Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sequels in January 2014

January 27, 2014
Tragedies of Let's Note

I have completely moved the data in this Let's Note to another PC. I will have to say goodbye to it., sooner or later.

January 26, 2014
My first Chromebook and failure

I consulted an industry about the failure of Chromebook. Unfortunately, the cost to repair the display of this Chromebook was too expensive, as I predicted. Instead, I connected it to another monitor.

To begin mirroring mode, push control key and F4 together.

Google: Connect to monitors

Now I am trying to touch it again.


January 21, 2014
Group process approach for solving conflicts

Some days later, the files related the lecture were sent. They also helped me to understand the concept of the session more deeply.

Miffy curry plate

Today I got Miffy curry plate at Lawson.

Miffy is a famous rabbit, called Nijntje Pluis in foreign countries. It is made by Dick Bruna, a Dutch graphic designer. In Japan Miffy is an extremely popular character, especially for children.

Some companies often use Miffy for advertisement. Lawson, a franchise of convenience stores, is one of the sponsors.

Recently, Lawson began a campaign to gain a Miffy curry plate. Consumers are given one point for each 100 yen ($1) of buying a bread at Lawson. You can exchange a total of 40 points to a curry dish on which lovely Miffy is printed.

Happy Lawson: Miffy Curry Plate (in Japanese)

No extra money is needed to get the plate. So I started to gather the points. At last, I got Miffy.

It is quite cute. In addition, and it is more important for me, I like to eat curry very much as I mentioned in the past. This dish will be the best partner with curry!

The only disadvantage is that I am totally bored to eat the breads at Lawson. I will dare not to have a bread at Lawson for a while.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

American psychiatrists reject insurance, Japanese reject spending time

A newly study clarified that psychiatrists tended not to accept health insurance, compared to other specialist doctors. This result was introduced by major media, to cause broad arguments.

JAMA Psychiatry: Acceptance of Insurance by Psychiatrists and the Implications for Access to Mental Health Care

The New York Times: Fewer Psychiatrists Seen Taking Health Insurance

JAMA Psychiatry, Archives of General Psychiatry in the past, is one of the most authorized journal in the region of psychiatry. I read this article in the other day to confirm that there are no errors in this survey. The conclusion is that the rate of accepting health insurance in psychiatry is lower than in other medical area, in addition, is decreasing in recent years.

If a doctor does not take health insurance, the patients should pay much more money to be given treatment. So, some people will criticize the attitude of psychiatrist as greed. However, there are some complicated problem behind the fact.

Psychiatric News Alert: The Truth About Psychiatry and Health Care Insurance

First, the number of psychiatrists does not match the need for psychiatric service in the US, according the article. Shortage of supply leads the increase of price in a free economy.

Second, the rate of reimbursement seems to be low in psychiatric care. It may discourage psychiatrist accepting insurance. I guess that the backbone of this matter is the difficulty of ensuring the quantitative effect of psychiatric treatment.

Third, the fee for psychiatric care per working time is set relatively lower than physical treatment. Psychiatrists cannot earn as the same amount of money as other specialist physicians on the rule of insurance. This situation is the same also in Japan. Japanese psychiatrists have to deal with lots of patients, e.g. 40 in a day, regularly to maintain his outpatient office.

The difference between the US and Japan is that Japanese psychiatrists always adhere to health insurance. In Japan, national health insurance is extremely infiltrated to the society. Only a few doctors take no insurance, regardless of their specialties. On the other hand, there are several outpatient offices in which some psychotherapists offer psychotherapy not accepting health insurance. They spend adequate time for each patient. Otherwise, psychiatrists have a conversation with the patients for only a few minutes per visit in usual. The quality of these counselling offices is various. Thus, patients in Japan pay extra money to buy the time to talk, not for care itself. Restructure of health insurance followed by quality control is required in Japan.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snowden effect and the internet in the future

After the statement by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, that NSA had continuously accessed to the data possessed by some of the big companies such as Yahoo and Google, distrust against these companies has been raised. Huff Post named this as 'Snowden Effect'.

'Snowden Effect' Threatens U.S. Tech Industry's Global Ambitions

 According to Huff Post, not a  few European companies have reconsidered to deal with the companies which did cooperate with the US government. They said that European laws of confidentiality are stricter than those in the US. It seems that the cause of dismissals is not only the difference of the legislation of each country, but also disbelief against the US.

By the way, what will occur subsequently? I do not think the US will quit gathering the data secretly. Neither US citizens hope so, I guess. The US government has a responsibility to protect the citizens from recurrence of the 9.11 terrorism. It would never relax the grip of control upon the threatening of aliens.

Then, there are three assumable scenarios.

First, the internet and cloud will be separated completely by each nation. Even now, China and some other countries are attempting to interfere the citizens from getting information published in foreign countries. In contrast, some European industries are establishing a new service which will guarantee secure communication based on the national regulation, Huff Post says. If this hypothesis are realized, the internet in the future will be more inconvenient. We will be able to access only the limited data. We will compromise the right to know in exchange for our own privacy.

The second hypothesis is the reverse. All people will abandon keeping their privacy hide from others. All personal information will be revealed easily. Anonymous activity will no more available. Everyone accepts the surveillance, not only be the governments, but also by the neighborhoods. This is that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, states. But actually this assumption is a little ideological, and even fantastic.

