Nintendo Announces DS 3 May be Dangerous to Children!

Nintendo has announced that their 3DS is dangerous for children under 6 years old. Well, no kidding.

I have written about the hazards of TV and watching things on a screen for children at Lew Rockwell here and here.

At the time of the writing of the above articles, hand-held gaming was not the big scourge it is today. But it is a simple line of logic to realize that, if wasting time sitting around watching a TV screen is bad for children, then sitting around and watching a game screen is just as bad.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Nintendo’s 3DS video game system might be hazardous to the health of children younger than 6, according to a warning posted Wednesday on the Japanese video game company’s website. The 3DS is the gaming giant’s latest version of its DS line of handheld video game consoles. The feature of the 3DS that separates it from Nintendo’s popular other DS systems: It can handle 3-D gaming and movies, displaying the depth-adding effect without requiring users to wear 3-D glasses. Although Nintendo is advising that only the preschool crowd refrain from using the new system’s 3-D feature, it also recommends in its note that all players — children and adults — should take breaks from its glasses-free 3-D gaming every 30 minutes, or whenever a user feels sick.

“…might be hazardous?” Get real. Have a little common sense. Of course they are bad for children (children’s brains, minds, and vision – not to mention social skills) Just watch any kid who spends 30 minutes a day or more playing these things and see how his school grades drop and his ability to interact with other children decline.

A few months ago I went with my son to a 6-year-old classmates birthday party. There several parents were talking and trading notes. One of the parents was complaining about the school bus.

He said something like his child would come home from school crying because the other kids on the school bus  all had their own DS game and, since he didn’t have one, the other kids wouldn’t play with him. (I didn’t bother to ask that father how it is that kids are supposed to play together when they are all dwelling deep inside of their single player DS game.) The father, not realizing that his child was manipulating him so that he could get a DS like the other kids, relented (because he loved his child and wanted him to have “friends”) and bought his kid a DS.

Big mistake.

Well, the story continued and, several months later, the father recalled, he had his son’s birthday party at home. Well, lo and behold, the son’s “friends” came over and, instead of playing, the father recalls that they all sat of the sofa, not speaking a word to each other and playing DS games…. Frustrated, the father finally ordered them to put down the DS games and “play” (you know that you had a bunch of groaning kids there!).


Gee, do you think the same thing is not going on on the school bus?

Anyway, kid’s today need all the advantages in life they can get. Only a truly foolish parent would buy a DS game for their child… Would you buy your child their own TV set for their room to watch whenever they want? I wouldn’t. Some people do…. Those are the kids who have trouble in school. Don’t ask me, ask your child’s teacher or school administrator…

Or ask someone like me who worked in TV and radio for 3 decades and know, from the inside, how bad TV is for kid’s….

One can look at American society as a whole today and see how too much TV has made the average American dumb as nails, but that’s a story for another day.

Oh, and don’t think that you can control your child’s use of the device… They will find a way around your controls…. Whether it is at your house or sneaking off to another house….

You cannot control what goes on at other people’s homes, but do your child a favor do not buy these devices or even allow them in your house.

Am I against DS games? Absolutely not. If my son wants one, then he when he gets a job of his own and wants to buy one, then more power to him. But, I suspect that, since he won’t have played them as a child, then he won’t be interested in it later… I mean, when you have girls, sports, outdoors, books, traveling, good food, etc., etc., why play hand held games?

Trust my friends, that, since we never had a TV in our house, my son is not even interested in it… He is not interested in games either (I have taken him to the game center for his birthday and other occasions before – he likes that. Like I said, kid’s these days need all the help they can get.

Handheld games and TV are a hinderance. Don’t be a lazy parent and buy this junk as a defacto babysitter for your child. They deserve better.

Japan Makes World’s Largest Hamburger

2010 was a pretty lousy year for Japan. China surpassed Japan as the #2 economy; the Japanese government allowed public debt to hit over 200% of GDP; Toyota recalled 10 million cars; I have lost count of how many prime ministers we had this year and the Yomiuri Giants didn’t win the Japan Series…. Again!

Well, there is one thing that can can, er, stand proud about, sort of… Japan now has the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest hamburger in the world.

