Saturday, May 31, 2014

X-MEN days of future past: too much explanation and cancelation

Yesterday, I wrote sequels in May 2014, although yesterday was not the last day in May. Because I must write about this movie: X-MEN.

Needless to say, I extremely love this series. So I watched the newest work "X-MEN: Days of Future Past" today.

As a conclusion, I was not satisfied with this film, though I considerably enjoyed it.

(CAUTION: This entry includes critical information about the storyline.)

In the beginning of this film, X-Men, other mutants and even non-mutant human are at risk of extinction by the killing machine, Sentinels. Professor X and Magneto attempt to send the consciousness of Wolverine to the past in order to stop the development of Sentinels. In 1973, Mystique, a mutant lady killed Dr. Trask, to stop his experiment using mutants. However, this murder caused the fear of human against mutants. She was captured and biologically investigated, that led to rapid development and enhancement of Sentinels.

I felt strange at this point. Time travel is extremely dangerous. It is unpredictable what happen if history has been changed. Professor X must know it. If I were him, I would order Wolverine to find the weak point of Sentinels, instead of defeating them. The reason why they decided to change the history may be that the current situation had been so unrecoverable when time travel became available.

Wolverine returns to the past and find Professor X. But he has lost his ability and passion for the good future because of Vietnam war. Wolverine persuades him to rescue young Magneto. Magneto was in prison for the crime of assassinating JFK. However, he denied the offense. According to him, JFK was also a mutant. He tried to save JFK, but in vain.

I was astonished to this plot. It is corner-cutting to explain this most serious case in the US with only a single dialog, using no visual scene.

It is the same about the reason why humankind is in peril to perish. Sentinels firstly identified mutants only. But they began to detect the persons who have the potential to produce mutants. In this series, the mutant is described as a form of evolution. In brief, Sentinels attack all persons who are reproductive. I felt doubtful why this plot was not explained with the scenes. The directed had to describe the fear of the developer of Sentinels seeing themselves to be attacked by Sentinels.

Mystique failed to assassinate Dr. Trask because of interrupt of Magneto. But Magneto tries to kill her. Indeed, Mystique has a risk to give human dangerous information about mutant gene. However, Magneto was the lover of Mystique the other day. I felt his behavior was not realistic a little. On the other hand, Magneto tried to kill Leech, a mutant with power to negate mutant powers, in "X-MEN the Last Stand." His thought is sometimes rough.

Magneto is good at counter-utilization. He manipulates Sentinels with installing metal plates into Sentinels in advance. In "X2", he made use of even Professor X to eradicate human. In spite of his tricky wisdom, he was not a good strategist. He lost all of his colleagues, Emma, Azazel, Angel, and Banshee. (I did not know Banshee joined to Magneto. What happened to him?) I predicted the result because they were not seen in X-MEN. Emma and Azazel were too powerful to be defeated easily. Magneto was responsible for their death.

At last, the history was changed and all mutants revive. I feel it is too optimistic. The battle of X-MEN described in "The Last Stand" was canceled because of the rewrite of the history. I think this is a treatment intending to create sequels.

After all, perhaps I do not like the director, Brian Singer. However, I like "The Usual Suspects" by him.

Personal Rating: 3 (fair)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sequels in May 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thailand is still under control of the army. It is fortunate that no blood flowed. The coup is welcomed by some citizens. 

I wonder if the situation will long last.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

The lawyer of the defendant of this crime is to ask for a psychiatric examination. His purpose seems to clarify the character of the defendant, not to appeal for the insanity defense.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It was a strange and joyful experience.

I would like to visit another museum displaying trick arts some day.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ishin split due to missing of the bosses

Toru Hashimoto and Shintaro Ishihara, the two co-leaders declared to split the Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party: JRP) on 28th May, 2014.

