Monday, November 20, 2017

The relationship between schizophrenia and autism

I mentioned that I attended an academic conference last weekend. At the stage, I saw some representative researchers presenting novel finding regarding psychiatry.


One of the things which attracted my attention was an attempt to distinguish autism from schizophrenia. These mental disorders are frequently misdiagnosed. Furthermore, not a few psychiatrists still believe these are the same disorder.

Autism was founded by Kanner in 1943. It is believed to be originated from subtle brain damage before the birth. Thus, patients with autism must present psychopathology in their childhood. In contrast, schizophrenia usually emerges at their adolescent. Recent studies claim there is a prodromal state for years before the definitive onset. Nonetheless, the idea that schizophrenia is a congenital disease is not supported by most psychiatrists.

The presenter was an AI researcher. And he reviewed massive brain images of the patients either schizophrenic, autistic, or normally developed control. He believed there were some mechanical differences found in brain MRI images between schizophrenia and autism.

Not surprisingly, his first study resulted in a complete failure. Interpersonal, and interinstitutional, differences were more magnificent than difference among diseases in the human brain images.

However, he never abandoned. He improved the algorithm of the image reading AI to eliminate such artifacts. After all, he could show three clusters on a two-dimensional graph. Thus, schizophrenic tendency and autistic tendency are distinguishable to some extent.

At least, he proved that these two mental disorders are different, albeit sharing some abnormalities, from the point of brain anatomy. It is a remarkable work, in my opinion.

Psychiatry has many rooms for further research. It is why it fascinates me.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Kurobe Kyokoku

I visited Toyama prefecture for attending an academic conference last weekend. After participating it, I visited Kurobe Kyokoku.


I planned to walk through Alpen Route which is a famous highland in Toyama prefecture. But the bus was out of service due to heavy snow. Therefore I visited Kurobe Kyokoku instead.


It snowed for the first time this year according to a tour guide.


I rode a trolley from Unazuki onsen for more than one hour. The scene was fantastic.


It was very cold. The view was cover with full of snow.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The price of iPhone X revealed

iPhone X deserves only 357.5 USD while it is sold for 999 USD, according to recent reports.

International Business Times: True cost of the iPhone X revealed

Soon after launching of a new model of iPhone, some experts are eager to calculate the material cost of the new product. According to them, the seller's margin of iPhone X is higher than that of iPhone 8 by about 25%.


But it is not surprising. It is usually seen that luxury goods cost more than its true value. One of the reasons is advertisement fee, and another is investment paid by the developer.

Most providers reduce the price of a gaming console as low as possible. The initial price of PlayStation series was said to lower than its material cost. It is because providers have to make their products spread to many users for selling software afterward. In contrast, iPhone is already common. Although iPhone is recognized as a gaming device by many users, Apple has no need to discount it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Forced naked walk

This is another scandal in which a woman coercively did a sexual service in high society.


The unidentified brunette strutted down the isle of a call centre in Warsaw, Poland, with suited salesmen line up on either side of the office cheering her on.

An unidentified woman was forced to walk without any clothes at an office building in Warsaw, Poland. Her performance was observed by many salespersons wearing a business suit.

This female Polish employee was rewarded for her act, according to the media. And the purpose was to elevate the morale of salespersons.

International Business Times: Female employee forced to parade naked in office to boost morale of salesmen in Wolf of Wall Street-style stunt

After the video of the scene became spread through social media, this woman quitted the job.

Several opinions are possible to judge this event. Some claim it was conducted based on her own will. But others guess some kind of coercion might work to persuade her to such a shameful task.

In my opinion, the decision maker is quite stupid for his idea that a strip show could raise the motivation of salespersons. Indeed, some men are fond of seeing a strip show. They can enjoy it in some particular spaces. However, even professional strippers do not allow viewers to record their performance to broadcast it on the social media.

I am not a strict feminist. But, seeing such news, I have to consider there is still widespread discrimination against women's right and dignity on business field.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Korean nurses are forced to perform sexy dance

A Korean hospital is under fire scandal for its outdated performance.


In the Sacred Heart Hospital of Hallym University, several nurses were forced to make a dance wearing a seductive costume in front of many officials. They were requested to make a sexy face while performing, according to a whistleblower.

International Business Times: 'Humiliated' nurses forced to perform erotic dance for top officials by South Korea hospital

After a series of video footage was uploaded to Facebook, broad criticism emerged on the governance of the hospital. Korean Nurses Association called for an investigation into the hospital. And the Ministry of Employment and Labor confirmed an inquiry. It is possible responsible persons are summoned to the court.

I do not believe this kind of humiliating customs is usually conducted in South Korea. On the other hand, also in Japan, similar events were often performed until late 20th century. I myself have never met such an event, fortunately. It is obviously outdated and reminding gender inequality.

I do not care about some ladies fond of performing sexy dance. But once forced, it is nothing than violation of the human right.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The end of Macbook

I bought a MacBook last year, as I mentioned in this blog. It was very cute and fascinating.

My past entry: MacBook early 2016 has come
My past entry: Second impression on MacBook 2016 model

However, it became bad recently. Now, I am seriously considering to drop it.


A few months ago, I encountered a trouble with battery charging. It occurred in a foreign country. Therefore, It was very annoying to fix it. Finally, SMC reset resolved the problem.

