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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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(Japanese Daily OpEd) Japan's shrinking population forces us to reconsider how we live

Japan's shrinking population forces us to reconsider how we live
May 28, 2014

Japan's projected population decline conjures up an image of a ball rolling down a steep slope. According to estimates by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the nation's population will shrink to two-thirds of the current level in the next half-century, and then to one-third 100 years from now.

...All the reports concur that there are obstacles preventing people who want to marry and have children from doing so, and that these obstacles must be removed.

The reports also offer similar solutions, which boil down to expanding support for parents and changing the ways of working.

The Japan Policy Council, a private research foundation that issued one of the three reports, caught the public's attention by pointing out the possibility of about half of the nation's current rural municipalities ceasing to exist if they keep losing their populations to the big cities. But aside from the JPC's dire warning, the three reports offer no new practical solutions.

This was only to be expected, as what needs to be done is already fairly clear...


Good graph at link

What do you consider a duplicate thread in LBN?

My impression over the years has been that it is a duplicate of the same news story if, for example, AP puts out a story that is picked up by several outlets, then those iterations - including updates - are duplicates; while coverage by Reuters or an outlet that wrote their own piece on that topic (say the NYT) wouldn't be considered a duplicate.

Have I had it wrong all this time, or has there been a change of policy?

Scientists Politely Remind World That Clean Energy Technology Ready To Go Whenever

Scientists Politely Remind World That Clean Energy Technology Ready To Go Whenever
NEWS IN BRIEF • Science & Technology • ISSUE 50•20 • May 21, 2014


CAMBRIDGE, MA—Stating that they just want to make sure it’s something everyone keeps in mind going forward, an international consortium of scientists gently reminded the world Wednesday that clean energy technologies are pretty much ready to go anytime. “We’ve got solar, wind, geothermal—we’re all set to move forward with this stuff whenever everyone else is,” said Dr. Sandra Eakins, adding that researchers are also doing a lot of pretty amazing things with biomass these days. “Again, we’re good to go on this end, so just let us know. You seriously should see these new hydrogen fuel cells we have. Anyway, just say the word, and we’ll start rolling it out.” At press time, representatives from the world’s leading economies had signaled that they would continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels until they had something more than an overwhelming scientific consensus to go on.


90% of TEPCO workers defied orders, fled Fukushima plant in 2011

90% of TEPCO workers defied orders, fled Fukushima plant in 2011
May 20, 2014

Almost all workers, including managers required to deal with accidents, defied orders and fled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at a critical juncture when the disaster was unfolding in March 2011, documents showed.

Amid fears that a reactor containment vessel had been destroyed, around 650, or 90 percent, of the approximately 720 workers at the plant left the premises despite being told to remain at the site by the plant’s manager, Masao Yoshida.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the No. 1 plant, has never mentioned the orders Yoshida issued on March 15, 2011, four days after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdowns of three reactors. The company now says Yoshida’s orders were flexible, and that no breaches of company rules occurred.

Yoshida’s orders were revealed in a document covering exchanges when prosecutors on loan questioned him on behalf of the government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The Asahi Shimbun obtained a copy of the document...


What you don't seem to be able to accept is that people who are LIBERAL and NOT RACIST...


Got it?

You can set your Opinion as some sort of a gold standard for liberalism all you want but in the end you are nothing more than one more voice on DU.

When I look at the thread most of the drama I see is coming from a cliche of long term hosts who don't like to have "outsiders" get involved in the decision making in the hosts forum. This entire exercise has almost nothing to do with racism as it's little more than pique at a newcomer who dared go against the sacred wishes of people who have decided that they should make a career out of a voluntary hosting position.

If we really wanted to reduce this kind of bickering the best thing that could be done would be to limit member to one 90 day term per year as a host in the public forums. We have a lot of people on DU and more of their views should be getting an airing in the hosts forum.

Car Dealers Are Terrified of Tesla’s Plan to Eliminate Oil Changes

Car Dealers Are Terrified of Tesla’s Plan to Eliminate Oil Changes

3 May, 2014

Car dealers fear Tesla. In states across the country, powerful car dealer associations have lobbied to ensure the electric car maker and its direct-sales model are kept out. This movement claimed another victory this week when New Jersey banned Tesla stores in the state.On the surface, the fear is hard to fathom. In New Jersey, for instance, sales of Tesla’s $70,000 Model S reportedly number in the hundreds. But if you dig a little deeper, it becomes obvious why dealers are worried. They don’t just fear Tesla’s cars. They fear Tesla’s plan to create a world where you never have to bring your car into the shop again.

The first and most striking way Tesla kills the dealer service department cash cow is downloads. As part of its sales pitch, Tesla says you should think of its Model S sedan as “an app on four wheels.” That may sound like vacuous Silicon Valley marketing copy, but the company isn’t just being metaphorical. Software is at the heart of what keeps Teslas running. These internet-connected cars are designed to self-diagnose their problems. The vehicles can also download software fixes or updates — even new features — much like an iPhone when Apple puts out a new version of iOS. When fixes happen over the air, there’s no need for a shop in the first place.


The ability to repair a car via software is especially important when the vehicle itself consists of so much new technology that traditional mechanics don’t know how to fix. The flip side is that without an internal combustion engine, there’s not as much to fix. I’ve written before that a Tesla without its outer shell looks like a cell phone on wheels. It’s basically just a big battery. That means no spark plugs, no air filters, no fuel pumps, no timing belts. In short, Teslas don’t have any of the parts that force you to take your car in for “regularly scheduled maintenance” — services that can cost dearly at the dealer. But it’s hard to charge for an oil change when there’s no oil to be changed.

