Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sequels in May 2017

May 24, 2017
Explosion attack at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

It was a serious tragedy. And Ariana Grande decided to cancel rest tours promised to be performed in some other countries. I guess it was a painful decision for her.

May 12, 2017
Bubbling Bitcoin

The price of Bitcoin rapidly fell a few days ago. But it seems not a burst of the bubble, rather a kind of modification.

May 10, 2017
Moon Jae-in will be the president of South Korea

The new president Moon Jae-in expressed a worry about THAAD. He seems to be skeptical of the effect of THAAD. He ordered to investigate the current situation of launchers placed in South Korea.

SBS: South Korea's Moon orders probe into undisclosed US missile launchers

On the other hand, North Korea is continuing the experiment of a barristic missile. Its provocative behaviors attract the hatred of several countries.

May 9, 2017
Macron wins the presidential vote

President Macron made a handshake with Donald Trump during a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels. But he seems unease to the attitude of Trump who is skeptical of Paris climate deal. French president Macron says Trump handshake was 'not innocent'

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Do not believe yourself

Every self-developing method shares an ideology. Say, "Believe yourself!"

It is a strong idea to trust your potential. Even if everything is terrible around you, the belief that you are OK will rescue you. You may have a power to change everything.

However, I do not this idea at all, to be honest. In other words, I do not believe myself.

My memory is quite fragile. My abilities are so limited that I have made several failures. And I was supported by many people around me.

Being confident is useful in some context, I admit. But, it brings you recklessness. Also, there are many people who hardly can themselves. Being confident is only a remedy effective in limited opportunities.

So, I do not believe myself. Instead, I believe everything is going well, by other powers.

Being opportunistic is a golden rule for better life. It has been proven that almost 90% of your worries would not be realized. Thus, being anxious is no more beneficial for your daily life. Rather, you can believe someone who is talented and skilled for the better future than you. It is not shameful at all to rely on others

Monday, May 29, 2017

Trip to Atami

Recently, I visited Atami.

Atami is located in Shizuoka prefecture. It is popular as a spa town. The climate is warm, and there are some palm trees along the seashore.

This pine tree is "Omiya-no-matsu." It is connected to "Konjiki-Yasha," an ancient tale of poor lovers.

At the top of a mountain, I could view the Sagami bay.

And nearby the Atami Castle, I found "Hiho-kan." It is a museum featuring erotic arts.

I also went to Hatsushima island. It was a small island. This shrine is "Ryujin-gu," located at the side of a main street in Hatsushima.

There was a rose garden nearby the hotel I stayed. Many flowers bloomed there.

Atami is rather a traditional spot for travelers. There are few exciting places. Young people tend not to visit there. But hot spring is good. I enjoyed staying.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Count of platelet may be a predictor of cancer

Recently, an amazing report about the screening of cancer was published in British Journal of General Practice.

According to the researchers at the University of Exeter, high amount of platelet in the blood is considerable to be a predictor of all kind of cancers. They examined approximately 50,000 people with age of over 40 in Britain, to find that participants with thrombocytosis; 11.6% of men and 6.2% of women, had a higher risk of cancer. Lung and colorectal cancers were more positively associated with raised platelets. The author of this paper claims that predictive value with counting platelet is as much as the manual screening for breast cancer, one of the most reliable way to find cancer.

The Guardian: High blood platelet count 'as good a cancer predictor as a lump in the breast'

If this hypothesis is correct, we must gain a strong weapon against cancer. Blood exam is now a very easy, cheap, and minimally invasive examination. If doctors in charge are a little more aware of interpreting the labo data, many people will be saved from fatally progressed cancer.

It is still unclear why increased platelets are relevant to a malignant growth. Perhaps, it is associated with the failure of the human immune system. Or, some types of malignant cells may cause a dysfunctional order to increase the production of platelets

Anyway, it is a quite interesting idea that platelet is associated with neoplasms. I will keep an eye to this progressive hypothesis for a while.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Is the tobacco filter rather harmful?

Researchers in Australia made a warning that a tobacco filter is no more useful to reduce the risk of cancer.

According to the paper recently published by the researchers at Curtin University, filter ventilation does not reduce tar yield. Instead, it slows the speed of consuming. Therefore, smokers are to absorb more tar with filter ventilation.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Modern cigarette filters increase the risk of lung cancer, study finds

They also examined the relationship between the prevalence rate of lung adenocarcinoma and smoking; the former is still rising. As I understand, smoking is not responsible for the onset of adenocarcinoma. Thus, this relationship is not necessary to be investigated for proving the harm of filter.

