<   2009年 09月 ( 79 )   > この月の画像一覧

Honda rolls out (量産する) 'Segway' of unicycles (一輪車)

Honda Motor Co. unveiled on Thursday a new compact self-balancing vehicle that looks like a futuristic (未来型の) unicycle.

Unlike other self-balancing devices like the two-wheeled Segway or Toyota Motor Corp.'s Winglet, Honda's U3-X is a one-wheeler. It can move back and forth and even side to side, thanks to a ring of small perpendicular (垂直の) wheels lining the outer edge of the main wheel, Honda said.

The vehicle has a seat on the top and a tiny footrest (足置き) on each side of the wheel. Riders steer by shifting their weight, while balance-control technology developed from research for the Asimo, Honda's bipedal (二足の、二足歩行の) humanoid robot (人間型ロボット), automatically keeps it upright, Honda said.

"This is the result of our efforts to create a mobility device that can exist together naturally with human beings," Honda President Takanobu Ito told a news conference in Tokyo.

The vehicle weighs less than 10 kg, making it easy to carry by its handle.

Honda officials said they think the electric unicycle will mostly be used indoors.

But Ito said the company isn't planning commercial sales just yet because the device is still in the experimental stage.

"We have not yet determined whether to jump into the market or not. We will think about and try many kinds of possibilities for the device," he said.

The motor-driven device can operate for an hour on its lithium-ion battery (リチウムイオン電池), which takes 90 minutes to charge, the company said.

Honda plans to showcase the U3-X at Tokyo Motor Show 2009, which gets under way (始まる) Oct. 24 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in the city of Chiba.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-25 13:15 | 英語関連
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama tried to assure U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday that Japan's new government will make sure its bilateral alliance with Washington remains the linchpin (要、基軸) of its foreign policy, Japanese officials said.

The summit talks, held on the sidelines of key United Nations meetings in New York, were the first since Hatoyama, president of the Democratic Party of Japan, took office Sept. 16 after a historic Diet election that brought about a sweeping change in government power.

Although the specifics of the talks were not immediately available, Hatoyama and Obama are believed to have focused on building personal trust and reaffirming joint efforts in addressing global issues, rather than seeking quick solutions to sticky bilateral problems.

Those would include Hatoyama's plans to review the realignment (再配置) of U.S. forces in Japan, a process that was agreed upon in 2006 between Washington and the conservative government led by the Liberal Democratic Party.

The DPJ has said it wants to move the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station out of Okinawa Prefecture, although the U.S.-Japan realignment pact states that the facility is to be relocated within the prefecture.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying Monday in talks with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada that Washington sees the 2006 agreement as the basis for the realignment but is ready to continue negotiating on that matter.

Before meeting with Obama, Hatoyama said he would focus on building trust during his first diplomatic trip as prime minister, suggesting he would skip the realignment issue.

But the issue will likely land on the table (審議される) when Obama meets Hatoyama during his visit to Japan in November.

Hatoyama also was scheduled to hold separate talks Wednesday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-24 13:26 | 英語関連
Angry workers beat to death a human resources vice president after he laid off 42 employees at an auto-parts manufacturing company in southern India, police said Wednesday.

Roy George was vice-president for human resources at Pricol, the auto-parts company.

Some four to five workers, belonging to a union not recognized by the company, barged into (押し掛ける) his office and beat him up with iron rods (鉄の棒), said N. Kannan, a police superintendent (管理者、最高責任者) of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu state.

George, 47, died from his head injuries Tuesday, Kannan told CNN.

Police have arrested nine people and are expected to round up (一斉検挙する) more.

Last year the Indian head of an Italian company died after allegedly being beaten by a mob of sacked (首になった、解雇された) employees.

More than 60 people were charged with the murder of the chief executive of Graziano Transmissioni near New Delhi.

Earlier this month, India's Jet Airways had to cancel hundreds of flights after pilots struck work over the sacking of two of their colleagues in August.

Companies in the South Asian nation, despite its rapid economic growth in recent years, have often been faced with tough labor issues because of archaic laws (時代遅れの法律) and company policies on hiring and retrenchment (削減、経費節減).

