In the season with the height of the band conditions

Yesterday afternoon, around 06Z, forty meters was open to the East Coast. Surprisingly, the path to there was even better than that to the West Coast. In the bottom of the sun spot cycle, I have heard this band had been open to the North America all day long. I am often amazed thinking that the hams who established the World Wide CW contest have chosen this time in a year for this one of the oldest and most major contests in the world. It is the time when the bands could blast.
The only problem was that there had been no East Coasts calling me except for some of the skimmers there.

There were a number of statessides on 15 meters this morning. Everyone seemed cheerful and happy. They have had or were going to have the Thanksgiving dinner with their company. Dick K4XU have told me he had plowed even 30cm of snow on the driveway, which had taken him 90 minutes. He quit radio telling me there was odor of cooked turkey from somewhere. John W7KCN has had a dinner party with 10 family members there. He is an 88 year old ham and is still very sharp in memory and keying. It was a fun to hear from him. Bill K1YT has called me at the moment when the path was almost over. Fast QSB has made it a bit difficult to read him. But slowing down the speed helped me a little. I am sure he has had a nice dinner also with his family. He has reminded me of my trip to his home in Stow Mass almost a quarter century ago. It was in the end of Oct. In the declining condition, I have called CQ for several times. The band has turned quiet again when I turned off the gear.

Every friend kindly visiting this blog, have a pleasant holiday season. See you often on the air.

The meaning of the modern music

I have been wondering what has brought the modern classical music in the world. I mean the music of atonality. They say one reason was the will to get out of the heavy romanticism which has covered the world of music since the end of 19th century. I could understand the composers in that age have felt almost suffocated with the expanded emotions in the late romanticism in music. The modern music composers might need to get into the atonality as a new achievement in music. It could be a drive which has lead composers to new style of music in their age.

In addition to all of those motivations, I guess, it was the expression of the era trend of thoughts those days. It was just before they got into the era of total war. They have had to endure the pain and agony of total war twice very soon. As artists sensitive to the trend those days, they must have felt that era preceding to the other people. In late romantic music, there used to be such a composer who had preempted that trend of anxiety and fear for the death. One example was Mahler. But such attempt by late romantic composers has not succeeded in it and was followed by the modern music composers, who have done thoroughly, if it was successful or not.

This quartet by Schoenberg is deemed the watershed dividing those two eras. Each motifs sound very beautiful with faint feeling of tonality. When the soprano enters in the music, the atonality dominates it. It may express the anxiety of existence in the era trend. It appeals to our mind even after over a century since it has been composed.


ex JG1FDX story

We will have the 38th anniversary in a couple of days. The time has passed quite fast. The longer marriage we have had, the more we know each other. Even though I don't know what she thinks of that, it is not bad to get older together.

We were the class mates at the med school. She is 3 years younger than I am since I entered the school after finishing a college. We have started our honey moon life at a dorm of the med school where we served our residency. Hectic days. I should have been more helpful to her raising our elder son those days.

I have uploaded this photo before. At the campus of the med school. We were young. We were expecting our 1st baby. How hopeful we were for our future!

We have moved here, that is, my birth place in several years. I felt we need some place to be settled down. I must confess a place for bigger antenna was necessary for me. My parents have moved here and have helped us to raise 3 children. 

It was the time without cell phone. She has taken a ham radio ticket to get in touch with me through radio. She got her call as JG1FDX. Only on phone. She was too shy to talk to people unknown to her. We used UHF FM to get in touch. When our daughter was learning violin at a class near to my wife's hospital years ago, I have brought her with violin to a place half way to the class. She was waiting for us there. We couldn't do that without that UHF.  

One time, I borrowed her car. I happened to turn on the cassete tape recorder on the car. Surprisingly, Morse code practise tape was running there. Yes, she was practising Morse code in secret. I asked her why she had wanted to master code. Her answer was that she would beat me in Morse code technique. I think it was half what she had thought. She is a girl who would learn something continuously. She might find learning Morse code was a good object for her to master. Since her project turned out public to me, she gave it up thoroughly. Her ticket with the suffix, "Fanatic Doctore XYL", has been expired then. 

As written earlier in this blog, she has enjoyed our trip to Seattle and San Jose 3 years ago meeting many friends of ham radio. Someday, I would take her for a trip to the US or the other parts of the world to see old friends of mine. She won't say no to me, hopefully.

As I fully retired last year, I have become a full time house husband and have been trying to help her. She says she would downsize her work load soon. Introducing her old patients to other reliable doctors and getting ready financially for the retirement of the staff, she should gradually fade off at her job soon. I wish we could spend peaceful time for the rest of our lives.

Congratulations to us on our anniversary! 


