Monday, October 29, 2007

On Fingerprinting Foreigners.....

by Kevin Burns

How is fingerprinting me or anyone for that matter going to prevent terrorism in Japan? As well, the worst terrorism in Japan has been committed by Japanese. Yet Japanese will not be fingerprinted.

The Aum Shinrikyo of course were largely a Japanese group--the vast majority were Japanese. Indeed in Japan, all the members were Japanese.

Further, I think blindly following in the footsteps of George Bush is not a good idea. I hope the Japanese leadership will start to think for themselves soon.

Plus the paranoia we see about foreigners is a shame. I see it slowly
ending but things like this make me realize it is far from dead.

Back to the fingerprinting: you fingerprint a terrorist then let him into the country? Is that the strategy?

I think a better one simply is to do background checks and to realize you will never be able to close the borders totally. And why would you want to? Most of the people coming in and out of Japan are good people. With background checks and intelligence, hopefully you can catch a few of the undesirables before they come into the country.

Moreover, I think if your nation acts well, and doesn`t upset other
nations or religious groups to a large extent, then probably you
are pretty safe. If you go around attacking other countries and
rattling the sabre as Bush has done the last eight years, it leads
to the potential for more terrorism in America. I think Japan should
follow her own heart and not blindly follow Bush.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why DO the Japanese Have The Longest Lifespan?

Pictured: English class in Japan

by: Peter McGarry

A recent statistic in the World Bank Group states that the Japanese have the longest lifespan in the world. Japanese men live be 78 years old on average while the average lifespan of a Japanese woman is 85. How do the Japanese do it?

After personally experiencing the Japanese lifestyle in Tokyo for five years, I learned a little about why Japanese people live so long and will share a few of their secrets. This month will feature Part 1: It’s All in the Food. Part 2: Live the Lifestyle will appear in the April edition of eNews at

Part 1: It’s All in the Food

The Japanese diet does not center on delicacies eaten solely for taste. In fact, most dishes are consumed based on the health benefits people gain from them. Conscious decisions are based on ‘What would be good for me?’ as opposed to ‘What do I feel like eating?’ This leads one to contemplate what is the diet for the average Japanese person and what are their secrets?

Secret #1: Eating fish instead of red meat lowers the risk of heart attacks.

For a source of protein, fish is a common staple in most meals. Red meat is significantly more expensive and less frequently consumed. Fish is healthier and the fresher it is the better. Keep in mind that not all fish in Japan is consumed raw, there are many ways that fish is prepared (grilled, baked, fried, poached, etc) and served. Furthermore, Japanese women believe that the skin on fish helps bring out the natural beauty of their skin and improves their complexion.

Secret #2: Soy products help reduce heart disease and high blood pressure and are a great source of protein.

Tofu and soy products are also staples in the Japanese diet. Considering that saturated fats from meat and dairy products increase cholesterol, it is encouraging to know that foods derived from plants such as soy actually have the opposite effect. Soybeans provide adequate protein without the saturated fat and cholesterol of meats and high-fat dairy. Soy sauce, tofu, and natto (soy beans mixed with raw egg served over rice) are a few examples of soy products consumed daily.

Secret #3: Wheat and buckwheat flour helps in the digestive process.

The consumption of starches is at a minimum and usually contains no white flour. Japanese noodles are made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour. Both are significantly healthier than enriched white flour. Rice is a staple in the diet but consists of a small bowl at meals. The significance is to cleanse the mouth when changing dishes. Rice will remove the flavor in one’s mouth much like cheese and crackers when sampling wines.

Secret #4: Smaller portions reduce the opportunity for excessive eating.

Traditional Japanese meals are about half the regular portion of western dishes. Even though most dishes are viewed as healthy, portions are still relatively small.

Secret #5: Oolong tea counter balances some of the effects unhealthy food has on the body.

Finally, the consumption of Japanese green tea or Chinese oolong tea, served hot or cold, has numerous health benefits. Tea has half the caffeine of coffee. Oolong tea, in particular, helps to break up oil in the digestive system and is usually consumed at mealtime, particularly when fried or breaded foods are being served.

These five secrets help to explain why the Japanese are so healthy and have the longest life expectancy. Part 2: Live the Lifestyle will appear in next month’s edition of eNews at, and will describe daily life habits in Japan. If you have any comments or questions please send them to:

Here’s to your health!

Peter McGarry

About The Author

For additional free information on health issues regarding fitness, nutrition, environment and financial well-being please visit This site is a guide to improving your quality of life.

Why DO the Japanese Have the Longest Lifespan? Part 2: Live the Lifestyle

Pictured: Octoberfest in Chigasaki, Kanagawa

by: Peter McGarry

Why do the Japanese have the longest lifespan? Last month you learned to eat the things Japanese people eat, and now you will learn how to live like they live. Fast, long, and lively best describes a usual day in Japan. The country is geared towards an active lifestyle, as the ‘couch potato’ concept is completely foreign. This lively lifestyle centers around three key aspects: work, socializing and recreation.

The workday begins early due to the commute by train that most people endure. This can range from 20 minutes to over two hours with the majority of people standing, as there are not enough seats. Walking is the focal point in the daily exercise regime. On average, people walk one to two kilometers to the train station in the morning. After arriving at the closest station to their office, people typically walk another one to two kilometers to their place of business. At the end of their long day, workers go through the same routine. All in all, the average Japanese individual will walk between three to five kilometers per day. Interestingly enough, these walks generally occur immediately or soon after meals, which helps with the digestive process.

