Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Giant Robot Battle - Let’s Get Ready To Rummmm (copyright) lllllll!

It’s been two years in the making, but it’s finally on: MegaBot vs Kuratas, U.S.A. vs. Japan.

Back on July 9, 2015, I wrote about the initial events surrounding the patriotic robot battle…. and two-years later, after lots of hype within the fighting robot community—which means most people don’t hear anything about it—both company’s have completed building their war machines and are reading to take on each other.

Scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the giant robot battle will go on, with live streaming of the event planned.

In 2015 when America’s MegaBot laid down the challenge to Japan’s Suidobashi and its Kuratas robots, they only accepted the challenge if it involved hand-to-hand combat, fearing the America robots company would be “typically American” and just slap some guns on its robot, which would only prove that American robots are attune to the U.S. of America’s 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution. Robots are people, too… right?

"Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. It's Super American ... If we're going to win this, I want to punch them to scrap and knock them down to do it," said Kuratas robot designer Kurata Kogoro  (surname first) Kurata, back in 2015.

Despite the desire for metallic hand-to-hand combat, both robots are expected to possess the ability to shoot/fire projectiles at each other.

MegaBot Specifications:
  • Height: 15 feet (4.57 meters);
  • Weight: 12,000 pounds (5,443.1 kilograms);
  • Movement: Caterpillar treads (2);
  • Cabin: Enclosed steel, but currently in a mesh format;
  • Humans: one pilot and one gunner;
  • Armament: high-powered cannons firing 1.3 kilogram paintballs or paint cans at 120 miles per hour (193.1 kilometers per hour;
  • Control: I'm guessing levers, buttons and pedals - akin to a car.
The paint can projectile could probably dent a car panel… but I wonder how much damage that would do to its robotic opponent. Of course, maybe the plan isn’t to damage it with the high-speed paint can, rather to damage it with the paint can contents… which I assume is paint, but who knows… paint getting into the gears or robotic relays… 

Kuratas Specifications:
  • Height: 13-feet (3.96 meters) - Japanese are shorter than the Americans, after all;
  • Weight: 9,000 pounds (4,082.3 kilograms);
  • Movement: One wheel each on four wide legs that raise robot up and down. It's quick;
  • Cabin: Enclosed roll cage with plexiglass covering providing better pilot protection;
  • Humans: One;
  • Armament: Two Gatling BB cannons, firing 6,000 BB pellets per minute; one water cannon (weak) that fires water-propelled missiles;
  • Control: Augmented reality display in cockpit; automated target acquisition; weapon tracking interface to ensure it continues to hit its target. Locked on is locked on.  
The event will be live-streamed on Twitch and starts at 7pm Pacific on Tuesday, October 17 in North America.

Please not that start time is 11AM in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  

Andrew Joseph

Monday, October 16, 2017

Japanese Egg Roll

I’m sure we’ve all heard about a Chinese egg roll… well, how about a Japanese egg roll, as seen above.

To be honest, I’m not sure how the heck it’s made, except I assume it’s a whole bunch of separated hard-boiled egg yolks squished together with plastic wrap and elongated into the cylindrical shape, and then placed within an egg white version created the same.

The now stuffed egg monstrosity is again rolled tight with plastic wrap… perhaps rolled with a small bamboo sushi making roller, and voila! A Japanese egg roll.

Or… because I can’t read the Japanese on the label, it might just be something else all together… anyone out there confident in their Japanese language skills - please learn me. :)

Andrew Joseph

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hello Kitty Gets Toasted

Sometimes I see the world, and every thing seems cool.

Other times, I look and wonder WTF, Japan?

Above is a two-slice Hello Kitty Toaster that will toast your bread leaving a non-toasted imprinted face of Kitty White, aka Hello Kitty (ハロー・キティ).

You only think I’m smart enough to make this stuff up! Uh… anyone… hello? No?

Selling for US$40.85 on Amazon, or $40.99 at Walmart… or… heck, go take a look for yourself (type in Hello Kitty Toaster in Google), the toaster supposedly has wide slots for fat bread or bagels, and has an exterior that is cool to the touch, which I admit is pretty cool.