The Japan Times: Hashimoto, Ishihara to break up Nippon Ishin; opposition realignment seen accelerating

JRP is the third largest party in Japan. Recently, Toru Hashimoto was planning to merge Yui no Toh (Unity Party: UP), for rearrangement of opposing parties. However, UP is opposed to reform the constitution, in spite of the intention of Shintaro Ishihara. This difference became a decisive fissure between Hashimoto and Ishihara.

To be honest, I predicted that the two giants would not get along with each other forever. Ishihara is a typical nationalist, as well as Hashimoto, who was broadly criticized when referring to comfort women. But Ishihara is a quite conservative person. Instead, Hashimoto has big doubtfulness against the current social situation. It was impossible for them to progress on the same way.

Ishihara is estimated to take ten or more lawmakers along his own. It will be painful for the JRP. It is difficult for the JRP to take an advantage in lower house, even if it merges UP. Ruling Liberal Democratic Party will be safe for a while.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Morning menu in Hamburger shop

There are some franchises of a hamburger shop in Japan, such as McDonald's, Lotteria, Burger King, and so on.

Actually, I do not like these shops so much. Nonetheless, I sometimes utilize them for some reasons, waiting for a person, spending time, and taking a breakfast.

Most of them offer different menu from regular ones in the morning. For example, you cannot eat a hamburger at McDonald's in the morning. Instead, muffins and pancakes are available exclusively in the morning.

I was wondering why McDonald's provides these meals. In the US, muffins and bagels are very popular as a breakfast. However, I guess few Japanese are familiar with them. Process to cook is quite different between hamburgers and muffins. It may be efficacious for a shop to provide the same menu in whole the day.

I read some articles via the internet to know the reason. As a result, there are several hypotheses that McDonald's offers specific meals in the morning.

(1) Variety of food
McDonald's offers different meals in the morning, so that customers who have come in the morning will come to McDonald's again in the afternoon.
The writer of this comment insisted that there is an evidence to prove this hypothesis. However, I myself dare not to go to the same franchise twice in a day.

(2) Transportation
McDonald's offers meals only not using vegetable in the morning, because fresh vegetable is difficult to transport from the farm to each shop in the morning.
This opinion is denied by another commentator. Actually, some shops sell meals with salad in the morning. It maybe depends on the location.

(3) History
The other day, McDonald's began to sell morning menu, leading to a great success. Therefore, this custom is long lasting till now.
I think this reason is too weak to explain today's trend among hamburger franchises.

There are some other reasons claimed. French fried potato is required to be cooked at once with a large amount. Instead, hashed potato is cooked separately. So hashed potato is advantageous to provide in the morning when a few customers come together.

At least it is certain that it is impossible to offer both regular menu and morning menu at the same time. You have to choose the food you want to eat in accordance with the time you go to McDonald's.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Best cities on the planet

Tokyo won the best city of the world.

The IESE Business School in Spain investigated 135 cities all over the world to rank them in accordance with Cities in Motion Index (ICIM). Tokyo is evaluated as the best, followed by London and New York.

Business Insider: The 20 Best Cities On The Planet

IESE: Tokyo, London and New York, the smartest cities

The best 20 cities are below:
 1. Tokyo
 2. London
 3. New York
 4. Zürich
 5. Paris
 6. Geneva
 7. Basel
 8. Osaka
 9. Seoul
 10. Oslo
 11. Philadelphia
 12. Los Angeles
 13. Dallas
 14. Copenhagen
 15. Eindhoven
 16. Amsterdam
 17. Sydney
 18. Stockholm
 19. Chicago
 20. Baltimore

The standards to assess the quality of the cities are a little complicated. According to ICIM, there are 10 dimensions to determine the efficacy of each city. Auckland was the top at governance, as well as Eindhoven at Social Cohesion. These dimensions seem to emphasize the potential to develop in the future, rather than the current convenience to live in. Safety is not adopted as a dimension.

I am proud that Tokyo was elected the best. However, I am doubtful whether Tokyo will grow more in the future. Although hosting of the Olympic in 2020 will be a tailwind, Japan is facing to continuous decrease of population. In addition, immigration policy is still under discussion. I wonder if Tokyo is friendly for foreigners in the near future.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Can robots be ethical?

