Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sequels in March 2015

March 27, 2015
German Airbus crashed in France

The co-pilot who was suspected to have crash the airplane deliberately had a psychiatric history. He concealed that he had been suspended from work by the doctor.

However, having a mental illness is not directly connect with causing an accident or mass murder. Seena Fazel, a famous researcher of psychiatry, warned that his mental illness could not explain his behavior completely. His comments are totally correct and consistent to recent evidence. This article below seems to attempt to prevent from emotional fear for mentally disordered people.

Lifescience: Germanwings Crash: Mental Illness Alone Does Not Explain Co-Pilot's Behavior, Experts Say

My past entry: Crimes by psychiatric patients are not so fearful as you imagine

March 20, 2015
Total eclipse in Europe

The day, it was cloudy, unfortunately. I never saw the eclipsed sun. Good figure was observable in few regions. Many people might be disappointed about the weather.

The Age: Solar eclipse darkens Europe, thrills witnesses

March 10, 2015
US ambassador injured in South Korea

The injured ambassador, Mark Lippert, returned to work two weeks after the incident. He emphasized that his open-minded attitude to diplomacy would not change at all.

LosAngelsTimes: U.S. ambassador to South Korea returns to work 2 weeks after knife attack

I found few articles concerning about the relationship between the US and Korea. It seems that the both sides do not want this incident to be dealt as a political issue.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Milk protect you from Alzheimer?

I have introduced some topics about nutritional science in this blog. Unfortunately, some of them are doubtful.

My past entry: Questionable result in instant noodle
My past entry: Pizza is blamed as expected

Of course, there are many hypotheses relatively reliable. Even solid concept, however, can be denied by a new finding.

My past entry: The only way to maintain your body weight properly
My past entry: You can eat high cholesterol food

Today's topic is the effect of milk. According to this article, three glasses of milk prevent you from Alzheimer's disease. Wow!

The Telegraph: Three glasses of milk every day 'helps prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's'

The source of power in  milk to resist brain disease is eccentric. Debra Sullivan, a professor of the University of Kansas found that the glutathione level in the brain was higher in milk consumers than non-takers. Glutathione is well known as an antioxidant. Thus, high consumption of milk has an effect against oxidative stress.

Nowadays, oxidative stress is considered as a risk for several diseases. Recently, I performed a clinical research about antioxidative effect of sulforaphane in schizophrenic patients. Autism and some other mental illnesses are also suspected in terms of involvement of oxidative stress.

This article did not direct the research they conducted. I found one article published by Sullivan regarding glutathione in the brain.

Pubmed: Dairy intake is associated with brain glutathione concentration in older adults.

However, the glutathione level in the brain is correlated with daily intake, not limited to milk consumption, according to this article. Milk servings were also relevant to glutathione concentration. The authors suggested that dairy foods served as a resource for increasing glutathione.

This conclusion is ambiguous. Eating much prevents us from dementia, doesn't it? On the other hand, there are many hypotheses suggesting potential harm of excessive eating.

This is the limitation of an observational study, as the researchers said in the interview. However, it seems extremely difficult to conduct a randomized controlled trial, though they emphasized the necessity. The words "logical next step" they said express its impossibility.

After all, I dare not to take three glasses of milk every day. Instead, I will keep balanced meal in daily life.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Boredom is the father of invention?

There is a proverb that necessity is the mother of invention. With acute need, you may create an innovative idea to solve the problem in front of you. On the other hand, who is the father of invention? There is a hypothesis: boredom.

Dr Sandi Mann at University of Central Lancashire made an experiment of creating ideas with students to. One group was forced to copy telephone numbers before the examination. Those who had faced boring task performed superior achievement.

Boredom makes people more creative, claim psychologists

In this original article, another experiment was mentioned. I have not read the full text. According to the abstract, reading task was proven to be more stimulating creativity than writing in the experiment.

Creativity Research Journal: Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative?

To be honest, I am not sure these results are trustworthy. Boring task is not the same as boredom. Engaging in some simple task for a while can let you concentrate. One of the examples is meditation. Meditation is considered to be an effective method to become creative.
It depends on each person whether to deem the time of meditation as boredom.

On the other hand, it may be certain that too many stimuli get rid of our creativity. I am fond of playing a computer game. When being indulged in a game, whereas I concentrate, it cannot be a creative time. If I find the best move in a game, it is only adaptable in the game.

Nowadays, it is quite rare to feel nothing to do. Most people are hasted to do something necessary. It is another engine of development and invention. However, sitting down on a floor without anything to read or write for a while perhaps let you rich in mind. The reason great philosophy was born in Ancient Greece is considered to be boredom.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Seven hours sleep is the best?

Sleep science is still progressing. It is possible that a dominant hypothesis turns to a fallacy tomorrow. At present, the best duration of sleep in a day is seven hours.

The Telegraph: Why regular lie-ins are a recipe for an early death

In this article, the new study is introduced whose result was suggesting that long-sleeper, more than eight hours in a day, tend to die early. The risk of oversleeping was equivalent to excessive taking of alcohol. Terrible!

This result is not surprising, to be honest. I have heard some similar studies indicating the harm of excessive sleep. It has been estimated that the ideal duration of sleep is between six to eight hours, accumulating evidence suggest.

However, as I always say in this kind of research, there are some room to believe this conclusion. First, most studies examining the sleep and health in human are observational. I have not seen any intervention studies. Thus, it is still unclear whether the attempt to reduce sleep time to seven hours a day would save your life. It is possible simply long-sleepers have some fatal impairments in their internal organs. If so, avoiding excessive sleep would no more beneficial for them, rather deteriorating their condition.

My past entry: Five essences for beautiful sleep

My past entry: Sleep science

Another disadvantage of non-controlled studies is confounding. There can be some factors relevant to both sleep-time and fatality. For example, some people have vulnerable to fatigue, requiring long sleep. In this case, long sleep may not a cause of early death. The researchers must have made an effort to get rid of the influence of confounders in the analysis stage. But it is impossible to identify all confounders in advance.

After all, it is a fact that seven-hour sleepers tend to survive, but unsure due to seven-hour sleep.

In my case, I noticed that I can be awake all the day after I took eight hours sleep. The next day after slept for seven hours, I feel sleepy after lunch, and take a nap. I am not sure which is healthier lifestyle for me. It is important what I should do, since I am not completely average person.

Anyway, sleep matter is still controversial.

Friday, March 27, 2015

German Airbus crashed in France

Another tragedy. German Airbus 320 airplane flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crushed on March 24, 2015.

This aircraft belongs to Germanwings, a subsidiary LCC company of Lufthansa, a famous airline company in Germany.

The Guardian: German Airbus A320 plane crashes in French Alps

The aircraft carrying 144 passengers and 6 crews fell into France Alps. There are no survivors found in spite of active searching. Recently, a black box was salvaged and now been investigated. I pray for the victims.

