Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sequels in November 2014

November 26, 2014
Sankei lawsuit in Korea

The first trial session held on Nov. 27. The defendant claimed to be innocent. The Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club was expressing concern that the indictment could adversely affect on the country's media. The next court date will be Dec. 15.

The Washington Post: Japan’s reporter pleads innocent in S. Korea trial


November 18, 2014
Mikan, a gunslinger exercise of English

I completed 3,000 words as training for TOEFL in Mikan. It is easy and exciting to exercise it every day. To be honest, however, it includes several bugs. I hope they will be fixed soon.


November 18, 2014
Federer and Hanyu, respective attitudes to sport

Hanyu participated in NHK Trophy, returning from injury. I am glad to know his safety.

Mainichi: Figure Skating: Hanyu shaky in return from injury at NHK Trophy

November 13, 2014
Consumption tax election by Abe is absurd

Abe resolved the House of Representatives, as some rumors proceeded. The general election will be held on Dec. 14th. Opposite parties seem not to be ready to fight with ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). LDP will lose some seats, nonetheless will remain administrative.

November 8, 2014
Poppies beside Tower of London

A part of displayed poppies were continued to be exhibited for two weeks, accepting many requests. I am a little surprised to this decision.

The Guardian: Poppy memorial designer’s delight at extension for Tower of London display

Saturday, November 29, 2014

James Watson to sell Nobel Prize medal

Do you want the Nobel Prize medal? It would be yours, perhaps for $3.5 million.

James Watson, a famous biologist decided to auction his Nobel Prize medal. He was given the Nobel Prize accompanied, with Francis Crick, Linus Pauling, and Maurice Wilkins, for the discovery of double-helix structure of the DNA. I guess there are no biologists not knowing his name. He is such a living legend.

However, his life after the historic discovery in 1953 was not calm. He insisted that African people were inferior to White in the intelligence in 2007. His statement ignited a broad criticism against him, making him discharged from many honorable positions. His income dramatically decreased from 2007, according to him. This is a reason that he dared to sell the medal.

Financial Times: James Watson to sell Nobel Prize medal

The Telegraph: James Watson selling Nobel prize 'because no-one wants to admit I exist'

Actually, there are some Nobel Prize medals auctioned in the past. The one of Francis Crick was also sold by his son the last year. But it is for the first time that the medal of living recipient is to be sold.

Nature: Crick's DNA Nobel medal gets $2 million at auction

To buy the Nobel Prize medal is highly symbolic because the medal itself is no use. Gaining the medal means respect for the achievement of Watson and investment for him. Indeed, he declared to donate a certain amount of money he gains to some universities. Besides, if a company wins the medal, the effect of advertisement will not negligible.

By the way, the relationship between intelligence and race is extremely sensitive issue. We have to admit that there are genetic factors to determine some human abilities. However, intelligence is not easily defined using a couple of parameters. It is reckless to claim that a certain type of human is superior to others in the intelligence. It is ironic that the Demon of gene could not understand the risk for proceeding to determinism of genetics.


Easy & yummy, Ginger Syrup

Today, I introduce a recipe which is extremely easy cooking and delicious. The idea is originally described in Rakuten

Rakuten Recipe: Easy cooking with rice-cooker, How to make warming Ginger Syrup (in Japanese)

The materials are:
Ginger 200g
Lemon 2 (approx. 200g)
Suger 200g

Wow, recipe is also easy-remembering!

(1) Wash the ginger well, and slice it into thin pieces.

You need not peel it, the skin will be also a source of smell.

(2) Peel the lemon, and cut it in round slices.

Actually, peeling lemon is the only trouble in the process.
To be honest, however, it is no OK omitting peeling lemon, I have tried it.

(3) Throw all material into a bowl of the rice-cooker.

Do you have a rice-cooker? All Japanese have one.

(4) Stir it, tenderly. And set the rice-cooker at warm state.

Caution! Not boiling.

(5) Wait for 5 hours.

The syrup will percolate from fruits.

(6) Filtrate it.

(7) Complete!

You can gain 15-20cl of syrup with the material.

Home-made Ginger-ale is created by Blending 10cl of the syrup with 50cl of the sparkling water. You can mix the syrup with boiled water to make Hot-ginger. Deep and sweet taste. Especially in winter season, it is splendid.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NVIDIA replicate the Apollo 11 landing on the moon

NVIDIA, a famous video chip maker, made a presentation in which the picture of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

Wired: Nvidia Proves We Walked on the Moon—Not That It Needed To

Video cards in the PC has a role to draw a 3-Dimension graphic in the monitor precisely. There are enormous factors to be calculated in a picture, mainly light reflex. The more the Graphic Processing Unit is powerful, the more the drawn graphics become real. Many PC gamers are eager to gaining excellent Graphics card in order to play some computer games with exciting graphics.

NVIDIA selected the picture of historic achievement. It attempted to copy all materials described in the picture with computer graphics. 3-Dimension models of the space shuttle and astronauts were created. After that, the sources of light were determined. At last a picture was completely drawn, in which there were no stars seen in the sky.