The US army is encouraged to develop robots which can distinguish the good from evil.

According to this article, Tufts and Brown Universities, along with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been received financial aid by the Office of Naval Research to create autonomous robots with a sense of ethics. The researchers of the team consider that moral competence can be resolved into some combination of some algorithm. US Navy funds morality lessons for robots

Although I do not think the matter is not so simple as the researchers say, it is an interesting attempt to clarify the thought of ethics. We have to make a decision in some complicated cases. We seek an absolute answer, even though impossible. Such processes are influenced by not only human instinct, but also logic, emotion, and individual experience. If these variables can be quantitatively identified, it will be not a fantasy to calculate the ethical decision.

Furthermore, this attempt will be beneficial to improve the quality of education. Teaching computers helps us to enhance our own ability of thinking.

On the other hand, it is possible that this research leads to a tragic future. The purpose of the US Navy may be the development of drone attackers. The ability to distinguish the foes from the allies is essential in modern war. If the drone identifies us as an enemy, it will begin a merciless attack. Drones do not hesitate, nor suffer from PTSD. Will the army install human emotion in the drone? Maybe never. We have to be aware of the dangerousness regarding logical judgement.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thailand Coup

An astonishing event happened in Thailand. The army administered by Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha took control over Thai government.

The military seized power upon the cabinet, occupied the TV station, and suspended the constitution.

BBC News Asia: Thailand military seizes power in coup

CNN: Thai military takes over in coup -- again

This coup is a result of long lasting political confusion in Thailand. The last general election was negated and the Prime Minister was forced to resign, as I wrote. However, it is not for the first time of the coup in Thailand. A similar action was also performed by the army in 2006.

My past entry: Election in Thailand and Tokyo

My past entry: Thai Prime Minister dismissed

Prayuth declared that it had been done to restore order and enact political reform. However, the situation will become more chaotic, not only politically but also economically. Thai currency began to drop down. Tourism will be also influenced badly.

Mainichi: Thai coup adds to challenges for economy

I am concerned that some IT companies would be struck. Thailand is one of the main providers of hard disk. In 2011, Thailand was attacked by a disastrous floods. Then some manufacturing plants of hard disk were seriously damaged and the shortage occurred. This kind of matter has potential to harm the world economy.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Remote PC criminal revealed

A serious criminal case of PC remote control will be solved. The defendant who had denied being guilt changed his testimony.

The Japan News: Katayama changes story after smartphone dug up

Mainichi: Defendant admits to sending online threats, back in custody

This series of crimes was begun with some incorrect arrests. The persons deemed as the blackmailers were innocent, even victimized by the culprit. Some of the false criminals were forced to confess to the offense. The police and prosecutors were broadly criticized.

After all, a suspect was arrested. He was prosecuted, but there was a lack of decisive evidence of proof. His lawyer believed him that he was also tricked by the culprit.

My past entry: PC remote control crime cases

Recently, a long email was sent to the media by the would-be culprit. However, the prosecutor suspected that the defendant himself had prepared this email. Then, the police detected a smartphone with which the email was sent buried under the ground. The defendant was being let out on bail. Evidence suggested that he could control the smartphone to make a trick of the email. At last, he confessed that he had done all crimes to his lawyer.

Although it is uncertain whether he is the true culprit in theoretical view, there is almost no room to doubt his conviction. To be honest, I was relieved by this result. If he were also trapped by another person, the merciless criminal would be free even now.

Nevertheless, the case has not been solved yet. Why did he commit such cases? Is it impossible that the police, prosecutor, and the court could avoid being deceived by him? Is there any problems around investigation? And another one, I am afraid that he would commit suicide in the near future.

I read some reports by the media about this issue. They differ with each other. We are still in confusion.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My fourth TOEFL

Today, the result of TOEFL I took one week ago was returned.
My score has not reached 100 in total, although slightly improved from previous challenges.

