ALS Ice Bucket challenge

There is something bothering about the ALS ice bucket challenge.

ALS is a horrible disease which deserves attention and funding, BUT.

1. Around 5600 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year 

2. ALS is most common among persons over 60

3. It is a terminal illness. We can improve the patients lives (and extend it), but the end is inevitable


ALS should get funding, research. We should care for the patients.

I am concerned about the Internet Meme. The discussion about ALS when we have so many bigger problems. Obesity, Ignorance, Racism, AIDS, Cancer that affect the lives of more people.

ALS will be discussed and forgotten. We will stay ignorant and ill

“My Man” /私の男 The book

As expected, the book was better than the film.

Winner of 2008 Naoki Prize, it has some faults, but definitely more depth than the movie.

The movie and the book differ in the flow of time. While the movie flows from Hana losing her parents and ends with her fiance meeting her father, the book goes back in time.

From the wedding ceremony, back in time to her first date , two murders and eventually Hana as a 9 years old, losing her parents and adoption by Jungo. Each part is told by a different Narrator, including Komachi san, Jungo’s “girlfriend”.

I must admit that the last part was a bit tiring, as I saw the movie and felt it didn’t add enough to the story.

Books are always better!

“My Man” /私の男

“My Man”  (Japanese: 私の男 , watashi no Otoko), won the “Golden George Prize”  for best film.

As it happens, I watched the movie last week (before the announcement 😉 ) .
The Good:

The acting,  Nikaido Fumi, Asano Tadanobu and Kawai Aoba were great. Was mostly impressed with Kawai Aoba. A relatively small part in the film, but strong impact. Nikaido Fumi played her part very well, childish in parts, seductive in others.

The Not So Good:

Left the cinema feeling disappointed, last part of the film ended too fast and not clear. While spending a lot of time in Hokkaido, The Nature and murder (?) in the snow, Tokyo life were quite short.  Could be that the movie follows the book, but it did not feel right.


My take:

1. Going to read the book
2. Although I found Kawai Aoba to be very interesting as an actress , her blog is quite boring


謝罪 – Apology

Japan has some fixation with Apologies.
Although “sorry” is used quite often, an apology , bowing down is respected.

Recent sexual harassment story was followed with an appropriate (?) apology , covered extensively in news reports this morning.

To me it doesn’t look real, especially when he denied all accusations for several days and seen smiling going out from the room.

This reminded me a movie I saw (on a plane) called 謝罪の王様 (”The Apology King”), of an apology expert helping his customers getting away from their mistakes/misdeeds.




Moral issue?

During my trip in Cambodia, I hesitated with a minor moral issue.

Convenience store personnel was obviously cheating me, charging about half a dollar more than actual price.

I ignored it, decided not to create a on argument, but after I left the store I felt really bad.
I know 50 cents are huge for him and not that significant to me, but it still made me angry.

What would you do?

30 days challenge

I know it is not an original idea, but it is a good one.

Easier to achieve a 30 days challenge than just a change in behavior. A 30 days challenge can become such change if successful (and makes sense).

So, what is my first 30 days challenge?

Spend less!
I have recently started using Zaim application to monitor my weekly/monthly spendings.
I don’t monitor the entire family spending, but what I spend for Lunch, Coffee, dinner and drinks with friends.

It is very helpful, but I feel I can do better.
I don’t need to have coffee at 10:00AM, when I had one at home (and there is Coffee in the office).
I don’t need to have that 3rd drink, extra dish.

Just cut the “Extra”. Easy, right? But how do I monitor the “Savings” of this challenge. still not clear.

(challenge is not effective while in business trips and work related functions)

News report – or are reporters biased

Was watching BBC world news report on an Anti-Coup rally in Bangkok when the reporter said something that annoyed me:
“It will be very interesting to see how long the army will allow this rally”

Translation (by Avi): “I really hope the army will intervene. It will look great on TV”

I may interpret it wrong, but it did sound to me like the reporter wanted something to happen, to be able to report a conflict, to be in the news.

Just in case, let me tell you how I would have reported it : “As this rally is illegal, there are concerns on the army actions”.

Army dispersing a demonstration is not “Interesting”.