From Breitbart:

MIYAZAKI, Japan, Dec. 27 (AP) – (Kyodo)—A giant hamburger, which was created in the city of Miyazaki last year and weighed 136.2 kilograms, has been certified as the world’s largest hamburger on sale by the Guinness Book of World Records, its producer said Monday.

The hamburger — 92 centimeters in diameter, 44 centimeters in height — was made during a beach event on July 4, 2009, by Phoenix Seagaia Resort, the operator of Seagaia resort facilities in MiyazakiPrefecture.

We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1!  (Looks awful)

It aimed at making a hamburger that weighed more than 113 kg as the population of the prefecture stands at 1.13 million.

Phoenix Seagaia sold two hamburgers of that size to a corporation and a vocational school in Miyazaki at 150,000 yen each before applying for the Guinness record.

The giant hamburger was made from beef, pork and milk from Miyazaki Prefecture and 15 people were needed to work for around one week to complete it, the company said.

Here is a video of last year’s monster:

Why Some People Write Political Commentary…

When people write political commentary on blogs or other social media, it is my experience that it is not — with some exceptions — their goal to expose the truth. Rather, it is their goal to position themselves among their peers on whatever the issue of the day is. The most effective, the most economical way to do that is simply to take the story that’s going around — it has already created a marketable audience for itself — and say whether they’re in favor of that interpretation or not.

- Julian Assange

Japan’s Government to Bankrupt the Country

This is just incredible. Japan just cross the rubicon a few weeks ago when our public debt went past 200% of GDP. Now, the government here has announced the new budget for 2011 and will actually increase our public debt once again.

As Yahoo reports:

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s centre-left government on Friday approved a record 1.1-trillion-dollar budget for the next fiscal year that aims to boost the flagging economy but adds to a mountain of public debt.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s cabinet backed the 92.41 trillion yen draft budget for fiscal 2011 which starts on April 1.

To finance the massive outlays, Japan aims to issue fresh bonds worth 44.3 trillion yen — meaning that for the second year in a row new debt will be bigger than tax revenue, projected to raise just short of 41 trillion yen.

“I think it is not a normal picture,” said Banri Kaieda, minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, commenting on the state of public finances. “We must correct it as soon as possible.”

Japan’s public debt is already estimated at about 200 percent of gross domestic product, the highest level among industrialised nations.

The new budget is slightly larger than the initial budget for fiscal 2010, which stood at 92.30 trillion yen.

It will finance some of the spending pledges made by Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) — which ended more than half a century of near-continuous conservative rule last year — such as cash for families with young children.

The minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy says, “I think this is not a normal picture. We must correct it as soon as possible.” Well, no kidding… But how do any of these fools propose fixing this disastrous situation?

With the same failed policies of the last 20 years that have devastated this countries finances: More deficit spending and so-called “stimulus.” Insane.

Some people might think that this has nothing to do with them if they are living outside of Japan, but think again… Japan is just another of the big economic dominoes. When Japan goes, it will have a ripple effect that is felt the world over…. So is Japan before or after Europe or American states?

How much longer can Japan sustain this deficit until the day of reckoning comes?

Hope you own some silver or gold.

Be Careful of the Flu?

It’s just past Christmas here and that means it’s time to crank up the booga-booga and scare people into thinking that flu is going to kill us all so that the pharmaceutical industry can sell us vaccinations we don’t need and the mass media can do something to try to hang on to their ever dwindling audience.

I wrote before how I was a part of the propaganda machine for many years and realized what a farce it all is long ago here.

Sure, the flu is serious business but common sense and living right will take care of it for most people. The only people who might consider flu shots are unhealthy people or the aged. Wash your hands often. Eat right. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fresh water. That’s the best cold & flu prevention you can do.

But, that doesn’t make for good ratings nor does it sell product… For that, we need our annual flu scare!

Kyodo News reports:

The influenza season is in full force in Japan with the number of patients reported totaling 6,758 at about 5,000 designated medical facilities across the nation last week, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Friday. The figure for the Dec. 13-19 period showed that the equivalent of 1.41 patients were reported at each facility, topping the barometer for nationwide epidemics of the equivalent of one patient at each facility, the institute said.