TOEFL and IELTS are popular examinations to assess your English skills. However, they considerably differ each other. I have taken IELTS four times, to reach 7.0 at band score, as I mentioned.

Generally, I feel that IELTS is easier than TOEFL. The most obvious difference is seen in the listening section. In IELTS, you are required to dictate several words in the speeches. Comprehensive understanding is not needed. In addition, the questions are displayed in advance before starting listening. On the other hand, in TOEFL you have to recognize the themes and identify some important elements in the speeches. TOEFL questions are not clarified until the end of each speech. You have to summarize and memorize the content of the speeches during the listening part. They are quite tough tasks. At last, I have not improved my score of the listening section in TOEFL, despite of IELTS.

Interestingly, I got a higher score in the writing section in TOEFL than IELTS. To be honest, comparing each score is not so simple. I think that 23 points in TOEFL writing is higher than 6.5 in IELTS writing. A blogger write that you are required to create strong statements in TOEFL, instead balanced opinion is preferable in IELTS. Not knowing the fact, it may be true. In the writing sections, I emphasized some reasons supporting my statement, because I thought the complex flow of the essay might make readers confused. Perhaps, IELTS examiners do not like simple statements.

In the reading section, there are few differences between TOEFL and IELTS. In TOEFL, some questions asking the meaning of specific word are offered. It may be a burden for examinees to get a high score, as this kind of questions is difficult to solve with estimating the contexts. Getting full marks in the reading section in IELTS is easier than in TOEFL. Even I could complete full marks once in a practice using a previous test.

By the way, TOEFL is no more available for immigration to the UK, due to the fraud cases occurred a few months ago, as I wrote. It is not avoidable for such candidates to take IELTS for a while.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Condition of electronic clocks in Greece

It is obvious that there is a time difference between Japan and Greece. So, you are required to adjust your time clock visiting there.

By the way, I usually equip a radio-controlled clock on my left wrist. This kind of gadget is directed to correct the time automatically. Therefore, I have no difficulty to find the exact time whenever I want to know it. However, it cannot receive a precise radio wave of time in foreign countries. Actually, it often became inaccurate after an overseas journey. I decided to leave it at home during this trip.

Then, there were some gadgets other than the wristwatch to let me know the local time.

(1) Smartphone
I use Galaxy S3 powered by Samsung. It was excellent at adjusting the time. Immediately after landing in Greece, it began to gather the data of the position and correct the time without any manual operation. No connection fee was needed. And it returned to direct Japan time after landing Narita International Airport.

(2) Android Tablet
Nexus7 (2012 version) is one of my favorite gadgets. I always carry with me. It did not adjust the time during foreign travel. Even after I connected it to the internet, its time did not alter. Maybe a manual adjustment is required. To be honest, I do not know about Nexus7 LTE version.

(3) PC
My Panasonic Let's Note also did not respond to the place I connected to the internet. It was not surprising considering automatic adjustment of clock time may cause some troubles in PCs.

(4) Kindle
Kindle Paperwhite (the first model in Japan) was a little troublesome. It adjusted the time clock automatically when I connected it to the internet in Athens. However, it did not recover after returning home. I reset the configuration regarding the clock, but in vain. Finally, I had to initialize the Kindle to correct the time.

To sum up, there is a variety regarding the adjustment of the time. Galaxy S3 seems to be global the most.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Journey to Greece (3)

Journey to Greece (1)
Journey to Greece (2)

The last day I stayed in Athens was also fine. I had a short time to spend, so I walked around the city.

This was Panathenaic Stadium, the birthplace of the modern Olympic in 1896. There were few visitors. Almost no branch stores were seen.

Lots of dogs lay on every street. They looked relaxed, and might feel hot.

There was a part of ruin beside the road. I guess many other remains were buried there. I have heard it was interfering development of the cities in Italy, ironically. Is the situation similar in Greece?

I found a nice store which dealt with some organic foods. I bought herbal tea there. Pasta and other things were also fascinating.

