September 2009


samsungw880Samsung’s 12 megapixel cameraphone is coming, awesome to have the focus controlled by the touchscreen. Via EngadgetMobile:

We might still have debates over whether the SCH-W880 represents a cameraphone or our newly minted category of phonecamera, but there’s no doubt about this: the Samsung AMOLED 12M is now official and coming to (at least) Korea in October. The specs align closely to yesterday’s info, with a 3x optical zoom, 720p video recording, dedicated camera controls, and a 800 x 480 3.3-inch AMOLED display grabbing the headlines. Touch AF makes use of the touchscreen to let you choose focus areas, while image stabilization and Smart Auto modes fill out the software side of the camera. That leaves us with scant little info on the actual phone, but you could probably fill those specs in yourself by now, right?

vagabondbigI added a new manga to my reading list. I picked up the Vizbig edition of Vagabond, a fictionalized account of the life of Musashi Miyamoto. From the Wiki:

Vagabond (バガボンド Bagabondo?) is an ongoing manga by Takehiko Inoue, portraying a fictionalized account of Miyamoto Musashi’s life, on a loose adaptation of Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi.
Growing up in the late 15th century Sengoku era Japan, Shinmen Takezo is shunned by the local villagers as a devil child due to his wild and violent nature. Running away from home with a fellow boy at age 17, Takezo joins the Toyotomi army to fight the Tokugawa clan at the battle of Sekigahara. However, the Tokugawa win a crushing victory, leading to nearly three hundred years of Shogunate rule. Takezo and his friend manage to survive the battle, and afterwards swear to do great things with their lives. But after their paths separate, Takezo becomes a wanted criminal, and must change his name and his nature in order to escape an ignoble death. Based on the book “Musashi” by Eiji Yoshikawa, Vagabond is a fictional retelling of the life of Miyamoto Musashi, often referred to as the “Sword Saint” – perhaps the most famous and successful of Japan’s sword fighters.

I am looking forward to getting more of these volumes. Miyamoto’s life is something I always wanted to know more about, even though this is a fictionalized account of his life, it will quench both a desire for shogun era history and samurai in my manga reading ant the same time.

SeasideBrian over at Gaijinbash is back. My favorite expat Tokyo blogger finally moved to a new place with an internet connection. more photos and stories, he is even in the Tokyofoodcast sake exchange. HDR photos and irreverent cultural wit are always welcome. Especially the HDR photos; more of those are always welcome.

Checkout his Flickr photostream for more of those wonderful HDR photos of Japan scenery.

copyrights to HighRanger on Flickr

copyrights to HighRanger on Flickr

Post apocalypse Australia? Looking for Max Rockantasky driving a MFP pursuit special?

No, its a dust storm in Sydney, Australia. Severe drought and gale force winds picked up huge amounts of soil from Australia’s interior and caused this orange sky. The scene immediately brought to mind the post-apocalyptic ruined city in Mad Max: Beyond Thunder Dome.

After 25 years of development Hell we may finally get another Mad Max movie,  maybe as an animated movie this time around to boot.

Tina Turner’s official video:

wildthingsareI really hope that the movie version of Where the Wild Things Are turns out to be as good as the trailer makes it seem. The book is so short, I guess that a lot depends on what extras they tacked into it and how the story plays out….

HellohatoyamaMixing a controversial political speech onto a girl giving instructions for a group of kids waiting to see Hello Kitty. Our Man in Abiko comes up with something very funny.

21sep09_leafevThe new all electric Nissan Leaf will make a whoosh sound, copied from the Police Spinners from the movie Blade Runner. via EnGadget:

One of the major disadvantages of electric vehicles, for petrolheads at least, is the lack of engine noise. How can you be proud of your beastly motor if it doesn’t roar? There are mundane considerations like pedestrian safety too, but that’s beside the point. Nissan seems to have uncovered an old copy of Blade Runner in its toolshed and decided that, yes, it might be a good idea for the Leaf EV to emit a whooshing sound inspired by the Philip K. Dick adaptation. If implemented, this will raise the car’s price somewhat, but wouldn’t you pay a premium to have your auto sound like a jet taking off? The Leaf is expected to arrive in the US in 2010, replete with its reputed 367 miles per gallon efficiency.

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