Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sequels in Jan. 2013

JAN 28, 2013
Fearful terrorism in Algeria

To be ironic, reputation of ruling Liberal Democratic Party was improved after this terrorism. Majority of people thought that Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister dealt with the accident correctly. Actually, I am really sorry for many people being killed.

JAN 15, 2013
Good Old Games

Now I am trapped by Heroes of Might and Magic III. It is a turn-based strategy game based on the world of Might and Magic. I played it several years ago so enthusiastically, and now I am playing extra scenarios of it. What a fun!

JAN 14, 2013
Heavy snow

Actually, it snowed again in 28th Jan 2013. When I leave home the world was in white! Some of my colleagues were late. I heard a bus was stacked to be unable to move. This winter is extraordinary at all.

JAN 12, 2013
Problem of physical punishment

Mr. Toru Hashimoto, the Mayor of Osaka intervened in administration of the school in which a student committed suicide with suffering from chronic physical punishment. He ordered to stop the entrance examination of department of sports in the school to reform the system of education. Evaluation of his decision was various. I think that, what he has to do is not to reform the school concerned, but reveal the reason why physical punishment occurs so frequently at first. A lot of similar cases may exist, I guess.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The word “innovation” we often hear in business context.
Also in Japan a lot of companies claim importance of innovation. Unfortunately, translated word into Japanese of innovation does not exist. So we call it “innovation” as it stands.

What is innovation? Several books explain it.
Mr. Nobuo Ikeda, a Japanese economist says that innovation is reframing of conventional value. He claims that innovation is not same as evolution of technology but it is absolute changing of social directivity.
“i-Phone” by Apple was not a high functional mobile phone, but an internet communicator with function of telephone. So Mr. Steve Jobs, past CEO of Apple said “We reinvented telephone,” not “improved telephone.” Moreover i-Phone is a platform of applications being sold by App Store. We can buy music via i-Phone, and store them in it. i-Phone is both an audio room and music catalog. Apple have reframed mobile phone.

Reframing is also a technique of psychotherapy. I mentioned it in a past entry. A problem hardly to be solved could be reframed. When you look at the problem in another point of view, it can be no more problem. This method is called brief therapy.

Unfortunately it is said that innovation hardly occur in Japan. I do not know whether it is true or not. Japanese legislation is so strict that innovator must take huge legal risk. There is atmosphere around Japanese society which seems to hate rapid change. Venture entrepreneurs and angelic investors are rare in Japan, partially due to huge government and administrative system of Japan, I guess.

In future more innovation will occur and speed of change will increase. We must apply for it. Continuous learning is needed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The secondary first speech of Mr. Shinzo Abe

Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan did his first major policy speech in Jan. 28th 2013. I read the whole content at a news site later.
My impression is that he kept very cautious.

Mr. Abe at first mentioned the terrorism in Algeria. He expressed sadness for the victims, and blamed terrorists. It is ordinary beginning of speech.

Next, he referred to his health status and past retirement of himself. Indeed he resigned the Prime Minister 6 years ago. So he was stigmatized as a loser by opposed politicians. Mr. Abe accepted the past failure and made an oath to administer Japan again. This part of his speech sounded sincere.

He said that he had ordered all of ministers to deal with economic recovery, recover from disaster, and crisis management with their best effort.

And he commented about economic crisis of Japan. He pointed out that deflation and strong Yen were obstacles for Japan to recover. He said he had dealt with this matter already. It is generally called “Abenomics”. This part is complicated and includes many points of view to be discussed.

Mr. Abe did not mentioned electric power policy nor consumption tax, which were seriously argued in last diet. I guess he did not want to talk about these discordant matters in his first speech. It is sorry about this.

At last he said that he hoped to make Japan as the best country all over the world. In this section he encouraged the people strongly.

Mr. Shinzo Abe is well known as an aggressive politician with conservative policy in Japan. He wants to reform the constitution and educational system in Japan. However he did not refer to these themes.
He had a bitter memory of past work. His past motto “Beautiful country Japan” was criticized as too abstract. Perhaps he suppresses his own opinion for a while to control ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan completely.

I do not support LDP. However I hope that Mr. Shinzo Abe will make success.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fearful terrorism in Algeria

I have to say something about terrorism in Algeria. But it is so painful that I hesitate to mention it.