I ate GreekMac at a McDonald's in Athens. It was like a Pita sandwich.

A salesperson gave me some tickets to discount the meal.  One Euro or 25% off were reasonable, compared to some kinds of tickets available in Japan.

There were some old persons in the store. I was a little surprised that older persons seemed to be more likely to use MacDonald's than younger ones.

Greek cuisine were not bad. I enjoyed Sea bass.

This was also pleasant journey. I was satisfied at all.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Journey to Greece (2)

Journey to Greece (1)

The next morning, it was also a sunny day.

I could see Mount Lycabettus at a long distance.

I saw many apartment houses at roadsides. And there were lots of cars parked aside the side of roads. Population density seemed to be high at the center of Athens.

Tropical plants were dominant in Greece. However, I felt it was not so extremely hot.

This was another statue. He is George Averoff, famous as a founder of schools in the 19th century.

The door attached to an elevator in the hotel I stayed was a little strange. You have to pull a door to get into the elevator. In addition, an accordion door was equipped which was closed when you select the destination pushing a button.

I found some snacks were very delicious. This one may be available also in foreign countries.

(To be continued.)

Journey to Greece (1)

Today, I came home from Greece. I attended an academic conference in Athens.

I visited Greece for the first time. Unfortunately, I could not have much time to stay there, due to work in Japan. Actually, my trip included only 2 nights stay with 5 days of the journey.

The Athens international airport was modern and clean. I had no difficulty to enter the immigration gate.

From the airport to the center of Athens, I utilized a metro line. The one way ticket costed 8 Euro. It took about half an hour.

To be honest, the explanation displayed on the boards were not friendly to foreigners. There were few English directions. And Greek alphabets were complex and easy to misinterpret. I was a little confused to identify my destination on the board.

Greece is a country of the sun. The weather was pleasant. It was not so hot nor cold.

In foreign countries, I frequently see such a statue. I do not know who is he.

I went to the place where the conference was held directly. After that, I reached the hotel I reserved. Actually, there were some inconvenience there. A key on the window was broken, so that I was annoyed with the sound of wind.

(To be continued.)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sexual costumes of flight attendants

A controversy was burned about the costume of flight attendants belong to Cathay Pacific Airline.

According to Huff Post, a union of Chinese requested to change their outfits into less exposing ones, to avoid sexual harassment.

Huff Post Travel: Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Say 'Too Sexy' Uniforms Are Fueling Sexual Harassment

In this article, a study is introduced that more than one-fourth of flight attendants have experienced some harassment at work. The airline seems to accept their demands. It is a rational reaction as an employer, in my opinion.

There is a similar case in Japan. Skymark adopted a miniskirt uniform for the advertisement of introduction of a new series of vehicles. Some clues seriously criticized it for both the reasons of sexuality and security. The president declared that anyone would not be forced to wear this costume. However, it is possible that the attendants who had refused to wear it were dropped from the members of the new Airbus.

The Telegraph: Japanese airline criticised over minidresses for female cabin attendants

Mail Online: Crews' fury at new stewardess uniform that barely covers their bottoms and is an open 'invitation to sexual harassment'

This issue is related to gender discussion, more or less. Flight attendants have been deemed as a symbol of airlines, as same as paddock girls in motorcycle racings. Historically, the majority of the users of airplane were male. It is not surprising that airline companies have an intention to attract the passengers with the arrangement of charming flight attendants. If so, this current tendency will be shrink in proportion to increasing of female passengers.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Suicidal thought and long lasting world

I watched a Japanese drama movie. In this story, a mother committed suicide immediately after her husband asked her to divorce. She threw herself into a river. Just before this, she sent an email to her child, saying sorry.

I had a feeling of something wrong about it. In general, a person who committed suicide would not worry about his or her surrounding. If they could be concerned for relatives or friends of them, they would not kill themselves. Although there are lots of exceptions of course, I seldom see a suicidal note, especially it has done impulsively.

