Japan ponders recycling Fukushima soil for public parks & green areas
Soil from the Fukushima prefecture may be used as landfill for the creation of “green areas” in Japan, a government panel has proposed, facing potential public backlash over fears of exposure to residual radiation from the decontaminated earth.
The advisory panel of the Environment Ministry on Monday proposed reusing soil that was contaminated during the Fukushima nuclear meltdown of 2011 as part of future landfills designated for public use, Kyodo news reported.
In its proposal, the environmental panel avoided openly using the word “park” and instead said “green space,” apparently to avoid a premature public outcry, Mainichi Shimbun reported.
Following an inquiry from the news outlet, the Ministry of the Environment clarified that “parks are included in the green space.”
In addition to decontaminating and recycling the tainted earth for new parks, the ministry also stressed the need to create a new organization that will be tasked with gaining public trust about the prospects of such modes of recycling.
To calm immediate public concerns, the panel said the decontaminated soil will be used away from residential areas and will be covered with a separate level of vegetation to meet government guidelines approved last year.
In June last year, the Ministry of the Environment decided to reuse contaminated soil with radioactive cesium concentration between 5,000 to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram for public works such as nationwide roads and tidal banks.
Under these guidelines, which can now be extended to be used for the parks, the tainted soil shall be covered with clean earth, concrete or other materials.
Such a landfill, the government said at the time, will not cause harm to nearby residents as they will suffer exposure less than 0.01 mSv a year after the construction is completed.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a blackout and subsequent failure of its cooling systems in March 2011, when it was hit by an earthquake and a killer tsunami that knocked out the facility, spewing radiation and forcing 160,000 people to flee their homes. Three of the plant’s six reactors were hit by meltdowns, making the Fukushima nuclear disaster the worst since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986.
The guy in the YouTube video holds up a clear, stretchy tube as he gushes into the camera.
“[I’m] doing a review on… this product, which I love!!!” he exclaims. “I love it, I’m gonna scream it from the mountaintops, I love this thing… what is it? Let me tell you — it is the Fat Boy Cock Sheath. Yasssss!”
The item about which the reviewer, Brad Smith, is so excited is a sleeve that fits over the penis. Made by a Florida-based company called Perfect Fit, the Fat Boy Stretchy Cock Extender (the toy’s full, given name) is one of the few sex toys for men, and does pretty much exactly what it says it does — extend your dick.
Or, as Smith puts it, “It’ll make you super girth-y! We can all be more girth-y, right?”
Perfect Fit owner and CEO Steve Callow says he created the Fat Boy line in 2011 after recognizing an opportunity in the market. Most other extenders at the time were made from harder material, which could bring a promising evening to a quick halt. “The guy would lose his erection in the process of [having sex],” Callow says. “They were designed only for the receiver’s benefit.”
Wanting to create a product that would feel good to both partners, Callow developed the much softer SilaSkin, a blend of thermoplastic rubber and silicone that compresses as much as it expands. Fat Boys are made completely of SilaSkin, and come in four sizes that add anywhere from a half-inch to a full inch of girth. Lined on the inside with rims and nubs for texture, the toys have holes at the bottom for the testicles, providing stability as well as a little extra tug.
“The idea was to create movement on the penis, and also movement for the receiver,” says Callow. “We wanted both partners to be able to feel pleasure.”
The Fat Boy line is among the more popular extenders on the market, but it’s not the only one. Victor Tobar, the national buying and merchandising manager for the Pleasure Chest, says that most adult toy stores offer a variety of what are alternately called penis sleeves, sheaths, cock enhancers or extenders. They’re used for both partner sex and masturbation, and have a range of differences in design: Some are firmer, some more squishy. Some add a lot of girth, some just a little boost. They come in many different colors and shapes, and there are many add-ons like extra rims or tighter rings at the base.
