Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sequels in January 2017

January 27, 2017
Trumps is eager to taxing from Mexico

Trump signed the execution order to build the Great Trump Wall to block illegal immigrants from Mexico. It will cost approximately 10 billion USD, according to the official comment. However, the MIT claims that this assumption is inaccurate.

MIT technology review: Bad Math Props Up Trump’s Border Wall

According to the MIT, building the wall will take 38 billion USD, about quadruple of the official calculation.

It often occurs that the official assumption of the expenditure for a certain project is incorrect. I wonder Trump administration will complete this stupid construction.

January 22, 2017
Avalanche disaster in Italy

The victim of this disaster counted 29 at last. Eleven people was rescued from the beneath of the snow.

CNN: Italy avalanche: Hotel search ends with 29 dead, 11 rescued

January 21, 2017
Donald Trump, the 45th US President

As soon as sitting the Presidential seat, Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban immigrants from the Middle East.

The Telegraph: Donald Trump's chaotic Muslim-majority immigration ban: the full story

His policy ignited global criticism, not surprisingly. How do other countries respond to him is crucial for determining the direction of the world in the future.

January 6, 2017
Fluctuating Bitcoin

I expected the price of Bitcoin would fall. But it has remained a high level so far. Some investors forecasted the collapse of Bitcoin's value. But it is the matter when it occurs.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Black joke, intelligence, and the mood

Just recently, I wrote about the relationship between style of humor and mental health. In a study, self-defeating humor was associated with lowered self-esteem. Then, what about the receivers?

My past entry: Style of humor

A recent study examined how participants responded to a black joke in accordance with their level of intelligence. As a result, people with high intelligence with stable mood were likely to appreciate the black humor and enjoyed it. In contrast, participants with negative mood could not enjoy the black joke in spite of the comprehension of the joke.

The Guardian: Black humour is sign of high intelligence, study suggests

The researchers suggested that understanding sick jokes need relatively complex processing ability as well as functional mood state. Therefore, smart persons are more likely to appreciate black jokes. The result of the present study is consistent with previous ones suggesting that the low mood deprives persons of humor appreciation.

Research Digest: If you like sick jokes, maybe it’s because you’re just so smart

However, the authors did not mention contradictory results in past studies. For example, genius people are likely to become depressed and have a higher risk of suicide if other factors are modified. Also, reading jokes are often recommended to people with depression to elevate their mood. I have a couple of examples in which black jokes eliminated the patient's  hopeless thought.

Therefore, I do not believe the result in the association between lowered mood with the level of appreciation to sick jokes. In contrast, the correlation between high intelligence and the ability to interpret sick jokes is highly reliable. In the last US Presidential vote campaign, Obama, Clinton, and Trump threw several black jokes to beat the opponent. It is true that joke lovers are smart, regardless of their personality.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The influence of fake news on the Presidential vote is limited: A study suggests

Last year, Donald Trump had a historic triumph on Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential vote.

The forecast in media reports suggested the advantage of Clinton before the election. And Trump had made comments to criticize media report. As well, he suspected that the vote itself was manipulated and he said he would not accept the defeat if Clinton wins.

However, the result is surprising. Now, some supporters of Clinton are vowing the possibility of fraud.

Russia is suspected to be associated with the Presidential campaign for the victory of Trump. Obama, the ex-president, made a sanction as exiling some Russian ambassadors.

As well, some claim that fake news was spread to dispraise the reputation of Clinton. Facebook was blamed as broadening incorrect information of the candidates.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook denied the suspicion, and committed to developing a new system for more reliable sources of information.

Then, is it true American citizens were twisted by the fake news? A study has dismissed the possibility.

The Nation: 'Fake news' didn't change US election outcome: study

According to the researchers, only eight percent of people had believed some fake news. It was true that Trump-sided fake news was dominant than Clinton-sided fake news on the social media. But, the influence of the internet and social media was so limited that it would not have changed the conclusion of the election.

I have not read the report in detail. And I am doubtful if the survey has been completed in a proper way so that the influence of the fake news is exactly calculated. Nonetheless, I admit the conclusion. The presidential vote is not a simple event. The both candidates had conducted many efforts to gain the trust of citizens. Even if a considerable amount of sources were utilized to mesmerize the voters' eyes, it would not reach to be decisive.

American people chose Donald Trump. It is a fact, though I never believe it is a good idea.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The possibility of mushrooms to prevent dementia

Dementia is deemed as one of the most miserable diseases in the world because of its progressive and irreversible course. As aging of the population grows, prevention of dementia will become more crucial without a doubt.

There are some potential ways to prevent or delay the onset of dementia proposed. Physical and mental activity, refrain from excessive drinking, and continuation of proper diet are expected for prolonging healthy life. However, each method lacks evidence of the effect to maintain cognitive function.

Recently, mushrooms are focused as a beneficial food for human health. Since they do not contain the source of nutrition, they have been considered only as a flavor in the meal. But recent studies suggest mushrooms have rich bioactive compounds which have a role of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.

Hindustan Times: Make mushrooms a regular on your plate. It helps fight dementia, Alzheimer’s

There are many kinds of wild mushrooms in the world. These components are various with each other. In Japan, shimeji, matsutake, shiitake, hiratake, and enoki mushroom are popular, while brown mushroom is the most frequently used in the UK. Which type of fungus is the most beneficial is unclear. Researchers are eager to explore the compounds of each type of mushroom.

Journal of Medical Food: Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms: Emerging Brain Food for the Mitigation of Neurodegenerative Diseases

I do not think eating mushroom is a final solution for preventing dementia. Nonetheless, it is exciting to know an effect of a component in our daily meal.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Trumps is eager to taxing from Mexico

The relationship between the US and Mexico is worsening, as expected after the inauguration of the US President Donald Trump.