On the other hand, a large cohort study is needed to clarify the benefit or harm of using a filter. It is not adequate to say the filter raises the risk of cancer with examining past literature because there are no studies to have suspected this possibility.

Anyway, it is no doubt that tobacco is harmful to the human body. We should know there are no ways to attenuate the health risk of smoking as far as you smoke.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Firstborn theory still alive?

Do you believe the first born child is likely to succeed in business?

Firstborn children tend to be CEOs or politicians than other siblings by 30 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas-Austin, and Sweden's Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

The Atlantic: Why First-Born Children Are Better Leaders

They consider that parents invest lots to their fist born child and that it may contribute to the success of them. Instead, later children are likely to live a freer life.

This hypothesis is at a glance persuasive. Many people feel that first born children are more independent and aggressive. However, there is a possibility of cognitive bias on the image of sibling order. When you notice I am the first child, you begin to identify me as so.

In addition, the so-called generational gap should be taken account. In a later era, it may be difficult to raise a company in some developed countries. Such environmental change is hardly adjustable with technical modification.

I believe family psychology is useful for better understanding of the client at the individual level. However, we should be cautious to generalize some principles to other families we do not know much.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Women in a deprived region become anxious than men

A recent large study showed that women were more likely to be anxious than men in a deprived region.

This study, published in British Medical Journal, targeted 21,000 UK people to investigate their anxiety level. As a result, 2.5% of the women were diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. And the wealth level of where they live was influential in women, not in men.

Independent: Poorer women far more affected by anxiety than men, study finds

The author suggested the fact that women were highly likely to be a single parent was related to this result. Also, lower wage in women seems to be associative.

On the other hand, genetic factors seem not to be mentioned in this article.  Women are likely to become anxious, generally speaking. Thus, they may be vulnerable to environmental factors to cause general anxiety disorder. I think this pathway is also not ignorable to discuss the high prevalence of anxiety in women in the deprived region.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Explosion attack at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

Again, a terror attack occurred in England.

On May 22, 2017, an explosion emerged at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. It took at least 22 lives and injured more than 50 people.

Fox News: Ariana Grande concert explosion: 22 dead, 59 injured in 'terrorist incident'

It was 10:30 pm, immediately after the last number was finished. Ariana Grande herself was safe, according to her manager. The police are investigating this incident deeming as committed by suicidal bombers.

Nobody has claimed responsibility at the time I am writing this entry. But it is highly likely that some terrorists deliberately conducted this evil act.

In recent years, the number of terror reports is increasing in the UK. There are two possibilities behind this situation. First, border control is no more effective to prevent terrorists from entering the UK, albeit Heathrow airport was said to be the most strictly protected border. Second, some people in the UK are influenced by destructive ideology. In this case, it is also no use to excluding immigrants for protecting the cities.

There are many ideologies in the world. Each of them should be respected. However, I cannot accept the idea taking other's life by power, regardless of the reasons. I pray for the victims.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Edaravone is approved as a drug for ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the deadly and painful diseases in the world. Patients with ALS experience gradual weakening of the muscles, leading to the failure of the respiratory system. As the intelligence and consciousness of the patients are not impaired, they have serious time for several years.

Recently, Food and Drug Administration of the US approved the second drug for ALS. Its name is edaravone.

Edaravone was developed by MT Pharma America, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, a famous Japanese pharmaceutical company.

The New York Times: A Second Drug Is Approved to Treat A.L.S.

In the human body, edaravone is bound to free radicals. Free radicals are considered to harm the human tissue seriously. Thus, edaravone has an effect of attenuating free radicals. Edaravone is also used for patients with an acute cerebral infarction, because it is believed that free radicals have a certain role in destroying brain cells.

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in Japan, participants with ALS who took edaravone were less likely to deteriorate their physical condition for six months. As ALS is a progressive disease, stopping the progress of shrinking muscle is a desirable outcome of this new drug.

Although this result is very promising, there is still barriers to overcome the suffering from ALS. It is impossible to reverse the progressed status of the muscle in the patient with the modern medicines.

On the other hand, free radical is one of the hot topics in the region of medical science. If edaravone has really a great effect of neutralizing free radicals, it will be utilized for several other diseases.

Monday, May 22, 2017

100% electric cars in India by 2030

The Indian government is planning to ban vehicles powered by petrol or diesel by 2030.

