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Comment Re:US != World (Score 1) 304

Actually, in Japan tipping isn't really insulting, it's just that absolutely no-one does it. For example, if you give try and give a tip at a restaurant in Japan and they're not wise about western tipping culture, they will simply assume that you made a mistake when trying to pay. Either way, if you tip they'll just try to give you your change back (even to the point of running down the street after you!)

The only time it might appear rude is if it could be mistaken for a bribe. This is really a pretty rare occurrence, but just in case I'll warn you not to try and tip any police officers or customs officials ;) In other situations like trying to tip bellboys, etc., you will cause confusion, but no actual insult.

Comment Re:One, but I want more! MORE! (Score 1) 674

Actually, this isn't true. It is very much possible to become fluent without going to another country. What you _do_ need to do is listen to the language you want to learn for hundreds/thousands of hours and understand what you hear. Note that this is different from studying a language - it is not the conscious study that will get you there, but a subconscious process of assimilation. You just listen to interesting messages in your new language and your brain learns the rules for you!

Going to another country is great because it is easy to find interesting messages to listen to, but if you have the right tools and materials you can learn a language faster at home than than you could by going the immersion route. This is particularly true for beginners, because it's actually quite hard to find things that are easy enough for you to understand when you're surrounded by native speakers speaking very quickly. Plus, if you go the immersion route there can be more pressure for you to speak before you are ready, which can actually have the effect of fossilizing the wrong language structures in your brain, just because you said them so much. For those who are interested, see Stephen Krashen's website and read his free online book "Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning". (Leave this for when you have a spare hour or three - the book is 140 pages long.)

Comment Re:I have to give props to Nintendo for (Score 1) 164

Not to mention the advertising, at least here in Japan. Nintendo had very high profile TV commercials showing the gameplay and the fact that people of all generations enjoyed playing it. And, of course, it was and is plastered all over video game store shelves. 3 million of those 10 million copies were sold in Japan, so they must be doing something right.

Comment Re:Red Cross Changes (Score 1) 194

I did a training course with the St. John's Ambulance in the UK back in May last year. The new guidelines had already come into effect then. The most interesting thing I found was that now the rescue breaths are now optional. Apparently, chest compressions are not only good at keeping the blood flowing round the body; the air that is displaced and replaced from the lungs by the action of the chest compressions alone is enough to have new oxygen enter the blood stream.

Of course, the best solution is to have one person do chest compressions and another do rescue breaths at the same time, as some others have mentioned already. Then you can swap over when one person gets tired - 100 compressions every minute is hard work! (Especially if the ambulance takes a long time to arrive...)

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