He expressed the idea of building a great wall between the US and Mexico for preventing increased illegal refugees from Mexico. Immediately after the inauguration, he committed to enforcing this plan. But, it will take trillions of dollars. At first, Trump claimed that Mexico should pay the cost, but undoubtedly, Enrique Peña Nietohe, the President of Mexico, refused it. He canceled the meeting with Trump, suggesting increased tension between the both nations.

Then, Trump said to set 20% tax on Mexican imports to compensate for the building cost of the wall.

The Guardian: Trump calls for 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for border wall

It is not only an arrogant but also a stupid idea. First, determination of trade tax is a contract of the both counterparts after long-term negotiation. If one country raises the tax rate one-sidedly, it will inflict a major chaos to the trade industry itself. Second, World Trade Organization, or WTO, is supervising the tax rate of any members. The US will be sued by WTO if Trump's plan is realized. Indeed, the US has frequently appealed to WTO for resolving trade friction so far. Some people guess Trump will consider quitting WTO. But it would be no good for the US, considering the fact that the US is one of the nations which get benefits from the regulation of WTO the most. And third, if hiked tax is accepted, it will be American people to pay it, because increased tax will result in the raised price. Especially, many products from Mexico are commodity. Then, citizens with low income will suffer more.

Furthermore, it is quite unsure the border wall will contribute to the reduced crime rate in the US. Trump said Mexicans were rapists. It is an extremely absurd idea. Most immigrants including refugees are benign and harmless regardless of the nationality. There are some illegal foreign workers also in Japan. But I have not heard that they commit many crimes frequently. Rather, they are afraid of being arrested.

Of course, it is indispensable to block professional terrorists from entering the land. In real, however, many terrorists are made in each country outside of the territories of extremists. Why? They become sympathetic to terrorists' speech while living in a foreign country. And it is because they are discriminated there.

In conclusion, Trump's exclusive policy has a great risk for creating domestic terrorists. The most powerful way of suppressing the terror and crimes is to make citizens potentially risky to become an outlaw rich in the US.

In conclusion, I do not hesitate saying Trump's policy is stupid. I wonder Trump's policy will be realized. Although many people criticize his opinion, he will not listen to their voice. As well, many Americans support him. I wonder how other countries will react the attitude of the US.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Human penis and testicle size

Humans seat the top of the evolutional hierarchy of animals. The largest brain per body size among mammals has enabled us to conquer other species. We reproduce our offspring without fear of being interfered by other animals.

On the other hand, humans have longer penis than most other apes. At the same time, human's testicles are relatively small. This gap has been a mistery for many primatologists.

In a recent hypothesis, the size of the testicle is associated with the mating system in each species. For example, chimpanzees have polygamy system. Any male chimpanzees have sex with any females. Thus, the sperm of some male chimpanzees is mixed in a uterus of a female. Competition among males to get combined to the egg occurs. For getting the egg, a male chimpanzee has to produce much sperm. It is the reason for larger testicles they have got. On the contrary, gorillas have monogamy marriage system. Any female gorillas have only one male mate. And, a gorilla has smaller testicle.  

International Business Times: Why do humans have large penises but small testicles?

So, what is attributed to human's large penis? Darren Curnoe, a professor in New South Wales University, explained that it is a means of sex appeal. A person can stand up while walking. It means women can see directly the penis of the men. A larger penis imagines women the healthy and vigorous gene, even if it is a myth in real. Therefore, human's penis became much bigger through the history of evolution.

YouTube: How Did We Get Here? - Dangly Bits

However, this hypothesis ignited some objections. Alan Dixson, a primatologist, said that the idea that human penis is the largest among mammal is incorrect, suggesting hamadryas baboon with a bigger penis.

After all, it is not easy to make a rational explanation of our nature and society. The community style of human may have changed through long centuries. But the evolution from ape to human has a much longer history. It is difficult to track the line precisely. Nonetheless, investigating our ancestors is an exciting challenge.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Style of humor

It is no doubt that humor is a way to enrich our daily life. Humoring jokes let us laugh at even a tough situation. There are many examples of great persons saying a humorous comment in a conflict. Ronald Reagan, an ex-President of the US said when entering the operation room after being shot by a hitman; "I am glad if you doctors are all Republicans." The doctor replied, "We are all Republicans today."

The styles of humor are various in its subject and attitude to it. Recently, researchers found some kind of humor is rather harmful to the user's psychological health, while others are benign. According to them, they are categorized into four types: Self-enhancing, Affiliating, Self-defeating, and Aggressive.

A study proved that self-enhancing and affiliative humor are associated with improved self-esteem. In contrast, self-defeating humor is associative with low self-esteem. With another study, researchers hypothesized the vicious circle between self-defeating humor and depressive mood. Thus, depressive people tend to use a self-defeating talk. At the same time, such humor does deteriorate your mood.

Journal of Research in Personality: Individual differences in uses of humor and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the Humor Styles Questionnaire

This theory of humor style is also applicable to children. Some adolescents exclusively using self-defeating humor will be depressive, according to the prospective study.

Europe's Journal of Psychology: Longitudinal Associations Between Humor Styles and Psychosocial Adjustment in Adolescence

It is interesting that, however, some people loving humor, called as humor endorsers, are more likely to use the self-defeating style of humor, as well as the other categories, than those who exclusively use it. In this case, they do not become depressive due to the use of self-defeating humor. Researchers guess that adaptive type of humor antidotes the harm of self-defeating humor.

The Conversation: What a child’s humour reveals about their psychological well-being

My idea is different. Humor endorsers sense the content of humor differently from other persons. They are resistant to invasive stimulation of subtle jokes. As well, they identify tough situation not as it is but a funny, challenging, or merely strange one. Therefore, they can avoid the risk of receiving negative image following the failure.