The energy minister intends to lower the cost of importing fuel, as well as alleviate the fatality caused by air pollution. Now, there are 2.3 million deaths due to air pollution estimated to occur every year in India.

Independent: India to make every single car electric by 2030 in bid to tackle pollution that kills millions

The introduction of electric cars is a trend in recent years. In some regions in Swiss, petrol cars are completely prohibited. Olso plans to make some areas even car-free.

My past entry: Oslo will partially be free from cars

However, these attempts are heard only in developed countries. Petrol vehicle is now a traditional way of transportation. It has rooted in our daily life. And they have become far less expensive than the past. Many people are willing to buy a car. Even in developed countries, an electric car is still a costly and inconvenient option.

Therefore, India's challenge seems unrealistic. Some comments on the article above suggest issues which need to be prioritized than electric cars.

On the other hand, if India accomplishes the withdrawal from petrol vehicles, it can have a strong impact. Many nations will follow it. And the behaviors of consumers will be altered. Car companies will have to change their strategy dramatically.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

WannaCry storm

Recently, many reports of the damage caused by ransom ware, named WannaCry, attracted public attention.

Ransom ware is a kind of malware. It automatically encrypts the main data in the infected hard drive. Then, the attacker demands the ransom for recovering the data to the victim.

Some ransom ware were developed several years ago for the first time. Recently, hospitals were targeted to the cyber attack.

My past entry: Ransom-ware and Bitcoin in hospital

WannaCry utilizes a security hole in Microsoft Windows. In real, Microsoft released a patch to address this problem in this March. But some people had not adopted this update. It expanded the damage all around the world. Microsoft had to care Windows Vista, which had not been subject to the service by the provider, to prevent further damage.

And now, the number of victims are estimated as 200,000 in over 150 countries. National Health Service (NHS) in England was also victimized.

Independent: NHS cyber attack: Ransomware hits 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, says Europol director

One of the reasons for expanded damage is the dominance of Microsoft software. The Recent development of the internet enabled us to transfer astronomical amount of information immediately. Although its advantage is amazing, the magnitude of the risk by whom with malice is also gigantic.

On the other hand, utilization of ransom ware has a weak point as well as a real kidnapping. It is how to get the ransom. Modern cyber criminals tend to use Bitcoin to transfer money. Since Bitcoin is crypt currency, it seems anonymous. In real, however, all transaction of Bitcoin can be traced. And finally, the user has to exchange Bitcoin into real money. Stock exchanges, such as bankrupted Mt. Gox, are responsible for this transaction. At this stage, exchange always requests an identification of the user. Therefore, money laundering using Bitcoin is not so easy as imagined.

Indeed, British experts identified three Bitcoin addresses for the destination of the ransom. The total amount of Bitcoin was equivalent to only 20,000 USD.

The Guardian: Criminals behind cyber-attack have raised just $20,000, experts say

On the other hand, the price of Bitcoin is rapidly increasing. If the culprit does not exchange the Bitcoin he got as ransom into money, its value will be raised unintentionally.

Convenience and risk always coincide. We should be aware of the optimal balance of them. And when he draw the Bitcoin, he will be arrested.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why healthy diet is difficult

Do you know the two essential things to maintain your health? Of course, they are regular exercise and proper diet.

Both are hardly accomplished. Especially, the latter is quite difficult for us to keep. Recent studies show you have to take five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day. They seem a very large portion.

The Conversation: Food as medicine: why do we need to eat so many vegetables and what does a serve actually look like?

For taking adequate vegetables and fruits, the author of this article above recommends you to introduce some new types of items. Actually, a variation of food makes us motivated to try new menus.

However, the strongest barrier against varied meals is money. As mentioned in this article, poor people tend to take excessive carbohydrate. Vegetables and fruits are generally more costly than grain. Therefore, many people with financial problems are likely to omit vegetables and fruits for cutting expenditure. It takes their health in a longitudinal view.

Another reason is that vegetable is generally recognized as less delicious than grain and meat. Not a few people dislike taking vegetable. Even if you are fond of eating beef steak only with salt, you may need dressing to eat salad.

Deliciousness and energy are biologically associated. The human feel delicious when taking food with high energy. It is an instinct of the body.  As a result, most people in developed countries take excessive energy in the daily meal, which may contain little vegetable.