The last one is more realistic. Most people will forget this matter. We are sure that the government always watch at us. However, we are seldom conscious of this fact. We will continue to use some cloud services at the same as before Snowden. The world never changes. I think that this hypothesis is more solid, at least in a short term. However, if a similar case occurs immediately, it is difficult to predict what will happen after that.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Tragedies of Let's Note

Hard luck is continuing.

Today, I noticed that my Let's Note, produced by Panasonic, was not working in the morning. This is not the one I mentioned in the past. It is Let's Note CF-F8. I bought it about 5 years ago. It equipped Windows Vista, but worked quite well. Later I upgraded the OS to Windows 7. The performance was completely satisfactory.

My past entry: New PC with WIN8 by Panasonic (1)

My past entry: New PC with WIN8 by Panasonic (2)

My past entry: Failure and recovery of my Let’s Note AX

One year ago, I felt that this PC would be broken soon. Therefore, I bought another Let's Note. However, after that this one was still working. So, I have been using the both for a year.

After a brief investigation, I understood that the cause of failure was the AC adapter. It could deliver no more electricity to the machine. With an alternative adapter, my Let's Note began to charge its battery.

However, continuous usage of an AC adapter other than official one is a bit dangerous. It is possible that the adapter will explode due to excessive energy. I have to buy another adapter of the same type. The problem is that it costs $100. I consider abandoning this Let's Note.

Let's Note was very popular in business use in Japan. However, it gave the seat to Mac Book Air recently. Panasonic still releases new models of Let's Note twice in every year. But I am not sure whether this brand will survive the next year.

Although Let's Note series are very solid, it is sometimes broken. It is not for the first time that an AC adapter is broken. In addition, I have some experiences of the failures of Let's Note.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

My first Chromebook and failure

I bought a laptop PC from a certain vendor. It is a Chromebook.

It is for the first time for me to get a Chromebook. I have been paying attention to Chromebook since its launch. However, Chromebooks are not popular in Japan. There are only a few models available in Japan. So I was waiting for the spread of Chromebook. But recently I noticed some machines were sold with very low cost in the US. So I decided to try it.

This is it: made by Acer, with 11.6 inch display, Intel Celeron 847 CPU, 4GB DDR3 memory, and 320GB HDD. The SSD equipped model was also available, but I was afraid that 16GB would be too small volume even if it was a Chromebook.

At last it reached me. It looked like not so much attractive, as it was too heavy as a mobile laptop. Nonetheless, I pushed the power switch with excitement.

Nothing occurred. Only the power lamp turned on and the HDD noise sounded.

I was confused and I investigated it in some manner. I suspected that the cable connecting the motherboard to the monitor was broken. Finally, I noticed that the display was extremely dark. It was obvious that the backlight was collapsed.

Since I could see the image in the display with my eyes fixed seriously, I completed the initial setup. This PC still alive.

Although I am disappointed, this is a probable result with low cost bargaining. I am doubtful if the vendor will take responsibility with its fault. Tomorrow, I will call a repairer. Maybe it will be reasonable, even if the fee for repair is added.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Maternal stress make you gay?

Dick Swaab, professor of neurobiology at Amsterdam University, suggests a hypothesis regarding the adverse effect of the stress of a pregnant woman to her child.

Sunday Times: Mum’s lifestyle can determine baby’s sexuality

The Telegraph: Smoking increases chances of child being gay in adulthood, controversial study claims

He claims that some kind of stresses such as smoking and drinking of a pregnant woman will influence the health status of the fetus. And he also insists that a child who received much stress in emblionic age is likely to be a homosexual in later age. It seems to cause a broad discussion.

To be honest, his hypothesis is no more the newest one. Some research suggested that prenatal stress affected upon the sexual orientation of the child. The mice exposed to alcohol at the emblionic age tend to show an abnormality in sexual behaviors.

Pubmed: a test of the maternal stress theory of human male homosexuality.

Pubmed: Prenatal stress and ethanol exposure produces inversion of sexual partner preference in mice.

The controversy is whether homosexuality is a disease or not. Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that homosexual persons have a certain abnormality about some endocrine system. However, sexual habits are also strongly influenced by nurture and cultural background. People who have a specific sexual orientation do not want to be deemed as disordered. In the past, American Psychiatric Association (APA) avoided dealing with this issue directly. The editors of Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IVth edition (DSM-IV) made a vote to determine whether homosexuality was categorized as a mental disorder. Now, gay is not a disease at least in APA.

Nowadays, medical research has been able to distinguish some kind of diseases from the specific characteristics of the individual. However, it can be not desirable for some persons. For another example, Down's syndrome is almost predictable in the early stage of pregnancy. But it remains complicated what we should do after noticing that.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The only reason I am afraid that Japan can hardly improve (2)

The only reason I am afraid that Japan can hardly improve (1)

There are more examples that some customs override the written legislation in Japan. For example, relaxation of rule of dismissal has been under discussion recently. It seems to help the labor market more flexible. Introduction of white collar exemption is also considered. However, some people insist that this is no more useful because an employer can fire the employees as many as he wants to even now. That is, regulation to protect the right of labors is not adhered at all. According to Labor Standards Act, labor over 40 hours per week is basically prohibited. But actually many labors are forced to work over 60 hours in a week. In the current condition, if the legislation around labor is rewritten, serious confusion will occur in lots of the companies. In contrast, some people think that the change of the rule about laborhood will not improve the situation because no employer will obey the new legislation. Therefore, argument of labor regulation often results in a chaos without mutual understanding.