The matter is how can we feel like humor endorsers. It is not easy to act as same as them. And, unfortunately, frequent use of adaptive humor is not enough for you to change your basic mentality. I have no answer to it. It would be great if you find a certain way of altering your negative tendency.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Limitation of food therapy

There are many procedures to keep your body healthy and beautiful. Unfortunately, most of them lack certain evidence of the efficacy in spite of many believers. Every year, many diet methods are introduced, to be forgotten after a year.

Of course, some of these methods are presented with reliable data suggesting its effectiveness. But most of them are applicable only for some limited people. It is difficult to establish an ultimate method of health promotion. As a result, most people try some ways of so-called healthy habits merely as a fashion.

For example, there is an article mentioning some good habits below.

Hindustan Times: To a new beginning: 7 health trends to look out for this year

The evidence that herbal teas have a good influence on your health is quite scarce. It is likely that replacing some cup of teas with sugar in your everyday life to non-sugar herbal teas is beneficial. But it is not attributed to herbal tea. The considerable intensity of evidence suggests the harm on your health of the white sugar.

The good of inflammation-fighting foods is also doubtful. The immune system in human is so complicated that any single food can alter its strength. Actually, some plants are known to have the anti-inflammatory effect. Most of them have already been utilized as a medical drug. If some new sources of anti-inflammatory food are detected, they will be examined by pharmaceutical companies, to be refined for medical drugs.
After all, the power of a particular food is inferior to drugs.

Therefore, I recommend you not to trust foods and supplements therapy so much. They may make your life a little richer, but never save your life.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Is jet lag an acute mountain sickness?

Previously, I wrote about my flight experience. I like to ride on an airplane. But in recent years, I have been suffering from jet lag.

Most people feel discomfort immediately after leaving the plane in spite of being relieved from the annoying cabin. Indeed, there are several factors to damage your body in an aircraft: the narrow seat, difficulty to move, high density of passengers in the cabin, dehydration,  lowered oxygen concentration, and of course, jet lag. In the latest study, however, another factor was featured for investigation. It is altitude itself of the flying airplane.

In an ordinary aircraft, cabin pressure is maintained at approximately 565mmHg, equivalent to an altitude of 8000 feet when it is flying at the highest level. In this environment, you can get acute mountain sickness. Your discomfort after landing is mainly attributed to this mechanism, rather than the jet lag, according to the researchers.

In this study, the participants were encouraged to enter a hypobaric chamber instead of boarding an airplane. The pressure was gradually reduced to 565mmHg. The participants were examined after an eight-hour trial. The results suggested that this experimental environment duplicated the symptoms of those after a long flight.

The New England Journal of Medicine: Effect of Aircraft-Cabin Altitude on Passenger Discomfort

Therefore, if the low-pressure issue is properly treated, your flight will become happier. The researchers concluded that maintaining a cabin altitude of 6000 ft or lower will minimize the adverse influence on the body of passengers. Following the finding, the media suggest that Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be a solution because they are designed to keep the pressure in the cabin stable.

Could 'widebody' passenger planes end jet lag? Researchers say low pressure cabins on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 could stop symptoms

In my experience, this new vehicle is very nice. I had been suffering from a sore throat every time after boarding, but it has disappeared since Boeing 787 became available. Nonetheless, jet lag has not completely gone. A high-tech plane is not a panacea.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Avalanche disaster in Italy

In the central Abruzzo region in Italy, an earthquake brought tragedy.

On Jan 18th in 2017, an earthquake occurred in central Italy. Its magnitude reached 5.7. The tremor was observed for several times. And after the quake, a gigantic avalanche whelmed Farindola area on the Gran Sasso mountain in the province of Pescara. Terribly, it completely buried Hotel Rigopian in which many tourists enjoyed a vacation.

Aljazeera: Italy earthquake: 'Many dead' in avalanche-hit hotel

Media reported that some skiers were rescued from the corrupted hotel. But about twenty people are still missing.

The Guardian: Italy avalanche: more people pulled alive from buried ruins of hotel

Italy relatively frequently encounters an earthquake among European countries. In last summer, an earthquake whose magnitude was 6.2 killed more than 240 people.  In 2009, a series of tremor named terremoto delll'Aquilla took more than 300 victims' life and made 60,000 people forced to evacuate.

By the way, I am shameful not knowing Italy has a ski resort. I had recognized Italy as a Mediterranean country with a warm climate. In real, it has Monte Bianco on the border with France whose height reaches 4810.9 meters. Italy has over 200 ski resorts.

Some researchers are doubtful to the causal relationship between the earthquake and the avalanche struck the hotel. It is known that earthquake often causes an avalanche. But it usually occurs immediately after the tremor. In this case, the avalanche happened two hours after a strong tremor. Considering the fact, some experts believe that this avalanche was caused not by the earthquake but by the snowstorm.

LiveScience: Earthquakes or Snowstorms? Cause of Italy's Deadly Avalanche Debated

Anyway, it is a horrible incident. I hope more survivors will be rescued.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Donald Trump, the 45th US President

Yesterday, Donald Trump was inaugurated to 45th US President.

This Presidential ceremony seemed to be welcomed in Washington. Many citizens visited the place to see the ceremony. Although several lawmakers were absent, and some agitators were arrested in this day, it was rather calm launch of Trump administration. At least, I was relieved to know that he was not assassinated yesterday, as well as Obama has completed his Presidential term.

International Business Times: Donald Trump inauguration live updates: Washington welcomes 45th US president

Trump signed the Presidential decree in which the dismissal of Obama care and TPP are mentioned. It is not surprising that he has declared to make change to the previous policy Obama established. As well, Trump promised to invest millions of dollars to infrastructure. It seems that the core concern of Trump administration is stabilized employment of Americans.