It is not easy to maintain a healthy diet even in wealthy people. We should be aware of the meaning of each meal we take. Acquiring proper dietary habit at the early age is helpful to continue it. Also, people with financial problems need support to achieve a healthy diet. Otherwise, they will get ill, resulting in the issue deteriorated.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Toxic coffee

There are some amount of people pursuing strong caffeine. Previously, I introduced an Australian cafe offering extremely dense coffee.

My past entry: An Australian café offers toxic amount of caffeine

And recently, a product with a similar concept is available also in the US. You can buy "Black Insomnia," as well as "Death Wish." Black Insomnia Death Wish

But are they safe for the human body? Probably, not. You should be cautious to its adverse effect especially you have a heart disease.

The limit of caffeine in a day you can take is said to 400mg. It is equivalent to four cups of regular coffee. In contrast, Death Wish contains 702 mg of caffeine in a cup.

The Atlantic: Drinking Four Cups of Coffee Is Probably Safe

Caffeine has several effects on the body. Taking much caffeine makes you hypertension. It will be a cause of myocardial infarction, at least theoretically. But, it is highly likely you are safe after taking this extreme coffee. The toxic effect of caffeine is too weak to have a fatal influence on your heart.

Nonetheless, there is a case of fatality due to excessive taking caffeine in Japan recently reported. I never recommend you to take caffeine excessively.

Some people pursues stimulus. It is a kind of addiction. The addictive tendency is often elevated with chronic exposure. If you are indulged in coffee, take a break for a while.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Risk of death in several activities

All of us will die for some reasons. It is an absolute fact. But, it is not sure what will kill you.

Most people in developed countries are killed by some disease. Malignant neoplasm is one of the main causes of death. In some countries, especially with a lower standard of medicines, infectious diseases are more dominant as a reason of death.

In contrast, there are relatively a few people die in an accident. Do you know someone around you who were killed in a car accident? Or, you may be afraid of the crash of an airplane. In real, it is not realistic to be concerned about such immature death. Statistics shows there is merely one per a million risk of fatality within 40,000 km of the aero trip. The probability an airplane takes your life is less than a marathon.

The Conversation: What’s most likely to kill you? Measuring how deadly our daily activities are

This kind of comparison attracts public attention. But it is because most people cannot estimate the risk of each activity precisely. We are fearful to be attacked by a shark. In real, however, kangaroo is dangerous as same as a shark.

We have cognitive biases. An apparent danger brings a fearful emotion to our mind. Then, we tend to overestimate the likelihood of the incident. An impressive episode also draws our emotional reaction. As a result, we are prepared excessively to a rare undesirable event. The enhanced security checking in the US after the 9.11 terror attack is a good example.

Our fear has protected us from several terrors in nature. But, it is not rational to rely on our instinct in considering the risk control. Precise estimation and deliberate discussion are needed in managing the risks.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Benefit of sadness: is it true?

As all we are humans, we experience several types of emotion every day. Some of them are comfortable: joy, loveliness, excitement, and happiness. In contrast, we are occasionally attacked by bad emotions.

Negative emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and pain are unwelcome. But they are unavoidable in our life. In recent years, some researchers are eager to evaluate these emotions focusing their positive effects.

The Conversation: Why bad moods are good for you: the surprising benefits of sadness

According to the author of this article above, people in sad mood often have good performance in anticipating and communicating in some situations. I have heard a similar anecdote. Some people were encouraged to play a game. The result of each game was determined completely by chance. Participants in a depressive state could recognize that their effort to win the game was no use. But participants in normal mood misunderstood that they had won the game by their skills.

Thus, negative emotions often help us to make a deliberate decision. In contrast, people in an elevated mood are likely to make a bold decision. It sometimes results in a miserable failure. Many successful executives call themselves as a timid administrator.

As well as sadness, anger and fear are also productive in some situations. If your child is in danger, you should become angry to save your child's life with any compensation, according to the author of this book below. The Upside of Your Dark Side

Considering these ideas, negative emotions are neither to be avoided, nor to be ignored. The author criticizes the current tendency of wanting to eliminate any negative emotions in the US.

Their claim seems rational. For example, you may feel extremely sad after the death of your sweetheart. But, how do you feel if your doctor recommends you to take antidepressants then? Are you happy if the pill erases your sadness completely?

The answer, however, depends on the magnitude or your grief. Some people commit suicide after a sad event. Even if I understand the agony of the person, I never accept the decision of taking his or her life.