In medical treatment, there are some vicious customs. Japanese government offers national health insurance for all Japanese. We can take a cure with low cost. But, the indications of each treatment are strictly defined. Some medications are prohibited to apply for a certain disease, even if the efficacy is proven by academic research. Essentially, we have to attempt to perform a medical investigation about the effect of this drug against the disease. But most physicians have another way. They disguise the name of the disease of the patients. For example, risperidone is an excellent drug for schizophrenic patients. In addition, risperidone is also effective to improve the mental status of the patients who are suffering from delirium. However, the indication of risperidone is schizophrenia, not delirium. So, a doctor adds a disease name schizophrenia secretly on the patient with delirium, to prescribe him risperidone. It is illegal, but extremely common habit of the medical practitioners.

Above all, Japanese tend to make a new custom to overcome a current problem without change the rule. After such things over and over again, there are enormous customs which are hardly understood even by ourselves. This kind of situations have some disadvantage. First, it makes the strangers difficult to adapt to our society. The Japanese are often deemed as exclusive people. Second, it makes difficult to cause a dramatic change. Our efforts for survival result in the stasis of the system.

Overall, it is extremely difficult to overcome the situation. Now, making a new legislation, no matter how it is modified in advance, can cause some troubles upon stakeholders. This is why we Japanese cannot make a decision. This is the greatest problem of Japan.

To be honest, this is not my idea originally. Shichihei Yamamoto of "Kuuki no Kenkyu" (Research of the atmosphere) and Ryoichi Tobe of "Shippai no Honshitsu" (The essence of failure) have described about this issue.

My past entry: Essence of Failure: from Edo era to a charismatic Teacher

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The only reason I am afraid that Japan can hardly improve (1)

From an objective point of view, I think Japan is an excellent nation. First of all, Japanese foods are very delicious and healthy. In addition, I can have almost every local cuisine in Tokyo. Safety is also one of the advantages of living in Japan. Violent crimes seldom occur. If I dropped a wallet in a station, I have a considerable chance to regain it. Japan has no duty to engage in an army. Public transportation is precise on time. It is nothing to say that Japan has strong power on the world economy. Most of all, Japanese citizens are generally kind and polite.

There are lots of merits for me to be a Japanese. Of course I love Japan. Even considering some faults in the past, I am proud of being a Japanese.

However, there is an extreme trap in Japan. It is covering Japan with an unpleasant veil. And it will be a strong barrier to Japan making a change positively.

It is that, the Japanese tend to ignore a rule.

It does not mean that Japanese tend to act rude. Rather, the Japanese are highly conscious to adhere to the regulations.

The point is that the regulation we obey is not a written one, but only a custom. Japanese society has a lot of customs most of which are not clarified with a document. These customs help our society to keep safe and effective. However, as a result of such a long lasting traditional habit, the Japanese lost the motivation to change the written rules. Every rule can get older, and one day it becomes no more fit to the reality. At the time, we should change the rule based on a proper process after adequate discussion. Instead, the Japanese tend to ignore the rule, to make a new custom.

For example, Japanese constitution has not been rewritten since it was established. During 60 years, we keep the original one after the WW II. This fact is great I think, and it made us avoid from any international wars.

However, Japanese constitution prohibits any national army. It means that self defense force violates the law. It is quite problematic for the government. In this occasion, we would change the constitution to apply it to the current situation. But the Japanese constitution has extremely strict regulation to change it. Thus, it is almost impossible to rewrite the constitution. Noticed the fact, the cabinet in the other days abandoned changing the constitution. Instead, the politicians made a decision to change the interpretation of the constitution. This is called as a theory of changing interpretation.

Nowadays, the existence of self defense force is yet under discussion. Some politicians claim it is illegal even now. But most Japanese accept current strange situation.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ANA recalled an advertising video with a large nose

An advertising video created by All Nippon Airway (ANA) ignited a broad criticism against it.

Reuters: Japan's ANA pulls "big nose" TV ad after online furore

According to the media, this video included a person who equipped a large fake nose and blond wig, mimicking a Western person. Some people criticized that this picture was an expression of racism. ANA pulled out this advertising video, explaining that there was no intention to discriminate any people with the video.

I have not watched this very video, so I cannot judge the fairness of it precisely. At least, I believe the creator and ANA are never racists. But it is a fact that some people, maybe Western, are disappointed watching it. I should consider the meaning.

Racism is an extremely big issue in the world. However, living in Japan, I am seldom concerned with this matter. Almost all Japanese are native and Japan has not accepted any immigration without rare exception. Therefore, we Japanese tend not to be sensible for this issue. In addition, lots of Japanese think blond hair and long nose as cool. This fixed idea might twisted the assessment against this video.