I do not like Trump's ideology as America first. But today's situation allowed him to become the President. In a short term, national power of the US will be improved if Trump's talent of business works well. In the longitudinal view, however, the US will become solitary, leading to lowered presence in the world, I am afraid.

In this year, many decisive elections in some nations are planned. The future is hardly predictable.


Friday, January 20, 2017

E-waste problem following spreading smartphones

The spread of the internet and mobile devices changed our daily life. Some people feel they cannot survive without a smartphone.

Different from a refrigerator, the mortality of a smartphone is relatively short. After two years, you will have complaints of its delayed response. And most smartphones and tablets will be scrapped within four or five years. But after being replaced by a new one, what will happen on the old device?

A UN study team warns this issue with calling it as e-waste. In many countries especially in Asia, enormous amounts of electric devices are produced in every year. However, the management of discarded devices is not discussed properly. As a result, e-waste is rapidly increasing so that environmental problems is growing. Inappropriately scrapped electric devices are not only waste of natural resource, but also can produce toxic chemicals.

The Nation: E-waste rising dangerously in Asia: UN study

In developed countries including Japan, some legislation regarding discarding electric devices have been established. In contrast, many developing countries have no room to address this issue because their attention is occupied to supply adequate numbers of products. This structure is the same as any other environmental issues.

I think smartphone makers will provide a recycling program for customers. It will be a contract with the provider and a consumer. The provider offers a new model of smartphone to a user with retracting the old one. It will spare the cost of new products, as well be advantageous to fix users for a long time.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The end of Obamacare

The President-elect Donald Trump has broadly criticized the policy made by the current President Barack Obama. After the inauguration, it is highly likely that he will dismiss most of the social systems established by the former administration. The first target for him may be Obamacare.

Affordable Care Act is one of the biggest legacies of Obama administration. So far, the US had not equipped any national health insurance systems. It is quite rare in developed countries. Health is the heart of our secure and happy life. But in the US, many people, especially in Republicans, believe that maintaining their health status is the responsibility of each citizen. Therefore, this common scheme for other countries, as every people have to take a health insurance, was broadly criticized.

And recently, it is said that Republican Party submitted a bill to repeal Affordable Care Act. Now, Republicans are dominant in both upper and lower house, and Trump will permit the bill to pass. Thus, Obamacare will be terminated shortly.

The New York Times: The Biggest Changes Obamacare Made, and Those That May Disappear

Although some schemes made at the same time of Obamacare will survive, it will be a big change. Millions of the US citizens will lose their health insurance. Taxpaying of wealthy people will be a little eased because of the compression of expenditure for Obamacare. As a result, inequality between rich people and citizens with natural handicaps will be broadened.

Despite the importance of health care, it is unfeasible to throw unlimited cost into medical and pharmaceutical companies. On the other hand, some people unwillingly get congenital diseases. We are responsible for such people, I think, because people born with a healthy body are merely lucky. I do not agree with dismissal of Obamacare.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Theresa May mentioned hard Brexit

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the UK, made a comment about Brexit. She suggested the declaration of Brexit in this March.

CNN: Theresa May commits to Brexit vote in UK Parliament

Brexit was determined with the referendum conducted in last summer. Following the triumph of separatists, David Cameron resigned from the chair of the Prime Minister, and May succeeded it. However, which ways to Brexit the UK would proceed had remained unclear.

There are several benefit and restriction for the members of the EU. Participants of the EU have to accept the free movement of people in the EU. Therefore, many immigrants including refugees entered the UK for several years. Some Britains dislike it as they are competitors against native citizens for getting jobs. As well, the EU has a strong regulation of legislation in many regions. If EU courts dismiss a domestic law, the UK government has to revise it. It is unpleasant for Britains to obey a rule made by other nations.

In contrast, members of the EU can receive the advantage of free trade. Also, licenses of the financial industry are valid in every country in the EU. These accessibilities are great advantages for many companies.

The core of discussion in Brexit was the balance of benefits and disadvantages. At first, May was considered to select "soft Brexit," in which the UK would partially adhere the legislation of the EU as well as benefit from the single market of the EU as much as possible.

However, May chose "hard Brexit." According to her, the UK will no more be in the single market of the EU. Instead, the UK is willing to construct free trade relationship, suggesting FTA with each nation. At the same time, the UK will no more accept immigrants the EU is demanding.

May spoke that this way would make the UK strong again, though I do not believe it.

Donald Trump welcomed this movement and mentioned an intention to a rapid endorsement of FTA with the UK. Trump has a great talent of one-by-one negotiation. FTA seems to be affordable for Trump.

If May makes a declaration of Brexit in this March, the UK will be outside of the EU until March in 2019. There are many things to administer the process of Brexit. I wonder two years preparation is enough to address this dramatic change.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The era of Embryo-farm is approaching

Birth of a human is a fantastic event. And many people are suffering from it, as well. Some women are enthusiastic to gain a child, but not to be realized for several reasons. Some babies have congenital diseases which will be a burden for the lifetime. The process of newborn is too complex for anyone to control manually; as it has been believed so far.

Last October, Japanese researchers were successful to create baby mice from eggs which were produced from skin cells. This experiment is so impressive that it means potentially we can create babies without an egg.

Some researchers claim that we can create a baby without eggs nor sperms in the near future. It will be a blessing for persons who want a child but have infertility. It is estimated that there are 500,000 patients consulting an infertility clinic in Japan. Considering that this kind of treatment is expensive, there may be more than one million patients suffering from this problem. It will be wonderful if they can be given a child thanks to the new treatment.