In my opinion, there is a difference between natural sadness and pathological sadness. And the latter should be subjected to medical care. It is often difficult to distinguish them. Therefore, we should be cautious to deem the emotion as unhealthy. In real, people consulting a counselor are treated as a client. So, we provide medical care for them.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Longer imprisonment would be no good

Japan has several advantages as a nation. On the other hand, I believe there are some customs in Japan. For example, criminal justice systems in Japan is outdated.

In a historical point of view, Japan has strengthened the degree of punishment for crimes repeatedly. In recent years, a person who caused a traffic accident while recognizing that he or she had a risk, (e.g. some physical or mental diseases) was to be accused of "vehicular homicide." Thus, people who have epilepsy or diabetes are likely to be punished harshly when causing a car crash.

As well, the punishment for juvenile crimes is gradually enhanced.

It is well known that longer imprisonment is unlikely to prevent further crimes by the perpetrator. Also, it is doubtful to make other people stop committing crimes. At least in the level of academic research, harsh punishment is no longer useful for public safety at all.

In addition, imprisonment is costly.  In Australia, 1,000 USD per year is needed for keeping a criminal in the prison. The situation is similar in Japan.

The Conversation: Mandatory minimum sentences and populist criminal justice policy do not work – here’s why

Also in Australia, dilation of the mandatory term of imprisonment seems to be a recent trend. The main reason may be the rise of populism. Excluding criminals from our society sounds good, because no one wants to be victimized.

However, it would not be a solution in a longitudinal view. People who were incarcerated will be released some day. If they have not learned the way to be reintegrated into the community, they will have no choice but re-offend. In real, longer imprisonment gets rid of the power of living from detainees.

In Japan, 90% of the people support the capital punishment. It is shameful to know my neighbors will never accept people with offending history. It represents the tradition in Japan not permitting a failure.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Itching, and more, are other senses than our five senses

You may have heard the words "sixth sense," meaning an extraordinary power. Thus, humans have only five kinds of sense; sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

But Chris Eccleston, a British psychologist, says that there are more than five senses we have. And he claims that several senses are paid attention for better medical treatment.

Sydney Morning Herald: Forget the sixth sense. Meet the 10 neglected senses that could help the way we treat pain

According to him, senses other than traditional five are motion, balance, pain, pressure, fatigue, breathing, temperature, appetite, expulsion, and itch.

This explanation sounds rational. All we can feel and understand these senses. Indeed, it has been proven that the receptor of pressure is different from the receptor of touch. For example, you get anesthetized before your tooth pulled out. You may feel the sense the presence of your sick tooth being lost, despite the absence of any pain.

Prof. Eccleston also commented that itch is contagious. I am doubtful to his idea, however. I am not sure that there are some clinical trials to examine this hypothesis. If the itch is infectious, we will feel itch even if you cannot see the person in front of you itching his skin.

I guess we imagine the itching sense when confronting a person suffering from itch. Thus, it is no other than empathy. As well, we feel pain when seeing a man with a painful face.

Nevertheless, we are now ready to think more deeply about our senses. In the near future, "sixth sense" will be no more available, perhaps.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rakuten Asset Building Festival 2017

Yesterday, I attended a seminar produced by Rakuten Securities. Its name is "Rakuten Asset Building Festival 2017."

Rakuten is a famous company which was originally developed as e-commerce. Now Rakuten is a gigantic company so that it is often compared with Amazon in Japan. In recent years, Rakuten began some other businesses such as Rakuten Securities and Rakuten Golden Eagles as a professional baseball team.

There were over a thousand people listening to the seminar. The theme was personal asset building.

In Japan, many people do not trust the scheme of the public pension. Aging is so serious in Japan that people over 65 are over a third of the population. It means that young generation needs to support many elders. It is hardly believable the public pension for elders will be sustainable in the future.

In the seminar, a couple of guests were invited to the talking session.  They were Kintaro and Amemiya; both are famous comedians.

Some Japanese comedians earn a large amount of money if they become popular. Most of them know that their reputation will not last forever. But they are not familiar with managing their estate. Indeed, some of them experience bankrupt with deceived by someone.

I learned some important issues yesterday. Asset building is not a complicated matter. But some people misunderstand it. I will reconsider the portfolio of my resources.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bubbling Bitcoin

Recently, crypt currency became a hot topic again. The price of Bitcoin jumped up in this month, and now has overcome the highest range ever before, reaching 1,800 USD.

Other crypt currencies are also rocketing.

One of the reasons is that "segwit," a new scheme for solution of the scalability issue, was going to be equipped in some currencies. This topic had been discussed for these some years.

