Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sequels in April 2016

April 15, 2016
Earthquake struck Kumamoto, to kill nine

The victims of the disaster counted up to 50 people, including people died at the shelter. Crippled lifeline seems to have had a serious influence on citizens health. Several tremors are occurring continuously. I hope the region struck by the earthquake will be normalized soon.

April 14, 2016
Kindle Oasis will come

Kindle Oasis is now available also in Japan. It looks cool, but a little expensive. I will continue to use my new Paperwhite for a while.

April 10, 2016
The shock of Panama Paper

David Cameron is still criticized for his father being involved in this issue. In Japan, few people mention it. This kind of scandals will be raised again and again, in my opinion. National taxation scheme itself is going to be outdated.

April 6, 2016
Cherry blossoms in Japan

Cherry blossoms were over a couple of weeks ago. Now you can see cherry trees with green leafs.

April 1, 2016
Suicide is illegal in Japan

Of course, this entry is a fake. There is no legislation in Japan to illegalize suicide. And it is impossible to punish a person committed suicide.

However, I think the sense of guiltiness against suicide is influencing the suicide rate. China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan are all the nations in which no particular religions blaming suicides are dominant. On the contrary, in Japan, the concept that deceased people are not responsible for acts who had done is accepted, saying Japanese do not "whip the dead." People who believe to be judged in heaven are less likely to commit suicide, although it is not a decisive factor.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My dreams (2)

My dreams (1)

A half year before, I described some of my dreams. There was a list composed of 43 desires, and I introduced only 10 of them. The remaining items are:

(11) Create an herbal garden.
This issue was mentioned again and again. But my laziness is preventing me to begin considering the way.

(12) Perform a pudding party at home.
I like sweet pudding, and it is easy to make at home. Some day, I will create a gigantic pudding to share it with my friends. Unfortunately, pudding is callory-rich. So, many ladies are hesitating.

(13) Employ a maid.
This is a difficult dream. Employing an administrative assistant is also expensive. This dream should be considered as combined with No. (10), purchase a castle.

(14) Gain a crystal statue of a naked woman.
I sought several times for a nice statue. However, I have not found one which is suitable for my home.

(15) Gain a bed with a canopy.
It is also difficult. My bedroom is too narrow to set a king-size bed.

(16) Become a professor.
Actually, I became a research associate professor this month. But it is far different from a professor in chief.

(17) Own an exclusive laboratory.
And I gained my room widened compared to the last year. But it is shared with my colleague.

(18) Write a textbook.
I translated a couple of textbooks last year. And I wrote a textbook partially some years ago. However, my desire is to describe my ideas entirely on my own.

(19) Cure 10,000 patients.
Approximately 3,000 patients I have concerned so far. It is a long way to reach 10,000.

(20) Redefine depressive illness.
Depression is a very confusing concept. It is no doubt that it is a particular disease. On the other hand, most people feel depressed in their life. We cannot identify patients with a serious need for aid. Medication and psychotherapy are both effective to treat them, but not adequate.

And so on, I will write them another day. My journey is continuing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Is the universe computer simulation?

Is the universe a product of computer simulation? It is an idea which has occasionally been discussed. There are several novels and movies, such as "Matrix," describing that someone created our world with augmented reality technology.

This idea seems not a fantasy imagined by a few genius writers. In the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist said that we cannot dismiss this idea at all. Some other scientists agreed that it was possible, even not certain.

International Business Times: Neil deGrasse Tyson: Chances of universe being computer simulation 'may be very high'

The concept of a simulated world is fantastic. However, it is difficult to deny this hypothesis with a scientifically appropriate method. If the simulation is perfect, we have no idea to reveal it. There is a well-known theory named "Gödel's incompleteness theorems." Thus, every consistent system is unprovable within the system. Gödel's incompleteness theorems mentioned the natural number theory originally, but can apply to many other areas.

Lisa Randall, a physicist, opposed Tyson's idea in the debate. According to her, if our world were created by a computer programming, there would be several errors inevitably found. But I think it is not a rational counter for two reasons. First, "real human" having created our world may be able to write the perfect program. Second, there seem several errors called as miracles and mysteries observed all around the world.

After all, I think it is impossible for us to examine this concept on our own. We would be notified someday when someone in the outer world contact us directly.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Macbook 2016

All at sudden, a new type of Macbook was begun to be on sale.

(This image is not a Macbook 2016 model.)

I had seriously considered to but the Macbook in 2015. But I was too coward to buy this evolutional gadget.

The new Macbook shares the basic structure with the original one. It equips only one USB type-C port. You can charge the Macbook through this port. It means you cannot project the display to another monitor via a cable during charging it. Several legacy ports were omitted in Macbook. This policy made it cool and stylish.

My past entry: Too thin new Mac Book with Retina Display

In the new Macbook, basic performance was improved. The battery life was prolonged. The graphic power was enhanced by 25%, according to the official comments. In addition,  I guess several problems regarding software have been fixed in the new Macbook.

Therefore, I wonder if I should get one now. Actually, I gained a new note PC for business recently. But it is a little outdated. If I buy the Macbook, I will use it for a couple of years. However, It is unsure Macbook is suitable to business use. In Japan, many projectors equip only a D-sub 15 pins connector. Wireless monitoring is seldom adopted. Thus, I have to carry the converter for Macbook.

To be honest, I wanted to buy the new Mac Book Air with a retina display. But it will be released later. I have to consider how to do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Restaurant for nudists in London

I enjoyed staying in London for a year. One of its fascination was that it accepts a variety of ideologies. Vegans, LGBTs, and even kinky people were accepted. And now, Londoners who want to have a meal without wearing clothes will be satisfied soon.

The Bunyadi, planned to be open in this June, is a restaurant for naturalists. Its concept is to eat as purely as possible. Thus, guests can eat meals without additives, phone call, electricity, and clothes.

