Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sequels in May 2016

May 27, 2016
MacBook early 2016 has come

I am loving my MacBook. But there are several troubles in handling it. I have much to learn to control my pink gadget.

May 17, 2016
Referendum for Brexit will come soon

Now, Brexit is one of the biggest issues for world economy. The media suggest the risk of Brexit and several investors are preparing for it. They are moving GBP saving to other currencies.

I myself believe the UK will not choose leaving the policy of leaving the EU unless there are some extraordinary events. On the other hand, it is possible that terrorists make a provocation at this time to interrupt the international coalition.

May 9, 2016
North Korea declared not to use nuclear weapons unless attacked

Very recently, South Korean government stated that it sensed a preparative movement of an intercontinental missile in North Korea. Japan government ordered Self Defense Force to destroy it in the sky. The situation is very tense.

May 1, 2016
Pixabay, a media storage of public domain

Unfortunately, my attempts resulted in failure. All of my photos uploaded to Pixabay were rejected, and I lost the right to apply photos any more. The standard was too high for me to pass. Now, I am a consumer of Pixabay, not a contributor.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Frequent ejaculation prevents prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is one of the main malignant tumors which harass aged men. In the US, one tenth of men is said to suffer from this disease. Asian people are less likely to get prostate cancer compared to black and white. But, the prevalence rate of patients is rapidly increasing recently in Japan, perhaps due to Westernized diet style. Fortunately, prostate cancer is relatively easy to treat. It progresses so slowly that some people need no intervention to prevent premature death.

Some risk factors of onset of prostate cancer are identified. Excessive milk drinking is considered to be a risk. Calcium is also likely to make prostate cancer. Then, how is the relationship between prostate cancer and behaviors relevant to the role of the prostate? Recently, researchers investigated the influence of ejaculation on the onset of prostate cancer.

The result was clear. The more frequently you have an ejaculation, the more certainly your prostate is free from cancer. A cohort study subjected more than 30,000 men for 20 years revealed an inverse correlation between them.

Pubmed: Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up.

However, you should be cautious about interpreting this result. According to this study, you have to ejaculate 21 times in a month in the 50s to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 20 %. If I accomplish the frequency, I will get some other disease because of exhaustion.

Of course, this study shares a weakness as well as other cohort studies. Some confounding factors are possible. Men with a low frequency of ejaculation are likely to have some problems in their health, which are potential risks for prostate cancer. Recognizing it, the authors excluded the subjects who have an extremely low frequency of ejaculation. However, it is uncertain how many times of ejaculation is the standard for an aged man. It is still not sure artificially increased the frequency of ejaculation will protect you from prostate cancer.

Avoiding milk sometimes is preferable as prevention, I think.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Obama visit Hiroshima for the first time

Balack Obama, the President of the US, visited Japan for attending G7 summit. It was held at Shima Kanko Hotel, a famous facility in Mie prefecture. After the congress, he went to Hiroshima.

Hiroshima was one of the two cities in the world where an atomic bomb was thrown. Obama looked through Hiroshima city and Atomic Bomb Museum. After that, he made a statement in front of audience including victims of atomic bomb disease, so-called “Hibakusha.” He shook hands with hibakushas and devote flowers to the memorial stone of victims.

The Guardian: Barack Obama says memory of Hiroshima 'must never fade'

In his speech, Obama express a deep sympathy to the victims and emphasize the misery of causing a war. He did not make an apology for dropping atomic bombs on Japan. Instead, he said we have a certain responsibility to abandon the threatening power of nuclear weapons.

USA Today: Sympathy for victims but no apology as Obama makes historic Hiroshima visit

Obama’s speech seems to have an impact to both Japanese and American people. I think his statement is very sincere and humane. It is not easy to determine whether Obama should make an apology about having victimized Hiroshima (and Nagasali) of not. In my opinion, he is not responsible for the act the US conducted over 60 years ago, and it is not certain the use of atomic bomb is justified based on the standard at that time. And if he made an apology, it would not be beneficial for Japan and the US, rather it is possible that it could make the Obama’s successor aggressive.

The New York Times: Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan

Anyway, this visit is a historic event. I believe Obama has done a great work. His speech will be unforgettable for a long time.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hottest summer will come

Recently, it is getting hot in Japan. We have adopted a policy of casual wearing at work, so-called "cool-biz." Nonetheless, the hot and moist weather is annoying.

It is terrible that the weather forecasters predict the hottest summer in this year globally. El Niño oceanic phenomenon will be a cause of heat in summer. In addition, human behaviors make the temperature raised gradually.

The Telegraph: 2016 set to be the hottest year on record, Met Office say

In India, heat wave did damage to the roads. Asphalt is basically invulnerable to shock. It can usually melt in 140 centigrade. However, some compounds in asphalt road are easier to be damaged.

Independent: India’s roads melt as record-breaking heat wave continues

This year, as well as the last one, climate change and global warming are often discussed. These themes had been not so familiar to us because we seldom feel these issues as real. However, in recent years, the abnormal weather is not so rare. Therefore, we have to be aware of the environment around us.

My past entry: March in the highest temperature

My past entry: Climate change and rising of sea level

Also Last year, we were struck by dreadful heat in Japan. Fortunately, I avoided the hottest months with being in the UK.

It is considered that the main cause of global warming is excessive use of fossil fuels. If all fossil fuels burn, the earth surface temperature would be ten centigrade higher.

The Guardian: World could warm by massive 10C if all fossil fuels are burned

I think global warming itself is not fatal for humanity. But, many people will be victimized in the process of rapid climate change. It is essential to minimize the risk of environmental alteration. Therefore, becoming independent from fossil fuel is important for sustainable development of our civilization.

Friday, May 27, 2016

MacBook early 2016 has come

I got MacBook (early 2016 model) for business use.

Macbook was developed last year as the first model of Mac mobile notebook with a Retina display. MacBook Air is an excellent one but equips a display with lower resolution. Therefore, I was looking forward a new model.

However, MacBook in 2015 was expensive referring to its spec. The shape of it did not attract me. So, I dare not to buy it.

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

This time, the new model of MacBook was released. It has improved CPU and battery. It is regrettable that only one USB type-C port is available as same as the old model. But it is not so problematic for me because I seldom use a USB memory stick. I usually rely on cloud drives to transfer the data.

My past entry: New Macbook 2016

I decided to buy MacBook for the purpose of my work. To be honest, I was annoyed to use Windows PC every time. It is not sure Mac is superior to Windows. But, it should be a beautiful experience to try a new OS.

How do I feel about the new machine?

I have not examined its performance. But it will be OK for my general use. Despite my concern, it seems tough enough for mobile use. Instead, it is heavy than I expected.