There are two values, or possibilities regarding the afterlife. It contains not only the afterlife of self I mention, but the world left after that. Some people believe that his or her own life is absolute. In their sense, the world would end when they die. It is extremely subjective, and even egotistical point of view. But I have to accept this idea, because human consciousness is definitely subjective and mortal. This kind of people have thought that suicide is a means to end the world. So, they dare not to consider how will the persons left after them feel and behave. It is very risky for occurring of a suicidal behavior.

On the other hand, people believing that the world will be long lasting after they die cannot commit suicide so easily. Everyone who hesitated to commit suicide say that they stopped suicide concerning about his or her relatives and friends. Human relationship is actually a factor to prevent suicide.

To be honest, suicidal behavior is more complicated than I wrote. Nonetheless, I think that this difference of the world view makes a point. Japan is a suicide rich country, as I wrote. Many Japanese have no their own religious concept. It should be related to the high rate of suicide in Japan.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Revenge porn

Revenge porn is a new category of crime rising in developed countries. It occurs after a couple divorces. Usually this crime is committed by a man who contribute photos of nude image of his ex-partner.

(This is an image provided by Photo-AC.)

Revenge porn is easy to occur, but it hurts the victim seriously. Pushing one button enables us to upload an image file on the internet. And once it does, it is extremely difficult to erase their copies completely. The woman who is victimized will be forced to worry about it forever.

Revenge porn itself is not a new crime, actually. In the past, there were some persons who tell their neighbors about the sexual behaviors or other embarrassing acts of their ex-partner without hesitation. They looked rude, but that's all. Nowadays, the internet has enhanced the power of broadcasting ever than before. It makes the issue complicated.

In the US, some states are willing to establish a legislation to regulate such activities. The situation is similar in Canada.

USA Today: Aim, shoot, regret: States move to ban 'revenge porn'

FOX 59: Indiana lawmaker ready to talk about banning revenge porn

Huff Post Politics Canada: "Revenge Porn" Needs its Own Bill

I completely agree with the opinion to punish the users of revenge porn. They have humiliated a person using unjust means. However, it is doubtful that threatening to arrest can prevent the cases of such crimes. Many people believe that anonymity on the internet is invulnerable, although it is not true.

It may be more useful for the reduction of the victims to educate potential victims in advance. All adolescents should know about such cyber crimes and they may be victimized. You have to recognize that it is reckless to let your partner take a photo of your naked body. Nonetheless, some couples may hardly imagine the day they divorce, especially in young ones. It is difficult for young persons to resist to take a risk. So revenge porn problem is difficult to perish.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The absolute rule of internet contribution

Nowadays, we can see everything via the internet. With one click, Google tells us the answer about what we want to know.

On the contrary, we can easily express our own idea to the public. In the past, only limited persons could write a comment on the newspaper, or speak on the TV. Now, using the internet your statement reaches countless audiences.

It has brought a newly problem. It is possible that your comment may make a stranger get angry, regardless of your intention. You cannot stop any persons from seeing you. Once thrown to the internet, your sentences  would not be controllable. In addition, your comments will remain almost forever.

To make use of the internet, we should be cautious not to be involved in any troubles. Minimal literacy is required for all internet users.

I have one definite rule when I write a comment on the internet. It is so called "The rule of the last person I would like to show it".

I imagine a face of whom I do not hope to show my comment the worst. When I write a criticism against the organization I belong to, I imagine the situation that my boss reads the comment. About sexual issues, the persons I should imagine are my parents. Describing my patients on the blog is out of the question!

This rule is so strict that it decrease the taste of writing a little. Nonetheless, it is a safe way of using the internet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thai Prime Minister dismissed

Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand was forced to resign.

The World Post: Yingluck Shinawatra, Thai Prime Minister, Forced To Resign Over Abuse Of Power

The constitutional court of Thailand sentenced that Shinawatra violated the authority of the prime minister by transferring a senior civil servant to another position in 2011. She was deemed to facilitate her family. The court dismissed her and her close colleagues from the cabinet.