There has been a hoax regarding Apollo. Even now, not a few people do not believe the fact Apollo reached the moon. Even though it is a kind of silly urban myth, there are some controversies the skeptics insist difficult to contradict at a glance.

One of the such issues is that there are no stars seen in the sky in the picture that Captain Armstrong  took on the moon. The surface of the moon is completely evacuated. So, the sky is dark, and there must be nothing to hinder the light of the stars to reach the ground. Skeptics believe it as evidence that NASA fabricated the moon landing.

To be honest, there has been a decisive counterclaim against it. The moon is covered in darkness, but Apollo emitted strong light. In addition, the space suits astronauts wore were good to reflect the light. In this circumstance, you have to select fast exposure to take a good picture. As a result, the lights from the stars were too faint to be captured in the camera.

BAD ASTRONOMY: Fox TV and the Apollo Moon Hoax

This explanation sounds rational. However, we have no experience of taking pictures on the moon. It has made us difficult to understand this phenomenon.

This work by NVIDIA has visualized the real situation on the moon. It is quite persuasive. We will see the starless sky on the video game soon. I think the choice of NVIDIA was excellent. Skeptics will not change their mind even watching the picture by NVIDIA. Nonetheless, they will pay attention to the technology developed by NVIDIA at least.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sankei lawsuit in Korea

According to some Japanese media, Nov. 27th is the first day of the stand trial of Tatsuya Kato, an ex-bureau chief of Sankei Shimbun in Seoul.

Kato was prosecuted by the public prosecutor in Seoul for the suspect of defamation. According to the officials, he was deemed to broaden false rumor in order to impair the reputation of President Park Geun-hye.

The Japan Times: South Korea summons Sankei reporter over ‘defamation’ of Park

He was the bureau chief of Sankei Shimbun, one of the popular newspapers in Japan. The article issued described the possibility that Park was meeting a certain guy just before the tragedy of Korean ferry Sewol sunk to kill over 300 passengers.

The Wall Street Journal: Korean Prosecutors Indict Japanese Journalist on Defamation Charge

The defendant side is objecting the prosecutor, claiming that there was no criminal act regarding the case.

I am not sure what happened exactly. Sankei Shimbun is so-called right winged in Japan, having criticized Korea occasionally. It is possible that the Korean government has been annoyed to Sankei. On the other hand, some people suggest that Park administration often make a lawsuit against the media opposing to the administration. Some opposite politicians also criticize the attitude of Park administration.

Japan Times: Lawmaker in South Korea slams Sankei reporter’s indictment as ‘shameful’

In my opinion, even if the issued article included excessive expressions against the government, it is not appropriate to make a public prosecution. It is different from civil suits. In Japan, if some foreign media made an inclined article, the Japan government would not take any action, otherwise Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, would make a post of criticizing it on Facebook. Public sector is to be neutral and has an obligation to keep social justice. It is too dangerous for the government to rely on the power. If foreign media companies retreat from Korea influenced by this case, Korea will lose some important resources of taxation, as well as an international trust.

Japan and Korea share some challenges, such as a narrow land, decreasing population, and shrinking domestic market. It is no use for them to be hostile, rather the both should learn from each other. I hope this case will find a calm solution and the mutual relationship will recovered soon.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quantum encryption

Encryption technique is focused again after the NSA was revealed to spy the contents of telecommunication of citizens by Lord Snowden. Nowadays, there is a common sense that no information on the cloud is safe.

My past entry: Mr. Snowden, a spy or other?

However, a newly technology is approaching to be realized. It is "Quantum encryption".

Quantum computing is a dreamy technology which potentially has far greater capacity of calculating compared to current super-computers. In 2010s, some companies including Google began to develop quantum computer. It is not sure when they accomplish this great work. Instead, quantum encryption is nearly realized.

Conventional scheme of encryption requires an encryption key. Without the key, encrypted data cannot be interpreted, or it will take thousands years. The matter is how to deliver the key from the sender to the receiver. If the key was tapped by a person with malice, encryption method would be no use.

You can use quantum signals as an encryption key in the new method. What happen if the key was listened in by the intruder? The signal would be changed automatically due to the observer effect of quantum. These is a definite principle that light cannot be intercepted without altering the signal itself. Quantum encryption utilize this concept.

The Verge: Building a globe-spanning quantum internet

The Telegraph: China builds computer network impenetrable to hackers

You need a network with light fiber cable to deliver quantum key. Indeed, the US and China has begun to create quantum networks already. The both countries have strong concerned to being intercepted. They seem to consider that the introduction of this new technology will lower the risk of cyber terrorism.

I am not familiar to quantum physics. Nonetheless, this idea impressed me. On the same time, I wonder there are more splendid ideas to utilize this attractive technique.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Suicide prevention and public regulation

Today, I attended a lecture of suicide prevention. Needless to say, it is a serious issue.

According to the lecturer, suicide prevention is multidimensional. As major psychiatric illnesses are one of the main causes of suicide, there is two definite way for suicide prevention: protect the patients with mental disorders from suicide, and guard healthy people from onset of mental disorders. In addition, healthy people also commit suicide. Dealing with this matter is also important.