My past entry: Mac battery charge troubled

Today, similar trouble began again. I inputted the command of SMC reset (Control+Shift+Option+Powe switch) repeatedly. But it took a long time before the system recovered. Even now, battery charging temporarily stops at random.

At the same time, the luminance of the display changes autonomously with a very rapid interval. I disabled the option of the automatic modification of the luminance. But it did not work. Perhaps, the machine misrecognized as the power supply is unstable.

Furthermore, the mouse pointer disappears all at sudden on the Windows. Windows on Bootcamp had been properly working so far. But now, it attempts to update the system coercively despite the fact of the exhausting battery.

These troubles occurred at the same time this week. Of course, I lose some documents I was writing when the trouble emerged.

Enough is enough. This Mac is no more reliable as a business tool.

It is truly disappointing the Mac became crippled only one year after purchasing. Although I loved this device, I should decide to scrap it and replace it with another machine.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Psychopathology of mass murderers

Every day, mass murder cases occur in the US, according to the media, although most of them were not reported. From the sense of ordinary people, such criminals look insane. In reality, however, only one-fourth of mass murderers are diagnosed as psychotic or other severe mental disorders.

Independent: Are mass murderers always insane? Researchers don't think so

The prevalence rate of schizophrenia, a representative psychotic disorder, is approximately one percent. Statistics about mood disorders is under broad discussion. Some researchers claim soft bipolar spectrum is seen in one person in every ten. Nonetheless, the vast majority of citizens have no particular mental disorders.


Dr. Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University, showed the data of 350 mass murderers. Among them, two-thirds of subjects had no severe mental disorders, while 22 percent had psychoses. Others are categorized to mood disorders or other psychiatric dysfunction.

This proportion seems reliable for my knowledge and experience. The majority of mass murderers are not psychotic. In contrast, patients with serious psychotic symptoms are often difficult to conduct deadly crimes.

On the other hand, many mass murderers have biased thought, distorted cognition, or difficulty of regulating their emotion. Such phenomena can be called as psychiatric symptoms. But, it is another issue whether they should be treated as mentally disordered. Anders Behring Breivik who committed a mass shooting in Norway was suspected of delusional disorder for his extreme ideology. But this possibility was denied by psychiatric examination. And Breivik himself did not want to be treated like a delusional disorder.

The broad definition of mental disorder makes this issue complicated. DSM-5, the newest diagnostic manual includes antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, and kleptomania. Many psychiatrists are doubtful for these disorders to be treated as a psychiatric disease. Indeed, the majority of all criminals matches the criteria for antisocial personality disorder, since they have broken the law.

In my sense, it is good that only severe mental disorders are discussed in this context. Different from personality trait, they are well known among psychiatrists as mental disorders which are treatable. We should be deliberate to discuss other diagnoses than them in the context of the cause of the crime and criminal responsibility of the suspect.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Grim Reaper, a simple game of worker placement

Last weekend, I enjoyed an analog game convention in Tokyo. I played many board games and card games there. Any of them were very good.


Among them, "Grim Reaper," which I brought to the event, was splendid.

Amazon.co.jp: Grim Reaper (in Japanese)

Grim Reaper was originally developed as "Langfinger." It was a simple board game of worker placement. The players play a role of the boss of a thieves guild. You send a thief to an art gallery to gain some artifacts. Robbing an artifact requires some tools such as lockpick and hummer. You can get them at a blackmarket. After getting artifacts, you carry them to a port for manetizing them. The victory depends on the continuous and effective management of workers.

Board Game Geek: Langfinger

In Grim Reaper, you are a wizard with some strong magic spells to defeat grim reaper and other monsters. Spells are available in a magician's academy. You hunt fallen angels, demons, and other monsters with your spells, to get treasures for sending to the king's castle.

Thus, Grim Reaper shares most of the rules with the original Langfinger. However, there are some other places for visiting added in each game. You may get grand magic scrolls, or simply earn some golds there. Which place appears is randomly determined in each game. Therefore, you can play it repeatedly.

Grim Reaper is relatively for beginners. It takes only 30 minutes for a play. The rule is simple but it demands you a tactical thinking. I love it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

My first home VR

I bought a head-mount display.


A smartphone can be attached to this display. I can 3D virtual reality movies through it.

The structure of the display is very simple. VR movies are recorded with two screens each of them corresponds to the right and the left eye. The two images are combined with the display into dynamic vision. 3D movies can be recorded easily with newly developed smartphones.

I was surprised to watch some movies such as Star Wars and roller coaster.

Star Wars: Hunting the fallen

VR Roller Coaster - Best 3D SBS VR Roller Coaster for Google Cardboard

In VR vision, you can turn your eyes vertically and horizontally. According to your move, the vision will tremor.

An ordinal smartphone and an attachment which cost only 20 USD  can make such a vivid VR. It is fantastic. In contrast, providers of expensive VR gadgets such as PlayStation VR will suffer from the difficulty to gain the share of consumers.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Two finger test still alive in India

Rape is the evilest crime, I believe. It damages not only victim's body but also their dignity seriously. Victims often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder which long continues to restrict their joyful life.

In some countries, rape very frequently occurs. India is one of such nations to be mentioned.

And it is shocking that Indian doctors sometimes take a "two-finger test" to the victim. With this terrible method, the examiner inserts two fingers into the woman's vagina to investigate the state of her hymen and relevant tissues.