Natural gas plant in In Aménas was attacked and many workers were captured. Finally national army carried out the mission to sweep the terrorists. More than twenty workers including 10 Japanese workers were sacrificed.

This tragedy has a lot of point of view.
Terrorism is one of terror in 21st century. Most people thought that the future would be bright when cold war ended. However, wars continue, getting more severe and asymmetric. Suicide attack in 9.11 brought extreme fear to Americans. We are not bystanders but victims in future.

In Japan terrorism is very rare. Some massacres occurred in 21st century such as Akihabara case and Fuzoku Ikeda elementary school case. But they are crimes by individual. Tokyo Sarin gas attack by Aum Shinrikyo is memorized as the worst terrorism in modern Japan. It is said that up to 30 persons are killed by Aum.

Nonetheless Japan is far from war.
We are not concern about crime in daily life in Japan. Japan is the safest country in the world, I believe and proud. So, Algeria case is too much fearful for me.
The world is not safe. I tend to forget this fact. It is both dreadful and fortunate.

Gas plant is an essential matter for Japan. Japan has poor energy resource. Atomic power plants are not working since the Fukushima Daiichi Plant was crippled in 3.11 earthquake and tsunami disaster. Industry in Japan ultimately depends on import of natural gas. If resource companies retreat from foreign countries influenced by the case, Japan will starve for energy.

Attitude toward report in mass media about this are also problematic. I think that mass media in Japan has too much emphasis on Japanese victims. Indeed safety of compatriots is very important matter. But it is not all. Background of the case has to be revealed by cooperation of the government and civil reporters.

Pray for the victims. I truly wish for peace.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Karaoke in Japan

Today, I enjoyed Karaoke.

Karaoke means a hobby to sing along music without vocal recorded in advance.
In Japan Karaoke culture was born in 1970s. And in 1980s “Karaoke Box”, that is specialized store which equip several rooms with Karaoke machines, were established.
Japan is narrow country. So noise with singing loudly was a big problem. I think soundproofing of Karaoke Box was preferred in Japan.

Singing is a fun. But in other country Karaoke is not so popular. In Europe, dancing may an alternative of Karaoke, I think. In Japan dancing culture is not spread so widely except partial cluster like “Disco” or “Club”.

Recently, Karaoke culture has changed in some points.
With spread of internet connection, variation of songs available in a Karaoke Box was increased massively. Laser disc were replaced by internet downloading from central server for the purpose of playing the background music.
Japanese animation culture also aided spread of Karaoke. Pasela group Karaoke Box store has the largest number of equip songs available. In Akihabara 3 stores of Pasela has opened in Akihabara, a city for geek. Many animation songs tend to occupy the hit chart of songs now.
(Website of Pasela Group: in Japanese)

Now there are over 9,000 Karaoke Box store in Japan. But number of Stores is decreasing in last 2 decades. In 1996 there were nearly 15,000 Karaoke Boxes in Japan. I guess a reason of decreasing of Karaoke Box is diversification of hobby.
(Current situation of Karaoke Boxes by Karaoke Association in Japan: in Japanese)

Some services are available to play Karaoke at home. Actually, I used one of them in 1990s. But the quality of sound was far from satisfactory. In future, I guess many people will play Karaoke with social networking.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sudden retirement of teachers for money

Recently, hundreds of teachers of official schools retired before the end of aniversary term in Saitama Prefecture. The reason of early retirement is decreasing of retirement money. Saitama prefecture decided the reduction of payment because of worsening of fiscal status. So teachers ran out before the actual adaptation of cutting of the fee.
The same events occurred also in some other prefectures in similar situation.
(110 Saitama teachers seeking early exit: Daily Yomiuri Online)

Mr. Kiyoshi Ueda, the governor of Saitama prefecture, and Mr. Hakubun Shimomura, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, both blamed the teachers, as they were not responsible for education of students.

Actually, sudden retirement annoys other people in work. I have some tough experiences to take over others. I understand the anger of remained teachers.

However is it evil behavior to run away from severe circumstance?