Tobar adds that the reasons for trying penis extenders are as varied as the customers themselves — and it’s often not about enhanced size at all. “For some people, it’s about changing the sensation of penetration with one that’s super textured or softer,” says Tobar. “Other people want ones that are a little firmer, if they’re having erections that aren’t as firm as they would like them to be. Some are made to look like skin tones, whereas [some] look a little more hardcore and less discreet.”
As for how it feels to be on the receiving end, U.K.-based sex educator Rachael McCoy of Inspiring Sexuality says in her YouTube review, “It looks a little bit scary and daunting. [But] the girth that this is going to add to your man’s cock is insane. And if you’re not struggling in the old girth department, this is just going to make your man’s cock even bigger. … It made [her partner] feel really manly and masculine, but it also made me even tighter, because obviously it pushed everything in together.”
Maybe most importantly, McCoy also addresses the elephant in the room: Wouldn’t most men be too embarrassed to tell their partner that they wanted — or needed — a penis extender?
She claims absolutely not. If anything, she says, it can offer the best of both worlds: “Originally, I would’ve thought [it] would’ve made my man feel a bit inferior. But actually, it made him feel fantastic. We had lots of fun while wearing it, and when it came off, that skin-to-skin contact felt really, really good as well.”
I have the right to remain silent (2017). Oil on canvas by Albert Barqué-Duran.
Hypotheticals, fantastical beings, and a fictional omnibus: legal reasoning is made supple by its use of the imagination
Maksymilian Del Mar is a reader in legal theory at the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London. He is the co-editor of Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice (2015). He lives in London.
The legal world is wonderfully strange. Pull down a dusty volume of case law from a barrister’s bookshelf, and you’ll discover a parade of fantastical beings that could have been lifted from the pages of Jorge Luis Borges or Dr Seuss. In the law, constitutions behave like living trees, the island of Minorca is treated as a suburb of London, immobile houses suddenly zoom along beltways, Clapham omnibuses are packed with reasonable men, and spectral officious bystanders routinely spy on contractual negotiations. The legal realm is full of unlikely and improbable possibilities, as well as paths not taken, counterfactuals, mights, perhapses and maybes.
All of this draws on the faculty of the imagination. You’d be forgiven for thinking of a judge as someone who spends all day shoehorning ‘the facts’ into pre-fabricated principles, and laying down determinative rulings like geological strata. In fact, legal reasoning is a much more supple exercise. Individual judges must resolve knotty questions under conditions of uncertainty, and in a context in which there’s usually profound disagreement about both what has happened and what ought to be done about it.
In these circumstances, imagination performs many salutary functions. Indeed, legal reasoning would be impossible without it. Imagination allows judges to explore what might be at stake in any particular dispute, and to provide a set of resources for future decision-makers. It lets them communicate doubt and express hesitation. And it brings the language of law alive, moving us and inviting us to imagine further – and so enables a thriving, interactive community of enquiry.
Of course, imagination also carries certain dangers. It might encourage bias, or signal a departure from common sense. But overall it should be celebrated – in law and, perhaps, in other domains where people must engage in the messy business of public reasoning.
Legal reasoning has at least four imaginative abilities at its disposal. The first is supposing: pretending that something is the case when you know or suspect that it’s not. Judges have been doing this sort of ‘as-if’ style of imagining for thousands of years. Courts in ancient Rome frequently used a mechanism known as fictio civitatis, the fiction of citizenship, which let authorities rule on the behaviour of ‘aliens’ as if they were Romans. As Gaius, a celebrated jurist in the second century CE, said:
If it appears that a golden cup has been stolen from Lucius Titius by Dio the son of Hermaeus or by his aid and counsel, on which account, if he were a Roman citizen, he would be bound to compound for the wrong as a thief.
Fictions are not just the preserve of the West. In 17th-century China, clans of villagers set up ‘companies’ that collected and distributed capital to their members, who were supposedly united by kinship with common ancestors. But as the legal scholar Teemu Ruskola at Emory University in Atlanta argues in Legal Orientalism (2013), ‘the idiom of the family was frequently only a legal fiction used to recruit members, many of whom were not even related by blood to the clan they joined’. Needless to say, this fiction often proved useful in raising revenue for the company.