Now, let me point out how ridiculous this is. At 5,000 facilities, over the period of seven days, they only had 1.41 patients? They call this newsworthy? They call that. “The influenza season is in full force?” Gimme a break!

I can go to my local doctor at anytime and see his waiting room just full of people trying to get in to see him. I’d say it is an easy guess to figure that even at a small private practice like his, he sees at least 50 people per day… The government run hospitals have hundreds, if not thousands of patients a day.

1.41 patients over the span of one week is nothing.

Once again, we will be subjected to this constant bombardment of the dangers of some new flu and that everyone will need a vaccination…. Oh please!

Two years ago we were told that H1N1 flu was deadly… The total number of people in Japan who died from that? One.

Like I said, wash your hands often, eat right, sleep and get plenty of rest and drink lots of fresh water.

Why Write a Blog?

I think I should entitle this blog, “Japanese Smokin’ Babe’s Big Boob’s Versus the Political and Economic Environment in Japan.”

Gee, I’ll give you one guess which title will get this blog thousands of hits… And which blog will garner this blog only a few hundred hits for the day…


Why write a blog? It’s a good question. Writing a blog can be a thankless job. But, then again, you wouldn’t write a blog if you wanted thanks because you’ll get little, if any… (But thank you so much for the few people who have said, “Thanks!” You are super!)

No, you write a blog because you feel that you have a purpose or a mission. If you didn’t feel that way, you’d quit after 3 months.

Why would you quit after 3 months? Because it would get very depressing very quickly when you realize that, after spending 3 or 4 hours a day agonizing over what you write – if you have the willpower to force yourself to write at all – that only 20 or 30 people bother to read what you wrote.

It’s even worse if you open yourself up for criticism by having a “comments” section whereby illiterates can insult you and tell you to “f*ck off!” And, even at that, you only get one or two comments per day…

Oh, what we “writers” do for “art.” (I can hear you snort, “Guffaw” right now!)

I’ve been writing this blog for 7 months now. It is a science and economic experiment. I am integrating Twitter and Facebook (as well as other Social Media) in promoting what I write on this blog. I have been trying different things to see what garners many hits (readers) and what goes “viral.”

I also write this because I have been advising some companies on how to better market using the Internet, so, I guess if I am going to talk the talk, I’d better walk the walk.

You’d be amazed at how many people I meet who claim to be ”experts” on Social Marketing, but they do not blog, they do not Facebook, nor do they use Mixi… How can they claim to be experts if they don’t do this for themselves?

Social Media and Social Media Marketing are such new subjects that it’s not like you can just go buy a book (there aren’t that many good ones) and become an expert just by reading… Tell me, could you become an expert baseball player from reading books?

But I digress…. Back to what kind of content gets many readers? Of course, content is important, but I have also found that titles really do matter.

I’ve been experimenting with different blog titles; different Twitter teaser titles; different ways to entice people to come read the scribbles that I have written.

Unfortunately, it occurs to me that, if I write what I think are  thought provoking articles about our world as it relates to Japan, my readership drops at a surprising rate.

But, if I write about something that doesn’t affect any one’s life at all, like how a Japanese woman with big boobs makes $3 million dollars a year doing porn, or a blog about how Japanese girl’s are mountain climbing in miniskirts, I will receive a massive hit count that day the article is uploaded.

Of course, said article will require at least one cheesecake photo.

Gratuitous photo… Nothing to see here… Move along…

The one thing that really bothers me the most is how easy it is to sensationalize titles of blogs and promote them on Twitter. But, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, I have worked in the mass media for decades and am never surprised by how easily people’s minds are influenced by the media…

If the blog is about, say, how Japan’s political environment is making a mess of the world’s #3 economy… Then I will get a few hundred readers for that…. But, like I said, if I write, about porn, boobs, or sex, that blog will get thousands of hits….

Just something to consider about the Internet that I have discovered.

By the way, of course, I will insert words such as, “economy,” “politics,” “economics” and “boobs” in the keywords for search engines…. Give you one guess which word will be searched the most on the Internet….

But, then again, putting photos up of girls is a lot easier than writing a long dissertation.

Positive Thinking and Self Fulfilled Prophesy

It’s coming to the end of 2010. This year has been a very tough one for many people, myself included.

