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Found 9 results

  1. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/11/report-detroit-three-call-japans-cash-for-clunkers-program-unf/ http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/07/report-obama-urged-to-push-japan-to-open-its-cash-for-clunkers/ Protectionism in full swing once again in Japan. Why should their cars be eligible for cash for clunkers in the US, if American cars are not there. That is not free trade. Hopefully President Obama puts an end to this nonsense.
  2. By Caroline Wyatt BBC News, Paris The reality of Paris does not always live up to the dream A dozen or so Japanese tourists a year have to be repatriated from the French capital, after falling prey to what's become known as "Paris syndrome". That is what some polite Japanese tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city does not meet their expectations. The experience can apparently be too stressful for some and they suffer a psychiatric breakdown. Around a million Japanese travel to France every year. Shocking reality Many of the visitors come with a deeply romantic vision of Paris - the cobbled streets, as seen in the film Amelie, the beauty of French women or the high culture and art at the Louvre. The reality can come as a shock. An encounter with a rude taxi driver, or a Parisian waiter who shouts at customers who cannot speak fluent French, might be laughed off by those from other Western cultures. But for the Japanese - used to a more polite and helpful society in which voices are rarely raised in anger - the experience of their dream city turning into a nightmare can simply be too much. This year alone, the Japanese embassy in Paris has had to repatriate four people with a doctor or nurse on board the plane to help them get over the shock. An encounter with a rude Parisian can be a shocking experience They were suffering from "Paris syndrome". It was a Japanese psychiatrist working in France, Professor Hiroaki Ota, who first identified the syndrome some 20 years ago. On average, up to 12 Japanese tourists a year fall victim to it, mainly women in their 30s with high expectations of what may be their first trip abroad. The Japanese embassy has a 24-hour hotline for those suffering from severe culture shock, and can help find hospital treatment for anyone in need. However, the only permanent cure is to go back to Japan - never to return
  3. Earth to anglos: This is Quebec. Bus drivers speak French BY NICHOLAS ROBINSON, THE GAZETTE JANUARY 7, 2014 I’m an expat American whose family transferred here (my father worked for ICAO) in 1976. In 1988, after having gone to college and graduated in California, I moved to Japan and spent five years there, teaching English. When I returned, my parents had relocated to California, but left their condo here unrented and unoccupied. Naturally, I chose to resettle here instead of California, and I’ve been here ever since. I spoke French before I came to Montreal, having learned it in francophone African countries, so I had no problems getting around Montreal. Except in my lengthy absence, Bill 101 had been passed, and many anglos were hightailing it out on the 401. It was strange coming back to a Montreal that had language issues; I’d never had the Eaton-fat-lady experience while I had been here in the 1970s and had never had any problems back then. And at first, actually, for over a decade, I resented the ridiculous sign law that made English two-thirds smaller than French on signs, plus all the “tongue-trooper” shenanigans over the years. But then my mind started changing, and today I’m pretty much the polar opposite to what I was in 1994. I now teach Japanese to individuals in Montreal, having enthusiastically learned it from scratch while in Japan. Most of my students are francophone, but we usually end up having the class with a mixture of all three languages. Now when I hear about people “not getting service” in English in such institutions as hospitals, or not being responded to in English by bus drivers, my stance is: tough luck. When I moved to Japan, I quickly discovered that almost nobody spoke English, and that in order to function, I would have to learn Japanese — and fast, which I did. And now I feel maybe Bill 101 should have gone farther and made all signs only in French. After all, we are living in a French-speaking province that just happens to be in the middle of a vast country called Canada. Any anglos who have been here for any length of time — over a year or so — should at least be able to carry out basic living functions in French and learn how to read signs in French. The wheedle-factor here is enormous. To my mind, the French speakers of Quebec have been incredibly tolerant of the anglophone “community,” and a vast swath of them have gone to the immense trouble of learning English — when they don’t have to at all. Yet they do, happily and willingly and without a single murmur of protest. Why then, can’t the so-called “anglophone community,” knowingly residing in a province that has every right in the world to make everything in French, not do a better job of learning French? Earth to anglos: this is Quebec. In Quebec most people speak French. Bus drivers have every right in the world to respond to you in French, even when you speak to them in English. And my suggestion to these besieged individuals is simply: learn how to speak French. There are literally hundreds of places where you can learn it absolutely free. Or take some of my classes and move to Japan, where there is a severe shortage of English teachers; I promise there are no French speakers there to hound you. Nicholas Robinson teaches Japanese in Montreal. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  4. