Friday, June 13, 2008

Something Must be Done!

I suppose most of you will have heard of the multiple stabbing last week in Akihabara (an area of Tokyo). As it happens I was in Tokyo that day, but we didn't go there. Well obviously Something Must be Done, and there has been much talk of new laws against carrying knives. Never mind that the miscreant in question was already breaking existing laws (I mean before he deliberately drove his truck into people). In a startlingly bone-headed knee-jerk reaction, the first concrete action has just been announced: 'Pedestrian paradise' to be suspended in Akihabara. You see, every Sunday for the last 30+ years, the main road has been closed to traffic, and it makes it a much nicer place to visit, with ample room for the crowds to walk around (Ginza in central Tokyo is the same). So what better response could they give to a mass murderer who won't be wandering around Akihabara any time soon, other than to abolish this custom? Pure brilliance.


VFXJoshGemmell said...

What on earth are they going to do when someone goes nuts during Hanami? Cancel all Hanami in Japan? This post is making me want to watch the "he's shooting all the cans! he hates cans! stay away from the cans!" scene from the Jerk.

Hank Roberts said...

"A dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machine gun"

The late Bo Diddley

found at

crandles said...

and for a completely different piece of madness:

or are you going to find reason to praise this?

Steve Bloom said...

OT, but what's the deal with Kiminori Itoh? He claims in a guest post over at RP Sr.'s to have been churning out denialist tomes for years. Are his books the big success claimed?

A quick google on him didn't turn up much of interest aside from a fair number of review comments on AR4 WGI Chapter 6, which is extremely unrelated to his specialty.

Tilo Reber said...

Hey James, do you still do climate on this blog or is it just too discouraging for you.

I have three questions for you.

1. Why has there been no temperature rise in the past 11 years? Do you have any explanation other than "noise"? How much longer will this have to continue before it becomes, "statistically significant"?
2. Same questions with respect to there being no sea level rise for the past 3 years.
3. When do you plan to have your own estimates of the future decadal, CO2 induced, warming trend ready?

crandles said...



recent enough for you?

So are you willing to put your money where your mouth is and bet as much as James is willing to. If you are willing to bet more then I am sure that other bettors could be found to match your bets.

Kooiti MASUDA said...

Re: Steve Bloom,

I have written some comments on the book by Itoh and Watanabe at
in Japanese, intended to help readers of the book.

I do not think the views of the two authors are the same.
Itoh is a nitpicky climate change skeptic.
Tadashi Watanabe, another engineering chemist who wrote the introductory
parts of the book, is a sarcastic climate change denier.
But they happen to be former schoolmates (Watanabe is a little senior),
and they sometimes work together.
The damn words of the title of the book is certainly Watanabe's.

One of Itoh's arguments is that climate sensitivity is likely to be
lower than those of the mainstream view appeared in IPCC AR4.
He is in favor of Forster and Gregory (2006), Schwartz (2007) and
Chylek et al. (2007), because he thinks that "observation-based" estimates
are more "real" than "model-based" ones. I remark on my page that,
since we cannot directly observe climate under doubled CO2 condition,
"observaton-based" studies inevitably involve some kinds of models,
perhaps statistical ones, and their approaches are less direct than
evaluation of climate under doubled CO2 with physical models.
I also invite my readers to James' blog here, mentioning that
a preprint of comments on Schwartz (2007) and more discussions
on climate sensitivity is available.

Steve Bloom said...

Thanks so much for the info, KM.

James Annan said...

Thanks Chris for dealing with the noise machine while I was away, and thanks to Kooiti for some interesting info.

A cardboard bicycle seems like a great idea to me!

Steve Bloom said...

Uh oh, James, your and Jules' names are being taken in vain over on the Dark Side. In the immortal words of the late Chicago mayor, you have been vilified, you have been crucified, you have even been criticized.

James Annan said...

Thanks Steve, but even without the jet-lag I'd be yawning at that :-)

Tilo Reber said...

Since crandle's response had nothing to do with my questions, I would still like an answer.

EliRabett said...

Tilo, Eli would like a year's supply of carrots from you. Why have you not delivered?

EliRabett said...

Seems that small island nations are plagued by knife crimes. Something must be done