The reason of the crash is yet to be proven. Some media reported the possibility that a co-pilot made intentionally the plane crashed. It seems to be the opinion of the French prosecutor. There is no declaration of terrorists so far.

BBC: Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot 'wanted to destroy plane'

If it is true, this accident is caused by only a person. It is quite unlikely that a person make a decision about suicide, or homicide, all at once. What was in the mind of the co-pilot?

In Japan, there is a similar case In 1982, an airplane of JAL crashed into the sea near to Haneda airport because of the manipulation by the pilot, leading to the death of 24 people. This pilot was revealed to have been suffering from active delusion due to schizophrenia. He was not prosecuted for the reason of insanity.

It is unclear whether the co-pilot had some mental disorders. But, I am concerned about the management of health status of the pilots. Low-Cost Carriers are adherent to a strict standard of the safety as the same as flagship carriers. However, it is possible that they are less concerned about the health status of the employees, because they have members only just enough to manage the work.

My past entry: A particular reason for delay in LCC

Another concern is the matter of the control tower. The issued aircraft was flying in the sky. An autopilot system seemed to be working. When the co-pilot turned it off, is there no solution to avoid his destructive manipulation? Whether this tragedy is intentional or accidental, such cases can occur again. Further development of technology can prevent the next one, I expect.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Apple Watch banned any wristwatch in the exam hall

There is a movement to stricken the rule of examination in some universities and similar organizations. What they will introduce is the banning of wristwatch at the exam hall.

This regulation seemed to be introduced by the influence of the launch of Apple Watch. Apple Watch is a brand new smartwatch, enabling us to connect the internet via iPhone. In addition, it can store any dictionaries and textbooks. Using an Apple Watch, you will answer the questions in the exam quite easily.

BuzzFeed News: Watches Banned From University Exams Because Of The Apple Watch

Whether equipping a wristwatch is permitted has been vague so far. In some situations, any wristwatches were prohibited. I remember that I had to take off the wristwatch at the IELTS exam, although it might be allowed in some exam halls. Very recently, Nihon Eigo Kentei Kyokai, the organizer of IELTS in Japan declared the complete prohibition of wristwatches. Furthermore, the examiners will confirm that your glasses are not the Google Glass.

Nihon Eigo Kentei Kyokai: An important information for the candidates (in Japanese)

It is understandable that examiners worry about the cheating with Apple Watch. However, the amendment at this time would be too late. Other companies than Apple have sold smartwatch. Some gadgets can connect the internet alone. Although watches with calculator were prohibited, it is possible that someone brought a smartwatch secretly in a certain exam, because it had not been broadly known the other days.

On the other hand, the policy of shutting out any gadgets at the stage of the exam is out of date, as I wrote before. Indeed, in IELTS exam, for example, you have no time to seek the answer with a dictionary. In contrast, getting the correct answer using the internet should be admitted as an ability. In our society, nowadays, nobody can solve any problems without the internet and a calculator. On the contrary, if you are not allowed to rely on any gadgets, you would also have to be sure about the time during the exam without looking at a clock.

My past entry: Examination

In the near future, more compact wearable computers will appear. Censorship against cheating will become difficult. We have to reconsider the definition of the exam.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chapel service for Easter

Today, I went to a chapel in the college, because the college offered a chapel and choir service as one of the Easter events.

Easter is an important festival to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter day in 2015 is April 5th, according to Western Christianity. There are several events to be held near to the Easter in the UK. Some events in the chapel are open for citizens.

Wikipedia: Easter

The chapel in King's College London was so solemn. It was based completely in the building. I have seldom seen such a structure in Japan.

Beginning the ceremony, some priests brought candles and crosses to set them in front of the altar. Then, the choir began to sing, making beautiful harmony. I could listen to a dozen of hymns. In the each interval of the songs, a priest read some chapters of the Bible. It was quite precious time.

After the end of the ceremony, the priests put on the mother candle in front of the altar. Then, we had an opportunity to ignite a small candle. Unfortunately, the fire of the mother candle went out accidentally, so most of us could not complete this ritual.

I remember Obon festival in Japan as a similar concept with Easter. It was believed in Japan that the soul of the ancestors comes back to the real world at Obon week, mid-summer. We used to display Chochin, Japanese lantern, in front of each gate to guide the souls.

Modern Japanese also conduct some festivals. But some people dislike events which have strong religious taste. Few people but Christian visit church. Instead, most Japanese enjoy Christmas without any religious thoughts.

It is difficult to judge the influence of religions upon our society. Apart from any argument, I felt simply delightful to listen to beautiful songs today.

After the ceremony, by the way, I had a dinner at a Thailand cuisine restaurant.

Perhaps adjusted to the British people, they were not so hot, and very delicious.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crimes by psychiatric patients are not so fearful as you imagine

A nation wide study about crimes committed by psychiatric patients was published in the current special issue of Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry: Vol 60, No 3, March 2015 mars

Unfortunately, I am not a member of Canadian Psychiatric Association, so I could not read the full text of the articles. A summary of the results was introduced in the website.

Examiner.com: Mentally ill Canadians found 'not criminally responsible' are misunderstood

According to this, the researchers investigated the data of 1,800 people declared as not criminally responsible. They found that only 7% of the serious crimes was committed by persons who were irresponsible due to mental illnesses. In addition, the recidivism rate of them was 17%, lower than that in offenders who were responsible for the crime.

Canadian legislation is different from that in Japan. Therefore, it is not easy to interpret these results with my intuition. In Japan, the rate of mentally disordered persons in all criminal is 0.8%, according to the Ministry of Justice. However, public prosecutors in Japan tend not to prosecute the offenders who are suspected to be severely suffering from mental illnesses. Thus, there may be more crimes committed by mentally disordered patients.

Limited to violent offences, some mental illnesses raise the risk of perpetrating. Although there had been a wide range of discussion in the past, nowadays no specialists doubt this idea nowadays. For example, approximately 10% of murder cases are committed by mentally disordered persons, according to White Paper of the Crimes in Japan, whereas the prevalence rate of mental disorders is only 3%.

Notwithstanding this fact, we should not fear the patients with mental disorders excessively. It is extremely rare to encounter the crimes caused by them. In addition, 70% of the victims are the family members of the patients. The possibility that you will be involved in a crime by a serial killer is astronomical.

Recidivism is another complicated topic. It depends on the definition of mental disorders. In general, people who were identified as not criminally responsible are suffering from severe mental illnesses such as paranoid schizophrenia. In such cases, effective therapy can reduce the risk of reoffending dramatically. On the other hand, psychopathic patients and patients with substance misuse remain high risk of reoffending, even if intensive treatment was provided.

"Not Criminally Responsible" system seems to be frequently used in Canada, compared to in England and the US, given the data of this study. Some people are opposing this idea itself. In Japan, approximately 70% of the citizens think that offenders with mental disorders should be punished equally to the healthy people, as far as I have investigated. I understand this idea emotionally. However, it is not rational to punish those who did not understand the nature of their acts at the offence. Approving this matter can ignite an emotional conflict. We should be calm, neutral, and keep a scientific view in the argument of this matter.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Columnist speaks her own anorexia

Hadley Freeman, a columnist wrote an interesting article about eating disorder, which had suffered her for several years, on the Guardian.