Now I am concerned about its battery. I will be satisfied if it lasts all a day.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

London is the second best tech city

London was ranked as the second best city in the world regarding attractiveness to investors, following San Francisco.

EY UN’ Attractiveness Survey 2016 suggested that 21 per cent of investors voted to London, followed by New York and Beijing. Furthermore, 57 % of voters chose London as a favorite place for foreign direct investment. The UK created over 42,000 jobs, the most in any year since 1997.

ITProPortal: London is almost the tech capital of the world

This news is welcomed to Londoners. However, the report also suggested several worries about the future. Only 23 % of respondents thinks positively about consistent investment in the UK for the future. This proportion was decreasing by 4 percent from the previous year. And 36 % believe that UK’s attractiveness will improve, decreased by 18 % from the previous years. These results mean that expectation for the UK about its attractiveness as a subject for investment is questionable.

Attractiveness Survey 2016

As a temporal Londoner, I think London is an attractive city. But, aged infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges for further development. Though lacking personal experience, I think newly developed cities are more convenient both for daily living and business performance. On the other hand, diversity in citizens is considered to be an advantage for the UK. The new mayor of London is a Muslim, for the first time as a governor of a major city in the EU.

As described in this article, the result of Brexit referendum will influence on London and the UK in terms of its value for the investment. If they decide to leave EU, many investors will abandon London, I guess.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Erasable tattoo will come

Ephemeral, a startup company, is eager to develop removable tattoo products.

Tattooing is a method to print something in the live human skin. Nowadays, some people would like to carve tattoos as a fashion. However, the tattoo is hard to be removed. It means that you will deeply regret if you make an unwise choice.

The new technology mentioned above is composed of two solutions. The first is tattoo which will disappear after a year. The second is a way to erase carved tattoos.

Technology Fox News: End of permanent tattoos? Startup develops new high-tech ink

These new techniques can change our mind on the tattoo. Previously, the tattoo was a symbol of anarchism. In Japan, members of traditional yakuza (Japanese mafia) were fond of getting carved a big tattoo on their back and arms. Their figure often scared us, for instance in a public bath. Therefore, most public facilities such as spa, pool, and massage services prohibit people with tattoos from use them. A few years ago, Osaka prefectural government made a commitment not to adopt candidates with tattoos as an official. Hence, many Japanese people are allergic to tattoos.

The second solution releases people who would like to cancel the history in which they get tattoos recklessly.

On the other hand, the temporal tattoo is interesting. I think many tattoo-lovers do not accept it, because they believe they will continue to get along with their tattoos eternally.

The temporal tattoo will be utilized to some other purposes. For example, it can be identification. In the hospital, patients get a name band not to be misidentified to other patients. But this band is a little annoying. If tattoo can be printed to the body temporally without pain, it will replace an ID tag.

Some companies will adopt temporal tattooing as a uniform. In the Olympic or other big games, some supporters will carve a tattoo in their arm to show they are true supporters. Such casual usage is possible to be realized, if the temporal tattoo is provided with low cost and risk.

By the way, I do not like tattoo personally, either tattoo seal. I never exclude people with a tattoo. But, I will not try it even if it is removable.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Catan Meijin-sen again at Kamata

Last weekend, I attended a game competition of Catan.

"Settlers of Catan" is one of the most popular modern analog game in the world. Catan was developed in 21 years ago. Though not so spread as Chess or Monopoly, the world championship tournament of Catan is held annually.

My past entry: Settlers of Catan, an excellent board game

At Kamata in Tokyo, Catan Championship competition "Catan Meijin-sen" is held annually. I attended it three years ago. And I went there again.

My past entry: Catan Championship at Kamata

This time, as well in the past, competitors were so strong that I hardly match them. As a result, I won in only one game, but lost other three games. This board below is the last stand in my victorious game. The yellow is mine.

One of my competitors said he considered I was a beginner. If I had placed a settlement in another place at the start of the game, I would have had a much better game, according to him. I admit it. Initial placement is very important in Catan. And because the time is limited, it was difficult for me to find the best move. Anyway, I got a winning.

In the second game, I had no mistakes, as far as I remember. I thought I was close to the victory. However, another player took "Longest Road" award suddenly, with making a settlement, and disclose a point card, to win the game. I had only six victory point in this game. It was sorry that I had missed the possibility of an instant kill by that player.

The third game was one-sided. A player made a city initially, and gathered lots of ore. When another player proposed a coalition with others, it was too late to stop him. I had six victory points at the end of the game, and I was second.

The final game was dynamic. I played a Monopoly card, to gather 15 of woods. Another turn, I gained 15 sheep in a turn. I gained Largest Army award. Nonetheless, I suffered from a shortage of ore. And finally, another player reached ten points when I had nine. In this game, I was lucky, but not so fortunate to grab the victory. It means the winner was better as playing than me.

"Kachi ni fushigi no kachi ari, make ni fushigi no make nasi." [There are strange victories, but there are no strange defeats.]

It is a statement in an ancient article in Japan. Seizan Matsuura, a lord in Edo era, is considered to have said it for the first time. It was also known that Katsuya Nomura, a great baseball player and manager, loved this statement.

My past entry: Essence of Failure: from Edo era to a charismatic Teacher

It is possible that you would win by chance. So, you should not be arrogant. On the other hand, when you are defeated, there are some particular reasons for the result. You have to examine what made you fail. This competition taught me this fact definitely.

After the competition, several prizes were delivered to the attendants. I got Catan chocolate.

A game is attached to this package, said the commissioner. I will examine it later, to enjoy it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

MX 4D is terrific but terrible for me

As I wrote yesterday, I experienced MX 4D entertainment on cinema for the first time.

MX 4D is an interactive attraction technology developed by MediaMation. With MX 4D, you can feel several stimuli while seeing a movie. The stimuli MX 4D provides include moving the sheet, flashlight, sense of being knocked in the back, neck, and legs, mist, and water splash, and smell. These stimuli are of course synchronized to the scene you are watching. For example, you sheet will vibrate on the scene of a car chase. The Wind will hit you when the hero in the film avoid a bullet. And, if the hero is knocked down by a villain, you are struck in your back.

This kind of attraction was spread in the late 1990s gradually. Nowadays, it is not so difficult to try interactive attraction in a theme park. Also, there are several computer games with interactive devices such as vibrating controllers.

However, these games and attractions are made for exclusive use. Cinema movies were to be seen, and games were to be experienced. There had been a gap between this two entertainment.

MX 4D has combined them. You can feel, not only see, the movie. It is innovative.

