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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Schedule for my trip home

Yesterday I booked my flight back home for my christmas holiday.

2005/12/17 - Depart Tokyo
2005/12/18 - Arrive home (11:55)

2005/12/25 - Christmas!

2005/12/26 - Hopefully boxing day cricket and lots of Tui beer...

2005/12/27 - Depart home (07:00) (yes, ouch that early - options were limited)
2005/12/27 - Arrive Tokyo

Grand total cost of 171,310 yen (2,228.31 NZD). Holy smokes huh. That ain't cheap. Next year I could spend the same amount and probably visit 3 Asian countries for some nice tropical beach holidays. That might be on the cards - I've not travelled much at all in the 3 years I've been in Japan.

Obviously would like to be able to spend longer at home (and not at work) but I've only got 4 more days paid vacation left and you never know when you'll get a nasty flu that puts you out of action for 2 weeks (i.e, like this year in Feb 2005 when it cost me 1/4 of a month's pay since I was on probation).
Also work is going to be busy at year end - lots of happening on the first couple of business days of 2006 so our 3 strong team will have to be out in full force. Hope the others also manage to schedule a holiday for themselves...



E17 Japanese update

With the Autumn Equinox holiday on Friday and some pretty bad weather, I did an update to the Japanese translation for Enlightenment 17. Still no native speakers interested in doing this it seems! Here's a screenie (click for the fullsize version) with some of the Japanese menus displayed. These particular menus are all going to get sucked out into the Enlightenment Configuration panel eventually I think.




Yay, another patch in Enlightenment DR 17

This time I spotted a bug with the E17 window shading function, and the fix got added o(^_^)o
For you Windows users, "shading" is when you double-click in a window's title bar and roll up the window into the title bar like rolling up a window shade. You double-click and the window displays again. Basically similar to iconifying a window. There was a small bug where if you double-click but then double-click again before the window has finished shading, it goes a little wierd.

Here's my patch... (again very trivial but a little bit better than last time!)

UPDATE: My message to the list

david@Debian:~$ cat shadefix.diff
Index: e17/apps/e/src/bin/e_border.c
RCS file: /cvsroot/enlightenment/e17/apps/e/src/bin/e_border.c,v
retrieving revision 1.400
diff -u -r1.400 e_border.c
--- e17/apps/e/src/bin/e_border.c 21 Sep 2005 04:53:12 -0000 1.400
+++ e17/apps/e/src/bin/e_border.c 21 Sep 2005 14:12:29 -0000
@@ -1246,7 +1246,7 @@

- if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized)) return;
+ if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized) || (bd->shading)) return;
if (!strcmp("borderless", bd->client.border.name)) return;
if (!bd->shaded)
@@ -1332,7 +1332,7 @@

- if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized)) return;
+ if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized) || (bd->shading)) return;
if (bd->shaded)
// printf("UNSHADE!\n");

And here it goes into CVS:

Enlightenment CVS committal

Author : sebastid
Project : e17
Module : apps/e

Dir : e17/apps/e/src/bin

Modified Files:

Log Message:
Don't allow to shade/unshade while shading.

RCS file: /cvsroot/enlightenment/e17/apps/e/src/bin/e_border.c,v
retrieving revision 1.400
retrieving revision 1.401
diff -u -3 -r1.400 -r1.401
--- e_border.c 21 Sep 2005 04:53:12 -0000 1.400
+++ e_border.c 21 Sep 2005 15:54:02 -0000 1.401
@@ -1246,7 +1246,7 @@

- if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized)) return;
+ if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized) || (bd->shading)) return;
if (!strcmp("borderless", bd->client.border.name)) return;
if (!bd->shaded)
@@ -1332,7 +1332,7 @@

- if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized)) return;
+ if ((bd->fullscreen) || (bd->maximized) || (bd->shading)) return;
if (bd->shaded)
// printf("UNSHADE!\n");
- Show quoted text -




One honest Australian

A rare breed they may be - no, not the whales, the Australians that have enough up top to realise this - but not completely non-existant.