Criticism against racism is an asymmetric topic. If ANA adopted a black person in this video at the same manner, ANA would have been blamed more severely. We are conscious of the problem of discrimination against black, women, gays, and other minorities. It was careless for ANA not to understand the danger taking up the matter of physical characteristics of people, regardless of the race.

On the other hand, it is also true that every humor is more or less poisonous. Almost all publications which succeeded to attract public attention make some people angry. It is not easy to make a definite border between acceptable joke and real taboo.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Group process approach for solving conflicts

Today I attended an English seminar regarding business management. The theme was the conflict. I participated in some group work, to learn a lot of things about it. It was a very informative session for me.

Here is the summary of todays seminar.

1. Conflict occurs based on the difference of roles.
This is a clear discipline. Conflict is a kind of dilemma between some different positions, such as teacher and student, employer and employee, and so on. Usually one side has a stronger power than the other. It is definitely important to recognize the structure.

2. The relationship between the roles and the persons who play a role is complicated.
Every person plays several roles at the same time. For myself, I am a psychiatrist, a teacher, a boss, a subordinate, a citizen, and so on. Meanwhile, there are lots of members in an organization. Thus, some persons often share one role.
In addition, a person involved in a conflict can be seen as if he takes another role. For example, a strong English speaker claims that they should speak English more frequently in the organization. At the same time, he is struggling to master the local custom in Japan as a foreigner. This kind of complexity makes it difficult to recognize the real surroundings.

3. Conflict always accompanies some emotion.
We experience some negative emotions once a conflict occurs. Therefore, logical negotiation or persuasion will never solve the conflict. Emotional acceptance is required for complete understanding. Group work is one of the methods for this.

4. To solve a conflict, dialectical way is useful.
Role playing is available to understand the opinion and feeling of the opposite side. Change the role and be aware what the opposite considers. After that, you should take the seat on the third position at which we can watch through the whole situation. This can help you to consider what is not a personal issue, but a systemic one about this matter.

5. Sharing the voices which are rarely audible is essential.
Finally, gathering information about the conflict is important to solve a conflict. However, we can easily drop some voices, especially from the weaker side. Hearing the invisible voices is inevitable to administrate the conflicting situation.

We had some group discussion in English at the session. I was so impressed that some participants spoke fluent English.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Amazon's ambition of fast delivery, an international electric commerce company, is planning to reform its transportation system for faster delivery. It will start delivery of the item you order before you really order it. This innovative system is patented as "anticipatory shipping".

WSJ: Amazon Wants to Ship Your Package Before You Buy It

"Shipping before ordering" sounds fantastic, but it is not so different from the current scheme in essence. Every venders have to anticipate the contents and amount of orders. Point of Sales (POS) system and related strategies to keep the stock appropriate have been widely spread. is about to reinvent them.

Nevertheless, Amazon's attempt is ambitious. Equipping excessive amount of stock is a great risk for industries. One of the advantages of Amazon is minimizing the stock. If this new system does not work well, losing this merit, Amazon will face to a serious peril.

Nowadays, the absolute importance of transportation is decreasing. In the US, the amount of sales of e-books are larger than paper books in Amazon. There are few people to buy music or computer softwares in an optical disk. In addition, 3D printers will be utilized in the near future. What will Amazon do then?

Of course, Amazon will deal with some other goods which need real delivery. Fresh foods will be expanded if the new delivery methods are established. Perhaps monthly contract will be started. Even cooking service will be accompanied. These services will be useful especially in seniors. Amazon itself will be an infrastructure, or even lifeline.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Free e-library in Norway

Norway National Library is about to offer books via online for free. It has already scanned over 135,000 books published before 2001. And the amount is going to reach 250,000.

Global Post: Literature goes online for free in Norway

There have been some similar projects to let old literatures be available through the internet without cost, such as Project Gutenberg. However, it is different that Norway will deal with the books which are protected by copyright. The Norwegian government is willing to pay the fee to the authors with contract. It seems to cost considerably.

The issue of copyright is still controversy. The US and some other developed countries have a strong attachment to guard the copyright. Copyright and related regulation are serious topics also in the negotiation regarding Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). So, this attempt in Norway is deemed to be challenging. Norway’s Answer to eBook Lending: Free Books

Of course I welcome Norwegian challenge. However, I am afraid that it is difficult to carry out this kind of attempt with larger size.

On the other hand, libraries are recognized as an enemy against publishers. National Diet Library had to compromise with some publishers as I wrote. In contrast, I hear some news that some libraries are criticized for presenting lots of best-selling books, it leads to reduction of sales of the publishers.

The library has a mission to provide opportunity of learning for all citizens. But it is possible that excessive lending service interfere current market activity. It is an essential dilemma with copyright.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Who is the strongest mutant in X-MEN series?

This is a quite common question among X-MEN lovers. A lot of documents arguing this matter are found.

Who are the most powerful, Strongest and Weakest X-Men

The Top 25 X-Men

The Top Twenty X-Men of All Time

The Top 10 Most Powerful X-men

Now, I will explain who is the best mutant. But unfortunately, I have not read X-MEN comics. Therefore, my hypothesis is derived from only the movie series, X-MEN, X2, X-MEN the last stand, X-MEN the first class, and 2 films of Wolverine series.

