Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Talents in music faded?

The Corrs have been my favourite band to listen to since my precious life experience in New Zealand, sadly over a decade ago.

Irish sisters and brother band heals my emotion while listening to their song on YouTube. Breathless, Radio and So Young are on my top mount music list.

One day a comment made on a YouTube video of one of their songs has got my attention. The commentator is worried of music talents gone.

I love their charming voices and music. Andrea was a singing Engle. Her voices are lovely. Absolutely they are talented and no one else performs like the Corrs. I am sad they no longer perform.

In my youth, I have listened to Japanese pops. Western music had not been influenced at the time. But in my late 20s, I started feeling bored on J-pop because I sensed everything was copied each other. Every song was the same, in other words.

I hated such fashion, so listening to Western music was fresh. Songs played on New Zealand radio programmes were new and had distinction. Different types of music made me happy.

Deep sounds and vocals of British music is my preference to American counterparts, although Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce and Maroon 5 were my favourite American singers and band.

Ellie Goulding and Coldplay attract me with their deep voices with thick English accent. I love their songs, endless to say.

But like the comment I have mentioned above, is there any talented musician these days?

Be honest with me, it's hard to list. I sense many American music is going through the path where J-pop has been through for many years.

Maybe people prefer Orthodox? Or musicians don't want to be behind to others due to the social media in the internet generation?

In my opinion, musicians should appeal their product of music uniquely that no one else can do the same. Some audience don't like it, but it doesn't matter. It's better than all of music is the same where everyone approves. If the latter happens, the world would be boring.

Unfortunately I don't fancy music radio any more. It can be because of less talents in music. But the reason can be because I get older so my interests shift from music to talk back (especially in sports and sometimes current affairs).

Please note:

1. Many J-pop sang by girls are too childish, especially by AKB 48, Nogisaka 46, like that. It's too boring and rubbish.

2. Japanese TV and radio are bloody boring for me. No talk back radio is offered in Japan. I much prefer to listen to ABC radio Melbourne.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Integrity of online contents

The Internet brings us convenience and fast services, but integrity of online contents is in doubt although there are trusted sites.

I have been contributing sports stories for the Footy Almanac, Melbourne based sports writing community, for more than four years. It provides true fans’ voices with great perceptions on sports, especially Australian Rules Football. Their success is magnificent and I am proud of being part of the Almanac family.

Opposed to it, dishonest behaviours are found on the internet so often.

Online dating sites are the platform of dishonesty to attract opposite sex. Giving false age is the biggest lie on the site, I believe. Then they could pretend to have good personalities and/or certain occupations.

Sadly many users are misled and start relationships, but end the romance so fast and easily.

Establishing relationships without seeing chemistry is blamed to such endings. The worst case is married people register and cheat on their partners.

Providers are less keen to inspect such inappropriate behaviours because of fears of losing profit due to decreasing number of clients and increasing cost of hiring more people to do such tasks, I heard.

I would urge them to take issues seriously, but unfortunately it seems users’ responsibilities to detect dishonesty.

However there are people who are bad at seeing distinct between honest people and others. I am one of them and admit I am not a good user of online dating sites.

Online feedback of any products can be misleading. Several years ago, I read an article on the West Australian newspaper’s website about commenting on restaurants’ services. The paper made a point that such comments were made to get discounted meals for the next dining by pretending to get bad customer services. Such dishonest people ruin the business and they might be jealous on success of the business.

The internet provides us freedom of the speech and everyone can create their blogs. That’s why I am writing here! It’s good.

But unlikely to printed contents, online contents can be published without editors’ inspections. Then writers can write whatever they want, even false facts.

Already having mentioned, it’s hard for me to detect dishonesty, I am not sure if I can trust any product/service or not.

Even some businesses are misleading on the Internet. It’s been reported that an online travel agency misled clients on room availabilities of hotels and travellers found out the booking not existed on their arrival and had no alternative accommodation.

Even the website provided false pictures and room types of the accommodation.

Then victims have criticised hotels not providing rooms that they were supposed to book.

I feel empathy to hotels for such dishonesty and troubles caused by misleading.

In my point, users should have contacted the hotels before their arrival to confirm their booking existing or not. In any case no booking has been found, they should complain the OTA.

From my past experiences, I do not trust OTA because of their bad customer services and their policy. I urge travellers to book their accommodation through their website directly.

It applies to airline, indeed. When I flew to Melbourne last year and in July this year, I booked flights directly on Qantas’ website.

We might need to take more responsibilities of trusting online contents.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Yoshi's Typhoon Jebi Story

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

On Tuesday, a massive typhoon hit the west Japan and left big messes in the region.

Today, I write what I have seen and experienced here.