However, reproduction without eggs is substantially dangerous. There are limited persons one women can deliver. The method of generating eggs from other cells will dismiss this limitation. Thus, we can potentially create unlimited numbers of children. It is not a Sci-Fi plot. Overcoming several difficulties is necessary to realize this procedure, it is not impossible, nevertheless.

The Guardian: New fertility procedure may lead to 'embryo farming', warn researchers

Therefore, some researchers have warned the risk of so-called embryo-farm. Do you imagine that thousands of clones are grown in a tube? Another issue is selective production. What do you think If you are notified that your baby will have a serious congenital disease, and you have a chance to retry it? In kettle bleeding, selection of life is ordinarily conducted. If it is adopted to human society, it will be no more than a dystopia.

I believe there is a need for restriction of such type of research. But, it is also true that some people need to be treated for the survival of them and their offspring. It is not easy to distinguish breach of life ethics from philanthropic care. Broad discussion is required.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Some elements of superiority in nurses to doctors

When you visit a clinic, you may make a conversation with a nurse. In some cases especially in an inpatient care, you have more time to be taken care of by a nurse than a doctor. Indeed, a physician is usually too busy to spend enough time for each patient. At lease in some regions, however, nurses are superior to doctors in providing treatment.

In this article below, five topics are introduced in which nurses are more skillful than doctors. As each content is supported by a medical study, they are reliable to some extent. But, they depend on the circumstances you live.

The Conversation: Five things nurses are really good at – and sometimes better than doctors

Generally speaking, nurses are better at taking a minor manipulation. They have a wealth of experience in blood exam, taking a bandage, and enema. In Japan, some physicians working at an emergency unit have a special ability at securing the blood vessel of a patient at a shocked status. But most doctors cannot match the nurses at surgery in this skill. I am not sure Japanese nurses are good at getting things out of children's ear.

Administration and management are also regions in which nurses are dominant. They are familiar with group dynamics. Nurses are advantageous in constructing an effective team to conduct something in a structural manner. Many multidisciplinary teams in a hospital are administered by a leader nurse. In Japan, however, some doctors dislike being led by a nurse. As well, some nurses do not want to take leadership.

In Japan, nurses are not allowed to prescribe medical drugs. On the other hand, making inpatients in a psychiatry unit take prescribed drugs is staff nurses' responsibility. Psychiatric patients sometimes refuse to take the pills for some reasons. In the administrative scheme of admission, medical staffs can make patients take the drug against their will. Nonetheless, forced injection or tube feeding is the last resort. Nurses persuade patients to accept the treatment. They confirm that patients have evidently swallowed the pills. It is a tough task in some case both for the staff and the patient.

I am not certain why a supportive relationship between patients and nurses is not mentioned in the article above. At least in Japan, many patients feel relaxed to speak about their suffering to a nurse than a doctor. Since doctors tend to take a critical attitude to patients, some patients hesitate to become honest about their daily habits. Nurses have sophisticated skills of active listening. It is a great advantage of Japanese nurses, I believe.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Resistant starch is beneficial for health, studies suggest

In the region of nutrition and health science, there are still many controversies, as I reported before.

One of the current topics, as well as a hypothesis which was continuously believed by many researchers, is the harm of sugar. Rapid intake of sugar makes an increased blood glucose level, leading to resistance to insulin. It results in an onset of diabetes. Restriction of using sugar in the diet is necessary to protect your physical health.

Then, how about starch which is similar to sugar in its chemical structure? Some dietitians recommend you to refrain from taking a large amount of starch as well.

It may be true, but you have to distinguish the categories of starch. Recent studies suggest resistant starch is rather beneficial to your health.

Hindustan Times: Starch in bananas, potatoes, grains beneficial for health, confirms study

Resistant starch is contained in banana, potato, legumes, and even in grains. It is hardly digested in your intestine. Thus, it works as the same as dietary fibers.  Several studies showed the fact that taking resistant starch reduces your appetite, to protect you from overeating. At the same time, postprandial glycemic response after taking resistant starch is regulated at an acceptable level, resulting in the decreased risk of diabetic diseases.

Nutrition Bulletin: Health effects of resistant starch

This article above is a non-systematic review. Thus, its evidence level is not enough to reliable. I cold not find any research on systematic reviews using meta- analysis of clinical trials in this area. It is difficult to conduct an intervention study with human participants to identify the effect of a particular substance on the health.

Nonetheless, I think this hypothesis is likely to be right. Resistant starch is considerably beneficial, or at least less harmful than white sugar. In Japan, some people take bananas for the purpose to maintaining their body weight. And potatoes are recognized to improve your laxation.

Of course, overtaking them is no good. Balance diet is essential for the healthy life.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bipolar patients than Carrie Fisher should not take Prozac

Carrie Fisher, a popular actress as Princess Leia, was dead in her 60 years old. She was suffering from a heart attack when she was on a plane from London to Los Angeles. She was carried to the hospital soon after arriving in Los Angeles, but clinicians could not save her, unfortunately.

Fisher was known to have had bipolar disorder. She did not conceal it. The fact she expressed she was mentally ill might encourage people with mental disorders.

However, she seemed to have taken Prozac, an antidepressant drug whose component is fluoxetine. The bereaved family of her threw Prozac into her urn.

Independent: Carrie Fisher's funeral urn was a giant model of a Prozac pill

It may be true that Fisher loved Prozac in her life. But, I have to mention that antidepressant drugs including Prozac are potentially harmful to patients with bipolar disorder. There is reliable evidence that taking antidepressant makes bipolar disorder complicated or treatment-resistant, though some studies are against this hypothesis. In my experience, a few patients with bipolar disorder get recovered after taking antidepressants. At the same time, more patients can be saved with quitting antidepressants with replacing them to mood stabilizers.