Australian Ross Gibson is the Honorary Consul General for Iceland, and when it comes to matters concerning whales and whaling:
"I think what Iceland thinks"

Me too!

From the article:

Mr Gibson, who lives in Canberra, said eating whale was a cultural practice in Iceland: "Iceland has just 1 per cent arable land. They need to fish. They've eaten whales for so long."

Mr Gibson said he received 10 to 20 letters a month from angry schoolchildren, outraged at the Scandinavian country's pro-whaling stance.

He sends them a three-page fact sheet detailing Iceland's position on whaling.

It claims Iceland hunts minke whales to study the ecological interactions between them and other marine species, as well as to study their biology and feeding habits.

The three-page whale-killing defence goes on to say Iceland is "extremely attentive to the conservation of marine species" and that killing several dozen minkes each year will have no impact on the 67,000-strong minke whale population in the Central North Atlantic Ocean.

Elsewhere, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade notes that:

Given the importance of fisheries to Iceland, it also plays an active role in various regional fisheries organisations which have agreed to jointly manage certain fish stocks in international waters.

And yet despite this Australia still chooses to politik on about scientific whaling, accusing the Icelanders of environmental destruction.




I figure I am technically 26 in around 5 hours time, so I'd like to thank my fans for their support, and lastly but not least, my lovely mum and dad!

Not much different about it this year. Turning 25 seems like a bit of a shock, but this time hitting 26 doesn't seem to register at all. I guess I had a pretty good year, as far as they go. No reason why I can't have an even better one next year!



"Save Our Whales" petition

Herein lies the greatest difficulty for whaling interests:

"I think the Japanese Government also has to recognise that the species have a right to exist on our planet"

This from an Australian parlimentarian who organized a petition to "Save Australia's Whales".

How is it that the Australians (and anyone else) can believe that the Japanese want to exterminate all whale species from the planet?

Such overwhelming ignorance will be hard to source and as such, will be hard to overcome.


Aussie vote influencing at the IWC

Earlier this year in June Ian Campbell (who I have criticised on various occassions) recorded an interview with Australia's Radio National Breakfast program.

"I think Australian's would share with myself and Alexander Downer and our Prime Minister a very deep concern for Nauru's future that we find out that they have decided to join a push led by Japan."

One wonders why Campbell has a such a deep concern? Is that a threat?

Then here comes the Announcer, Fran Bailey:
"It is disappointing, as you say, we have strong aide ties with Nauru; we give them a lot of support. I mean how much pressure has been brought to bear on that country, to not do this, not vote to open up whaling again?"

Ahem! For a media who craps on and on about how Japan is supposedly "buying" votes at the IWC with ODA packages, isn't this just a little bit too rich?

Next we have Campbell questioning why Nauru joined the IWC:
"Well the very fact they've joined the IWC would have to ask ... why they would choose to join this international body, the main function of which is to control whaling and conserve whales, why they would get involved?"

Nauru is a small island nation, now poor in resources, dependant on fishieries for their food security. Clearly they understand nature and that they live in a multi-species eco-system. They know that placing blanket protections on one type of animal (whales) without considering the negative implications for other species (their tuna stocks for example) is an irresponsible action which could have terrible consequences for their people.

On the contrary, one wonders why Australia is a member of this international body when their goal is not to control whaling but to destroy it, and not to conserve whales but to protect them wholesale, regardless of scientific considerations?

And for yet more ignorance from Senator Campbell:
"And it's not just about Japan, Norway and Iceland. If we have a majority vote for this it would ultimately lead to any nation in the world wanting to get back into commercial whaling."

So what? Just because Australia would have the right to hunt whales commercially, doesn't mean they have to!

And finally:
"[The Japanese, Norwegians and Icelanders] are designing a scheme, basically what is a fisheries plan, to go out and hunt whales. And that plan would set quotas, it would have arrangements for vessel monitoring - all the sorts of things that we would have for a cod fishery or a tuna fishery or a sardine fishery - they have a plan they are putting together to organise the control of commercial whaling."