A concrete method to reduce suicide in public level is to restrict the means of suicide. In Hong Kong, the majority selected falling from a high building as a method of suicide. Additionally, carbon monoxide intoxication became popular in early 2000s. The authorities made a decision to regulate the selling of charcoal, which produce carbon monoxide. Additionally, safe fences were attached by some dangerous places. As a result, suicide rate in this region was reduced dramatically.

Regulating some risky materials is silly, but quite effective solution. In Japan, unfortunately hanging is the most frequently selected for suicide. Getting rid of all ropes from the society is unrealistic. On the other hand, gun-shooting is popular in the US. I believe strict regulation of firearms reduce suicide considerably, yet it would be difficult for American people.

My past entry: Gun control and Nash equilibrium

The influence of the media report was also referred. After a suicidal case of celebrity, some media reports the case in detail. It can make some sensitive audiences depressive, or even self-destructive. It is certain that suicides increase just after such incidents. In terms of preventing second tragedy, the media should be responsible. Actually, there is a guideline of media report about suicidal case.


It is shameful that Japanese media seem not to adhere to this guideline. Though I am not sure about the situation in foreign countries, I sometimes see sensational reports by foreign media.

I guess it is difficult for the media to refrain reporting shocking news, because we are waiting for such stimulation. Reporting the fact dramatically is justified for the purpose of survival for the media companies. However, such an attitude cause emotional reaction of citizens, finally destroy the social security. As a libertarian, I am opposing to any restriction by the authority, nonetheless, there are some necessary regulation, as well as gun control.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The only way to maintain your body weight properly

Dieting is a tough challenge for most of people regardless of gender. You may have tried more than once, in vain.

Sandra Aamodt, a neurologist, made a presentation regarding diet at a TED conference. She is a researcher of brain science. Her statements derived from her experiments have several implications. I think most of them are rational, from my knowledge and experience as a clinical practitioner treating patients with eating disorder.

You Tube: Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn't usually work

First of all, our brain has a set point of body weight. Excessive attempt to reduce weight can be a long-lasting burden and it causes rebound. I used to express a metaphor with a spring. Your spring is being squashed by the external force when you continue to avoid food. When you loose the power pressing the spring, it immediately leap, and may be extend to more than its own length. It is so called a rebound.

Second, human are likely to gain weight inherently. It is because of the history of the battle against starving. I tell my patients that all foods and drugs advertising as reducing your weight are potentially poisonous. You should be cautious to the temptation to take slimming materials. In Japan, some girls take methamphetamine expecting to lose the body weight. Such behavior causes fatal outcome.

My past entry: Ultimate slimming method in Venezuela

Third, the ultimate method of dieting is to consult with your voice of mind. Eat slowly if you are starving. And stop eating you satisfied. Hypothalamus in the brain regulates your appetite. when you intake adequate nutrition, your brain can tell you so. However, the report from the brain is delayed by several minutes. Therefore, you should eat quite slowly, otherwise you would overeat.

This is a scientific diet. By the way, Allen Carr, the author of "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking", said the same thing about diet. He was distant from science and his writing was quite emotional, but also made sense, interestingly.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Skymark seek to tie-up with JAL

Skymark, the third biggest airline company in Japan is planning to cooperate with Japan Airlines (JAL).

According to the media, Skymark made a proposal to JAL about code-sharing and sales cooperation. JAL side also admitted the fact, while nothing has been agreed yet.

Reuters: UPDATE 1-Japan Airlines says low-cost carrier Skymark seeking tie-up talks

Skymark is struggling for survival, facing to troubling negotiation with Airbus. It will be forced to pay a large amount of the penalty fee. In addition, its income is decreasing  due to sluggish occupation rate.

My past entry: Skymark abandon to get Airbus A380

If this collaboration is realized, Skymark will gain external trust, as well as improved marketing. Shinichi Nishikubo, the president of Skymark denied being given any capital by JAL. He seems to have a strong intention to keep independent.

However, JAL is not a trustworthy company from the view of the government. It was adopted to an assistance in the form of public funds just several years ago. It is still now supervised by the government. So, it is no doubt that Transport Ministry is wary to accept this plan.

Mainichi: Transport ministry wary as Skymark Airlines seeks tie-up with Japan Airlines

Nishikubo is an ambitious person. The other day, he introduced a sexy costume for flight attendants, leading to some criticism. In personal, I dare not to use a Skymark airplane for domestic travel, as past experience was not so good.

My past entry: Sexual costumes of flight attendants

Nonetheless, his claim that boarding fee would never be reduced if Skymark had not entered the airline industry is persuasive. Japanese airlines were so exclusive in the past. I hope Skymark to recover and remain a good competitor in the future.

By the way, I wonder why Skymark did not choose All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a counterpart. ANA is matching to JAL in financial scale, and not under supervision by the government. No doubt that Skymark had considered about it, I guess they encountered hidden hurdles around this matter.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pickup artist rejected by the UK

Julien Blanc, a self-styled "pickup artist" was rejected entering the UK.