Also, instability of political situation in some nations may be influential to the value of crypt currency.

However, I am doubtful to justify the current price of crypt currencies. The structure around Bitcoin is still vulnelable. In the near future, the prices will be damaged by some trust risks, I guess.

Trip to Izumo and Tottori

Recently, I visited Shimane and Tottori prefecture, an western region in Japan.

Izumo is called as a land of Gods. In ancient Japan, it is said that all Gods of Japan are gathered to Izumo in October. October is also called "Kannna-zuki" [a month without gods] in a traditional term in Japan, except Izumo area. In contrast, Izumo people call October as Kami-ari-zuki [a month with gods].

Izumo Oyashiro is a famous shrine. It was very big and so solemn that I could not take a photo there.

And there are some famous Japanese traditional parks. They were also beautiful.

This is Yushien.

A large numbers of peonies were planted there.

This is Adachi Museum of Art. It equips a gigantic Japanese park.

I also visited Tottori sand dunes. There are no deserts in Japan. Therefore, I enjoyed this place as I entered a dune for the first time.

I completely enjoyed this journey.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A case of continuous sexual abuses occurred in Cambridge

It was shocking for me to see the news that a teacher had abused a pupil for years. According to the media, he chained a girl naked to a radiator after the class dismissed almost every day. The sexual abuse was continued for years.

The BBC: Council 'failed to protect girl from abusive teacher'

It is regrettable that this serious crime was not prevented despite a social worker had previously warned the risk of sexual offending of the abuser. He had been suspected of another case, but still had been permitted to teach girls.

Now the abuser was banned from teaching forever. But, it does not exclude the possibility that he will contact other girls in other settings such as a private teaching session. Sexual abuse very frequently recurs, as it is an addictive behavior. Regardless of punishing him, he needs to take a series of therapy to modify the tendency to an abusive relationship.

Also, the court ordered the council to compensate the victim's agony. A total of 550,000 GBP was paid to the victim. I do not think that the amount is excessive for her damage. I am not sure that the council was really responsible for this incident. Anyway, it is sure that someone needed to alleviate the magnitude of the damage on her.

Also, it is not surprising that she had not been able to call for help for years. Victims of a sexual crime are likely to feel so solitude that they abandon to gain the supports of others.

Similar incidents also occur in Japan. We should be aware of the risk of this kind of crimes around ourselves.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Moon Jae-in will be the president of South Korea

Following French one, the South Korean Presidential vote was conducted on May 9th, 2017. The exit poll suggested the victory of Moon Jae-in, the leader of Democratic Party, as expected before.

CNN: South Korea election: Exit poll points to Moon Jae-in win

Moon is leading a liberal party. It means that left-winged politician will occupy the presidential seat after an interval of nine years.

In addition, Moon has a relatively generous policy to North Korea, different from other candidates. It seems many South Korean people do not want to deteriorate the tension with North Korea.

On the other hand, South Korea is eager to compensate the delay of domestic policy making due to dismissed Park, the ex-president. The new president will soon begin to administer the parliament in spite of the tradition in the past.

The Strait Times: Elected South Korean president to take office immediately

Moon is also well known as hating Japan. Regardless of his own ideology, however, he would not have won the vote if he had not claimed the cancel of the Korean-Japan agreement about comfort women in the WWII era which was contracted during the Park administration. Hatred against Japan is a common strategy in the presidential campaign in Korea. But, if Korea cancels the agreement, Japan will become difficult to trust Korea, I am afraid. And it is no good for the both nations at all.

By the way, the son of Moon is suspected to have got a job with an illegal way, according to the media. If the suspect is serious, Moon will face a difficult situation soon.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Macron wins the presidential vote

On May 7th, 2017, Emmanuel Macron won the presidential vote in France. He will be the youngest leader of France ever before.

He defeated Marine Le Pen at the final vote of the presidential election. The acquisition rate was 66.1% vs. 33.9% at the final.

Express: French election results LIVE: Updates, latest news as Macron WINS, defeating Marine Le Pen

European leaders, especially in the EU, welcomed Macron's victory. They seemed very released to see that French selected Macron whose ideology is the EU-friendly. Le Pen modified her stance to the EU, not emphasizing her desire to say goodbye to the EU, in the latest part of the presidential campaign, but she failed to gather the vote of liberal people.