Thailand is in the maelstrom. The general election held in this Feb as I wrote was finally negated by the constitutional court. The ruling Thaksin's party attempts to carry out the next election in July. It is easily predicted that the opponents would strengthen the resistance.

My past entry: Election in Thailand and Tokyo

I was a little surprised that the constitutional court has strong power upon the cabinet. In Japan, the members of parliament would not be dismissed even if the Supreme Court declares that the election was violating the constitution. The Japan Supreme Court is so conservative that I have never seen that it negate the result of the general election.

On the other hand, some people criticize the constitutional court of Thailand as not politically correct. Though I do not know the decisions it made in the past in detail, it is easily imaginable that any sides which lost the legal battle would blame the thoughts provided by the court.

Most developed countries have established a scheme to avoid the concentration of the political power to one component. In Japan, the supreme court, the parliament, and the government are to watch each other. However, it is generally said that the government is deemed to be the most powerful among the three summits. In Thailand, the court seems extremely powerful.

More or less, confusion will last for a while in Thailand. I hope nobody will not be hurt regarding this conflict.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The sniper from another dimension, cunning elders with nice action

Today, I watched "Detective Conan the Movie 18: The Sniper from Another Dimension" in cinema.

Detective Conan, or Case Closed is a famous manga series written by Gosho Aoyama.

The hero Conan Edogawa was a super-intelligent high school student, Shinichi Kudo, in the past. But he was involved in a big criminal case, which exposed him at a fatal risk. He was forced to drink an experimental medicine and it made him rejuvenate into a little boy. He continues to investigate criminal cases in order to reveal the secret of the medicine and the Mafia he opposed to.

Detective Conan is categorized to a thriller. Most of the episodes describe a murder case. The criminal attempts to commit a perfect case. Conan and his friends struggle to reveal it. Conan also includes some action scenes. The romance between Conan and Ran Mori, a girlfriend of Shinichi Kudo, is also an attraction.  Ran does not know that Conan is Shinich. Conan must hide this fact, because if it is clarified Ran will be endangered by the Mafia. Conan is suffering to resist the temptation to tell her the truth.

Cinema movie series of Detective Conan are broadcasted once a year regularly. Many children and also adults visit to the cinema to watch it. I watched almost every episode of the movies.

In this story, a sniping case occurs all at sudden. The suspect is a retired American SEALs soldier. He seems to revenge to some other persons who betrayed him in the past. Conan, Japanese police, and the FBI try to stop him, but there is hidden truth behind the cases.

I felt that the action scenes were so exciting. In contrast, the storyline was not so attractive. "Who done it" is not so concerned. There were few gimmicks to confuse the audiences. Additionally, I was not empathetic to the behaviors of the criminal. I think that this work should be considered as an action movie, rather than a thriller.

Instead, I was interested in the relationship in each organization. Mark Spencer, an old man who is an ex-commander of Yokosuka US navy, showed an anger against the fact that an ex-soldier committed a murder case. Meanwhile, he decided to aid the opposed side with an illegal means to conclude the conflict. He was described as a wise and cunning elder. On the other hand, James Black, a chief of the FBI investigators asks for help to another sniper, in addition to his own team. He is deliberate, and  also cunning. I felt that these descriptions were realistic.

Personal Rating: 4 (good)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Is 30s young?

One day I had a conversation with my English teacher. She was Filipino. When I told her about a 30 old years man I met, describing him as "a young man", she immediately pointed it out that "Thirty years old is not young at all".

I got it. In Japanese sense, 30s are still young. In some contexts, even 40s are deemed as young. They are withdrawn from the fact that the mean age of Japanese is over forty.

This is a graph describing median ages in each country. The data referred to Wikipedia. Population growth rates are added. The data refer to Wikipedia and OECD statistics in 2010 - 2011.

We know that Japan is one of the countries which aging has been developed in the world. I am 38 years old, but I belong to younger side in Japan. But other developed countries are in similar situations. Most developed countries are suffering from aging and low birth rate.