Huffpost Lifestyle: Naked Restaurant Set To Open In London, 9,000 People Join Waiting List

Guests will take off anything before entering the dining room. It is aimed at the pure experience of eating not being interfered by artificial stimuli. Being naked will be optional, and clothed section is also available. Each guest's body is hidden from other couples with a partition.

What an odd restaurant! Amazingly, it is reported that there are more than 4,000 guests reserved a seat. The owner seems confident to offer the guests Pangaea-like experience for 60 GBP.

The Telegraph: Would you dine at London's first naked restaurant?

I understand the concept of Bunyadi, a Hindi term meaning fundamental. However, I do not think there are so many naturalists or nudists in London. Maybe, most of the persons made a reservation are simply curious so that they are willing to try such an extraordinary service.

And it is crucial how entirely the privacy of the guests are protected. If the identification of the guests is leaked, it will be disgraceful more seriously than in the case of a sex shop.

I myself is not a naturalist. Even I feel comfortable when naked. But, I dare not to try Bunyadi-style, because the hot sauce will scatter on your bare breast.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Emission scandal continues

It was only some months ago that Volkswagen was revealed to have breached the standard about the emission gas. And recently, it was clarified this scandal was not limited to Volkswagen.

Actually, 97% of all diesel cars are considered not to adhere the official limit concerning toxic nitrogen oxide gas. Ironically, most of the rest 3% were composed of Volkswagens.

The Guardian: Revealed: nearly all new diesel cars exceed official pollution limits

I predicted this situation. It was unlikely Volkswagen was the only car need a defeat software to meet the environment standard.

My past entry: Volkswagen emission scandal

London is planning to introduce ultra-low emission zone by 2020 in which only cleanest vehicles will be acceptable. There are similar regulations also in Tokyo. Air pollution is one of the biggest and urgent problems in urban areas regardless of countries.

On the other hand, car providers have little incentive to commit the sustainability of the current environment. It is unsure that car owners will choose an environment-friendly car for a higher cost. People who are damaged by air pollution is not the person having inflicted the pollution but their descendants. Therefore, forecasting the future is necessary for considering this matter. However, companies, as well as politicians, are occupied in gaining the benefit at present.

It means that environmental issue can hardly be fixed with the market mechanism. The government, international treaty, or other authorities have to address this issue so that companies and consumers become patient. It is interesting that these emission scandals occurred in Europe firstly, not in the US.

Anyway, we are still in the confusion. I recommend you to take a wise choice when you buy a vehicle.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Analog game event at Hongo

Yesterday, I went to Tokyo to attend an analog game convention. It was held at Hongo, between Tokyo Station and Ikebukuro. It took one and a half hours from my home.

I was fond of participating in some game events in London. Most of them were held at a pub. In Japan, we lent a conference hall to hold a similar event because most pubs do not accept such usage.

Instead, some companies provide a convention space recently. I saw some gaming cafe in Tokyo. Several analog games are available there for free. On the other hand, we have to pay the charge for attendance; usually around 10-20  USD.

Yesterday, I enjoyed staying the conference hall. It cost less than 10 USD. Hot tea and some sweets were provided. The room was clean and comfortable. Some people than gamers were using the space for another purpose.

I played CARO for the first time. It was an abstract game using square tiles. You can place one tile in each to get the bonus following the layout. The rule is extremely simple, making the play serious. Once you make a mistake, the player after you will win.

Also, I played "Tzolk'in: The Mayan Callender." Its theme is ancient Mayan civilization. In this game, you play 26 turns each of which matches ten days according to Mayan calendar. The basis of Tzolk'in is worker placement. Whether you withdraw the worker to get the fruit or stay for a bigger gain in the future is the core of judgment in each turn.

I played it on the internet once, but I hardly understood the rule. Yesterday, all of the four players including me were beginners. Fortunately, I have won the game.

Tzolk'in is an excellent game I think, but it takes more than two hours if the players are beginners.

Besides them, I played some games, to spend several hours there. A fantastic time. Thank you for playing.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Australia will sell lands to China

Australia is going to sell a part of its land to a Chinese investor.

The largest farming estate in Australia is subjected to the deal. Its price will be 371m USD. Scott Morrison, the Australian treasurer, is opposing the deal because of the security risk. His decision will be made after the election in July.

Independent: Australia about to sell 1 per cent of its land mass to China

Therefore, at present, it is unsure if 1% of Australia will be owned by China. If realized, it is possible China will use the land for military training instead of breeding kettles.

Some people were astonished to see such news. However, it seems not so rare for a country to sell lands to foreign owners.

My past entry: Land swap between Belgium and Netherlands

Indeed, some rich Chinese are fond of buying forests in Japan. It has been a trend recently. Initially, I wondered why Chinese are willing to buy foreign lands. One of the purposes is an investment. Also, China is suffering from serious air pollution, as well as several risks to lose the land value. Diversification of risks is a basis of management.

Shortly, the definition of nations will be amended, according to some researchers. Nowadays, the development of the internet has enabled us to gain extensive information. Big deals can be done with single clicking. Taxation to big companies became difficult despite it is a privilege for a nation, as Panama paper issue suggests.

My past entyry: The shock of Panama Paper

Nonetheless, the land is a solid and stable estate for a nation. If the population is fluidized, land can hardly be swapped. I had thought it until recently. However, it is doubtful now.

Europe is worrying about the immigration crisis and risk of terror. Donald Trump and some other politicians in the US have an exclusive policy. In Japan, many people hesitate to accept immigrant. The world seems not to welcome the new era without nations. Nevertheless, there is a particular tide toward the borderless world, I guess.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Is aspirin a solution for cancer?

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and one of the most well-known drugs in the world. It relieves several kinds of pain, and alleviates fever. Nowadays, millions of people in the world regularly take aspirin or other NSAIDs.