To be honest, I have not heard the name of this test. And, without any learning, I notice this test is never scientifically valid. Furthermore, such a way may cause trauma to the examinee. Especially, rape survivors sense this investigation as invasive and discriminative, I believe. It is nothing other than "second rape."

International Business Times: Indian doctors still use banned 'two-finger test' to check if rape survivors are lying

The Indian government has banned the implementation of the two-finger test. But there are many doctors still conducting this test, according to the article above.

In Japan, I believe rape victims are treated sincerely. But, care for crime victims is not adequately adapted also in Japan. Most victims become exhausted by the investigation by the police for a long time. Some people blame the victims as if victimization is a fault of the victims themselves. Compensation scheme for victimization is not enough established. I have some opportunities to treat offenders rather than victims. But there are much needs for victim treatment.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Dogs are trying to communicate with us

In a recent study, the possibility that dogs showed facial expression to the human.

Independent: Dogs are trying to communicate with us, even if we don't know it, new study suggests

In this study, researchers examine how the dogs react when a person looks at them. They showed particular emotions with making faces. Their actions were different from those when they find foods.


I am not familiar with this academic region. And I have not read the original article. Therefore, I cannot evaluate the validity of this hypothesis that dogs have facial expressions to tell their emotion to human. But, it is not surprising if they do, I think. Dogs are sharing several genes with humans. Also, I often sense some cats expressing their emotions according to each situation.

It is another issue whether dogs have each emotion we always feel. It is known some mammals play games with their friends. Also, apes are said to have the sense of equality. It seems that animals have emotions of joyfulness for entertainment and rage when being discriminated. They are quite human-like emotions.

On the other hand, how much are we understand their emotions? If we can share some emotions with dogs, new technologies will enable us to bridge each thought in the future.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

One year of President Trump

One year has passed since Donald Trump grabbed the throne of the US President. This year may be a nightmare for some people not only in the US but also all of the world.

Some major media say he has not achieved any remarkable performance in this year. Previously, Trump promised "America First" to attract voters' affirmation. He planned radical change of conventional schemes to make the US great again. However, most of his ideas have not been realized. The cancellation of Obamacare and drastic reform of tax legislation are still under discussion in the Congress.

Independent: 2,470 tweets and 0 major legislative achievements: A year of Trump in numbers

However, there has passed only one year. Trump will continue to struggle for his ideology. In my opinion, it is too early to judge Trump administration is a failure.

Nonetheless, I do not support Trump, and I do not expect he will lead the US towards the better place. Many people are sharing this idea, waiting for the next Presidential vote with endurance. While the poorness of the US is having chosen Trump, the greatness of the US is that several alternatives will rise when Trump falls.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bitcoin is independent but not independent

Recently, the price of Bitcoin is extremely fragile. Its value touched ten thousand USD momentarily. The rumor of Segwit2 hard fork may influence the rising of its price. But it is uncertain this hard fork will be beneficial for miners and users.


Personal finance such as Bitcoin or other solutions for saving money without interventions of the government will benefit much to citizens in some countries. They always feel fearful of the government which develops restriction scheme of bank money. As well, the risk of hyper-inflation makes them anxious to protect their estate. Bitcoin is at least invulnerable to the interference of any government because of the absence of the central controller. For whom distrusting domestic currency, Bitcoin is equal to an omnipotent estate.

However, governments can intervene Bitcoin's value in another way. Some month ago, the Chinese government began to prohibit the way of gathering money using cryptocurrency. The decision smashed the price of Bitcoin immediately. Although Chinese were dominant as Bitcoin dealer until some years ago, it has been shifted to Japnese. It is because the Chinese government restricted the deal of cryptocurrency. Japan has now established relatively tolerant regulation of Bitcoin dealing.

Mentioned above, even if Bitcoin is an uncentralized scheme, its value is influenced by the situations conducted by each nation. It is an issue of the market. We cannot become completely independent of our country because we are human.

I prospect Bitcoin will survive for years. But it will not solve many problems in our society so easily.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Do not make an apology

In my sense, many Japanese people do not understand the meaning of the apology.


An apology is an act when you admit your fault. It means that you recognize your act should be corrected. Thus, you should not make an apology unless you believe your act was improper or mistaken.

There are many people who make an apology too easily. In many cases, they do not believe their act was wrong. Instead, they sense the atmosphere is against them. Then they make an apology to terminate this situation as quick as possible. It is no use to solute the true issue.

On the other hand, many Japanese demand an apology to persons who made an error. I cannot understand their idea. Making an apology is meaningless unless the person properly understand cause and effect of the error. I do not need superficial apology of any person. Important is to fix the problem, not an apology.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Trump visit Japan

Donald Trump, the President of the US, arrived at Japan last weekend to meet Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan. He is in the process of two weeks trip in Asia.

CNN Politics: Trump arrives in Japan, first in five-country Asian tour

Although Obama ate Sushi in Tokyo, Trump seems to dislike Japanese cuisine. Trump requested Japan to play golf with Abe. In the last meeting, the two leaders enjoyed together the golf course in the US. Trump might feel this experience joyful.


After the meeting, Abe declared to strengthen the sanction to North Korea. He mentioned the plan to freeze the estates of relevant organizations in Japan.

It is relatively aggressive policy considering the previous attitude of Japan to North Korea. It is obvious Abe was influenced by Trump. On the other hand, there are almost no merits to behave unfriendly to Trump at present. This result may be prospected by the government.