The cost for enjoying MX 4D is not so cheap. You have to an additional 1,000 JPY or more for these features. In addition, there are only a few cinemas providing MX 4D in Japan. I visited Shinjuku to try it. It was fortunate that I had some tasks there. Otherwise, it is unsure whether time and money to get MX 4D experience is acceptable for me.

The performance was so good, or too good. I was scared while seeing the movie. Back knocking was not so strong, but enough to cause my fear. Due to the afraid of getting water splash, I had to tilt my neck in the latter part of the movie. Furthermore, it was difficult for me to understand the entire storyline while experiencing the shock.

We are absolutely safe for seeing a movie. It is the person in the movie, not us, to encounter the danger of death. MX 4D easily broke this obvious idea. My body shrunk and was alert to several risks for pains and death.

Therefore, I was exhausted at the end of the movie. Similar to a roller coaster, MX 4D provides too strong stimuli for me to enjoy. Perhaps, I will never try it, albeit approving its intensity.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Multiple justices, Captain America: Civil War

I saw "Captain America: Civil War" yesterday at TOHO Cinemas in Shinjuku. It was for the first time for me to experience MX4D, a bodily sensation system.

Civil War is the third film of Captain America series. Before seeing this movie, you have to have watched previous works of Marvel comics series, especially "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

Captain America is a superhero who was created in the WWII era, but he had been accidentally frozen for decades after the war, and was resurrected in the 21 century. He is an enhanced human with superchemical power. He is brave and fair, as if he himself is the symbol of the US. In the previous film, the Winder Soldier, one of Captain's old colleagues, was conflicting with him. Finally, he disappeared, but Captain believes that he had a mind of justice.

In "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Captain was fighting as a member of Avengers, which includes Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawk Eye, and some other superheroes. Wanda, a psychic woman also joined to Avengers at the last scene.

In addition, some persons appeared in "Iron Man 3" took a role in this film without any introduction. Furthermore, Spider-Man and Ant-Man take a great performance. Thus, many many heroes are described in Civil War. You need to have cultivated adequate knowledge about them in advance.

I have seen most of Marvel's movies. But, to be honest, I forgot some supporting players, and hardly understood the relationship among them.

The main storyline is dominated by the conflict between Captain and Iron Man. The United Nations made a decision that superheroes should be controlled by the public authority. Iron Man accepted it because Avengers accidentally caused serious harms to citizens in previous missions. However, Captain opposes to this idea as he believes that he should make a choice on his own to maximize his contribution to the world.

Before their discussion reaches a conclusion, a person suspected to be the Winter Soldier conduct a terror attack. Captain tried to get in touch with him, but Iron Man stops him. Their conflict becomes more serious, leading to dreadful fighting.

This film talks to us that there is no absolute goodness. Although Captain is featured in this film, I support the idea of Iron Man. However, he takes a critical mistake because of his arrogance. As I wrote in the past, Irom Man tends to omit adequate explanation before taking an action. It makes him being hardly understood. He loses the trust of other members.

My past entry: Age of Ultron, a potential future

Conflicts between heroes is a popular theme of modern hero battles, such as "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Batman and Superman finally understood each other. However, the last conflict of this film is astonishing.

By the way, in the last part of this film, Captain and Iron Man fights with each other seriously. The audience will wonder which is stronger. This film offered an answer; I dare not to describe it.

Also, I enjoyed many American jokes in this film. The story is not so refreshing, but I want to see it again.

Personal Rating: 4 (good)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Chinese welcome refugees

Amnesty International, a human rights organization, published a report of investigation in which how do people feel about refugees in each nation.

The results are a little surprising. Chinese were ranked as the most welcoming people to refugees. Approximately 86% of Chinese thought that the government should take more actions to aid refugees.

It may mean that Chinese make a complaint to the governmental policy. In addition, however, near to a half of citizens are willing to accept refugees to their own home, according to the investigation. It is amazing.

Aljazeera: Chinese most welcoming to refugees, Russians least

Russia is the least welcoming country to refugees. It is not surprising. On the other hand, Japan was not included in the subject of the investigation. I wonder Japanese are prepared for supporting refugees. Nowadays, Japan is one of the most exclusive nations regarding immigration policy, although many foreign people come to Japan for leisure and shopping.

I, myself, feel difficult in accepting refugees to my home. It is stressful to live with strangers, to be honest. Instead, Japan should strengthen financial support to address the refugee crisis.

Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, is considering to express additional aids up to 20 trillion JPY for this issue in coming Ise-Shima summit. Some people criticize him on the inconsistency between external expenditure and raising taxation. I do not think so. Though the amount of payment should be discussed, the refugee crisis is not an external issue even for Japan.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Crayfishes are risky, Degawa was interfered by an entomologist

Tetsuro Degawa is a Japanese comedian. He is well known for unique voice and his specialized “reaction performance.” For example, he is pushed into a hot bath, to cry out “Too hot, help!” Or, he eats habanero chili or something like this and calls for water with a bombastic gesture. Audiences laugh at his comical reaction. Actually, he is very popular in Japan, and I think many people like him.

One of Degawa’s favorite situations is to play with crayfishes. Degawa pinches the crayfishes and lets them close to his face. Then, they put in Degawa’s nose with their claw. Degawa screams. This process is so funny that we hardly refrain from laughing.

However, Degawa was stopped from making this performance in a TV show. The person interfered him was an entomologist.

In the TV show, Koichi Goka, a famous Japanese entomologist, was attending. When the staffs encouraged Degawa to make a performance with crayfishes, Goka said, “Wild crayfishes have several bacteria on their claw. There is a fatal risk with the performance.”

Degawa opposed his comment seriously, “I am OK. Let me do it!” However, Goka insisted again, “I make advice as a specialist.” Finally, the performance was quitted.

Degawa made a complaint. “Your statement is interrupting my business. It would be critical for me if audiences are worrying about my health.” Goka continued, “I am worrying about someone mimicking you, to cause an accident.” Their conflict had not been resolved.

Livedoor News: An entomologist makes a warning to “nose-crayfish” performance by Degawa (in Japanese)

I realized that crayfishes had harmful bacteria for the first time. But, it is obvious that there is a risk of bacterial infection in dealing with wild species. Goka’s suggestion itself is correct, and most people already understand it, I guess.

On the other hand, Degawa, as a professional performer, seems to be willing to keep his performance unique and attractive. It is also reasonable. Doing something other people dare not to try is raison d’etre of performers. I also understand he felt annoyed to listen to Goka’s advice.

Imagine a similar situation. A member of a circus group is trying a trapeze. Then, a physician makes a caution. “There is a fatal risk of falling. I recommend not doing it.” How do you feel?