This popular drug is suspected to have an effect to expand the life in patients with cancer, according to Professor Peter Elwood. Taking a low dose of aspirin ma reduce the likelihood of the death by 15-20 per cent.

Independent: Cancer patients may have more chance of survival if they take a low dose of aspirin, study finds

In the article describing the study, the researchers conducted a systematic review of literature about the effect of aspirin on patients with cancers. As a result, five randomized controlled trials and several observational studies were identified. According to the result of a meta-analysis, aspirin was likely to reduce the mortality rate for colorectal cancer. Regarding breast cancer and prostate cancer, the influence of aspirin on mortality was not significant.

PLoS One: Aspirin in the Treatment of Cancer: Reductions in Metastatic Spread and in Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses of Published Studies

Aspirin has serious side effects. Bleeding tendency should be paid the most attention. Approximately 2-3% of patients taking aspirin regularly will suffer from a gastric ulcer in a year. According to the authors, additional prescription of aspirin will not raise the risk of bleeding in patients with cancer.

This evidence suggests the usefulness of aspirin besides its original purpose, anti-inflammation effect at least in some patients with cancer. Aspirin is also said to have a protective effect for Alzheimer’s disease. Because it is a very cheap drug, it will bring an innovative change in clinical practice if these effects are proven. We have not recommended patients to take aspirin for a long time so far. However, if the effects override the risk, continuous taking would be encouraged.

In recent years, some conventional drugs are reassessed in terms of their effectiveness. They were deemed to be inferior to newly developed drugs. But, some of the historical drugs were found to have unidentified effects. Not only from the economical point of view, but also for a better outcome of the treatment, we have to choose the best drug for each patient.

My past entry: Metformin may be a panacea, true?

My past entry: Amiodarone against Ebola, what to do

Thursday, April 21, 2016

March in the highest temperature

Do you think it is hot this spring? It is true if you feel so.

This March was globally warm according to the weather records. This February was beyond the average in recent years as well.

The Guardian: March temperature smashes 100-year global record

These records suggest global warming is not a fantasy. Indeed, climate change is often discussed in many countries. Even Pope Francis has mentioned it. It is an issue of which one of the global leaders of religion has to be concerned.

However, I do not feel this March was warm enough. Actually, the temperature was fluctuating in Japan. In addition, this year is not so hot compared to recent years in Tokyo.

Nonetheless, this graph seems to show a slight tendency of increasing temperature. If this trend is continuous, there will be many things affected. Researchers warn that melted ice in Southern pole will make many cities sunk in the ocean. It can be disastrous. On the other hand, global warming will let many of us survive in many regions. Coldness takes more lives than warmness in general. We can get more food in the warmer field.

My past entry: Climate change and rising of sea level

Influence of climate is so little at present for us that we hardly feel its change is decisive. But we should think seriously about it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jeans are prohibited in North Korea

North Korea was reported to have banned jeans and piercings, as its policy for excluding Western culture.

Previously, North Korea set a legislation to force citizens to accept traditional hairstyles. This new rule is broadening the range of regulation. Citizens are now not allowed to wear jeans. People who violate the law will be sent to a labor camp.

International Business Times: North Korea bans jeans and piercings in crackdown against Western culture

It looks ridiculous, and I believe many people agree with my opinion. Indeed, jeans have a symbolic meaning of Western culture. It is originally used by miners who attempted to dig gold in the US. Jeans were loved because of its toughness. On the other hand, some young people are fond of wearing jeans deliberately damaged as fashion. "Damaged jeans" are also sold in Japan.

However, I hardly believe that exiling a particular culture will make a society superior to other ones. If you never see jeans in your country, jeans are still respected in some other countries. Closing your eyes is no use to enhance your own strength.

During WWII, Japan government prohibited the use of English language. For playing baseball, technical terms such as "strike" and "out" were replaced by Japanese words with similar meaning. What does it bring to our ancestors? A simple answer: the defeat. Furthermore, now many Japanese are loving American culture as well as our traditional one. And Japan is one of the closest ally of the US.

Protesting the superiority of domestic culture is commonly performed in most countries. It is quite natural for all of us to respect our originality. However, refusing foreign cultures make us blind and get rid of precise judgment.

I think North Korea will collapse within a few years. Then it is decisive to handle the situation appropriately.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Czech recommend being called Czechia

The name of Czech Republic is going to be amended.

Milos Zeman, President of Czech Republic, and his colleagues made an official announcement to the UN, asking for the use of Czechia as an alternative name of the nation.

The Atlantic: The New Name for the Czech Republic

 It had been discussed that the Czech Republic might be too long to be called in some situations such as Olympic or business meetings. Similar arguments sometimes occur. Italy and France are also shortened names from their original terms.

The Czech Republic was born in 1993 separated from Czechoslovakia. It has a unique and complex history, as I have heard from a Czech researcher.

My past entry: Religious matter in Japan

Some citizens are opposing this new name as it may be misidentified as Chechnya. It would be possible, I think, but there are few candidates as a nation's name which is both unique and historical.

Japan has a long history as a nation. It originated from 4-6th century. In this era, Japan was called "Yamato" or "Wa." The name "Nippon (Japanese name of Japan)" was firstly described in the 7th century, saying that a Japanese ambassador introduced Japan as "Nippon" to China. Though it is unclear when the government established its name, nobody doubts about its correctness now.

I believe that the name of a nation is extremely important for citizens. However, on some occasions, it has to be amended. I have hardly imagined such a situation, to be honest.

I will visit Czech next year for an academic conference. I hope Czechia will be spread well until then.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Wrong sperm case" in Canada

In Canada, a case of wrongful birth was issued recently.

The lawsuit claims that she was sold a sperm for artificial insemination which belonged to a genius person, but he was actually schizophrenic. The sperm was delivered to several mothers. A total of 36 children has been born from his sperm. Three children of the lawsuits have not shown any symptoms of mental disorders yet.

