Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014! The Year of the "Hose"!


Happy New Year 2014! The Year of the "Hose"!


This joke might be hard to understand for foreigners who don't speak Japanese or vice versa.... Next year is the year of the Horse... But "Horse" and "Hose" are written the same way in Katakana (the Japanese alphabet for foreign words - there's 3 alphabets in Japan, but the way, but that's another story....)

Horse in Japanese is "uma." When a Japanese studies English, they learn that "uma," in English, is pronounced: "ho-su." Which, you can probably guess, is the same pronunciation - and the same word - as the garden watering device... Also, hence, the pose that looks like I might be "riding" the hose.

The joke really gets to be an "inside joke" when you realize that in the red circle at the top right, there is a mix of the Japanese alphabet "Hiragana" (the language for Japanese things) for the "ho" and in Katakana for the "su." It's a curve ball!

It's a 13-year-old level joke, but I think it wouldn't occur to most Japanese so some of them think it's hilarious!

WelI, as we all know, a joke that must be explained isn't that funny… I guess, you'd have to be here to appreciate it!

Anyway, have a safe and Happy New Year!


May all your dreams come true in 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Young People Don't Care... And That's a Good Thing.


The following is just my two cents. Take it or leave it... I've found out that what I think usually doesn't cause the world to turn upside down anyway. Don't send me your mails about "My father fought in...." My dad did too. Know what? I don't care. - Mike (young at heart)

You'll read the news and they'll constantly tell you about bad blood between Japan and her neighbors. Every time some dumb Japanese politician (all over 65-years-old) goes to Yasukuni Shrine, the shrine that supposedly glorifies Japan's past military aggression, the politicians in China and Korea (all over 65-years-old - excepting that lunatic who currently "runs" North Korea) all lose their incontinence and shat their adult diapers. They raise hell and scream about what the other lunatics who "run" Japan are doing and complain about "Japan's war-time militarism" and "past aggressions." (Note: I suspect that Japanese prime ministers visiting Yasukuni shrine while in office could be a sign of senility... We should look into that!)

The news services get into a big tiff and saber-rattling commences along with the typical lame excuses and press conferences....

It's a big deal to the (all over 65-years-old) crowd. But you know what? From my point of view, the vast majority of younger people don't care.

Anytime you see these anti-Japanese or anti-whatever demonstrations on TV, you'll see mostly old people and a few young lunatics in the crowd... Of course, the world has more than enough lunatics to go around for every country... Unfortunately. But you know what?

From my point of view, the vast majority of younger people don't care.

The vast majority of young people from China or Korea (that I've met) and ALL the younger Japanese people I know and live with simply don't care.

World War II was a different world to them. It has nothing to do with them at all. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a Japanese under 50-years-old who was garreting Chinese civilians in Shanghai in 1942 or administering puncture wounds to Koreans about the same time.

Nope. I'd reckon you couldn't find a single one.

Just like you couldn't find a single former slave owner alive today in the Southern USA.

It's past history. The younger people just seem to not care. And it's a good thing.

I cannot give any data or statistics on how the young people think, especially in Japan, but I can give you anecdotal evidence.

Ever heard of a South Korean boys group named, "Big Bang"? No? Neither had I until my then 17-year-old daughter told me about them about a year or so ago.

Big Bang is massive in Japan; along with several other Korean pop-acts. 


Big Bang

Folks in the west have heard of Paul McCartney or the Rolling Stones. Yes. They played or are playing at Tokyo dome in recent days or early next year. Tokyo Dome holds about 55,000 people... Probably the only western acts that could sell the place out today is Paul McCartney returning to Japan for the first time in 11 years - Doing tons of Beatles songs, by the way - and the Rolling Stones, coming back to Japan for the first time in nearly ten years...

But, in Japan, neither Paul nor Mick Jagger can claim any bragging rights over Big Bang; especially when it comes to young people. The McCartney shows were filled with 55 to 70-year old people. The Stones will probably have the same. 

Big Bang? Three nights at Tokyo Dome sold out within the first 2 hours and packed with 150,000 screaming young girls and guys... And they did the same last year too!

I'm not too hip on today's top of the charts pop music, but I have asked many Japanese women ages between 17 and 35 and they all know who Big Bang is... The Beatles or the Stones? Not so much. Ask any Japanese under 25 if they've ever heard of the Beatles and they'll all say, "Yeah... I think so. But I don't know any of their music..." They don't... But I reckon there's not a single Japanese under 25 who hasn't heard of Big Bang.

It's simply amazing.

(Photo of Japanese teenager showing vicious anti-Korean hostility... Nah, this 18-year-old Japanese girl doesn't just love Big Bang, she worships them! 

To these fans, and many young people just like them, World War II was in a different age in a different universe; they simply don't care about it at all....

I asked my now 18-year-old daughter about Big Bang and she told me that "...all my friends love them! They sing in Japanese that isn't native speaker Japanese, but that's OK. It is what makes them 'cute.'"