If they had completed their work in whole term, the total salary they received would have been reduced by more than $1 million. In short, they would have to work for free in the last 2 month. It is obviously ridiculous.
Right from the beginning, system of retirement money is strange. In Japan a full-fledged employee usually receives reduced fee as salary, instead receives vast money at the time of their retirement. This system prevents employees from early retirement. Japanese company can grow the employees for a long time to utilize them as specialized persons. Japanese style management such as this had a great advantage.

However nowadays, market of business persons became mobilized. Few people tend to work at one company all his life. It is common to change one’s job for increased salary also in Japan.

I think that this news is symbolic as corruption of Japanese working style.
I sometimes hear news that many doctors suddenly quit a hospital.
Everybody must choose his work, not his company. Teachers, so called "sacred profession" are not exception.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hell of Beppu (2)


Walking through Hell is continued.

“Yma Jigoku (Hell of Mountain)”

Very hot steam is rising, look like a top of volcano.

“Kamado Jigoku (Hell of Stove)”

This hell differs from other ones. There are several ponds here, of which colors vary one another. Very strange and fantastic.

“Oniyama Jigoku (Hell of Devil Mountain)”

This pond itself is rather normal. But beside the pond a horde of crocodiles live. So this area is also called Hell of Crocodiles.

“Shiraike Jigoku (Hell of White Pond)”

This is also beautiful place. Hot water sometimes changes its color for unknown reason.

Which is your favorite?
I like Kamado the best.

Actually, each hell is possessed by a certain person. Administrators always maintain the hells for guests. When you enter the hells you should buy a ticket.

There are some cages keeping animals in this area.
I saw cute flamingos, a huge elephant, and a shy hippopotamus, and so on. I also saw some tropical fish.

Beppu is a rural area. Other than Jigoku you hardly have to see. Nevertheless it is valuable to see once!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hell of Beppu (1)

I saw the hell last weekend.

Oh, I did not die! “Hell” is another name of hot spring.
You know Japan is spa rich country. Oita prefecture is one of most blessed land by geothermal energy in Japan. Beppu is a famous region as hot spring in Oita.

Hell is commonly named for very hot spring. The temperature of hell is so high that you cannot bathe in hell. Instead, hells in Beppu are very beautiful!

Hell of Beppu consists of eight famous hot springs as below;

“Tatsumaki Jigoku (Hell of Tornado)”

This is a geyser. Very hot water springs out every half hour due to high pressure in the ground. The temperature of the water is over one hundred degrees Celsius. Quite horrible!

“Chinoike Jigoku (Hell of blood pond)”

What a hell! Red water forms a pond. The color is made from iron oxide.

“Oni Ishi Bozu Jigoku (Hell of Demon Stone Priest)”

Gray colored boiling water forms round shape. It resembles bold head of priest.

“Umi Jigoku (Hell of Ocean)”

Large pond filled with bright blue fascinated me. Iron sulfuric acid makes this blue color. I think this is the largest pond in Hell of Beppu.

(To be continued.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What is problem solving? (4)

What is problem solving? (1) 
What is problem solving? (2) 
What is problem solving? (3) 

Now this is the final chapter of problem solving.
There are a lot of problem solvers all over the world.
However, as far as I understand, they do not try to solve problems.
Instead, they adapt other solutions. You can mimic their skills to be a more effective person.

Level 1: Solve the problem
This is the last resort. You should seek any other alternatives.

Level 2: Distinguish problems
Is this a problem you can solve or not?
When this is a solvable problem, who is the best solver? Can you ask the person to struggle for you?

Level 3: Redefine the problem
You may suffer from vague matter. The essence of the problem, your goal and outcome of solution should be clarified. The problem can vanish when the true problem is redefined or “reformed”. You should remake the problem instead of seeking the answer.

Level 4: Do not let the problem occur
True solvers do not let the problem free. Prevention is better than intervention. In this situation they are unconscious to be solvers. It is so cool!

Monday, January 21, 2013

What is problem solving? (3)

What is problem solving? (1)
What is problem solving? (2)

Problem dealing is quite different from problem solving.

Do you know what the most fatal disadvantage of the problem solving technique is? It is problem solving itself.
You apply problem solving, you unconsciously suppose that the problem exists and you must solve it. In real situation this supposition is not always true. There are a lot of unsolvable problems and pseudo problems. Problem solution has great power to seek unique solution. But if the solution does not exist, it is in vain at all.