To be fair, Tesla isn’t doing away entirely with bringing your car in. The company recommends an inspection once a year or every 12,500 miles. Its service plans start at $600 per year* or less if you buy multiple years at once. The plans include replacement of standard parts like brake pads and windshield wipers. The company will monitor your car remotely and tell you when there are problems, such as faulty batteries. In theory, there are pitfalls in an arrangement where the company that makes your car is the only one that can fix it. But Tesla would seem to alleviate that concern with its flat-rate plans, rather than fee-for-service gouging for every fix. What’s more, the company says your warranty is still valid regardless of whether you get your car serviced at all.

Yes, these all sound like grand promises. And...


Toshiba's FY 2013 net profit down 34% on stalled nuclear power project

Kyodo News International May 8, 2014 8:36am
Toshiba's FY 2013 net profit down 34% on stalled nuclear power project


Toshiba Corp. said Thursday its group net profit in the business year ended in March dropped 34.3 percent from the previous year to 50.83 billion yen, dragged down by a stalled nuclear power generation project in the United States following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

But the major electrical machinery maker said its group operating profit rose 47.0 percent from the year before to 290.76 billion yen as sales expanded 13.5 percent to 6.50 trillion yen on brisk demand for its NAND flash memory used in smartphones and other digital products.

As for the home electronics sector including televisions and personal computers, the company incurred an operating loss of 51 billion yen due partly to expenses to dispose of TV inventory in the Europe.

For the current business year ending next March, Toshiba expects its group net profit to more than double to 120 billion yen, operating profit to rise 13.5 percent to a record 330 billion yen, on consolidated sales of 6.7 trillion yen, up 3.0 percent.

Senior Executive Vice President Makoto Kubo said...


Fukushima had nothing to do with the trouble with their project. They lowballed the bid, the price skyrocketed after they signed the contracts and it came out that the local politicos in Tx were aware of the lowball ahead of time.

Objective look at canine temperament

This link was in the comments of a tragic story about 3 chained dogs that killed an unsupervised 4 yo child. As usual, in the news story, the breed angle was highlighted while the issues of chaining dogs* and parental responsibility were conspicuously absent.

About Canine Temperament
Because of breed-specific dog legislation and negative publicity associated with many breeds of dogs, temperament testing has assumed an important role for today’s dog fancier. The ATTS Temperament Test provides breeders a means for evaluating temperament and gives pet owners insight into their dog’s behavior. It can have an impact on breeding programs and in educating owners about their dog’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses as well as providing a positive influence on dog legislation.

What is temperament?

W. Handel, German Police Dog Trainer, in his article, “The Psychological Basis of Temperament Testing,” defines temperament as:
“the sum total of all inborn and acquired physical and mental traits and talents which determines, forms and regulates behavior in the environment”

The ATTS test focuses on and measures different aspects of temperament such as stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness as well as the dog’s instinct for protectiveness towards its handler and/or self-preservation in the face of a threat. The test is designed for the betterment of all breeds of dogs and takes into consideration each breed’s inherent tendencies.

The test simulates a casual walk through the park or neighborhood where everyday life situations are encountered. During this walk, the dog experiences visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Neutral, friendly and threatening situations are encountered, calling into play the dog’s ability to distinguish between non-threatening situations and those calling for watchful and protective reactions.


Listing of results, alphabetical by breed name


*IIRC: Someone on DU recently posted a paper that showed the most common factor in fatal dog attacks were dogs that lived on chains. If anyone has the link to that paper please post it.

Japan: Locals hold 70th memorial service for U.S. B-29 crew who crashed in Wakayama

Locals hold 70th memorial service for U.S. B-29 crew who crashed in Wakayama
May 07, 2014

TANABE, Wakayama Prefecture--Locals offered a prayer to U.S. crew members who were killed when their B-29 bomber crashed in the closing days of World War II in this mountainous area, a tradition that residents have continued in the 70 years since their deaths.

At a memorial service held in the Ryujinmura district of this city on May 5, about 150 residents attended, including Ken Furukubo, a former junior high school teacher who has researched the crash and the crew over the past 40 years.

“We are extremely relieved to be able to mark the landmark 70th memorial,” Furukubo, 76, told the crowd. “It is important to remember the incident and build up a peace bastion inside ourselves.”

The plane crashed on May 5, 1945, killing seven of the 11 crew members. The remaining four were soon captured.

Two of the prisoners ...


Civilian diver dies in South Korea ferry search

Source: AP via Japan Times

SEOUL – A civilian diver involved in searches for dozens of missing people from the South Korean ferry disaster died Tuesday as other divers helped by better weather and easing ocean currents were picking up efforts to retrieve more bodies from the sunken ship.

The Sewol carried 476 people, most of them students from a single high school near Seoul, when it sank off South Korea’s southern coast on April 16. Only 174 survived, including 22 of the 29 crew members. The sinking left more than 260 people dead, with about 40 others still missing.

On Tuesday, one civilian diver died at a hospital after becoming unconscious, government task force spokesman Ko Myung-seok said in a statement. He is the first fatality among divers mobilized following the ferry’s sinking, according to the coast guard.

The 53-year-old diver was pulled to the surface by fellow divers after losing communication about five minutes after he began underwater searches, Ko said. It was his first search attempt, Ko added.

Despite his death...

Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/06/asia-pacific/civilian-diver-dies-in-south-korea-ferry-search/

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