Monday, February 29, 2016

Sequel in February 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016
Donald and Clinton won South Carolina's vote in Presidential race

Trump and Clinton are still competing. Some journalists prospect Clinton's triumph. But it remains uncertain.

CNN Politics: Ted Cruz: Trump can't beat Hillary Clinton

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. The outcome will be decisive. Most of other candidates than Trump and Clinton will be expelled from the race.

February 11, 2016
Confusing stock market

The market is rather stable in these weeks. And the price of Bitcoin is gradually rising. The future is still unpredictable.

February 8, 2016
Mega, a candidate for successor of Copy

Unfortunately, Mega seems not to afford to offer a high volume of cloud storage. Just after I made a contract, Mega changed the policy. MEGA turns 3!

According to the new regulation, storage not having been accessed for three months will vanish. Though not influential to active users, it is a radical change. I am afraid Mega will terminate the service itself soon.

February 4, 2016
Fear of Zika spreading

In Japan, the first patient of Zika fever was reported. In the US, Zika-related microcephaly was reported for the first time recently.


Unfortunately, international spreading of Zika virus infection seems unstoppable. We should be seriously cautious about the health of pregnant women.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hateful Eight: Gloomy and unrespectful

Today, I saw "Hateful Eight," the eighth film by Quentin Tarantino.

The story begins some years after Civil War in the US. Marquis Warren, a black bounty hunter, is accidentally accompanied by John Ruth, another bounty hunter who is taking Daisy Domergue, who was expected to be executed, to Red Rock. By chance, Chris Mannix, saying that he is going to the sheriff of Red Rock, is also together. They are stuck due to a blizzard in a stagecoach lodge. There are some other guests there.

At this moment, some persons make their own position respectively. Ruth is seriously worrying about someone intending to kill him to rescue Domergue. Warren is cursed as "Nigger" by several people. One of the guests is general Smithers, having opposed to Warren in Civil War. Another is an executor in Red Rock. These hateful eight people are forced to be together in a locked lodge. And the case happens.

It is obvious that some people disguise themselves because too many people who are mutually concerned are at the same place. Notably, Warren feels suspicious that something happened in the lodge "Minnie's Haberdashery" at the early stage. There is no complicated plot about the truth. In the later stage, the backbone of some liars is revealed.

In this film, Warren is repeatedly discriminated. I felt unhappy about these descriptions. I imagine there was a great conflict between white and black people in the US. As revenge for this treatment he had taken, he abused a particular person relevant to his attendee in the past. This scene is also awful.

Since a person poisoned a beverage, the story turned into a tragedy. But, I think that the individual took poison into a beverage is a fool. In the film, a certain person looked at the scene of poisoning by chance. But, if not, the intention of the poisoner might be ruined.

After the solution of poison case, surprisingly, another person appears. It is violating an unwritten law of thriller. Tarantino looks indifferent to this kind of institution. But I guess audience who had expected this film as a thriller would have been disappointed.

Totally, this film is decorated with Tarantino's sense. But I do not like it.

Personal Rating: 2 (poor)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Solution for a joke of plastic parrots

Recently, I read an anecdote of plastic parrots. I found it in an English textbook, but it was repeatedly referred on the internet. I do not know which is the original.

The story-line is as below:

There are a father and his son. Father asks his son what he would like for his 15th birthday. The boy asked a plastic parrot. Father buy it for the boy, but soon after receiving it, the parrot disappear. Father feels strange, but he does not mention it.

The next year, the son requests six plastic parrots. And after getting them, parrots disappear.

The next year, the same thing happens. Father is confused, but the son never tells the reason he wants plastic parrots.

Finally, on his 19th birthday, the son ask for a whole room full of plastic parrots. Father realize his desire. And some days after, parrots vanishes.

Father is willing to ask what happened on the parrots. However, instead of his son appearing, the father receives a phone call. A hospital doctor tells the father that his son is dying due to an accident.

Father rushes the hospital, and begs his son to tell why he repeatedly wants plastic parrots, while concerning about his status.

He decides to tell the truth of his parrots, and make a final request of a plastic parrot to the father.

Father runs to a toy shop to get one. Seeing the plastic parrot, the son begins to tell the truth.

But immediately after open his mouth, the son dies.

Please do not get angry. It is a nonsense story. To be honest, I cannot understand why this anecdote is categorized to a joke.

There are some hypotheses of background the son gets plastic parrots again and again, as far as I imagine. Though I do not know the correct answer, I will explain it.

(1) The boy ate plastic parrots.
Indeed, there are some bacteria which can assimilate plastic. And there are a few case reports of a person who can eat metals. It is possible that the boy has an extraordinary ability.

(2) The boy vitalized plastic parrots.
This is rather a fairy-tale. The boy can create a life and inspire it to a puppet. Parrots flied away on their own.

(3) The plastic parrots contain something illegal.
Actually, in the variation of this story I read, the boy was finally involved in a gang shooting case. It imagined me that the boy had some relationship to a gang member. The storekeeper of the toy shop the father frequently visited was a smuggler, and enclosed something, like heroine, into plastic parrots. The boy was threatened by a gangster to make his father buy the parrots for sending them to their colleagues.

Which do you like as a solution to this mysterious story? Or, I am glad if you tell me about your great answer.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Snow, influenza, and fiscal year

Yesterday night, it a little snowed. Some trees were covered with snow, but the ground was not.