Then, when you are in a very tough situation, the first thing you have to do is to look around you. How much problem is there around you? Are they true problems to be solved?

Mr. Dale Breckenridge Carnegie, famous entrepreneur in 1900s felt suffering from critical situation one day. Then he took a pen and paper to list up the problems. And he categorized the problem based on urgency. He noticed that only few problems were truly urgent. So he felt safety.

To categorize the problems, finding the axis of category is important.

Axis of importance: Is the problem essential to be solved? If the problem remained unsolved, would someone die? Or what is the worst scenario?
Axis of difficulty: Do you suffer from a problem which it is impossible to solve? Then, unfortunately your suffering is no use. Forgot it!
Axis of urgency: When is the deadline of this problem? There are many problems which are not so important, but quite urgent. They are no value to be solved so seriously.

Put your mind in order. Perhaps there is no problem around you!

(To be continued)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What is problem solving? (2)

What is problem solving? (1) 

Problem solving is usually standardized as below;

Step 1: Identification of the problem to be solved
Step 2: Setting the goal
Step 3: Listing up of solutions (Brain Storming)
Step 4: Evaluation of the solutions
Step 5: Carrying out of the choice
Step 6: Checking the outcome and feedback

I remodeled this theory.

Phase 1: Observation of the situation
 In phase 1, you must collect the information as much as you can. Precise analysis needs vast information which can explain the current situation. Correctness of the data is also important. You must know, “Garbage in, garbage out”.

Phase 2: Analysis of the true problem
 In phase 2, you must think deeply about the problem itself. What is the critical point? What is your advantage, or disadvantage? What is your ally, or foe? Does the problem due to personal matter, or systemic issue? Analytic thought is essential in this phase. Fortunately, skills of analysis is trainable.

Phase 3: Judgment of the solutions
 You have multiple choices to be selected as a solution. You must evaluate them. You cannot select all of them in most situations. So you have to omit some of them. The weighting of each solution is needed.

Phase 4: Decision making
 Decision making is different from the assessment. If you judged current situation and available solutions precisely, it does not mean that you can choose the best solution. Make decision includes the abandonment of other choices. You must have the courage not to look back.

Phase 5: Enforcement of the chosen solution
 Finally, you carry out the solution. Needless to say, carrying out is not the same to planning. You need activity, social skills, communication, patience, and other several abilities to succeed.

I emphasize that you need different abilities one another to carry out these 5 phases. Observation is quite objective. But simple observation cannot replace analysis. Decision making needs some kind of roughness, however rough evaluation is no good. It is very difficult to match these five entire phases by one person. So I recommend to establish a team to collaborate with each other.

(To be continued)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What is problem solving? (1)

Problem solving is often argued in a business context.
There are a lot of books describing about problem solving.
This situation means that problem solving is quite difficult. And it is a necessary skill to survive modern society.

I also sometimes think about problem solving.
First, we must recognize that there are some dimensions of this matter.

(1) When you suffer from a definite problem, what you have to do is to know the process of problem solving.
(2) When you are struggling with a certain tough situation, and you think that the situation is inevitable, what you have to do is to know the level of problem dealing.
(3) When you think you are not smart or confident, and you cannot define the true problem, what you have to do is to know the strategy of problem solver.

I will try to explain these three dimensions in turn.

(to be continued)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Three proverbs about creative people

Do you like a proverb? I do.
Today, I will introduce some proverbs I like and consider about creative people.

“Wiseman changes his mind, a fool never.”

It is originally described in Yì Jīng, an ancient book in China.
In Japanese, “Kunshi ha hyouhen su”.
Interestingly, in Japan this proverb is often misunderstood. “Hyouhen” means “change” but this word in Japanese is usually used about an evil behavior. So a lot of Japanese misunderstand that its meaning is that “Politicians frequently change his mind to suit his own convenience.”

Rule 1: accept the change!

“Fools say they learn from experience; I prefer to learn from the experience of others.”

This is a word by Otto Eduard Leopold Fürst von Bismarck-Schönhausen, a past minister in Germany.
Experience is a treasure of us. But the experience of a man is limited. I must recognize it as a doctor. I can treat one thousand patients in a year at most. On the other hand, there are vast academic articles about the treatment. It is human history against disease itself. So I must learn about them for the patient in front of me.