However, I will focus on the common law – a tradition that comes from Britain, and in which the authority for a principle is settled through the slow accretion of case law and custom, rather than by setting out everything in statutes or codes. This mode of thought involves its fair share of judge-invented fictions. In the 18th-century case of Mostyn v Fabrigas, for example, a resident of Minorca – an island off the coast of Spain that was under British rule – claimed that he had been falsely imprisoned by the British government. To gain jurisdiction, the British court treated the territory as if it were a suburb of London.
Legal scholars usually dislike such judicial inventiveness. ‘[T]he pestilential breath of Fiction poisons the sense of every instrument it comes near,’ wrote the jurist and philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1776. He said that imagination had infected the law like syphilis, ‘begotten in the bed of metaphor’ – something of an irony, given his own turn of phrase. Bentham claimed that legal language would reflect the truth of affairs only if it were direct and free of ornament, and accused lawyers of deliberately mystifying the law so as to retain sole guardianship over its mysteries – and thereby enrich themselves…
Female employment rose from 10.2% in 2005 to 13.6 by 2015, with around 2 million Algerian women now in work, alongside just under nine million men. The number of divorces almost doubled from 34,000 in 2007 to around 60,000 in 2014.
Benbraham said financial disputes, particularly over control of wives’ salaries, are behind the rise. “The tendency to divorce has increased in recent years. Money is the main cause of marital breakdowns,” she added.
Women say they face financial blackmail. If a wife refuses to let her husband control her wages, she is forced to stay at home or even face divorce proceedings – a source of shame in the conservative country.
Algerian husbands are traditionally responsible for providing for their wives and children, while a wife’s money is reserved for her own use. But as they head to work, women have little choice but to hand their cash over to their husbands or risk their families falling apart.
The debate on the right of women to control their salaries was recently revived by Mounia Meslem, minister for the family and the status of women.
She provoked a wave of criticism on social media when she called on women to give their wages to the state to help it cope with financial difficulties arising from a fall in the price of oil, the country’s main resource.
“We can help our country,” she told the private television channel El Bilad. “It is not our income that gives us a livelihood, but rather our husbands who take care of us.”
Critics said her comment represented a step backwards for women’s rights.
In the past, this country has always prided itself on the personal freedom and Constitutional rights of the individual, and oddly enough, it still does today despite the fact that the US currently ranks 41st according to the 2016 world press freedom index, and 11th on the Heritage Institute’s 2016 index of economic freedom, behind countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile.
However, the facts have yet to stop the government, or rather the faction that co-opted the government, from carrying out its will and broadcasting whichever story reinforces that will. From lying about attacks and epidemics, to fabricating them all together, what this country once could have been is simply no longer present, where sadly, it truly counts: within the government, save for a brave few. But the people remain, and that American Dream still resides within their hearts and longs to be realized. Regardless of whether that dream was ever truly seen to fruition or if it was sabotaged by some of the very men who took part in its creation, it has taken root in the very foundation that holds this broken country together, it has become eternal; it prevails within the deep-seeded beliefs of that which makes this country truly powerful: its people.
Those who have participated in this fabrication are terrified that the people will once and for all see through the lie, and find the sinister reality behind. And that is indeed what we are witnessing in real-time, as Americans finally begin to wake up to this gross manipulation.
This awakening has been a long time coming, and was brought on by many different occurrences. Yet, the one event that was always meant to reinforce the citizen’s blind faith and dedication to the system, the election process, has much to the establishment’s dismay, become the largest awakening event in American history. People are being hyper-exposed to the true nature of the government and those who have complete control over its actions, thanks almost entirely to WikiLeaks and those who anonymously leaked the information.