Most national universities conducted an entrance examination on 25th and 26th Feb. So, students seemed to have worried about the weather. I guess their anxiety.

In Japan, the fiscal year, as well as the school term, begins in April. Thus, many people take some roles to prepare for the next year in winter. Many conferences are held in February.

However, it causes a serious problem: influenza outbreak.

Influenza virus is activated in winter. Its infectious power is awful. Several school classes are forced to be closed because a considerable amount of students are infected. Medical practitioners are seriously concerned about the prevention of spreading the virus at the hospital. Some of my colleagues have children who are suffering from high fever and joint pain.

I think it is risky to hold big conferences in the mid winter. For example, the division I belong to is to perform an annual conference in January. But, some years ago, it was postponed because some core participants, including myself, were broken down.

Many countries set September as the beginning of the fiscal year. I do not like this custom because it is still hot in September in Japan. On the other hand, it should be reconsidered whether April is optimal for the beginning.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Is Sex Buyer Law successful in the UK?

The UK is now discussing the implementation of a Sex Buyer Law. If realized, it will change the situation surrounding the sex industry in the UK.

International Business Times: The UK must make it illegal to pay for sex - most women find it traumatising not empowering

The new legislation will target not prostitutes but buyers. In the UK, one in ten British men have paid for sex, and the number of the deal was doubled in these two decades. The supporters expect the bill will protect women from the risk of their human right being violated.

On the other hand, not surprisingly, some are opposing to this bill. There seem three principal reasons. Firstly, since prostitution is an essential act in human society, it is not feasible to regulate paid sex. Secondly, criminalizing paid sex rather get rid of opportunity from some women. And thirdly, an excessive adaptation of the legislation will cause mistaken arrests.

In this article above, the first two opinions were gainsaid. In Sweden and some other countries, similar regulation has been introduced. And they are successful in reducing organized crimes in the sex industry. Also, there are data that most women working in the sex industry are traumatized rather than being proud of their job.

So, how about the third point of debate? For example, most men who want to make an intimate relationship with a woman are willing to give her some valuable presents. In this case, what happen if the lady sues the man after having a sexual relationship? This issue is similar to one in rape crimes.

In Japan, enjo-kosai, or date with compensation has been a big problem, as I wrote. Prostitution is illegal, but this regulation is no more functional. There are many sex facilities, and it is considered that some foreign women are working there with illegally staying. Not a few women cannot survive without income for having sex. Thus, the problem is not limited to the sex industry, but an issue around welfare, at least in Japan.

My past entry: Confusing CNN article about child sex in Japan

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

In the UK, it seems that social welfare is better than in Japan. The introduction of the Sex Buyer Law will be successful, I guess. On the other hand, wealthy British will perhaps make a trip to another country for enjoying a paid sex, as some Japanese did so. The matter is complicated.

My past entry: Cheap prostitute in Greece, study found

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ransom-ware and Bitcoin in hospital

Cyber crimes are now common all over the world. There are more variations than ever have been. Recently, a case using a ransom-ware to extort Bitcoins from a hospital was reported.

Staffs at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center noticed that medical records stored on the server had become unavailable. The computer was cracked by someone, which installed malware to encrypt the patients data. The hospital was demanded to pay money for recovery of the data. After all, the hospital chose to send Bitcoins equivalent to 17,000 USD to the blackmailer.

The Washington Post: After computer hack, L.A. hospital pays $17,000 in Bitcoin ransom to get back medical records

I never appreciate such an evil act. But, this case has some interesting elements which suggest cleverness of the perpetrator.

First, the target of this crime was a hospital. In general, hospitals are more vulnerable to threatening than banks. Though hospital computers equip some security, it can be easily broken by a cracker. It is obviously because few people want to gain hospital data, different from bank money. On the other hand, they are crucial for hospital staffs.

Second, it is unfortunate for Bitcoin to have been utilized for ransom. Bitcoin can be easily tracked, in spite of common understanding. Nonetheless, it is still difficult to discover the whole flow of Bitcoin transaction. I am afraid the reputation of Bitcoin will be damaged by the influence of this case.

Third, 17,000 USD is not a large amount of money. In a hostage crime, over a million dollar can be dealt. But too much money is hardly controllable for the administrator of an organization. Delayed negotiation would be disadvantageous of the criminal. I think the blackmailer estimated 17,000 USD as the highest amount of money to take with low risk.

Anyway, hospitals will have to prepare for this kind of crimes hereafter. Annoying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Email rule and sense

Email is one of the innovations in the 1990s. It has both advantages of mail and telephone. Nowadays, email is an essential tool for business, though SNS is partially replacing it.

However, manners of email writing are still under discussion. Some people recommend not to use BCC (blind carbon copy) at work. I hardly understand this policy.

Before the standard of email writing reached the consensus, SNS infiltrated to our daily life. It considerably changed our mindset. For example, we write a very short message in SNS, like “Ok.” Therefore, some people, especially in youth, sometimes write an email as so. At least in Japan, it seems not a few individuals feel discomfort see such a casual message on an email.

I usually begin to write an email to “Dear Mr. Smith,” and end with “Best Wishes.” As a first generation users of email, I recognize it as a convenient alternative to paper mail. Therefore, I am conscious of adhering the manners of mail except in a close relationship.