The Guardian: Sperm bank sued as case of mentally ill donor's history unfolds

This litigation has not been determined. Canadian courts denied the claim in similar cases.

According to the plaintiff, the donor of sperm was explained as a drummer with a Ph.D. degree and can speak five languages. However, when the donor mistakenly sent an email to the plaintiff, his lies were revealed. He has schizophrenia and narcissistic personality disorder. His personal history may be a fantasy created from his grandiose delusion.

The lawyer of Xytex Corp and Outreach Health in Canada, the dealer of the sperm, denied any misconduct around this issue. The lawsuit will focus if Xytex sold sperm with knowing the fact about the donor. Otherwise, it is possible that the allegation itself is incorrect.

If the donor has some mental illnesses and tries to deceive the company, can we penetrate his lie? There are some methods to diagnose malingering in clinical psychiatry. Psychiatrists are seldom doubtful about the saying of the client. However, in this case, we should be aware of the possibility that the donor is pretending his status for a better deal.

If the plaintiff's claim is true, it seems easy for the company to have revealed that the donor was in delusion. Some medical check including an intelligence test, and referring to some industries will easily tell the truth. If the company skipped the process, it deserves to be criticized.

By the way, some people may deem this case as discrimination against people with mental disorders. I do not think so. Schizophrenia is a disease with hereditary character. People who have been proven with hereditary diseases are inappropriate for a donor. It is same as diabetes, Huntington's disease, and other hereditary diseases. It is impossible to eliminate any possibility of diseases. Nonetheless, the risk should be minimized.

On the other hand, the desire of mothers for better genes is to be discussed. It is natural for a mother to want their children to be great. But it is unsure which genes will make us healthy and genius. It is not certain that a gifted person will be happy in the later life. Artificial insemination from a stranger has still some challenges.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Issues of working mothers in the US and Japan

San Francisco is going to introduce a legislation of mandate paid parental leave. Surprisingly, it will be the first case paid parental leave is guaranteed in the US.

The Guardian: San Francisco becomes first US city to mandate fully paid parental leave

Most developed countries have established financial support for working mothers. It is for enabling women to keep their jobs. When a trained woman has to leave the job, it will cause a considerable loss for the employer for spoiling time and money, as well as the women herself for losing a job. Furthermore, many developed countries are facing the shrinking population. Supporting parents are necessary policy to maintain a modern society.

Aljazeera: US: Parenting in a country with no paid maternity leave

I am wondering why the US has kept the no-treatment for working parents. I am not sure, but some alternative solutions may be provided. Regaining a job is easier in the US compared to Japan. Nursing homes and professional caregivers are also available.

On the other hand, Japan has a challenge on this issue. Recently, an anonymous description on the internet ignited broad discussion. The author moaned that she could not get daycare seat for her child and cursed Japan. This writing was referred in the parliament as expressing the suffering of working mothers.

Reuters: Angry Japan parents demand more daycare as PM struggles to respond

Abe administration is emphasizing the enhancing the social power of women. Therefore, this simple writing was utilized by opposite parties as a good material to criticize the administration.

Indeed, the shortage of daycare center for children has been issued for a decade. There are several reasons. As caregivers are not paid adequately, people are not willing to be a child caring nurse. Nursing homes are difficult to be built because nearby citizens are opposing it concerning about the noise. Since there are a few cases reported of crimes by nurses abusing children, unauthorized daycare centers are sometimes distrusted.

In addition, not a few Japanese have a traditional idea that women should take care of their children on their own instead of using a daycare center. Some conservative politicians developed a group to encourage families to keep traditional lifestyle. It looks a little ridiculous that ruling Liberal Democratic Party most of whose members are conservative claims the importance of women to work.

Discrimination for working mothers is problematic as well. I previously wrote a case in which a nurse was forced to resign after getting pregnant. In Japan, Paid leave for parents has been legalized. But it seems no more functional. To begin with, many companies are reluctant to employ women who are likely to get pregnant. I myself, was told by one of my colleagues about the possibility of early retirement of young women when considering to employ an assistant. I think that such implicit discrimination is dominant in Japan.

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

It is difficult to determine which is more friendly to working mother, the US or Japan. As far as my understanding, there are some voices which support the US. I am afraid that many Japanese are disliking children as whole Japan is getting older. It is a big issue in imagining the form of Japan in the future.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

3D printer makes you beautiful after death

3D printing is one of the most promising technologies in recent years. It enables you to create almost everything with very low cost. If you have a complete blueprint, you can copy even complex objects such as firearms perfectly.

A Chinese company made use of 3D printer in the funeral business. Longhua funeral home, a funeral parlor in Shanghai, is offering some body parts of the deceased, to restore missing parts, or even remake them with better appearance.

Global Post: A Chinese funeral parlor is using 3-D printing to help the dead look their best

The company said that it is a sad experience for the relatives to see the dead person's damaged body at the funeral. Artificial limbs are available, but it seriously costs. Creating body parts with a 3D printer is much cheaper.

Concerning usability of 3D printed objects, their vulnerability is sometimes issued. Creating a gun with a 3D printer is unfeasible at present regardless of legal issues. In the funeral, mock body parts do not need so much toughness. Therefore, 3D printing is fitting to such an opportunity.

China has the largest population in the world. It means that the largest number of funeral will be held. Some Chinese are eager to dress their relatives so that they can gain respect from others. I think this business will be successful.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Earthquake struck Kumamoto, to kill nine

Yesterday, a strong tremor attacked Kumamoto prefecture. It was an earthquake.

The magnitude was 6.5. It has been the strongest earthquake in Japan since the earthquake and Tsunami disaster occurred in 2011.

Te Japan Times: Strongest earthquake since 2011 strikes Kumamoto area

Fortunately, this earthquake is unlikely to cause Tsunami because the source of tremor was near to the surface of the ground. Nonetheless, at least nine people were dead due to the earthquake. And, more than 390 were injured. Approximately 23,000 people had to evacuate temporally. As Kibogaoka Hospital has a risk of collapse, the inpatients are going to be moved to another hospital. Many buildings were inflicted damages as well.