First of all, telepathy is the strongest ability of all supernatural powers, as I mentioned before. No matter how physically strong, he will be defeated with his mind out of control.

Besides telepathists, Magneto and Deadpool are the top 2 mutants, I think. Magneto has absolute power of modifying metal. He can manipulate Golden Gate bridge. However, attacked by the telepathy of Emma Frost, Magneto had to escape from the battle. Deadpool has enormous abilities such as teleport, blast beam, healing and so on. But I guess he does not have a strong mind to be resistant against telepathic attack, although there is no such a scene described in the film.

Then, there are lots of telepathists in the films.

1) Professor X
2) Jean Grey and Dark Phoenix
3) Emma Frost
4) Jason Stryker
5) Kayla (Silverfox)

So, who is the most powerful?

The ability of Professor X is extremely dreadful. If he wants to, perhaps he can kill all human in the world using Cerebro, a machine to reinforce his telepathic magnitude. However, he had been controlled by Jason in "X2."

Jason's telepathy overcame Professor. But Jason could not control himself. I think nobody would accept that he is the most powerful mutant.

Jean Grey has telekinesis, in addition to telepathy. She reincarnated to Dark Phoenix in "X-MEN the last stand." Dark Phoenix can disintegrate anything she hopes so at a glance. It is incredible! She would be the champion. But, she also could not manage herself. Uncontrollable power is no more power.

How about Kayla? She could controlled Wolveline, but could not defeat Sabertooth even if she delivered her power directly. The magnitude of her telepathy seems not to be strong enough to match Professor.

The last one is Emma Frost. She is a smart telepath. I guess that her power is not so strong, hypothesizing from the fact that there is no scene that she annihilate other people with her telepathy. But she has another ability. She can change her own body to crystal. It enhances her physical toughness. In addition, her crystallized body is immune to telepathic ability of enemies!

That is, Emma can perform both attack and defense at the same time. This is unique to her. Therefore, Professor and Magneto had to cooperate with each other to capture her. If Professor had fought with her, he would have lost.

In conclusion, the most powerful mutant is Emma Frost. This is a little odd, but logical opinion of mine.

My past entries as references:
What is the strongest supernatural power?
X-Men and psychiatry (3)


Thursday, January 16, 2014

What is the strongest supernatural power?

Recently, I watched a Japanese TV series, "SPEC". This is a story of SPEC holders, who have a supernatural power. SPEC holders are kept watched by the police. But some of them are united to defeat the government. The heroine, Saya Toma, is to wonder what to do as a police woman with SPEC.

Perhaps you know, this story resembles X-MEN very much.

Supernatural power is an archetype which is often utilized in a SciFi story. There are some undefined, but common rules.

(1) People with supernatural powers are the minority.
Therefore, they are in general discriminated.

(2) Although having extremely strong powers, the holders are not happy.
Some of them cannot control his own power. Some are given the power which is opposite of his true desire.

(3) A battle between the acceptance of the power and rejection against powers occurs.
The former believes that a supernatural power is a form of evolution of human being. The latter tries to regulate the power to remain the world as it is.

These conditions are metaphors of modern society, such as black people, sexual minorities, or innovative technology. These conflicts let the story be impressive.

My past entry: X-Men and psychiatry (1)

By the way, almost everyone would consider the question, "What is the strongest supernatural power?"

This is a key to create such kind of stories. The more stronger the villain is, the more exciting the story will be. The author is struggling to describe that the main characters look like strong.

In the X-MEN series, I will write about it in detail later, "telepathy" is the strongest. You can easily imagine that who can control human mind is invincible.

In "SPEC", a certain person has a power to stop the time. It is incredible! Also in some fantasy games, stopping the time is deemed to be the supreme magic.

Then, it can be a question how to defeat the holder of time stopping ability.

In SPEC, the villain was beaten through his weak point, because his exact power is a little different from time stopping.

In JoJo's bizarre adventure, a famous Japanese comic series, some heroes can stop the time. The battle of the holders of time stop power was extremely amazing.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I like curry very much.

When I was a college student, an elder student of the tennis club questioned me what is my favorite food. I was wondering, because I liked almost every kind of foods. The thing I decided to reply was "Daikonmochi" (turnip cake). The elder laughed at me for my odd answer. Then, he asked the same question to my colleague. He immediately replied, "I like Sushi and Yakiniku!" The elder nodded and said to me, "Here, it is an appropriate answer."

Indeed, daikonmochi originates from China, and it is very delicious. However, it is actually not so popular example as a favorite food. After that, I had to think about my favorite food. Finally, I got my own answer.

In Japan, curry is one of the most famous cuisine. OF course, curry originated from India. But in Japan, British style curry is more common. Japanese curry includes large amount of flour. So, it fits to Japonica rice very well. At every shop you can get an instant source of curry which is a mixture of spice, flour, and bouillon. Boiling meat and vegetables with it, you can easily cook Japanese curry.

One of the advantages of curry is that you can throw almost any foods into curry without breaking the taste. This is Avocado Tofu Chicken Curry.

This is Restoration Curry I made when I felt sick. I dropped an apple and a piece of ginger both were ground up. Soon after I ate it, I got recovered.