In contrast, so-called digital native generations tend to identify the email as a legacy. They frequently contact with their friends using Twitter, Facebook, and Line. These services equip some communication aids such as “like” button and picture stamps. Therefore, they need not care about the receiver through adhering traditional rules. And they tend to introduce this sense into email as well.

It is not surprising that an inpricit convention is changing. The next generation will invent a new method of communication which is far from our imagination.

By the way, email is so easy to use that we receive an enormous number of emails every day. For a sender, it is fearful if an important message is mixed with many junk emails in the receiver’s folder. Therefore, several methods to attract the attention of the receiver have been tried.

For example, a proper message should not either be enthusiastic or neutral, according to a survey. Suggestive tone to some extent gains good response. And, adequate length of words in an email is just 100.

The Atlantic: The Perfect Email

To be honest, I cannot evaluate these comments in this article above. I am not familiar with dealing with English emails. Actually, I often fail to get a reply via email even in an important business contact. Perhaps, my email is hardly understandable for readers due to the poor English description. On the other hand, I do not want to trust those who do not reply to emails. This dilemma is complex because of communication gap in a foreign language.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Donald and Clinton won South Carolina's vote in Presidential race

The presidential campaign is approaching a decisive point. The vote for the nomination of each party in South Carolina resulted in the triumph of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as expected.

South Carolina is deemed to be critical especially in Republican as most of the winners in this state won the nomination so far. It seems valuable more than one victory for Trump.

In contrast, Jeb Bush, who was former governor of Florida and had been supposed to be the most promised candidate previously, drop out from the campaign, admitting the defeat. He was a successful governor but looked not so powerful as the boss of the US.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz is following Trump, closely competing, but the distance between them and Trump is not easy to overcome.

In spite of the previous estimation of many analysts, Trump's trampling power is not likely to decline. It is true that his honest and unfaltering speech style attracts many voters. Some Americans, especially middle-class whites, are distrustful of former politicians. Trump is still an agitator but no more a joker. It is now not a dream for him at all to get the nomination.

However, what will happen after that? I think Clinton will be still advantageous. In the last Presidential vote, Mitt Romney lost the final race, partially because of his extreme ideology. Trump will make many oppositions as well as allies. It will not result in his pleasure. On the contrary, if Clinton makes some mistakes, the conclusion will be in chaos.

I do not like Trump because his looks like a populist without any pure ideology. He lacks long-term perspective. But, he has a talent for business. I hope him to be wise and patient for stronger America in real, instead of leaping superficial fame, in the case he wins the President.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to control oil price

To stabilize the oil price, some dominant providers seem to have agreed on a deal.

According to the media report, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela made a negotiation about the control on oil production. And Russia and Saudi Arabia decided to freeze output at January level.

Reuters: Saudis and Russia agree oil output freeze, Iran still an obstacle

Oil price is continuously decreasing for a few years. In this situation, reducing production may lead to keeping the price. However, relevant nations hesitated to decide the controlling.

My past entry: Oil price falling

Because shale gas can be a strong competitor, they thought lowered price of oil would be necessary to maintain the dominance of the oil in energy resource. In addition, Iran and Saudi Arabia, two main providers of oil are conflicting with each other. They hardly believe that the opposite country will keep the agreement.

As a result, oil price continued to decrease. It is a typical situation described in micro economy theory, so-called “a chicken race.”

The fact that Russia declared to reduce production will change the situation. Iran has not supported the contract of controlled production so far. However, Russia’s political power cannot be negligible for Iran. Theoretically, Iranian oil will win in the trading battle because of its low price. But in real, few nations will choose to depend on Iran for energy source entirely.

More or less, this news will encourage the market. Although Iranian policy will be beneficial for a while, it will lose interest if the oil price remains decreasing. And it results in unstable Middle-east situation.

Furthermore, in a long term, human will have to be independent of the oil. It is said that the oil in the earth will be exhausted survive only within some decades. Until the judgment day, oil countries, as well as ourselves, have to find an alternative way to survive.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Brexit will be avoidable? Cameron’s deal

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, achieved an agreement with EU counterpart about gaining some privilege. The negotiation was held on Thursday in Brussel.

Brexit, or the UK’s leaving from EU, is a critical issue regarding the sustainability of the EU. David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK promised that the referendum will be held on June 23, 2016. Opinions of citizens seem to be split.

BBC: The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know

Cameron himself, and his Conservative Party do not want the UK to leave from EU. However, there are some lawmakers posing as a separatist. Also, complaints of citizens against EU regulations were not ignorable.

Therefore, Cameron claimed that there should be more benefits for the UK to stay in EU. For example, benefits for immigrants to the UK would be suspended for four years because they would potentially get rid of the prosperity and opportunity of native citizens.

As a result, Cameron’s suggestions were accepted to the considerable extent. EU seems to have sacrificed the equality among memberships to fix the UK.

CNN: Cameron: We have a deal with the EU

BBC: EU deal gives UK special status, says PM

I think this deal is not the best, but rather favorable. The UK is a crucial member of EU. On the other hand, remaining in EU is beneficial for almost all British companies. A tremendous risk is immigrants crisis. However, I think the UK can never be free from this matter even if it leaves from EU. It will be not difficult to enter the UK physically. Illegal immigrants are more complicated to deal with appropriately.

