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8 Things The Rest Of The World Can Learn From Japan – It Will Even Change The Way We Grow Food

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Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, home to the mesmerizing cherry blossom tree, known for its infrastructural efficiency and captivating cultural isms.

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While in recent years the world’s image of Japan has become notoriously associated with earthquakes and the unforgiving fury of the ocean, most of us have perhaps forgotten about how truly amazing the archipelago country is.

Considering how small Japan is geographically, and how extremely overpopulated it has grown to be, the country has done well in keeping up with its endless upward expansion, both practically and innovatively.

The following is a list of 8 things the rest of the world could learn from Japan. (P.S. good sushi is an honorable mention…)

8) How To Make A Real Toilette

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No, I’m not referring to the squatting type of toilette, although I’m sure very practical in some situations.

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I’m talking about their infamous bidet-style toilettes, or ‘washlets’, an innovation most Westerners couldn’t even dream of. Features of this toilette can include background noise to cover any sounds that the user may make, a warm cleansing spray, self-warming seat, built-in water-saving sink, and many other impressive features.

Bucket list? Yes please!

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7) Using Underground Bicycle Garages

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Ha! Try this one bike thieves.

How does it work? Hop off your bike and guide it onto a small platform, insert your card, and voila. Your bike is stowed away out of sight and out of the way, safe and sound, so that you never have to worry about those insistent lock snippers. And it only takes about 10 seconds to retrieve your bike back.

These garages are built entirely underground (average about 38 feet), and can hold around 204 bikes.

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6) Better Vehicle Parking Garages, Because They’re Automated Of Course

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Automated (car) parking systems (APS) are mechanical systems designed to minimize the area and/or volume required for parking cars.

An APS provides parking for cars on multiple levels stacked vertically to maximize the number of parking spaces while minimizing land usage.

The benefits?: Increased vehicle security, minimized parking lot damage, physically safer as no one is walking through, reduced engine emissions, better handicap access, minimized construction time, and reduced overall space needed for the garage. 

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5) Touchscreen Menus At Upscale Restaurants

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While some may argue that the use of touchscreens in restaurants is just another nail in the coffin for social interaction, I believe this idea to be a step forward with regards to efficiency and customer service. How often do you find your waiter/tress too busy to take your order? Or how often is your order taken down wrong to your disappointment?

4) Shinkansen Get The Job Done – Japan’s High Speed Bullet Trains

Shinkansen II

Japan’s main islands of Honshu and Kyushu are served by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the country’s major cities. These bullet trains are called shinkansen.

Running at speeds of up to 320 km/h, the shinkansen is known for punctuality (most trains depart on time to the second), comfort (relatively silent cars with spacious, always forward facing seats), safety (no fatal accidents in its history) and efficiency. Thanks to the Japan Rail Pass, the shinkansen can also be a very cost effective means of travel.

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These bad-boys could take someone from Vancouver to Toronto (a trip that normally takes 4 days driving) in about 14 hours. The question is, what the heck are we waiting for North America? Follow suit!

3) Say Hi To Japan’s High-Tech Indoor Veggie Factories

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It’s no secret that man is openly vulnerable to the random and unforgiving fury of mother nature. Droughts, storms, floods, and many other natural events could at any time, and anywhere, wipe out a major agricultural hub.

But no worries, Japan came up with a solution to this issue. Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, along with GE, recently developed a special LED fixture that emits light at wavelengths optimal for indoor plant growth.

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They allow Shimamura to control the night-and-day cycle and accelerate growth. The systems allows him to grow lettuce full of vitamins and minerals two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. He is also able to cut discarded produce from 50 percent to just 10 percent of the harvest, compared to a conventional farm. As a result, the farms productivity per square foot is up 100-fold.

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Furthermore, the LEDs last longer and consume 40 percent less power than fluorescent lights. Ding-dong! This could possibly change the way the world grows food.

2) An Organized Approach To Garbage Disposal

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Although not as eco-friendly as Costa Rica or certain countries in Europe, Japan stands as an innovator when it comes to waste management and organization.

In Tokyo, trash (gomi) has to be divided into three categories (combustible trash, non-combustible trash, recyclable trash) for proper disposal. Each category is collected separately on a designated day. Signs in the neighborhood inform residents about the weekdays on which what type of garbage is collected. Burnable garbage is usually collected on two or three days during the week, while non burnable garbage is usually collected once a week.