The Guardian: I had anorexia – but not because I wanted to look like a fashion model

In this article, she mentioned the bill going to be authorized in France to ban skinny models from the fashion industry. As she wrote, this kind of attempts is also seen in other several countries.

It is likely that some advertisement ignites the desire of girls to be slim. And some models are eager to have an extraordinary body for survival in this industry, for an extreme figure attracts the public attention. Therefore, a certain regulation will be beneficial to keep the models and the consumers healthy.

Although agreeing with the bill itself, she made a question to the idea as if anorexia nervosa was a maladaptive habit. She warned that they would ignore the pathology of anorexia as a medical disease.

She told that she stopped eating because she had felt unhappy, not wanted to be a fashion model. This idea is quite suggestive. As she referred the words of Dr. Sigman, many patients with anorexia have a fear to be matured, and hesitate to change from a girl to a woman.

To be honest, I hardly understand the sense of them to reject delicious pork bowl. But it so are the patients too. In my experience, most patients realize that they have to eat more at the first interview. Nonetheless, they cannot eat, and they are not sure why their body refuses the food. Some patients sense that their body condition altered at a certain point.

Considering their feeling, the process of anorexia has a turning point. In many cases, they started to restrict the intake without serious intention. However, continuous shortage of nutrition may distract the homeostasis of the body, and perhaps influence to their cognitive function as well. Beyond this turning point, the patients can no more control upon their appetite and eating habit.

My past entry: Controversies in eating disorders

My past entry: New guideline for eating disorder in Australia

Indeed, anorexia is a disease hard to understand. Therapeutic strategy is yet to be established in spite of some progress. In Japan, there are few hospitals accepting anorexic patients both because of technical and financial problems. The situation looks similar in foreign countries. Poor funding against the treatment of eating disorder attributes to the misunderstanding to this disease, I think.

The Guardian: Child anorexia: is 'size-zero culture' really to blame?

As Dr. Sigman says, men avoid skinny women at the intuition level, I think. Once I heard that popular model women in the sex industry had larger body weight than other models. It suggests that too slim women cannot attract men's sexual instinct, because malnutritional women are unlikely to get pregnant.

Anyway, the cause of anorexia cannot be simplified. The efficacy of the approach through psychopathology is limited. Biological studies with animals can potentially contribute to the explication of this complicated disease.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why internet giants dislike eroticism?

Recently, Facebook updated its regulation of posting, named community standards. The statement of prohibiting the terrorist activity, organized criminal activity, and harassment.

Actually, it is not a new regulation at all. Facebook has been used to ban the accounts involving in antisocial behaviors so far. These explicit statements seem to be concerned about extremists such as ISIS and relevant organizations.

Facebook: Community standards

Interestingly, Facebook also mentioned the nudity and sexual contents. No sexual contents have been permitted in Facebook, so far, either. It is likely that increasing cases of revenge porn drove Facebook to clarify this regulation.

ITProPortal: Facebook adds clarification to nudity and “offensive content” rules

My past entry: Revenge Porn

I do not hope that my timeline would be filled with sexual and/or violent contents. So, I support its policy. On the other hand, it should be admitted that such elements are essential to make a new technology popular.

My past entry: Development by the war, spread by the eroticism

In my opinion, innovators in the IT industry are very scrupulous in general. It is well known that Mark Zuckerberg has an ambition to make everything visible. Apple is also strictly regulating erotic contents in its market. Very recently, Google attempted to change the policy of Blogger, a personal blog service, to eliminate all adult contents. This proposal was withdrawn soon, perhaps due to a major opposing.

Blogger Content Policy

My past entry: Facebook in the future

Indeed, too many sexual contents perish the platform at last. In some computer gaming hardware, the games to enjoy graphics of girls were dominant in the end stage. In PC games industry, there are few new games developed but ones for adults in Japan. I am afraid that many sexual games are being developed in PS VITA.

Nevertheless, sexual contents are the so called necessary evil. Today, internet service developers seem nervous not to be criticized. But, excessively conservative thoughts interfere innovation. It is a difficult task to protect both the liberty of expression and social safety.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Flying car debut soon

Today I introduce a dreamy story near to be realized.

A practical flying car will be available soon. AeroMobil, a company in Slovakia announced that it will launch AeroMobil, the first model of an innovative flying vehicle in 2017.

Engadget: AeroMobil flying car set to take off in 2017, autonomous version to follow

The Verge: AeroMobil hopes to launch its flying car in 2017, and a self-flying car after that

AeroMobil has a form of vanguard. It can fly as well as run on the road, carrying two persons in it. The wings can be folded when staying on the ground, so you can ride it on the public road.

Considering the fact that Boeing Jets can also run on the road, it may not be surprising that AeroMobil is dual-use. Nonetheless, imagine that you can fly whenever you notice the traffic is jammed. It is more surprising that the legal permission for its use both on the road and in the sky is proceeding without any troubles, according to the company.

Of course it will extremely expensive, perhaps nearly million dollars. The first buyers will be billionaires. Those who are willing to purchase a private jet may be interested in the flying car. As they prioritize time saving, avoiding traffic jam would be attractive. But, you would not able to use a runway with an adequate length in such a situation, unfortunately.

On the other hand, it is doubtful whether they drive the car on their own. Limited weight is a disadvantage of the flying car. Instead, there will begin some flying taxi companies in the future.

Issue of energy is another matter. AeroMobil use normal petrol for energy source. Shortage of fuel is a nightmare. Some safety function is necessary. The provider is planning to equip an auto-pilot function to this vehicle. If realized, we can be asleep during the whole course from the home to a foreign country. It is beyond the flying taxi. Fantastic!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Total eclipse in Europe

I am sorry there are nasty episodes sequentially in these a few day. It is entirely unintentional. Today's topic is clean and fantastic.

Today, March 20, 2015, we will see a solar eclipse. In some Norwegian islands, a total eclipse will occur. And in wide regions in Europe, a partial eclipse can be observed in A.M. Unfortunately, Japan is out of the target.

TimeAndDate.com: 20 March 2015 — Total Solar Eclipse

An eclipse is a mysterious phenomenon, although its fundamental is quite simple. I have never seen any eclipses so far. So I am a little excited with the expectation to encounter this fantastic event.

On the other hand, eclipse causes several some problems. The authorities are warning to citizens not to watch the sun directly in order to avoid harming your eyes, and to care about the traffic on the road, because some people can be fascinated to the eclipse, to lead to an accident.

In Europe, there is another and bigger problem. Many European countries rely on solar power generators maintaining the electric resource required at daytime. Of course, the efficacy of solar power is fell on a cloudy day. Electric companies estimate the variance of electric power generation to some extent. However, the total eclipse may interfere the calculation seriously.