There’s also a removable crumb tray (a what? does my toaster have one? Does that man I don’t have to hold it upside down and shake it?), adjustable browning levels.

It’s not a toy! It’s a real effing toaster!

Buy one! Buy two, send me one! I’m poor… I can only afford a roster without a crumb tray.

Andrew Joseph

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Japanese Joke - Japanese Sex

A Japanese couple is having an argument about how to perform highly erotic sex:

Shouting Husband: “Sukitaki, Mojitaka desu!”
Shouting Wife: "Iie! Kowanini no Janku-wa desu!”

The husband replies angrily: Toka-aru! Anjo rodii roumi yakuo desu yo!”

The wife is on her knees now, literally begging: “Mimi nakanu jinga desu. Tinkoiji!”

The husband continues his angry shouting: “Kono-na miaou kina Tinkoiji!”

Get it?!

Can you believe you just sat there reading this Japanese joke… hoping you aren’t missing something in the translation… but wait… there is no translation! It's non-nonsensical!

Should I be concerned about all you horn-dogs out there? It’s like you’ll read anything as long as it’s about sex.

Andrew "like a gaijin in a kimono, the words are pretty much made up to look like real Japanese" Joseph
PS: That's me on the left, and Melissa on the right. We were never a Japanese couple or even a couple.... probably because I was a messy drinker, as evidenced by what I hope is beadlets of beer, and not sweat... though that would have been a reason, too. That and she had more sense than most. Strangely enough, after this photo taken very early in my arrival in Japan in 1990, Melisa never seemed to be alone in a room with me ever. LOL!

Friday, October 13, 2017

No Bull, Philippines Burned Its “Currency” At End Of WWII

During WWII, after Japan occupied the Philippines, the Japanese began to issue its own special money - peso’s.

Usually when one issues a paper bill, it is because it is of a large enough denomination and value.
In this case, the money was worth very little.

Kind of what post WWI Germany’s money was like, where it was actually cheaper to wipe one’s butt with the paper money, than to spend money to purchase toilet paper. Really. 

The Philippine population would use wheelbarrows to haul around the low-value money just  to be able to pay for basic groceries. They referred to the Japan-Philippine Peso as “Mickey Mouse.”

Why would they use the term “Mickey Mouse” as a slang word meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial?

Mickey Mouse as a Walt Disney creation, was hardly trivial, small-time or amateurish. Mickey Mouse - even in the WWII-era, was well known by all Allied forces… kids loved him and his cartoons and comic strips and comic books! What’s wrong with being “Mickey Mouse”?

I have NEVER understood how the term came to mean something so “demeaning”.

Anyhow… ‘Mickey Mouse’ or simply an embarrassment of non-riches, when The Philippines were liberated in 1944, and it tried to get back to a state of normalcy, they had to get rid of all that ‘dirty, dirty money’.

Just as in the photo above, money was gathered into large piles on the streets—in this case via a bulldozer driven by an American GI (general infantry) in the country’s capital of Manila—and burned.

Below, is an example of a 10 peso bill I own.

Andrew Joseph

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fukushima Residents Grab ¥500-Million Payout Over Nuclear Disaster

A court in Japan has ordered the government and the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to pay ¥500-million in damages to residents affected by the March 2011 triple meltdown.

I know… many of you are going - Holy fug! ¥500-million… yen… how much is that in real money?

You can look here to find a proper monetary equivalent between the yen and your country… but for my purposes (and I know many of you are lazy, or just don't like linking away from here), it’s CDN $5.564 million or, US $4.448 million.

Wow, Andrew! Each person gets that much money? It’s almost worth getting hit by an earthquake, tsunami and being part of a nuclear dumping ground.

Uh… waitaminute… each person doesn't get that much.

In this case, it’s for one particular class-action suit… one involving 3,800 plaintiffs.

So… let’s see… ¥500,000,000 ÷ 3,800 = ¥131,578.95

That sounds like a lot… how much is ¥131,578.95 in other currencies?