I asked my 35-year-old radio station assistant about Big Bang and she told me, "They are huge! All my friends like them. You just cannot get tickets for their shows anywhere!" This is from a girl who works at a radio station, on the most popular show on that station; you'd think she could get tickets if she pulled some strings. No way.

Last night, I asked a 42-year-old woman who runs a restaurant in my neighborhood about Big Bang. Of course she knew who they were. She went on to tell me that several of her close friends are "Big Bang crazy."

Like I said, none of these people were bayoneting people in South East Asia about 70 years ago. They don't care. It has nothing to do with them... Just like neither you nor I owned any slaves on southern cotton plantations.

Another world. Different countries in a different universe at a different time. It has nothing to do with them and their lives. It's other people's baggage. It seems the younger people don't want to carry it... Hell, I don't either.

These are real people who I live and interact with. The clowns in the Japanese government who have never had a real job, who steal our tax monies to line the pockets of their well-connected friends, and hire their friends for cushy government jobs are the ones who care about shit that happened 70 years ago...

It is all a part of these oldsters world and part and parcel of their jobs to maintain controversy so that they can justify spending our taxes on insane nonsense and keeping their friends happy...

Thank god for people like the members of Big Bang. They don't seem to care either about World War II, nor do they seem to care about what (over 65-year-old) politicians do. They care about now and their lives and their fans.

Check this. This video is nearing 100 million views on Youtube. Big Bang has many videos (even singing in Japanese too! - a language that is banned by the government in Korea (who are all people over 65-years-old, by the way...)



Here they are at Tokyo Dome for the final of their 2012 Japan tour shows. Laugh all you want, these guys are the real thing.... (Think about it: 2013 tour? $110 a ticket multiplied by 165,000 people... That's about $18.1 million dollars - give or take a few yen!) 


And REALLY thank god that these young people and their fans will someday soon be in their 60s... Maybe then, we can put this WWII friction to rest... 

Why not? World War II is ancient history, it has nothing to do with today's young people. They don't care. And I think that's a good thing.

(This article inspired by my good friend Andrew Sirkis living in northern Japan)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in America and Christmas in Japan


I made this silly photo comparison. It speaks for itself.



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

May all your dreams come true in 2014! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Japanglish and Intentional Misspellings!


OK, there's Japanglish, where the Japanese do their darndest to try to get it right....

And don't... But it works anyway....



Then there's Japanglish, where the Japanese do their darndest to try to get it right....

And do... But it doesn't work in practice... I mean, anyway you look at it.... What? This kid's mom dressed him this way for a school birthday party???




Then there's Japanglish, where the Japanese do their darndest to try to get it right....

But fail miserably... "I can act to bad girl"? What the heck does that mean?



Then there's Japanglish, that isn't even Japanglish, it's just smart marketing...




Sandrich? Get it? "A rich ice cream sandwich." This was intentional as the Japanese usually have a problem with their "L's" and "R's" - they do not have a problem with their "W's" and "R's."  

"Sandrich"? Good idea!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Interview With America's Top Bitcoins Expert: Bitram "Bitty" Coins


This interview with a Bitcoins expert is just too good to ignore...

---------------------

Reality Check: 

Today, I interview Bitram "Bitty" Coins, the nation's leading expert in the Bitcoins market. 

GN: Mr. Coins, I am happy you consented to an interview. 
BC: Call me Bitty. 
GN: OK, Bitty. I want to find out what this Bitcoins deal is all about. 
BC: It's about liberty. It's about a new international market. It's about a New World Currency Order. 
GN: It's also about buying 10,000 Bitcoins for $50 in 2009, which are worth $13,000,000 today. 
BC: I call this value-added investing. 
GN: I call it a digital tulip mania. 
BC: I see that you are a skeptic. 
GN: You have very clear eyesight. 
BC: Maybe I can persuade you otherwise. 
GN: Give it your best shot. 

BC: Let me tell you about the #1 benefit. You get complete privacy. 
GN: Complete? 
BC: That's right. 
GN: How does this work? 
BC: You go to an exchange and buy Bitcoins. 
GN: You mean like Silk Road? 
BC: Not Silk Road. The U. S. government shut it down. 
GN: Then maybe Sheep Marketplace, Silk Road's replacement? 
BC. It went out of business when someone stole $100,000,000 in Bitcoins -- maybe the biggest theft in history. 
GN: How did he do this? 
BC: Nobody knows. 
GN: Will the police catch him? 
BC: The police can't do anything about it. 
GN: Why not? 
BC: Because, with Bitcoins, you have complete privacy. 
GN: So does the thief. 
BC: That's the price of complete privacy. 
GN: Then what recourse do the victims have? 
BC: Well, one of them said this. "I won't find this guy. Somebody else will. I assume he'll be jailed, blackmailed, tortured or killed." I find this inspirational. It's 100% privacy at work. 
GN: Are these heists a pattern? 
BC. Not at all. They are random. 
GN: But there are so many of them. Here is a list. (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=83794.0)

BC: It's just a cost of doing business anonymously. 
GN: Because there are no contracts. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: Because there are no courts. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: Because no one knows who he is dealing with. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: So, if you get robbed, you lose everything. 
BC: Yes. But the risk is low. 
GN: How low? 
BC: No one knows. 
GN: Because the Bitcoins market is 100% secret. 
BC: Correct. 