He teaches men how to deal with girls in several ways, including get rid of her resistance and force her into a sexual contact. He made seminars in some countries. His behaviors erected hatred of many women. In the UK, 150,000 people signed to a petition not allow him to enter the UK.

BBC: Julien Blanc: UK denies visa to 'pick-up artist'

The New York Times: Julien Blanc, Self-Described Pickup Artist, Denied Entry to Britain

According to the media, his visa was withdrawn in Australia previously. The UK Home Office also did not permit his visiting. He had to cancel the planned seminars in the UK.

I do not know him at all. All of my knowledge about him is from the news articles. Actually, he seems vulgar and disgusting. On the other hand, I am not sure whether his activity will cause sexual abuses as female protesters are worrying. Similar techniques broadly appear in books and websites describing date methods. I hope that men are not too stupid to believe in his words without doubt.

In this case, I sense a variance among English-speaking countries. If he were British and had attempted to enter the US, the US government would not have expelled him, I guess. Instead, some American women would sue him.

Another concern is the influence of this incident on his reputation. The fact that Australia and the UK rejected him suggests that he is a man of influence. Being rejected made him more famous, even infamous. It is no good for his opponents. Perhaps, the governments had to ignore him at all, rather than reject him.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

reCAPTCHA, an unconscious internet project

Perhaps you have been demanded to input some words displayed on screen. These letters are a little difficult to read, sometimes dirty or blurred.

This is a solution to prove you are a human, not a computer. Current computer program cannot identify such picture as a meaningful word, different from human. Therefore, the website can be protected from an attack of programs with malice.

However, the process of your input is not only for the security check, but also utilized for an amazing work. This program named reCAPTCHA, developed by Luis von Ahn and his colleagues, delivers enormous words hardly read by computer and gather the inputted data. It helps the process of optimal character recognition (OCR) of ancient books.

Luis von Ahn explains the mechanism in a TED conference with humor.

YouTube: Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration

Therefore, all we are contributors to digitize lots legacies, unconsciously. This idea is splendid in terms of combining two quite different concepts: certification procedure and shared working.

To be honest, I knew this fact previously. Nonetheless, his presentation was so impressive. He has also begun an language education service, Duolingo. You can train your language skill for free via the website. In the training, you are involved in some translation tasks. Of course, it will be beneficial for others who require some materials written in their native language.

This idea is also good. Most training process include some kind of waste. Many people pump the pedals of a bike only to reduce the body weight. It has been realized to connect the pedal they kick into an electric generator. Computer and the internet have made it easier to join lots of people into an integrated work. As Ahn says, we would be able to accomplish a work greater than reaching the moon, some day.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How is Gone Girl as a Christmas present?

In London, as well as many European cities, sales battle forwarding Christmas emerges soon after Halloween. Christmas cards and decorations have been displayed at everywhere in the stores.

Have you decided what is for your sweetheart? According to the media, the novel "Gone Girl" is the first favorite as a gift. Actually, the result is derived from a statistical estimation by

Evening Standard: Revealed: Londoners' most sought after Christmas gifts, according to Amazon

Gone Girl is a thriller novel written by Gillian Flynn, which describe a couple to be complicated among love and hate. I have not read it, but it seems to be with taste of reversal, as far as reading description in Wikipedia.

This work was made into a movie of the same title in this year. This firm won a good reputation, leading to raised value of the original novel. It is one of the reasons that many customers of want to buy it.

By the way, the wish list published by suggests the figure of Londoners being Americanized. Among the list, "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" are famous films featuring American comics. "Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor" is a video game originated from the Lord of the Rings. Why is the Harry Potter series not ranked?

In Japan, video games are also popular as a Christmas present for children. Teenage boys are expecting to receive hand-made sweets or garments from their lovers. Some ladies are fond of gaining jewelries or branded items. Anyway, I will enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas in London this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mikan, a gunslinger exercise of English

I am afraid that today's topic may be worthless for other than Japanese. Recently, I am indulged in Mikan, an iPad application.

Mikan is an application for the purpose of memorizing English words. There are astronomical amount of such kind of tools, including paperbacks, websites, and software. Mikan is actually not so different. However, it provides speedy sense.


TechCrunch Japan: English exercise application Mikan is near to be released (in Japanese)

using Mikan, all you have to do is to touch the screen to express whether you know the displayed word. After your choice, another word is displayed. You can review the unfamiliar words after 5 words are displayed. An examination will be offered when you have learned ten words.

In touching this application, you cannot drop the concentration. The meaning of each word is displayed in less than one second. In the examination phase, you have extremely short time to answer. You gain the mark as "Excellent" only when you could choose the correct answer immediately after the word appeared.

This sense of speed is the core of Mikan. As a tool of learning English word, it is quite trite. It is disadvantageous that only one meaning is corresponding to each word. There is nothing special about the user interface. Nonetheless, its baffling taste made me enthusiastic.

The current version is under modification. So, Mikan is free, but you have to tweet or post on your Facebook to continue to use it. Several days ago, I tweeted about an error upon this application. Soon, a member of the company contacted me to hear about the error. They seem to be eager to improve the quality. Few days after this, this error was fixed. I will continue it for a while


Federer and Hanyu, respective attitudes to sport

The last weekend, I sought for the result of the ATP World Tour Finals on the internet because I went out all the day.

