2014/12/21

2014年もあと少しですね

12月も20日を過ぎ、まさに年の瀬という感じですね。

1年は長いようで短いようで、いちいち思い出すとやっぱり長いなぁという気もしますが、化粧品カウンターのお姉さんがことごとく自分より年下になっている現状を目にすると、「いつかやろう」なんて呑気なこと言ってられるほど人生長くないかもなあーと感じたりしている今日このごろです。

わおーん!
うちの文鳥はといえば、桜文鳥のごまちゃん(オス1歳)が生まれて初めての発情期を迎え、自分でもどうしたらいいのか分からなくなっています・・。必死に白文鳥のふゆ(メス1歳)にアタックしているのですが、ふゆちゃんは半径30cmに近づいただけで威嚇体勢をとるのでなかなか上手くいかないようです。(そもそも最初から仲良くないしね…) とりあえずティッシュを丸めたもので遊ばせているのですが、これでいいんだろうか、、笑、、飼い主の私もこういう事態は初めてなもので、ちょっと悩んでいます…。のほほーんとしているように見える文鳥ですが、やはり生き物である限り、それなりに性(さが)に振り回されるものなんですねぇ、、。文鳥は文鳥でいろいろ大変なのね。


ぬくぬく
一方、常日頃から怒っているうちのお嬢様ふゆちゃんは、私のダウンベストの中に快適な居場所を見つけたらしく、放鳥時間はいつもここでぬくぬくしています。ただ、本当に水浴びを嫌がるので、最近なんか白くなくなってる、、、なんかいろいろ、、どうしたらいいんだろう・・・・。笑


さて、年の瀬ということで毎年恒例となりつつある、今年いちばん私に響いたビデオをご紹介したいと思います。

最初は、やっぱりこの夏にAssemblyで見たデモかなーと思っていたのですが、思い入れとか思い出とかいろんなバイアスがかかりまくっているので、こちらにします。



これは、Institute For Centrifugal Research (ICR) 、日本語にすると「遠心力研究所」というところが作成したビデオです。この研究所、概要には「専門は人々をくるくる回すこと」とあって、本物のアカデミックなタイプの研究所ではなさそうなのですが、ざっくり言うと、「子どもが回転する遊具で遊ぶことによる知能への効果を大人にも応用できないか」という目的で、回転する遊具の設計研究を行っているようです。まぁ、、この説明の段階でどうなのかとは思うのですが、、、笑

最初にこの遊園地の設計図面だけをTwitterか何かのリンクで見た時は、「架空の遊園地の乗り物の設計図!ロマンだねー!」と思っていたのですが、ビデオを見てびっくり仰天・・・。何だこれは、おい誰かとめろ!という内容になっています(笑) 冗談だろうけど、、どこまで本気なんだか、、見るたびに笑いすぎてお腹が痛い…。なんだろう、この絶対に無理って分かっててもそこを無視して設計し続ける情熱は、、、笑

見る限り、最初の縦にぐるぐる回る遊具以外はすべてCGによるものであるようですが(当然ですけど…)、ビデオでは、これら全てを実際に作って稼働させてみたんですけどねというていで話が進んでいきます。たとえば、球体から360度の方向にブランコが出ている乗り物だと、「回転を止めたときに、いちばん上にいる人が球体にぶつからないようにするのが難しかったです」とか、観覧車だと、「1周するのに14時間かかってしまって、寝ていて降りるタイミングを逃したり、、」とか、失敗の理由を語っています。

いやぁ、、何だかなぁ・・・。なんか、すごく自由だなぁと思って・・・


寒さが厳しい季節ですが、皆さまどうぞ温かな良いお年をお迎えください!

2014/12/18

[nokonoko journal] Whose bell is ringing

It's snowing. The sound of cars with chains is like reindeers' bells to me.

Though I've never heard reindeers' bells... 






(Posts transferred from NokoNoko Journal)

2014/12/14

haunt me: Afterglow



"luma" (2014) by Mercury

This instantly takes me back to the night I saw the Electrical Parade in Tokyo Disneyland for the first time. On my way back home, in the bus, their sparking lights didn’t go away even I closed my eyes so tight. And I didn’t want them to go away.

