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Everything posted by Takanobaka

  1. Takanobaka

    Drugs, crime, and the law

    All things considered, as long as tobacco is legal, there's a better argument that cocaine should be legal as opposed to marijuana. Other than the method of ingestion, there are a lot more similarities between nicotine and cocaine than there are between nicotine and THC.
  2. Takanobaka

    What are your professions?

  3. Takanobaka

    Kitanoumi resigns, the brothers are out

    Why blame the brothers? If NSK hadn't been patently dumb in its publicity of the matter, most of this could be avoided. As far as I'm concerned, none of us should have known anything about this until there was a definitive conclusion one way or the other. At that point, kick out the offenders, never publicise the people who got cleared, and leadership takes a little egg on the face while being lauded for taking steps to fix a perceived problem. This scandal has arisen in numerous sports in recent years, and there's already a clear blueprint on how to handle it while being exposed to minimal damage. Not only did NSK not follow that blueprint, but they followed the worst blueprint possible. I'm not going to say that leadership deserved this, but this resignation is a result of Kitanoumi's inability to handle the media as much as it's because of the three disgraced rikishi.
  4. Takanobaka

    Drugs, crime, and the law

    There are some great books on this, but the timeline is a bit off. It was the Nixon administration that really stepped up the penalties for drug use, and who strongarmed other nations into adopting zero-tolerance policies. Way back when, I wrote my thesis on the criminalization of club drugs, but I don't remember too many of the details anymore (and no, it's not because I did too many of them, it's not my thing personally). The scheduling policies of the FDA have been a travesty, however, and were set up in a way to intentionally prevent the conversation from being opened up again. I do think it's going a bit far to say that there wouldn't be any drug-related crime if drugs were legal (after all, just to use a rudimentary example, the most stolen item in the United States is Preparation H, simply because people are embarrased to buy it), but you'd probably see less violent crime overall. On the other hand, Japan doesn't seem to be having too many problems with their zero tolerance policy. Without actually doing something foolish like looking up statistics, I'd guess that they have a much lower rate of violent drug-related crime than countries with less stringent policies (leaving aside whether that's because of their drug policy) and that there are fewer people there addicted to illegal drugs. That also ignores that the youth need to find other things to do with their time instead, like enter into suicide pacts and become holed up in their parents' basement apartments....
  5. Takanobaka

    Fake sumo causes stir

    I wonder if he was offended by the Lenovo commercial that aired about two thousand times during the US Olympic coverage.
  6. Takanobaka

    Will the Ossetians' cannabis issues stop recruitment?

    Actually, that's the point. While there are Russian rikishi from North Ossetia, none of the four Georgians is from South Ossetia. But, if I remember correctly, they are Abkhaz (at the very least Kokkai is), which is another seccessionist area of Georgia that is part of this war.
  7. Takanobaka

    Wakanohou arrested for drug possession

    Sorry, I guess I should have clarified myself better. The effects are magnified as a foreigner, and you need to take proactive steps to learn the laws and cultural morays (as opposed to a native who pretty much has them ingrained by the time they hit his age). Dumb laws are laws nonetheless.
  8. Takanobaka

    Olympic medalist gives up medal?

    If you're making an argument about sportsmanship, then you're entirely missing the point. The point is that the wrestling judges have had allegations of corruption for quite some time now, and if not for his actions, most of the world wouldn't have known about it. Abrahamian did what he had to do to bring some attention to the problems in his sport. He understood the repercussions, and he also understood that the stand he was taking was more important than any unwritten rules of sportsmanship, or being able to place another bronze medal on his mantle would have been. (Showing respect...)
  9. Takanobaka

    Will the Ossetians' cannabis issues stop recruitment?