Financial Times: Emmanuel Macron sets sights on economic and eurozone reforms

However, Macron is not a politician with traditional policy, either. He has to reform the economic status of France, as well as Eurozone itself. Fiscal consolidation will be required for France in advance to intervene the Eurozone. Macron faces tough challenges.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Physical activity saves your life from myocardial event

Regular exercise is well known to protect your health. It prevents you from metabolic syndrome, alleviates the declination of your energy following aging. And also, exercise will reduce fatality of a fatal event in your heart, according to a recent study.

Hindustan Times: Want to survive a heart attack? Then, exercise as often as you can

In this study above, thousands of people were followed during some decades. The cardiac events and whether they are fatal or not were recorded. As a result, people who take regular exercise were more likely to survive myocardial infarction, which generally will be an instant kill for one-fourth of the patients. In addition, the more the participants took exercise, the less they were taken their life by the myocardial infarction.

This study is a prospective cohort study with a large sample size. Although I have not read the original article, its internal validity seems high. Since it is difficult to conduct an interventional study of this kind of theme, we have to make much account of this result.

Of course, excessive exercise is rather harmful to your health. You should adhere to your own physical state in coordinating an exercise program.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Social media cannot cure your depression

The rise of social media in recent years has inflicted strong impact on our daily life. Its effects are not limited to benefits such as easing to find friends and information, but there are some adverse influences.

In addition to the influence of fake news spread through social media issued in the previous US presidential campaign, some people feel sad or ashamed if they could not attract attention from others after submitting something. They feel as if they are ignored when their friends did not give "like" on the Facebook.

Then, does getting many "likes" make you happy? A recent study dismissed this idea.

Independent: Facebook likes don't make people any less miserable, study confirms

In this study, 340 social network users replied to the questionnaire in which the usage of social media and their idea upon them. Many participants of the study answered that they wouldn't like to buy the "like" for money. And even if they were given many "likes" they would not become happy from their depressive state.

This study is not an interventional one. Therefore, its validity should be cautiously examined. Nonetheless, I believe responses on the social media will never elevate your mood when you are depressed. In general, people with a depressive state cannot accept positive feedback from others as it is. Rather, they seek some reasons of their success from an external factor, instead of approving their effort. Some "likes" with a short comment is not powerful to effectively encourage depressed people.

On the other hand, people in a depressed state easily become dependent on external things, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and the internet. Indulgence to the internet is not only exhausting for depressed people but also harmful when they are harassed on the internet. Therefore, I do not recommend patients with depression to devote much time to the internet activity unless they have a supporter in real.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Smell diagnosis, is it no more fantasy?

The Recent development of the AI is splendid in several regions. Especially in medicine, a newly developed technology using an AI will have a great impact on the treatment strategy.

Recently, some researchers are willing to establish the machine which can smell the patient's body to detect some particular diseases.

The utilization of smell for a medical diagnosis is not a new approach. In ancient Greek and Chinese medical practitioners were said to be able to smell some kind of illnesses.

The New York Times: One Day, a Machine Will Smell Whether You’re Sick

In spite of limited evidence, some doctors claim that they can identify the fatality of each patient with their smell, naming as "death-smell." I do not support their claims, but I think it is possible to establish the method to distinguish some physical status of the human using the analysis of the smell if supported by delicate sensors.

In this April Fool, I wrote a joke article in which a face cognition program can diagnose the patient's mental status. It is no other than a fantasy at present. On the other hand, most psychiatrists make use of the facial expression of the patient for a precise diagnosis. In the future, how to evaluate the patient's face may be established.

My past entry: Face cognition program can sense Praecox-gehuehl

The interpretation of the primitive sense of others such as smell and facial emotion has been a human ability which is hardly structurally explained. Nowadays, big data and the AI is changing the rule of the game. Some day, even our intuition can be visualized, perhaps.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The effect of drugs on chess

The Olympic has a strict policy to ban doping athletes. The organizer considers that drug users violate the spirit of sports. But how is it in the brain sports?

Recent studies suggest that modafinil and methylphenidate are potentially beneficial to the human in improving some kind of thinking ability. They are commonly used in patients with ADHD, a mental disorder with attention deficit. But their effect seems not limited to particular patients.

The effect of the stimulants is not to enhance cognitive skills. Users of stimulants tended to think slower, according to the study. The researchers hypothesized that they make the users think deeply rather than intuitively. In other words, they became willing to think deeper.

The Atlantic: On Cognitive Doping in Chess (and Life)

In recent years, it was said that the human thought is categorized into two patterns fast and intuitive thought and slow and penetrating thought. They are complementary to each other.