I think that I am not the only one who will be glad to see 2010 gone.

I am usually sad the see the year end and this must be one of the few times in my life that I was relieved that a year is over. Before, I always thought, “Oh, no! Another year done and great memories past!”

I am very happy to look forward to 2011 as I am certain (I really am) that 2011 is going to be the best year of my life so far. 2012 is going to be even better!

Why do I think so? Well, my friends, finally in my life I really do understand the principle of self fulfilling prophesy and true positive thinking. Not just wanting to be positive, but actually believing in the future. There’s a big difference in wishing and knowing.

So let me pronounce in this public forum today that 2011 is going to be the best year of my life so far! Here! Here!

That’s why today, for my Christmas present to you, I am recommending that everyone buy The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy and read and reread it over and over. If you do, then 2011 can be the best year for you, too!

I read this book about June of this year and it helped get through this very difficult year in shining colors. Even though I say that this year has been rough, I can honestly say that my company income went up throughout 2010 and December saw the highest income of the year! I was very surprised to see these results!

You can do the same, if you really believe.

In The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Dr. Murphy talks about how powerful our subconscious really is. It is the mind that works all the time, even when we sleep. If you are constantly feeding your subconscious negative thoughts like;

“I hate this job!” Or, “Things are getting worse!” Or, “I can’t find a job!” Guess what? That’s exactly what is going to happen as you are creating your reality with your attitude.

Even in the bible, after Jesus walked on water, he said, “All you have to do is believe!”

It’s true folks. Your thoughts will create your reality. Your subconscious will take your conscious commands and thoughts and turn them into your world through the principle of the Law of Attraction.

If you are positive and thinking, “I am a success!” Then those types of people will become attracted to you.

If you are negative and think, “I am poor!” Then that’s exactly the kind of people who will surround you.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about The Power of Your Subconscious Mind:

“I have seen miracles happen to men and women in all walks of life all over the world.” — Dr. Joseph Murphy. At last, a great new scientific discovery brings the incredible force of your subconscious mind under your control. Here are the simple, scientifically proven techniques and the astonishing facts about how your subconscious powers can perform miracles of healing. How lung cancer has been cured and optic nerves made whole again. How you can use the newly discovered Law of Attraction to increase your money-getting powers. How your subconscious mind can win you friends, peace of mind, and even help you to attract the ideal mate. How your dreams can help you solve problems and make difficult decisions — or warn you of potential disaster. Prosperity, happiness and perfect health are yours when you use The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

I wholeheartedly recommend that you read this great book. If you do, I promise that you will thank me.

Read it, my friends and then you can be sure that 2011 will be the best year of your life so far.

The best to you and yours in 2011!

Let’s have 2011 see all of our dreams come true together!

USA & South Korea Provoking North Korea?

The news this morning about what is going on over in Korea is not good. The saber’s are rattling.

North Korea is accusing the US of goading South Korea into provoking North Korea (and rightly so). I can’t believe that South Korea is actually going to go through with military exercises on a contested island, in North Korean waters!

The last time South Korea pulled that stunt, North Korea fired back on them… Of course.

Why is South Korea doing this? You know they would never do this without US approval. Think about it for even one second, does anyone think that South Korea would be so belligerent and boisterous if they knew the US wasn’t standing right beside them?

Chinese News Xinhuanet reports:

PYONGYANG, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday accused the United States of goading South Korea into provoking it, the official news agency KCNA reported.

South Korea’s plan to hold firing drills again on Yonphyong Island was an “intolerable tease” and “absolutely unfair bellicose provocation,” a spokesman for DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday.

The move would lead the situation on the peninsula to an explosion and bring about tragic disasters if it broke the bottom, he said.

The DPRK has sent warnings that provocateurs who infringe on its sovereignty and territory would be punished “firmly and unmercifully.” It is not empty talk, the spokesman said.

He pointed out that the United States should be blamed for South Korea’s manipulation over the second shelling incident, as it has openly supported the provocation of South Korea and threatened the DPRK over its defense measures, ignoring opposition from neighboring countries and the international community.

The article then goes on to point out that, in upcoming live-fre drills, no matter where South Korea fires, the shells will land in North Korean territory.