Business consultants in India blame such labor standoffs on what they call lack of transparency in retrenchment or layoff policies.

Hiring and firing conditions are often not explained to workers by their companies, said Rajeev Karwal, founding-director of Milagrow Business and Knowledge Solutions.

Issues could spiral out of control if the businesses and bureaucrats are seen in a "corrupt nexus (結びつき)" by the employees seeking reprieve (救済) from labor authorities, he said.
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-24 01:51 | 英語関連

Hatoyama takes lead on CO 2 cuts

Beijing, New Delhi seen making big concessions (譲歩する、妥協する)

In the highest-level conference yet on climate change, 100 world leaders gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday to decide how to start an energy revolution.

In his first U.N. speech since taking office, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama pledged that Japan will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.

Hatoyama also called for the establishment of an international mechanism offering technological and financial support to developing nations as part of efforts to tackle global warming, dubbed the "Hatoyama Initiative."

He said his government is determined to attain the 25 percent target by mobilizing "all possible measures," including the creation of a domestic emissions trading system and a program to buy renewable energy at fixed prices, and the possible establishment of a tax to pay for steps against global warming.

However, Hatoyama also stressed that Japan is not committed to achieving the 25 percent goal unless all major emitters agree on ambitious targets as well.

Hatoyama underscored (強調する) the need to "strategically increase" the amount of funds to help developing countries deal with threats linked to climate change because they are often required to deal with the residual effects (残留効果) of warming caused by other countries.

As a general rule, Hatoyama proposed that all industrialized nations should contribute "a considerable amount of additional funding from the private and public sectors" to help developing countries.

Meanwhile, the most substantial changes were expected to come from what the presidents of China, India and other major economies spelled out for billions of people and their households, businesses and farms in the decades ahead.

Those leaders were expected to make more ambitious commitments than the U.S. leader, whose hands are still tied by Congress.

"We are asking developing countries to do as we say, not as we did," said Ed Miliband, Britain's climate secretary, whose nation has pledged to cut carbon emissions by more than a third from 1990 levels by 2020, and said 40 percent of Britain's electricity by then would come from renewable sources.

Tuesday's U.N. summit and the G20 summit in Pittsburgh at the end of this week are intended to add pressure on the United States and other rich nations to commit to cuts and provide the billions of dollars needed to help developing nations stop cutting down their forests or burning coal.

China and the U.S. each account for about 20 percent of all the world's greenhouse gas pollution created when coal, natural gas or oil are burned. The European Union is next, generating 14 percent, followed by Russia and India, which each account for 5 percent.

Chinese President Hu Jintao was expected to lay out new plans for extending China's energy-saving programs and targets for reducing the "intensity" of its carbon pollution — carbon dioxide emission increases as related to economic growth.

China has been cutting energy intensity for the past four years and was expected to unveil a new carbon intensity goal in a five-year plan for development until 2015. China already has said it is seeking to use 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

India, too, was also expected to draw some of the spotlight for laying out plans for the fifth-biggest contributor of global warming gases to bump up fuel efficiency (燃料効率を上げる), burn coal more cleanly, preserve forests and grow more organic crops.

The U.S., under President George W. Bush's administration, long cited inaction by China and India as the reason for rejecting mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases.

Tuesday's meeting was intended to rally momentum for crafting a new global climate pact at Copenhagen in December. Bush rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for cutting global emissions of warming gases, which expires at the end of 2012, based on its impact on the U.S. economy and exclusion of major developing nations such as China and India, both major polluters.

But neither China nor India say they will agree to binding greenhouse gas cuts like those envisioned in a new climate pact to start in 2013. They question why they should, when not even the U.S. will agree to join rich nations in scaling back (減らす、縮小する) their pollution.

The EU is urging other rich countries to match its pledge to cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and has said it would cut up to 30 percent if other rich countries follow suit (後に続く、先例に倣う).

