July 2009


miss-universe-japanvia Bionic Bong:

This is Emiri Miyasak, who is representing Japan in the Miss Universe Pageant for 2009, in her all leather Japanese national costume.

The costume was designed by Yoshiyuki Ogata, the designer/owner of the designer brand “Yoshiyuki.”

Kimonos are supposed to be the symbol of the “Modest Japanese Woman.” But ,this is reminiscent of the costumes worn by the girls from “Soap Land” in Yoshiwara. Yoshiyuki Ogata has gotten more than 1000 protests over this all leather kimono costume and is albeit reveling in the publicity. The biggest complaint comes from the company in Ginza that donated the “obi” belt for the kimono without knowing the designer’s full intentions.

People from around the world are arguing that the outfit makes her look like a “Porn Star.”

What do you think of this costume and Miss Universe Japan?

Its a little raunchy, but not out of line, IMHO. The kind of girls who do the Miss Universe pageant are not modest types so what do you expect? The current generations like exhibitionism so much. Younger people are playing a game of “can you top this?” violating social mores of previous generations showing underwear is hardly anything new, even in a culturally conservative place like Japan. To say that “I would never wear that” is meaningless when you are not wearing it. Getting a photo taken is not the same as walking down the street in it. what do you all think?

btw, here is a YouTube of Miyasaka in the swimsuit contest:

gf45_01_240From the MiniPC company, which was building the nettop box form factor long before Shuttle or the Mac Mini, we get an updated G series, announced.

via Akihabara News:

With slim and compact PCs, MiniPC was a pioneer in Japan, and today they announced a new Atom or Core 2 Duocapable MiniPC, the GF27 (Atom N270) and GF45 (Core 2 Duo FSB 1066MHz) available in different configurations with the choice of 1 3.5” HDD or 2 2.5” HDDs, Dual LAN, DVI or not…

More on this from EnGadget:

MiniPC, the maker of one of the more enduring utilitarian case designs, has sprung a new nettop out of the bag, which it hopes will compete with the likes of the Eee Top and Wind Top, alongside an update to its Core 2 Duo-infused line of um, mini computers. The GF27 is the company’s first dip into the Atom pool with an N270, up to 2GB RAM, gigabit Ethernet, VGA and DVI outputs. And if it’s power you want, the GF45 offers a juiced-up selection of C2D laptop parts, from the P8400 up to the T9600, with up to 4GB RAM, and whatever 3.5-inch or pair of 2.5-inch drives you can stash inside it. Barebone prices will begin at ¥52,000 ($547) for the GF27 and ¥58,000 ($610) for the GF45 when these units finally hit Japan in mid-August.

I am intrigued by the Atom powered GF27. Especially if Windows 7 lives up to expectations. That will be an excellent platform for Win7 boxes.

link to translated GF27 page is here.

MINIPC_1MINIPC_004

200907_brs2This is still the only figure that would make me break my self imposed ban on figure buying. The Black Rock Shooter. It now has an alternate version with just a sword instead of the oversize gun. So tempted ….

Via Danny Choo and  Valiantho. News was coming from the Wonder Festival convention in Tokyo. No news of a release date yet though ….

Such a fabulous figure.  I would prefer the coat on the alternate with the sword. I think the coat adds so much more movement and dynamism to that it pushes the figure over the top.

Good Smile Corp BRS page is here.

Pocari Sweat Ion Water

Pocari Sweat Ion Water

On our trip to Japan, when we cleared customs and we waiting for the infamous bus to our hotel in Tokyo, I turned to the vending machine behind me and wanted a to quench my thirst with an aunthentic taste of Japan. Something that would make me feel like I was in a different country.  Something not available in America. Scanning the choices and picking something written in English and somewhat familiar to me, I picked a bottle of Pocari Sweat Ion Water.

I really liked the slightly sweet taste and slightly thick feel of Pocari Sweat and bought several more bottles over the week. Pocari Sweat is like Gatorade with the sweetness dialed down. From the Wiki:

Pocari Sweat (ポカリスエット Pokari Suetto?) is a popular Japanese soft drink and sports drink, manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.. It was first sold in 1980.

Pocari Sweat is a mild-tasting, relatively light sweet drink and advertises itself as an “ion supply drink.” Ingredients[1] listed are water, sugar, flavourings, acids, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium lactate, and magnesium carbonate.

I do miss Pocari Sweat and find myself wishing it was available here in the States.

Luckily for me I saw a tweet from Peter Payne of Jlist and found that they carry the Pocari Sweat Powder which means I can once again enjoy the sweet taste and remeinsce.

shweebvia Jalopnik we get news of the Shweeb. A human powered monorail rollercoaster that rides in tandem so you can race your friends.

It’s called Schweeb, “to float” in German, and it’s a human-powered monorail on 656 feet of track in Rotorua, New Zealand. Not only can you go 45MPH, but you can race your friend in another one.

Oh sign me up!

from the Shweeb home page:

You jump into an aerodynamic capsule andrace like a bullet for three laps. With seven gears to play with it’s easy to get up to your top speed.

Feel the adrenalin kick in as you fly around curves swinging out 60 degrees! You soar 4m above the pond and then miss the ground by inches!