This curry is covering Pork Shabu-shabu.

Sausages are also a good partner with curry.

I like Indian curry, too. Thai curry also tastes good. Nonetheless, I love Japanese curry.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Virginity for sale?

A poor Brazilian girl is focused. The girl decided to sell her own virginity to earn money for her mother suffering from heart disease. Soon after she upload the information about this auction to You Tube, lots of people began to pay attention. Some candidates betted with over than $30,000. At last, CNN news came to interview her.

CNN: Teen offers virginity for money

This episode has lots of consideration. It is easy to say that prostitution is evil. But if I were the girl I would be not sure what to do. Indeed, she has few options to save her mother.

Do you blame the persons who betted in the auction? It is also difficult problem. Prostitution itself is legal in Brazil. In most countries, there are many cases of similar deals. As a result, the buyer would help the girl's life.

Perhaps she can ask for donations. However, such an entreaty is extremely common. Most of them fails to gather enough money. In this case, the fact that she declared to sell her virginity became the center of public attention. Thus, she could get some donations.

Aside from the ethical issue, can virginity be a good deal?

Nowadays, almost everything is traded by money. Fantine in Les Miserable sold her hair. Some people lend his own body with painting for an advertisement. Michael Sandel warns these current tendencies in his work. In Japan, there are some DVDs for adults in which a virgin girl has the first experience.

I dare not mention it emotionally. But it is certain that, the tendency of such girls to earn money using their freshness will soon lead to defamation of its value. The principle of the market is that rare things are valuable. If anyone can buy virginity easily, the cost of virginity will decrease. Therefore, girls who are willing to sell her virginity do damage to virginity of other girls in the future. The first person who decides to sell takes all.

Actually, this girl referred to another student who were selling the virginity. This student seemed to struggle to accomplish the deal.

Mail Online: Brazilian student who auctioned her virginity for £485,000 hopes to sell it AGAIN after claiming the last buyer did not have sex with her

The decline of the value of virginity is about to be started. I do not recommend you to be involved in the deal at all.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Current copyrights matter

Recently, I heard a couple of news regarding copyright. 

In the US, the supreme court began to investigate the case that some broadcasters sued Aereo TV, an internet television company with invasion of copyright.

Aereo is broadcasting several programs that were created by some famous broadcasters via the internet without consent. It developed lots of antennas to catch the electric waves of the TV programs. Then it sent the programs to subscribers. Thus, Aereo is acting as an intermediary. Such behaviors are tend to be disliked because they make no product by themselves. However, it is also true that there is a certain need for intermediaries.

If Aereo wins, broadcasting companies will face to a severe peril. They will have to invest much more to protect their contents. Finally the customers pay the cost.

In Japan, the other day, National Diet Library stopped putting on view some articles via the internet, under the demand from publishers. They are some Buddhist textbooks which were on the discussion. National Diet Library had uploaded their texts to the internet because copyrights of them had been expired. However, some publishers asked to stop it on June 2013. National Diet Library finally accepted their claim partially, although no legal problems were identified around this matter. Now, some of the articles are available via the internet again.

I do not support the claim of publishers. They have no right to stop the act of National Diet Library. The reaction of National diet Library is extremely friendly to the publishers. However, in a result, there are some people who are interfered from reading these copyright-free articles.

On the other hand, National Diet Library is about to launch a service of sending digital materials to other libraries. This new attempt is enabled under the reform of Copyright Act for the first time. I welcome this movement.

Copyright and any other intellectual properties are essential for further development of non-material contents. Meanwhile, excessive protection of the creators lead to shrink of the industry, and it will disturb the growth of our society indirectly. It is a great dilemma.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New York Times starts native ads

New York Times launched native advertisement at the website on January 8, 2014.

Business Insider: Here's The New York Times' First Ever Native Ad

Native advertising is a technique to deliver proper ads to customers. This kind of advertisement is usually tied up to the media, then it tend to be mimicking a usual article. Nowadays, some digital contents such as social media are utilized to maximize the effect of such advertisement.

Native ads are of course a form of advertisement. So they intend to ignite curiosity of customers to their products. However, it is a little difficult to distinguish them from other news article. Therefore, some readers tend to trust such advertisement because they identify it erroneously as a neutral article.

From the reason, native ads are broadly criticized. The Federal Trade Commission is warning against deceptive advertising practices. New York Times is also criticized by some bloggers.

ZD Net: Here's why 'native ads' are a very bad idea... So why is the NYTimes so clueless?

However, New York Times itself ironically commented that it was doubtful that the customers truly wanted the native ads restricted.

New York Times: As Online Ads Look More Like News Articles, F.T.C. Warns Against Deception

 Dell is the first sponsor of New York Times with native ads. New York Times is extremely cautious not to be misunderstood. Paid posts are marked with several ways and never introduced with the official Twitter or Facebook page.

Anyway, it is certain that New York Times is struggling to gather enough money to sustain the industry. The number of subscribers of newspaper will decrease gradually. It is possible for New York Times to encounter a crisis of corporate acquisition again other than the case of Chen Guangbiao. The New York Times begins native advertising. Will it work?