I believe most people think this advice is nonsense. The performer is expected to understand the risk completely, and after repeated exercise, he is going to the circus show. Everyone knows that nobody except him can do the same thing. If someone mimics him, to get injured, he will be blamed on his recklessness.

There are a couple of difference between Degawa’s case and this estimation about the circus. First, the performance with crayfishes looks easier to achieve than trapeze. Thus, audiences are likely to mimic Degawa’s performance. Second, it is doubtful that Degawa had recognized the risk of infection. I am not certain, but he seems to indifferent to such risks.

The fact is that Goka did not deem Degawa as a professional performer who is completely aware of the risks around his performance. It is a disgrace for Degawa, I think.

I like Degawa's performance. I hope no one will mimic Degawa's risky act. Otherwise, it will be prohibited on the TV show. So boring then.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sex offenders are microchiped in Indonesia

Sex offences are the most dreadful acts in the human society. Especially in the case the victims are children, hatred of concerned people is incalculable. Also, sex crimes for children are likely to be repeated by offenders who have pedophilia. Therefore, governments are engaged to decrease the risk of recidivism of such perpetrators.

In Indonesia, new legislation is going to be enforced. Offenders who were sentenced to sexual abuse to children will be chemically castrated and microchipped, if the bill is realized. They are also incarcerated for the longer term.

Independent: Indonesia could pass law that sees paedophiles castrated and microchipped

This bill seems aggressive. But similar attempts have been conducted in some countries. In some states in the US, sex offenders are made their face exposed to the public so that parents of young children can easily identify them. They are forced to attach an anklet to their leg in which a GPS is equipped. The purpose is to track them every time. In the US, shortage of prisons is a chronically serious problem. Therefore, a considerable number of criminals are released before adequate intervention for preventing recidivism is performed. GPS is one of an alternative restriction for criminals who have a certain risk of reoffending.

In the UK, hospitalized offenders with mental disorders are permitted to temporal leave with attaching a GPS anklet. It is deemed as an attempt to shorten the duration of hospitalization. Patients with remitted symptoms and lowered risk of desertion have to prepare for the life in the community. They have temporal leaves for some times before discharge. But it is difficult to estimate the risk of escape in some cases. Patients accepting a GPS anklet are more likely to be permitted to early temporal leave. This system is beneficial for both the patients and administrators.

In Indonesia, the microchip will be adopted to track the offenders. It will lead an issue of clinical safety in addition to ethical concern. I think the risk that a microchip in the body will cause serious trouble to the offender’s health. Nonetheless, the government has to guarantee not to let this operation any harm to the offenders.

Chemical castration is another point of argument. In the US and other countries, this treatment has been realized. Unfortunately, I have no idea about the effectiveness of anti-androgen therapy. Reports regarding the level of testosterone in sex offenders are controversial with each other. Also, the hormonergic factor is not the only drive for sexual offending. I think the impact of implementation of castration, chemically or physically, on sex offences is limited.

Pubmed: Do Sex Offenders Have Higher Levels of Testosterone? Results From a Meta-Analysis.

In Japan, the crime rate is still low compared to other countries. But there is a discussion about this kind of matter. Deliberate and scientific consideration is needed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Climate is a public goods

Climate change is one of the greatest problems in the world. We have to address it in some ways for better future. Otherwise, it is possible our descendents will not survide the next era.

My past entry: Climate change and rising of sea level

However, it is said that many people are indifferent to this issue.

One of the reasons is that we hardly feel exactly that our environment is rapidly changing. Indeed, less people believe that modern climate change is attributable to human activity than experts.

My past entry: The gap between scientists and the public

But, the problem is deeper. Even if they are concerned, only a few people take an action, according to the media report. The gap between our worrying and the attitude in real is discussed.

A study suggests that whether a person takes a public action on the situation depends on the sense of them how many people are going to do the same thing and how much their action seems to be really effective. This result is quite natural, because nobody is willing to do an act which is likely not to gain other people's approval.

The Washington Post: Why even the people who worry the most about climate change often take little action

Considering this fact, protest against climate change is very difficult to be spread. There are few people who dare to spend much time to public action. Also, it is unsure such actions will be able to change the future. Even if our challenges is rewarded, it will be proven several years after now.

There is another theory to explain why actions for stabilizing climate is not popular. Stabilized climate is deemed as a public goods in the economic context. Thus, climate is concerned to everyone regardless he or she is contributing to its stabilization. In this case, nobody has an incentive to invest for stabilized climate because you can be a free rider when other people make efforts to acheive the goal. Therefore, such actions never become acitvated.

To develop public goods, governmental intervention is necessary. To address the issur of climate change, strong leaderships and international collaboration are indispensable. I hardly believe personal efforts compensate for them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Referendum for Brexit will come soon

The UN is approaching a historic vote to Brexit. It is planned on June 23rd. David Cameron will have to consider in real to make the UK leave the EU, if the majority of citizens wants so in the referendum.

From the economic point of view, there is a merit for the UK to keep staying in the EU. The UK’s GDP is still expanding, but will be sluggish within some years, according to Confederation of British Industries. And Brexit is the largest factor to make investors hesitate to throw their money.

International Business Times: EU referendum: UK economy expected to slow as 'dark cloud of uncertainty' looms

If the UK leave the EU, the stock market will crash, and house price will also turn into decline, International Monetary Fund warned. This idea is shared by not only domestic but also international stakeholders. Thus, they do not want the UK to leave the EU. The US and Japan are also opposing to Brexit.

The Guardian: Brexit would prompt stock market and house price crash, says IMF

On the other hand, immigration is the most severely concerned matter in discussing Brexit. Separatists claim that staying in the EU will endanger the UK because of increased immigrants from the Middle East, many of which are refugees, and terrorists can enter the UK mimicking themselves as refugees.

Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, is a person on the side of Brexit. He previously compared the EU to even Hitler. He criticized Cameron for failing to keep immigration policy, and said that how many people will be accepted to the UK after Brexit depends on the economic situation. It seems contrastive to German policy to accept many refugees.

Reuters: Immigration post Brexit would depend on economy's need - Johnson

The poll regarding Brexit is quite competitive. Financial Times suggest staying is a little advantageous, but Economist’s estimation is uncertain.

Financial Times: UK’s EU referendum Brexit poll tracker

The Economist’s “Brexit” poll-tracker

The victory of Sadiq Khan, a Muslim mayor, can be a strong tail wind for the decision of staying in the EU. But, if an incident happens, the result will be easily overturned. Soon after the referendum about the independence of Scotland, British people will have to make a difficult choice again.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Universal basic income, a new challenge in Swiss

In Switzerland, a referendum for the introduction of basic income is again considered.