It had been said that the typhoon was moving so fast, as fast as cars and motorbikes travelling on the ordinary highway. The weather would change rapidly.

Waking up before 5 am on Tuesday, it was normal. After sun rose, it broke clouds and even sunshine dominated the sky. It would be hard to see the typhoon was heading here, like me unable to imagine it would be raining in the evening on my first day at my second holiday in Melbourne back in July.

As usual, I practised footy (Aussie Rules) at Umekoji Park in Kyoto that morning.

It would not happen in the morning when typhoon would hit around midday...

But the wind got getting stronger at the end of my footy practice.

No rain was still falling around 10 am when I got to work.

It started raining around midday, bit later than the weather forecast. Wind was getting much stronger and it went wild at 1ish.

Objects flew outside. I saw a cone flying from somewhere and sensed the typhoon was hitting Kyoto hard.

Winds yelled loud and hit the wall of my workplace. Custmors and colleagues were scared.

Chochin, the oval Japanese Lantern sign, and noren, the Japanese overhead streamer, were flown out. We didn't lose, but had to put inside to avoid damaging the property.

Over 2:30 pm, power has been cut four or five times for a minute or two each time. A supervisor has cobtacted a chain manager discussing the operation, and before 2:50pm, he instructed us to close the restaurant temporary due to occasional power cut.

We all thought we should end the day due to further potential damage.

No power cut has occurred since then and the chain manager decided to go back on operation at 3:30 pm.

As not many people were walking on the main street our restaurant is situated. As people were advised not to go out unless they had urgent issues, who would dine with us? And many establishments were closed because of cancelled trains and the wild weather. My thought came up that we would only spend money rather than gaining profits.

It stopped raining in the evening and the wind was calmed down too. We were nearly back to normal at night.

Finally the long day ended just before 11 pm. I was tired mentally more than physically.

My colleague was worried of having no power at her home and what she should do if so. I said, it would be alright.

On my way to home, I dropped by at a convenience store for snacks and alcohol drink. I never thought power cut at my apartment.

Walking along the small river to get to home, I found blackout on the street. My fears came up - my apartment would have no power.

I tried to play down, but saw no light was on surrounding homes either.

Before arriving at home, I saw someone riding a bike. I asked her if her house had no power or not. Unfortunately she faced power cut too. She had been to her friend's house to have a bath, and wasn't worried about power cut as she was about to go to bed.

I had drinks and foods without power and used a torch with my iPhone.

The brand new day arrived without power and I started a day with cold shower. Given up having toasts and coffee. No toasted bread and sparkling water were my breakfast. But it was still good to have a meal. Around 5,000 people were stuck at Kansai Airport because it was flooded so no airplane was able to fly out and the connecting bridge to the mainland was damaged (the airport is in a man made island), and foods were running out.

I went to Starbucks in Gion afterwards to charge my iPhone. While charging the phone, I watched the E J Whitten Legends game (replay).

On the way there, I saw some messes on the river side street. Here are some photos.

Flew over garage

Flew over roof top

Fallen trees

It was hot outside so I have decided not to have a lunch at home without air-conditioning. Then I went home and found the power was restored.

Now I can cook rice as usual and wash my clothes too. I had had to go to a coin operated laundry so planned to cut off numbers of footy practices. But now I can do as many as I want!

My life is almost back as usual, thanks!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Politicians need to focus on people

Recently Australia's Liberal Party has had leadership challenges and consequently Prime Minister has been changed.

Scott Morrison became the 30th Prime Minister as the result of the second vote. Malcolm Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott three years ago taking over the title until yesterday.

Many Australians are sick and tired of Canberra's political shows. The current opposition party, Labor had had leadership challenges between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

I dislike seeing such dramas.

Here in Japan, politicians who are against their leaders leave the party and form a new party. I am really sick and tired of seeing such moves as well as seeing people voting f***ing LDP (Liberal Democracy Party).

I hate LDP because they have strong connections with eastblishments and don't care individuals. And I hate Japanese politics because I only see politicians wanting power and not working for people.

Then Australian politicians want power too, I sense.

Why don't they discuss properly to build a better country? Leaders can and should have policies. However they should listen to other points of views and amend when needed.

Bail outs or leadership challenges are not needed. Debate and discuss.

In my opinion, New Zealand has the best politics in the world.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Where railway museums are situated

When I practised footy on my own at Umekoji Park in Kyoto, my aware came up with railway museums were situated in the outer city or town in the wider region.

For example, Osaka is the main city of the Kansai Region, but the railway museum is located in Kyoto that is 45 kilometres away from Osaka.

This circumstance is applied similarly to York in the UK, Saitama and Otaru in Japan.

I conducted researches for all railway museums I mentioned above, but any reason what I wanted to knowledge was not found.

