Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Google will no more scan your emails

Google stated that it would abandon scanning the contents of your Gmail.

The new policy will be adopted in this year. Google has been utilized the words in your Gmail to optimize the advertisement which will be sent to you. It is unsurprising that this way has been criticized as an invasion of user's privacy.

Google's decision seems to have been partially based on increased number of paid corporate members. They have not got their Gmails scanned.

As well, Google can analyze each user's favor through scanning the history of YouTube and Google Search. They provide enough information about which kind of ads fit each user.

Google's policy change will not only attract users but also reduce the risk of being sued in the future. On the other hand, I wonder how this change will damage the quality of the advertisement, which is still the most primary sources of profit for Google.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Shaved ice

In recent years, it is very hot in summer. It is getting uncomfortable more and more. I often misidentify as if Japan is located in a tropical region.

Then, shaved ice is a good idea to take when you feel hot. Shaved ice is very popular in Japan. Every summer, many new series of shaved ice are sold.

To be honest, I had not liked shaved ice so much because it was too cold for me. But recent recipes are not so cold and easy to eat.

This is a shaved ice decorated with strawberries and whipped cream. I ate it in Osaka.

And I ate this one at Nagoya. Chocolate cream was matched with fine ice.

Unfortunately, most shaved ice is served only in summer. I miss them in autumn. Actually, it is still hot in autumn in Japan.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How to respond when you see bad news

Nowadays, the internet brings us much much information. And social media tend to choose extreme cases for the suggestion to us. We often encounter surprising facts most of which are very sad matter.

Seeing bad news makes us upset. You may become depressed after seeing tragic story repeatedly. We can turn it off immediately. And some people recommend doing so.

However, being blind to bad news is not a good idea, according to the author of this article below.

The Conversation; It’s all too easy to switch off from bad news – and it’s dangerous too

We should be aware of the shape of the world. And we have to find the positive aspect of some unfortunate event.

I agree with this opinion to some extent. But it is not a rule always to adhere. If you have been already depressed due to personal troubles, you should not look at bad news outside of you. Close your eyes and protect you until your damaged mood recovers.

Also, you should prioritize the issues around you. Your family, close friends, and business partners may be suffering from serious troubles. Treating them is much more important for you than expressing a compassion to others behind the TV and the internet.

You can feel difficult to find positive aspects of the event you see. Then, simply express your grief. Positive thinking is toxic in some situation. It is the best way to do nothing but cry in the absolute sorrow.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Starbucks accepts refugees

Starbucks, a popular coffee shop franchise, announced to have hired a total of 2,500 refugees across European countries.

Its movement was responding to criticism against Starbucks originated from Donald Trump's executive order to ban Muslim immigrants.

Independent: Starbucks to hire 2,500 refugees across Europe in defiance of social media backlash

Now, about 8% of Starbucks shoppers in Europe are refugees, according to the company. But, it is suggested that far more refugees want a job in several countries. Generally speaking, Labors unions are hesitating, accepting refugees because of a fear domestic worker would be replaced by immigrants.

I think it is quite good big companies such as Starbucks take leadership in a movement which is considered as politically correct. Gigantic companies are responsible to some extent for not only its own profit but also community itself, in my sense.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Overcome your anxiety

Anxiety disorder is one of the mental illnesses we encounter most frequently. It resembles depression because most depressive patients often feel anxious. But its dominant symptom is not a depressive mood but anxiety.

Anxiety is one of the human emotions we have to get along with since the ancient era. As we feel anxious, we can examine a plan to carry out the project. Anxiety makes you distant from potential dangers. Thus, this annoying emotion is essential for survival.

However, excessive anxiety is not only useless for your life but also harmful. Some patients cannot take a train because of the fear they encounter an accident. Hypochondriac patients check their physical status repeatedly, unnecessarily, and it leads them rather more anxious.

Researchers suggest anxiety disorder is also a serious disorder as well as depression. It lowers our productivity and even reduces life expectancy.

Then, how can we overcome anxiety?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as medication, is said to effective to reduce your anxiety level. But there are not so many therapists available in the clinical setting. In Japan, few patients meet a specialist for proper treatment.

