What an inspirational life he had

Good morning everyone,

I got caught in the heavy rain yesterday morning on the way to work and it took me till about noon to finally dry out. Luckily, it's looking like we aren't supposed to get any more rain for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, daytime highs all week will be in the low to mid 30s...if you arrive at my school and find a puddle of water, it might just be me...ha ha!

Shigeaki Hinohara, honorary head of St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo who continued practicing as a doctor after turning 100 and was a well-respected cultural figure, died from respiratory failure on Tuesday, the hospital said. He was 105.
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During his more than half-century as a physician at one of Tokyo's leading hospitals, Hinohara pioneered comprehensive medical checkups, which have today become standard for many middle-aged Japanese, and advocated preventive medicine.

Partially based on his experiences in the United States, Hinohara was also a proponent of patients-first medical care and stressed the importance of boosting the quality of life for terminal-stage patients.

In 2000, Hinohara established a movement urging senior citizens to remain socially involved and stressing the contribution they can make. The movement later spread nationwide, and his book of essays on ways to live well, published the following year, became a bestseller.

An iconic figure representing the active elderly, Hinohara delivered speeches across Japan even after he became a centenarian. Many fans in Japan and abroad were captivated by his talks, which included uplifting messages about how anyone can change his or her life at any age.

Hinohara died at his home in Tokyo after declining steps to extend his life, Tsuguya Fukui, the current hospital head, told a news conference on Tuesday. Fukui said the centenarian was suffering from age-related ailments that affected his heart and digestive organs.

Hinohara "clearly refused" life-extension steps when he was hospitalized in March, Fukui said, adding that within days, he returned to his home, where he spent his last days.

Hinohara was born on Oct. 4, 1911. A native of Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan, he graduated from the school of medicine at Kyoto Imperial University in 1937 and went on to study at its graduate school. He then began working at St. Luke's Hospital in 1941 as a physician.

A pious Christian, he also studied at Emory University in the United States. In 1992, he became the head of St. Luke's. He went on to receive the Order of Culture from the government in 2005.

In 1970, Hinohara was a passenger aboard a Japan Airlines plane hijacked by members of the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. He later recounted his experience as a captive, saying that the incident drastically changed his view of life and that he decided to dedicate his life to others.

"He has made great contributions to the advancement of medicine for a long period of time. He is one of the persons who built the foundations of Japanese medicine," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

Touching on the deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995, Suga praised Hinohara's decision to accept a number of victims at the hospital, which he was in charge of at the time while many other hospitals refused the victims. 

What a great man and an inspiration to live a better, more fulfilling life, eh?

What sort of bread are you?

Good morning everyone,

Well, I guess this is our guerrilla rain for the day...it's pouring out now, but it should stop later this morning. The rest of the day will be cloudy and the rest of the week will be a mix of sun and clouds with highs all week between 30C and 33C.

Are you a croissant or a bagel… this personality test will sort you into a category of bread. Ok...so maybe
not – but now there’s a new personality test doing the rounds that will tell you whether you’re more of a croissant or a bagel in terms of your persona.

Probably not – but now you can find out with this quirky and fun quiz is currently sweeping Twitter and identifies what type of bread you are based on idiosyncratic traits.

bread test

The personality test, which has now been shared at least thousands of times, is made up of nine types of bread - which each have three unusual human traits attributed to them.

French bread folk are always cold, can sleep for 12 hours straight and love a bit of tequila.

Meanwhile if you miss your mum, love the playing The Sims and are 'bullshitting' your way through adulthood, then you're totally a bagel.

Pita bread people love to travel, brag about their virtual cats and have a great arse.

If you love Gwen Stefani, have a fabulous hair style, and know all the words to the songs in Disney film High School Musical, then you're Challah.

If you have a long-term partner, own a hamster, and are “hot AF and know it” you’re a roll.

And if you have a penchant for packet macaroni cheese, call trainers 'tennis shoes', and are a good speller, then you're white bread.

The personality test was uploaded to Twitter by 18-year-old Floridian Kelly Blaus - who has now been swamped with notifications since it went viral in the US and the UK yesterday.

Above the picture, she wrote: “I'm so croissant it's not even funny. What are y'all?”

I'm like one of those new fusion breads...I'm half-bagel and half-croissant...ha ha! So, which bread are you?

Have a great day!

Side hustles

Good morning everyone,

If you want to know the weather for today and tomorrow, check yesterday's forecast...it's exactly the same...hot and humid with sun and clouds...and you can pretty much assume it's going to be like that for another week or two before rainy season ends...if I recall correctly, it usually ends with more rain than it begins with.

Originally, we tend to think of a 'hustler' as someone who is trying to trick you out of your hard-earned money. But these days, back home a lot of people have side hustles. Any idea what they are? Basically, they're ways of making money besides your main income (from full-time work) or as your main source of income (for unemployed or retirees).