In my opinion, advertisement itself is not cool, but should not be prohibited with legal regulation. It is very difficult to define vicious advertisement. Ultimately, the choice is ours.

By the way, I cannot see the native ads at the home page of New York Times. I do not know the reason.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Good jobs and bad jobs

Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article about job characteristics, referring to CareerCast, an online job offering site. According to this, the most stressful job in the US is enlisted military personnel.

The Wall Street Journal: No to Military, Yes to Hair: The Most and Least Stressful Jobs of 2014

CareerCast scored a total of 200 job categories based on several standards related to stress, such as life-threatening, deadlines, growth potential, and so on. This is the list of worst stressful jobs.

1.  Enlisted Military Personnel
2. Military General
3. Firefighter
4. Airline Pilot
5. Event Coordinator
6. Public Relations Executive
7. Corporate Executive (Senior)
8.  Reporter (Newspaper)
9. Police Officer
10. Taxi Driver

In contrast, least stressful jobs are also listed.

1. Audiologist
2. Hair Stylist
3. Jeweler
4. University Professor (Tenured)
5. Seamstress / Tailor
6. Dietitian
7. Medical Records Technician
8. Librarian
9. Multimedia Artist
10. Drill-Press Operator

CareerCast: The Most Stressful Jobs of 2014

CareerCast: The Least Stressful Jobs of 2014

What do you think about these lists? Indeed, soldiers and firefighters are likely to be stressful.

It is interesting that growth potential is included to calculate the stress scores. Taxi drivers will be no more required in the future, if an autonomous car is realized. It is not true that simple task is free from any stress.

The jobs listed as stress-free are all specialized ones. Their professional skills are hardly to be mimicked. Thus, they can avoid excessive competition. In addition, their incomes are considerably high. Instead, it means that getting such a job requires some talents. It is very difficult to get a seat of a tenured professor. If once gained, will you feel relaxed? I am not sure.

After all, no one knows what kind of job survives the next generation. If an innovative drug and medical system so called "Google Doctor" are invented, physicians will be no more valuable. Which jobs are admirable depends on various factors, not only the characteristics of the jobs, but also social environment. It is quite difficult to find the very job which satisfies you for a long time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Clinical Performance Examination

Today, I participated in an examination for medical students as an evaluator.

This exam is called the Clinical Performance Examination (CPX). This is a newly scheme of exam to evaluate the skill as a clinician developed originally in the US. The examinee is asked to carry out a certain medical practice such as emergency treatment for a standardized patient (SP). Usually the examiner prepares some scenarios in advance which have not been disclosed to the examinees. The examinee is given minimal information about the patient and the situation at the beginning of the test. They have to act as a clinical practitioner to solve the problem the patient is suffering from in a limited time. Evaluator scores their performance based on the standard determined in advance.

UNC School of Medicine: The Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center

I have also been an evaluator of Objective Clinical Skills Examination (OCSE). OCSE is very similar to CPX. But in general, the examinees of CPX are the students who have some experience of clinical practice. Thus, CPX is utilized as an advanced version of OCSE.

I saw that most of the medical students achieved quite high performance at the CPX today. I guess I would have not been able to do the task as smart as them if I had been an examinee in my college age. I feel that the students are very sincere and reliable.

Nowadays, knowledge and technique required for a doctor is considerably increasing. To adapt to this trend, educational method for medical student also has to be updated. I believe our attempt will match to the medical education in the future.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The three fates of researchers

Today, I read a shocking blog written by an anonymous Japan researcher.

He told that he graduated an extremely famous university (maybe Tokyo University) where he got the doctoral degree. He wrote some research articles which were published in a leading journal. He said that he identified himself as a distinguished man and convinced that he would achieve an honorable result in the future.

However, after he went to the US for further opportunity, his way of success became darkened.

He could not perform any decisive outcomes in his research in the first lab he belonged. He was fired after a few years. He thought that it was a fault of his boss who had failed to offer him much financial aid.

After that, he went through several labs in the US. But there was no fruit with all of his effort. His salary was approximately $30,000 in a year. In Japan, this amount of income is deemed as a kind of "working poor". He felt so shameful.

One day, he met his old friend in the US. He was invited to the man working at a company. He was so astonished to know his friend was far much successful than him. He was extremely disappointed to the fact that he was overcome by a man he had despised in the past.

Although I do not know whether it is real episode, I think that this is a realistic story of a defeated researcher.

Every researcher has three fates, or pitfalls.

First, everyone who is willing to be a researcher must be a genius. In college life, no one is doubtful about promised success in the future. However, it must be recognized that there are enormous competitors about your research theme all over the world. If you belong in the top 1% of the people, there are 3 million of similar superhuman in the US.

Second, research somewhat resembles a gold mining, or so called a gamble. Even if you make a great effort in addition to your own brilliant talent, whether you will success or not is determined by the Goddess of Luck.

And third, researchers are usually specialists. Once your research theme is proven to be useless, immediately you will lose the post. Some researchers are multi talented, but they cannot match to specialists.

Considering these factors, the way of researcher is quite tough. Also in Japan, there are lots of researchers who are seeking a post. Most of them cannot earn $300 in a year.

I am a researcher, perhaps less talented than him. I am thankful that I can continue my job for a while.