Rule 2: Steal from others!

“Fortune comes in at the merry gate.”

It means as you see.
Actually, I seldom smile. It is my disadvantage. To smile is an ability. To be thankful, to make a fun, or to be optimistic is very important for living.

Rule 3: Have confidence without evidence!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reduction of suicide in 2012 in Japan

Today, there is news to be grateful, or at least less miserable.

The number of people who committed suicide in 2012 was 27,766, National Police Agency in Japan says.
The number fell 2800 than in 2012.

Japan is a suicide rich country, as I said past.

My past entry: Suicide in Japan

The government made effort continuously to reduce the number of suicides. In 2006, Basic Act on Suicide Prevention was enforced in Japan. And several NPOs are struggling for suicide prevention. Some scholars will say that a reduction of the number of suicide results from their effort. However, it is doubtful, I think.

Mr. Shinichiro Tomitaka, a psychiatrist says that suicide rate in Japan is influenced by dynamic trend of the population, in his book. According to him, because the number of aged people was increasing, the number of suicide was also increasing in 2000s. And he anticipates that number of suicides in Japan will decrease in 10 years, due to decrease of total population.

Did his prophesy hit? Is so, many efforts to avoid suicide were in vain? I hardly have a correct answer. Anyway, discussion based on scientific view is needed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book review – The Shift

I read “The Shift: The Future of Work Is Already Here” by Ms. Lynda Gratton. The Shift: The Future of Work Is Already Here

This book is very famous also in Japan. Some groups held a journal club in which they read it and discussed the content together. It means that the theme is applicable for Japanese.

The author claims that our environment is changing rapidly with 5 aspects below;
 1. Development of technology
 2. Globalization
 3. Change of the structure of population (aging)
 4. Change of the social trend
 5. Exhaustion of energy resource

And we have to change our working style. Else, we would face to miserable life, such as lack of time, poverty, and solitude, in future, the author says.
She presents the solution for avoidance of undesired future, so called “three shifts”.
 1. Acquirement of specialize technique continuously
 2. Collaborative innovation
 3. Experiences with enthusiasm

She suggests that one of the archetypes of happy workers in future include regional entrepreneurs.

I agree with her partially.
Globalization and evolution of technology robs us of a lot of work. We may live without work in future, and it is not so happy for us. The newly value to live has to be created.
Development of internet community reduces the opportunity of real meeting. I wonder whether this change is admirable or not.

However, about some matter the author claims, I am doubtful.
Sustainability of civilization is a severe problem. But I think exhaustion of energy resource hardly occurs. Coal and oil are rich at least until the end of 21st century. I also expect that revolution of shale gas can resolve energy problem. To assess the influence of environmental change is very difficult. I have relative optimistic idea about environmental pollution.
The problem of unequal society is also misleading matter. The absolute gap between rich and poor is inevitable. And the better the society is getting, the more gap is widened. The true problem is that we tend to compare self to others who are rich, not compare to ourselves in past.

This book offers some interesting points of view with strong impact . But I cannot set a high valuation on it. More precise prediction of future and deeper discussion are needed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good Old Games

Today I introduce a website for PC games lover.
It is “”.
(Top page of

GOG is abbreviation of Good Old Games, as formerly called. The service collects a lot of PC games published from 1980s to 2000s.
You can buy one as a download product with reasonable price. The products are DRM free. You need not register your personal information with publisher. And you can install the software into multiple PCs.

The lineups are quite rich. Products include;
“Master of Magic” – A fantasy strategy game like “Civilization”.
“Might and Magic 7” – They are very famous series of role playing games. Other numbering titles (4 to 9) are also available.
“Wing Commander 3” – Flight simulator with space opera in which Mr. Mark Hamill acts the hero.

All of them fascinated me in my twenties. Actually I do not like the trend of nostalgia for the good old days. However I must recognize the fact that some old titles have charismatic charm.

Some titles are sold out, or unavailable on newly Windows OS even if I hold a CD rom. So I had missed them. GOG remade them work on Windows 7. It is tough work I guess.

Now, I buy some of them. The only problem is that I have no time to play them at all.


(** more sequel)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Heavy snow

Today Tokyo was attacked by snowstorm.