Trump is going to meet Putin in Russia. Perhaps, this meeting is the most interesting event for Trump during this journey. Anyway, I hope he will return to the US without any accidents.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars in Marvel

I saw Thor: Ragnarok on cinema.


Thor: Ragnarok is the third film of Thor series. At last in the previous one, "Thor: The Dark World," Loki, the younger brother of Thor, mimicked Odin, father of Thor. I guessed Loki killed or kidnaped Odin to impersonate him. My prospect was correct.

Thor saw a prophetic dream of Ragnarok in which the world is destroyed. And he noticed Loki's incognito. Odin was concealed in a facility on the earth by Loki.

Guided by Dr. Strange, Thor and Loki met Odin again. But soon, Odin died, and his first child, Hela the Goddess of Death, revived to eradicate all of the worlds.

Thor and Loki fought against Hela. But she was too strong to be defeated. Thor got lost the way to return to Asgard. He was sent to a strange planet, to be captured by an ex-valkyrie. And he is forced to make a battle in the Colosseum.

The storyline is not so interesting. The rise of Hela and the death of Odin are not so persuasive. The reason Hela acts so aggressive and has deadly power is not adequately explained.

On the other hand, the relationship between Thor and Loki is well described. Loki often acts haphazardly. He is a bit arrogant and hostile to Thor. He is always jealous to Thor. In reality, he feels sorrow and suffering from the inferiority complex. He needs someone respects him to compensate his agony.

The scenes are obviously influenced by Star Wars series. Not only the scenes of battleship chase, but also the battle royale itself reminded me the pod race in Star Wars: Phantom Menace.

In this film, many scenes are optimized to be enjoyed with 4D function. Especially the scene of interstellar travel was fantastic. I strongly recommend you to buy a ticket of MX4D.

Personal Rating: 3 (fair)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Calorie consumption in sports

Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your health. It benefits not only your physical ability but also mental status.


But there are many programs of exercise from running to physical sports. You have to choose some menus according to your need and favor.

In the aspect of calorie consumption, running with rapid speed is the most favorable. It costs 861 calories for women and 1,074 calories for men when running at 13kms per hour. According to the article below, swimming is better than tennis or basketball for the purpose of burning fat.

Executive Style: 10 of the best exercises to burn the most calories in an hour

However, it is unclear whether this calculation is based on the activity by inexperienced people. I have heard that a professional basket player consume energy as double as an amateur while playing the game. In contrast, I guess calorie consumption in the running is not so different between athletes and ordinary people.

There are some ways to rapid calorie consumption invented recently, such as Tabata method. These modern strategies are far advantageous than conventional sports.

Wikipedia: High-intensity interval training

Therefore, you can choose the most joyful sports for your daily activity.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Snoring is dangerous also in children

In a recent medical report, it is said that children who frequently snore are likely to show low IQ.

International Business Times: Children who snore may have lower IQs

It is a shocking report. But the etiology is not so complicated. People snore when their airway is obstructed. Such condition is burdening not only for the circular system but also the brain.


In the adult, sleep apnea syndrome is a common but underrecognized disease.  They tend to snore, stop breathing a while during sleeping. Sleep apnea syndrome can cause hypertension and lowered concentration in daily activity. The situation is the same in children.

Now it is to be considered when snoring children should take treatment. In the childhood, the body shape is rapidly changing. Day by day, their body is growing. Medication, operational intervention, and mechanical support may not be necessary for all child patients. On the other hand, longitudinal effects of sleep apnea are obvious. Pediatrists should be aware of the sleep status of children visiting the clinic even if they and their parents never spontaneously mentioned it.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Drunk vehicles were banned from Amsterdam

The judge in Amsterdam ruled to exile beer bikes, vehicles offering alcohol to customers, from the city.

International Business Times: Amsterdam introduces beer bike ban after residents complain about drunk tourists

Beer bike had been a symbol of Amsterdam. Many people including tourists enjoyed drinking on the bike. However, some tourists’ rude behaviors were focused on citizens. Loud voice, chaotic trample, and even urination in public by drunk people annoyed citizens. At last, the judge accepts the request of banning beer bikes submitted by thousands of citizens.


Amsterdam has encouraged to invite foreign tourists. Its attempt is successful, but the rapid increase of tourists brought adverse effects. In recent years, the city is struggling to control entry of tourists rather than welcoming them.

Since I do not drink, I have no idea of beer bike. I wonder the banning of beer bike could reduce the nuisance of the city. Few tourists will abandon drinking due to lack of beer bike. On the other hand, outdoor drinking space would make us bold.

The conflict between citizens and tourists is more serious. It is an essential issue named as “innocent tourist.” More or less, we make troubles while traveling. Citizens have to endure some rude behaviors by foreign tourists in exchange for public income.

Of course, every citizen has the right to enjoy their calm life, though. I believe the decision by citizens' request is acceptable.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

200 people killed in North Korea by accident followed by a nuclear experiment

In North Korea, a magnificent collapse of a mine occurred, according to the media. Due to this incident, at least 200 people seemed to have been victimized.

The Telegraph: Collapse at North Korea nuclear test site 'leaves 200 dead'

The collapsed tunnel was near to the place where North Korea conducted a nuclear experiment recently. Although the exact date and time this collapse occurred were yet to be cleared, it is likely that the experiment brought the collapse directly or indirectly.