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-24 00:41 | 英語関連





やっぱ、Rainbow & Bay Bridgeは最高だったよ☆
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-23 11:44 | 日常生活関連

Head Spa

昨日、Head Spaに行ってきました。


by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-23 11:38 | 日常生活関連
In yet another sign the Japanese population is getting older, one in four women is now 65 or older, while one out of almost every five men is reaching that milestone, according to a government estimate ahead of Respect for the Elderly Day on Monday.

Elderly people — or those at least 65 years old, according to the World Health Organization — numbered 28.98 million as of Sept. 15, up 800,000 from a year ago, accounting for 22.7 percent of Japan's population.

The total is the highest since 1950, when comparable (比較できる) data was first kept, according to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

The number of elderly women totaled 16.59 million, forming 25.4 percent of all women in Japan, while elderly men numbered 12.39 million, accounting for 19.9 percent of the male population.

The number of people aged 70 or older increased 440,000 to 20.60 million, while the number of people aged 80 or older grew 390,000 to 7.89 million.

As of October 2008, 18.21 million households, or 36.7 percent of all households, had at least one elderly person.

Of them, 4.14 million were comprised of only one elderly person, more than a four-fold increase from 980,000 in 1983, when the government started compiling such statistics.

高齢化社会(Aging Society)は、
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-21 23:45 | 英語関連
The University of Chicago Medical Center says the infection that killed a scientist may be connected to bacteria he researched that causes the plague.

The university said Saturday that its researcher studied the genetics of harmful bacteria including Yersinia pestis (ペスト菌), which causes the illness. He died Sept. 13. His name and age haven't been released.

The medical center says the bacteria he worked with was a weakened strain (型) that isn't known to cause illness in healthy adults. The strain was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for laboratory studies.

An autopsy found no obvious cause of death but did find the presence of the bacteria. More tests are planned. No other illnesses have been reported.
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 23:23 | 英語関連
The Sept. 8 killing of Yale graduate student Annie Le, just days before she was to be married, was another harrowing (悲惨な) instance of what authorities called "workplace violence."

Police in New Haven, Conn., described Le's strangulation (絞殺) death in a campus lab as part of an increasing national trend in jobsite brutality. "This is not about urban crime (都市犯罪), university crime, domestic crime," said New Haven police chief James Lewis on Sept. 17, after authorities arrested Le's co-worker, "but an issue of workplace violence, a growing concern around the country."

Workplace violence is, of course, a broad term that covers a range of behavior, including, in its most extreme form, homicide. According to Larry Barton, a professor of management and president of the American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn., nonfatal (致命的でない) workplace assaults and threats of assaults, have indeed seen a recent uptick (上昇)— due in part to stress and depression caused by the weak economy. These are the same reasons that researchers think led to the troubling rise in workplace suicides in 2008, which jumped 28% from the year before to 251.

But as far as homicide goes, federal figures show that rates are down: matching the country's general crime trends, workplace killings have fallen by more than half since the 1990s, tumbling (下落する) from 1,080 in 1994 to 517 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The figure fell 18% from the year before. "I think there is undue anxiety (過度の不安) over homicide at work. There's no question," says Barton, who helps train the FBI to prevent workplace violence.

Police have charged Raymond Clark III, 24, a technician who worked in the same medical laboratory as Le. Authorities said Le had not previously reported any threats or harassment on the part of Clark, and the two did not have a relationship outside their professional one. No motive has been given. The vast majority of homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by people they know; among workplace homicides, however, what authorities allege happened to Le — being killed by a co-worker — is unusual. Experts say most workplace homicides involve retail and service workers killed by strangers during robberies — and even in those incidents, customers are more likely to be harmed than workers.

"These are what they call low-frequency, high-intensity (高強度の) incidents," says Daniel B. Kennedy, a forensic (法廷の) consultant and criminal justice professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, referring to Le's murder. "It does not bespeak (示す) any sudden wave of violence and homicide at the workplace. It just had a number of unique twists (ねじれ) to it."