Electric power generation is a portfolio. In Germany, the proportion of the resource of solar power is approximately 18%. During the eclipse, some alternative resource of power is required. For example, water power plant will be worked more hard temporarily. In France, atomic power plants will be an important option as a backup energy.

I am not sure about the situation in London. Since it is usually cloudy, and I seldom see solar panels in London, the eclipse will not influence on the electric supply matter, I guess.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Too stinking to fly

There is another odd news regarding an airplane. An aircraft returned to the departure because of a smell.

It happened in an airplane belonging to British Airways, 30 minutes after the takeoff. Some passengers seated nearby the toilet noticed an offensive smell. The crews found that there was "liquid fecal excrement" around the toilet. Unable to fix the pollution with the equipment on the plane, it seemed intolerable for the passengers to continue flying to the destination, Dubai. As a result, the plane was forced to return to the Heathrow Airport.

Mail Online: British Airways flight to Dubai forced to return to Heathrow Airport after 'smelly poo in the toilet' becomes unbearable for passengers

Unfortunately, British Airways could not offer another flight plan on the day, so passengers were trapped in London, after waiting several hours. Considering that there is no detailed report afterward, it is unlike that someone disrupted the flight intentionally with some stimulants.

Flight is very delicate activity. The decision of returning seems inevitable, in my opinion. If someone vomited seriously outside of the toilet accidentally, it would smell terrible. In addition, if it is possible, even little, that there is something harmful around there such as a stimulus gaseous object, the crews have to prioritize the security.

I have an experience of returning after the takeoff. It was the way to Yakushima, a southern island in Japan. In this case, I was offered a ticket for a ship to Yakushima, instead of an alternative flight plan. It took some hours to reach the destination, but I enjoyed the sailing for a while.

By the way, will the person damaged the toilet be punished for interfering the flight? If so, it is quite sorry for the person, or nobody will give them up in such a case.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Successful penis transplant in South Africa

It is an amazing case. An operation was carried out to transplant a donated penis to a man who had lost his own.

According to the media, the recipient was 21 year old man whose penis was maimed because of failed circumcision. His own penis had remained only 1.5 cm before the operation. Transplantation was so successful that he became able to erect his penis. It is incredible because human nerves hardly regenerate, and innumerable nerves are concentrated in the external genitals. The mechanism of erection and ejaculation is also so complex that many men are suffering from ED as you know. If this news is true, it is quite innovative.

In this article, some debates regarding penis transplantation in comparison to heart transportation were introduced. I completely agree with the opinion that this operation is justifiable. It definitely offers the recipients a better life.

In some countries like South Africa, traditional ceremonies potentially harmful to the body still survive. Several adolescents die due to inappropriate procedure of circumcision, regardless of the sex. Excision of the clitoris for girls is deemed as an abuse in modern Western standard.

It is not easy to distinguish a traditional ceremony from barbarous acts. Every culture should be respected equally in terms of its historical value. However, as a doctor, I think that circumstances proven to be potentially dangerous to the life have to be reconsidered. There are many patients waiting for a penis transplantation in South Africa. It is ironic that invalid circumcision provides the opportunity of this marvelous operation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Luxury toilet paper

Recently, luxury toilet paper became popular in the US. According to the media, the revenue of ultra-soft toilet paper reached 1.4 billion USD last year. It matches one-fourth of the whole market. And the sales is still growing.

The Washington Post: The rise of luxury toilet paper

This kind of movement is predictable to some extent. After commodities are fully spread to the community, the developers have to add another value on the conventional goods. Every item is repeatedly renewed time by time. It is rather interesting that there has not come until recently.

I think Japanese is one of the most serious consumers of toilet paper. We love cleanness and public bathing. Some Japanese have vulnerable skin. They never use hard paper towel. Several providers offer luxury tissues as well as toilet paper. I was fond of using "Hana Serebu" [Nose celebrity] in Japan.

Nowadays, there is little difference between brands in the quality of toilet paper. Formerly, cheap toilet paper was so hard in European countries that I felt painful after swiping my anus. Now, I buy the most inexpensive ones at Morrison's. It is soft enough for daily use. I noticed to be surprised that the VAT was added to the price of toilet paper. Is the toilet paper not essential for British?

When it becomes difficult to make difference in the quality of the goods, it commonly occurs in the mature market, the companies can only three choices: retreat from the market, compete with low price, or innovation. However, it is almost impossible to invent a brand new toilet paper. Although there are many types of luxury toilet paper, there is little difference between them. Such luxury toilet paper will become popular also in Europe. And it will disappear soon, as Svetlana Uduslivaia warns in the article. Commodity is commodity.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Brain distinguish placebo from real drug?

Perhaps, you know "Placebo effect." Human's body often responds to fake drugs as well as the real drugs. You will feel better after taking a pill which includes nothing effective to mitigate your headache.

Placebo effect was reported by Beecher in 1955 officially for the first time. Several studies suggest that even the pain from progressive cancers can be reduced by 30% using placebo. Since this fact was spread among scientists, placebo-controlled trials have been required in a clinical trial of a new drug. Otherwise, we would be deceived by noneffective drugs.

The source of placebo effect is estimated as some endogenic reactions. For example, our brain can discharges natural painkilling chemicals soon after we take a pill which we believe as a painkiller. This reaction can occur also in a real drug. Indeed, some patients gain much more benefit from a drug than others.

Recently, a research team published an interesting paper regarding placebo effect. According to their report, an algorithm could distinguish the brain scan images of functional MRI of a person taking painkiller from those taking placebo. It means that the brain is also capable to detect the placebo effect.


In this article, the researchers seem to be confident that this finding will contribute to the development of new drugs. Actually, the perception against drug effects has been studied only with subject manner so far. Functional MRI will be desirable in this region for its high time resolution. I hope further progress will be reported soon.

Science Translational Medicine: Learning to identify CNS drug action and efficacy using multistudy fMRI data

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Forced ECT to capable patients is banned in Ireland

The Irish government is to amend the legislation to prohibit Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) for the patients who refuse to take it.

The Irish Times: Forced use of ECT to end after review of mental health law

ECT is a therapeutic option for schizophrenia, depression, and some other mental illness. In this therapy, the patient is given an electric shock to the brain through the skull. Some patients experience rapid improvement of their mental status after taking an ECT. In a course of ECT, usually 4 to 6 times of the operation are carried out, with twice a week.

Although the source is still unsure, its efficacy has been proven by rich evidence. In addition, ECT is relatively safe procedure to the body, in spite of its horrible image. We have some therapeutic options other than ECT. However, psychotropic medication has side effects, and psychotherapy is time-consuming. We sometimes encounter the cases ECT is the best alternative to recovering the patient from severe mental illness.

Nevertheless, ECT has been broadly criticized. One of the reasons seems to be a discrimination against ECT. On the other hand, ECT had been used abusively in the history of clinical psychiatry. Temporary amnesia can occur after taking ECT. There is uncertainty regarding longitudinal adversity of ECT.

