garypen comments

Posted in: Yakuza air complaints about COVID-19’s effect on money gains and operations See in context

Despite the overall negative effect of the pandemic, a few positives have been forced upon Japan: working from home; flexible working hours; reducing hanko use; ending nomikai and bonenkai; restaurant takeout and delivery becoming commonplace; and now, yakuza revenue down.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Naomi Watanabe moving to U.S.; switching base of operations to outside Japan See in context

The only other vivd memory I have of her is when she played an african ryokan owner in blackface in a TV sketch.

Yikes. If a video of that still exists on the innerwebs, she's toast in the US. Her career will be stillborn.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Naomi Watanabe moving to U.S.; switching base of operations to outside Japan See in context

Good luck to her. Many have tried the same path, only to end up back home.

She has a bit more range than the typical one-trick-pony JP "comedians". She can sing and dance, and is a positive role model for larger women. With the current push for more inclusion of all body types being portrayed positively, the timing may just be right for her.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 6 Dr Seuss books won't be published for racist images See in context

The usual suspects who always get outraged at this stuff need to calm the hell down. It's just six books out of a bazillion. And, they did indeed contain racist imagery. So, they are justifiably being pulled out of print.

You've still got Green Eggs and Ham, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, etc. Relax.

(And, BTW, you can still buy MR and MRS Potato Head. So, you can stop moaning about that, too.)

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: Woman dies from brain hemorrhage days after receiving coronavirus vaccine, but link uncertain See in context


No vaccine for me. Thx. You all go right ahead. I wonder what broad range of issues will start popping up 20 years from now... ?

I imagine something similar to what happened 20 years after the Polio vaccine or the Smallpox vaccine was introduced.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Woman dies from brain hemorrhage days after receiving coronavirus vaccine, but link uncertain See in context


"The brain hemorrhage that is suspected as a cause is relatively common among people from their 40s to their 60s, "

I find this hard to believe.

It doesn't make it any less true.

In Japan, stroke ranks third among all causes of death, following cancer and heart disease. It accounts for 11.8% of total deaths. 26 people per 100,000 die of stroke.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: NTT Docomo lowers 20-gigabyte monthly mobile plan to ¥2,700 See in context

Another rival SoftBank Corp also said last month it will follow KDDI, offering the 20-gigabyte monthly data plan for 2,480 yen from the middle of March.

The Softbank plan will be through their new brand, LineMo, starting March 17. The nice thing about it is that it's basically an unlimited data plan, as once you surpass 20GB, they don't cut you off. Your speed is just reduced to 1mbps, which is still decent in a pinch.

As a current Line Mobile sub, I will definitely consider changing plans, depending on the other features and options of the new plan(s) offered.

AU "Povo" Plan from Mar 23. ¥2480/20GB DATA/pay for calls. Unlimited calls additional ¥1,500.

Softbank's LineMo will also have the Y500 for Unlimited 5min calls and Y1500 for full unlimited. So, it seems the Big 3 are offering roughly the same data/calls for roughly the same money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: NTT Docomo lowers 20-gigabyte monthly mobile plan to ¥2,700 See in context

I pay about 1,600 yen a month. 500 yen less if I opt not to have a phone number.

I would imagine that's for far less than 20GB.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: PR chief at center of scandal involving Suga's son hospitalized after resigning See in context

Details of her sickness were not given.

She has a case of acute caughtredhandeditis. She will need to remain hospitalized for a few weeks, so that the incident can be surgically removed from the public's memory.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: SoftBank reaches deal with WeWork See in context

It would be an interesting thesis for MBA students to analyze Son’s decision making from a to Z on this deal. Can Son vindicate himself and spin this around?

This isn't the only bad investment he has made, either.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Are bidet-type toilets a health hazard? See in context

I read somewhere that Kimberley Clark developed flushable wet wipes in the 1970s that they found to be superior to regular toilet paper, but couldn't sell the product because Americans were too embarrassed to talk about having a poo.

I don't doubt it. In the US, toilet paper is advertised and marketed with the name "bathroom tissue", so as not to offend, even though everybody calls it toilet paper, anyway.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Are bidet-type toilets a health hazard? See in context

In the UK building regs are quite strict about putting electrical outlets in the bathroom. I don't think you can put one right next to the toilet, as washlets have in Japan.

In the US, any outlets within a certain distance to water, such as in bathrooms and kitchens, are required to have GFP circuits. (Ground Fault Protection). This prevents accidental electrocution.

I don't know about other countries, but I doubt the lack of washlets in the UK has very much to do with sanitary concerns. Having a shower above a bathtub is still very common in the UK, so it is hardly a world leader when it comes to bathrooms.

The bath/shower model is generally the same in the US, as well, except for some higher-end homes with a separate shower stall. (Think of a phone booth with a shower head.) But, the ofuro "room" with tub and shower in a large water-tight room, able to freely splash water everywhere is extremely rare.

The lack of popularity of these devices in the US is mainly because people find them "weird" and "foreign", not because of infrastructure or regulations. They tend to be more popular among the more educated, higher income, and better-travelled people, as well as foreigners living in the US.