I hope the vote will end for the winning of EU supporters. It will be most desirable not only for the UK, but also most Western countries.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Challenging Sci-Hub, a free archive of academic articles

As a researcher, I have frequently to read academic articles. Nowadays, there are several open-access journals, and some famous journals provide a limited number of articles for free. Nonetheless, many articles are still not free of charge.

To purchase an article is expensive. Most articles have only 5-10 pages, but it costs 30 USD. Otherwise, you can be a regulatory reader for a yearly contract. If you do so, you can read all articles in each issue, and perhaps archived issues as well. It takes over 100 USD per year.

Another option to read an academic article is to ask a librarian. Most libraries subscribe many academic journals. If you belong to a university, you may have a membership of the library. In this case, you can read any articles whom the library subscribes. However, they are not available for people outside the university.

Academic articles and the knowledge described in them are a common treasure of humankind. In the past, I suggested that academic textbook should be free.

My past entry: Free textbooks, my opinion

Recently, I knew a challenge against the current situation. In the website “Sci-hub,” you will read thousands of academic articles for free.

Alexandra Elbakyan, the founder of this site, seems to have an opinion that academic knowledge should be open to all people regardless of their wealth. This site is administered using the donation. People who are willing to support can send Bitcoin to the founder.

This ambitious attempt may be illegal. Researchers want articles they wrote to be spread. If you ask them for a digital copy, they will accept your request without hesitation. On the other hand, many academic journals depend on the subscription fee for their management. Actually, Elsevier, a famous publisher, sued the site. However, the fact that Sci-Hub is administered in Russia makes it complicated to resolve the legal battle.

Wikipedia: Sci-Hub

I cannot support Sci-Hub officially, considering that its act seems to violate copyright of publishers. On the other hand, I am emphatic to Elbakyan’s ideology. If all articles were available for free, scientific research would develop faster.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Canadian man recovered from total amnesia for 30 years

A Canadian man who had been missing for 30 years was found. He had generalized amnesia for a long time.

The BBC: Canada man missing for 30 years found after remembering identity

The man was considered to be robbed of his memory by being struck when he was 21-year-old. He seemed to have vanished immediately after the incident. His mother strongly believed that he was alive, but it took decades to confirm the idea.

Generalized amnesia is a rare cognitive symptom. Patients cannot remember even their name and address. Psychiatric factors are considered to be relevant to its cause. Thus, patients often have something they want to forget.

In many cases, they get recovered within a short term and remember the total memory. I experienced a few patients suffering from generalized amnesia. However, some patients never recover. They have to acquire a new social identity; e.g. social security number, for a living. In such cases, malingering should be distinguished because some criminals pretend to forget themselves for avoiding punishment.

On the other hand, transient global amnesia (TGA) is another category of memory lapse. It occurs after head injury. I think this case is rather applicable to be TGA. However, TGA seldom remains for a long time. So, it is never focused on legal context. Therefore, I am doubtful that brain trauma was the direct cause of his amnesia.

The mechanism of human memory is still under examination. In the future, we can get new knowledge externally instead of a vigorous learning exercise. Meanwhile, we sometimes want to forget the painful memory. Some researchers are devoting to invent a method to eliminate a particular memory. It is ironic.

My past entry: Trauma deleting therapy with electric shock

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Phubbing can damage your relationship

“Phubbing” is a relatively new term, meaning ignoring others around you because of handling a smartphone. Many people seem to dislike being phubbed, as not surprising, according to a survey.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Phubbing and FOMO: a primitive impulse, bad for your marriage

Phubbing is observed in many situations. One of the reasons for phubbing is FOMO, or fear of missing out. You may experience being anxious to the responses to your post on the internet. Or, you should be eager to look through your entire timeline on Twitter. You can push the reload button again and again, like the last scene of “Social Network.”

In this article, FOMO enhances the activity of the amygdala, a region of the brain that regulates instinctive move. Some mental illnesses are considered to be relevant to overestimation of the amygdala. I am not sure whether FOMO can ignite the sense of life and death. Nonetheless, it is likely that it causes some primitive responses.

In my case, I was indulged in Twitter. I did not post tweet so frequently. Instead, Twitter was a convenient tool for gathering information. Therefore, I was willing to read all posts in my timeline. Unfortunately, it was not a wise way for effective learning.

Now, I seldom see Twitter unless I have something to tweet. And I am cautious not to be stuck to the internet, especially I stay with my families. The Internet is an innovation. However, it will not replace all of the direct communication forever.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I visited Ise Jingu last weekend.

Ise Jingu includes over 100 shrines located in Mie prefecture. The name Jingu (shrine) suggests Ise Jingu so that Ise Jingu is representative all Japanese traditional shrines.

Ise Jingu deifies Amaterasu, the prominent Goddess of Japan. Therefore, many Japanese are fond of visiting Ise Jingu for praying. It is called "Ise-mairi."

I took no picture at Ise Jingu because of its solemn atmosphere. Instead, I shot some landscape of Ise. There was fantastic ocean in front of me.

Unfortunately, it was cloudy. Nonetheless, I felt happy to do Ise-mairi.

After visiting shrines, I went to a aquarium. There were several strange fish kept in a tank.

This is a nautilus, so called "living fossil."

Sea horse is one of my favorite fish. Looks pretty.