As ECT is recognized as a therapeutic option, whether it is adopted is the choice of the patient, as a principle. However, there are some patients who are not capable to make a decision due to their mental state. In such cases, some alternative decision makers are required to protect their right to take a treatment. Otherwise, the delay of treatment can be fatal.

According to this article, ECT might be administered when two consultant psychiatrists approved in Ireland. However, it is enigmatic that the case in which the patient is "unwilling" to give consent was included. In amended legislation, it seems possible that incapable patients can take ECT without their consent. I think that it is no doubt that a capable patient has a right to refuse treatment, unless their refusal potentially causes a harm to others.

By the way, there is no legislation regarding ECT in Japan. As far as I administered, capable patients have not been forced to take ECT. But the situations in other hospitals are unclear. On the other hand, some psychiatrists in Japan dislike ECT and never consider to adopt it for emotional reasons. It is also extreme, and potentially harmful to patients.

It will be unlikely to make a new legislation regarding ECT in Japan, unless there occurs a critical incident. It is fortunate that political conflict does not occur among this topic. Of course, further scientific research and discussion about pros and cons of ECT is needed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Journey to Hungary (2)

Journey to Hungary (1)

I completely enjoyed the dinner at Gundel. The dessert was chocolate crepes.

The Danube River changes its face following the time. In the morning, it looked clear and blue.

And at night, the Royal Palace seen over the river was decorated by great illumination. Some ships floated on the river, on which you can enjoy the dinner.

I visited Comme Chez Soi the next night. It was also a splendid restaurant. I ordered foie gras and pasta. Then, the chef served me appetizer and dessert. Everything was tasty.

The last night, I went to Menza. It was also great. It was so crowded, and some guests were celebrated for their birthday. I enjoyed goulash.

Needless to say that the conference was quite informative for me. I learned something new and very inspired. It was unfortunate that I could not carry out sightseeing at all. I will walk around Budapest and other cities in Hungary at the second chance.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Journey to Hungary (1)

Last week, I visited Hungary to attend an academic conference.

Hungary is located in Central Europe. It had been a nation of communism until 1989. Now it is Hungarian Republic. Hungary entered EU in 2004, but is still using its own currency, Forint. Many shops accept Euro as well.

The Danube River runs through the Budapest city, the capital of Hungary. I booked a room just east the Danube. The landscape was splendid.

Hungary is famous as a major provider of foie gras. Foie gras is made from liver of a goose. To make the liver fat-rich, the goose is forced to eat a large amount of food. Some people insist that this eccentric procedure deserves an abuse of animal. For this reason, several livestock raisers no longer provide foie gras. Now, Hungary is one of the largest providers of foie gras.

I have no particular opinion regarding animal right. It should be avoided to violate the lives of the animals without any purpose. However, it is the fate of human to kill animals to survive. I think that raising animals artificially so that we can eat animal meat more delightfully is justifiable.

Therefore, I decided to enjoy foie gras as much as possible. As a result, I ate it everyday during the stay at Budapest.

The first day, I went to Gundel, a famous restaurant. It was so luxury that I enjoy the dinner and live music. The players accepted my requests for some numbers such as Sabre Dance. It was a truly precious time.

The symbol of Gundel is an elephant. The butter was excellent.

The main dish was roasted duck.

I felt that Gundel was one of the best European restaurants. The only disadvantage was the cost.

(To be continued.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gender equality: current topics

As International Women's day coming, there are some topics regarding gender equality.

Day before yesterday, in a meeting of UN Commission on the Status of Women held in New York, members agreed with the plan to confirm the achievement of gender equality by 2030.

The Guardian: World leaders pledge to achieve gender equality by 2030

Contemporaneously, The Economist revealed the international comparison about gender equality, named "Glass Ceiling Index." This term represents the hardiness for a woman to be promoted beyond a certain status in a company. The result itself has not changed so much compared to the previous situation. Countries located in Northern Europe are admired as the fairness for women. Japan and Korea occupy the bottom line. Many countries located in Mid-East were not subjected in this survey.

The Economist: Female Finns are faring fine  

To be honest, this kind of survey is sometimes quite arbitrary. So, we should be cautious to interpret the results. I think this report is trustworthy, nonetheless. Japan is deemed to be a country in which women are discriminated in other surveys.

My past entry: Japan as the worst for women

Actually, I do not feel that there is cruel discrimination against women. However, I sometimes hear the cases which are very shameful, such as blaming a working lady for become pregnant, or recommending a single lady who mentioned the women's right to get married soon.

My past entry: Blame to a pregnant worker: awful problem in Japan

My past entry: Sexual abuse in Tokyo assembly

Perhaps, some people, not limited to male, have too conservative opinion to match the modern society. They are unaware why their behaviors are deemed as impolite.

On the other hand, there are a few aggressive women insisting the rapid improvement of the social environment. For example, some female activists expose their breasts. Even if their thoughts are politically correct, they hardly gain the public acceptance. Interestingly, the majority of women seem not to be side with such activists. Consequently, only emotional conflicts tend to emerge, leading to no constructive discussion. It is so sorry.

My past entry: Does topless become legal? Current trend and future

Anyway, the 21st century is the era of women, I sense. Talented women will appear more and more. In Japan, some people say that middle-aged men are more struggling to get a job than women. In some days, men would encounter the glass ceiling, perhaps.

My past entry: Women's era

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Too thin new Mac Book with Retina Display

Apple conducted an event to publish the date and price of its new products on March 9th.

The new Mac Book was proven to equip a 12-inch Retina Display. It was named simply "Mac Book," without "Air." Amazingly, the thickness of its body is only 13.1 mm. It equips no fans, no external connectors other than Type-C USB port. You can charge it via this port. Thus, it is impossible to charge the new Mac Book and iPhone at the same time without any additional gadgets.

MacWorld UK: New Retina MacBook release date, specs and UK pricing: New MacBook unveiled at Apple Watch event

Apple has proposed a new style of using gadgets repeatedly. The first iMac equipped no floppy disc drives in spite of the contemporary trend. The first Mac Book Air equipped only one USB port, and abandoned optical disc drives. Nowadays, we usually utilize cloud storage services to transfer the data, instead of US memory sticks. Considering it, Apple decided to sacrifice conventional USB ports, to pursue the thinness of the machine.

USB Type-C is expected to be the standard of connectors in the near future. Furthermore, it will be the only connector permitted to be attached to smartphones in the EU. Perhaps, Apple has chosen to obey the tide in the EU. But it is a hard luck to lovers of Lightning cable.

My past entry: Type-c will come soon

My past entry: One connector law for mobile phones in EU

The new Mac Book will be launched on April 10th. Its price will be 1,049 GBP for the cheapest model. In the US, it will be 1,299 USD. In Japan, it will be approximately 160,000 JPN including consumption tax.. Unfortunately, the price in the UK is considerably higher than in Japan, due to the base price level in the UK. For this reason, I am hesitating to buy it here, in spite of its attractiveness.