Perception of Morse code and understanding its message are involved in different processes in brain

It has been one of the main interests for me to know how
Morse code is perceived and understood by us. We are doing 
that process without being conscious of them when we operate 
on this mode. But It might help us to train ourselves for 
communication on this mode and convince it is worth spending 
our lives learning codes and communicating with this mode.

I have spent attention about how the modern brain physiology 
on this issue with scientific words. There have been a few studies 
published on this theme. This article with its abstract shown below is 
one of them recently published and suggestive in our understanding 
of this issue..


 2015 Nov;36(11):4512-28. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22939. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

From perceptual to lexico-semantic analysis-cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing.


Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates 

of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of 

the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. 

In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that 

allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen 
participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented 

acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented 

in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either 

attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning 

distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico-semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico-semantic 
analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary 

motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated 

with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), 

which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico-semantic analysis post 

learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) 

and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical 
processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process 

enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, 

the activation pattern remains task-related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process 

as to which LOP to engage in. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4512-4528, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. 

Human Brain Mapping Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


cortical plasticity; fMRI; learning; levels of processing; perception

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
The function, either definite or speculative, of the brain areas quoted in this article are as foolows.
the postural stabilization of the body, the coordination of both sides of 

the body such as during bimanual action, the control of movements that 

are internally generated rather than triggered by sensory events, and the 

control of sequences of movements.

the perception of emotions in facial stimuli,[2] and interpretation of 

sensory information. The Inferior parietal lobule is concerned with language, 


 auditory processing, including language

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

It seems to me that both perceptual and understanding process are involved 

in the same areas, that is, lt premotor cortex, SMA and IPL. On the other 

hand, lt IFC and OTC, known to be the areas of lexical processing, are activated 

in uderstanding process after training. 

It is beyond my knowledge discussing what the difference of the areas activated in 

each process means. What I could say from this article is as follows;

It is amazing that Morse code perception/understanding in brain could be a topic 

in this field of science. While it is our concern how they describe about it in scientific 

terms, the researchers must take this learning process as one of the scientific 

epistemological findings. The communication mode composed of the simplest symbols, 

that is, dashes and dots, must be a good tool for that purpose.  

Perception of Morse code and understanding its message are handled, partly, at the 

same areas in brain. On the other hand, the latter seems to involve in the higher 

lexicological center. As the other report indicated that reading Morse code is 

comparable to reading printed matters, understanding its message must be a highly 

intellectual process.

Further discussion to try to correspond each process to the actual operation of CW 

mode is a quite personal speculation of mine. DXing or contesting should be 

involved in the perception process or, at least, some extension of its process. Each 

operation handles only exchanges of meaningless symbols. Understanding 

messages is the essence of ordinary QSOs. Through the system of symbols of 

Morse code, we understand what the others mean in their message. This process 

should be handled by the lexicological center in brain. This study seems to tell us we 

should discriminate these two aspects of CW operation. It means a lot to us. I will 

discuss about this discrimination from this perspective in another post.  

PS; Sorry for the irregular fonts in this post. It seems a kind of bug in the blog format,

which I could not do with at all.


How to do with the terrorism

It was a horrible disaster that so many innocent people were killed by the terrorists in Paris yesterday. Such a terrorism should not be permitted by any means. The terrorists who had executed it should be punished.

On the other hand, we should learn that terrorism could never be eradicated by arms. It is the lesson we have had from the recent history in the Middle East. We should accept people with the other ideologies or religions. We should start from this standpoint.

It is not by arms but the other ways we should do with terrorism. There must be any arm merchants or any military who give or sell them the arms. Certain financial sources might let them buy the arms. Without any income, they won't be able to recruit and train their military as well as terrorists. We should keep our eye on these sources to them. It should be banned to support them financially as well as military wise.

I could not help suspecting there are some people gaining profits from the proxy war in the developing countries like the Middle East. For example, there are strong evidences that the US has supported the extremists like Al Qaida in Afghanistan as well as ISIS in Syria.

The war in the Middle East has given rise to the extremist group by itself. ISIS is told to be established by the remnants of Barth Party in Iraq in the regime of Hussein. The object of this Iraq war was denied with no genocidal weapon found there. The aerial bombing they have deen continuously doing there are causing victims of civilians. The families of those victims would become another terrorists in the future. There has been a chain of terror and hatred over there. We should it.

 In Facebook, a friend of mine, Dan, K2YWE, has linked to a site with an excellent and moving article. Here it is. Please read it. I could not read it without tears. i fully approve what the author wrote there.

The fight against terrorism should not be based on the arms but on the action toward its causes.


A short story

Fiftenn meters has been in the best shape for the past days. On the quiet band, stations from the East Coast have called me in a chain.