Let’s see:
CDN $1,464.88
US $1,170.54

There ya go! That’s… uh… not a lot of money. I won’t tell you that I once spent more than that at a strip club—but I did. In my defense, I was younger and more stupider than I am now. You know how I know that? I know what I wrote and how I wrote it. And, I know how it looks from many points of view… I’m not here to look good.

This, believe it or not, is the largest of the 30 class-action lawsuits filed by a total of 12,000 Fukushima residents—who have made these lawsuits happen because they feel that their lives were adversely affected by the events of the nuclear disaster—a disaster that they say TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power COmpany)—the owner of the dai-ichi power than that is at the crux of the matter—and the Federal government of Japan, should have known that its fail-safes and other preventive measures simply weren’t enough to prevent a triple meltdown at the reactor making it the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 year years previous.

Side trip... was Chernobyl the worst nuclear disaster ever?

If you are the type of person who maps of 1950s USSR, and compares the small villages on the maps on a year-by-year basis, you will notice a now-you-see’um-now-you-don’t thing going on.

Villages there one year, gone the next…with no evidence to suggest otherwise, except that it is long suspected that the Soviet Union often suffered nuclear kerfuffles causing the abject wiping out of whole towns and villages in the turbulent 1950s.

Of course, it might not have been nuclear reactors, and simply nuclear weaponry gone awry. Anyhow, HERE’s an example of one such USSR nuclear meltdown… maybe THIS one, too.

Anyhow… none of this is the point.

The point is, that all of these Fukushima people looking to cash in on a class-action lawsuit against TEPCO for its negligence in preventing the (near) nuclear disaster, basically received US $1,170.54 each… which if you were to divide by the six-and-a-half years it now is after the fact, equates to a not-so staggering US$180.08 for each year's worth of being "put-out". Each. 

Now… that’s not to say that the people in the suit will actually receive that total amount of US$1,170.54… don’t forget the lawyers get their share, too… and Buddha help me, I don’t even want to assume what sort of cut that might be.

Now, I suppose the people involved in the class-action lawsuit realized ahead of time that $1,170.54 is better than nothing, so there is that.

The good out of all this, sarcastically speaking, is that we now know the value of a human life… the loss of dignity et al, is US$1,170.54. Less lawyer’s fees of course. Don't spend it all in one place.

I wonder if you have to pay taxes on this windfall? You do in the U.S., and I believe the U.K., but you do NOT in Canada. Guess which one does NOT suck?

I'm not 100% sure (less lawyer's fees), but I believe in Japan, that class action settlement windfalls  come under its "occasional income" bracket, and are thus taxable.  

So really... do not spend it all in one place.

Andrew Joseph
PS: Newspaper accounts were actually unclear if the ¥500,000,000 pay-out was per person or for the entire group of 3.800 plaintiffs per THIS suit.
If had been per person, it would have been a payout (less lawyer fees) of US$4,448,052... which is what the REAL headline would have been. It wasn't, because it wasn't. 
PPS: Come to Canada... no taxes on windfalls received from class action lawsuits re: improper safety measures around nuclear reactors... and no need to worry about nuclear reactors going stupid, owing to our use of a safer type of uranium.    

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

World Mental Health Day, Week, Month, Year

It figures.

My computer at work decided to blow a gasket or whatever the computer equivalent is, and stopped performing, instead believing it was 1978 in Studio 54, flashing a strobe of light on the screen, nearly sending me into an epileptic seizure.

Anyhow... Tuesday, October 10, 2017 was World Mental Health Day...

While I appear symptom free, and am, I know far too many people who suffer from some form of mental health, ranging from within my immediate family, my wife's family, my extended family, friends, and even co-workers who were brave enough to tell me about their own struggles.

While I can confirm that I did indeed date one woman with obvious mental health issues while I was in Japan, I suspect there were more. There would have had to been. I just didn't know what the signs were at that time. Hindsight points to there being more than one. 