It is a tragedy that over 200 people were killed by accident. I pray for the victims.

On the other hand, it is interesting whether North Korea had predicted the possibility of this accident before the experiment. If not, it should be mentioned that North Korea's knowledge and technology to deal with nuclear reaction are limited. Thus, similar incidents are likely to recur as far as North Korea continues nuclear experiments.

By the way, I am curious about the source of the news. The Telegraph says that North Korean told it to Asahi TV. Asahi TV is Japanese media whose ideology is left-winged. It is possible that Asahi TV has ways to access sensitive information in North Korean. I do not believe leaders in North Korea dared to reveal the figure of this accident to foreign media.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sequels in October 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Greatest typhoon struck Japan

Japan was struck by another typhoon. Year by year, several events are going to occur due to recent climate change. We should prepare ourselves for disasters.


Monday, October 23, 2017
General election in Japan 2017

Following the result of the election, some politicians were forced to move. Seiji Maebara, the ex-leader of Democratic Party of Japan, decided to quit the boss of the party. In contrast, Yuriko Koike refused to resign the top of Party of Hope although it was critically defeated.


Friday, October 20, 2017
Is it possible for Catalonia to become independent?
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
The independence of Catalonia

Catalonia officially declared the independence from Spain. But, Spanish government did not accept it. Now, the situation is very chaotic. I am afraid a civil war would occur.


Thursday, October 5, 2017
Tillerson says Trump moron?

Tillerson is now rumored to be going soon to leave the headquarter of Trump administration. Tillerson himself denied the possibility of resignation. But, it seems difficult to recover the relationship between Tillerson and Trump.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Dublin for the first time

The last weekend, I visited Dublin. Dublin is the capital of Ireland. Ireland is a small country located west to England.


I reached Dublin through Helsinki. It was very cold though in the airport terminal.


The sight of Dublin city looked like London at a glance. Double Decker buses are available. But Dublin was much smaller than London.


I saw some trains running on the road. Unfortunately, I had no opportunity to use one.


There was a beautiful lake in front of the hotel I stayed.


Leaves had gone to yellow.


I visited some restaurants during the stay. Verizon was delicious.


Dublin was a tiny city but people looked happy. It was a precious experience for me.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Butter insufficiency

Recently, it seems butter went short in Europe.

International Business Times: Blame the croissant: France hit by butter shortage

Butter and milk are essential sources of European cuisine. Their cost may have a crucial impact on citizens' life.


Also in Japan, the price of butter was repeatedly raised in recent years. Its cause is insufficient producing of milk, according to the companies. On the other hand, companies tend not to maintain the production of butter so enthusiastically because its added value is not so high.

A stable supply of commodities is influential to our daily living. But it is unsure how the government is involved in this modification.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

JFK documents publicized

Very recently, the US government publicized many documents relevant to the assassination of John F Kennedy.


They included memorandums written by CIA and FBI. Most of them had been concealed from the public for security reasons.

The Guardian: JFK documents: what we have learned so far

The publicized documents told us many things. However, some documents remain secret since Donald Trump has accepted CIA and FBI's request not to make them published.

In my opinion, the US policy in which official documents should be publicized several decades after they are made is admirable. It is historians' responsibility to evaluate the decision making of the contemporary government. The government can never accomplish it. Though it is unfortunate that not all documents have been publicized, the US will learn many things from the past through academic discussion.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fertility doctor used his sperm to make patients pregnant

It is astonishing news. A doctor in a fertility clinic was revealed to have used his own sperm to get his clients become pregnant.


As a result, at least 20 kids were born sharing genes with the doctor. On the other hand, he told that he donated his own sperm around 50 times for decades to help women get pregnant.

International Business Times: Fertility doctor who secretly used his sperm to impregnate dozens of women to plead guilty

The State of Indiana has no legislation for punishing his acts. But he will be deprived of his physician license.

I can hardly imagine his motivation to have done such unethical things repeatedly. He may not be a sex offender. But he perhaps lacks basic thoughts of medical ethics. His acts are not easily compensated for clients and their children.

Fertility treatment is a relatively new-born region of medicine. There are many issues to be sophisticated for better outcome and happiness of relevant people. Strict management of donated sperm is one of the challenges.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Children of same-sex couple perform as well

Researchers of child psychiatry examine the performance of children in several environments. Some are better than others in spite of the same gene. Most of the degree in cognitive function is genetically determined, but there are some rooms to be improved by several ways of training.

It is often said that children longitudinally exposed to an abuse and domestic violence are likely to become impaired in cognitive function. They mark inferior to other boys and girls. Some researchers claim the possibility that physical and psychological abuse can bring the onset of bipolar disorder.

As well, children in a divorced family are often deemed to be in a tough environment. But, the evidence is scarce to prove that divorce of the parents makes their children dull.


Then, how are the children of the same sex parents? A recent research has denied the difference in some domains of their lives. The researchers gathered several studies for three decades. They concluded that children of the same sex couple were as well as other children emotionally, socially, and educationally, as a result of the investigation of a total of 79 studies.

The Guardian: Children raised by same-sex parents do as well as their peers, study shows

It is a hopeful finding. But it is possible that there is a selection bias to draw this conclusion. Even if the research protocol is valid and fair, editors of most academic journals seem not to accept an article claiming children of a same-sex couple is inferior to others because this idea is potentially discriminating.