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-14/micro-apartments-in-the-big-city-a-trend-builds Always happy to see quotes from professors at my alma mater, especially when it comes to real estate issues! Micro-Apartments in the Big City: A Trend Builds By Venessa Wong March 14, 2013 6:00 PM EDT Imagine waking in a 15-by-15-foot apartment that still manages to have everything you need. The bed collapses into the wall, and a breakfast table extends down from the back of the bed once it’s tucked away. Instead of closets, look overhead to nooks suspended from the ceiling. Company coming? Get out the stools that stack like nesting dolls in an ottoman. Micro-apartments, in some cases smaller than college dorm rooms, are cropping up in North American cities as urban planners experiment with new types of housing to accommodate growing numbers of single professionals, students, and the elderly. Single-person households made up 26.7 percent of the U.S. total in 2010, vs. 17.6 percent in 1970, according to Census Bureau data. In cities, the proportion is often higher: In New York, it’s about 33 percent. And these boîtes aren’t just for singles. The idea is to be more efficient and eventually to offer cheaper rents. To foster innovation, several municipalities are waiving zoning regulations to allow construction of smaller dwellings at select sites. In November, San Francisco reduced minimum requirements for a pilot project to 220 square feet, from 290, for a two-person efficiency unit. In Boston, where most homes are at least 450 sq. ft., the city has approved 300 new units as small as 375 sq. ft. With the blessing of local authorities, a developer in Vancouver in 2011 converted a single-room occupancy hotel into 30 “micro-lofts” under 300 sq. ft. Seattle and Chicago have also green-lighted micro-apartments. “In the foreseeable future, this trend will continue,” says Avi Friedman, a professor and director of the Affordable Homes Research Group at McGill University’s School of Architecture. A growing number of people are opting to live alone or not to have children, he says. Among this group, many choose cities over suburbs to reduce reliance on cars and cut commute times. “Many people recognize that there is a great deal of value to living in the city,” he says. Friedman calls the new fashion for micro-digs the “Europeanization” of North America. In the U.K. the average home is only 915 square feet. In the U.S. the average new single-family home is 2,480 square feet. The National Association of Home Builders expects that to shrink to 2,152 square feet by 2015. Small living has deep roots in Japan, where land is scarce. “It’s just the way things have always been done,” says Azby Brown, an architect and author of The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space. Three hundred square feet may sound tight, but consider that Japanese families historically lived in row houses outfitted with 100-square-foot living quarters and large communal areas. After World War II, Japan’s homes grew, though not much by American standards. By the late 1980s the average Japanese home measured 900 square feet. Tight quarters demand ingenuity and compromise. Think of the Japanese futon or the under-the-counter refrigerator, a feature of European apartments. The Murphy bed gets a sleek makeover in a mock-up of a micro-apartment on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. The 325-square-foot space, designed by New York architect Amie Gross, also features a table on wheels that can be tucked under a kitchen counter and a flat-screen TV that slides along a rail attached to built-in shelves. Visual tricks such as high ceilings and varied floor materials make the space feel roomier. The show, titled “Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers,” displays some of the entries from a design competition sponsored by New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The winning team, comprising Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development, and nArchitects, secured permission to erect a 10-story building in Manhattan made of prefabricated steel modules. Some of the 55 units will be as small as 250 square feet. “The hope is that with more supply, that should help with the affordability of these kinds of apartments so that the young or the elderly can afford to live closer to the center and not have to commute so far in,” says Mimi Hoang, a co-founder of nArchitects. Although tiny, these properties aren’t cheap, at least not on a per-square-foot basis. In San Francisco, where two projects are under way, rents will range from $1,200 to $1,500 per month. In New York, the 20-odd units for low- and middle-income renters will start at $939. Ted Smith, an architect in San Diego, says singles would be better served by residences that group efficiency studios into suites with communal areas for cooking, dining, and recreation. “The market does not want little motel rooms to live in,” he says. “There needs to be cool, hip buildings that everyone loves and goes, ‘Man, these little units are wonderful,’ not ‘I guess I can put up with this.’ ” BusinessWeek - Home ©2013 Bloomberg L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  5. Ok, j'ai lu les rêgles mais je crois que ce texte devrait être quand même placé ici. Si les admin pensent autrement, simplement supprimé http://inventorspot.com/articles/worlds_tallest_building_be_talle_6398 At 13,123 feet high, the massive, mountain-shaped building envisioned by Japan's Taisei Construction Company would overshadow Mount Fuji itself by nearly 700 feet. That's the equivalent of NINE Empire State Buildings stood one upon the other! The building, known as the X-Seed 4000, is designed to house up to one million residents on as many as 800 floors! Designers have had to consider tricky questions of temperature and pressure differentials between the base and topmost floors, and are looking to utilize solar power to solve these and other critical issues. The cost, you ask? Somewhere between $300 and $900 billion... what's that, an Iraq War or two? Couple of manned Mars missions? Quite do-able - if you're Japan, one of the world's richest countries. One might think the Japanese government would never allow the placing of an edifice the size of the X-Seed 4000 anywhere near sacred Mount Fuji, but Taisei's plans call for the monumental mini-city to rise relatively close by, rising up upon huge caissons sunk deep into the mire underlying Tokyo Bay Could it happen? Well, skeptical citizens of Florence, Italy, scoffed at Leonardo da Vinci's detailed drawings of helicopters and other flying machines. Yet da Vinci's dreams did take flight, centuries later. I wouldn't rush to put down a deposit on a unit just yet, but Taisei's outrageous X-Seed 4000 proposal has the same potential to fly high.
