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Comment Be careful of sources. This article in particular (Score 3, Interesting) 411

Look at the byline:

"Makiko Segawa is a staff writer at the Shingetsu News Agency. She prepared this report from Fukushima and Tokyo. She can be reached at"

Look up who the "Shingetsu News Agency" is. Note that they have no real press credentials and their articles, especially those by Miss Segawa fall well into the fear-mongering "OMG!! BIG GOVERNMENT COVERUP!!" end of the scale.

The situation in Fukushima is being watched by nuclear experts all over the world and the basic facts of the aituation are posted on the IAEA's site. Anything beyond the stating of pressure, temperature and radiation readings as well as remediation steps being taken should be taken as pure guesswork. There has been way too much "This could mean that the reactors are undergoing fission and could go critical" kind of speculation.

Comment Re:fucking city-living hipsters (Score 1) 233

You're bringing up a false dichotomy of the electric vs human-powered bicycle as though an electric bike uses the battery all the time. Here in Japan what has become hugely popular are the electrically-assisted bicycles especially the type used by housewives to truck kids to and from school andto buy groceries. I live in Kanagawa-kan just outside Tokyo and there are LOTS of hills. I'll be riding around on the weekends slogging up a hill in the lowest gear on my mountain bike when a Japanese mum on her grocery-loaded electrically assisted "Mama-charin" will come cruising on by and not be breaking any sweat at all. With easily replaceable battery packs and short charging times these make bike commuting, even in hilly locations possible. The weather, of course, is a separate issue.

Comment Re:Cold fusion (Score 1) 359

Sorry, but you are dead wrong.

In 2001 oil made up 50% of Japan's electrical energy production, coal 17%, nuclear 14%, natural gas 13% and hydroelectric contributing only 4%. Source:

Japan is VERY dependent upon imported oil and LNG hence the aggressive solar programs and attempts to upgrade nuclear facilities in the face of considerable opposition.

Comment Re:Photos in public (Score 3, Interesting) 300

This is why a huge portion of Tokyo including the street where I used to live is no longer covered by Streetview. The wall outside our landlord neighbour's house is about 2m high. I couldn't see over it when walking by it but the Google pics when they were up it was easy to see into their living room. Most Japanese urban houses are less than 2 meters from the road. In these cases you are able to see what someone walking would not, hence the application of laws related to unnatural viewpoints.

Comment Re:Coolest Movie UI (Score 1) 371

One amusing thing I found about the Family Guy Star Wars spoof was that the graphics weren't a cheap animated copy of the original, they *were* the original graphics and matched the quality of the rest of the animation perfectly. I lovely little comment that what was amazingly cool in a major blockbuster 30 years ago is now typical in a regular animated TV show.

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