Google has them in all the restrooms in all of their many campuses and buildings. I imagine other tech companies have followed their lead.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Survey shows many seniors undecided about vaccination See in context

However if you look at countries such as Israel, it appears that the vaccine is highly effective at controlling the spread of the virus.

Scotland is also reporting huge positive results from the vaccine, especially in regard to hospitalizations.

Lack of ICU beds and the personnel trained in ICU care to treat serious Covid infections is a major problem here in Japan. So, the vaccines should be a boon for Japan, as well.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Are bidet-type toilets a health hazard? See in context

I've been using them for 20 years. And, as others here have mentioned, I have never had any of the issues the doctor in the article mentions.

On the rare occasions when I use a toilet without one, I don't feel clean afterwards. I'd rather hold it in until I get home, when possible, than use a non-washlet toilet.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: About 1,000 Olympics volunteers have quit this month: organizers See in context

The Olympics are due to run from July 23 to Aug 8.

Uh huh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man killed after leaping from platform into oncoming train in Kobe See in context

FYI to all the commenters saying "why is this news?"

It's because it is newsworthy. Just as a child getting hit by a truck is newsworthy. Or, a woman killed by an ex-boyfriend is newsworthy. Or, an old woman defrauded of a million yen is newsworthy.

Even if a type of news event happens somewhat often, it is still a news event.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Celebrity doctor arrested for alleged stimulant use See in context

I was kinda hoping it was that idiot plastic surgeon who has those annoying TV commercials.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Honda CEO Hachigo to be replaced by R&D chief Mibe See in context

The Mirai is made by Toyota, not Honda. I'm surprised at such a basic error by the AP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Panasonic begins crowdfunding for new companion robot NICOBO See in context

Crowdfunding is the only way a small startup with limited resources like PANASONIC will be able to get this off the ground.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Editor of occult fanzine Mu makes a pitch for 'conspiracy literacy' See in context

It's amazing that so many people believe such ridiculous nonsense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man gets out of taxi on Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge; then jumps to his death See in context


''why would the taxi driver stop, legal or not, knowing there is nothing for the young man to do in the middle of the bridge?''

Take a picture, vommit, make a call...there are lots of things.

Leaping to ones death is not the first thing that would come to mind, I think it was reasonable for the driver to pull over when requested to do so.

It's the first thing that comes to my mind. And, should be the first thing that comes to anyone's mind.

It's a damn bridge.

And, FYI, mobile phones work in moving vehicles.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Man arrested over sexual assault of woman in alley See in context

P. Smith

Rape and “flashing,” however, are not of equal harm.

Flashing seldom, if ever, causes injuries that take weeks to heal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Man gets out of taxi on Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge; then jumps to his death See in context

Mocheake - The driver actually stopped! What was he thinking?

commanteer - I can't understand why the driver would stop on that bridge - there is no place to stop legally there that I know of.

blvtzpk - Stopping anywhere - as long as you turn on your emergency blinkers - is acceptable across Japan.

The legality of stopping is irrelevant. As Mocheake is presumably pointing out, why would the taxi driver stop, legal or not, knowing there is nothing for the young man to do in the middle of the bridge? How could he not infer what the man's intention was? It should have been blatantly obvious to anyone.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: 3 arrested over smuggling of drugs hidden in Snow White dwarf dolls See in context

I bet the dwarf they used was Dopey.

Or Sneezy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Motorcyclist arrested for stopping suddenly in front of truck on expressway See in context

They didn't bother with the car that u-turned, but instead went for the guy who (maybe) entered the crossing a split second before the light turned green.

That's because the u-turning car did not break any traffic laws, having completed his maneuver before the light turned red for him, while the pedestrian "jaywalked" (no pun intended) by stepping into the street while the light was red for him.

That is, assuming your description of events was correct.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 1st batch of 400,000 doses of Pfizer COVID vaccine arrive in Japan See in context

The syringes won't be here until June, though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Teacher arrested over paying junior high school girl for sex at internet cafe See in context

While I think the perv is a pig and deserves to be punished, it's scary how the JP police is spying on private conversations on social media. Big brother's watching.

They are public conversations. They were not spying, they were simply observing what was visible to anybody.

If they were private, they wouldn't have been able to see them. (Not without a court order for specific accounts.)

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Fight the man: What GameStop's surge says about online mobs See in context

I can't believe that "shorting" is even a thing. Betting on and rooting for failure? That's the root of this problem, not the retail traders who are simply buying and selling the relatively normal way. It's no wonder that the shorters are getting no sympathy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Daughter left mother's body in freezer for 10 years See in context

So she did pay the rent for almost 10 years. I wonder what happened recently to change things?

Well, she owed over a million yen. And, since it was municipal housing, the rent was probably only a few man per month. So, she hadn't been paying for quite some time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Rakuten to offer cell phone plans with up to 1-gigabyte free data See in context

Is Rakuten's coverage on a par with the major players?

That's what I'm wondering. I've been quite happy with my coverage on Line Mobile using Softbank's network. And, I'm looking forward to seeing what the new Softbank Line brand will be offering when it goes live in March. But, I would have no problem switching to Rakuten if they have good coverage. If not, it won't matter how cheap they are, if we have no signal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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