Kumamoto prefecture is located in Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan, following Honshu and Hokkaido. Its population is around two million.

Japan is an earthquake-rich country. People are preparing for the disaster. However, Western Japan is considered as relatively safe. Kyushu was not damaged in 2011 disaster. Therefore, this incident is astonishing.

I pray for the victims, and am willing to make some donation to the activity for restoring the situation.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kindle Oasis will come disclosed the information of the next model of Kindle, and e-book reader. The release date will be April 27, 2016. It costs 289.99 USD.

Kindle Oasis is the 8th generation of Kindle family. It resembles previous Kindle at a glance. However, several features seem to be restructured. Kindle Oasis is the lightest model of Kindle. And the contrast of the screen will be improved. New - Kindle Oasis with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

A unique character of the Oasis is that it will be sold with a leather cover. This cover equips a battery. Kindle Oasis will survive without charge for months.

Do you think it is a fantastic gadget? I am afraid not.

The resolution of Kindle Oasis is 300 ppi, as well as Kindle Voyage. Even if it is thinner and lighter, they look not so innovative. In terms of battery life, current models have enough power for daily use.

I am wondering the usability of the next Kindle. If you can turn pages on Kindle as if you read a paperback, it will be amazing. I am not sure if Kindle Oasis will offer such an experience.

I think e-book readers are so mature that there is little room for further improvement. The next breakthrough will be the colored e-book reader.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Toxoplasma infection and behavioral change in human

Cats are so lovely that many people are fond of touch them. But you should be cautious when making fun with a cat outside.

Toxoplasma gondii is one of the parasites which has a unique character. It can reproduce only in the cat family, so cats are the final host of it. However, it can survive in various environments in warm-blood animals. And surprisingly, approximately one-third of all human is considered to have toxoplasma.

Toxoplasma infection is usually almost harmless. When you are infected, you hardly notice it, or common cold like symptoms continue for some weeks. However, compromised hosts such as in AIDS may sustain a fatal damage. Also, if a pregnant woman is infected, toxoplasma may inflict several abnormality to the infant.

Toxoplasma is transmitted via cats stool. You should wash vegetables carefully before eating them. Raw meats can also be contaminated.

Interestingly, there are some reports in which the influence of toxoplasma on the host's character is suggested. Rats with toxoplasma are said not to feel fearful to cats. They tend to be caught by a cat. Toxoplasma can move from the rat to the cat which bit the rat. Therefore, the character change of the rat can be interpreted that toxoplasma would control the rat' behavior so that it can move to the cat as the final host.

In human, there are a few studies similar to the rat. Infected men are likely to be antisocial, and infected women will be attractive.

Recently, a cross-sectional study was conducted to examine the possibility that toxoplasma makes human impulsive. In this study, patients with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) was investigated, compared to healthy people and patients with other mental disorders. As a result, patients with IED were more likely to have toxoplasma than other participants.

Clinical Journal of Psychiatry: Toxoplasma gondii Infection: Relationship With Aggression in Psychiatric Subjects

This study was cross-sectional, so it has not been proven that toxoplasma causes impulsiveness on a human. It is possible that inherently impulsive persons may try raw food, leading to the infection of toxoplasma. To prove the effect of toxoplasma infection on the personality change, a longitudinal study should be performed in which several people were examined twice for some years. If behavior changes are observed after toxoplasma infection in many people, this hypothesis will be certain.

Parasites are sometimes a theme of literature, especially in Sci-Fi. However, there are few things clarified about them. Many parasites have a risk of invading the human brain. And, it is not sure what will happen when it occurs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The way to find best apps

Nowadays, there are many mobile applications for business use. You can choose your favorite apps to fit your demand. Most of them are free or for a low cost.

However, how do you select some apps in astronomical candidates? A basic way is to obey the qualification of the provider. Apple’s App Store and Google Play disclose the mark each app has gained from the users. Apps with higher score seem to be superior in usability and effectiveness. Even though there are some fake reviewers, this standard is trustworthy to some extent.

As a more sophisticated evaluation, some journals and organizations give a judge to each app. The evaluators are professional, so their assessment is likely to be precise. On the other hand, such review is not free from prejudice of each professional writer.

Therefore, the idea that these two methods should be combined is quite natural. Applause, an app quality company, produced a report in which 130 famous business apps were evaluated based on more than 1,000 reviews. Applause’s analytic platform scored each app for 0-100. The average score of all 130 apps was 61.

ITProPottal: The best mobile apps for business users

According to this report, the best communication application is Duolingo. It is a translator, and it provides you an opportunity to learn a foreign language. You are requested to translate some sentences in this app. As proceeding the direction, you will gain a habitual learning. In addition, some tasks users accomplished are to be adopted in actual works. Thus, you can contribute to translation, leading to aid for foreigners, without being conscious of it. The other day, I used it for a couple of days. It was interesting.


About forecasting apps, Yahoo Weather got the prize. ColorNote was the best organizing app, though there were only a few reviews provided in Apple App Store.

I think this report is well structured. Nonetheless, it is risky to rely on these results. It is not sure the best app for everyone is the best for you. Especially, there is a broad discrepancy in the usefulness of each app between countries.

For example, 360 security was deemed as the best security software in this report. Its performance with regard of detecting viruses seems excellent. But, it is said it makes some annoying advertisement in a Japanese environment.

Line is also a popular app in Japan. I do not think its performance is inferior to Viber or WhatsApp. But its score was only 46.5, maybe Line is not so common in Western countries. The performance of messenger apps highly depends on the amount of users around you.

After all, such reports are partially beneficial, but not decisive. I recommend you to use them for discovering apps you have not used yet. A series of the review will offer you a chance to meet new apps you have not known. The final judgment is yours.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Virtual sex suit was developed?