Ocean sunfish has a strange shape. They look being got rid of their lower half of the body.

I enjoyed a nice weekend. It brought me additional power to struggle.

Monday, February 15, 2016

New Madagascar toads should be exiled

Asian toxic toad species will endanger ecological environment in Madagascar, according to an academic report.

International Business Times: Madagascar told to eradicate invasive toxic toad or face ecological and economic consequences

These toads were introduced to Madagascar less than a decade ago, but number four million now.

Non-native species can interfere original local ecosystem. In Japan, black basses were brought in the 1920s, but quickly predated native fishes to become dominant in some regions. Since the 1970s, the government has restricted releasing basses, but the situation is still problematic.

Once taken root, it is difficult for a species to be eradicated. According to an academic report, no methods have been invented to remove specific toads faster than their reproduction. On the other hand, selective control of some species is also unrealistic regarding cost.


Maintaining current ecological environment is not an easy task, even on an island. Distribution of species is inevitably changing. It seems we have to adapt it rather than fixing it, notwithstanding development of modern technology.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Elder people use digital communication than you expected

“Digital Divide” is a gap between those who are familiar with modern digital technology and those who are not. Nowadays, people not being accustomed to the internet have a handicap in collecting information; it is sometimes crucial.

In general, aged people are hardly able to understand modern technology. But it is not always true. According to a study of UK adults, 32.5% of the people over the age of 65 preferred to communicate with service providers using digital channels.

ITProPortal: A third of over 65s like to communicate with businesses digitally

This result looks to show elder people are utilizing digital devices. However, a caution is needed to interpret this survey.

(This graph is composed based on the report. Some data are abbreviated.)

The majority of respondents still chose direct contact with service providers via face to face or telephone. Digital communication is not dominant even in young people.

Maintaining the human touch in customer service: Research by Echo Managed Services - published December 2015 What your customers want In a world full of contact channels

In addition, customers choose the connection channels depending on the situation. For a simple task such as booking, they preferred to e-mail or a self-service web format. But to deal with a complex issue, they rather like to contact the service provider directly.

It seems rational. In the UK, I often had to contact with service providers for problem solving. They seldom responded to the web-based request form. Therefore, I had to make a phone call to ensure they listened to me.

Digital technology will never replace direct communication entirely. Instead, they fill up with each other for better communication.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

North Korea's gloom

North Korea does not stop provocative activity against Western countries.

Its spokesman declared a successful launch of a rocket. It was deemed as an experiment of a long-range missile.

NPR: North Korea Launches Rocket Believed To Be Long-Range Missile Test

If combined with the past news that North Korea created a hydrogen bomb, it has now a solution to aim at Washington with a nuclear weapon. It is a terrible threat for not only the US but also all over the world.

My past entry: North Korea declared successful hydrogen bomb experiment

As a response to it, South Korea and the US decided to strengthen the warning level against North Korea. South Korea shut down an inter-Korean factory park which was a symbol of the collaboration of both Korea.

CBS News: U.S., Seoul to take harder line on North Korea

Japan also decided to exert enhanced sanction. Just after it, North Korea responded by halting an investigation of past abductions of Japanese citizens. This issue has been a great challenge for Japanese government and families of missing people. Pyongyang promised to resolve this issue in 2002. After that, however, the tension between two countries became worse. It is guessed that there are 200 thousands of people who were kidnapped to North Korea.

The Guardian: North Korea halts inquiry into abductions of Japanese citizens

Unfortunately, abduction issue is hardly resolved, regardless of Pyongyang’s attitude. Too many months have passed. On the other hand, the situation is quite serious.

It is worrying that Kim Jong-un seems to be stuck to authoritarianism. Recently, North Korea changed its standard time 30 minutes earlier. Additionally, it amended its name “Korea” to “Corea.” Both decisions are made to eliminate the past strong influence of Japan, according to Pyongyang. I am indifferent to these decisions itself. Rather, the fact Kim is particular about these ridiculous performances is interesting. He may be worrying about keeping his status.

North Korea is a huge threat to the world, as well as Korea itself.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The falling of 3D TV

Do you have a TV? Maybe yes. So, does your TV adapt 3D content? If so, you have to keep it for a long time, because 3D TV will be extinct.

Samsung, a world-famous electronics provider, is going to abandon 3D projecting TV, according to the media. LG, another Korean company, is considering reduced production of 3D TVs as well.

International Business Times: 3D television is dead: Samsung and LG cut back on 3D TV production

It is not surprising considering that there are few video products with the 3D feature. We hardly see 3D blue-ray discs in store. Some of them can be ordered only on the internet. And, I have not heard that some TV stations broadcasted 3D contents. Netflix provides a few 3D products, as far as I remember. Hulu does not.

We need to wear glasses to watch 3D movie. It is annoying. In a cinema, we concentrate on seeing the movie. But at home, we often do something other than watching TV, such as reading a book, eating dinner, or bruising the internet. 3D glasses are interrupting our behavior.

Nintendo 3D provides 3D movie without using 3D glasses. Shortly, larger TV may equip the function to supply 3D vision without glasses. If it is realized, will the 3D TV be spread? I am unsure.

The most important reason 3D is not successful is that 3D movie becomes bored soon. In a 2-hour movie, I am unconscious to see the 3D movie in the final 1-hour. Our senses are easy to be accustomed.