I believe children of a same-sex parent perform equally as other children if they are grown up in a proper environment. But it is not easy to prove this simple issue.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Trump chooses the border wall

A total of eight prototypes of the wall was placed in San Diego.


These walls were invented as a candidate of the border wall between Mexico and the US which was planned by Donald Trump. Each of them equips protection against digging and overridden. Trump is expected to choose the strongest one.

International Business Times: What the 8 prototypes of Trump's US-Mexico border wall look like and how much they cost

Each wall will cost hundreds-thousand USD. Trump is said to want to build a see-through wall so that the border guard easily can detect illegal intruders.

Seeing the picture of placed walls, I hardly resisted against laughing at Trump's idea. It seems nothing other than a joke. First of all, he should have looked through the pictures of the wall before choosing one. Second, clarifying the process of choosing candidates into public makes the border wall vulnerable to organizational criminals. And third, this idea to protect the US land from Mexico with such a pitty wall itself is absurd.

It is quite unlikely that Trump's wall will last for centuries like Great Wall in China.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Greatest typhoon struck Japan

Yesterday, a typhoon which had a historic record in its magnitude struck Japan.


The typhoon, called as No. 21, was observed to possess an extremely strong power. Its terrible figure was reported also in some foreign media.

Mashable Asia: The strongest storm on Earth right now is heading for Japan

The government made a repeated warning about this monster. Fortunately, there have few reports of victimization due to this super-typhoon. Nonetheless, at least five people were killed by this disaster.

Japan is likely to be struck by natural disasters. In recent years, perhaps thanks to the global warming, we often see new records of the amplitude of symptomatic weather such as temperature, snow, and typhoon. We should prepare for them.

Monday, October 23, 2017

General election in Japan 2017

A general election of lower house was conducted on Oct. 22nd, 2017 in Japan.


This day, Japan was struck by a typhoon with great magnitude. Some people made a vote before the day. Nonetheless, the voting rate recorded nearly the lowest.

As a result, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party forming a coalition with Komeito Party has won the supermajority. Two-thirds of the seats are occupied by the coalition. It means the ruling party will be able to pass the revision of the Constitution.

Euro News: Japan: Shinzo Abe heads for big election win

On the other hand, opposing the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan which was formed by some politicians originated from Democratic Party of Japan grabbed some new seats. They are so-called left-winged and opposing the revision of the Constitution.

Previously, they were willing to join the Party of Hope, established by Yuriko Koike, the Tokyo Metropolitan Governor. But Koike committed not to accept politicians whose ideology is different from hers. Her comment was criticized by many people. As a result, the Party of Hope failed to gain the seat.

In my opinion, Koike has strict conservative thoughts despite the fact she is deemed as a populist. She would not collaborate with liberal politicians, I believe. Thus, this outcome was expectable. Opposing parties have failed to cooperate with each other under the idea against Abe administration.

My ideology is complicated. I agree with the reform of Constitution. But the reason is not the same with that of Liberal Democratic Party. This party has been claiming that Japan should revise the Constitution because it had been forced by the US. And it plans to write the obligation of the citizens to respect the nation. I think it is excessive nationalism.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tobu World Square

I visited Tobu World Square recently.


Tobu World Square is an architectural museum. Many miniatures of famous building such as Tokyo Sky Tree, Empire State Building, and Palace of Versailles are placed there. There are a total of 100 figures displayed.

You can look around them. The reduced scale is 25:1. Then, you can see some buildings at a glance. For example, Tokyo Sky Tree is 634 meters height, and higher by twice than Eiffel Tower. You can compare them directly. I also sensed the wideness of Buckingham Palace.

Tobu World Square has no other attractions than miniatures. A 360 degree screen theater is placed near the entrance, and an introduction movie with triple short stories is cast. You can complete to enjoy them within one or two hours.

I remembered some experiences of traveling foreign countries. It was cool.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stonehenge was a place of feast

Have you visited Stonehenge in Britain? I have once. It was a huge and mysterious field.


What kind of the site it is and why such strange objects were built remain uncertain even now. Researchers claim several hypotheses. According to the newest study, Stonehenge was a field of a feast. People ate animals and made cheese and yogurt from milk there.

Independent: Stonehenge was the site of huge feasts with animals driven down from Scotland to eat, researchers find

This hypothesis seems rational considering the uniqueness of the arranged stones. I hardly imagine ancient people spent ordinary days there.

In Europe, there are many ruins kept intact. Also in Japan, we can see several historic buildings. But most of them were made from woods. Therefore, they are at risk of burn, decaying, and corruption. In the WWII, several valuable buildings were destroyed because of bombing by the US air-force. I am a little jealous to European stone-made culture in the ancient era.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Is it possible for Catalonia to become independent?

Catalonia is on fire between independence and enslavement.


Spain government declared to enforce the article 155 of the constitution responding the commitment of the independence of Catalonia. This article describes direct ruling with cancelling the autonomy of prefecture.

The Guardian: Spain to impose direct rule on Catalonia as deadline passes

On the other hand, Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan President, made vague comments about this issue. He said that Catalonia had not officially declared the independence, but the process will start if Spanish government remains hostile.

Puigdemont seems to intend to make the Spanish government seat the table of negotiation. If so, the situation will not change so rapidly. Both the Spanish government and Catalonian parliament want the moratorium to propose a rational condition to fix this issue. In my guess, Catalonia will abandon the complete independence this time instead of some advantages given from the government.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

One Pound coin is no more valid

On Oct. 15, old-type one pound coins were officially expired in the UK.