GC: Let's get back to your account of how I get 100% secrecy. Let's say that I buy some Bitcoins on an exchange. A reliable exchange. 
BC: A good idea. 
GN: How do I get money to the seller of Bitcoins? 
BC: By a bank draft. 
GN: Is there a public record of this? 
BC: Not on a Bitcoins exchange. 
GN: I mean at my bank. 
BC: Oh, sure. It shows that you have spent the money. 
GN: So, I don't transfer the money secretly. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: Then how do I get 100% secrecy? 
BC: Because no one can follow your money after you transfer it. 
GN: Even me, if it gets stolen. 
BC: Correct. 

GN: What if I want to sell some of my Bitcoins? 
BC: No problem. You sell them, and you get dollars. 
GN: Untraceable paper dollars? 
BC: No. Digital money. 
GN: But digits can be stored only in a bank. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: Then the digits -- dollars -- wind up in my bank account. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: So, this is not secret. 
BC: Of course not. It's central bank digital money. 
GN: So, to maintain 100% secrecy, I must never sell my Bitcoins for dollars. 
BC: Correct. 
GN: What can I buy with Bitcoins? 
BC: Illegal drugs. 
GN: What else? 
BC: Computer programming. 
GN: Anything else? 
BC: Not much. But there are more things all the time. 

GN: So, let me be clear about this. I give up dollars, with which I can buy anything, so that I can buy Bitcoins, which can't buy much of anything. 
BC: You are buying secrecy. 
GN: But I can go to my ATM and get currency. I can spend currency anywhere. I can spend it on anything offered for sale for dollars. This leaves no trace. 
BC: But there is a record of this withdrawal. 
GN: There is a record of my withdrawal to buy Bitcoins. 
BC: True. 

GN: Then why should I buy Bitcoins? 
BC: Because they keep rising in price. 
GN: Why do they go up in price? 
BC: Because of success stories. 
GN: Give me one. 
BC: In 2010, you could have bought 10,000 of them for $25 in pizza. 
GN: But in 2009, someone paid $50 for 10,000 Bitcoins. He took a 50% loss. 
BC: The dollar-denominated price of Bitcoins is volatile. 
GN: So, I should buy them as a speculation. 
BC: We don't call this a speculation. 
GN: What do you call it? 
BC: Buying the money of the future. 
GN: Will it buy more things in the future than illegal drugs and programming? 
BC: Of course. 
GN: What is the evidence of this? 

BC: It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
GN: That's the New Testament's definition of faith. 
BC: Say, you really know your Scriptures! 
GN: I do. This one comes to mind. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal." 
BC: Right! Lay up your treasures in the cloud! 
GN: But not in Silk Road or Sheep Marketplace. 
BC: Right.

It gets even more interesting from here on. Read the rest of the interview here: http://bit.ly/1bCOxNl

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Communist Makes More Sense Than the Government???? A Cold Day in Hell...


I was standing in front of Yoga station in Tokyo this morning and was watching this Communist politician railing on Abenomics, Sales Tax increases and Secrecy laws... 



I listened for a while... I thought, "Gee... I can't believe that it's a Communist who actually makes more sense than the clowns we have in power now!..." 

I also thought, "Must be a cold day in hell...."

More things to ponder....



You also have to wonder how it is possible that a politician would; 1) have a platform that is against raising taxes and; 2) Can still lose and election; all the while being a 3) Hot babe! 

Need proof? Read: My Serious Commentary on Today's Japan Elections (And Some Hot Babes!)  http://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.jp/2013/07/my-serious-commentary-on-todays-japan.html

Monday, December 2, 2013

Never Mined the Bitcoins - Here's the Scam Pyramid


Gary North has written what I think is the best thing I've read on Bitcoin in quite a while. Please refer to: Is Bitcoin a Ponzi Scheme? 

I've spoken and written a lot about Bitcoin. I think the most popular was: The Bashful Bitcoin Numismatist. And I've even been on WHDT TV interviewed about the subject: Bitcoin Not a Feasible Currency.

Well, for the first time in a few months, I finally had a crerative inspiration. This "art" is everything I think I could possibly say about Bitcoin in one image. You know, they say that a "Picture speaks a thousand words..." 

I made this and must give all credit and apologise to the Sex Pistols. 

Here is my last comment on the Bitcoin subject. This says everything I want to say:




Cool & Strange Music Countdown June 20, 2017! Pinksideofthemoon, Japanese Led Zeppelin, Miami Dade County Police!

Welcome back to another episode of Cool & Strange Music for June 20, 2017! Once again, it's time for our monthly dose of Cool...