Basic income is a concept in which every citizen are given a certain amount of money monthly regardless of their position. It guarantees that people can live without working unless they want to possess luxury goods. It is similar to public protection system, but it is simpler because it needs not to examine each person's economic status. In addition, people who are not willing to work albeit they can do are also given the income. Therefore, basic income is expected to exclude persons with a low performance from the labor market. It will lead to the improved unemployment rate and enhanced productivity in each company, theoretically.

However, basic income has not been introduced yet all over the world. There are a couple of reasons. First, basic income will increase the social cost. Different from the public protection, wealthy people can receive the basic income. Also, poor people need more amount of aid such as medical cost. The introduction of basic income is not feasible considering the fiscal status even in most developed countries.

Second, there is criticism for giving money to unworking people. They worry that basic income system will make citizens lazy. It will result in the decrease of tax income. It means that basic income cannot be sustainable.

In this time, some people oppose to the basic income. They claim that basic income will make women quit the job. I understand their concern, but I am doubtful about their comment. If women tend to withdraw from the job after receiving basic income, to be blamed is not basic income but traditional employment system in which women are less likely to gain a high salary.

In Swiss, there was a discussion about the introduction of basic income. Equal payment was also proposed in the other day. It is relatively easy to conduct a referendum on a novel public policy in Swiss, but realizing it is not.

In my estimation, basic income will not be approved at this time. Nonetheless, discussion about such an innovative policy is somewhat worthy.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Troublesome tipping

Many Japanese including me are annoyed to tipping in a foreign country.

Recently, the Guardian published an article about tipping policy. In this article, some waiters were asked about the status in which how much they earned with tipping and how did they feel about it. The answers were various. They rely on tips in their income to some extent, particular in the US. Some of them were confused in judgment whether the tipping policy is fair.

The Guardian: Waiters reveal what they really think about tipping

In the UK, there is no legislation about paying the money to waiters which were gain as tips. Even some restaurants set policy in which waiters have to compensate the money when they missed getting the tip from customers. The government is willing to clarify the system of tipping, let customers know that tipping is voluntary.

In my London life, I was often asked to pay a tip. In most cases, I obeyed the request. I sometimes felt not willing to pay the tip because waiters were rather rude or the service was not satisfactory. I dared not to argue it, but regulatory paying tips are not proper in terms of expressing my feeling about the service quality.

There is another point of discussion. The tip is hardly perceived by the employer. In the UK, many restaurants adopt tip payment using a credit card. But in some restaurants, we pay the tip with coins and notes. In such cases, the waiter need not to report how much they got. In other words, they have no incentive to report it correctly. Unreported tips are not subjected to taxation. I wonder how much is the money having not added up to the income, for this reason, is in the US, where approximately the half of a waiter’s income is from the tip.

In Japan, we seldom pay the tip. Some wealthy people are willing to pay additional money to the waiter or other service providers for improved service. But some people dislike their behavior as causing inequality. Officials are prohibited from receiving tips in any occasion. If revealed, they are to be punished. It is evident that officials are servants for not particular citizens but all. However, some specialists, such as medical doctors in a public hospital, tend to have an opportunity to receive a tip. Most hospitals declare the employees must not take any tips. Some patients attempt to give money to them, nonetheless.

Tipping is originated from an expression of thankfulness, I guess. It is difficult to include it in a stable system. A payment system to employees which estimates the amount of the tip is problematic, in my opinion. I never receive a tip, but you can hold it without reporting.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Yose theater and Sanja-matsuri festival in Asakusa

Today, I visited Asakusa Engei Hall to see a Yose [vaudeville theater].

Asakusa Engei Hall (in Japanese)

Engei is one of Japanese traditional culture. It is composed of several kinds of performance such as Rakugo, Manzai, and Daidogei. We can see many engei at a particular theater. Asakusa is one of the popular places to enjoy vaudeville.

Several performers played engei today. "Knights" was the most popular. They are directors of Nippon Manzai Association.

Most of the audience were rather aged. Young people would like to watch TV for enjoying engei rather than visiting Asakusa. Also, engei itself is not so popular to young people.

Perhaps for this reason, many performers selected some themes which are likely to be concerned with senior citizens, such as health, politics, and kids education.

Today, Sanja-matsuri, a Shinto festival was also held in Asakusa.

Sanja-matsuri (in Japanese)

I could see a mikoshi by chance from a restaurant in front of a road.

The main street was crowded. I saw many foreigners visiting there.

This is Kaminari-mon [Thunder Gate], a famous place in Asakusa.

Today was sunny and comfort to walk around. I enjoyed this weekend.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Assisted suicide is legalized in Canada

Recently, the Canadian government has introduced assisted suicide. In this new legislation, people who are seriously suffering from incurable illnesses are allowed to ask the end of their lives with an assistant of medical practitioners.

The Atlantic: Legalizing Assisted Suicide in Canada

Assisted suicide is to make the life of a human terminate artificially by other persons. Therefore, it is difficult to judge its appropriateness. In Canada, the majority of citizens support this law. But there seem emotional oppositions regarding this issue.

In some states in the US and some other countries, assisted suicide has been legalized. In this article, Japan is included in these countries in which assisted suicide is permitted. However, it is not correct, as far as I know. In Japan, making a patients die with some medications is not allowed in clinical practice. There are a couple of trial cases in which medical practitioners assisted a suicide of a patient. In these cases, the court stated that assisted suicide was not deemed as illegal in some particular conditions. However, these verdicts express only some exemption of punishment in cases assisting suicide was performed. No legal or practical procedure to conduct an assisted suicide in Japan.

One of the reasons to support assisted suicide is to maintain the autonomy and dignity of each human. In addition, if assisted suicide is not permitted, patients can rely on illegal or cruel methods to take their life. It is no good for not only the patients but also the whole society. Clarifying the procedure of assisted suicide will be helpful to exclude the cases in which the patient’s life is potentially saved.

On the other hand, some people are worrying about the risk that assisted suicide will be abusively conducted. In general, maintaining the status of a seriously ill patient is costly. It is possible that family, hospital, and government are willing to shorten the life of such patients with encouraging them to take assisted suicide. It is a horrible estimation, but not fantastic.

I support the idea of assisted suicide. However, the indication of assisted suicide should cautiously be treated. Patients’ physical and mental status has to be examined in detail.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sadiq Khan, a Muslim mayor of London

Sadiq Khan won the seat of Mayor of London in last week election. He signed to the role to succeed Boris Johnson.