-----------------------
This is a computer program-driven art called “demo”. If you want to generate this on your computer, check hereTo know more about what “demo” is, maybe you can start from here.

これは、「デモ」と呼ばれるコンピュータプログラムで生成された作品です。自分のコンピュータで、ファイルから生成してみたい場合は、こちらから。「デモ」について少し詳しく知りたい方は、こちらへ。

2014/12/03

Welcome to Gunma! - Thousands of reasons to live in Gunma

We're going to "Bonen-kai" season in Japan. Bonen-kai, which literally means "a party to forget the year", is a year-end event typically held with company/community members. December is a lovely season. It's a season that streets are filled with Christmas songs, illuminated trees and drunk people.. :)

Before I forget everything happened in this year (i.e. year-end hibernation & reset) I gotta write about people I interviewed early this year...


-----

For weekly AsahiGunma published in April, I interviewed Mr. Kyo Oh from Henan, China. He participated the Japanese speech contest for foreign people living in Ota-city, Gunma and won its 1st prize this year.


Weekly AsahiGunma (April 25, 2014)

In his speech, he talked about what happened to him when the heavy snow hit Gunma in Feburary (slipped and stuck every steps and elder gentleman helped him.. sounded like a comedy..) and what he thinks about the life in Gunma. 

It was his second time to join this contest and to improve his Japanese and speech skill, he sought some advices from his teachers and friends and revised again and again. He said winning the 1st prize was unexpected but he felt really happy with the result and this experience.

Mr. Oh is currently a student in Kanto Gakuen University in Gunma and learning International Business. After studying there for 3 years he seemed very good at communicating in Japanese, but he said his first year was really tough and spent most of his time looking up the dictionary... 

Though he sometimes misses his family and hometown, he said he now fully enjoys current life in Gunma. Addition to his school life and part-time job, he joined the Gunma's PR project and help promoting its sightseeing spots in his native language. "I want to experience lot of things and make the most of what I've learned here for my future!"

His favorite Gunma spot: Takasaki-city, Kusatsu (Hot spring and Yakimanju)


-----


For weekly AsahiGunma published in July, I interviewed Mr. Damien Robuchon from Sablé, France who is working at Tomioka Silk Mill which was listed as World heritage site in June.

Weekly AsahiGunma (July 18, 2014)


Just to give you a quick and rough guide, Tomioka Silk Mill was built in 1872 with a great help from Mr. Paul Brunat who worked at French trading firm office in Yokohama. This factory was one of the Japan's modernization projects, adopting western way of yarn-making and management style. Instructors were sent from France and girls from all over Japan were gathered to master its technique so that they can teach and spread when they go back to their homeland.

One of the funny stories I've heard was, locales were afraid of French people because they saw French drink blood.. (wine was really not common in Japan back then :)

Mr. Robuchon is its first French employee in 142 years. He started to work there from August 2013 as JET program, translated its website, brochure and reference materials. 

When he found Tomioka city was looking for a French staff for promoting its facilities, he thought "Tomioka Silk Mill is a symbol of collaboration between France and Japan, there must be something I can do to help them" 

Indeed. Not just promoting it in French and English, because of his knowledge and Japanese fluency, he's requested by the visitors to give a guide tour in Japanese, showing up medias etc... 

On the day of official announcement of World Heritage Site, he was at the public screening venue with Tomioka citizens and interpreted the announcement into Japanese, sharing the joyful moment with them. "Tomioka has given me so many opportunities. I'd like to give back to them through my work and I'd like to grow up as a person"

His favorite Gunma spot: Tomioka Silk Mill (duh.. you can book the guide tour in English and French)


-----

Living in foreign country is not always easy. No matter how well you speak their language or understand the culture, we all face obstacles and invisible wall. Probably, the more you have the will to dive and blend in, the more you feel the difference...

