'Romance Doll' shows there's a fine line between sex and love


Yuki Tanada is not easy to categorize, having undertaken the roles of actress, scriptwriter, novelist and director since winning the Pia Film Festival grand prize for her 2001 debut film, “Moru.” And, while her films may examine issues of identity, sexuality and mortality with honesty and insight, they also supply laughs with a dry sense of humor. […] For this year’s edition, the festival also plans to invite “Romance Doll,” Tanada’s comic drama about an earnest sex doll designer (Issey Takahashi) who marries his one-time “breast model” (Yu Aoi), but lies to her about his profession. By turns funny, tragic and improbably uplifting, the film was scripted by Tanada from her own novel of the same name.

This looks like it might be an interesting movie about one of the growing social questions as people become more and more isolated over time …

After a 1-month delay, the new Moto Razr will be out February 6


The Moto Razr has a new release date. After announcing a delay just a few days before it was planned to go on sale in December, Verizon now says the new-school flip phone will go up for pre-order January 26, with an in-store date of February 6. It's still $1,499.99.

$1,500 USD, Verizon only, and it runs Android. Those are some mighty hurdles to overcome …

If you love someone, know Lego is releasing an ISS-inspired set in February


Perhaps reinforcing the idea that waiting until the last minute can be good for gift-seekers, Lego today announced it has produced an International Space Station-inspired set that will be available on February 1.


Iran MP offers $3 million 'to anyone who kills Trump': report


An Iranian lawmaker on Tuesday offered a $3 million reward to “anyone who kills” U.S. President Donald Trump to avenge the assassination of a top general, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

This would be a suicide mission and it would result in far reaching consequences, the likes of which Iran has not seen outside of a Hollywood movie. That said, the Iranians I know in Japan have all told me that the government there will continue to poke and prod the US in order to distract their people from the real issues in the country 🙄

Killer Jamie Boulachanis, who recently became a woman, demands transfer to female prison


Jamie Boulachanis, a murderer who recently became a woman in the definition under Canadian law, will make her second request on Monday to be transferred to a federal penitentiary for women to continue serving a life sentence. […] The case, to be heard at the Montreal courthouse, pits Boulachanis’s rights to equality versus Correctional Service Canada’s concerns for public safety.

There is just so much to unpack in this story. The question that I often wonder goes something like this: “If prison systems are supposed to represent the aspect of society that encourages redemption, how far must they be willing to go?”

Given Boulachanis‘ past behaviour and desire to escape, the cynic in me says that the desire to be identified as a woman and transferred to a female prison is ultimately to use their greater physical strength and stamina to overpower the female prison guards at the other correctional facility, making escape much less improbable.

However, the naive optimist in me says “If this person wishes to leave their violent ways in the past with their male body, would it not make sense to give them a clean break to serve the remainder of their time in a female prison with other women in a less male body?”

As with so many things in the world, there is no simple answer 🤔

Opinion | The obese may be environmentalists next shaming target


For months now, many have taken to social media to spread their concerns about choices made when travelling. The plane has been a special target of environmentalists, even if air travel is responsible for less than two per cent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. […] Researchers found that global obesity was estimated to contribute an extra 700 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, or about 1.6 per cent of all man-made emissions, which is almost the same as air travel.

Ideologies really sap the joy out of people’s lives …

The age of the individual must end — our world depends on it | Tom Oliver


The costs of a culture focused on an illusory idea of personal autonomy are making us ill and heating our planet. But a new age may be dawning.

Oh, look! A case for socialism, the loss of personal responsibility, and abhorrence for competence in what used to be a respectable paper 🙄

Suicides in Japan fell below 20,000 to record low last year


The number of suicides recorded in Japan stood at 19,959 last year, falling below the 20,000 mark for the first time since authorities began keeping such records in 1978, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the health ministry. […] Separate ministry data also shows suicide became the top cause of death for those age 10 to 14 and those age 15 to 19 in 2017, accounting for 22.9 percent and 39.6 percent of deaths, respectively. In 2018, suicide was the top cause of death for all demographic groupings from age 15 to 39.

Jeez. A small township every year.

How well did Hamilton's Vision 2020 plan do at predicting the future?


Thirty years ago, the city created a road map for sustainable development with 29 goals and nearly 400 recommendations. Did we get there?

All things considered, I’d say the city reached its Vision 2020 goals about as well as one could expect. It’ll be interesting to see how the city has changed the next time I’m in that part of the world.

Researchers find serious flaws in WordPress plugins used on 400k sites


Attention users of InfiniteWP, WP Time Capsule, and WP Database Reset: It's time to patch.

Well this is not at all cool. I’ll have to notify some of my former clients about this to ensure they have their sites patched …