The World Chess Federation introduced drug testing in 1999 because of the possibility that chess would be admitted as an event of Olympic games. I think it is rational if such a drugs can change human mind. But there is room for reconsideration for people with ADHD getting prescribed a stimulant.

Furthermore, the WCF took into consideration to add caffeine to the list of banned drugs. It is excessive, I think. Caffeine use is not so harmful to human body unless an extraordinary amount is taken. One of the goals of the regulation is to protect the body of athletes. In this sense, banning tobacco should be prioritized because tobacco is more harmful than caffeine, and it has an effect on the cognitive function.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Drawing class

Today, I had a lesson of drawing and painting.

The teacher was an ex-lecturer of an art college. He taught us in one-by-one for a couple of hours at an atelier.

I drew a picture of a bamboo shoot. It was difficult for me to express its color and contrast on the surface of it.

The teacher told me that the upper part of an object usually should be painted with a light color compared with the lower side because the light illuminates the object from above.

Then, he adjusted my picture with a quick work. It became considerably improved immediately.

Artists have unique senses, I believe. They must see another scene than I in each moment.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Court admits mobile phone makes you cancer

In an Italian court, the relationship between use of mobile phone and the brain tumor was certified for the first time.

A person who had been engaged in business always using a mobile phone for a long time had an acoustic nerve tumor. He got saved his life because the tumor was benign, but he lost his auditory sense. The man claimed that his disease was a workplace accident.

After all, the court decided that his brain tumor was caused by an excessive use of mobile phone. The man will receive the compensation from the national insurance. Italian court rules mobile phone caused tumour

Some researchers are concerned about the causal relationship between the electric wave and neoplasm. It is highly likely that strong electricity is harmful to the human body. But the intensity of its influence is still under discussion. The general use of mobile phone may not be a risk. However, the longitudinal influence of using electric devices is still unclear because only a few decades have passed since they were developed.

I think the court decision was rather progressive. It may be unscientific, but the court often has to prioritize the benefit of issued persons than the scientific fact.

In recent years, laborers' right is more accounted than ever before. Shift-time work was also admitted as a cause of cancer. It is important to reconsider the balance between the work and health in the era in which the meaning of work is gradually changing.

My past entry: Shift time working brings you cancer

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Trump's first 100 days as the President

A hundred days have passed since Donald Trump took the seat of the President of the US. He made a speech to celebrate the cornerstone.

In his speech, Trump's attitude seemed not to be changed at all. He praised the process he had taken so far. The withdrawal from TPP was firstly listed up in this achievement.

Aljazeera: Donald Trump praises his first 100 days in office

Trump did not forget to criticize the media with insisting they reported the fake news. Also, he emphasized that withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement and dramatic tax cut were planned.

I do not like Donald Trump. And he performed even less than expected before the inauguration, in my opinion. Cancellation of Obamacare, the border wall against Mexico, and banning of Muslims entering the US, were all unsuccessful. Of course, as they are all absurd policies, his failures are rather beneficial to the US and the whole world, I believe.

On the other hand, it is too early to decide that Trump is a stupid President. A hundred days is not sufficient to realize some important policies. Regardless of his exclusive nationalism, it is possible that his economic policy will make the US great again. We need to keep an eye on the situation for a while.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Alitalia's insolvency

Alitalia, a flagship airline company in Italy, is going to be bankrupted.

In Recent years, Alitalia was suffering from a shortage of money. Also, its reputation has fallen because of a mass theft scandal. The other day, Air France planned to buy the company. But its acquisition was canceled mainly due to the resistance of the employees.

My past entry: Accidental airplanes

My past entry: Baggage theft cases in Alitalia

And now, recapitalization is still almost impossible because it requires a significant cut of salary. It seems unavoidable that Alitalia will proceed to an insolvency state.

International Business Times: Alitalia goes bust: Italy's flagship airline triggers insolvency process as liquidation looms

At a glance, the failure of Alitalia is attributable to the employees' attitude, as they repeatedly rejected bailout programs suggested so far. Also in Japan, employees of Japan Airline strongly opposed to salary cut when it was in peril of bankrupt.

It is quite natural that employees prioritize the amount of  their salary per work. On the other hand, if Alitalia becomes unavailable, it is predictable that the number of tourists visiting Italy will seriously drop. It may be critical for Italy itself, considering that tourism is one of the main source of gaining foreign money.

After all, this is an issue of public goods. Privatization of a flagship airline is a double-bladed saber.