In today’s “feelings-over-facts“ climate, when a study does not embody what one chooses to embrace as “the truth,” it is simply disregarded as “fake news” or some other catch-all measure of dismissal that allows the individual to ignore contradictory information, and do so with a sense of confidence, be it a false one. Which is the case with the following study, that wildly enough has not gotten much attention since its release, as something like this would only be ignored by a willfully uninformed populace. This study actually quantifies the irrelevancy of the American public in regard to their influence on the government and its policy.
Researchers at Princeton University looked at more than 20 years worth of data to answer a pretty simple question:
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
(Click the graph to see the full video)
Many are beginning to come to grips with the reality that their opinion doesn’t matter in this country, and that the government truly doesn’t care what they think, and sadly… they are correct. But there’s a catch. Economic elites, business interests–those who have enough money to hire lobbyists–have an entirely different line on the graph above than the average America(the bottom 90%), and surprise surprise, it’s much closer to the ideal representation, which means these elite individuals do in fact directly influence policy in this country. So in other words, this study clearly demonstrates that money, and those who have it, dictate this country’s true direction, not the people and their faux democracy.
Ultimately, this shows that the elites have the ability to get what they what, regardless of the American majority-will, and the people pay for it, literally and figuratively. With one in every five American children born into poverty, the American people suffer the most expensive healthcare in the world, a floundering education system, and a catastrophically detrimental failure of a drug war, all spurred on with egregiously wasteful spending seemingly without end. Almost every major issue Americans face as a nation can be tied back to the realization brought on by the above graph: The average person has essentially zero influence on the passage of the very laws that affect their daily lives and the direction of their own country, which they then pay for with their hard-earned money, lest they be forced into a cage at gunpoint. Sounds like freedom to me…
Dudes gotta dude, but must you dude like this… to the other half of the population?
Men who date, marry and love women sometimes have a funny way of showing it. This week gave evidence to some strangely misguided approaches for how men coexist with the other half the population, even when they ostensibly love and care about them.
Your Stalker Is Calling
Men in India, Morocco and other places where gender segregation still reigns supreme have found an ingenious yet deeply alarming way to try to meet women: Calling random numbers until someone answers, hoping to strike up a conversation,TheNew York Timesreported. They are called “Phone Romeos,” and it’s literally what it sounds like. They call up random women and attempt to woo them with the kind of lines that only the most hard-up would swoon for.
“Among them are overeager suitors (‘Can I recharge your mobile?’), tremulous supplicants (‘I am talking to you, madam, but my body is shaking’) and the occasional heavy breather (‘I want to do the illegal things with you’),” the Times wrote.
The men are extremely persistent, buying rosters of numbers in bulk, using multiple SIM cards and false names to avoid being identified, or keep pestering women who aren’t interested (which would be most of them). One police call center in India said they get some 700 calls a day from women complaining about these total weirdos. “Sometimes they call and say, ‘I love you,’” a woman told the Times. “Sometimes they call and say, ‘I want to talk to Sonia,’ and I would say, ‘I am not Sonia,’ and they would say, ‘Okay, can I talk to you?’”
Weirder still is that sometimes the scam actually works — one woman in the story has been talking with her gentleman caller for 11 months, though they still haven’t met in person. Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, no matter how much it wants to do the illegal things with you.
When Talking Points Memo reporter Alice Ollstein asked Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) if he was in favor of the Republican healthcare plan meant to replace Obamacare cutting essential health benefits like breast cancer screenings, he was a big old dick to her:
He later apologized, CNN reported, saying he knew mammograms were essential to women’s health, but they noted he’d also previously said to CNN he wouldn’t need mammograms personally since he’s a dude anyway — a funny comment from a man with a wife and two daughters. Two shitty comments and one dick apology make a visual dick and pair of balls of dickness.
52 Percent Stupid
A nonpartisan poll found that while the majority of Americans are cool with reproductive rights, 52 percent of men don’t think they personally have benefited from women in their lives having easy or affordable access to birth control, ThinkProgressreported. That is weird because unplanned pregnancy is very expensive. Perhaps these men inadvertently revealed they are, in fact, the precise percentage of the population that never gets laid.