For the same reason, virtual reality will not be innovative, if attractive at first, I guess.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Confusing stock market

The stock market is showing a chaotic situation. Nikkei Heikin fell into 15,000 JPY level, 25% decrease from the end of last year. And Yen rose up to 110 JPY/ USD.

These movement confused investors not only in Japan but also global. But, it is said that investors’ mind caused this situation. There are many anxieties regarding business management around the world. Oil price is continuously falling. The Middle East is in conflict, and refugees brought crisis into Europe. It is uncertain whether the next President of the US can fix the situation. And finally, China is no more an expected field of prosperity.

Investors seem to avoid risks. As a result, much JPY were bought. However, too strong Yen got rid competitiveness of Japanese companies. It led to of fallen Japanese stockpiles.

International Business Times: Asian markets: Japan's Nikkei down more than 5% following weak close on Wall Street

At present, no remedy has been found to restore the confusion. Some foreign investors seem that Japan money is safe. But, Japan national bond shows minus interest now. I am doubtful that someone is interested in buying it.

In such unstable situations, gold would be a good option to invest. Bitcoin is similar to gold, whereas its scale is far small. However, they look also inactive.

I think the stock price itself is not a matter. Rather, how to struggle for a better life is crucial. Modern society is covered with full of money and gadgets. But, what satisfy us is still unclear. We have to find matters deserve to payment in the future.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Memory of Hyper Japan event

In London, I sometimes missed Japan. Though London was a beautiful city, it was far different from Japan. However, there were many guys respecting Japan. I attended some events there featuring Japan.

Hyper Japan Christmas Market was an event held in a building. It included some demonstration of games, goods, and cosplay.

Many people were in the building. There were several booths showing some Japanese products.

A big Christmas tree was displayed. But it was a little odd several wood plates were attached to the tree. These pentagon plate is usually used in Japanese shrine.

There were lots of Londoners. I saw few Japanese.

At the stage, Miyu Koike, a Japanese idol conducted a performance. I did not know her at the time, but she became a little famous later. I saw her on TV some times.

A cosplay event was held subsequently. Many Londoners and foreigners wore particular clothes resembling a character of certain anime and manga. They did know well about such comics than I.

Some cosplayers were charming. They looked proud of playing a role in fantasy.

I was glad to know that Japanese subculture was loved in other countries.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I want a wireless hair dryer

Nowadays, several gadgets are free from wired energy translation.

We are surrounded by plugs and codes which are connected to electric devices. Energy supply is indispensable for our daily life. However, we often feel annoyed to handle these codes. Sometimes you are stuck in the code on the floor. Or you may experience to misidentify the lightning cable as micro USB.

To satisfy our desire, there are several gadgets available without codes. Mobile PCs are portable for hours without AC adapter. Newly smartphones equip contactless power transmission. Roomba is can be an automated cleaner because it has a large voltage battery.

My past entry: Roomba murder case (1)

I dislike cables because they frequently get entangled with each other. It is interesting that my favorite gadgets are all free from cables. Apple’s Mac Book Air series are struggling for exiling cables.

My past entry: The best 3 e-gadgets

And now, what I wish to be free from cables is a hair dryer.

Hair dryers need a high voltage of energy. Therefore, at present, almost all hair dryers require being connected to the energy supplier. A few products work with a battery, but their power is too weak to dry my hair quickly.

But the cable of a hair dryer is troublesome. If there were no cables, I would feel comfortable to use it. Furthermore, connecting with power supplier continuously is still risky. I heard a case of fire ignited from the cable of a hair dryer.

Someday, I hope to use a wireless hairdryer.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mega, a candidate for successor of Copy

I am considering some cloud storage services introduced, because Copy will be terminated in this May.

My past entry: Copy is closing

Nowadays, there are many similar services. I found some Japanese websites comparing them in detail. The website shown below was the most precisely explaining the contents of each service. I examined some of them according to the description of them.

Free.: Free Online Storage 2016 [in Japanese]

First, I tried Tera Cloud. It is a cloud storage service provided by a Japanese company. Japan has strict regulations of business. Thus, it seemed reliable as a service provider. Unfortunately, it offered only 10 GB for a user with a free account. Although referring someone brings you the additional volume of storage, getting 25 GB, as required level for my business, is difficult. In addition, file sharing service is available to only paid users. It is noteworthy that it offers 1 TB storage for 10,000 JPY (84 USD) per year. It is very inexpensive. I recommend you to choose it if you need 1 TB storage.

My reference code is "52FUM." If you enter this code, you can get 5 GB bonus (and some additional volume for me).

Second, I referred ADrive. It has been offered since 2007 by an American company. I knew it when I chose Copy a couple of years ago. It provided 50 GB could storage. But, service option for free was terminated last year. Mobile use seems still free with the advertisement.

And now, I am trying Mega. It had been called as MegaUpload, but I heard that it was terminated because of some conflicts regarding copyright issues. Now, reborn as Mega, it offers 50 GB cloud storage for free. Its file syncing application looked smart. Before being uploaded, files are encrypted. It is advantageous for ensuring security, but causes delayed speed of uploading. Now, I am struggling in introducing this service. If successful, I will report it afterwards.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Norway police no more equip guns

Just when fear of terror is rising over the world, and the candidates for President claim the necessity of enhanced military, the Norwegian government made a brave decision.