I do not know the course of Fisher. I am afraid some patients with bipolar disorder will take Prozac to deteriorate their mental status. While Prozac is a good choice for depressive patients, inappropriate usage of is may be fatal.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Palm oil is attacked for health risk

Palm oil is one of the most frequently seen kinds of edible oil product. It is widely used in sweets as a domestic ingredient.

Recently, however, some researchers suggest that palm oil has carcinogenic character. European Food Safety Authority showed an animal experiment which resulted in a finding of increased prevalence of cancer. Its conclusion was that glycidyl fatty acid esters were likely to have potential harm to human.

EFTA: Process contaminants in vegetable oils and foods

Following this presentation, some food companies received criticism from consumers. Ferrero, which is popular as Nutella maker, made a comment about the safety of palm oil it adopts as an ingredient, to conclude that dismissal of palm oil was not cost-effective.

International Business Times: Nutella maker Ferrero fights back claims the palm oil-filled chocolate spread causes cancer

The health risk of saturated fatty acid has been discussed for several decades. Therefore, it is not surprising if palm oil is identified as a carcinogen. In my opinion, complete banning of palm oil is unrealistic. In Japan, rape oil is dominantly used, but it is also suspected to be harmful to human. Although healthier food taking is essential, balanced discussion is also required.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Julian Assange's life proof using blockchain

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, a whistlebrawler website, remains in the core of argument.

My past entry: Julian Assange to be interviewed by prosecutor

 Since June in 2012, Julian Assange has stayed at Ecuador Embassy in London in 2012. In October, however, it was rumored that the internet connection to Assange was shut down. As he could not appear even on the internet, some people doubted that he was no more alive. There were some tweets by Assange and his supporters and other fragments suggesting he is still fine. Indeed, it is possible for someone to arrange Assange's images and video to pretend he is alive.

Heavy: Where Is Julian Assange? WikiLeaks Supporters Demand Proof of Life

And recently, Assange himself showed a solution to dismiss the hypothesis that he hade deceased. He made a video message in which he spoke a part of the newest blockchain created in the Bitcoin transaction. Blockchain is a group of letters in which all transactions are recorded. Each fragment of blockchain is created at the same time of validating each transaction. As astronomical numbers of computers are engaged in creating blockchain, it is almost impossible to disguise the digits of blockchain. Also, since blockchain is lively updated, it is unfeasible for anyone to forecast the content of blockchain created in the future. Thus, reading and reporting current blockchain can be done only be alive persons.

CoinDesk: Julian Assange Just Read Out a Bitcoin Block Hash to Prove He Was Alive

The way for proof of life taken by Assange is very interesting. It is obvious that Assange loves Bitcoin as a crypt-currency without centralized administrators.

However, I think Assange's video is not enough to prove he is alive. The video image is easily fabricated with the latest technique. Someone can speak synchronized to the computer graphic as if Assange does so. After all, it is extremely difficult to distinguish a real person from fiction.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Facial recognition is challenged

Facial recognition is one of the innovative modern techniques to bridge the machine interface to the present world. We can easily find a friend's face from astronomical numbers of pictures on the internet. As well, a facial recognition program can detect a suspect's figure in a crowded crossroad. Its ability of tracking is often superior to a group composed of several professional guards.

However, this system is often too genius to be used for our convenience in daily life. Nowadays, national agencies administering public safety such as CIA can identify not only your personal information but also your current position and recent activities. Outlaws gets your personal information through gathering the data on the social network. Their conducts are often supported by facial recognition systems.

Therefore, some people are afraid they can be unintentionally tracked by a nameless algorithm. According to them, facial recognition is rather harmful than beneficial for human society.

Recently, Adam Harvey, an association of artists and technologists in Berlin, made an attempt to distract facial recognition systems, using printing patterns which mimic a face attached to clothing or bodies. These stimuli can confuse the algorithm to detect human faces. The association warns facial recognition systems have evolved to be able to identify not only the personality of each target but also their criminal tendencies.

The Guardian: Anti-surveillance clothing aims to hide wearers from facial recognition

I am not sure how the claims of Harvey is really threatening. More or less, facial recognition systems are potentially invasive against our privacy. We may be prepared to the current situation in which our daily activities are spied by anyone with ease.

However, the treatment of Harvey seems not effective in a longitudinal point of view. The algorithm of facial recognition is evolving day by day. Our figures, postures, and gaits are characteristic with each other. The next generation program will be able to identify us without shooting our face, I guess.

More fundamentally thinking, what is the goal of facial recognition? Where does this technology proceed? Is it complete tracing of our lives? Is it to make all our personal information searchable, as Google is pursuing? Or, is it to create a perfect copy of functions of human? It is a wonderful, but a bit fearful question.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Six-hour work policy abandoned in Sweden

The previous year, I mentioned an attempt of reduced work hour in Sweden. In some hospitals and nursing home, workers were to work for six hours in a day, instead of eight hours. In this entry, I suspected that this policy would raise the satisfaction of employees, but it was not feasible for some jobs.

My past entry: Reduced working time in Sweden

At last, this challenge was terminated, unfortunately. Because of increased cost not matching the benefits, Gothenburg City abandoned the plan to make the six-hour policy permanent.

It was true that reduced work hours improved not only the satisfactory level but also the productivity of the employee. However, the facilities had to hire more workers to compensate the reduced working time, not surprisingly.

Independent: Sweden scraps six hours work day despite staff being 'healthier, happier and more productive'

Since increased cost of this new policy was easily prospected, I am doubtful to the decision of scrapping this plan due to poor cost-benefit. The attempt brought reduced sick leave cases by ten percents. It could not compensate the increase of hiring costs. On the other hand, it is uncertain how the quality of life of the employees was calculated to evaluate the effectiveness of the reduced hour policy.