By the way, I feel the new Mac Book is too thin. Of course, thinner is better. However, there is a trade-off relationship between the thinness and toughness. I am afraid that the new Mac Book is vulnerable to physical pressure. It is miserable if you break the keyboard when you push one strongly. Calm and delicate management is required to deal with this Mac. In addition, you should be extremely cautious when standing in a crowded train. It is a disadvantage, compared to Let's Note series by Panasonic.

My past entry: New PC with WIN8 by Panasonic (1)

I possess a first model of Mac Book Air. It had a failure around thermal control, I felt. I expect this new Mac has overcome this problem.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

US ambassador injured in South Korea

Mark Lippert, the US ambassador to South Korea was slashed with a razor by an activist on March 5th. He was to give a lecture in Seoul. It was fortunate that the injury was not fatal. He was admitted to a hospital. Park Geun-hye, the Korean president, visited the hospital on 9th.

The Guardian: US ambassador to South Korea slashed with a razor by political extremist

The perpetrator who was arrested just after the incident was Kim Ki-Jong. He is a left-winged activist. He condemned the ambassador about the attitude against Japan and North Korea during the assault. According to his insist, joint military exercise of the US and South Korea has made it difficult for South Korea to be united with North Korea.

It seems that there is a backbone of this incident. Wendy R. Sherman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs in the US mentioned on February  28th that it was no good to agitate nationalism in her speech. Her intention was deemed to control the Korean policy being blaming Japan for the war crimes. Some Korean citizens are likely to have got angered by her comment.

US Department of State: Remarks on Northeast Asia

Actually, Kim has a similar crime history. He threw a piece of concrete at the Japanese ambassador in July 2010, resulting in an injury to an officer. He received a suspended prison sentence. At the time of this case, public opinion was supportive to the perpetrator, because Japanese were not liked by Korean, according to some journalists.

However, the present case is quite serious. This incident is potentially harmful to the relationship between the US and Korea. The Korean government may be eager to reduce the negative impact of this case.

Of course, it is unlikely that the US will become hostile to Korea immediately because of this incident. But, Korea will face a tough situation in diplomacy for a while. Recently, Korea has been struggling to keep close to both the US and China. But the US seems to want Korea not to be so much friendly with China. It will become difficult for Korea to decline the political requests of the US.

In Japan, a similar case happened in 1964. A mental disordered offender attacked Edwin O. Reischauer, the US ambassador to Japan. He took serious injury, but saved his life in hospital. Reischauer was very supportive to Japan, and there is no evidence that this incident had a negative impact on the relationship of both nations. By the way, he was infected with a hepatitis virus due to the transported blood of Japanese. These cases revealed two big problem in Japanese public health, mental hygiene and blood administration.

Different from the case of Reischauer, the perpetrator has a definite political intention. It makes the situation more complicated.

It seems to be challenging to fix this situation. I hope both Korean and the US government to keep calm and maintain a good relationship.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Does smartphone make change on medical care?

Nowadays, we all possess a smartphone. It looks like natural at a glance. But actually, it is extraordinary, considering the fact a modern smartphone matches a supercomputer made in a couple decade ago in the function.

There are several ways to utilize these tiny, but talented gadgets. It is regrettable that the most successful applications in the smartphone market is gaming. On the other hand, recently, some medical solutions using smartphones attract public attention.

D free is a unique architecture enabling to prospect the timing you should go to bathroom. There is an attachment to stick on your stomach. It senses your bowel movement and estimate when your faces will go out. It sends a message to the smartphone 10 minutes before the time.

I am doubtful if this gadget will work precisely. Nonetheless, it will be innovative, in particular in the scene of caring. There are many aged people with dementia. Cleaning after the excretion is a serious burden for caregivers. It has a potential to overcome this annoying problem.

Peek Retina is an adapter for eye examination. You can take detailed photos of your eye with this gadget. Opticians diagnose your eye condition with these photos even if you cannot visit a hospital.

Diabetes is one of the diseases causing blindness. The reason why diabetic patients lose their sight is abnormal angiogenesis in the retina. For this reason, they require regular observation of the retina. This invention may alleviates the cost of examination.

There are many other products potentially beneficial to the health. In the future, you will be able to consult Siri for your health problem.

However, developing a medical equipment is still challenging. Professional tools should meet a high standard to be authorized. Otherwise, they would shorten your life. Apple has abandoned introducing some medical equipment to the first model of Apple Watch. I think that this decision is deliberative. Repeated trial and error are needed for the establishment of exactly working machines. It will take several years before you rely on your smartphone about your health.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The possibility of Academic Review Coin

As I wrote yesterday, Bitcoin and its architecture have a great potential. Everyone will issue their own stock, visualizing their reputation and trust.

There are many possibilities of utilizing crypt currency. For example, I am considering to adopt this scheme to the administration of an academic journal.

To explain my idea, you have to know how academic journals are issued. Once a manuscript was submitted to a journal, the editors of this journal investigate the quality of the study. Next, the editors ask for a review of the manuscript to some other researchers than involved in this study. The reviewers look through the manuscript to examine the validity of the study. Referring the opinion of the reviewers, the editors make a decision whether the manuscript is accepted or rejected. In most cases, considerable amendment is requested to the authors before publication, following the recommendation of the reviewers. Thus, the reviewers have a role to ensure the appropriateness of the final article.

For this reason, reviewers have a great responsibility. In addition, examine a paper is time-consuming. However, reviewers receive no rewards. For the review process keeps anonymity, reviewers never declare that they have reviewed a certain article. It means that reviewers cannot take an honor for reviewing some valuable articles. The review is absolutely voluntary task.

I have engaged in reviewing several articles. Although it is exciting to examine a manuscript written by another researcher, reviewing is a tough task. Indeed, editors are always struggling to maintain excellent reviewers.

Digital currency potentially has a power to overcome this challenge.

Imagine it, the publisher of an academic journal issues a unique digital currency, named Journal Coin (JC). And the JC is delivered to reviewers for a reward of reviewing the manuscript. Then, if the article they reviewed in the past is cited to other articles, the reviewers gain more JC. Being cited is usually a proof that the article is valuable. On the contrary, if it was revealed that the article was a product of plagiarism, the reviewers are penalized by being got rid of the JC, if they still keep the involved JC. The scheme of crypt currency keeps all transaction in its log, and anyone can see the amount of JC in each account. It represents the reputation of each researcher.

When this journal become famous, the JC will construct a market. The publisher can sell the JC for real money to raise the budget for the management of the journal publishing.

This is merely my inspiration. But I believe that someone is planning to construct a similar system for functional publishing of academic journals.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bitcoin and reputation economy in the future

The price of Bitcoin is rising recently. Some people indicated the influence of hyperinflation in Ukraine.

(This chart was generated via Kraken.)

Bitcoin is a crypt currency which has no central administrator. It was introduced several years ago. Nowadays, there are many exchanges all over the world. Its price is still volatile. Some months ago, it fell down by 50% from $400 to $200 per 1BTC, following the cracking case of BitStamp, a major exchange.