In Japan, snow is not common, except in some region. In Tokyo or southern area it seldom snows.
So several problems occur when it snows. They are not ready for heavy snow. Moreover, it snows astonishing today! From the news report, blackout had occurred in about 30,000 houses. Broad blackout is quite rare in Japan. Season's first snow hits Tokyo, paralyses traffic

I stayed all day at home today with warming the room up, because today is a national holiday, called “Adults’ Day”.

Today, persons who reached to 20 years old are celebrated. Most prefectural offices held receptions for them. I am sorry to guess that a lot of participants are confused by traffic difficulties.

Weather is too strong to be controlled by human, even in 21st century.
I recommend that you avoid some activities in such bad weather. Be careful!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Memory of Gamebook

Do you know Gamebook?

Gamebook, or Adventure Gamebook is a book shaped toy. Usually you should read a book from the beginning to the last page in order. Gamebook is different. You can choose which chapters you want to read the next as your will.
For example, there is a paragraph.

Page 11
 A giant monster is approaching to you.
 You will;
  Fight by a sword: Go to page 38.
  Run away, you must roll a die;
   1-3: you succeed: Go to page 59.
   4-6: you are caught: Go to page 178.

You see, the hero or heroine is yourself! You will act as a brave soldier, a wise wizard, or a smart detective, in the world of the book. And you choose any your own actions to make a way to final goal. If you made a bad choice, your adventure would result in miserable failure.

Gamebook was developed as an alternative of Table Talk Role Playing Game originally. In 1980s a lot of Gamebooks were created by specialized authors, such as Mr. Steve Jackson. In Japan Mr. Naoto Suzuki is the most famous as a Gamebook creator.

Wikipedia: Mr. Steve Jackson
Wikipedia: Mr. Naoto Suzuki (in Japanese)

Mr. Steve Jackson performed a lot of works. My favorite is “Sorcery!” series that was translated into Japanese. Recently renewal versions were published in Japan.

Amazingly, there are two men named Mr. Steve Jackson in game industry. Mr. Steve Jackson in USA also made some excellent Gamebooks. He founded a company dealing board games.

Steve Jackson Games

As you can imagine, Gamebook was replaced to computer games. Now extremely few new works are published. I feel a little sorry about this. Adventure with a book and pencil has fascinated me.

You should remember even now some Gamebooks are available as iPad apps.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Problem of physical punishment

Recently, discussion about suicide case of a high school boy in Osaka rose in Japan.
(Mainichi JP)

The victim was the captain of a basketball club in the high school he belonged to. He was physically punished by a teacher as usual. He was suffering from violence to kill himself at last, the report says. The high school and the teacher admitted their fault and apologized to the family of the boy.

In Japan, it is said that violence is common in some particular society,such as sport teams. Mr. Masumi Kuwata, a past professional baseball player said that he was physically punished frequently in his childhood.
(NHK NEWS web: in Japanese)

Some parents tend to hit their children as a method of education. It is obviously inappropriate. However they usually think that physical punishment is the only treatment for a defiant child. It is common way of thinking for person using violence.

Violence is not acceptable absolutely. But it is not effective to regulate violence strictly for reducing victims of violence. Generally, victims have no choice than be patient for violence, because of their lack of power, insight, and helplessness. Moreover, the offenders may think that they have no choice other than violence to achieve their aim. For example, if there is one bad guy in a team, and he agitates his colleagues, the teacher would have to gain control upon the guy quickly. Patient explanation and persuasion with the guy to get his trust will be recommended. But it needs long time, high skill of coaching, and tolerance. So the teacher would choose more direct solution, violence.

The essential problem is that the offenders have no room for alternatives. I think that If simply offenders are severely punished, the problem will be deepened.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Mensa and the goal of life

Actually, I am a Mensan.

Mensa is an international group consists of members with high IQ.

Two years ago I passed the examination and entered Mensa. Mensan, a member of Mensa, is demanded to certify that his or her IQ is in the top 2% of the population. It means that the IQ of Mensan is higher than 135. The top 2% of the population sounds great. But the fact is that there are 2 million people who have capacity for Mensan in Japan.
Indeed, members of Mensan are not so extraordinary. As far as I know, they are nice guys and cute ladies.