BBC: Sadiq Khan sworn in as new London mayor

The fact that Khan is a Muslim has several meanings. He is the first Muslim gained the seat of Mayor in Europe. His father was an immigrant from Pakistan. He grew up in a flat for poor residents. Later he became a lawyer to fight for minorities. Since 2005, he had been an MP.

Khan competed with Zac Goldsmith for the Mayor’s position. As a member of Conservative Party, Goldsmith criticized him for a suspicious relationship with Islamic extremists. It resulted in a drawback. He lost supporters even who were rather conservative.

The victory of Khan represents the diversity of the UK. At least many Londoners accepted Muslim in spite of some opinions against immigrants. The referendum about Brexit planned in the next month will be influenced by this result.

Interestingly, this election seems to have an impact on the Presidential election in the US. Donald Trump told that he would prohibit Muslims from entering the US previously. Following the winning of Khan, he said that Kahn would be an exception to his concept.

The New York Times: Donald Trump Says Sadiq Khan, New London Mayor, Could Be Exception to His Muslim Ban

It seems ridiculous. It is impossible that mayors of a world-famous city are inhibited from visiting the US. On the other hand, several candidates will be in a similar position to Kahn in the proximal future. Does Trump declare “an exception” every time for fresh Muslim politicians? Not surprisingly, Kahn expressed a discomfort to Trump’s statement.

NBC News: New London Mayor Sadiq Khan Slams Donald Trump's 'Ignorant' View of Islam

The fact he gathered many Londoners’ support is completely against extremists’ exclusive discipline. I expect Kahn’s administration will have the power to improve the mutual relationship between Muslims and other cultures.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Religion and inequality

Religion is one of the oldest concepts in human history. Major religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam emerged thousands of years ago, and they have infiltrated in our lives in several regions.

Each religion has anecdotes regarding its birth. The context in raising them looks various. But, there is a hypothesis to explain common drive of establishing a religion, according to evolutionary psychologists.

According to Nicolas Baumard, religions were born to force poor people to take a slow lifestyle that wealthy people practice. Thus, rich people tend not to be concerned with material and physical pleasures like meal and sex. It can be a disadvantage in the survival competition. To compensate this character in wealthy people, they invented religion, to spread out their specific lifestyle. It is the reason why many religions encourage abstinence.

Independent: Religion could die out as world's population gets richer, evolutionary scientists claim

If inequality is the engine for developing religions, they will perish when poor people become rich enough to be interested in a slow lifestyle, Baumard claims.

It is a surprising hypothesis, and I hardly believe it, to be honest. It is admirable that major religions emerged in the era of inequality. However, it seems that most of them were originated from the idea that poor people could take over the rich with the bless of God. Jesus Christ was finally executed by the Roman government. In Japan, Tokugawa shogunate seriously oppressed Christian pupils because the concept of Christianity, as an equality of all human in front of the God, was deemed to be a threat to governmental hierarchy. These episodes are paradoxical to Baumard's idea.

On the other hand, it is an interesting question whether an equal and sophisticated society need no religion. This question will never be clarified because both paradise in a religious context and totally equal society are an illusion.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bedbugs like red and black, research suggest

Have you ever seen a bedbug? It is small, but a terrible enemy to human. Once being bitten by a bedbug, you will suffer from serious itching.

Fortunately, we seldom encounter a bedbug in urban areas in Japan. I was attacked in London last year. I had to ask the landlord to change the sofa in the living room to expel the bedbugs. To be honest, it is uncertain I was acctually hit by bedbugs because I could not find them. Anyway, it was a terrible experience.

Recently, a study revealed that bedbugs are fond of staying in some particular colors. According to Corraine McNeill at Union College in New York, the most favorite colors for bedbugs are red and black.

Independent: Bedbugs are attracted to and repelled by certain colours, scientists discover

The researchers conducted a series of visual bioassays in the laboratory. Regardless of their sex or nutritional status, black and red colored harborage tended to be chosen by the bedbugs to stay compared to white color with statistical significance. On the other hand, yellow and green were least likely to attract bedbugs.

Journal of Medical Entomology: Behavioral Responses of Nymph and Adult Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) to Colored Harborages

Red is similar to the surface color of bedbugs, and black is dark. Thus, it seems bedbugs prefer the colors in which they can easily hide their body. This explanation looks persuasive.

Therefore, should you avoid red or black duvet? I do not think so. It is unfeasible to imagine that bedbugs in your bedroom are going to a walk toward neighbor’s red blanket. Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent the damage of bedbugs. And with keeping your duvets clean, its color will do not the matter.

The researchers also admit it. They consider that this finding will be useful for enhancing the strategy to trap bedbugs once established in a mattress, rather avoiding nest-building.

Nonetheless, I will select a green blanket in the next opportunity. It is not so logical but emotional matter.

Monday, May 9, 2016

North Korea declared not to use nuclear weapons unless attacked

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, declared not to use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is infringed by others with nuclear arms.

Reuters: North Korea leader Kim sets five-year economic plan, vows nuclear restraint

North Korea made a party congress after an interval of 36 years. Foreign journalists were hardly permitted to attend the Congress. Therefore, the source of information about what was discussed in the Congress is limited to the national media in North Korea.

After the Congress, Kim made a broadcast report about the national policies for coming five years. According to him, North Korea is willing to contribute to global denuclearization.

His speech looks absurd at a glance, as North Korea had conducted nuclear experiments repeatedly. But his intention is likely to be deeper than expected.

Previously, North Korea made provocative actions to the world. Since this March, the economic sanction of the United Nation against North Korea has been strengthened. Although it is unsure this sanction really inflicted damages to North Korea, it seems to amend diplomatic policy this time.

North Korea said it would not use nuclear weapons unless it were attacked. If this statement is true, the US will lose the reason to continue the sanction against North Korea. Ceasing economic conflict will benefit both North Korea and its partners. Thus, North Korea made a step to improve its international status.

On the other hand, it looks North Korea surrendered to Western nations, especially for Koreans. Kim stated that North Korea would never be defeated by the US and its allies. This amendment of the policy had a risk to be a disgrace for North Korea.

I think One of the reasons Kim performed a Party congress is to explain his intention and to present that this statement he would make does not mean Korea’s surrender. And, fortunately, Kim could grasp the party organization, to success the statement.

So, what should the counterpart do? It is obvious.

We have to welcome North Korea’s statement. No one wants nuclear wars. If North Korea collapses, many uncontrollable refugees many will emerge. Then, not only nations around North Korea, including South Korea, China, and Japan, but also other Western countries will be seriously damaged. Preventing this nightmare should be prioritized. If North Korea gains the profit as a result, it is rather a desirable outcome.