As of the end of December 2013, there are 40,593 people from 105 countries living in Gunma. That's 2% of Gunma's population. I had occasion to interview with 2 out of 40,593 but I imagine each of them has different reason to live in Gunma. We often say "En brought you here" for these cases. "en" is a tough Japanese word and often translated as karma or chance... but here I'd say "funny turn of fate"... I mean, what else can we explain? otherwise why the hell are you coming to Gunma..? :D Oh, no no, Gunma is good place, nice place, beautiful place. There're a lot of good hot springs, you can have a day trip from Tokyo, ski, practice your Japanese, there's cafe with wi-fi, buildings... :)

Whatever the reason is, for those of you who happened to live in Gunma, Welcome to Gunma! Hope you're enjoying Gunma life and Best of luck! If you haven't tried charcoal grilled Yakimanjyu or Yakitori from Torihei, you really should try them pronto.

--> Gunma Guide (English)
--> Takasaki Guide (created by "foreigners living in Takasaki")


2014/12/01

Whisper #183-222

#183
un homme et une femme (mais pas nécessairement ensemble)

#184
This could be just another phase to go by.

#185
Could be you, could be me, could be anyone.

#186
We are all so far away from “Normal people”. But as a whole, that’s what “normal people” are.

#187
There’s always 0.01%.

#188
He said he only wears black. He was always attracted by the feeling of loss. His voice was beautiful and sorrowful that I used to look forward to his turn to read the textbook in the class.

#189
Lately I’ve heard that he’s working at funeral hall. You found a perfect job, dear.

#190
There’s always 0.001% of exception.

#191
so many excuses not to be disappointed

#192
Just get disappointed instead.

#193
Many years ago, I’ve met a girl who was seriously popular among boys. So popular that she could make a living out of it.

#194
Boys around her were desperately seeking her attention; they offered her a seat, drink, dinner, taxi fee, ring, watch, bags, shopping funds, place to live, you name it.

#195
They even offer their hands so that she could spit a gum on it.

#196
But she looked so bored. She was clearly not interested in any of these.

#197
While all her admirers went out to get something for her, she told me.
“I know this is my gift. If I talk to a man for one minute, I can tell how much he is willing to spend for me. And I’m just playing within that limit.”

#198
And she added. “Clearly, you’re not my competition”

#199
(Thank God)

#200
Business suit mirage

#201
Weekday mirage

#202
I don’t even know you.

#203
Pretentious comma is a disease. This often develops while writing in the midnight.

#204



#205
Lyrics from Top chart are full of affirmation.
- You’re awesome, I’m awesome, so let’s dance.

#206
Probably it’s an obligation for idols/idol groups to sing songs that fans can believe “this song is for me… he’s singing about me… oh Justin…”

#207
Beavers

#208
Too tired to sleep

#209
tick tock tick tock…

#210
I’ll answer some frequently asked questions.

#211
Q: I've heard at the pick-up seminar that "in Tokyo, if you're a white male, you can do what you want" Is this true?
A: No. And I recommend you to take a common-sense seminar instead.

#212
Q: Is 74 new 24?
A: No. Just be proud of your actual age.

#213

Q: Never meet your hero?
A: Depends. Sometimes the truth may liberate you.

#214
Q: Is this dystopia?
A: Hope not. Go get some coffee and donuts, they’ll help you. Oh, and get me some of them too.

#215
I knew this will happen.

#216
Interviewees are vulnerable.
In case you didn't know.

#217
My wish list used to be more simple. I want this and that from here and there - so it was quite easy to tick the box.

#218
Now, almost all of them are abstract and immeasurable that I have to start from defining its achieving point.

#219
There’s always a story after “happily ever after”

#220
You wanna know what happened to Cinderella?

#221
She’s now a CEO/Designer of luxury shoe brand, making beautiful 12cm+ skyhigh and torture women in the world.

#222
Dear Santa,

Am I still on your list?



2014/11/04

[nokonoko journal] Do you remember this game?

Suddenly remember this. 
I think It was popular around the time when Tom was our default friend.

---------------------------------

1. Set your music player on shuffle.
2. Click forward for each question.
3. Use the SONG TITLE to answer the questions below
4. Cut and paste the questions and what your iPod answers
5. Finally, do NOT cheat.