Police officers in Norway will be disarmed soon. Previously, they did not carry guns as usual, but have been ordered to equip arms since November 2014 for strengthening its defense force. This order was considered to be temporal, but was prolonged because of Paris attack last year. At last, the armament will cease.

Independent: Norway to disarm its police force after officers ordered to carry guns for just one year

Norway is a developed country with high standard of public welfare. The GDP per capita and literacy rate mark great level. Gender equality is also focused in Norway. It is the unique country in which women are subjected to conscription.

In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik made a massacre in Oslo and Utøya Island. A total of 77 lives were victimized. I can imagine the agony of victims. Breivik is an anti-Muslim extremist. Fortunately, there is no evidence that his ideology has badly influenced Norwegian citizens.

I guess the financial issue is one of the backgrounds of disarming of police officers. Military equipment is often very expensive. Norway is infamous for its high tax rate. The government seems eager to keep its welfare level without raised expenditure.

I have not visited Norway or other Northern Europe. I hope to see the lives of citizens some day.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Flexible working is preferable for women, but not for men

Flexible working, such as stagger work hour or working at home, is spread in some companies. We sometimes see working women with delayed attendance for taking her child to a nursing home. Nomad working is now a trend in workers in the IT industry.

However, there seems a difference between men and women about the efficacy of flexible working. If you are male, you should not expect to be a flexible worker, according to a new research.

The Guardian: Flexible working helps women succeed but makes men unhappy, study finds

In this study conducted by Brain & Company, over 1,000 employees in Australia were asked to tell the perspective of flexible working. As a result, male workers were not accepted as a flexible worker compared to women. In addition, men were less likely to commit their jobs deeply in a flexible work than women. Thus, flexible working seems not fitting for men.

The historical factor can explain the difference. Until some decade ago, men usually got a full-time job, and women never. Recent tendency of gender equality brought both employers and female employees an opportunity to consider alternative working styles. Part time work, early or late shift work, and working at home apply to women who are willing to care their children or old parents on their own. On the other hand, it is hardly acceptable for employers to alter male workers’ work styles, especially as a form of reducing the quantity of work time.

The fact that tasks for caring children dominantly rely on mothers rather than fathers may be another reason. The familial environment is gradually changing in every culture, but only women can get pregnant, at present. It is natural that women are permitted to have diversity in choosing work style.

However, it is problematic if many men are suffering from flexible working. Male workers, as well as employers, have to recognize the current situation, to make their organization plastic and acceptable for various workers.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Models should not be slim in France

Recently, French government approved a bill to restrict skinny women from working as a fashion model.

Vogue: France Passes Model Health Law

In this new legislation, models have to pass a health check by a doctor to certificate their fitness to work. Employers hiring models who are too slim to survive the work will be liable to a fine, or deserve to an incarceration. In some countries, similar legislation has been established. Models in France can’t work without doctor’s note to say they’re healthy under new law

This legislation aimed at reducing patients suffering from eating disorders. Not only in France, but also in many other countries, skinny ladies tend to be approved. The fashion industry is eager to adopt slim ladies as a model, and forces the candidate to lose their weight. Both models and consumers are involved in an endless competition of shape-up. As a result, many women become to refuse to take enough calories.

Eating disorder is one of the particular mental disorders relevant to modern culture. Most of the patients are women. Its mortality is higher than cancers at the early state. Models, actresses, and other professional women are considered to be at high risk.

My past entry: Controversies in eating disorders

It is unclear that requirement of medical certification can keep risky women from harmful eating behaviors. Regulation by the government should be minimized, according to the ideology of libertarian. However, the current situation in which everyone wants to be slim can be deemed as a failure of the free market. I think the fact the French government, whose leader François Hollande is a socialist, declares prohibition of being too slim has a symbolic effect.

As a psychiatrist, I do not want women, as well as men, to be keen to lose weight excessively. I am interested whether the patients with eating disorders will decrease in France.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fear of Zika spreading

Zika virus infection is infiltrating several countries located in Asia, Africa, and South America.

This virus causes some symptoms like a cold. Slight fever, joint pain, headache, and erythema are commonly seen. It is quite unlike that the infection leads to a fatality.

However, Zika inflicts terrible damage to your fetus. It was recent that Zika virus was proven to be a cause of microcephaly of the baby when pregnant women get infected. Reported cases were rocketed in this year in the regions the outbreak occurred. Brazilian government warned citizens not to be pregnant until the outbreak is terminated.

Independent: Zika virus: Hundreds of thousands could be infected by 'shrunken brain' disease

Mosquito transports Zika virus. Thus, you should be cautious not to be attacked by a mosquito. And it is tough to protect yourself perfectly.

Zika virus was reported firstly in Uganda in 1947. And it was spread through South-East Asian countries to South America. A few patients were also reported in Japan.

Recently, the WHO declared the emergency of Zika outbreak, following Ebola fever in 2014. It has been potentially spread to Europe, because four-fifth of patients remain asymptomatic, and there are many people travelling to Brazil and Rio.

Independent: How the Zika virus spread around the world

Attempt to develop a vaccination against Zika virus is ongoing. Some researchers expect its utilization within the end of this year. If it is realized, young women should be firstly adapted to be vaccinated. Mass production and quick delivery are challenging considering most of the affected regions are developing countries.