My past entry: How does North Korea earn money and how to stop it

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Aripiprazole causes impulse, FDA says

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a publication warn that aripiprazole, an antipsychotic drug, can cause some kind of impulsiveness.

According to FDA, this impulsiveness represents uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex. These symptoms are rarely observed, but deserve to be covered, as they may result in harm to the patient and others.

FDA: FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns about new impulse-control problems associated with mental health drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada)

The fact aripiprazole can cause compulsive gambling has been recognized so far. However, the FDA considers that other similar maladaptive behaviors should also be listed as an adverse effect of aripiprazole. Patients and caregivers should be notified about these risks in advance of taking aripiprazole.

I wonder why the FDA made a decision to publish this alert at present. Many clinicians know the fact that aripiprazole can drive impulsiveness. It is deeply connected to its cellular function. Aripiprazole has a role of dopamine system stabilizer.

In the patients in which internal dopamine in the brain is excessively released, it blocks dopamine receptors. But if dopamine is exhausted, aripiprazole works as if it is internal dopamine. Therefore, the occupation rate of dopamine receptor in the midbrain is modified to the proper level, theoretically. However, in some patients, the concentration of dopamine receptors is altered for some reasons. In these cases, aripiprazole can stimulate dopamine receptors dramatically. Dopamine is concerned to impulsiveness in human emotion. It is a theoretical explanation of aripiprazole-induced impulsiveness.

In my experience, aripiprazole is an effective option for patients with bipolar disorders, depression, ADHD, autism, as well as schizophrenia. In recent years, it was tried to treat mood symptoms and hallucination in patients with Parkinson’s disease. But this attempt resulted in a failure. Now, the literature suggests it is not recommended. Some patients with Parkinson’s disease become impulsive after taking aripiprazole. It may be because Parkinson’s disease has modified the structure of dopamine receptors in the brain.

Therefore, I think this FDA’s warning is outdated. Of course, clinicians should be aware of this adverse effect. And it will do no more damage the value of aripiprazole as a solution for some patients.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The trap in self-esteem

Self-esteem is one of the most important concepts in psychology. In general, having high self-esteem is deemed as desirable. There are some standardized rating scales to measure the degree of self-esteem. They are often used to examine the effect of an intervention such as a series of psychotherapy or seminar.

However, self-esteem should be cautiously treated. It contains a risk of maladaptation. Kristin Neff, a professor at the University of Texas, warns that pursuing higher self-esteem is often harmful.

The Atlantic: Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem

According to her, there are two main pitfalls in indulgence in self-esteem. The first maltreatment is to compare yourself to others. Feeling superior to other people raise your self-esteem easily. However, it will betray you soon, because you cannot be superior to others in all aspects. As a result, your self-concept will rather be unstable. The second trap is to consider you should be special. You can never accept yourself as an ordinary person. Being unique is a key for successors in some contexts. But feeling that you are special causes a kind of narcissism. In the long run, being arrogant is no good for you. It will get you rid of your friends, reputation, and finally self-confidence.

Neff recommends you to take self-compassion rather than self-esteem. It means to treat yourself as if one of your friends is inside you. When you fails, you have to touch you with kind and compassionate messages. You should admit humans are imperfect and often fail.

Her suggestion makes sense. In the modern world, especially in Western countries, people are told to be independent, wise, responsible, and unique. They are indeed important factors to be successful. However, it is never guaranteed that everyone will be successful. Rather, most people will suffer from incompleteness in themselves. In this case, someone has to loosen your pressure temporally.

Actually, people with quite a high self-esteem never be struck by a failure. Even if they see others who are superior to them, they never feel themselves miserable. Established self-esteem is not originated from comparison with others. In real, however, many people misunderstand this concept, to be willing to compare with others for better self-esteem.

I think the recipe for people with the curse of self-esteem is simple. Do not compare to others, but watch yourself.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Five risk scenarios for humanity

Can you imagine the end of the world? Apparent from cinema and Sci-Fi novels, there are some possibilities to ruin the world.

Hannah Osborne referred a total of five risk scenarios to destroy the modern civilization. They are climate change, nuclear war, natural pandemics, exogenous risks, and emerging risks. In her definition, asteroids striking the planet is categorized to exogenous risks, and artificial intelligence is classified to emerging risks.

International Business Times: Apocalypse soon? Five most catastrophic risks to humanity identified

According to the internet vote, nuclear war is believed by the largest group of readers, followed by climate change.

This article was posted in April 2016. Concurrently, North Korea which was enthusiastic to conduct missile experiments was focused. It is suspected not a few voters were influenced by the news. Nonetheless, nuclear weapons have been a big threat to the international peace.

However, it is unlikely nuclear war will ruin the world completely. There are only some nations possessing nuclear weapons. Throwing nuclear missiles into a country which has no power to retaliate is meaningless. It will attenuate not only armies but also other constructive facilities. As a result, even if huge nations perish, rather small countries will survive.

Climate change is fearful, but its influence will grow slowly. In a longitudinal perspective, a human can adapt to amended climate.

In my opinion, emerging risks are to be treated the most cautiously. Some researchers have made a warning about the risk for artificial intelligence to be out of control. IT is spread to most regions of the world. It means one erroneous deal will cause a global disaster.

My past entry: Will Artificial Intelligence overwhelm human being?

My past entry: Age of Ultron, a potential future

To avoid critical failures, it is essential to diversify the risks. It is good for us that Microsoft and Apple are competing. Analog records will be necessary also in the future, in spite of its inconvenience.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Trump is the last Republican nominee for President

The Presidential race in the US has approached a turning point.

Ted Cruz suspended the campaign for President, following Donald Trump’s historic victory in the Indiana state. Cruz had been considered as the strongest competitor for Trump.

The New York Times: Ted Cruz Suspends His Campaign for President

Furthermore, John Kasich was also said to abandon the race. It means that Donald Trump will be the last Republican candidate for the president.

Los Angeles Times: John Kasich to end his campaign, leaving Donald Trump as sole Republican in race

This situation is quite controversial for supporters of the Republican Party. Even though Trump is popular to many citizens, not a few members of GOP dislike him. The only option for them is to vote for Hillary Clinton, supporting the opposing Democratic Party. Another choice is to support a third-party candidate, but it will bring almost the same result because Clinton will win in this case. Some supporters seriously believe that Clinton will be more desirable than Trump, who will be out of control.

The Washington Post: Anti-Trump Republicans confront a dilemma: Are they ready to help elect Clinton?

Of course, Trump is calling for unity to Republicans. But it seems not easy. Conservative Republicans, especially intelligentsia, have not been on the side of Trump. It is possible that they will feel sympathetic to Clinton rather than Trump. There is a risk that Republican Party itself will be split.