I wrote previously that technology is developed in the war and spread in the eroticism. Virtual Reality (VR) is very fitting to the both. Nowadays, there are very realistic flight simulators for soldiers to train skills to control a fighter without any danger. Also, VR is often said to relieve soldiers from fear. It leads to a broad discussion about the safety of VR utilization.

On the other hand, it is easy to imagine the usage of VR for an erotic purpose. The other day, telephone sex was popular as a new figure of pleasure. But, it is difficult in real to stimulate human organs with just right intensity. In addition, sexual sensation differs from each other. Therefore, virtual sex machine is still a fantasy.

Very recently, it was reported that Tenga, a Japanese company providing masturbation tools, was successful to develop a VR suit which enables virtual sex with a character in the animation.

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

Tenga is a unique company, and staffs are serious to pursuit enjoyable masturbation. But, actually, this news was an April Fool joke. IBTimes might be deceived by the fake website. I am afraid Japanese are deemed by the reporter as kinky guys.

International Business Times:  VR sex suit: $400 Tenga male masturbator lets you touch anime breasts – and it's already sold out

In real, VR suit for gamers is under-developing. Tesla Studios is eager to invent a suit which can send several tremor and vibration that persons in the game would sense to the user. But it seems gathering money for development is not going well.

Tesla Studios: Teslasuit

We will have to wait for a while to equip a VR suit. But I think it will be realized in the near future. Then, we will encounter a similar problem to war simulator. Excessive sensitization by VR would twist our original sense. At present, very few people are satisfied to see a romance movie instead of a real relationship. But the potential of VR is unpredictable. I am not sure what will happen.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The shock of Panama Paper

A secret will be revealed someday. But if it has been shared by influential people, the impact of exposure to the secret will be strong.

Panama Paper was leaked by journalists on April 3, 2016. It was massive data reaching 1 TB administered by Mossack Fonseca, a Panama law firm, about the status of using tax haven by rich people and several companies.

CNN: The Panama Papers: 7 things to know

A tax haven is frequently utilized for people with high income to avoid paying corporation tax. It is well known that many international companies rely on tax haven more or less. However, the amount of money evacuated from the tax was an astronomical amount of money was found having evacuated from taxation.

In addition, several politicians are mentioned in Panama Paper. Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, Xi Jinping, President of China, and some other famous people are suspected to be concerned about this issue.

Russian government deems that Panama Paper was created to disrespect Putin. And China is eager to conceal this report from citizens with censorship on the internet. Prime Minister of Iceland had to resign because his family held funds in offshore shell companies.

The Washington Post: The Panama Papers made Iceland’s prime minister resign. Here’s why.

In the UK, David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, seats a difficult situation. He admitted having profited from the sale of shares in an offshore fund. Edward Snowden, a whistleblower in the US, is calling for his resign.

Independent: Edward Snowden urges British public to rise up and force David Cameron to resign over offshore fund

In Japan, there is a few people’s name clarified to be involved in this issue. Several companies are also concerned, but Japan government is hesitating to make an investigation.

It seems that personal use of tax haven is deemed more problematic than companies. The offshore funding itself is no more illegal. People are accustomed to this kind of management of money by the company. On the other hand, when a politician who is calling for raised tax is revealed to have saved taxation, he is likely to be criticized.

To be honest, I think corporation tax itself is nonfunctioning. The border of nations is gradually disappearing. It is difficult to track monetary flow precisely. Consumption tax is rather easy to control. Anyway, administration of a nation with gaining tax will be outdated.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Mississippi law may interfere minorities

In Mississippi, a questionable law was established. It was named "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act." In this new legislation, service providers will be able to refuse same-sex couples.

Phil Bryant, The governor of Mississippi, made a statement about signing this bill. According to him, this act will only enhance the existing religious freedom. But, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi is worrying that gender minorities would be banned from essential services and care.

The Guardian: LGBT couples can be refused service under new Mississippi law

In section 2, it is clearly described that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman as a religious belief to be protected by this law. It may authorize the traditional religious thoughts, against newly developed diversity such as same-sex marriage.

House Bill 1523

Mississippi state is often recognized as a region in which discrimination is still alive in the US. "Mississippi Burning" is a film describing real murder cases of three civil rights workers. In "The Help" also issues discrimination against black people in Mississippi. These films shed the light to the 1960s when the civil right movement was ignited. However, it seems that conflict between citizens has not been resolved within these some decades.

Wikipedia: Mississippi Burning

Wikipedia: The Help (film)

In the US, religion is strongly related to some kind of discrimination. It is the same in Europe. Religion is not only the source of living power but also a dangerous tool for injuring outsiders.

In contrast, many Japanese have no particular faith. Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims can stay in Japan without being discriminated. However, some Japanese are quite exclusive, disliking outsiders and minorities. It is a mystery. In my opinion, some beliefs shared by citizens can work as if it is a religious discipline. And there are such thoughts binding our behavior in Japan.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Your child will never see cash

The rapid development of the information technology has made many things outdated. Among them, there are two particular tools which have been essential for our daily life for a long time: paper and cash.

It is said that paperbacks, newspaper, and magazines will perish soon, while some people are opposing to this estimation. I think paper will never disappear from the world forever, even if all of us equip a wearable computer. The paper is a material which can store information without any reading devices. It also survives centuries. These merits are hardly replaced to the computer.

On the other hand, cash will perish within a few decades, I guess. Nowadays, we can live without any inconvenience if we have a valid credit card, at least in a big city in Europe or the US. We seldom need cash. In Japan, the availability of the credit card is inferior to other developed countries. Instead, we often use digital money such as SUICA, or a mobile phone, to make a payment.

My past entry: Three reasons I feel Japan is still immature

Recently, a survey was conducted to prospect the future regarding this issue. Approximately 2,000 social media users replied to the questionnaire. As a result, the majority thought that digital payment would exile the cash by 2030.