Jack W4TJE gave me a call with a big signal from VA. When I heard him using stacked Yagis, I asked him if he was a contester. He answered no and hated contests. His main concern seemed to be DXing. I told him I had lost interests in DXing in addition to contests years ago. And I also told him I enjoy listening others telling me their stories now. 

He would like to tell me a short story. Regretting his having spent his young days on SSB, he would be a CW operator for now. Since he is already a perfect CW operator, it might mean he would concentrate on CW activities from now.

I answered he had come along the right track of a ham. Soon he would enjoy only ragchewing on CW.

What good cinditions and what a nice small talk on CW!

Saimyouji, an old temple in this area

A Nikon has come out of a closet. It is a single lens reflex camera for beginner. I bought it a few years ago and put into somewhere after having used it for only a few times. I have ever heard there could be mold growing within the lens, so that I would know if it still takes photo. I went to a temple near by, where I took Joe AJ2Y in his visit here, with a hope I could see fall colors in the woods. I would take some photos with this Nikon.

The temple is in Mashiko town next to our city, which is famous for pottery products. I went there through a range of small mountains. As I told in the previous post on a trip to a hot spa site, we have a few ranges of small mountains running in this area, continuing to the Abukuma mountains in Fukushima. 

It was 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Very few traffic on the range trail. It ran south to north. Looking to the west from there, I could see another range. Our home is located further west over this range. It was hazy over the mountains. Some leaves were tinted colorful, if not all. It looked like early evening already. Not too cold yet, though. A few people were taking walk with their dog on the trail.     

There was the panel to explain how this temple was built and existed. I don't think there have been so many tourists visiting here. It is far away from the famous resort Nikko and takes a couple of hours to visit here. Partly due to plain week day today, there were very few people. An old couple was sitting on steps to the temple buildings and talking leisurely something like that time was passing so fast. Their being itself made me feel time was going slowly as well as satisfactorily.  

Anyway, it says this temple named Saimyouji, has the origin in the 8th century. Having been destroyed or fired, the present buildings were completed in the 18th century. I know nothing more than what this panel said. As I told elsewhere, there are many temples even in such a countryside as here. I am kind of proud that our ancient people have been believing in Bhuddism. Or it means they have lived harsh lives where they should rely on a religion. This is a proof they have lived very close to the religion.

The precincts of the temple was not large. It was still built on the range of small mountains. There were a lot of broadleaf trees there. They may turn yellow soon. 

The temple buildings were located at a higher place. We should walk up the steps, fairly steep, made of stones.

The main gate building. A gorgeous building with thatched roof.

A close up of the building. It is an exquisite wooden structure. I wondered from where the carpenters building these buildings came from. It might be to display the power of the ruling person here to the people. But I still would think their belief in Buddhism, or their wish to be relieved of this world with full of worries and anxieties. So the appearance and atmosphere of this old temple makes us feel relieved as well as soothed.     

The main building located in the depth of the temple. With the metal roof and so forth, it looked like more modern.

A water supply place at a corner.

The sun was sinking. Some trees on a side of mountains looked colorful overlooking from the precincts.

It was not only due to getting dark that the photos were out of focus. Actually, while taking these photos, I had this camera acting up with the sign of ERR on the display. I had to initialize it once. I should learn how to use it. It is like my FT2000.

Going down to the city, I bought food for dinner and ran back home,


Health care system is a common overhead capital

American health giants could end up running crucial parts of the service in a move which could prove to be irreversible

  • 21479SHARES
PAEarl Howe
NHS for sale: Health minister Earl Howe backs the move
American health giants could end up running crucial sections of the NHS, under a deal planned by Tory ministers to let them bid on huge ­government contracts.
David Cameron’s team insist the plans have “immense potential”.
But campaigners say it means that if a future government tries to wrest back control of the health service from multinationals, it would face being sued by profiteering firms.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement is currently being ­negotiated by the EU and the US.
Ministers believe the removal of trade barriers in a host of ­industries under the deal would boost the UK economy by £10billion a year.
Health Minister Earl Howe said the NHS should not be excluded from it, claiming it could help British medical and ­pharmaceutical firms.
He said: “It would be highly unwise and detrimental in our view to exclude health.”
But campaigning group 38 Degrees warned the trade deal would put the NHS at risk from profiteering US firms.
The group’s ­executive director David Babbs said: “It would open up Britain to the US health industry. How could that be anything but bad news for our NHS?”
And Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail warned the shake-up could lead to legal challenges over NHS contracts by US health firms if a future ­government tried to take ­privatised health services back under public control.
She said: “The Government had no mandate to privatise our health service – they certainly don’t have a mandate to make it irreversible. We say to Cameron, use your veto.”
Earl Howe accused critics of “scaremongering” about the ­agreement and denied the ­Government was planning ­wholesale privatisation of the NHS.
More than 175,000 people have signed a petition calling on ­Business Secretary Vince Cable to “fix or scrap” the trade deal.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham says the NHS must be exempt from an agreement that threatens its future.