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Norimitsu Onishi of The New York Times put it beautifully,

“Lipstick goes into burnables; lipstick tubes, ‘after the contents have been used up,’ into ‘small metals’ or plastics. Take out your tape measure before tossing a kettle: under 12 inches, it goes into small metals, but over that it goes into bulky refuse.” 

“Socks? If only one, it is burnable; a pair goes into used cloth, though only if the socks ‘are not torn, and the left and right sock match.’ Throw neckties into used cloth, but only after they have been ‘washed and dried.'”

Kamikatsu, a rural town of 2200, has gradually raised the number to trash categories to 44 varieties, including tofu containers to egg cartons, plastic bottle caps to disposable chopsticks, fluorescent tubes to futons.

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While incineration may not be the best option, Japan makes effective use of the heat energy released during the burning process, such as for power generation and water heating.

1) There Are Almost No Homeless People In Tokyo

Given the fact that Tokyo is the most populated metropolis in the world (39.2 million), one would naturally think there would be a high number of homeless people, similar to major metropolises in North America (such as New York and Mexico City).

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Thankfully this isn’t the case however. Last year, Tokyo hit an all-time low number of homeless people, a surprising 1700 (7500 for all of Japan, as compared with 600,000 for all of the United States).

Japan has historically had one of the lowest rates of inequality among developed countries. But where Japan is really surpassing the United States, instead, is in the social safety net it offers its citizens.

The Japanese Constitution guarantees its citizens “the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.”

Another reason for the low number of homeless may come from the strong support system of Japanese families. Though it is a difficult to quantify, the tradition of Japanese families remaining tight knit and supportive of each member is undeniable.

Time To Learn Something From The Japanese?

These are but a few of the amazing advancements playing out in the Land of the Rising Sun. Of course, no country is perfect, and Japan definitely has some things to work out (i.e., nuclear energy plants being built on fault lines…)

Needless to say, however, if you have an issue, Japan has your tissue.

Be sure to share your thoughts on Japan’s innovations with us in the comment section below!

 

Source:

The Holidaze

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‘Google Brain’ Implants Will Allow Access To All Information Instantaneously

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    AI technology is advancing at an extremely rapid rate. It will surpass human intelligence.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be wary of this technology and what it could potentially mean to the human species as we know it? Should we have a say in laws regarding the responsible use of AI?

As the lines between the use of technology and doing anything manually become increasingly blurred, the general public and policy makers don’t have time to consider the potential implications of too much technology, or more alarmingly, the merging of humans with AI. It’s like all of those great sci-fi movies are coming to life, right before our eyes. Some, especially those who are developing AI, are more optimistic, like Nikolas Kairinos, founder and CEO of Fountech.ai, who believes that this technology could improve our lives and completely change how we learn.

Who Needs School If Our Brains Are Computers Anyways?

During an interview with the Daily Star, Kairinos explained that he has been working on a game-changing AI to “personalize education” claiming “anyone can learn almost anything using AI.”

He believes that within the next 20 years our brainpower will be boosted with AI implants so you “won’t have to memorize anything.” Apparently, according to Kairinos, people won’t even have to bother typing any questions, as the moment the question comes to mind it will be answered via an AI implant. He believes this will result in the end of what he calls “parrot fashion” learning at schools.

While the current educational system could definitely use some work, should we be eliminating the process of learning altogether just because a chip can do it for us?

According to Fountech’s website: “For someone who doesn’t have an in-depth understanding of technology, AI may seem like an alien concept.”

“Yet, the basic crux of the term is simple – namely the ability of a computer or machine to think, learn and imitate intelligent human behavior.”

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“When it comes to AI in learning, we are only just scratching the surface… we shouldn’t think that tailored learning through AI is something that we won’t see for decades.”

Instant Artificial Learning, Should We Be Wary?

You know that famous movie that captivated the world, The Matrix? Well, just in case you’re not familiar with it, here is the synopsis:

Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix.

Many of today’s popular researchers have claimed that The Matrix is actually more like a documentary than a movie as there is so much symbolism and so many metaphors embedded within the film that pertain to our current reality as we know it.