I read a newspaper published by Japan Mensa. The article titled “For what I live” was interesting.
“Why do I live?” “What is my goal of life?” It is an essential and quite difficult question.
The author claims that the question cannot be solved because the absolute evidence cannot be certified. Yes, it is a great paradox.

The author shows the examples of answers based on three different stances for the question.
A philosopher says, “I do not know. That’s all.”
A religionist says, “The God knows the answer.”
And, a scientist says, “Someday it will be clarified.”

Human has been asking themselves this question since a long time ago, I guess.
So I will add two answers.

A poet says, “The goal of life is to find the goal of life.”

And, a psychiatrist will say, “You wonder the goal of life? You may be suffering from depression.”

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Avengers, the weaknesses of heroes

I watched the movie titled “the Avengers” on blue ray disc.

This is so called a compilation of American comic heroes. The story is magnificent and SFX visions are also great.
Moreover, some conversations of heroes are very cool.

For example, in the middle of a storyline, Ironman and Captain America are arguing with each other.

Captain America: Yeah. Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?
Ironman: Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
Captain America: I know guys with none of that worth ten of you. I've seen the footage. The only thing you really fight for is yourself. You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play lie down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.
Ironman: I think I would just cut the wire.
Captain America: Always a way out. You may not be a threat but you better stop pretending to be a hero.
Ironman: A hero? Like you? You’re a laboratory experiment, Rogers. Everything special about you came out of a bottle.

Ironman had been wounded so severely that he could not alive without life support with a mechanical heart. Captain America made a cynical remark about this. But Ironman was an elite person. He struck back. On the other hand, Captain America was physically weak by nature. So he had an experiment to modify his body and was reborn into a superman. This change is not a fruit of his effort. Perhaps he recognized the matter strongly. So he thought that the reason of hero was self-sacrifice.

The discussion of two superheroes is very interesting. And this scene is a suggestion for the final consequence.

In the final battle of the movie, Captain America commanded the team appropriately with his own knowledge of tactics that may be acquired by his own effort. And, Ironman carried out a self-sacrificing charge to deal with a deadly nuclear weapon.

The heroes overcame their disadvantages at last.
We are not superheroes. But the theme of this movie is suggestive for us to confront our weaknesses.

Personal Rating: 5 (excellent)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pulau Bali, The island of Gods (3)


I stayed one night at Ayana Resort & Spa hotel, which is a famous resort hotel in Bali. Everything was gorgeous there.

Pura Luhur Tanah Lot may be the most famous tourists spot in Bali. It was quite beautiful especially during sunset time. The seashore was crowded with people.

I ate dinner in a restaurant near the temple. There was an odd wall painting.

Do you see a ring-like object in the sea? It may be a float. But it is not painted. It looks like colorless because it was located under the sea? No, it is a float, must not sink in the water!

In a store I was surprised that some branded wrist watches were sold with quite low price. Hmm, it is suspicious.

Anyway, Bali was cheerful and hot place. Compared to there, It is cold in Japan now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pulau Bali, The island of Gods (2)


Bali is a very rain rich region. One day I met very heavy rain. I have never experienced such a rain except Typhoon in Japan.

Road on Bali are always crowded with cars and motorcycles. Traffic jam is very frequent. There was a lot of people waiting a taxi at the airport.

Desa Kintamani is a hill side village in Bali.

Unfortunately when I went there it was misty, so I could not see beautiful landscape.
I had a lunch at a café beside a rice terrace.

Pura Tirta Empul is a shrine build in 10-14th century.
There are some ponds, regarded as holy springs, in which we can bathe. Many citizens were bathing at comfort.

(To be continued.)


Monday, January 7, 2013

Pulau Bali, The island of Gods (1)

I visited Bali, in Indonesia.
Bali is a tropical island, famous among Japanese as a tourist spot ranked with Hawaii.
I went into Bali through Jakarta.

I stayed Jakarta during only a few hours. Jakarta international airport and the area around there are beautiful.

Most citizens in Bali are Bali-Hindi. They put “chanang” in front of their home every morning. I saw one quite frequently.

I watched “Barong Dance” at a stage in a temple. Barong is the good God of Bali, against Rangda, the evil witch. I heard that Barong Dance expresses the battle of Barong and Rangda. But what I saw there was like a comedy. Maybe some arrangement was added. Audiences were smiling continuously.