Notwithstanding the frequent scandals about it, Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology. It has no particular organization. It means that no one can damage the value of Bitcoin with a certain policy. Therefore, it becomes trustworthy at the financial crisis in a country. On the other hand, nobody can ensure the value of Bitcoin on their own. Such a contradictory character is one of the reasons Bitcoin is difficult to be understood.

The scheme of Bitcoin is not limited to digital currency. You can create your own currency with the architecture of Bitcoin, at least theoretically. Indeed, there are some internet services of issuing digital currency. GetGems, a new company developed a messenger application, issued a digital currency "Gems," as a token used in the application. You can transfer Gems to another person via the application. GetGems sold some amount of Gems in advance it released the application to gain a budget to develop the product. It this application becomes popular, the price of Gems will be raised.

Thus, anyone will be able to have their own currency. I heard that a blogger issued his token to deliver it to readers. The more his blog becomes popular, the more his token become valuable. As you know, this token is quite similar to the stockpile.

In the near future, everyone will issue their own stockpile. It means that the reputation of each person become visible. Stockpile is a symbol of trust and reputation. So is the money.

Toshio Okada, a Japanese commentator, prospected an era of "reputation economy." In his words, people in this era will exchange their reputation for something, instead of currency. For example, you cannot buy 100,000 active followers in Twitter for $100,000. In contrast, you will earn $100,000 with ease if you have 100,000 active followers. Thus, reputation will be more powerful than money, according to Okada.

Okada's opinion is noteworthy. Indeed, in ancient China, people needed good reputation to get a higher status. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook also aims at the visualization of personality of each person. However, reputation itself is hardly to be measured. It is a disadvantage compared to the money.

Digital currency will overcome this problem. Bitcoin and relevant technology will open the door to the era of the reputation economy.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Doubtful policy of harsh punishment to juveniles

In Japan, a discussion regarding the amendment of the Juveniles Act was ignited following the occurrence of a murder case. A 18-year-old boy is suspected to have killed a junior high school boy and attempted to behead him.

To be honest, I am indifferent to this case itself. As I repeatedly say, the media reports are very often  biased, even far from the facts sometimes. So, I hesitate to make any comments referring to the crime report in general. I dare not to watch the news about this case.

Whenever an extraordinary crime case occurs, some self-styled specialists say something on the TV. Then, some politicians begin to insist the necessity of the amendment of the penal act or relevant legislation. Their proposals are often realized. However, nobody could have proven the efficacy of these policy changes.

The Juvenile Act has been amended some times in these some decades. Most of them aimed to punish the delinquents more harshly. As a result, are juvenile crimes reduced? It is difficult to answer this question, because juvenile crimes have been decreasing for a couple of decades, notwithstanding the public perceptions that recent juveniles have become violent.

This graph is made from the data published by the government. See White Paper on Crime.

Ministry of Justice: White Paper on Crime (in English)

Some people also say the quality of the juvenile crimes has become cruel. I cannot agree with this opinion. Before the WWII, there were many reports of juvenile crimes, some of which are far from our imagination.

Amazon.co.jp: Senzen no shonen hanzai [Juvenile Crime before the WWII] (in Japanese)

Strengthening the punishment is not a trend limited to juveniles. Recently, the government amended the relevant laws to punish more seriously the persons with some diseases potentially damaging their concentration who caused a traffic accident. It was just after a serious case occurred by a track driver with epilepsy. The offender of this case skipped to anti-epileptic medication against the medical advice, and had past history of accidents. Actually, this guy may deserve to be blamed. However, if he had abandoned driving the track, he would have lost his job. I am doubtful if there were some compensations offered to him when recommended to stop driving.

Furthermore, it is ridiculous to make a drastic change responding only a few extraordinary cases. Most of the juveniles, patients, and citizens are benign. There are many examples that a shocking case influenced the society through an emotional argument. Most of such changes were not desirable, based on the ex post facto consideration.

To be honest, I had been supportive of the harsh punishment policy until some years ago. But now, I think there are little evidence harsh punishment ensure us the safe society. Japanese are traditionally polite and adherent to any regulation. Such cultural background has prevented us from an increase of crimes. On the other hand, we have not been concerned to organize our society spontaneously. Neutral and scientific point of view is required to address this matter.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My best computer games (4) Heroes of Might and Magic 3

My best computer games (1) OBLIVION
My best computer games (2) Baldur's Gate
My best computer games (3) Master of Magic

Heroes of Might and Magic (HoMM) series are turn-based strategy games. They originated from Might and Magic (M&M) series, a popular fantasy role-playing games. The original developer of M&M was bankrupted, so UBI Soft has succeeded its brand. HoMM7 will be released soon. I have tried all of HoMM series, and I think HoMM3 is the best.

Heroes of Might and Magic III wiki

In HoMM3, you command several heroes to conquer any opponents. Heroes can arrange a troop composed of several creatures. Each creature has various abilities, such as fire breath, energy drain, flying, and so on.

There is a total of nine factions in this game. It has been determined which creatures belongs to each faction. For example, you can recruit Spearmen, Archers, and Angels in "Castle." In "Dungeon", Medusae and Red Dragons are available. There is an argument which is the strongest faction. I think "Dungeon" and "Elemental Conflux" are the most powerful.

Some heroes can learn magic spells. Spells are divided into four schools; Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Heroes with a specialization skill can enhance the corresponding spells. Actually, earth school is much stronger than other schools, because "Resurrection" and "Town Portal" become extremely useful with Earth magic specializing skill.

HoMM3 can be played by multi-players. Unfortunately, I have not played this game with any human opponents. In a local rule, "Town Portal" spell is banned because of its excessive power. Single playing is also enough to enjoy for many hours.

HoMM3 is still available via GOG.com. The two expansion sets, "Shadow of Death" and "Almagedonn's Blade" are included. Recently, a high definition graphic version of HoMM3 was developed. This new version is sold in Steam. In addition, some voluntary players have developed unofficial modification software.

Heroes of Might and Magic 3 HD edition

HoMM3 is a little similar to Master of Magic, but more simple and easy to play.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Too dirty to be a psychiatric hospital

In Ireland, a representative psychiatric hospital in Dublin was deemed not to be appropriate, by the authority.

The Mental Health Commission carried out this inspection in August 2014, concluded that this facility built in 19th century was outdated. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is considering to replace this facility soon.

The Irish Times: Central Mental Health hospital ‘unsuitable’ as mental health facility - report

According to the report, there were some suggestions regarding the appearance and equipment of the facility. For example, the bedrooms looked like cells and some corridors were too narrow. In spite of the effort of the cleaning staffs, some rooms were dusty.

The contents of the report seem rational. And it is unavoidable for such an old building to become outdated some day. Also in Japan, psychiatric hospitals built in the 20th century are dirty and dysfunctional somewhat. Some traditional hospitals were made from wood, and equipped only bedrooms shared by many inpatients. In addition, some hospitals cannot meet the safety standard to survive an earthquake. Rebuilding or reforming is required in many facilities within some decades.