Side hustles aren't really an option here in Japan, because most companies have strict rules about having work outside their full-time job. That might be changing though with the large number of people working part-time and the even larger number of people who are retired but still healthy.

So, what kind of things do people do as side-hustles?

Well, it's as limited as your imagination...you can rent out a spare room, bake, blog (although, I haven't made any money off of my blog yet...ha ha!) or...well...just type in 'side hustle' in Google and you'll see lists and lists of them!

Hmmm...wonder what I can do? I'm still young(ish) and healthy. Maybe I could get a side-hustle helping widows who are living alone carry their groceries or rearrange their furniture? What do you think?

How about you? Have you got any skills that you could turn into a side-hustle? Like maybe...as a part-time English teacher...

Have a great day!

Wanna' go for a swim?

Good morning everyone,

It's looking we can expect another day of sun and clouds today before turning grey for tomorrow and Tuesday. We may see some sun on Wednesday and then it'll be back to the typical unpredictable weather of rainy season from Wednesday.

Radioactive tritium, said to pose little risk to human health (said by who? If it's said by the 'experts' at TEPCO I'll take it with a grain of salt), will be released from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power complex into the sea, according to a top official of the plant operator.

"The decision has already been made," Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with media outlets, referring to the discharge of tritium, which remains in filtered water even after highly toxic radioactive materials are removed from water used to cool the damaged reactors at the plant.

At other nuclear power plants in Japan, tritium-containing water has routinely been released into the sea after it is diluted. But the move by TEPCO has prompted worries among local fishermen about the potential ramifications for their livelihood as public perceptions about fish and other marine products caught off Fukushima could worsen-and rightly so. There's been no evidence of TEPCO caring about anything other than themselves up till now, so why would it change?

They are the first public remarks by the utility's management on the matter, as TEPCO continues its cleanup of the toxic water and tanks which are filling up the land around the plant, where three reactors suffered meltdowns after  the tsunami flooded the complex in March 2011 following a massive earthquake.

Kawamura's comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with tritium-containing water at the Fukushima plant, including whether to dump it into sea. Saying its next move is contingent on the panel's decision, Kawamura indicated in the interview that TEPCO will wait for a decision by the government before it actually starts releasing the water into sea.
I don't know about you, but I won't be buying any seafood from anywhere north of Kansai for a while...I'd rather buy imported seafood at this point...

Have a great day!

Mosquito killer

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be hot and humid (that's not really a surprise, is it?) with a  mix of sun and clouds today and tomorrow. Monday and Tuesday are looking overcast and after that, who knows? It's rainy season after all...

You know, I’m pretty much OK with most of the common complaints about summer in Japan. Growing up in Canada predisposed me to prefer feeling hot to feeling cold, and while it didn’t do anything to condition me against the humidity, I can even see a bright side to that, as it makes for awesome-looking cloud formations and means I rarely, if ever, need a jacket at night between June and August.

The one thing that drives me crazy in summer in Japan, however, is the mosquitoes. No matter how quickly I try to shut the door when leaving or entering my apartment, the annoying insects still periodically find a way to get inside as part of their plan to drink my apparently delicious blood. When I spot one buzzing around my home, I can try to crush them by clapping my hands, but my success rate tends to hover around 20 percent. The other option is to go berserk with a can of bug spray, which may or may not actually kill the creature but will definitely leave my apartment smelling terrible.

But now Thanko, one of Japan’s leading providers of crazy gadgetry (and manufacturers of the fantastically stylish elven earphones), has another way to handle insect intruders.

The Mosquito Suction and Shock Extermination Stick may not have a name that rolls off the tongue, but it does a great job of running down the product’s key features. At the end of the rod is a fan, which can be rotated 90 degrees in either direction. The fan isn’t designed to keep you cool, though.

Instead, when the blades spin they create a vortex, so that you can use the stick to suck mosquitoes, even airborne ones, into the center of the apparatus.

Once it’s pulled past the screen that houses the blades, the mosquito is then sucked towards a metal grating with an electric current running through it, which kills the creature upon contact and also ensures that it doesn’t fall into the blades themselves, thus keeping the amount of mess you have to clean up after vanquishing your adversary to a minimum.

The Mosquito Suction and Shock Extermination Stick is extendable to a length of 83 centimeters (32 inches) and weighs 708 grams (2.8 ounces). Orders can be placed through Thanko’s online store, where the device is priced at 2,480 yen (US$22), making this a much cheaper way to deal with mosquitoes than spending every day of the summer at Tokyo Disneyland (which amazingly has no mosquitoes).

What do you think? Are you going to add it to your wishlist for this summer?

Have a great day!