Saturday, October 16, 2010
If you have the chance, remind yourself to step outside your world once in a while, just so you know that there's a reason some people are truly happy. Comfort, ease, accessibility are not substitutes for happiness.
I was reminded of something tonight.
My wanderlust is not the fault of how small the town i live in is, but how big the world outside it is.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
it, being a ridiculously small world (or small town), turns out that his daughter is one of the girls in the sakura video i made last spring. and this fellow also happens to be the head of the PTA, which actually means something in japan.
anyways, this new friend of mine's name is imamura. he is an amiable guy, who laughs easy and works hard. he owns his own glasses shop and is an all around good guy to know.
after many late night discussions imamura learned of my love of riding horses. he knew of this little ranch themed park north of town where he had heard one could ride a horse called makai no bokujo. so i said it was on. i even had a cowboy hat.
imamura's daughter, norie and her friend shiori (who was also in the ohanami video and is a friend on facebook) wanted to come so who was i to stand in their way. us two old geezer's could use the reminder of youthful enthusiasm.
so we went. and the following video is the result. both myself and imamura proved to be less than camera friendly, so it serves mostly as a keepsake for the high school girls. i hope they enjoy it, and i also hope you can find some vicarious release.
ps. wait until after the credits for a special guest appearance from yours truly.
Monday, September 13, 2010
In Japan, it may surprise a few of you to learn that manga and anime, while extremely popular and far reaching with genres ranging from ninja to pro-golfers, there is still a slight stigma of geekdom and social awkwardness associated with those that openly express their love of J-pop culture.
However, if there was any question as to the validity and strength of these "otaku", then a giant life sized Gundam robot erected in celebration of 30 strong years of nerd love should be a rather decent indicator.
Gundam started off as an anime series set in the future where mankind found it necessary to create giant humanoid type war machines called Mobile Suit Gundams to protect them from perceived dangers. Since the first series there have been numerous adaptations and alternate versions set in other universes.
In Japan, even if you haven't seen an episode it would be impossible to escape being profoundly familiar with these giant robots. Their image is everywhere, from instant ramen packages, pachinko machines, and it is interlaced in every facet of popular culture. Comedians use the familiarity of it for easy jokes, other anime pay homage to it, even Gackt is a huge fan.
The closest equivalent to its popularity would be how important Star Wars is to the American culture. Even if you've never seen it, you probably know the familial ties that exist between Luke, Leia, and Darth.
So after thirty years they built a life sized Gundam statue, with light up eyes, moving head, and spewing smoke all making for an impressive bit of otaku ingenuity.
Part of Gundama's virility is due in part to the popularity of the plastic models based on the eponymous machines. Shortened to "GunPla" (GUNdam PLAstic models), this bit of marketing has lasted in popularity for 30 years giving BANDAI a competitive foothold in the hobby world.
After the robot stood vigil in Tokyo for a season it was then moved to Shizuoka, home of BANDAI. Which, i hope you remember, is right in my backyard. Since it came here i've been trying to get out to it, but it seems i have a hard time turning people down, and my schedule was constantly full.
Finally however, i pulled away, and witnessed a GIANT ROBOT IN JAPAN in all its glory.
Please enjoy the video. You will notice at the end i dedicated it to john rosenwinkel, because we had talked about going together, but you know how life gets all up in your grill. Now he's back in America but hopefully the video will help.
Also the music in the video is from Chiaki Kuriyama's debut single. The main song was from the new incarnation of Gundam, Gundam Unicorn. (really it was just excuse to include her music)
She is a whole other blog.
Also i used another song from nick montelone (or is he professionally going as Nicholas now?) so check out his website.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Basically, some big brains figured that their computers weren't fast enough or capable or "abstract" enough to figure out the workings of the biology they were trying to uncover the mysteries of, so they made it into a game and let some simple humans putz around for points. Which proved to be a bigger source of information ... well anyways i'm going to link you to this site anyways, so i hope you read it. i'm just trying to get you interested, so here's a good bit that explains it.
"At any moment, thousands of computers are working away at calculating how physical forces would cause a protein to fold. But no computer in the world is big enough, and computers may not take the smartest approach. So the UW team tried to make it into a game that people could play and compete. Foldit turns protein-folding into a game and awards points based on the internal energy of the 3-D protein structure, dictated by the laws of physics."
"The class of problems in which humans were able to do better than computers required intuitive leaps or major shifts in strategy. Future work will aim to better combine the strengths of experts, computers and thousands of game players."
Saturday, July 24, 2010
here is this.
its late. i dont want to write. i spent a long many hour editing this.
so the sound is bad. the music is loud, and the vocals are low. the camera was damaged so this is what you get. i will add subtitles later, but for now, enjoy the talents and visuals of these amazing kids.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
As you know.
And May 22nd marks a significant day in lowbrow art. One of the most iconic simplistic ... icons was introduced to the world via platform visual/motor interface game tek-mology.
May 22nd is the day that Japan first unleashed the insatiable yellow beast known as Pac-Man unto the world .
So Officially by my book, its his birthday. SO. Remember it darlings.
If you love me remember it.
I love that yellow bastard. His simplistic style drives me wild.
Its an art thing. You SHOULD understand. (but you probably don't care to)
ANY-WHO. This is where YOU come in.
I searched. There isn't any kind of "I remember where i was when i first discovered Pac-Man". SO do it here. Give me your response. Tell me where you were or what you were doing. It doesn't have to be the first time you loved the yellow pizza. It could be just a special memory involving our beloved icon of game-dom. Since I know only my few loved ones read this it should be a rather pass and go blog. BUT... do you best. You want your children to know you cared. Mom and Dad, don't worry. I know you cared. You bought us the Atari 7800.
and so you dont forget.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Everyyear there is a small cluster of holidays spread out over a 7 day period in Japan known as Golden Week. Even the days where there is no holiday are taken off and for one week the whole of Japan goes on vacation. Maiko has been having a stressful time in Tokyo struggling with her new job (this will be the subject of a blog post very soon) so we decided to take a few days and go down the east coast of Shizuoka known as Izu to check out the ocean. Below are the results. Enjoy.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
In april sometime of 2010, i had the privilege of meeting up with my friend Pin (another english teacher here in fujinomiya, from america) and the english club from the high school he teaches at. we had a very nice ohanami where an impromptu (ghetto~, but fabulous) baseball game made from a water bottle and a beach ball broke out. enjoy.