On the other hand, there are lots of young people in developing countries. When I visited Indonesia one year ago, I felt as if I was the oldest person there.

The meaning of the age differs in each nation. I have become to be conscious about the age of mine gradually. However, I hope that I keep my mind young and flexible forever.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The best 3 e-gadgets

The development of science is very rapid. Now we are surrounded by many electric gadgets. They made our daily life truly convenient. As a Japanese, I use several gadgets every day. I would not survive without them.

However, the PC had been the only tool I loved until some years ago. Now, these are the three indispensable ones I choose.

The 3rd: Electric toothbrush

This brush shakes during tooth washing. The vibrating is so fine that you can wash your teeth more firmly than using normal brush. Before starting to use it, I underestimated this kind of item. But now I admire it deeply.

The 2nd: Rumba, an automatic room cleaner

I introduced it before. Rumba is an excellent and charming robot. It cleans your house totally. Of course, its performance is inferior to hand-made cleaning. Nonetheless, it is distinguishable that you can do anything during Rumba is working. Rumba has difficulty to walk across bumpy. So you must not put items on the floor. It also helps you not make the room dirty.

The best: Electric shaver

My skin is a little bit weak. Whenever I shaved my mustache, I was suffering from hurting my skin. As well as laser, old type electric shavers were difficult to use, too. But this is different. The three circle-shaped edges shave my mustache softly. I need not to use any shaving cream. I was so surprised when I used it for the first time that I regretted that I had not tried it much before.

Wow, Kindle, Nexus7, and Chromebook were all out of ranks. Electric commodities are so great.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Trick Art Museum

I went to the Trick Art Museum at Karuizawa.

This kind of attractions is frequently seen in resort spots. I have also visited the Trick Art Museum in Yokohama China Town.

Various trick arts were in there. In the photo, they look more disguising. Taking photos for personal use is allowed in the museum. Some splendid photos taken by visitors were published at the lobby.

Wow! How scary the shark is!!

 This is not a room. The chair, upstairs, and tiny tables were pictures, actually.

Seen at a little different angle, it reveals the real figure.

This picture is not so tricky, but all-stars of legendary arts.

Some of the pictures were copying of an old work. This is one of my favorites, titled "A Pierrot's Love." It is originated from "All is Vanity" painted by Charles Allen Gilbert in 1892. It is a little sorry that the skull is too obviously seen in the picture.

This is also grotesque. There are two women drawn in this picture. One woman conceals her face in the sister's one.

This is a pop picture. An old man tries to capture a big fish in a lake. However, you can rotate the picture to know the result.

Unfortunately, I could not take a photo, I was extremely surprised to see "The Ball not to able to grab." I truly recognized a metal ball on a dish, but my hand went through it. There might be a mirror magic, I guess. Yet it was quite fantastic. I strongly recommend you to experience it on your own.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Karuizawa (3)

Karuizawa (1)
Karuizawa (2)

The next day, I went to the Ex-Mikasa Hotel.

Mikasa Hotel is an ancient building which is designated as an Important Cultural Property. It was built in 1905, completely based on Western building architecture. Many foreign people stayed at Mikasa Hotel. It was closed in 1970.

I could enter the hotel to take a tour. The furniture was traditional. Some of the rooms looked a little small, compared to modern luxurious hotel suites.

Mikasa Hotel is also famous for the curry served at the restaurant in the hotel. Mikasa Hotel Curry is deemed as chicken curry, but its recipe is lost. Some cooks and persons who had eaten the curry made a project to resurrect legendary Mikasa Hotel Curry. Now, some restaurants serve Mikasa Hotel taste curry.

Unfortunately, I had no chance to try one. This is Seafood Curry I made after going home, not concerned to Mikasa Hotel Curry at all.

After that, I visited Kumobaike pond. The water was so clean that I could see the mirror image of the forest over there.

There were some wild ducks swimming in the pond.

Karuizawa in Spring was a little bit cold, but comfortable to stay, as the streets were not so crowded. I had a good experience.