1. What is your name?   
- There you are

2. What are your hobbies?
- Just Recently Lost Something Of Importance

3. How Are You Feeling Today?
- Conroy

4. How Was Yesterday?
- Lonely

5. What are you doing right now?
- Workin' Day And Night

6. What song describes you?
- Jimmy's Theme

7. What is good advice?
- Davie Addison

8. What were your first words?
- Blue Moon

9. What are you afraid of?
- My Phone's On Vibrate For You

10. What is your motto?
- The end of you too

11. What is the story of your life?
- Frosti

12. What will the future like?
- Older

13. What is your happiest memory?
- again

14. What is your wedding song going to be?
- You Drift Away

15. What do you think of everyday?
- You Make It Easy

16. What did you learn today?
- Spiral never before

17. What is your biggest secret?
- Distractions

18. How do people see you?
- Psychoanalysis

19. What will your dying words be?
- Preludes & Fugues

20. What Song Will They Play On My Funeral?
- Allegro quasi presto


---------------------------------


(Posts transferred from NokoNoko Journal)

2014/10/24

[nokonoko journal] Priceless Latte

At the café located in the temple’s parking.
I told him I just dropped by to make a wish. He said “I made a wish for you”


Cute Ksitigarbha floating in the latte. Thank you master.


(Posts transferred from NokoNoko Journal)

2014/10/22

[nokonoko journal] Autumn may soon be over

It's getting colder. I gave up, and pulled out Kotatsu today. 

(Posts transferred from NokoNoko Journal)

haunt me: More you becomes you


My all-time favorite. Fragile piano sound to off-key voice, love everything about this album.




Whisper #150-182

#150
The professionals

#151
You shouldn’t be surprised. Because that’s not something just came up. It was part of them from the beginning. You just didn’t know it.

#152
The art of expressing things by not saying them.

#153
Somewhere between admiration and acknowledgement

#154
This cappuccino makes me cry.

#155
Those dinner plates didn’t work as an insurance.

#156
Young waitress in Vegas earns more than a doctor.

#157
Goldfish gathers in the shadow.

#158
We didn’t have common language to communicate. But she was eager to talk to me. We pulled up our dictionary, notebook and pens. We looked up many words, drew pictures and exchanged gestures. We tried for 6 hours.

#159
It was her return flight to her hometown. She visited her husband but he was too busy to be with her. She spent 3 months in solitude, because she doesn’t know anyone nor understand the word people say.

#160
She just wanted to tell someone how lonely she was.

#161
We didn’t exchange names but we talked so many things about ourselves. Family, work, friends, society around us, past. We only had 6 hours. And we both knew we will never meet again.

#162
I still think about her sometimes. I hope she’s well.

#163
 (She said she has a young lover in town.)

#164
Baking in the middle of typhoon

#165
If you watch Gibli movie and cry, you’re an adult. Kids will laugh out loud when they watch it.

#166
It's been a year already. I thought you were joking. I laughed and mildly shocked. But I really didn't understand what you meant.

#167
What do they do? Don’t they always say nasty things to nice people and try to stop them?

#168
Come closer, here it’s safe.

#169
Creating an error-free obedient android girl of your dreams?
That’s funny. You know you’ll get bored if everything goes as you imagined.

#170
People say Japanese people are afraid of speaking English. From my experience, people who mock their English the most are Japanese.

#171
At the business dinner table, he was the highest rank and I was the lowest. 
He was the only person who stood up when I returned from the bathroom.

#172
Ah, my Eliza Doolittle moment.

#173
But later I understood that the gentlemanliness is in fact an attitude to show off to other men, not ladies.

#174
This moment. This, this, this moment. 

#175
I think your magic is fading.

#176
My mind was made up to do it until I turned that corner.
That gas station corner had some power to bring me back to the mundane life.

#177
2 months later, I decided to choose another route. So I didn’t have to turn that corner.

#178
If your audience didn't laugh at your joke, check if your joke was funny before blaming the interpreters.

#179
You always forget to capitalize letters. You must be a programmer.

#180
Absolute distance between us

#181
You don't have to relate or justify your contradiction. You don't even need to hide that there is. I'll understand.

#182
Re: I'm sorry for misunderstanding you


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