Although the total number of killings in American workplaces remain relatively low, they still average more than one a day, and the data show that they disproportionately (偏って) affect women. In recent years homicide has been the leading cause of death of women on the job, says Corinne Peek-Asa, a professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa. Homicide accounted for 26% of female deaths on the workplace last year, federal figures show, compared with just 9% for men. Experts say better safety measures must be implemented to reduce workplace risk. "It's an area where we should be more successful at identifying and preventing violence," Peek-Asa says. "Homicides are the tip of the iceberg (氷山の一角)."

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 23:18 | 英語関連
The other day I walked along the road to the far side of the island. Kio-chan, who I hardly recognized without his trademark red Hawaiian shirt and red cap on, could be seen in the distance being walked by his dog. When I approached him, he was huffing and puffing (ハーハーと息を切らして). "Kio-chan," I said, "I didn't know you had a dog."

"I don't," he gasped (あえぐ). "This is Man-chan's dog," he said referring to his best friend, who in a bit of role reversal (役割交代で), did not happen to be the dog. "I took the dog for him when he went into the hospital last year. I've still got it," he said referring to the fact that Man-chan has been out of the hospital (退院して) for over a year now.

Kio-chan was wiping sweat from his brow (額) with a white handkerchief. Man-chan's dog, more like a small vehicle, was tugging on (ぐいっと引っ張る) Kio-chan's arm stretching it until it was longer than time.

Suddenly, in one split second, Kio-chan was yanked out of my line of sight (視線の外へ) and was now standing 10 meters away in my peripheral vision (周辺視野). "Kio-chan, come back!" I yelled, but by the time I could yell out (大声で叫ぶ), the dog was in four-paw (四足の) drive and Kio-chan was being towed along in a slow jog. He waved his handkerchief in the air as if to say goodbye in what looked more like a gesture of surrender.

Man-chan's dog is a shiba-ken, a type of Japanese dog, but it doesn't look very Japanese to me. This got me thinking about what it is that makes something Japanese. The other day, for example, I learned that cleaning in the morning is "distinctly Japanese." Ehhhh?

Yep. I found this out when my neighbor Kazu-chan had some family visiting over O-bon. Early one morning, I was sweeping the path out in front of my house when one of the visiting family members poked her head (頭を突き出す) outside the door and remarked, "Oh Amy, you are just like the Japanese. You clean in the morning."

I would think that cleaning, at any time of the day, would have to be a natural human trait as opposed to a Japanese trait. And the morning? It's just one of four times of the day you can clean. But who knows, perhaps the land of the rising sun has a patent on everything that happens in the morning.

I tried to repress bursting into the full karaoke version of the old children's song we sang in kindergarten: "This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes, this is the way we wash our clothes, so early in the morning." Then again, there was no refrain that said "this is the way we sweep the path so early in the morning." So maybe sweeping the path in the morning is Japanese.

I would have thought that for it to be a distinctly Japanese act, you'd have to at least use one of those short Japanese brooms (ほうき) that requires you to bend over far enough to get a good look at the dirt before you sweep it away. I've never quite understood those short brooms. Makes you feel sorry for Japanese witches.

Kazu-chan, however, vacuums only in the mornings. I can hear the vacuum cleaner going for about 20 minutes at exactly 8 a.m. as if it is on a self-timer.

I never vacuum in the morning. It just doesn't seem right. The morning is for listening to the birds singing, and watching the quacking (ガーガー鳴く) ducks from the window as they patrol the port. Why try to compete with peace? The morning is the calmest part of the day before the boats start coming in and out of the port and people start their daily buzz.

I think since Kazu-chan never sees me vacuum in the mornings, she secretly harbors suspicions (疑念を抱く) that I don't vacuum at all. On the rare occasion that she is actually home when I vacuum in the afternoon, she invariably (いつも、常に) comes next door and says, "Expecting company (来客が来る事になっている)?"

And although we often eat dinner together, if one of those nights we are barbecuing outside, she'll say, "Expecting company?" And I'll invariably smile and say, "Just you Kazu-chan." Because while to us barbecuing is just another type of cooking, in Japan it is an event.

In English we have a saying: Good fences make good neighbors. But personally, I'd rather not be fenced in one way or the other.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 17:52 | 英語関連