    I would think that the fact that a war is being fought in that part of the world would hinder recruitment more than one or two bad apples. Honestly, I didn't realize they were so keen on actually recruiting from that part of the world anyway, and that the flow of fighters is moving the other direction. As for the 'lump' question, probably has something to do with most of the Georgian/Russian fighters being ethnically and culturally Ossetian, rather than Russian or Georgian, and that Ossetia crosses between both countries.
  10. Takanobaka

    Wakanohou arrested for drug possession

    I don't disagree that the rules are harsh, but as a foreigner, you need to follow the laws and accept the consequences if you break them.
  11. Takanobaka

    Dual citizenship and marrying in Japan

    Not that this is applicable to rikishi or their kids, but persons who were born between about 1965 and 1985 can maintain their dual citizenships if they became a dual citizen before 1985. My wife was born a dual citizen and remains one, which seems to annoy the heck out of the airlines and just about anyone else who does passport control, since most of those people don't realize it's allowed. She was born to am American and a Japanese. Her mom, despite having lived in Japan for about 40 years now and despite having worked for the Japanese government, still isn't a citizen.
  12. Takanobaka

    Slipping back to the third world

    Not that it's an option, and it's questionable that it ever reached first (I would say that Sumatra did), but Indonesia seems to already be well on its way there. Remember 8 years ago when the next big corporate wave was coming out of Jakarta? Sadly, just about every American firm that had opened up there has since shut down...
  13. Takanobaka

    Urban legends

    Impossible. There are millions of more men than women. Of course, after... (What? 75 years of age?) the roles are reversed. I, too, could have a harem if I lived to be 85. (Laughing...) Is this the case in Japan / Finland / elsewhere? Worldwide I don't believe this is so, though I could be wrong due to certain practices in population-controlled countries. Historically, there were more men than women because so many women died in childbirth, but as medicine has advanced, the tables have generally turned, with there being more women than men because of men who die in combat. Also, for whatever odd statistically glitchy reason, slightly more women are born than men (probably because if someone's missing a chromosome, they'll be born a woman). In Russia and the former Soviet republics, women still outnumber men by nearly 30 million. In the US, women outnumber men by about 4 million. Take out India and China, where practices recently existed (or even still exist) to abort female fetuses more frequently than male ones, and the female population outnumbers the male population by a fairly great deal. Even Japan and Finland look pretty even to me...
  14. Takanobaka

    Kill Bill poll

    I thought they were solid movies, but nothing too spectacular.
  15. Takanobaka

    Coming to Japan

    Do you mean Kokugikan tickets? I thought they aren't even on sale yet... Tickets reserved rather. My father-in-law's company has a box, and he's reserved the box for that day.
  16. Takanobaka

    Coming to Japan

    I'll be around in September. I know we already have tickets, but I'm not sure for which day. I believe the second Sunday.
  17. Takanobaka

    How did you get interested in sumo?

    Short and not that interesting story - in my first time in Japan, my Japanese girlfriend's father took me to opening day in 2003 (Takanohana's last basho) and I got hooked. Had watched Sumo Digest on ESPN a couple of times before that and thought it was fun to watch then, but it wasn't much more than a curiosity until actually cramming my big gaijin butt into one of those boxes with 2 other people who were also framed larger than the boxes were designed for, gorging myself on boxed yakitori and drinking cheap sake. For some odd reason, I remember this 70 year old drunk guy in the box in front of me who kept screaming "Takanosato gambatte!" for about 4 minutes when Takanohana and Wakanosato went at it...
  18. Takanobaka

    Japanese Language

    Not for sentences and the like, but good for learning kana, kanji and vocabulary is: http://www.manythings.org/japanese/
  19. Takanobaka