I went to Monkey Forest in Ubud. Two hundreds of wild monkeys live there. They were accustomed to human.

Some monkeys even used a part of PET bottle as a cup handily. The planet of the apes is not so far away?

(To be continued.)


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Federal Trade Commission's decision about Google

Google won the battle about antitrust matter. The Federal Trade Commission concluded that Google was not manipulating search results to harm consumers.

The New York Times: Google Wins an Antitrust Battle

I heard some kinds of this issue. Recently there was an argument whether Microsoft restricted consumers’ right to select an internet blousing software with bundling Internet Explorer ® within Windows OS.
In Japan, Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has established since 1947. FTC watches market and sometimes investigates too low price of an item, or secret alliance by specified companies.

As a consumer, we are willing to accept the activity of this official audit. However it may be difficult to distinguish a unacceptable behavior by a company from a fair one for better sells. Too much regulation by the government may shrink economic activity.

If Google were manipulating the search results for improving their interest, I would sustain almost no damage individually. On the other hand, if Google search engine vanished, I would suffer much greater.

Relatively bad thing is better than nothing. This is a difficult problem.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Health care and beds in Japan

It is no doubt that Japan is the most successful country in public health care.
Japan has not only the highest average life expectancy but also the lowest rate of infant mortality in developed countries.

*Now, Hong Kong has the best in women’s longevity, because of 3.11 earthquake and Tsunami disaster in Japan.
(BBC news Asia)

*All data are collected in 2009, from OECD health data.

Moreover total cost for health care in Japan is relatively low.

What does support high quality of health in Japanese? It is an interesting question. I think one of the reason is public health insurance system. All Japanese participate in official health insurance and national government is controlling the cost of it completely.

Mass media in Japan often report about faults in Japanese hospital aggressively. There are some problems in physicians and hospitals in Japan, indeed. But most of practitioners do well, I think.

On the other hand, there are a lot of hospitals in Japan.

The number of doctors is low in Japan. So many doctors are forced to work at night shift frequently.

*Data of Japan is collected in 2010. France does not reveal the data.

Too many hospitals make citizens dependent on hospital. Some hospitals have changed into salon for elder people. The bigger problem is that other industries than health care would not be developped for elder people. Nursing homes always short. Japan government had established national nursing care insurance since 2000. But financial resource is not adequate, I think. Unofficial nursing business is very poor in Japan. As a result, a lot of elder people who need not intensive medical care remains hospitalized.

This dilemma is the same in mental health situation. I will describe it in another opportunity. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nearly be deceived at a change booth in Indonesia

I went to Bali in Indonesia.

I had to exchange my money of Yen (Y) into Indonesia Rupee (IR). So I visited at a change booth in Jakarta International Airport. There were several booths opened and almost all of them were inviting me suggesting advantageous exchange rate.

Jakarta International Airport was modern and clean.

I chose one of them, because the worker at the booth showed the rate 1 Y at 115 IR. It was advantageous. Usually 1 Y is equaled to 110 IR. I decided to exchange 30,000 Y into IR.

30,000 * 115 = 3,450,000
Is it OK? I was so confused as number of zero was too many.

Then, the worker presented me a lot of bills that consisted of a total of 3,045,000 IR. I had nearly accepted the deal but noticed that I was cheated. I claimed that the worker had made a mistake. He showed no apology but gave me 450,000 IR, instead of 45,000 IR, at last.

If I had not notice the trick, I would have lost 405,000 IR. This is about ten percent of total money. I guess this worker ordinarily makes some trick to exploit some money from naïve travelers. Unless, the change rate he suggested makes no profit. I was surprised that such a trick was performed in a change booth placed in an airport. We are never deceived in an official place in Japan. That is, Japan is excessively safe country. Be cautious.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My goal of this year

I set a purpose of mine every year.

As usual, it is preferable to set concrete and calculable goals. But my trials are just joking, so I set abstract goal.

The last year, “do well”.
Two years ago, “carry out”.
Three years ago, “deepen, widen, and take care of myself”.
Four years ago, "responsible".

And this year my goal is “take risks”.

The last year I got married. I performed some works. It is very fortunate for me.
I want to make this year more splendid one.