Yes Ian, that's the whole point! Yet it was he himself commenting earlier in the piece that the whole point of the IWC is to "control whaling and conserve whales". What doesn't he understand about that?

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Dr, Patrick Moore

During some web surfing today I discovered that Greepeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore is today opposed to the movement which he played a large role in kick starting. Here he is commenting on what he believes is wrong with much of today’s environmental movement (in reference to Greenpeace and the like).

“The movement has been hijacked by people who prefer rhetoric to fact and refuse to evolve beyond confrontation. As the first wave of activists in the early 1970s, we struggled to make people realize the harm that was being done to this planet—and yes, we relied on confrontational tactics. But, after more than 15 years of yelling as loud as we could, an interesting thing happened. People started to listen. Governments started to listen. Environmental protection became a fundamental part of our laws and regulations. Public participation and inclusiveness became the norm. And yet, I see environmental groups today becoming increasingly extreme, promoting arguments that have less to do with the environment than their own political agendas. This is not the way to achieve environmental progress.”

Here is his speech Environmentalism for the 21st Century



Still no images

I don't know what is going on with Blogger, but I still can't upload images. I pinched a great humpback whale shot from some NGO site as well... maybe tomorrow.



Ian Campbell goes nuts... again

An amusing yet telling interchange between Australia's Ian Campbell and his Icelandic counterpart:

Ian Campbell spouting the usual rhetoric with regards to Iceland's scientific whaling permits

Iceland's measured response

And Campbell completely loses it

"Is the man a fool?" he asks...
Good grief. That Campbell is resorting to this form of argumentation gives a good indication of who is winning the debate.

Campbell is also thoroughly out-knowledged by his opponent:

"Is he asking us to submit detail of biodiversity on range-lands to a meeting on whales? They should be deeply embarrassed by this... To contemplate comparing the culling of kangaroos, which is in the interests of the environment, to the killing of whales, is outrageous," Mr Campbell said.

In fact, his counterpart was requesting the information inline with an IWC resolution related to humane killing techniques. The request was to enable comparisons of the humaness of Australian killing techniques versus Iceland's killing techniques. Perhaps Campbell's blustering is because he knows that his figures won't be a match for those from the Icelanders?

Obviously very worked up, in response to a comment from Iceland that environmental studies that ignored whales would not be prudent, Campbell also let this cracker slip out the trap:

"It's a fairly outrageous comment".

Nice one, Ian! That's a slightly tremendous gaffe!

In all seriousness however, reading this interchange gives one a very clear depiction of just how emotionally driven, non-scientifically based arguments against whaling are. Ian Campbell, with simply no answers to the Iceland response could do little more than bluster, and hurl insult.

Not just a one-nil to Iceland on this exchange, but a four-nil I'd score it - with at least one own goal from Campbell.

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More good news for the Humpback population

Yet more good news from Australia about the booming Humpback population.

Nonetheless, the "Professor Harrison" reported believes that they must continue to be protected "absolutely and particularly at this vulnerable stage because [the stock] really is just now starting to show significant signs of increase"

Well, this isn't what we heard last year, when the humpback stock was "booming" at 10% per annum.

It's all so rather ironic. When there's not enough whales, it's all bad news, but even when you've got lots of them it's still bad news.

And what is Harrison's hangup about making sure the stock returns to it's pre-whaling size? When the population is growing that fast, there is plenty of surplus for humans to utilise. And even if/when the stock does recover to it's original size, then what? Do we think he'll then give the OK to commercial whaling again?
Of course at that stage, when the population hit's it natural peak (in a natural population boom / bust cycle), he'll point out that humpback numbers are falling, and thus whaling still shouldn't be permitted!

Mind you, if you check out his flash webpage you can see he's affiliated with paid-up "scientists" such as New Zealand's Scott Baker and Michael Donohue.

These guys obviously have an agenda, and no matter how good things get, they'll always find an angle to make it sound like the sky is going to fall.