The Atlantic: The Day the Republican Party Died

Then, it is predictable that Clinton will attempt to attract Republicans to enclose their votes. Perhaps she will modify the statements slightly closing to the side of Republican Party. This strategy has a risk that Bernie Sanders will gain more support of Democrats. As it is highly likely that Clinton will finally win the nominee of Democratic Party, however, she will not hesitate to approach Republicans.

It is unsure who will grab the seat of President. If Clinton wins with many votes of Republicans, two-party system in the US itself will be challenged.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Italy case acquitted for poverty after stealing food

Italy’s highest court acquitted a homeless man who stole cheese and sausages in a supermarket.

Firstly, he was sentenced to six months in prison and fine of 100 Euro. But after the appeal, the Supreme Court determined that his act was conducted based on an essential need for nourishment.

Independent: Italian court rules stealing food if you are poor and hungry is not a crime

This judgment was broadly reported with the title “stealing food if you are poor and hungry is not a crime” by the media. The opinions against this decision seem split. Some people say that everyone in a civilized country should not starve. Others suggest it took multiple rounds in the courts to make a sentence to such a tiny crime.

The BBC: Italian court rules food theft 'not a crime' if hungry

I think that the Italy Court has never defined that theft conducted by a poor person as innocent. Each case will be discussed whether the defendant could have avoided from stealing. You should not consider all poor people are permitted to steal food in the market based on this verdict.

In general, punishment is to be given for the purpose of stopping further crimes caused by the criminal or other people. Based on this concept, it is no use to incarcerate this person, because he must recommit a theft when he is free. In addition, incarceration of a person needs more money than feed him directly. In the economic point of view, minor offenses are likely not to deserve to incarceration.

On the other hand, it is obvious that this decision is no more solutions for poor people who can hardly gain daily food. The court can only resolve the conflicts which have already emerged. Welfare systems should be enhanced to prevent similar cases.

After all, I reckon this case means a caution from the court to the government suggesting its poor welfare policy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Craig Wright again about the inventor of Bitcoin

Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, declared that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, again.

Previously, he suggested that he invented Bitcoin. But his declaration was not believed. He was not the first person who named Satoshi. At last, Wright was not identified as Satoshi at that time.

My past entry: Craig Wright is the creator of bitcoin?

This time, Wright suggested some newly evidence to prove that he is Satoshi. He submitted the digital signature used in the first transaction of Bitcoin. Some people deeply concerned to Bitcoin, including Gavin Andresen, supported his comment.

BBC: Australian Craig Wright claims to be Bitcoin creator

Wright explained that the reason he admitted to being Satoshi was to avoid further rumors potentially harmful to himself. Indeed, he had been investigated by several persons who were just curious about his career. He said that he wanted to get rid of negative emotion against him.

However, Gavin Andresen’s blog in which Wright’s comment was approved, was suspected to be hacked. The signature in Bitcoin transaction Wright submitted seems meaningless, according to a specialists’ community. Now, Andresen is ignored by the core members of Bitcoin community. It remains unsure Andresen was deceived, or he did some tricks.

Reddit.com: Craig Wright's signature is worthless

This argument made the price of Bitcoin lowered. If Wright is truly Satoshi, one billion of Bitcoin he possesses should be focused. When he drops it, the Bitcoin market will collapse. If Wright is continuously making a lie, it will become uncertain that Bitcoin community itself deserves to be trustworthy.

More or less, the founder of a new value has a decisive influence, even if the person did not want to do so. After getting independent from the founder, Bitcoin will be unique.


Monday, May 2, 2016

How does North Korea earn money and how to stop it

North Korea has been a threat in Asia for a couple of decades. Recently, it declared the successful experiment of the hydrogen bomb. The US, South Korea, and Japan always have to keep an eye on the movement of North Korea.

My past entry: North Korea declared successful hydrogen bomb experiment

On the other hand, it seems North Korea’s economy is almost broken. Recently, I watched the news that soldiers in North Korea were willing to exchange toothpowder provided by the government for fish got by local fishermen. Agriculture in the North is also unsuccessful because it does not have the modern knowledge to maximize the harvest.

How does the government earn the money to develop its army and research weaponry?

I found one article to answer my question. The author does not know the exact situation of the North Korean economy as it has not revealed the official statistics. But, some ways to earn hard currency in North Korea were introduced in this article.

Voice of America: How Impoverished but Nuclear-Armed North Korea Earns Money

It is obvious that the greatest partner of North Korea is China. Approximately 74% of the international transaction in North Korea targets China. Recently, China stated to start sanction to North Korea with restricting the export. It will be striking on North Korea.

My past entry: China participates in the sanction against North Korea

However, North Korea has been not so willing to make a trade with foreign countries. Some say the influence of restrictive transaction is limited.

Also, North Korea is focusing on the promotion of tourism. It developed special tourism zones to lure foreign travelers. I have heard some influential persons invited to North Korea, to believe its fallacious comments about the current situation. The US and other countries are warning not to visit North Korea. I cannot believe either tourism business or promote international reputation in North Korea will be successful.

Therefore, the last resort for North Korea to earn foreign currency is exporting workers. It is said up to 100,000 North Koreans are working overseas. Also in Japan, some North Korean people are considered to be working, mostly maybe illegally.

However, it is not certain that they will contribute to the government continuously. Although some may have loyalty to the government, I guess many are abandoning North Korea. They see the foreign culture and communicate with local people. Their experience will change their mind more or less.

Therefore, what we should do to weaken North Korea is to welcome such people, instead of discriminating them.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pixabay, a media storage of public domain

As a blogger, I need at least one picture every day to put on the top of each entry. Entry without pics looks not attractive.

However, I am not good at taking a photo. I have had no cameras in my life. I have no knowledge about the photograph. Image retouching is also beyond my skills.

Then, I often use license-free photos. There are some websites which on which enormous images are uploaded. I see Photo-AC and Ashinari the most frequently.

Recently, I found Pixabay. It is said to stock over 80 thousand of images. All of them are public domain. It means that you can use the pictures on this site without any permission, regardless for business or private. Pixabay also deals with movie files.

In addition, Pixabay is collecting new images provided by photographers. These photos will be published with creative commons license policy. As a general principle, you can use these pictures without any restrictions as well.

Contributors who have uploaded ten images can use Pixabay without seeing the advertisement. I tried to offer some my photos. However, all of them were rejected by the judges. They said my images did not meet the criteria. Indeed, images on Pixabay are all far more beautiful than mine.

Photography Training and Image Quality Standards

It was disappointing for me not to have got my photos approved. Taking photos is a profound skill.