One simple but effective option against anxiety is not to address it. “Do it badly” is a strong strategy if you suffer from anxiety. Perfectionism is a common obstacle to keep you from relaxation.

The Conversation: Surprising ways to beat anxiety and become mentally strong – according to science

In this article above, you are recommended to “wait to worry,” as well as doing badly. Indeed, it is said that 90% of your worries are not realized. The rest 10% is to be addressed seriously. But it is not too late to treat it when you notice that they are real challenges.

It is also a good solution to worry about others instead of yourself. When you are in the cloud of anxiety, you cannot see other persons. When you think of others, you may be free from unreal fears of your surroundings.

In Japan, Morita therapy was born to overcome anxiety. Morita said that you have to let your anxiety as it is. His idea is consistent with the concept of mindfulness. I believe Morita therapy is one of the strongest option of treatment strategy of anxiety disorder.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Logan, impressive but destructive as well as intrusive

I saw "Logan" in cinema. It is the last movie of Wolverine acted by Hugh Jackman.

It describes the US in 2025. For a couple of decades, there have been no mutants born. Thus, mutants are in the peril of extinction. And Wolverine is also suffering from aging. For unknown reasons, his healing factor is no more effective.

Furthermore, to be surprised, Professor X has dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. He misconducted the telepathy to damage large people one year ago. Since then, he has been forced to take tranquilizers regularly by Wolverine.

What a dystopia it is! Logan begins with such a miserable opening.

And, he finds Laura, a mysterious girl with mutant power. Her ability is quite similar to Wolverine's. And her guardian begs Wolverine to bring her to Eden, a utopia for mutants.

Professor X has expected that she would be hope for all mutants. But Wolverine is skeptical to the existence of Eden. And they are attacked by Donald Pierce, a cyborg, and his troop.

In the middle of the movie, Wolverine notices that Eden is merely an image in the comic book of X-MEN. He feels desperate. But, after reaching the place of Eden, he is astonished to know the true meaning of it.

Eden itself does not exist. But, there are some guys who believe it. And they can build Eden.

The atmosphere of this movie is quite dark. Most fans of X-MEN do not want to see old Wolverine and fool Professor, I guess. And I believe that the director deliberately wanted to terminate the X-MEN series with launching this work.

Laura is a charming girl. But she does not know most rules of the community because no one told her. Her rude and merciless behaviors are often annoying. In addition, she is frequently involved in gore scenes. I do not like making a young actress play such bloody actions.

The history of X-MEN is ended by Logan. I hope to see a new series some day. And it would have been better if I had been able to see Ian McCarran in this film.

Personal Rating: 3 (fair)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

American student arrested to be dead in North Korea

Very recently, an American student was victimized by North Korean force.

Otto Warmbier was a 21-year-old student at the University of Virginia. He was arrested by the police in North Korea for "hostile acts against the state," according to the North Korean authority. Actually, he was said to have attempted to pilfer a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years forced labor.

And recently, the North Korea released him to the US because he became unconscious. At the time he was moved to the US hospital, he was in the coma state. North Korea said it was due to contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill. Finally, he died without recovering the consciousness.

The Washington Post: North Korea’s outrageous mistreatment of a U.S. student must not go unpunished

It is not surprising that the US media condemn North Korea. But, there are multiple points of view to be considered.

First of all, the report of North Korea is far from trustworthy. Many people, including me, suspect he was tortured to be dead in North Korea. It is rare botulism toxin and a sleeping pill takes a life of a healthy young man.

Second, even if he committed a crime in North Korea, I never believe his act deserves to 15 years imprisonment. But, there are considerable variations in the penal legislation among nations. We have to respect each country's culture unless it is insulting other people's right. And the human right is a concept more complicated than it looks.

And finally, I wonder why he was released. I do not believe the official report of North Korea that it was decided according to a humanitarian point of view. I would have been not surprised if North Korea had concealed the full facts and had reported that he was missing. Therefore, North Korea considered that it would be advantageous to release him. His fatal damage was not planned for North Korea, perhaps.

Anyway, I pray for Otto. And I hope there will never be next victims.