Reuters: Zika vaccine may be ready for emergency use this year: developer

Human history is accompanied by the battle with the infectious disease. Some bacteria have perished thanks to modern medical science. But astronomical numbers of pathogenic bacteria are still alive, perhaps forever.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Confusing CNN article about child sex in Japan

A CNN article about attract attention in Japan.

CNN: Fascination with Japanese schoolgirl culture hiding a darker side?

In this article, some kind of businesses were introduced as suspicious child exploitation. According to the author, some schoolgirls are working in the sex industry.

This article was translated into Japanese, and then it ignited criticism of some Japanese people. They claim that considerable parts of the content of the article are incorrect.

CNN shot a cosplay shop at Akihabara without permitting and made a hoax [in Japanese]

I am not familiar with this matter, but there is some misleading description of the CNN article, I confirm.

First, “Enjo-Kosai,” or compensated dating with a girl is illegal if the women are under the age of 18. They having a sexual contact with a girl for money are arrested. The government never permit such an act, regardless of the age of consent.

Second, it is true that child abuse victims are increasing in Japan. But, it is because more cases are recognized thanks to the recent activity of enlightenment. Anime and manga with adult contents are unlikely to be relevant to the real crimes. On the other hand, sex crimes on the internet such as “revenge porn” became problematic in Japan, as well as other countries.

Third, the author seems to misidentify a sex shop as a café in which schoolgirls are working, according to Japanese readers. Sex shops prohibit schoolgirls from working or entering there. Instead, some adult women who look young wear a school costume to serve the customers. In an “ime-kura” or image club, you can get sexual services from women wearing a costume. There are many “maid café” at Akihabara, but no sexual services are offered at such places.

It is surprising that, as many readers mentioned, no interviews to the shops were implemented. Some shoppers tweeted that their shops were shot without any permission. The author seems not to try to understand what happens in the real situation.

On the other hand, child exploitation sometimes becomes a topic in Japan, recently. Sexual abuse is not common, but quite a big problem. I also sense victim-blaming culture in Japan, agreeing with the author, while in the UK similar situation is issued I have heard.

Above all, this article is combining too many things. Sex crimes, JK business, and sensational manga and animation, are not, or very weakly connected with each other, in my opinion.

Japan is sometimes reported as tolerant to children’s sex. Recently, a report in which up to 13 percent of schoolgirls had taken part in Enjo-Kosai was published. It was retrieved later because of its incorrectness, but was sometimes referred.

Aljazeera: Paid dating with teenage students thriving in Japan

I do not think JK business should be approved as Japanese culture. I never permit sexual abuse to children. But, we have to recognize the difference of our sense toward sexual expression. Remember a recent case covering nude sculpture.

My past entry: Naked statue covered for Iranian President

Also, we recognize the fact that sex crime is very rare, even if there are some unreported cases, in Japan. I do not believe manga or animation have an impact to the number of crimes. Child protection is essential. On the other hand, the non-biased discussion is necessary to consider these matters.

My past entry: Sex dolls can save pedophilia?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Copy is closing

Shocking news. Copy, an excellent cloud storage service, is going to be terminated.

Copy End-of-Life Copy and CudaDrive Services will be Discontinued

I found Copy two years ago, and have utilized it. It offered minimum 15 GB cloud storage with seamless sync. The transfer speed was not bad. There were few troubles I have met on this service.

My past entry: Cloud storage services (2)

However, recently, I saw some confusing messages. Copy frequently notified me that some files were conflicting. I had no idea of the cause. I guess the quality of maintenance became poor because of the shortcoming of the budget so that Copy occasionally provided erroneous messages.

Now, I have to choose an alternative instead of Copy. Could storage service is essential for me to keep my job. In this industry, the situation is rapidly changing. Thus, the information I gathered in the past may be out of date. I will investigate some similar services.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Holding his son during bullfight

A Spanish bullfighter attracted attention as bringing his child into the ring.

The Guardian: Spanish matador investigated for bullfighting with baby

Francisco Rivera Ordóñez posted a photo in which he was holding his own boy during the fight with a bull. He tagged the photo as “Carmen’s debut.” As not surprisingly, his act ignited broad criticism.

People concerning child protection accused him of risking his child’s life. It is possible that he will be sued. But it is uncertain he has broken some laws. Some animal right groups also blamed him too, but the reason seems not relevant to this child.

I am not familiar with a bullfight. But, there is a particular risk of fatality in a bullfight, considering that Rivera’s father was killed by a bull in the ring. The matter is how much is the risk. As mentioned in the article, “a fireman wouldn’t dream of taking a child to put out a fire.” In contrast, it is acceptable for a truck driver to keep his baby on his knees during driving.

Anyway, it would be catastrophic if a bull gores Rivera in front of his son. Even if saved before attacked by the bull, the son will suffer from PTSD. I am quite doubtful that he can take the responsibility in such a case.

It is interesting that other bullfighters have similar experiences. Early exposure has the crucial influence on our life in some occupation. Professional sports players are accustomed to the game in their early life stage. I understand Rivera’s desire, a little, to show his work to the son in the close position. But does his son hope to do so with a fatal risk? Even if he nodded, his capability is doubtful.

The bullfight is a traditional culture of Spain. But it is in the way to decline. If a fatal accident occurs, a loud argument toward regulation will be ignited. I hope nobody will be victimized.