I have a much better opinion on what signs to see nowadays, but I'm sure many people are quite adept at hiding their symptoms from the general public until such time as they can't.

Their is still a social stigma involved for people who suffer from a mental health issue. And that from people who do not suffer from a mental health issue.

Everyone just assumes you can just shake it off... or let your smile be your umbrella when depression reigns.

It's not that simple, and shame to all the people who believe it is.

It's also not as simple as "just take a pill" for it.

That's caveman thinking, I'm sorry to say.

People seem to believe that mental health illness is one of those "invisible" illnesses... but physical pain can accompany such illnesses as depression or anxiety, via sweating, heart palpitations, headaches, stomach cramps or problems with skin, hair and fingernails. There could also be behavior changes.

For those of you who have trouble getting out of bed... waking up but staying in bed, it could depression. It could also just be you being tired, but when it happens repeatedly, and only on work days, well...

At work, I've noticed people who walk around with their eyes focused on the carpet, never looking up as people pass by. I've wanted to say hello, but feared disturbing them, as they obviously wanted to be left alone.

Is that depression? Maybe. Maybe it's a social anxiety disorder. Maybe it's just shyness. Maybe it's just a disconnect with the world as they ponder some other issue that's none of my business.

I walk around 99% of the time with a smile on my face. It is one of those endearing traits that probably make some want to punch me in the face as much as it makes others want to engage in a real conversation.

I am so much more than a "hey, how are you"... I'll give you my whole life story if you aren't careful.

But mostly, I ask the questions that give one the chance to provide a real answer and, failing that, will probe with a more poignant one. In other words, I try to bring people out of their shell.

But can you do that with depression or other forms of mental illness? I'm not sure. I know I failed miserably in my attempts in the past—mostly because I had no idea what I was looking at, and had no clue how to respond to it.

That's most of us, I'm afraid.

Let me change things up here regarding mental health. It's not just the victim's problem.

I do feel strongly about this... doctors and their patients who suffer from mental illness all seem to think that the sufferer has it bad... and they do... but let me tell ya, it ain't effin' easy knowing someone who is afflicted with mental health issues.

I have been treated like crap... and while the "victim" might eventually resolve their mental health issues, everyone around them is left to pick up the pieces... often because the sufferer has no recollection of saying or doing what they did.

I've had stuff done to me, said about me, lies spread to others... stuff that is just horrible...  

How do you apologize for something and mean it, when you have no recollection of having said or done it?

Even if they do apologize, it can feel hollow because without knowing what happened—even if told—the apology never seems "heartfelt".

Granted, that's up to the individual to forgive and forget. I don't forget. That crap eats at me every day... when things are said that have no meaning to the ex-sufferer, but if they had a proper memory, they would never say it again for fear of upsetting their friend.

But they say it... oblivious to whatever may have happened before. it doesn't affect them because it's an innocuous comment... but to you... it's another painful reminder.

Did you know that when a person who is bipolar takes the right medication to control their manic-depression, while it is a great thing for the person suffering, it's not necessarily as great for those closest... as they question if the new and improved person is the same person they liked before.

Hells, what if you met someone who was all fun and games, but unbeknownst to you in a manic high? With the medication that controls these unsettling mood swings, and the happy high never rears its head again, are they the same person? No.

Is that good or is that bad? I suppose it depends on who you are asking.

While World Mental Health Day is important... to recognize that there are people suffering from mental health issues... that it can affect anyone at anytime...

While we should all do our best to identify those around us who may be suffering from a mental health issue, I do believe we should also take care of those who have had to put up with the issues of someone with a mental health issue.

I'm just saying that there is always more than one victim when it comes to mental health issues, and always more than one person who could use a kind word. I would just like the mental health professionals to be aware of that.

You can help people get their mental health issues under control, but if there are outside social issues, won't those also have an affect on the sufferer's overall mental health?

Make sure you talk to all parties who could be involved in a mental health situation. Maybe more than one person could use some advice or help, too. 

Andrew Joseph
PS: My work computer had the blog I was originally going to present here... all written and edited... just not uploaded yet.