Monthly Archives: October 2013

Random news spew: chikan, chimps, history and maybe even Mr Arudou

I read a story about how in the capital about 15% of women had experienced unwanted sexual behaviour on the city-run bus and train networks, yet 90% of those affected chose not to report these incidents to the authorities. This just goes to show that all salarymen are perverts, women don’t trust the police, and they are spineless and meek in the face of… Ah, hold on a second, it’s actually about London. Let me rewrite that by avoiding lazy stereotyping of men and by not blaming women for their inaction here in wacky Japan. :facepalm:

Korean advertising land goes one up on Gatsby by dressing up chimpanzees to promote Africa-style ciggies. points out that Japanese school history textbooks are less jingoistic about World War 2 than these of China, South Korea and USA.

Mr Arudou, FIX YOUR VIAGRA-PIMPING WEB SITE. I do recognise that you are busy bashing granddads and writing papers, but please find the time to clean up that mess, thank you.

Japan Focus? Japan Fookoos would be more appropriate

 In the history of this site looking at Japan Focus, this article by Adam Broinowski entitled Fukushima: Life and the Transnationality of Radioactive Contamination is the worst I have seen. VK took a preliminary peek, and here I’ll examine some of the details that tell me the peer reviewers are peers in the Fookooshimar teepee commune, not peers in science. To save time, I’ll just look at the most egrerious passages in the article.

miracle cures for cancer

As VK pointed out, the cryogenic treatment has nothing to do with Fukushima. And talking of people pimping miracle cures:roll:

natural background potassium K40 radiation in bananas is 0.0117 Bq/kg

While the Banana Equivalent Dose is perhaps a dodgy measure, did no reviewer stop and think that the figure looks a little small? Like four orders of magnitude too small? Fun fact: Carbon-14 from the sugar in a kilogram of fresh bananas is around 250 grams of sugar * 40% carbon * 0.25 Bq/g, or 25 Bq/kg.

1 mSv = 1 X-ray

Nope, that’s getting into CT territory; however, being out by two orders of magnitude is an improvement, I suppose.

Although some authorities now recognize that this measurement [negligible risk from 100mSv/year] understates risk by between 100 and 1000 times

Weasel words! Which authorities? I think we can all guess.

Caesium has been detected in 70% of 85 children measured in the Ibaraki Prefecture Cooperative Association study

This links to what seems to be an anecdote at the end of a news piece. Googling didn’t turn up anything bar the usual suspects. Has anyone further information?

On 12 September 2013, a local diver witnessed large numbers of sunflower starfish (Pycnopodia helianthoides), that feeds mostly on sea urchins and snails, in various stages of disintegration on the sea floor [near Vancouver island].

Similar incidents occurred on the Atlantic coast of Canada, so it seems a bit premature to associate with Fukushima radiation.

UPDATE: I forgot this one:

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announce that radiation dispersed from Chernobyl […] had caused chronic illness in 7 million more people, and the premature deaths of 3 million children.

The footnote points to not a primary source, but to an anti-nuclear blog where we see what Mr Annan said was:

Second, more than seven million of our fellow human beings do not have the luxury of forgetting. They are still suffering, every day, as a result of what happened 14 years ago. 

No mention of chronic illness or of 3 million dead children. To me it reads like mention of the mental scars, scars that the likes of that blogger and Japan Focus’s writer keep picking at to further their own objectives.

Shock report: Fukushima fish FORTY TIMES less DEADLY than a pint of beer

Today’s desperate search for a Man Bites Dog story takes us to Canada, where the Linear No-Threshold Model allows the writer to do some fanciful sums:

About 800 people worldwide will get cancer from radiation due to Fukushima in fish eaten to date, according to Georgia Straight calculations. […] Half the cancers will be fatal. About 500 will be in Japan; 75 will be due to Japanese fish exports to other countries; and 225 will be from fishing in the Pacific by nations other than Japan.

Let’s get rid of the silly figure of 225 from other nations first – this is most likely (they don’t show their sums) by giving everyone in the world two becquerels per kilo of fish eaten and applying the Linear No-Threshold Model to get the answer.

Now, 500 cancers with 250 fatalities from two and a half years fish-eating for the population of Japan would work out as about 1 death in 1.2 million per year or 0.083 cases per 100,000 population, the usual way these figures are quoted. Looking at a random article from a Google search on booze, 20,000 Americans per year keel over from cancer caused by alcohol, and 35% of them are drinking 1.5 standard measures (around about a pint of beer, for instance) or less. Taking 200 million as the adult population of the USA, we get a risk of about 1 in 28,600, or 3.5 cases per 100,000, or 42 times more deadly for even just the moderate drinkers.

There’s also a number of other flaws in their assumptions such as the distribution of caesium testing points that I’ll leave it up to the reader to discover…

Next they interview scientists and “scientists”, including dear old Arnie Gundersen. :roll: Let’s have a look:

“Apologists say it’s a large ocean”

Heh, that word is catching.

“150,000 more people in Germany would die of cancer each year if all food had radiation at the European Union ceiling”

:facepalm: If we perform the same maths, I wonder how many Germans die from cancer from Brazil nuts and bananas every year?

“All this BS about natural radiation is used as an excuse to expose us to more radiation through their nuclear-industry processes”

I make that six people representing various anti-nuclear bodies, versus one not very articulate (or made to look not very articulate) anti-scaremongerer.

Finally, via Eido, here a doctor speaks about the Fookoofrankenfish risk being, err, one in five million!

The post where I unmask Fight Back

But first, let me say that I approve of voting up Fight Back’s Japan Times comments!

To the meat, tell me you didn’t think the same as me as you read this:

American-turned-Japanese author and activist Debito Arudou is a constant thorn in the side of nationalist politicians. His blog items and columns pull no punches and his latest, headlined “Triumph of Tokyo Olympic Bid Sends Wrong Signal to Japan’s Resurgent Right,” is raising blood pressures in Nagatacho

Surely William Pesek is chanelling dear old Fight Back! :lol:


* Note to lawyers: Fight Back is not actually William Pesek. Satire, that’s what it is!