So, when we look at AI and how it is able to self-learn, shouldn’t we all at least be wary of it? There should be regulations on such technology before it’s too late… If it isn’t already. Sure, we can’t just assume that AI is innately evil or has bad intentions or plans to takeover humanity, but if it does surpasses natural human intelligence, how can we know what it will be capable of or what it could potentially try to do?

Even Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed his concerns over the rapid advancement of AI technology in a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

To Those Who Want The Latest & Greatest

I am aware that many people will brush off these concerns and say, you are ridiculous this will never happen, or have you been watching too many sci-fi movies? Or this is just the natural advancement of the human race, get with the times. Many consumers are always after the latest and greatest gadget, people marvel at the incredibly rapid development of new technology. And, yes! It absolutely has and will continue to benefit our lives in many ways. But what happens when it advances us?

I was working for a tech company a few years ago and was having a conversation with one of the founders who was telling me about the concept of this very thing–an implantable chip that will give instant access to all of the information in the world.

I said, “I will never get that.”

He replied, “So, what will you do when we are all sitting here having a super intelligent, advanced conversation and you have nothing to add?”

And this, my friends, is how they will get you!

Implementation of tech into our lives has evolved extremely rapidly–just look at our reliance on computers, then the Internet, and now smartphones. Next up is wearable tech including smart watches and fitbits, and then it will be implants. The merging of (wo)man with AI. These things happen so swiftly and are marketed to be huge advancements to us. We should at the very least be asking these important questions.

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Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Leaders from Iceland, Scotland and New Zealand join forces to prioritize a new agenda for the well-being of the citizens of these nations.

  • Reflect On:

    For decades, most developed nations of the world have been focused solely on GDP and economic growth, but what about the well-being of the citizens?

Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir is now urging governments to prioritize sustainability and family time over obsessing about economic growth — as most developed nations seem to do.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeion and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have teamed up with Iceland’s PM to promote an agenda focused on “well-being.” Jakobsdottir has called for “an alternative future based on well-being and inclusive growth.”

She feels that new social indicators are needed outside of the traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.

It’s About Time

You’d think that the overall well-being of a nation, extreme regard to protecting the environment, and working towards global sustainability would be the top priorities for all nations of the Earth. However, for the most part, it is all about the economy: how can we support the economy, how can we grow the economy, how can we protect the economy? I love the following Cree Indian proverb, it fits nicely here:

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

It’s about time someone started standing up for the people and the planet, and this stance is sure to turn some heads.

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 Prioritizing Mental Health

Back In August, Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland made a plea during a TED Talk for modern economies to consider mental health, childcare, parental leave and green energy.

  

“Iceland uses more antidepressants than neighboring countries,” she said. “We need to strengthen prevention [of depression], through sports and the arts.”

This is an amazing initiative put forth by leaders of these nations to do whatever it takes to support the citizens who are struggling with mental health disorders, particularly depression. They are able to see that the most important thing is not economic growth, because what difference does that make if so many people are unhappy?

She said the “well-being” initiative promoted by herself, Ms. Sturgeon and Ms. Ardern should not be seen as a gender-based backlash against populism.

“It’s very important to have all genders at the table – it affects the way you think, and then different decisions are made,” she told BBC.

Female Force?

It is interesting that the three members of this initiative are all women, and of course that fact alone will certainly turn some heads. However, this doesn’t take away from the legitimacy of their purposed agenda.

Perhaps the more nurturing side of women is what is bringing this all to the table, or just the knowledge that what we have been doing for so long is simply not working anymore. It’s time to prioritize what’s really important for each nation — the well-being of the citizens. Perhaps, if people are happier and feel more supported, they will be able to contribute more to their society, which in turn could very well increase GDP. Might as well give it a shot as we’ve got nothing left to lose at this point!

Now, let’s see if other nations’ leaders (Trump, Trudeau, ahem..) will follow suit and prioritize what’s really important.

Much Love

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‘Julian Assange Could Die in Prison Without Urgent Medical Care’ – More Than 60 Doctors Warn

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    More than 60 doctors have expressed their concern that Julian Assange may die in prison, and that he is in need of urgent care.