In European countries, there are some hospitals reconstructed from a castle or a prison. They are quite invulnerable, but far from comfortable to stay. On the other hand, nowadays, environmental issues for inpatients are much concerned than before. It is not easy to utilize those buildings for a long time continuously meeting the need of the residents.

By the way, this report also mentioned the CCTV setting. The fact that CCTV cameras are in operation should be notified, according to the report. In Japan, most psychiatric hospitals adopt CCTV cameras to observe the status of the patients in a seclusion room. But it is uncertain the patients are notified about it. Some psychotic patients are suffering from the delusion of observation. Definite explanation to the patients regarding utilizing the CCTV is needed, not only to respect their human right, but also to relieve them from unnecessary suspicion.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Galaxy S6 Edge unveiled

Samsung unpacked Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, flagship models of smartphone, in Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, and the preceding conference.

BBC: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Hands-on with the new handseta

Galaxy series is a famous brand of Samsung. I have used Galaxy S3 for 3 years. It still works well, although sometimes delaying in process perhaps due to the update of Android OS. Galaxy S6 and Edge is the successors of Galaxy S5 relased in 2014.

My past entry: Galaxy S5 launch

Galaxy S6 equips some new electric parts such as octa-core CPU, 16 mega pixel camera, and 2560*1440 pixel display. The appearance was also evolved more luxurious.

Furthermore, Galaxy S6 Edge has a curved display, like Galaxy Note Edge. It enables us to see the notification of receiving call and email when the machine is placed the screen in the bottom.

TechRadar: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge release date, news and features

It will released on April 10. The price is estimated to approximately $1,000, depending on the volume of storage. Unfortunately, Galaxy S6 cannot equip an external storage such as micro SD card. I recommend the 128GB model, if choose, though expensive.

TechAdvisor: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge / Galaxy Edge UK release date, price & specs: When is the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge coming out? Galaxy S6 Edge details

Samsung has been struggling in the battle of global market. Previously, it aimed at Japan for infiltrating flagship models, but its attempt seemed to fail. Galaxy S6 will be sold also in Japan, but Samsung is considering to retreat from Japan.

My past entry: New gadgets from Apple, Samsung, and Amazon

My past entry: Alteration of Generations in Smartphone industry

On the other hand, some companies are rising in this industry. For example, Xiaomi adopted the follower strategy definitely just like Samsung had followed Apple in the past. Now, Samsung has to create some new values instead of mimicking conventional products.

I think that the curved screen is a symbol of the change in Samsung. It looks new, but not so innovative at a glance. Curved screen is attractive. But, suggesting clearly what this technology let us is the next challenge. I expect Samsung to show the answer.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cybercrime overwhelms drugs

Cybercrime has potentially bigger profit than illegal drugs, the London Police says.

The Telegraph: Cybercrime could become more lucrative than drugs, police chief warns

According to the media, one-fourth of the organized criminals in Britain is estimated to engaged in financial crime. Their profit reaches 10 billion GBP in a year. But it is uncertain how much amount of the benefit is generated from cybercrime.

Financial crimes are not so harmful to the public, compared to the illegal drugs, although both are unacceptable.

Fraud on the internet is easy to commit. It takes very little cost. And it is difficult to disclose the evidence of the crime, especially in the case the criminals are using servers in a foreign country.

Even I have been attacked by some kinds of fraud, as I wrote in the past. Also recently, I received emails from someones disguising Samsung and a famous investment bank in terms of the network account. There are innumerable numbers of junk mails other than them.

My past entry: A spam e-mail mimicking Google

My past entry: I will be a trillionaire

It is quite easy for me to distinguish these tricks. However, it is important that a few people may be deceived in the world. For the criminal side, sending an email to millions of people takes almost zero and time and money. If one of the millions gives the money, this business will be successful.

Many major companies are subjected to this fraud. Most of them release a warning to the users. But these caution is unlikely to reach customers who are indifferent to the risk of fraud. Such users tend to be victimized.

Furthermore, criminals usually disguise their intention of exploitation not being noticed by the victim forever. I heard that in many cases the victims did not know they are tricked even after they lost a large amount of money. Of course, they do not report the case to the police. Thus, fraud is not a crime until it is proven to be so. And the internet has made it much easier than the past to conduct it.

It is extremely difficult to deal with this kind of crimes. Some cyber security software can detect potentially harmful emails and websites, but not perfectly. The police in each country are keen to investigate this matter. Technical development is important to chase the criminal on the internet. In addition, international contracts are essential to control the cybercrime. The internet has been broadened beyond the nations. Why not will the police so?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mortality in ADHD: a huge cohort study

You may be surprised if you know patients with Attention Deficit and hyperactivity Disorder tend to die young. Or do you think it is quite predictable?

Søren Dalsgaard et al. conducted a prospective cohort study with Danish children for some decades. They started this study in investigated almost 2 million people to diagnose them and followed them up to 2013. As a result, the mortality rate in ADHD patients was proven to be twice as high as healthy people.

The LANCET: Mortality in children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide cohort study

ADHD is a relatively common disorder in boys. Those with ADHD have a difficulty to concentrate, often cannot stay at a place for long time, and are reckless.The severity of the symptoms is so various that some patients are overlooked in childhood.

ADHD is sometimes accompanied by other mental disorders, such as conduct disorder, substance misuse, and learning disability. The authors of this article examined the impact of ADHD on the mortality excluding the influences of other factors. After all, people with ADHD are likely to encounter an accident more frequently than those without ADHD. However, it looks like a tautology, because careless people are possible to be diagnosed with ADHD. Current standard of diagnosis of ADHD includes no objective data such as blood count or genetic examinations.

This is a shocking report. However, parents of the patients with ADHD need not to be pessimistic so much. The mortality rate is only 5.85 per 10,000 person-year. Rather, as the authors mentioned, they should be aware of the fact that ADHD is a treatable disease.

The New York Times: A.D.H.D Diagnosis Linked to Increased Risk of Dying Young

This great survey was published in Lancet, a world-famous medical journal. I am at home now, so I cannot read the original article. Notwithstanding this, I can feel the strength of this study. It is extremely difficult to continue a project for decades. A sophisticated methodology, strong motivation shared by the team, members, and a large amount of budget are required. I respect the researchers very much.

I believe that the researchers are not satisfied with publishing only this paper. A longitudinal observational study tells us many things. They must be prepared to detect other interesting findings. One of them seems to be the risk factors for schizophrenia in child and adolescent, published in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Schizophrenia Bulletin: Risk of Schizophrenia Increases After All Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders: A Nationwide Study

Clinical data is a treasure of humankind. I expect the researchers to reap more fruits from this data.

By the way, it is strange that only five persons are listed up in this paper. Hundreds of researchers must be involved in this big project. Some more names should be included in the list of contributors, I think.