Japanese museums having been established at former yards or train depots were what I have found out.

For example, Kyoto Railway Museum is situated at Umekoji Steam Locomotive Rollingstock Depot. Otaru one was built at former Goods Train Depot as the 85th year anniversary of the Japanese Railway History.

Then let me making a point why rollingstock depots are built in suburbs. It's simple! Massive lands are essential to operate mechanical works and park trains.

Then when electricification is done, depots narrowed as less land is required to maintain rollingstocks, and the museums are built to promote the industry. Railway is unique and interesting so organisations could gain profits.

My favourite fleet on JR Osaka Loop Line

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Misleading Article and English Teaching at Japanese Schools

This week, I read an online news article about English teaching at Japanese schools commentating what areas are important in the English classes.

But inaccurate information was given at first.

The author argues that speaking and listening are main areas for the last 30 years in the English teaching that Japanese schools provide.

It is inaccurate and no source is provided in the article.

In 1988, I was a Year 10 student at high school. I only learned reading, writing and grammar. Being taught speaking and listening was not what I refer for my English classes while my school days. Some readers comments are read as same as my experiences. Even youths born in the Heisei period (1989 and beyond) were not taught speaking o listening at school.

Then the author argues that being taught English at very young ages would affect children with their development and cognitive. Kids need plenty of time to function in their first language (Japanese), he says.

But once again, there is no source. Without study, how can anyone argue this point?

What I have been told is that kids pick up languages easier than adults. Starting to learn the second language earlier, ability of speaking that language is improving faster.

Also I do not agree with the point that grammar, reading and writing are important areas to teach. How come people understand the structure of the language without an ability to speak? How can anyone read and write the language unless being able to speak?

While I needed a lot of hardworking to improve English more than a decade ago, my British friend told me that no one can read English without speaking. Also he suggested me to have an easy reading book first as I had to go through the process that native English speaking babies and kids go through.

He has got great points of views in the language learning.

My first argument is put to the newspaper. How did they publish this article without reliable source? Have their editors checked the article and asked the author to provide sources?

I am sure none of them has been done. Editors only focus on deadline so that they could report the news first and make an attractive headline.

The publisher is called Toyo Keizai Shinbun that is a business newspaper. But their attitudes are what tabloid media does. Purchasing the newspaper doesn't meet the value.

Also I find their points have no alternative argument. The author should have presented how being taught grammar, reading and writing developed English skills so that Japanese people can communicate and debate equally with people from all over the world.

Indeed nothing will be demonstrated as I have already shown here.

Presenting facts and reasonable points are essential in media works, I learned online several years ago. This golden rule is broken in recent media. Development of the internet put much under the pressure on media, but misleading loses trusts by readers. I think media has already lost a lot of trusts in countries.

Then English programmes in many of Japanese schools are what I criticise.

They hire native English speaking teachers, but classes are conducted by Japanese teachers mainly. Also exams are organised by Japanese English teachers.

Then native English speakers get frustrated not being key English teachers and not being able to argue about mistakes in exams and teaching programmes.

I really think English SHOULD be taught by teachers who speak the language as their language. Japanse English teachers have to be assistants, like helping students in Japanese at the very last option.

Education boards should be replaced with reliable experts. Stupid old school systems are applied in the dysfunctional Japanse society systems. I really hate such society systems.

There are several ways to express one thing in any language. If a student writes in some different words that a teacher doesn't expect, she or he will be marked no or reducted points. Such attitudes should be banned. Then only native English teachers will be able to judge if the answer is appropriate or not.

English teaching programme needs to be overhauled, as well as media's attitudes on delivering news.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Don't rely on electrical devices too much part two

As the response to the last post, my friend suggested me that people should navigate the way with sun, dry clothes under the sun and wind, chop foods and grab a pen and paper.

This comment reminds me that we should look around to find answers and to take next actions. Looking around is needed on the footy field, I was told by my coach.

Relying everything on Google map and its navigation system means you are not looking around. Why don't you see surrounding buildngs or houses? How do you find you are on the right directions? Do you just trust everything on the technology?

It affects judging unfortunately. I always check with surroundings when I have to use such system.

My next argue is that many drivers don't look actual road signs. I doubt these technical systems don't get proper details of the road, such as peak hour bus lanes and school zones. Many stupid drivers just drive f***ing motor vehicles on my local school zones where only pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to go through. I always get annoyed with these stupid and selfish drivers.

My concern is that people think they can get everything when they want by using such electrical devices. Then they don't see others bring busy or care what others are doing. It is the same as they don't look around.

Walk or ride a bike without using devices and look around. Then you will keep health and respect others and keep your nature.

And talk to other people in person. That is what we are supposed to do.

Go to a bar for drink if you want to interact with others.

Enjoy non technology too!!