The official website showed that Novak Djokovic won the championship. However, the score board was empty in detail. I wondered that uploading was delayed. After that, I was astonished to know that Roger Federer had pulled out of the final.

According the the media, Federer injured his back in the semi final against Stan Wawrinka in the previous day. He appeared at the stadium and made an apology to audiences for the absence. He explained that he had to consider his own age and the opportunity to come back again, deciding not to be challenging.

The Telegraph: Roger Federer pulls out of ATP World Tour final with Novak Djokovic citing back injury after epic semi-final

I easily imagine the disappointment of the audiences. Many of them were expecting a legendary match, as I experienced.

My past Entry: Nishikori challenge Federer in ATP finals

It is fortunate for me that I watched the semi final between Federer and Wawrinka on the internet. I paid only 7 GBP for being witness of this epic scene. It took 2 hours an 48 minutes. Federer overcame four times of match points in the match. Wawrinka was also strong. The goddess of Victory smiled at Federer at last. It seemed exhausting for Federer. His is 33 years old. Any injuries can be a trigger of retirement. It is unavoidable for him to retreat with any anxious conditions.

On the other hand, recently Yuzuru Hanyu was focused in Japan. He was crashed with another athlete at the exercise just before Cup of China. He was considerably injured, but made a good performance at the rink. He won the silver medal. After that, he had to take medical check in detail. It will take a couple of weeks for him to recover. Some people criticize the recklessness of him and relevant persons to make decision of attending the match.

The Japan News: Hanyu takes 2nd at Cup of China after scary crash

Mainichi: Figure skating: Injured Hanyu out of action for up to 3 weeks

Hanyu is only 19 years old, so the situation is quite different to Federer. Nonetheless, both of them are always fighting with the fear of physical dysfunctions. There are several athletes who had a great talent but being forced to quit due to injuries. I hope they will be long lasting.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Twitter will equip video

Twitter presented that it was planning to equip native video service.

According to the description on Twitter blog, this new function is expected to come in the next summer.

This new service will let the users upload, edit, and share video clips directly on the Twitter. Now you can post a video movie on Twitter via Vine or YouTube. But a native application enables a variety of usage.

The global trend of advertisement is inclined to video, recently. Viral media and other news sites have introduced video movies aggressively. Some talented bloggers earn much money on You Tube.

The absolute reality of video images is a great advantage. We recognize the world mostly through the eyesight. Text articles are annoying to read when being tired. Instead, video streaming with voice and sound is automatically entering our brain.

However, I do not like video advertisement for some reasons. First, it takes more minutes than text to acquire the information I need. I can read the text at a glance, while I have to stay in front of the monitor for a while to watch through the video. On the contrary, it may be the intention of publishers.

Second, video streaming need rich connection of the internet. I am sometimes annoyed with freezing of the video. Machine capacity is also required to stream video without stress. I guess that video advertisements are hardly spread in developing countries.

Third, video picture includes excessive information. Some people can be presented accidentally, leading to legal suits. The rule of copyright and reference should be more sophisticated.

Twitter will strengthen its infrastructure. Recently, Twipics, a picture sharing service connected to Twitter was decided to be closed. Twitter definitely relies on advertisement in its income. It will begin some video streaming for promotion. I am afraid that Twitter would lose its simplicity.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Poor door in flats in London

As I wrote, the land cost is rapidly increasing in the UK, by 10% in a year recently. I feel it costs much higher in London than in Tokyo. The burden is, of course, cruel for citizens not so wealthy.

My past entry: World wealth report

To address this matter, the government has obliged the owners of a newly built flat to supply an opportunity for poor tenancies. This policy enables them to live in a luxury flat, theoretically. But, not a few flats made a discriminating way against them. They were not permitted to enter the flat through the normal entrance. Instead, the "poor door" was prepared at the backward of the flat.

The Guardian: Poor doors: the segregation of London's inner-city flat dwellers

Modern flats equip shared places such as the front lobby. A secretary is hired in some flats, similar to a studio I investigated in the past. Costs for them are paid by tenancies, being added on the fee. Usual tenancies might think that it is unequal that those who do not defray the full cost even can acquire the merit of the flat. Nonetheless, such kind of management looks a little repulsive.

My past entry: Seeking house in London (2)

The situation is similar in the New York. The Mayor is willing to eliminate this discriminating solution with a new legislation. London Mayor has rather defensive attitude against it.

Next City: De Blasio Administration Vows to End the “Poor Door”

The Guardian: Boris Johnson rules out 'poor door' ban on London housing developments

In a historical pub in London, entrance for labors was also separated. It seems still not a legacy, considering this issue. Fortunately, the area I live in is so multicultural that I have never seen discrimination. Or should I say, there are few celebrities around here?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Odd British sandwiches

There seems a boom to tweet photos of strange sandwiches as a joke in the UK.