Mirror: When does the old £1 coin expire? Brits only have hours left to cash in round Pounds before they become void

The old one pound coin has been very familiar to me, and maybe to all Britains. It was introduced in 1983. The gold shape was solid and attractive.


However, it was said that many fake coins were spread in the market. Fortunately, I have not seen artificial ones when I was in London. But it was possible that I used ones unconciously.

Therefore, the government has replaced the old coins to newly developed ones. The new one pound coin is not round. It has twelve angles and silver, covered by a gold edge, similar to the current two-pound coin.

Now, banks and stores no more deal the old coins. If you have a cash account in some popular banks such as Lloyds, you have a chance to exchange them there.

Also in Japan, old 500 JPY coins were expelled suddenly in 2000 because of a rapid increase of fabricated coins. In recent years, Japan has no need to replace coins, fortunately.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

IS' capital fallen

Raqqa, a Syrian city where Islamic State had claimed as its capital, was liberalized.

The Independent: Raqqa: Isis completely driven out of Syria 'capital' by US-backed forces

It occurred on Oct. 17th, 2017. The US-backed armies completely took the control of Raqqa, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights declared the triumph. Raqqa had been conquered by IS since 2014. IS had identified there as its capital, although no nations had approved it.


Thousands of people have been killed in the series of battle there. A third of the victims were said to be citizens.

Now, the troop of SOHR is investigating whether terrorists and landmines remain there. After the investigation, the city will be normalized.

However, this event does not mean the extinction of IS at all. To begin with, IS is not identified as a nation by other than the members of IS. Thus, the capital of IS does not exist. There is no rule of terminating this conflict. In addition, members of IS will continue conducting terror attacks as same as previously, I guess, unfortunately.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kobe Steel scandal

Kobe Steel, a famous company providing metal materials in Japan, was revealed to have been fabricating the data regarding the strength of its products. Not only aluminum and cupper but also steel was subjected to the doubt of fabrication.


Kobe Steel is the third biggest company in the industry in Japan. Its products are used to many significant buildings and tools such as Shinkansen super-express.

SPH Website: Kobe Steel scandal hurts Japan's reputation

The reason why Kobe Steel has permitted such a trick for a decade remains uncertain. Some people believe there is a significant flaw in Japanese management style in the industry beneath the incident. I do not think so because there are similar cases in foreign countries such as Volkswagen.

It is fortunate that disgusted materials are hardly used as it is. For example, cars and train bodies passed several tests for strength and tolerance before utilization. Even if the standard strength is not guaranteed in some materials, the result of the final test can be trusted. I believe this case would not lead to any actual accidents.

The prevention of recidivism is necessary. At the same time, too much blaming at relevant employees would help others to conceal similar injustice. Japanese tend to criticize people confessed dishonesty too much. It is that rather I am afraid.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Life expectancy to 150 years

How long can we alive? The opinion of scientists is various.


There is a hypothesis life expectancy may be prolonged to 150 years old committed at Jinhai Lake World Anti-aging Summit.

CGTN: Human's life expectancy can reach 150, say experts

There are some points to determine the life expectancy. Medical treatment can save your life from several deadly diseases. Proper diet and exercise are also important to keep your body and mind healthy. However, They do not mean you can avoid from aging.

On the other hand, anti-aging technology is developing. Although few things are described in the article above, some researchers seriously believe that artificial gene mutation can rejuvenate your body.

Lynda Gratton, a leading theorist of work style, said in the article that you would continue working till 80-year-old if life expectancy is prolonged. I am opposed to this idea. You need not work because of the rise of robots then. Instead, you have to find joyful habits much more to kill time.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Father's diet influence infant' health?

A recent study claims that the content of father's diet influence on his child's health.

Daily Mail: You are what your DAD eats: Study shows father's diet before conception has huge impact on a child's health

According to the article above, researchers conducted a series of experiments with fruit flies. They fed the subjects with high protein and low carbs or the contrary. The result showed offspring from the father with high carbs were less like to survive.


Fruit flies share 60% of genes with humans. Therefore, the researchers seem to consider this outcome can apply to humans.

NZ Herald: Study shows father's diet before conception plays major role in a child's health

The whole component of the study seems not have been published in an academic journal. I guess there will be considerable controversies before this study is approved as valid.

In recent, the influence of father's health on the baby is often focused. To be honest, I am doubtful to this result itself. Anyway, this theme is interesting.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Amazon Prime Reading launched in Japan

Amazon.co.jp launched Prime Reading service for Amazon Prime users.

Amazon Prime Reading – most important things to know

It enables subscribers of Amazon Prime to read selected e-books unlimitedly. The subjects of free e-books are approximately 700 titles, according to Amazon Japan.


So far, Amazon has been offering Kindle Unlimited as an unlimited reading service of e-books. It covers more than a million titles (including foreign books). Thus, Prime Reading is a downward compatibility of Kindle Unlimited.

Different from Kindle Unlimited, however, Prime Reading is not an independent service. Subscribers of Amazon Prime can use this service without any additional cost. Amazon Prime has several benefits such as Prime Video, Prime Music, and free fast-delivery service. For subscribers of Amazon Prime, the launch of Prime Reading means pure expansion of service range.