  • Reflect On:

    Never before have we seen the massive censorship of information, combine with the massive awakening of humanity. Our collective perception of the what's happening on our world

‘National Security’ has become an umbrella term to keep information ‘classified’ not truly for national security purposes, but rather to conceal information that threatens elitist agenda’s, be it corporate, political, or financial. Usually, they’re all intertwined. President Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial complex” and the dangers it poses, after him John F. Kennedy warned us that “there is a very grave danger than an announced need for an increased need for security, will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of censorship and concealment.” Today, secrecy is out of hand, and it’s the backbone of un-just, immoral, and inhumane actions taken by not only the American empire and the Deep State, but by powerful global elitists as well.

This is exactly why Julian Assange is where he is now, because he was publishing secrets that had no justification for concealment, secrets that show how war, terrorism, and other actions by powerful people were undertaken for other reasons, and not those (reasons) that are commonly given in the form of mainstream media. One example would be the funding and arming and in some cases, creation of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda by agencies like the CIA in order to help destabilize countries in the Middle East so the United Stats could justify an intervention, supposedly to bring ‘democracy’ and ‘restore peace’ to those countries. This type of thing is well known, which is why current democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced the ‘Stop Arming Terrorist Act,’  a proposed act that would stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government.

Julian Assange exposed nothing but lies and deception, and it’s truly a crime that he is not a free man, but this is the type of world we live in. A world where activists and journalists like Assange are silenced, a world where alternative independent media out lets like Collective Evolution are extremely censored and demonetized.

We are living in an ‘Orwellian’ type of time, where there is a ‘ministry of truth’ that claims to be ‘fact checking’ information when really, these organizations seem to simply be ridiculing credible information that is full of evidence and legitimate sources, simply for the purposes of, again, threatening powerful people.

Assange is a hero in this field, and those who make big leaps with regards to exposing such corruption are often vilified. Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski writes in an article posted at Lew Rockwell’s website that Julian Assange is receiving the same treatment as suspected terrorists while in captivity at “Her Majesty’s Prison Service” at Belmarsh, stating that he’s probably being tortured with psychotropic drugs.

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The FBI, Pentagon, and CIA are “interviewing” Assange. Kwiatkowski writes:

Interviewing is the wrong word.  I’d like to say doctoring him, because it would be more accurate, except that word implies some care for a positive outcome.  Chemical Gina has her hands in this one, and we are being told that Assange is being “treated” with 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, known as BZ. 

Not long ago, John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, gave an interview to the Strategic Culture Foundation sharing the latest on Julian Assange and how he’s being treated, claiming that “they are murdering my son.” You can read that interview interview here.

Assange is a man who clearly knows a lot, and has information that probably goes well beyond what’s already been divulged by Wikileaks. The treatment of him and everything he is going through is horrific and heart-breaking, but not surprising. It’s truly jaw dropping and un-fathomable how such treatment and even such an arrest can in anyway be justified within the minds of anybody. And it goes to show how powerful people are capable of doing anything they want, no matter how immoral and illegal.

An article recently published in The Independent  written by Henry Vaughan states:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could die in prison without urgent medical care, according to an open letter signed by more than 60 doctors. The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka express “serious concerns” about 48-year-old Assange’s fitness to stand trial in the letter addressed to Priti Patel, the home secretary.He is being held in Belmarsh prison, in south-east London, ahead of a hearing in February to fight extradition to the US, where he faces 18 charges, including conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer. Assange is accused of working with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents.The doctors are calling for Assange to be transferred to a university teaching hospital, where he can be assessed and treated by an expert medical team.

The letter, which has also been copied to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, says: “From a medical point of view, on the evidence currently available, we have serious concerns about Mr Assange’s fitness to stand trial in February 2020. Most importantly, it is our opinion that Mr Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health. Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care). Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”

Doctors are warning if action isn’t taken that Julian Assange may actually die.

Below is a tweet from Australian journalist and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker John Pilger, who made comments last month that shed some light on how Assange is being treated.

The Takeaway

What you read here is no surprise, for a long time Julian Assange was allowed no visitors, and now, it’s quite clear why. Those who have had access to visits have made it quite clear that he is in very poor health. It’s unbelievable how the powers that be can simply do as they please, illegally, with no consequence, and their power lies within the human population and in those who have been subjected to perception manipulation, believing that Julian Assange should actually be locked up and done away with.

A great quote by Edward Bernays, who was known as the father of public relations, comes to mind here:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. (source)

The ability for this powerful group to manipulate our minds is clearly fading, and Julian Assange has been a big part of that, but we still have a lot of work to do.

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