  6. October 13, 2008 By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN Morgan Stanley was racing to salvage a crucial investment from a big Japanese bank on Sunday in an effort to allay growing fears about its future — negotiations so critical to the financial markets that they have drawn in both the Treasury Department and the Japanese government. Morgan Stanley, one of the most storied names on Wall Street, was locked in talks on Sunday to renegotiate its planned $9 billion investment from the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group of Japan, according to people involved in the talks. The completion of a deal might help calm markets worldwide, which sank last week because of escalating concerns about the fate of financial institutions like Morgan Stanley. Investors might read the investment as a sign of confidence in the bank’s future. Mitsubishi was pressing for more favorable terms after Morgan Stanley lost nearly half its market value during last week’s stock market plunge. Treasury, however, is not planning to have the United States government take a direct stake in Morgan Stanley as part of a broader effort to stabilize the financial industry and the markets, these people said. Wall Street had buzzed Friday that such a move might be unavoidable. Morgan Stanley is in the midst of the gravest crisis in its 74-year history, even though analysts estimate that the bank has more than $100 billion in capital. Morgan Stanley’s shares price has plunged nearly 82 percent this year, closing at $9.68 on Friday. Last month, Mitsubishi agreed buy about 21 percent of Morgan Stanley. The investment was to be made in the form of $3 billion in common stock, at $25.35 a share, as well as $6 billion in convertible preferred stock with a 10 percent dividend and a conversion price of $31.25 a share. Under the proposed new terms being discussed on Sunday, Mitsubishi would still buy roughly 21 percent of Morgan Stanley, these people said. But all of the investment would be through preferred shares, with a 10 percent annual dividend. Many of those shares would be convertible into common stock, but the Japanese bank was trying to set a conversion price far lower than originally proposed. Morgan Stanley and Mitsubishi have been in constant contact with government officials this weekend, these people said. Mitsubishi and the Japanese government have sought assurances from the Treasury Department that if the United States were to decide to inject money into Morgan Stanley at a later time — a possibility some analysts do not rule out — that such a move would not wipe out preferred shareholders. The Treasurey has indicated that it might use some of the $700 billion bailout package to take direct stakes in banks, but it has not spelled out how it would do so. Investors suffered deep losses when the government effectively nationalized the nation’s largest mortgage finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is unclear how far those discussion have gone or whether any such assurances would be forthcoming. Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury Secretary, has pushed both companies to come up with a private-market solution and has indicated that he does not believe that Morgan Stanley needs capital from the United States government. However, he privately hinted to members of both companies that the government would back Morgan Stanley if it came to that, these people said, suggesting that he does not want to repeat the troubles that resulted from allowing Lehman Brothers to go bankrupt. George Soros, the billionaire investor, wrote in a column in The Financial Times that Morgan Stanley needs to be rescued by the U.S. government. “The Treasury should offer to match Mitsubishi’s investment with preferred shares whose conversion price is higher than Mitsubishi’s purchase price,” Mr. Soros wrote. “This will save the Mitsubishi deal and buy time for successfully implementing the recapitalization and mortgage reform programs.” While the negotiations remained fluid, people close to both sides expressed confidence that a deal would be struck. The companies are hoping to announce the terms of the transaction and Mitsubishi’s commitment to complete the deal by Monday morning, before the stock market open in the United States. Over the past week, Mitsubishi and Morgan Stanley have issued statements insisting that they planned to complete the deal on the original terms. Spokespeople for Mitsubishi and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on Sunday. Morgan Stanley converted itself into a bank holding company one week after Lehman Brothers collapsed last month. That business model makes it easier for Morgan Stanley to borrow from the Federal Reserve. The firm has also lowered its gross leverage levels to under 20 times. Mitsubishi has large ambitions for expansion into the United States. It recently purchased the remaining shares of UnionBanCal, a bank in California, for a premium over its share price. Mitsubishi had owned the majority of UnionBanCal since 1996. Edmund L. Andrews and Eric Dash contributed reporting. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/business/13morgan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
  7. jesseps

    Mac Question

    Has anyone figured out how to get the dictionary to search in Spanish and French also. I some how can only get it to work in English or Japanese
  8. For Sale Living space: 6,500 sq.ft Honestly who wants a Floridian style home in Hudson. It probably looks totally out of place in the winter. --- For Sale Living space: 17,000 sq.ft It was built by Jean Houde. Plus after it was built, Hudson supposedly banned having homes built this size or something. --- For Sale Living space: unknown but probably well over 3000 sq.ft Japanese style house in Beaconsfield.