Nonetheless, Swedish campaign showed a good example of a social experiment. It is admirable for a city to make this kind of challenge for seeking a better figure of the society.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mosul dam endangered to collapse

What is the difference between an official government and a revolution force? The both may consider making the world better. But, the former thinks it in a longitudinal way whereas the latter only focuses on the destruction of the current evil authority.

Mosul Dam, near ISIS territory, is in a very fragile status, according to researchers. Some specialists warn that it is not surprising if it would collapse tomorrow.

Independent: Mosul Dam could collapse at any minute 'killing 1.5 million people'

Mosul Dam was built on Tigris River in Northern Iraq in the 1980s, and it stores up to 11.1 billion cubic meters of water. Millions of people are given benefits from the dam. If it is crippled, many people will suffer from the shortage of pure water. Furthermore, the broken dam can cause a flood, leading to a disastrous effect on broad areas.

Not only Iraqi government but also foreign professionals have noticed the risk at the dam. Continuous maintenance or replacement of the dam is necessary to prevent the collapse. However, the security matter in this region cannot allow the treatment.

If ISIS claims that it is a new nation, regardless of its establishing process, it should be responsible at least for maintaining the security of its lands. But, Jihadists seems indifferent to such a fundamental issue.

This kind of problem is similar to hostage case. A good terrorist always takes care of the life of hostages. He keeps lifeline and food for long-term barricading. By contrast, extremists easily throw away their lives. In this sense, I never believe ISIS will develop their own nation.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Universal basic income experiment in Finland

Finland government seems to decide to an experimental implementation of basic income.

In Finland, unemployed citizens will receive monthly income up to 560 euros for two years. The amount of payment would not be reduced even if the receiver gets a new job, different from a conventional scheme of the unemployment compensation.

Independent: Finland launches universal basic income pilot of 560 Euros a month

Not every jobless people will get the basic income. Whether a person is subjected to this experiment is randomly determined. The government aims to investigate the influence of this new scheme on the motivation of the citizens for working.

Traditionally, unemployment insurance scheme was criticized as it deprives citizens' motivation to seek a new job. It will be terminated soon after getting the salary, leading to the decrease of total income.

On the other hand, basic income scheme is also worried to make citizens lazy. You can easily imagine that some people would have no more work if they get regular income. So far, some minor studies have suggested that guaranteed income does not eliminate workers' motivation. Finland's experiments will examine the hypothesis with more reliable evidence.

In my opinion, basic income scheme will be successful in some particular situations. In a highly sophisticated society, limited numbers of people with high productivity earn a dominant percentage of revenue of the whole society. In other words, it is not necessary for many people to work to survive. At the same time, entertainment and some regions of activity not essential for survival such as philosophy, literature, sport, and art, are established as a subject to devote one's life. The combination of a few experienced producers and many happy consumers is a stereotype of an ideal society, I think.

In addition, I believe every citizens will want to contribute to the society in some ways when they are economically satisfied. Humans motivation is to shift to higher dimension according to the stage of achievement from one's safety to others' happiness. Therefore, I do not think basic income scheme will ruin the virtue in our community.

Finland has more than eight percent of jobless citizens. It means that they do not have to work at least for maintaining the minimal structure of the society. It is sorry for them to get an unwanted job. Actually, 560 euros in a month is not enough to live. Also in this meaning, it is merely an experiment. Nonetheless, I hope Finland's challenge will be fruitful.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

AI completely overwhelms human Go players

It was a dramatic incident that Alpha Go, an AI Go program defeated Lee Sedol, Korean Go champion, by four to one last Spring. Previously, AI Go was too weak to match a human professional player. But Alpha Go made a big progress in its quality within a short time.

My past entry: Alpha Go defeat human champion

And just recently, a mysterious Go player whose handle was "master" appeared at an online Go community. Master got a total of 50 winnings. The losers included Ke Jie, the first ranked in the Go community.

Everyone wondered the real face of Master. Some people suggested as a joke that he was Sai, a manga character in "Hikaru no Go."

And finally, Google revealed that Master was an improved version of Alpha Go.

TNW: Google secretly squared off its AI against leading Go players and it won by a landslide

It was not surprising according to Go players because AI Go players have different ways than humans. And the record of no defeat in 50 matches was incredible in human regardless of his or her skill.

Art Technica: That mystery Go player crushing the world’s best online? It was AlphaGo again

It is possible that Alpha Go made an evolution to the stage nobody can reach. But it is not surprising in my sense. Go is a game played on the field with 19 times 19 positions. No matter how it is large, the number of the patterns to be displayed on the field is countable. Counting is an expertise of computer.

Go is one of the most popular analog games in the world. AI will soon conquer Go itself. The next move will be Monopoly.

My past entry: Best strategy to win the Monopoly

Shortly, creating an AI program is paid attention as a skill of importance. And in the next era, anyone will develop AI for personal use, I believe.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Fluctuating Bitcoin

Yesterday, the market of Bitcoin had a historic movement.

The price of Bitcoin marked the highest ever as over as 150,000 JPY (1,300 USD). And soon after this, it fell by 30 % rapidly.

Recent Bitcoin market is so strong that its price has reached the level of that before Mt. Gox incident. In my sense, the recent rapid increase in its value was a fruit of overestimation. Thus, I prospected this falling movement. Nonetheless, it was surprising for me to see such a dramatic change.

Some Bitcoin users are excited to see this movement as it is the taste of Bitcoin. I agree with it. However, it is not favorable for Bitcoin to show such a fluctuating price. It brings fear to consumers, leading to hesitation from utilizing Bitcoin as a way of payment.