Monday, January 6, 2014

How to prove the existence of time travelers

Time travel is used to be one of the themes of Sci-Fi novel and movies. But nowadays, some leading researchers in physics believe the possibility of time travel at least in a theoretical way.

If there are time travelers, some of them must live in the modern world. There are enormous travelers, since they can go back as much as they want to. Then, how can you detect one of them?

This is a typical problem often described only in fiction. However, one of the researchers conducted a survey seriously. This is the academic article.

Cornell University Library: Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers

The author tried to detect some evidence of time travelers using the internet. He searched the internet comprehensively to find some footprints which could not be written by an ordinary person. He chose the words "Pope Francis" and "Comet ISON", since they are defined just recent. He hypothesized that only time travelers could mention about these words before their establishment.

Unfortunately, and expectedly, this attempt resulted in failure. No meaningful description was found. The author comments that this result does not mean the absence of time traveler. I agree with it.

I appreciate such an ambitious experiment. To be honest, however, this research is not well constructed. If there were some time travelers, they could erase their descriptions before they are discovered by the researcher. The author had to catch the evidence of such a replacement. OF course it is fundamentally impossible.

By the way, it is notable that the author selected Twitter as a material of comprehensive search. Twitter preserves all logs of the users. Their timestamps are hardly disguised. This characteristic will be available in a different way. For example, Twitter can prove that someone began to use an original term faster than any other persons. It is also interesting.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Facebook in the future

There are various arguments around Facebook since a surprising result was published. Teenagers are likely to abandon Facebook. Daniel Miller, an anthropologist in London, commented that Facebook was buried.

The Guardian Alpha: Teenagers migrate from Facebook as parents send them friend requests

According to this article, there are some reasons why young people do not care for Facebook any more. First, they are fond of connecting to peer friends, not to their parents. Second, they tend to change their basic attitude to others around them in accordance to their standing. However, Facebook forces them to use a unique account. It is driven from the ideology of Mark Zackerberg, the founder of Facebook. He believes that modern society is so transparent that no one can mimic their own identity.

Another problem around Facebook is also severe. Now Facebook has too complicated structure. It equips many many functions, most of which is not even recognized by users. Nonetheless, Facebook engineers have to add on more new tools to meet the demand of stakeholders. Cost for maintenance is rapidly increasing. It is a dilemma as same as Microsoft Windows, and more other gigantic companies.

The figure of Facebook usage may be various in each country. In the US, as LinkedIn is popular for business use, Facebook is utilized nearly exclusively for personal relationships. But people who want to chat tend to substitute other messenger applications. In Japan, the seat is occupied by Line. In developing countries, advertisement model has not been established as a method of monetization. Although free-ride users is increasing, it is difficult to launch a sustainable local service.

So, what is the Facebook in the future? I anticipate that Facebook will be working as an internet service provider. It is not an attractive tool but an infrastructure. The number of the accounts is still a power. Many people will continue to use Facebook due to the necessity. I guess Facebook will survive as a company. However I am afraid it will be far away from the ideology of Zackerberg.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

New York Times will be bought by China?

Mr. Chen Guangbiao, a wealthy Chinese businessman intends to buy the New York Times. Guangbiao seems to talk about the deal with the leaders of the New York Times tomorrow.

The New York Times: Chinese Businessman Seeking Stake in Times Co.

The New York Times keeps silent about this matter. Arthur Sulzberger Jr, the chairman of the New York Times declared that he had no intention to sell this world famous newspaper just after Jeffrey Bezos gained the Washington Post.

Huff Post: New York Times 'Not For Sale,' Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Declares

My past entry: Mr. Bezos buy The Washington Post

According to the New York Times, he spoke that he would buy another American medium if this negotiation resulted in failure. But it is also possible that he will compromise to gain some amount of stakes of the New York Times.

International Business Times: Who Is Chen Guangbiao? The Chinese Millionaire That Wants To Buy The New York Times (NYSE: NYT)

Guangbiao is deemed as a strange philanthropist. His true goal is still unknown. Some Japanese people are afraid that his deal will be disadvantageous to Japan. I do not think so. To begin with, this deal is opposed by both the US and China. The US is likely to be resistant to sell this representative medium. In addition, China government is hindering Chinese citizens from reading this newspaper. Guangbiao will not solve these problems immediately, regardless of money.

Tea Leaf Nation: China’s Jeff Bezos, He Ain’t: Chinese Oppose Chen Guangbiao’s New York Times Bid

Nonetheless, it is no doubt that possessing a public medium which is broadly accepted is crucial for an entrepreneur.  His attempt will continue.

On the other hand, it is to be focused that newspaper companies are vulnerable today. Income from advertisement are decreasing in most newspapers. The New York Times and some other companies will be struggling for money.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My goal in 2014

As I mentioned before, I set a goal at the beginning of every year.

This year, I am willing to do immediately and every day.

To be honest, this term is not a newcomer for me. I am always aware that to carry out immediately after considering is decisive. And continuous endeavor for a long time is essential to realize the dream. However, it is not easy to do. Thus, I make an oath again.

Do it immediately and do it every day.

To begin with, I shall make an exercise of English every day until passing the exam. This blog is also included. I will deliver you at least 300 entries in this year.