Greencore Group, a famous food manufacturer, is recruiting immigrants repeatedly from Hungary. It seeks chefs to make sandwiches to supply them to Sainsbury's, Tesco, and so on.

Mail Online: Migrants backed over sandwiches

According to a human resources director of Greencore, there were no workers being willing to engage in such jobs in the UK. This fact was reported with a sensational title.

Mail Online: Is there no one left in Britain who can make a sandwich? Firm that supplies M&S and Tesco is forced to recruit 300 staff in HUNGARY

It ignited playfulness of some British people. They made photos of crazy sandwiches one after another, saying "We can make sandwiches!", yet most of which were out of the question to try. It seems an English masochistic joke. Greencore news sparks Twitter’s best sandwich offerings

In developed countries, there are lots of people who are reluctant to engage in simple tasks. This kind of jobs is occupied by foreign people in the countries accepting immigrants such as the UK and the US. It is neither good or evil among this situation itself. On the other hand, many youths are involved in such jobs in Japan, because of its strictly regulation of immigration policy and poor quality of social welfare.

By the way, English sandwiches are not bad. Indeed, I occasionally enjoy English sandwiches. But they are relatively expensive compared to Japanese ones.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Consumption tax election by Abe is absurd

Abe administration seems to postpone raising consumption tax.

Consumption tax in Japan has raised since this April by 3%. And it is to be raised again in October 2015 to by 2%, reaching 10%. This scheme was determined in the previous Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration. Ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also agreed with this idea.

However, once raised, civil consumption was suppressed. Yet there are argument regarding the interpretation of several indexes describing financial situation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assessed that further raising tax would interfere inflation, exacerbating the depression.

He plans to dissolve the House of Representatives, to let citizens judge his opinion. The schedule of hiking tax has been consented by the three parties, LDP, DPJ, and Komeito Party. A general election should be done after such a drastic change of the policy, according to Abe.

Regarding consumption tax, I repeatedly described that raising is necessary. Current financial situation cannot be fully explained with hiking tax. Rather, lack of developmental strategy is critical. Weak yen induced by Abenomics is also hostile to fuel import being required due to stasis of most atomic power plants. Pending rising tax must not be a panacea.
The true reason Abe is planning to dissolve the House of Representatives is to restructure of diet members. The term of current representatives will terminate in December 2016. Perhaps, Abe wants  to conduct a general election to strengthen the foundation of the diet.

To begin with,  it is ridiculous to make an election to call for an opinion about raising tax. No one like to pay the tax. Opposing parties cannot debate with taxing as the point at issue. Winning of LDP is guaranteed with 100%. Thus, this election is a waste of time and money.

Some politicians, including Taro Aso, the Finance Minister insist on raising the consumption tax. Haruhiko Kuroda, the governor of Bank of Japan and a strong ally of Abe, is also warning that delaying of the tax hike is a risk to the international trust. Even in the LDP, there is a broad discussion.

I cannot vote this election because I do not live in Japan now. Even if possible, I would not vote to LDP.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Suicide among released prisoners, report from Sweden

Today, I read an academic article regarding suicide in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry is one of the most popular journals in psychiatry. It is not an open-access journal, but this article is disclosed in public for free, so I could read it at home. It describes the rate of suicide among released prisoners in Sweden.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry: Suicide After Release From Prison: A Population-Based Cohort Study From Sweden

According to the authors, the risk of suicide in released prisoners was higher than in the general population by 20 times. Substance misuse and suicide attempts in the past are identified as risk factors.

These results are not surprising. Past behaviors are the most strong predictors of the future. In both violence and suicidal act, people who have an experience once are perpetually risky. Interestingly, substance misuse seems to have a role as a modifier to suicidal risk in prisoners and others.

Yet we should be cautious about such high ratio of suicidal risk. It is easy to imagine that released prisoners have several problems such as low education, poverty, low self-esteem, difficulty to adhere the rules, and several mental disorders. Nonetheless, they were released based on the expectation to be reintegrated into society. Suicide is deemed as an absolute failure. We need to do something against this result.

It is a little strange that people born in Sweden were more likely to commit suicide after the release from prison. The authors referred to the suicide statistics in immigrants, but reserved the conclusion. The characteristics of foreign people who committed a crime are hardly to be analyzed due to small sample size. Perhaps, this result is merely a noise.

By the way, this study followed almost 40,000 persons in 4 years. The number of participants is serious. The fact that personal identification number is adopted in Sweden made it possible to conduct such a big study, needless to say about the great efforts of the researchers. Instead, to conduct a survey in prisoners itself is quite difficult in Japan. Considering the cultural background of suicide, we should not simply adapt these results to Japanese. I would like to perform such a big survey in Japan.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nishikori challenge Federer in ATP finals

I visited O2 Arena near to Thames river, to watch the tennis match between Nishikori and Federer.

Kei Nishikori is a professional tennis player. He is only 24 years old, but the only Japanese who have won in the semifinal of the Grand Slum events. He is now recognized as the strongest tennis player in Japan, being ranked World No. 5. (in Japanese)

He has visited London to play at the ATP World Tour Finals. I noticed just a few days ago. He defeated Andy Murray in the previous match. If he won this match, it would be promised to gain the seat of the semifinal.