ITProPortal: Kids born today might not use cash at all

It is not a dream. Indeed, Denmark is preparing for a cashless society with seriousness.

My past entry: Cashless society is coming

Actually, nobody makes a deal for millions of dollar with real notes. They use a personal check or bank transfer. On the other hand, payments with a few coins are quite annoying. Service chips are included to the original cost in many restaurants. The occasion we have to possess cash is gradually shrinking.

There is another meaning about the vanish of cash. Banks will be no more dominant in the financial industry in the future. Bitcoin and other crypt currencies will be more common. And Mileage and other token offered by a big company will substitute the real currency. In some countries, official currency guaranteed by the nation is not trusted at all. The concept of money itself is also challenged by the coming era. Perhaps, you will be paid the salary with Amazon point after a decade.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

China participates in the sanction against North Korea

China is going to make a sanction against North Korea as well as other UN members.

Its decision is based on the Security Council's resolution passed on March. The UN has been restricting the export to North Korea as it had the continuous ambition to develop nuclear weapons. Recent provocative behaviors of North Korea led to the tougher content of sanction by the UN.

Independent: China announces sanctions against North Korea

China had been relatively supportive to North Korea so far. It was historically an ally in the era of Korean War. Also, North Korea is located between China and South Korea which is an intimate partner of the US. The Chinese government may consider that China will be threatened by the US if North Korea perishes. Just recently, China opposed to conducting an international conference on the security of Far-east region without North Korea.

Now, China is on the other side of North Korea in this issue. North Korean media harshly blamed China as it had surrendered to the demonic US.

Actually, it is not for the first time that North Korea criticized China. Since Xi Jinping became the President of China, North Korea tended to charge China frequently.

In these months, North Korea seems to repeat reckless provocation and agitation. It performed ballistic missile launch several times recently. It intends to establish a decisive weapon adequate to match the US and other Western countries. But it sacrifices national wealth at all. Development of weapons is very costly. I heard the news that soldiers of North Korea sold their tooth powder provided by the government to gain fish from fishers.

It seems that North Korea is going to collapse. It will be an inevitable outcome that dictators ruin the nation finally. The issue is, when and how it will happen. Refugees from North Korea will have no choice but entering South Korea, or China. It will bring them a tough situation, like Europe accepting refugees from the Middle East. Japan will also be involved. We should be responsible for it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cherry blossoms in Japan

Cherry blossoms are one of the symbols in Japan. It is bloomed early April. The pinkish flowers were so cute that many Japanese are fond of enjoying "Hanami," sitting under the trees to see the cherry blossoms.

On late March, the cherry became to bloom gradually. In this year, it was so cold that the beginning of blooming was a little delayed.

And last weekend, they became full blossom.

I visited Ueno Koen, a popular spot of Hanami in Tokyo. It was crowded. Cherry blossoms were very beautiful.

Yesterday, trees on the sides of the road to the hospital also became full blossom.

Cherry blossoms are very quick to scatter. They survive for only a few days. It is difficult to see cherry blossoms under the best condition. This year, it was cloudy in these days. If it had been sunny, I would have been happier to enjoy the cherry blossom. However, the vulnerability is also a charm of cherry blossoms.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Women do not marry because they became rich

It is well known that women are less likely to marry in recent years. In most developed countries, the marriage rate has been declined constantly for some decades. There are several reasons for an explanation. But, increased income is crucial, according to a recent study.

The Atlantic: How Earnings Influence a Woman’s Decision to Wed

According to the researchers, improved wage in women can account for 20% of the decline in marriage for these three decades. The earning power of women having been improved is rather relative than absolute. It means that some women need no more rely on men's money for daily living, resulting in hesitating to marry.

What Women Want: Family Formation and Labor Market Responses to Marriage Incentives

Indeed, women had been discriminated in working places. At present, the situation is different, even not completely. It is no more rare that we see a female CEO in the US.

The author of this article examined the possibility of reverse causation. Thus, women who did not marry might earn more money. In this study, this hypothesis was denied. On the other hand, some women in Japan are still difficult to keep working after pregnancy. Therefore, it is possible in Japan that wage was increased in women because women tended not to get married. Even if it is partially true, it seems obvious that financial dependence of women resulted in the lowered rate of marriage also in Japan.

The fact married women are declining means married men are also declined. On the contrary of women, men with low income tend not to get married. In Japan, young men hesitate to marry unless their salary is raised to an enough amount so that they can take care of their spouse. As women became independent from men, men look to be still occupied in an illusion of the dominating husband.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Japan will move enriched uranium to the US

2016 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was recently held in Washington. This meeting was the fourth, and the last conference of NSS which began in 2010. Its goal is to keep the use of nuclear power secure. Management of nuclear fuels in each country had been prioritized.

In this summit, Japan agreed to reduce nuclear stockpiles it was storing. Most of the uranium-rich materials Japan possess will be moved to the US excepting some subjects for experiments.

USA Today: Japan agrees to reduce nuclear stockpiles

The reason Japan will drop radioactive materials is to prepare for terrorism. The likelihood that ISIS and other extremists will attack a nuclear power plant in Japan is no more fantasy. And North Korea, which is the nearest fear, is willing to develop nuclear weapons. If they get the source of the atomic bomb, the security not only of Japan but also of the world will be endangered.

Japan is one of the safest counties. Thus, it is doubtful that Japanese police will be able to address the risk of terrorism. Therefore, moving enriched uranium to the US will reduce the risk of a destructive result.

On the other hand, abandoning uranium means that Japan is less likely to invent a nuclear weapon in the future. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and his colleagues emphasized that Japan will never intend to develop nuclear weapons. This policy has been adhered since the WWII ended. Nonetheless, Japan still has to show the will to keep this policy.