Living the last days of life

The higher bands are still in good shape. Fifteen meters has opened to the East Coast this morning. A good friend of mine, Alan, W2MV, has called me. A bit echo on signal but still solid. It sounded fluttery, which is typical for the path in fall.

Talking about how to spend the Thanks Giving holidays, he let me know he would have a dinner with his brother in law's father in New Jersey. That person has been diagnosed as gastric cancer in terminal stage. Since he is now in his 80s, he denied to take chemo. Alan was sad to see and take dinner together with him, as he said.

That person was born in Belgium and has spent hard time for 4 years at a house hidden from Nazis while his parents were killed by them. His bio is here.  What a dramatic life he has spent! Thinking of his life, Alan must be in the fullness of his heart for him and could not see him in such a situation with peace in Alan's mind.

I fully understood what he felt about that event. It might have been good enough for me just to listen what he felt about it. I dared to say about that guy as follows.  

There are different ways to die. Cancer takes some time and often accompanies pain and anxiety since the condition worsens gradually. Don't worry about that so much. Highly progressed terminal care would help him a lot. It was a good choice for him not to take chemo. Together with terminal care, he might spend the last days with better quality of life than receiving chemo. The terminal care may minimize his pain and agony. He could spend peaceful time left with his folks. In another words, he would spend the last days for the people around him being left in this world. So I hope Alan to see him just as always. Enjoy the time together with him and folks as always. It is the time prepared for you to be together with him. It is a gift from him to the people around him.

Alan turns to be 60 years of age next week. I welcomed him to brilliant 60s of life and also sent him very happy birthday in advance. He and his wife would spend his birthday in UK. Also wishing him a very pleasant trip.

Sharing life through ham radio is not bad, is it?

To Summer VE5SDH

I have received an e mail from a friend of mine, Summer, VE5SDH, today. She has started CW for only 2 years and a half. She is a visually handicapped person and has been very eager learning CW. For the past couple of years, whenever I met heron the radio, I felt she had made much progress at CW. In each QSO, I have told her this way. Don't to be only a contester but go ahead to the right way to be a real ragchewer. It was a kind of kidding to her knowing she had been pretty active in contests but was still what I wished her to be.

Her mail said like this; 
it's such a beautiful signal and so much history
i don't think i could be just a contester :) they're fun but also sort
 of mindless and also frustrating, and you don't get to learn much abo
ut the people you contact
with CW being such an effective communication mode :) why would people
 not want to use it to get to know each other?

I was sorry if I had forced her to write this to me. But I guess it was what she thought on CW. I replied to her that contesting is a fun but could not occupy all of ham radio. Explaining more fully on this subject, I could tell in this way.

Cppying CW is handled by the center in the brain relevant to reading printed material. I have quoted on the fMRI study on this subject showing this fact in the prior post in this blog. I guess contesting might be handled by the other center in the brain. Copying CW is to communicate and understand the others while contesting is to exchange certain symbols meaningless to our lives. The former gives us life long pleasure itself while the latter is only competition and stimulation, which last only for a moment. The former is like reading a biography of the other highly personal while the latter is like playing an impersonal game.

I fully know how exciting and amusing it is to do contesting. I won't make any infertile debate with contesters here. It is what I have reached in my ham radio career for 53 years.

I am sure Summer is heading to the right way.   


Nuclear power energy could never be "clean"

The recent issue of BMJ has published a report by an international research team regarding the threshold of irradiation dose for carcinogenicity. They have made an epidemiological study on more than 300,000 workers at nuclear power plants in the western countries. Unlike the established theory on this issue that irradiation dose of 100mSv per year is the threshold for carcinogenicity, they have found the carcinogenicity/mortality rate is increased even if the dose is below that level.

I believe this large scale study has revealed the dose response effect of irradiation to carcinogenicity in human being. It means it is advisable to minimize the irradiation dose. It is known some people are genetically rather liable to cause cancer with low dose of irradiation. From that standpoint, we should also limit the irradiation dose as low as possible.  

An former worker at the accident of the Fuskushima nuclear power plant is reported to occur leukemia recently. He has been authorized as a case of compensation insurance. He has been reported to have been irradiated up to 19mSv while working at the plant. Half of 20,000 workers are reported to have received mora than 5mSv a year. There could be more patients with malignancy from this group of workers in the future.

Nuclear power plants, either in normal shape or in accident, cause much irradiation to the workers there, which could result in their serious health problems. In addition to the used nuclear fuel problem, this fact tells us to give up nuclear power energy at present. It won't be "clean" energy at all.