Some googling around for more info about this Proffesor Harrison turns up various similarly uninspiring news pieces, all lending weight to the conclusion that he is working to an agenda. It turns out that he is the "scientist" leading efforts to develop non-lethal whale ageing techniques, in an effort to undermine the rationalle for lethal research whaling.
He claims that thanks to this technique "this final excuse that's used for the need to establish the age of the whales will basically be removed as well" But wait! There's more!
"We have a wide range of (skin) samples already in the centre which will allow us to start establishing the technique, and then we'll be able to refine the details of that over the next couple of years,"

Ah... so he's GOING to develop a technique and he's got some samples, and in the meantime the Japanese should just sit tight, and trust that his technique is going to be accurate, worth it's weight in gold, and not just another sideshow? Yeah, right.

This leaves me with one question - how is he planning to confirm the validity of his guess work without having any factual age data to verify it against? My guess - he isn't. That's totally not his objective.

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Charity run at the Palace

I recovered sufficiently from my cold to chug around the Imperial Palace this morning in the Financial Community's charity run. I finished in around 25:55 which I thought was pretty good all factors considered.

Blogger.com seems to be screwed up at the moment, so I'm unable to stick up my pic...



Michael Cullen

You can tell it's an election year. Michael Cullen isn't even trying to make sense anymore. Here he is on tvnz's finance spokesmens debate:

It’s like a household budget. When you cut your income – you’re income’s gonna be cut – you either borrow more or you spend less.

How is it that this man been doing the countries books for the past 6 years?

If your income is cut, but you are already saving stacks and stacks of cash, in fact, so much cash that you can't even dream of ways of spending it all, having your income cut doesn't mean that you have to cut your spending OR increase your borrowing...

It means you have to reduce the amount of money you are saving - the amount you are stuffing away in your sock

Of course, Cullen doesn't consider this an option. For him, if you have savings, your best option is always to blow it away on beer binges and TAB tickets (the little people's versions of dopey hiphop tours and twilight golf lessons).

Maybe this is why savings rates are so low in New Zealand - even people who can obtain the position of Minister of Finance in the New Zealand government have the idea that having an increased salary means you have to spend it all.

Furthermore, unlike a household, the government getting an income cut, that is letting taxpayers and wealth creating businesses keep more of the money they earn, gives them greater opportunity to invest wisely or improve their skills and education, and produce even more tax revenue.

God defend New Zealand on September 17!


The All Blacks

What a top game of Rugby it was last week! Definitely one of the best so far this century with the lead changing five times, and even when the All Blacks finally snuck back into the lead you didn't know that the persistent Jarpies wouldn't score a breath taking run away try in the final minutes... thankfully the All Blacks held them out though, and put one hand on the Tri Nations trophy with only a injury ridden and broken Australia having only pride to play for - even a victory would still see them come dead last, but of course we know the Australian's would love nothing more than to see us lose on home soil.

The other question is which Haka will the All Blacks pull out tomorrow?
I've been showing the people at work and emailing to some Japanese friends the haka videos from http://www.allblacks.com and they enjoyed it quite a bit,
Kapa o Pango seems a little more scary than Ka mate, which seems a little plain in comparison, and Tana Umaga reminded me of the orcs from Lord of the Rings (what a great performance! he has a movie career after rugby).



Day off

Tomorrow (well, 8 minutes from now) I am taking a day off.
I'm a little buggered this week, so will sleep in tomorrow, go to the embassy to vote for ACT, then take it easy for whatever is left of the day. Oh... I should go to the Ward Office to get my registration updated too... I had a visa update a while back.

On Saturday morning it's the 5 km race around the Imperial Palace. Kick ass! I have a blood blister on one of my smaller toes, but it doesn't seem to be causing any pain.

There's been some more amsuing nonsense going on with the whaling. Ian Campbell from Australia has lost his nut in the media once again, this time with regard to the Icelanders after they challenged him to compare the humaness of killing methods employed by Australians to destroy millions of kangaroos and camels each year with the methods Iceland and co use to kill whales. Much blustering from the Australian Conservation Minister - but no figures. More later... maybe tomorrow or Sunday


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