I think Japan will never possess a nuclear weapon. Indeed, some politicians estimated the possibility for Japan to arm nuclear weapons, previously. The policy of developing atomic power was adopted in the past not only for compensating poor natural resource but also for enhancing the knowledge and technique to deal with nuclear power. And now, a few politicians claim that Japan should possess nuclear weapons.

However, it is not feasible for Japan to develop a nuclear bomb. First, most of the people hate nuclear weapons, thanks to the education policy that mercilessness of atomic bombs should be reported to descendants. Second, Japan has to drop from Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Once breaching the treaty, Japan will lose the US' support regarding the supply of uranium. Moreover, Japan will be sanctioned by many countries. I do not think Japan will survive the solitude in such a situation.

For the reasons above, I was not surprised to the commitment of Abe for dropping the enriched uranium at all. But I am not sure what other countries thought. Expressing the basic principle continuously is important for a nation to get trusted by others.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Robot anesthesiologist banned, maybe just for a while

IT and robots are so common that we always rely on them. And medical practice is not an exception to it. Medical records have been digitized in many hospitals. Computer tomography is an essential tool in medical diagnosis, and several machines with more progressive technologies have been well. Remote-controlled surgery comes into practice in some departments.

Nonetheless, automated surgery has not been performed. And anesthesia robots were dismissed from the field of surgery.

Indeed, Johnson & Johnson developed an anesthesia robot called Sedasys. The FDA approved it for clinical practice. It could administer several protocols of anesthesia with watching the vital signs of the patient. However, professional anesthesiologists strongly opposed to utilizing it. Finally, J & J abandoned to sell Sedasys.

Engadget: J&J's anesthesia-bot loses against its human counterparts

MDT: Plug Pulled on Johnson & Johnson's Anesthesiologist Robot

According to American Society of Anesthesiologists, Sedasys could not ensure the safety of the patients during surgery so that anesthesiologists always had to supervise its move. I cannot examine their claim. Indeed, it would result in a fatal accident when a medical robot takes a mistake. On the other hand, human errors are also not avoidable. It is difficult to determine which is a better player on some occasion. This structure of resembles the issue of self-driving cars.

I think, however, that improved algorithm and repeated experiments will overcome the uncertainty of the robot operation. Just a few decades ago, there were no AED, injection pump, or ventilator. Shortly, a robot can take a surgery by itself, at least in simple cases.

Then, not only anesthesiologists but also surgeons and other medical practitioners will lose their job. It is not a dream like I wrote in an April Fool. Even medical practitioners have to compete for AI and modern technology.

My past entry: Google Psychiatrist launched: loosing my job

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Zaha Hadid died from heart attack

Zaha Hadid, a remarkable architect, was dead on March 31st, 2016. She was in the hospital to treat bronchitis when a fatal heart attack occurred. Queen of the curve passed away at 65 years old.

The Guardian: 'Queen of the curve' Zaha Hadid dies aged 65 from heart attack

Zaha was well known for her avant-garde designs. She won several prizes for constructing a building with fascinating structures.

On the other hand, she was often bantered as "the queen of the unbuilt."  It was because her designs were often so complex that the plan her intended was often failed to realize due to the shortage of budget.

Most recently, she won the competition for designing the new National Stadium in Tokyo in 2012. It was planned to be the main stadium of Tokyo Olympic 2020. However, it was soon revealed that Zaha's idea would hardly be realized with acceptable cost and the deadline. The amount of budget for building the stadium had to be reconsidered and again. Citizens criticized the committee for expanding cost. Finally, the committee dismissed Zaha's design, and the competition was resumed. It is still unclear if the construction will be completed in the Olympic starts.

Several problems are suggested regarding the process for determining the design of the new National Stadium. It is possible Zaha was simply involved in an internal conflict of relevant contributors in Japan. If so, it is quite sorry for her. Otherwise, Zaha was born a little too early to be caught by current building techniques.

Anyway, I regret her early decease. Pray for Zaha.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Suicide is illegal in Japan

I wrote previously that Japan is a suicide-rich country. Over 30,000 people killed themselves in a year. However, this problematic tendency is gradually changing.

In recent years, the number of suicide became decreasing. In last year, only 24,000 people committed suicide. Though it is not an acceptable outcome, it is very glad that the victims have been reduced by one-fifth compared to a few years ago.

Why have Japanese tended not to go to suicide?

There are several hypotheses suggested by researchers. First, the Japanese population is getting older. In general, aged people are less likely to commit suicide than those in middle age. Retired people need not be concern about the economic matter in their life. Instead, those in the 40s and 50s, especially in men, are fearful of losing their job. This cluster has the highest risk of suicide.

Second, the economy in Japan recovered, at least partially, from the late 2000s. Abenomics, developed by Abe administration, was effective to raise the value of stockpile in Japan. Economic status is seriously related to the suicide rate. Recently, however, it is criticized from several industries. I am afraid that the fiscal situation of Japan will be deteriorated shortly, leading to the rising of suicide rate again.

Third, the Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in 2011 might have influenced Japanese people's mind. It robbed 30,000 innocent people of their lives. We had to become aware of the meaning of life. Some Japanese stopped trying to injure themselves after experiencing this disaster, I guess.

And finally, I think this is the most decisive reason. Japan parliament passed the amended legislation about suicide. The act of suicide prevention came into force in 2006. The government reconsidered the content of this law and decided that committing suicide as illegal. Since 2012, people who committed suicide have deserved to the capital punishment. Attempted suicide is not subjected to punishment. But they tend to be discriminated as a potential criminal. After this amendment, suicide cases significantly decreased.

Wikipedia: Jisatsu Taisaku Kihon-ho (in Japanese)

After all, what is needed for Japanese was to teach them right and wrong. Japanese are well known to adhere to social rules. I was surprised that simply defining suicide as illegal was so effective to stop such act. I want the government to illegalize attempted suicide as well. It will prevent suicide further.