foreign countries.

The X-Box series by Microsoft are also named a little strangely.
The first product was 'X-Box' itself. Then, Microsoft named the succeeding one 'X-Box 360', not 'X-Box 2'. It may be to compete to 'Play Station 3' by Sony. However, I cannot understand why the third product was named as 'X-Box One'. Microsoft says that all entertainments will be accompanied to X-Box one. If so, what is the name of the next one? X-Box One 360?

Nowadays, naming is a global issue. After creating a product, we have to consider how making it be accepted in all over the world. If the naming is cool in Japanese, it is possible that the same name was hated in the USA or another country. It is quite sensitive matter.

To naming a child, we should be conscious, especially to be concerned about China. It is very possible for our children to work in China in the future. If I name a child, I will give him or her a nice name that is acceptable also in China.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Naming a child

Recently, parents trying to name an extraordinary one for their child are increasing.

What are extraordinary names? It is a little difficult to explain. But most of Japanese can distinguish an extraordinary first name from a traditional one. For example, “Ichiro” is a quite traditional name. “Ichiro” or “Taro” is usually named for the first son of the family. For a girl, “-ko”, such as “Hanako” or “Makiko” is the most traditional naming. Thus, Mr. Ichiro Suzuki, Ms. Makiko Tanaka, and Mr. Junichiro Koizumi are quite common names in Japan. (By the way, “Suzuki”, “Tanaka” and “Koizumi” are all common family names in Japan.)

On the other hand, extraordinary names, so called “Kira-Kira name” (twinkling name), are very varied, e.g. “Mars”, “Lion”, or “Cecil”. They have some common characteristics. First, they are easy to read in English. So they sound odd in Japanese. Second, we hardly imagine the pronunciation after watching the letter (Kanji).

To be confusing, the parents can decide the reading of the name whatever they want in Japanese legislation. It was known to some people in the past. After some journalists introduced this fact publicly, Kira-Kira names have risen since 1990s.

In 1990s, there was another case about naming. A father named his son “Akuma”. It means “Devil”. As the civil official did not permit the allegation of the naming because of its eccentricity, the father sued to familial court. This case caused wide discussion about naming. Actually, the official made a mistake about the process of naming. However whether naming a wicked one is accepted or not was rather focused. Finally, the father changed the letter of the name, but the reading remained as “Akuma”.

Japan is one of the most liberal for naming I think. In France, the regulation of naming had been relaxed since 1993. I heard that, the government had to make a strict rule because a lot of parents began to name their children strange names after the French Revolution,. Perhaps Japan is 300 years behind France.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Internet auction for artworks: potential and risk

The market of the internet auction sites for selling artworks seems to be growing.

BBC culture: Buying art online: A click away from a masterpiece?

Internet auction is very popular now also in Japan. I often use Yahoo! Auction powered by Yahoo! Japan to get some rare items such as old game books as I mentioned.

Internet auction has a clear advantage, compared to the real auction, for buyers. We need not go to the gallery to bid. It is the only, but an absolute merit.
For sellers, they have a chance to find multiple candidates to bid for the product. It raises potential profit. For buyers it is disadvantageous, but it is acceptable as compensation of the merit to find the product easily we love.

Internet auction has widened the potential market greatly. Extremely niche items can be for sale. Therefore, I think that the internet auction is suitable especially for the goods whose market is not established.

So, I was surprised to this article. Artworks have traditional market highly sophisticated. I guess that both dealers and buyers are almost fixed. There must be no rooms for the internet auction in this region, isn’t it?
It is also surprising that some auction sites deal with extremely large amount of money. The average of bidding may be reached to $30,000. Such a big deal has to be accompanied with great trust. You would not like to buy an artwork for $30,000 from an anonymous seller.

Probability of imitation is also problematic. Even professional dealers with strict investigation can be deceived. I am doubtful that the buyers can identify the product exactly via web camera.

According to this article, the scheme of the internet auction for artworks seems not to have been established yet. Trial and error are needed for a while. It is certain that some investors have their eyes on this kind of business. I will never entry into the market but have a little curiosity.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Three wishes

It is a famous fairy tale.

One day, a demon appears in front of you. The demon says that he will realize three requests whatever you wish.
What do you wish?

Mr. Charles Perrault created the story of three wishes.

In his story, an old man got the right of three wishes. He hoped a delicious sausage as the first wish. (It is sympatric for I also like sausage very much.)
Then, his wife appeared, to blame him for his too humble wish.
He got angered and hoped to fix the sausage on her nose.
Immediately after the second wish realized, he regretted. He wished the sausage separated from her nose.
After all, the couple got only a sausage for three wishes.