South Korean declared Dec. 16 that a live fire artillery drill would be held in waters south-west of Yonphyong Island near the disputed maritime border on a selected day from Dec. 18-21, depending on weather conditions.

The situation on the peninsula has been getting tense since the exchange of artillery fire on Nov. 23 between South Korea and the DPRK, which killed four people.

No matter where the firing was directed, all of the shells would fall into the DPRK’s territorial waters, as Yonphyong Island is in the territorial waters of the DPRK, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Nov. 24.

Is there any nation in the world that would tolerate live-fire exercises in their own territory by another country? I think not.

Regular reader, Andy, also sends along an excellent article that shows that this disputed boundary was arbitrarily decided by the USA and has never been recognized by North Korea. He also adds, “The islands should be returned to North Korea and the borders redrawn consistent with international law.”

I completely agree.

There is nothing good that comes out of having the USA flexing military muscle around in Asia – or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

USA out of Asia!

Japan? Come for the Sushi. Stay for the Surgery

The headlines read, “Come to Japan, stay for the surgery” and the article talks about Japan’s expensive medical services and how the government is going to relax visa requirements so that rich foreigners can come to enjoy the medical care.

Writer’s image of the perfect nurse

Well, I don’t know about that that expensive part… Medical services in Japan are much better and cheaper than what I’ve seen in the USA!

From the Wall Street Journal:

In a bid to cash in on its high-quality but expensive medical industry Japan said Friday it will ease visa requirements to encourage the flow of wealthy travelers seeking medical treatment here. The government will loosen visa requirements in January 2011 that would allow patients to receive renewable, multiple-entry half-year visas, lengthening the current single-entry visa period by about three months, according to a statement released by the foreign ministry Friday.

Thanks to News on Japan

Facebook Can’t Beat Mixi in Japan

The big Social Networking site in Japan is called Mixi. Don’t bother trying to join it, you’ll need to be invited by a current member in order to get in.

I know of a few people who do Facebook in Japan. I’d have to say that, amongst the people I know, that the ratio of Facbook users versus Mixi users is about 10 to 1 in favor of Mixi.

The Japanese people like things that allow them to have their own “clubs” Mixi is much better suited for that than Facebook is. Also Mixi allows people to use pen names. That is a critical issue in Mixi’s success in Japan; Japanese people are much more strict about their privacy and do not like to tell the world who they are and where they live.

Mixi fits the bill for the Japanese.

The Japan Times confirms this:

“Facebook’s service emphasizes connection to users overseas, stresses openness over privacy and doesn’t reflect regional characteristics,” Kasahara, 35, whose stake in the company is worth almost $500 million, said in a recent interview in Tokyo. “Our users value a social space that is like a living room — private, comfortable and personal.”

Mixi, whose shares have tumbled 39 percent this year, is adding games and expanding into smart phones to revive earnings after profits fell for three of the past four quarters. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in July his company is focusing on expansion in Japan and Russia this year, increasing the pressure on the Japanese company to introduce new features to protect its lead.

Mixi, which began social network operations in 2004, has fallen 71 percent since its initial public offering in 2006. The company competes against Gree Inc. and News Corp.’s MySpace.

Closely held Facebook introduced simpler privacy controls in May and said it was reducing the amount of user information that is publicly available after lawmakers and advocacy groups complained that the service shares too much personal data.

Mixi gives its 22 million subscribers more fine-grain controls over who sees their content, such as allowing the users to disclose information to individual friends, Kasahara said.

Facebook spokesman Jonathan Thaw didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

Facebook is also not convenient to use on cellphones in Japan. When you consider the problems with privacy and that 90% of all cellphone users in Japan do not have a computer at home, then you can see where Facebook has big problems in Japan…. Not to mention that their “Spokesman” is too busy to answer a phone call or his e-mail for a comment from one of the oldest and most famous newspapers in Japan.

Hello Facebook? Yeah, what’s the purpose of having a “Spokesman” that doesn’t answer his email or phone calls? I reckon this is indicative of why your business hasn’t really taken off here amongst the Japanese. Hire a new spokesman… Preferably one who speaks Japanese and understands the customs and business manners of Japan.