    Roho / Hakurozan

    I don't think there is any significance. I've written about this on this forum before. Up until I first saw Ossetian Yokozuna's posts about Ossetians I never consciously realized there would be any difference drawn from the fact that they have specific ethnic roots. So I specifically asked about this a couple of them. Hakurozan and Rohou basically said - "We're all Russian man... That's why we gotta look out for each other." When I asked Alan Karaev, I think the strongest Amateur Rikishi in the World today, he just looked at me like I was asking something completely ridiculous and just said: "Yeah what's the big issue, ethnically we're Ossetians, because we hail from Ossetia. And our country is Russia - we're Russian. What's the issue?" So I'm sure they specifically don't see any particular significance in it. (You are going off-topic...) Maybe not for them personally, but I'm sure there are more Ossetians than just OY that feel that there really is a difference, especially when Ossetia has a fairly strong separatist movement. Also, can't someone be proud of their heritage without comprising their nationalism? I know plenty of native Brooklynites who are extremely proud of their Italian heritage, yet all of them consider themselves Americans first and foremost. Last part is that Ossetia has a slightly different history of control than some of the other Russian (geographical) ethnic groups, that could lead to there being a bit more of a sense of ethnic unity there. It's not like the smaller tribal cultures out in Siberia who have always been under someone else's control, but nobody has ever really acted too harshly on it simply because the areas weren't considered to be that valuable (except as penal colonies, I guess). Ossetia is in a very valuable area, so when you have multiple countries fighting over the same region for hundreds (or even thousands) of years, it tends to create a slightly stronger than usual sense of location pride (see: Serbia, Alcaise, Texas, Cuba, numerous former European city-states, etc), which is linkable to ethnic pride if there's only one native ethnicity to that location. As a Jew, I personally disagree that Jewish is an ethnicity, but that's just a matter of personal opinion. I think you might be able to call Sefard or Ashkenaz or whatever sect the Ethiopian Jews were an ethnicity to some extent, but "Jewish" is just way way too broad, especially when there are at least three (maybe more) distinct cultural backgrounds which they were derived from. After that, where does a religion start to become a culture? If you're in a religion that encourages isolation, then I guess that over time it is more likely that those isolated groups can eventually be seen to be their own ethnicity (i.e., the Huegenots, etc). Who knows though. Now I'm starting to drift off into no-man's land...
  20. Takanobaka

    The wrestlers from Tonga....

    Minaminoshima speaks perfect English. Hisanoumi speaks well... Not only that, but the colloquial form of English speech is really a pidgin anyway over there. Far fewer words, a lot of Tongan bastardizations of words, etc. It's marginally still English, but the pacific islander versions of English tend to be just about as far as one can get without it actually being considered a separate language. Somewhere I have a copy of the bible written in Pidgin called "Da Jesus Book". It's Hawaiian pidgin and not Tongan pidgen, but it's the same idea. All that said, there are still probably plenty of Tongans who can speak English just fine. They probably just say "guy" a lot. :-)
  21. Takanobaka

    Swea words

    Problem is that the word for female frontal region sounds pretty similar to that as well. My ex, to a German friend, once tried to say 'esse mein (Censored) ' but missed the word by a letter, and the Germans got a pretty good laugh. As for 'your mother', I suspect that it differs in different parts of Latin America. Adding 'su madre' to the front of a string of swear words does seem to make it more serious though...
  22. Takanobaka

    Swea words

    I'm an English speaker, but having grown up in Florida, I had a ton of Cuban and Puerto Rican friends, and the main swear words for them were pretty much the same as in English....Puta (whore), maricon or pato (queer), chingate (f*ck you), Cono (not sure how to do the n with the tilda over it...in any case cunt), besa me culo (kiss my ass), etc. The only one which doesn't have much of a translation (but which is also probably the most common / serious) was cabron (I guess the closest association is bitch, since the literal meaning is just male goat, but the connotation is that you have gay sex with goats). Much like what Nishinoshima ws saying, many of the noun swear words were just as likely to be used in friendly connotations as in unfriendly ones (heck, a couple friends of mine would use "ay cono" as like a sigh), but I get the impression that that's mostly for North American latinos and that South American latinos tend to take it more seriously, as I heard much less of that when I was in Peru and Bolivia than when I was in Guatemala or back in Florida. Funny side note, the Tex-Mex dish the chimichanga got that name because the restaurant worker who accidentally invented it started to say a swear word when she dropped an enchilada into the deep fryer and changed what she was saying midstream into some jibberish...
  23. Takanobaka

    N.Y. S.U.M.O. Challenge

    If I go, I'll post a report...doesn't look like I'll be able to, however.
  24. Takanobaka

    World Sumo Challenge?

    Next week, they are having the "World Sumo Challenge" in Madison Square Garden, New York City. Does anyone know what this is? Presumably it's some form of amateur event, but I'm curious whether it's anything I should look into going to. Thanks in advance for any information...
  25. Takanobaka

    Japanese Elections

    My aunt-in-law (sort of) actually got elected this time....another one of the LDP majority...