It is an ironic story of a foolish couple.
In a penetrating insight, this story is a little discriminating for women. The wife was described as greedy and hostile to the husband.
Actually, I have read an established theory that fairy tales are usually critical for women. It may be mirroring the culture in those days.

Mr. Tokumyo Shonai, a Japanese blogger, offers another point of view in this story. He points out that the old man should eat the sausage fixed to his wife’s nose completely before deciding his last wish. If he did, he would save the last wish. Mr. Shonai says cautious thought would compensate for the past failure. It is a very interesting thought.

Submission Holds of Wisdom: Why did not he eat sausage? (in Japanese)

There are a lot of variations of the three wishes. Most of them describe the ironic outcome resulted from the selfish desires of the hero. “The Monkey’s Paw” by Mr. William Wymark Jacobs is an excellent horror story.

To be honest, I shall not wish any desires if I can ask to the demon. Wishes are to be realized by my own power. If never accomplished, it is also the life of mine.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Korea warns medical cloud

I read the news about medical cloud in Korea today.
According to this article, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has given a warning against medical cloud computing technology. It is possible that gathering personal information about the patients to upload them into cloud servers can violate the legislation about medical care. Korean law demands strict management of the information about patients to the hospitals. The ministry may doubt that medical cloud system can keep their information secret.
The comment of Ministry of Health and Welfare frightened the companies dealing with cloud technology.

Unfortunately, I could not find the news on the internet in English.

Cloud computing and data collection is quite collaborative to medicine.
In the past, a patient had to take a medical examination when he visited another hospital. If medical cloud were equipped, the new doctor could gain the past data of the patient examined in another hospital easily.
Nowadays, electronic image scans (e.g.. CT and MRI) are indispensable in clinical investigation. Medical cloud will enable a specialist who lives in a distance to look into the image files which is difficult to interpret instead to the doctor in charge.
Furthermore, utilizing a medical cloud data center, we perhaps can accomplish a massively large sized epidemiologic research. It will be helpful for the growth of medical science and public health.

However, the policy of dealing with personal information is a barrier for medical cloud system.

Actually, medical information is very sensitive. For a famous person like a politician, he strongly wants to hide his own information. If a terrorist gets the medical information of the president, it cause a crisis of the nation directly. Besides them, some information such as mental health or pregnancy is more delicate.

A new technology always has both pros and cons. I think that South Korea should aid the medical cloud system as a national policy. Korea has the fertile IT resource. It may be easy for Korea to create a national database of medical information. If Korea utilizes the new medical information system, it must be a great advantage.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blame to a pregnant worker: awful problem in Japan

Recently, I am really disappointed to see some claims on the internet.

Mekarauroko (New findings): July 2nd, 2013 (in Japanese)

The author watched a scene that some mothers were talking each other about a nurse working in a kindergarten. One day the nurse caring the children of the mothers got pregnant. Then, the mothers blamed her.
According to them, the nurse should not be pregnant during the term of caring the children. The mothers deemed her as irresponsible. They made complaints to the chief of the kindergarten. At last, the nurse of pregnant got retired.

What happened? A nurse should not be pregnant? Incredible.

The author wrote that “The result is that this nurse showed the fact that a woman should not be pregnant if she wants to continue to work, to the kindergarteners.” It is no other than a nightmare.
Perhaps, the users of this kindergarten have not thought of working for surviving. So they never understand the mind of working mothers.

There is other news on the internet.

Caring children channel: A teacher in charge of 3rd grade is pregnant: no awareness? (in Japanese)

The founder of this sled made sarcastic remarks to the pregnant teacher in charge of 3rd grade of a junior high school. She was afraid that the retirement of this teacher would influence badly to their students.
In Japan, junior high school is composed of 3 grades. Some students must take an entrance examination to enter a high school. Indeed, this one year is important for them.
Most of other comments agreed with the first opinion. Some claims that a teacher with the possibility of pregnancy should not be engaged in 3rd grade.

I was confused.
Is being pregnant a behavior to be blamed? According to them, planning to be pregnant is admirable. If so, when can she be pregnant appropriated? What is the kind of jobs preferable?

Traditionally, working men make complaints about pregnancy of the women in Japan. It has been a big problem for working women. Furthermore, non-working mothers also blame working mothers. How stupid it is.

Interestingly, comments written by other people than the users of this BBS are mostly opposed to the first opinion. Some persons say it is ridiculous to criticize the pregnant teacher. Others claim that a change of the teacher is not to be worried about at all. These comments relieved me a little.
At the same time, I noticed the chasm between the two clusters. Non-working mothers and persons with the opinion of gender equality hardly understand each other.

Japan is suffering from low birthrate now. This is one of the most serious problems in Japan. I am quite sorry to think it is no doubt that women do not want to get a child in Japan, after hearing this news.