Your seat adjusts to your exact height and is as comfortable as a hammock. The highly efficient vehicles let you go much faster than a bicycle.

Race against your friends or the clock. Break a record for your age or country, and get your name up on the Hall of Fame and on this website!

htc-click-bigNews of a new Android phone from HTC has been leaking out. Clearly HTC is getting into Android in a big way after building the G1 and MyTouch on the Android. The HTC Click is leaking out, including this very nice photo that appeared on a Vietnamese website. From EngadgetMobile:

Dare we call this new shot of HTC’s alleged Click almost… artistic? It’s a great picture, almost ripe for an official press release — but as far as we can tell, there’s nothing official about it. The phone, which is said to be bringing Android to a new, cheaper target demo the same way the Touch Viva did for WinMo, has popped up on a Vietnamese message board — it’s not on, unfortunately, but you can clearly make out the presence of enough Android-required buttons to deduce that there’s some Google code under the hood here.

HTC is apparently getting into Android even further with news that HTC is will make half of their lineup Android based over the coming year. (Our next thought is whether anyone made sure no chairs were near Steve Ballmer before breaking the news to him…)

A new Android based phone from Motorola is nearing finality with this leaked shot of a Motorola employees own phone. Too bad its a QWERTY slider style. We are not fond of its looks at all. Although Motorola is said to be working on more Android phones.

motorola-morrison-android-07-21-09Maybe this will be the year that seemed poised last fall, a rush of Android phones from different makers and carriers will jump the numbers of users. The developers will follow and apps will start coming out.

I keep wondering how the Android apps handle hardware specific functions while on other phones. Suppose you pay for an app only to find out that it uses some specific function exclusive to HTC and it does not work on your Motorola Morrison? Anyone know what they do then or how this is handled by the OS?

custom-engadet-htpcFrom the folks at Engadget we get proof that the HTPC is not dead yet.

They decided to build a custom Blu-Ray equipped home theater PC to update a previous build since Blu-ray emerged as the winner in the HD format wars.

Keep in mind that this isn’t the cheapest nor the most elaborate HTPC of all time; we aimed to hit a sweet spot between performance and price, and we attempted to include the necessities (a Blu-ray drive and a TV tuner, for instance) while painfully ignoring luxuries (such as a few 1TB HDDs) in order to meet our price goal. We’ll toss in a few of our recommended upgrades at the end, but for now, join us as we have a look at every last component used to make the $1,000 HTPC a reality.

Why you certainly could swap out components to save money they certainly showed that a PC for the living room is a viable prospect, even on a budget.

Time again for more flowers in macro. We went again to the Lilyfest in Rockbridge and I got a chance to really practise with the macro function on my camera. The weather was a bit cloudy indeed it started raining but the colors still stood out.

the whites got a bit washed out on this one but I really liked the darkness in the background.

This little Nikon is light years better than my old Olympus. Not just in terms of megapixels but everything from color to depth of field and macro focus.

I want to get a camera like the Lumix LX3 or another point and shoot with a larger sensor and the capability of saving as RAW but I am going to explore the capabilities of this Nikon first.

does this one make you dizzy?

I have been playing with angles and composition lately. In retrospect I should have turned the pot just slightly to get the price tag out of view but I did not even see it until i got home and loaded these onto the PC.

weary_worker1TokyoTimes photo blog, who has one of the best photo blogs on the ‘net,  has this entry up on the working poor in Japan.

The gold-tinted glow of Ginza, or the neon-lit nightscapes of Shinjuku and Shibuya, can easily lead one to conclude that while the Japanese may well spend a lot of time at the office, their work ethic at least means they are wealthy.

A situation that is undoubtedly true for many, although for a growing number of working poor, it is way off the mark, with hardship rather than happiness much more to the fore, whether it be in the hours they do, or their home life — if indeed they have one.

TokyoTimes also notes the excellent documentary Japan: A Story of Love and Hate is up on youtube, embed for the first part is below:

kanjifrom Spam from Japan we get a list of six reasons why we don’t need to/shouldn’t bother to learn Kanji…

(1) Without knowing kanji (or the Chinese version, hanzi), tattoos are awesome again. Imagine looking at your acquaintance’s new tattoo and not knowing that it said ‘prostitute‘, ‘idiot‘ or ’sesame chicken’. I bet you thought I was making the last one up. Nope. Now you can appreciate friends’ tattoos without wondering how you’re going to explain that they’ve tattooed the technical term for mouse genitalia on their lower back.

hahaha, I just love the tattoos. Some idiot gets “Honor and Pride tattoo’d on their arm when it actually means Sesame Chicken’. BWAHAHAHA 🙂

(6) You will never know when it’s your turn to clean the staff toilet at your place of work. What does 「火曜日」 mean? And is 「5月31日」 some kind of serial number? If anyone calls you on it, nod your head as if considering the matter hard and try to enter that number into your mobile phone handset. Screw up your face and pretend you are cracking a code like in a Dan Brown novel. If it looks like that might really make you clean that loo, consult a nearby poster of the Vitruvian Man.

heh, ready made excuses are always useful

Next Page »