The opponent, Roger Federer, is one of the greatest tennis players of the world. He has gained numerous award, including the champions of all of the Grand Slam games.

To be honest, I am not interested in watching sports. Nonetheless, this card was so attracted that I had no option to miss this opportunity.

I tried to book a ticket via the official website of ATP. Firstly, I failed to buy the ticket due to transaction errors. At last, I used my debit card to gain a ticket.

The O2 Arena had a unique form.

There were posters describing the finalists displayed everywhere.

When I entered the hall, a doubles match had just begun. I had to wait outside until a breaking time.

The doubles match was also amazing. Each player fought well.

After the end of the doubles match, a count down began.

And then, the two finalists appeared.

The match was legendary. I was excited. All audiences were fascinated to the marvelous techniques of the players.

The stadium looked filled to capacity.

It is sorry that Nishikori lost the match. Nishikori fought well, but Federer was too strong to give Nishikori even minimal chance to win. Federer got several service aces. Unfortunately, Nishikori gained no breaks.

Actually, Nishikori has defeated Federer twice, but I felt there was a distance in the ability between two players.

Anyway, this match was so splendid. I completely enjoyed it. To be the summit of the world is a great challenge. I hope both the two giants will achieve a good result in the next games.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Taxing news aggregator seems reckless

Google News is an aggregation service of world famous news. You can access many news sites in which you are interested via Google.

Aggregation, or curation services, are rapidly progressing recently. Gunosy I introduced in the past is an example. Nowadays, there are an astronomical amount of information on the world. So we have to distinguish valuable ones from the vast noise. Summarizing each of them into a combination of knowledge enable to understand at a glance is a priceless work. In Japan, lots of websites that is a compilation of clustered information, named "Matome Site (Summarized Site)" gain many viewers.

My past entry: Gunosy, an excelent e-curator

On the other hand, such aggregation services themselves create no additional information. They are nearly parasiting on the original sauces. Some sites are even worse, borrowing contents without any permission or disclosure of the origins. It is true that there are many websites making profit with violating copyrights of writers.

Thought against this matter seems conservative in Europe. There is discussion to introduce the regulation for referring to other sites on the internet. Spain and Germany have approved the legislation in which aggregators have to pay a fee in quoting the reports of other media. It is so-called "Google Tax".

Gizmodo: Spain's New "Google Tax" Could Be Bad for Everyone

Google and other multinational companies are disliked in some European countries. One of the reasons is the fact that such companies hardly pay the tax in most of the countries which are the field of commerce. Governments are eager to impose the tax with any manner. Thus, "Google Tax" has multiple meanings.

The Guardiaan: What is the ‘Google tax’?

However, some of the attempts are going to be ruined. In Germany, some media companies rejected being quoted in Google News based on the Google Tax scheme. As a result, they lost many readers. Google has so great power to manipulate the entry of internet users via its search engine. Being quoted for free would be more beneficial for most companies, that is real.

Reuters: Germany's top publisher bows to Google in news licensing row
I have heard a similar situation occurred in You Tube. In Japan, a certain animation movie was uploaded on You Tube without permission of copyright holders. It is obviously illegal, and it could reduce the profit of the publisher. However, the animation became extremely famous because many people watched it via You Tube gossiped after a while. As a result, the publisher gained much more income. Illegal uploading had a role of good advertisement, ironically.

The world of the internet is complex. And the grand tide of globalization is hardly to stop. I should keep an eye on the response of each player about this matter.

Elon Musk also see the satellite

It seems that all ambitious men are going to the space, I think.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, said he was willing to launch hundreds of satellites to enable people all over the world to utilize the internet connection.

He is a great inventor and investor. In the past, he developed an online-publishing company. Using the profit of selling it, he entered e-commerce industry, creating Zip2, the predecessor of Paypal. After that, he founded SpaceX to develop a space rocket. He also invested to Tesla Motors in developing electric cars.

According to the media, he is collaborating with Greg Wyler, a satellite-industry veteran and former Google executive. Their aim is to launch a total of 750 satellites each weight is less than 250 pounds. I am not sure how this task is challenging.

Elon Musk is said to be a model of Ironman. To be shameful, I had not known him till a couple of months ago. Indeed, he is very energetic and handsome man.

As I wrote, Google and Facebook is eager to broaden the availability of the internet with several methods. It seems definitely worthy to accomplish the true world wide web. Musk's plan is more greater.

Takafumi Horie, an ex-CEO of Livedoor, is also participating in launching a rocket. He said that it was based on his own curiosity. Space travel will be no more fantasy.

However, the technical hurdle is still tough. Recently, an experimental spaceship of Virgin Galactics fell on the ground accidentally, killing a pilot. It made the plan of commercial flight of Virgin seriously damaged.

It is no doubt that satellites are much easier to throw into the space than space shuttles. I hope Musk and his competitors will be successful and bring us more dreams.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Internet Archive publish many arcade games

Now hundreds of traditional arcade games are playable via Internet Explorer.