How about this problem in other countries? I would like to ask you information.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hiring interview for Google and me

Google commented about the facts around hiring after analyzing the big data of the employees.

Inc.: 5 Surprising Facts About How Google Hires

The New York Times: In Head-Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal

Some interesting findings were introduced in this interview.
It is surprising that brainteaser is not useful for evaluation of the candidates at all. Google is famous as asking some odd question such as the Fermi estimate in a hiring interview. Some manuals are sold to break through the examination. If it is a waste of time, what did the candidates struggle for?

On the other hand, the fact that no one was deemed as a good at hiring has relieved me, for I also have some experience of hiring a person. Choosing one person from some candidates is a very stressful task. I am always afraid that the chosen one would make some trouble in the organization. If Google, with the data of thousands of hiring case, has no strategy of preferable hiring, I do not need to be blamed at all. Actually, I have read some books about hiring interview, to get no valuable information to evaluate the candidates precisely.

After all, hiring is an investment. No one can be a perfect investor. Unlikely to usual investment, however, we can grow up the person we chose as a colleague on our own responsibility.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The most regret of the life

Do you know what is the most regretful thing older people think?
One of the answers is below;

Huff Post: he Most Surprising Regret Of The Very Old -- And How You Can Avoid It

The author interviewed thousands of people to conclude that the most regretful thing was to worry about the future. Actually, a lot of older people said that too much worry wasted their real life, according to this article.

I agree with this partially. The future is unclear and the life is quite vulnerable. Abstract worrying is useless for the life. Saying that "I'm afraid of X" instead of worrying is a very suggestive tip in this article. I also use this technique in my psychotherapy.
However, this article has a big problem: a selective bias.
All of the people whom the author interviewed are older people. They survived their tough lives. If they had not worried so much what have occurred upon them? It is possible that people not worried so much passed away in younger age, isn't it?

It may be correct that too much worrying is harmful. Nevertheless we hardly avoid from worrying.

By the way, I will show another answer to the same question.

Inspiration and Chai: REGRETS OF THE DYING

The author of the blog is a nurse engaging in a palliative care in Australia. She listens to the patients nearly dying. And she has noticed that most people regret the fact that they had lived their own lives instead of others. "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
It is also suggestive. The life is yours, absolutely. Many people could not understand this simple fact. Is it true? Is it so difficult to live my own life?
Human are social being. If most people lived only for oneself, the world would be more cruel. The balance between the self satisfaction and contribution to others is quite difficult. Based on the research of the author, most people may be too good.

Interestingly, a Japanese doctor wrote a book on the same theme. The 25 regrets before the death (in Japanese)

The author is a physician whose specialty is palliative care.
His conclusion based on interviewing over 1,000 patients is that the most regret is not to express thankfulness for loved one.

It is the opposite of the result above.
Is it derived from the difference of cultures? Or some other bias made the difference?

More or less, we hardly avoid from regret.
At least, I will live my own life with the persons I respect for. It is what I truly hope.

Monday, July 1, 2013

We are all subjective

We should control our emotions. Not to let your emotions run your life is an essential factor to live in a society.
Some people cannot perform this task well. For some of them, I recommend to read this book.

This is a textbook written by a therapist of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which was established by Dr. Marsha Linerhan. DBT is a package of therapeutic techniques. But this book includes some essence of DBT for easy usage.

On the other hand, it is often said that taking an objective view against self is important. To be objective is similar not to be emotional. But the former is far more difficult. I think that perfect objectiveness is almost impossible for a person.

For instance, a method of “self-monitoring” is sometimes used to be objective. In cognitive therapy, a client is demanded to note his emotion on his diary every day. He records his feeling with a score of 0 to 100 points. When he marks 30, he is depressed. He may feel good when he marks 80. After continuing, the client will be able to know his own emotion. He will also recognize what kind of events makes him depressed.
It is a simple way of meta-cognition.

However, most clients experience a tough time to accomplish it.

There are two obstacles to perform self-monitoring.
First, extremely depressed people cannot perform any tasks. I have experienced a client who seldom wrote a diary. She made a comment only when her mood got better. The empty page of diary meant severe depression of her. As a result, I could know the exact mental state of her to improve her condition.
The other is cognitive bias. We tend to overestimate our feeling. When you are depressed, the circumstance around you looks like a terrible situation. It hurts you so seriously, that you will be more disappointed. A beginner of self-monitoring often marks only either 0 or 100 as his score of mood. To be sensible for minor happiness is difficult for depressed patients.

Therefore, I do not recommend you take an objective view on your mind.
Instead, you should have reliable friends or family members who are sensible for your feeling. And obey their advice. It is more effective for you to keep your mind functional than self-monitoring.

You never notice your own mind. Unfortunately, it is a human nature.