Chinese consumers may be responsible for this movement yesterday. It is said that approximately 90% of Bitcoin users is Chinese. As a result, the price of Bitcoin is deeply connected with the price of Renminbi. It means that the policy of Chinese government is quite influential to the stability of Bitcoin. If China regulates Bitcoin deals, its price will immensely fall. It is ironic that Bitcoin as a decentralized currency is under control of a particular government.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Britain EU ambassador quitted

Sir Ivan Rogers, Britain's EU ambassador, declared to quit his job.

Independent: Sir Ivan Rogers quits: Britain's EU ambassador attacks 'muddled' Brexit thinking in scathing resignation letter

It was scheduled for him to remain the seat of ambassador till this November. But he left the post all at sudden. His resignation letter suggests that he was suffering from continuous ignorance to his warning by the domestic authorities.

International Business Times: 'Never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power,' UK's departing EU diplomat tells colleagues

Rogers seemed to have had an opinion that the UK should not leave the EU. It is acceptable that he was mourning at the post to prepare for Brexit against his own ideology.

Some people claim that Rogers' resignation is not a tragedy but a chance to appoint a preferable person as his successor. Indeed, someone with an opinion of Eurosceptics would be motivated to be involved in the negotiation.

However, it must be a headache for Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the UK, to lose the ambassador who is skilled and familiar with the newest situation. Also, the UK seems to have few people with good leadership to integrate citizens' mind to Brexit, considering the current behaviors of Nigel Farage.

At last, Sir Tim Barrow officially succeeded Rogers' post.

Telegraph: Sir Tim Barrow will succeed Sir Ivan Rogers as Britain's ambassador to the EU

I think that the way to Brexit became more painful because of this incident.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Antibiotics in chicken hamburgers

Burger King banned antibiotics in the chickens of the hamburger.

The Guardian: Burger King to cut use of antibiotics in its chicken as part of superbug fight

Using antibiotics to kettles has been an issue for several decades. Once infectious diseases are spread in the farm, it inflicts a critical damage to consumers. Therefore, antibiotics were deemed as a necessary evil in stockbreeding.

However, recent overdosing of antibiotics brought a new problem: superbug. Some bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics thanks to frequent exposure to them. Pharmaceutical companies develop new antibiotics one after another. But the evolution speed of bacteria is superior to the effort of researchers. Finally, the only solution to prevent the emergence of superbugs is refraining from the use of strong antibiotics, ironically.

The policy of Burger King seems rational. But it may be outdated. McDonald's and Wendy's have already adopted a more strict policy regarding antibiotics.

Reducing antibiotics is a not easy mission both in human and kettles. If big companies lead the anti-antibiotic trend, other companies are likely to follow it. I welcome Burger King's challenge, regardless of the magnitude.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Obama expels Russian diplomats

The Obama administration carried out the exile of Russian diplomats as a revenge of Russia's hacking against the previous presidential election.

Sydney Morning Herald: US expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds over election hacking

A total of 35 Russian diplomats were forced to return home from the Russian embassy in Washington. Also, two Russian compounds were shut down.

It was apparent that Russian government repeatedly tried to control the result of the US Presidential vote. Donald Trump, the Presidential-elect, is friendly to Russia for unknown reasons, while Hilary Clinton has a strong policy against Russia. Russia itself admitted it conducted some hacking activities on the US government. It is still unclear, however, Russia's attempt was successful.

Responding the US declaration, Russia requested the canceling of the decision, as claiming the sanction is illegal. But, Putin commented that Russia would not take revenge to the US regarding this issue.

The New York Times: Vladimir Putin Won’t Expel U.S. Diplomats as Russian Foreign Minister Urged

In my opinion, Obama administration took a wrong way to address this problem. First, there is no evidence suggesting Russia's interference has influenced the outcome of the Presidential vote. Otherwise, the US would resume the vote. Thus, this sanction is kicking-the-cat for the defeated Democratic Party. Second, Russia seems indifferent to the movement of the US. Obama administration is a Lame duck. Putin only has to wait for the inauguration of Trump. And finally, it is highly possible every nation frequently take cyber attacking. The CIA in the US is not an exception. If the US government was compromised by Russian cyber team, simple the US is too weak to survive the modern age.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Huis Ten Bosch for the first time

I visited Huis Ten Bosch for the first time last month.

Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture. Its land is the widest as a theme park in Japan.

Huis Ten Bosch

Huis Ten Bosch is featuring Netherlands and other European countries. Thus, you can eat delicious German sausages there. There are also some building in which chocolates and sponge cakes are focused in Huis Ten Bosch.

I enjoyed some amusements there. I was impressed to watch 3D holography. I misidentified the movie as if real singers were singing on the stage.

And I also entered a trick art museum.

It was extremely cold in the Icy Cafe.

Unfortunately, there were no splendid ride-machines such as Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey available in Universal Studio Japan. Instead, I saw a musical showdown exclusively played there.

At night, you can see 3D projection mapping scenes there. They were quite attractive. We will be able to see similar movies anywhere in the future, I expect.

Finally, I recommend you to visit Huis Ten Bosch in spring. Although it is a nice place in winter, you will find beautiful flowers all around there in spring.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My goal in 2017: Temperate

A happy new year!

As you know, I set my personal principle every year.

2009: Responsible
2010: Deepen, widen, and take care of myself
2011: Carry out
2012: Do well
2013: Take risks
2014: Do immediately and every day
2015: Forecasting
2016: Accept and stare

Last year, as I prospected, I had some bitter experiences. I accepted them as they belonged to me. As a result, I felt I became more tolerate.

And this year, my goal is to be temperate.

Actually, I am worrying about my physical health. I often overeat than I absorb. Binge eating habit will bring me some troubles. Therefore, I should keep adequate amount of food whenever I have meal.

As well, not being greed is important in my life for gaining others' trust. I want to be a man who always keep an eye to the circumstance around me, not only for myself but also everyone than me.