Internet Archive is a non-profit organization for the purpose of creating a digital library. There are thousands of items including books, audios, videos, and softwares. Additionally, it added classic computer games, such as Pacman, Frogger, and Street Fighter II, on its collection.

MakeUseOf: Internet Archive Brings 900 Classic Arcade Games To Your Browser. Here Are 7 Of The Best

I tried playing Frogger, Moon Cresta, Super Pacman, and Gaplus. Each of them was working on the Chrome, yet not so smoothly. I guess many of you used to play these game in the past days. Even though I was not good at playing such action-type games, they recalled me sweet memories in the teenage.

Amazingly, lots of game books are also kept on Internet Archive. I will explore the archive for a while. You can download many PC games, but most of which are demo version, perhaps considered the copyrights matter.

My past entry: Memory of Gamebook

Nowadays, this kind of attempt is frequently seen. is successful to monetize supplying old computer games. National libraries are also eager to digitize their property.

My past entry: Good Old Games
My past entry: Free e-library in Norway

We are so blessed that enormous entertainment are available with extreme low cost. I believe there are some hints  in these legacies to make an innovation.

Poppies beside Tower of London

The garden around the Tower of London has been covered with thousands of poppies.

The poppies are not vital flowers, but artificial ones made of ceramic, designed by Paul Cummins, a ceramic artist.

These enormous poppies were planted to ease the victims of the first World War. There are 888,246 poppies there, as the same number of the people victimized in the cruel war.

Tower of London remembers the First World War

The poppies will be displayed until Nov. 11. After that, they are going to be sent to the people who bought one with 25 GBP.

I visited there on the way to King’s College. It was so impressive that the floor of ceramic poppies flashed reflecting sunshine. However, the garden was too crowded for me to stay and enjoy the scene.

There were some photos, displayed on the wall. So many young soldiers were victimized.

The event will be terminated soon. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, asked for an extension of exhibiting, liaising with the leaders of opposite parties. It seems difficult, however, to change the schedule. Extending the exhibition would make no more profit to compensate the loss of altering the plan.

The Telegraph: David Cameron joins plea to extend Tower of London poppies

It was lucky for me to see this historic event.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Brexpiprazole, a newly psychotropic drug

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US accepted the applying of Brexpiprazole, a newly dopamine serotonin partial agonist developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical collaborated with Lundbeck in Denmark, for clinical indication.

According to the reports, the indicative diseases are schizophrenia and depression (adjunctive therapy). FDA will complete the process of examination in the next July.

Lundbeck: US FDA accepts Otsuka and Lundbeck's filing for review of brexpiprazole for the treatment of schizophrenia and as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of major depression FDA Accepts Filing for Review of Brexpiprazole

Otsuka pharmaceutical is one of leading companies in Japan in the drug industry. It has an advantage especially in psychiatric region. Aripiprazole, the first dopamine partial agonist, has won several prize for its innovative effects. In my opinion, Aripiprazole is highly recommendable for patients suffering from schizophrenia or treatment-resistant depression.

Brexpiprazole is so called a successor to Aripiprazole. I was involved in a clinical trial to evaluate its efficacy and safety. I cannot describe the result due to confidentiality. More or less, it is desirable for patients to gain another therapeutic option.

On the other hand, I think that Otsuka had to hasten the development of Brexpiprazole, because the patent of Aripiprazole will be negated in 2015. After that, several companies will begin to sell generic medicines of Aripiprazole with low cost. It will undoubtedly reduce the profit of Otsuka. Thus, leading companies such as Otsuka have to invent new products constantly for sustainable growth.

My past entry: Trial in India about patent of a new drug

This landscape is not limited in the medical industry, as I wrote recently. IT industry is also chaotic. Yet, developing a new drug takes astronomical cost. There are few chances for small companies to overcome. Rather, some drug companies are forced to be combined with competitors in order to stabilize financial situation.

My past entry: Samsung shift its strategy in smartphone

As a medical practitioner, I appreciate the efforts of all drug companies. There are many patients waiting for more effective medicines.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Guy Fawkes Night

Yesterday, I visited Southwark park to watch fireworks.

Nov 5th is a memorial day in England as "Guy Fawkes Night," in which Guy Fawkes who were arrested for attempting to kill King James I in 1605. Celebrating this, fireworks are performed everywhere on the day.

I stayed at home on Halloween, instead I went out to see fireworks.

By the way, I found an interesting store. Curry, PC, and the World, I love them!

I reached Southwark Park at just 7 pm. The park was dark and crowded. Several stores were open.

Southwark's Free Fireworks Night

Fireworks started!

There were so colorful figures exploded in the sky.

Though Japanese are also fond of fireworks, it is limited to carry out in summer. In contrast, in Western countries, there are lots of fireworks events in winter. Count down events for celebrating the new year's day is popular. However, I will feel too cold to watch fireworks outside in mid winter.

Yesterday was also very cold. But the full-moon was extremely beautiful.

This was the climax.

It was an exciting 15 minutes. On the way to home, I heard several bombarding sounds and could see several fireworks elsewhere. Everyone seemed happy.