On the other hand, how do subscribers of Kindle Unlimited feel? I am afraid that many subscribers will cancel Kindle Unlimited because most of them may have been users of Amazon Prime. And, limited people want to read e-books not covered by Prime Reading, I guess.

It seems that Amazon prioritizes increasing subscribers of Amazon Prime compared to those of Kindle Unlimited. This strategy may be right. Once depending on Amazon in your daily life, it will be difficult to quite Amazon Prime even if the subscription fee is hiked.

But, this policy is disadvantageous to individual writers who publish e-books using Kindle Desktop Publishing. Their e-books will seldom be subjected to Prime Reading.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Autonomous vehicle for disabled people

The spread of self-driving cars will change the world, more or less. But there are some clusters of people who benefit the most from this innovative technology. Elder people will reduce the risk of being involved in traffic accidents. In the future, children will be able to control an autonomous vehicle like a bycycle. And, disabled people will take profit the most.

The Conversation: Are self-driving cars the future of mobility for disabled people?

In the movie of "X-Men: Days of future past," Professor X who cannot walk due to spinal injury appears on a wheelchair. The chair does not equip wheels but has jet engines. He can float on the machine with manipulating the console attached on the armrest.


Nowadays, not a few people use an electric wheelchair. It enables them to move autonomously without their own legs. If the power of this vehicle is stronger than a car, they can go to everywhere. And if the car can think by itself to get the best way to reach the destination, it will be available for not only patients with a spinal injury but also patients with blindness.

In the future, I guess the size of cars will become smaller. It is because people will no more carry objects by their own. The internet, sharing economy, and 3D printers reduce the necessity of bringing commodities. Then, vehicles for a single person will become more common.

It is preferable if disabled people can do anything as healthy people can do with support of new technology. It means that we should round the wheel of progress much more.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Torture goods trading was banned by the UN

Recently, approximately 60 nations belonging to the United Nations launched a bid to exiling the trade of goods used to torture and execution.

The Nation: At UN, countries launch push to end trade in torture goods

The EU has established a legislation for dismissing capital punishment as a sentence. Nations carrying out death penalty are not permitted to join the EU. On the other hand, China, some states in the US, and Japan maintain capital punishment as a legal penalty for serious crimes.


On the other hand, most developed nations have made a treaty for banning torture to incarcerated. In the era of WWII, many were tortured to be dead. Some were subjected to experiments which had been prohibited by contemporary regulations. Such acts are never justified. Some people like Donald Trump, however, still claim the necessity of tortures.

I welcome this movement led by the UN. To begin with, I was surprised to know there is an international market of torture goods. And, even if importing of those goods become impossible, there are various ways to make prisoners painful, unfortunately. Thus, this bid will be no more effective in reality. Rather, the attitude of the EU and relevant countries against the torture and capital punishment will be influential.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The independence of Catalonia

Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain is shaken between the independence and remaining.


So far, the citizens in Catalonia were willing to become independent of Spain. Since its fiscal status was far better than those of other regions, Catalonians has felt to be exploited by the Spanish government. On the other hand, the independence of Catalonia was a risk not only for Spain but also for other nations in the EU. When Brexit was approved, some people worried that this issue would be ignited.

And recently, the Catalonian government conducted a local referendum to ask the affirmation of the idea of the independence, despite the Constitutional Court had not approved it. The result was over 90% of respondents agreed, while the voting rate was under 50%. Thus, many people opposing the independence seemed not to have voted.

And Today, Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont has delayed a formal declaration of independence from Spain. He intends to enable persuasion with Spanish central government as much as possible.

CNN: Catalonia's independence standoff: How we got here and what comes next

I believe Puigdemont's attitude is rational. At present, none of other nations want Catalonia to become independent. Catalonia would be excluded from the members of EU. It will face a very difficult situation as many countries hesitate to make a good relationship with Catalonia. Referring the fact that there are many controversies around Brexit, the discussion about the influence of the independence of Catalonia will also be chaotic.

In general, it is no good for a local region to be independent of the mother nation because it seems to have gained much prosperity. But, recent situation imagines me a new shape of the future. The idea of nations itself will be amended shortly. Then, the identity of us will also be reconsidered.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The worst place for work in the UK?

Every year, some organizations publish the list of companies loved by lookie. The top of the list is usually a world-famous one, such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google.

Then, which company is named at the last of the list?


According to  Indeed.co.uk and Glassdoor.co.uk, two biggest recruitment websites, The Student Loan Company marked the worst place of work. Its score was 2.8 out of 5, and less than a third of employees recommended working there. The chief complaint against this company was poor management.

International Business Times: Student Loan Company ranked as the 'worst place to work' within Britain's public sector

On the other hand, the company has committed to accept the result of this survey and began to improve the working environment.

This kind of survey tends to target companies which are well-known to many citizens. Thus, listed companies are often overrepresented, or exaggeratedly blamed. We should be aware of this issue when looking at the result. Also in Japan, some companies are listed up as "black companies," companies tend to exploit the employees. But it does not mean those companies are evil. The situation varies according to each sector, branch, and the boss.

The Student Loan Company is a non-profit, government-owned company in the UK. I have not heard its name until reading the article above.

When deciding the work, it is inevitable to judge the workplace with your own eyes. And it sometimes occurs that you notice new facts which have not been expected before, unfortunately.