Socializing is also different than that for western culture. As homes and apartments in Japan are considerably smaller, people opt to entertain outside of their home. This is one of the primary reasons clubs; hobbies and leisure activities play such an important role in the culture. In fact it is very uncommon to have dinner parties or get-togethers in Japanese homes. A popular alternative is to meet at public establishments for events and parties.

Automobiles do have some purpose, however they are viewed as a hobby or a luxury. Parking in Japan is costly and limited with simply not enough parking spaces for everyone to park. Cars are used for longer excursions to other cities or the countryside. The most common recreational activities are active ones. Trips to the mountains, lakes or open spaces are most popular.

Although the pace of life is fast in Japan, we can learn from certain aspects. Changing our eating habits is an important first step and combining low impact exercise after eating, such as walking, will have a greater impact. Involvement in clubs or activities that are active will also create an opportunity to engage in activity. Finally, being less reliant on our vehicles will require more effort for some daily physical activity.

So perhaps if you do what they do and eat what they eat you could be extending your lifespan. Your life is what you make it.

Here’s to your health!

Peter McGarry
For additional free information on health issues regarding fitness, nutrition, environment and financial well being please visit This site is a guide to improving your quality of life.

About The Author

Peter McGarry, BASc, is the Editor/Publisher for Magnetic Revolution's monthly newsletter.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tokai University Ranked 3rd Best Private University

Tokai: Tokai University ranked third best private university in Japan.
Friday, 26 January 2007
The THES (The Times Higher Education Supplement) QS World University rankings released World Top University Rankings 2006 and ranked Tokai University as the third best private university in Japan, following Keio University and Waseda University. Tokai University was ranked the 322nd of top 500 universities and 33 of them are from Japan (26 public universities and 7 private universities)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Robert A. Burns was a Good Man and my Father


Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Dylan Thomas

On October 6th, 2007, Dr. Robert A. Burns (known to all his friends as "Bob"), passed away at the Delta Hospital after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 86. He was a gentle soul raging for a time but accepting the dying of his light with characteristic grace and dignity.

He was born in Wilkie, Sask., in 1921. He grew up and attended high school in that small prairie town along with his sister Eunice, brothers Gordon and Stan. During his childhood, he developed a love of hockey which he continued well into his later years. When war broke out in Europe, he took flight training in Manitoba and became a flight lieutenant with the RCAF. For most of the war he was stationed in Gibralter piloting a Hudson bomber out over the North African coast in search of German and Italian submarines. Toward the war’s end, he was transferred to a base near Prestwick, Scotland, where he met his future wife, Sylvia Kathleen Ludgate from Ayr. They were married in 1944 and returned to Canada shortly thereafter.

They took up residence in Saskatoon, where Robert began studying Pre-Med at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1946, their first son, Wayne was born. On completion of his Pre-med studies, Bob with Sylvia and baby son, moved to Toronto where he built a small house and buckled down to complete his M.D. at the University of Toronto.

Because of a long affinity for British Columbia, he and Sylvia decided to move to the coast and Dr. Robert Burns interned at the Vancouver General Hospital. In 1951 their second son, Graham was born and the young family moved to Port Alberni, a bustling pulp, paper and sawmill town at the time. Over the next thirteen years in Port Alberni, Dr. Burns practiced family medicine, became a respected member of the local medical community and participated in various community organizations, the PTA, the Boy Scouts and Alberni Valley Rotarians. He became a vocal member of the School Board. The family had a cottage on Sproat Lake where they spent memorable summers. There were vacations in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Hornby Island with their many friends. In 1963 his third son, Kevin was born.

In 1964 after a long search for a place to further his studies toward a specialty in skin diseases, Dr. Burns and family embarked on the next four years for further studies in Dermatology at a Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Long Beach, California. While the work was intense, the four years were productive. But with the war in Vietnam, race riots in Watts and the political situation in the USA seeming more and more precarious, the family decided to return to the sanctity of Canada in 1968. They settled in Tsawwassen. Dr. Burns began practicing Dermatology in offices in both Richmond and later, Tsawwassen. He quickly built a thriving practice which he continued until he was 77 when he retired. He loved the daily routine of his office and was a reluctant retiree. Throughout his active years, he was an enthusiastic member of the local golf and tennis clubs and a proud Rotarian. His other loves were listening to jazz, playing the piano, traveling around the world on frequent trips with Sylvia, charting the ups and downs of the stock market, telling a good joke, and plying the local waters in a boat he co-owned with another doctor. He was a compassionate, caring and generous doctor all his life, delivering hundreds of babies in Port Alberni, administering to the needs of the native people on the reserve in Alberni, and frequently going out on call at all hours of the night. In Richmond and Tsawwassen he built up a large and loyal patient base as a Dermatologist, receiving referrals from most of the general practitioners in the two communities.

He is deeply missed and remembered by Sylvia, his wife for 63 years of marriage, his three sons, Wayne, Graham and Kevin and his six grandchildren. The Burns family would like to thank his caregivers at the Waterford and the staff at the Palliative Care ward of the Delta Hospital. A Memorial will be held in his honour for friends and family, on Sunday, October 14th from 2 to 4 PM in the reception room at Fairway Estates on Hunter Road in Tsawwassen. Anyone who wishes to attend is welcome and should call [604] 731-6317 for details and directions.

Obituary written by Wayne D. Burns