wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (photos-japan-me)
- Virtual Hanami: a timelapse (?) video of a day's worth of cherry-blossom viewing in Kyoto, ending with that famous weeping cherry tree, all lit up at night, that I unwittingly took a photo of during our honeymoon because I thought it looked cool (but it had bare branches with crows perched on them at the time!). Can't be embedded. HD is a plus for viewing (took a while to load, though). Cheesy music likely a minus (is that a MIDI file?).

- I may not post this on Facebook as I think it's a repost from either here or there, but "This is Japan" photo-montage-video (...that's not really a time-lapse!) with the really repetitive piano music is still pretty cool (brief nudity warning, as photos of walls of porn videos are included). But, dear photographers, can you tell me how to get this kind of color in my photos? Is it something I can do? I've been crushing on this kind of look lately. I don't know why. I have some theories about how it's done but I would love some pointers. There are a few shots where I think it might be a bit too yellow, but anyway.

- remanence: variance - -an ACTUAL time-lapse video of several days in Tokyo. Click on the HD button to switch to the normal view if this takes too long to load, but for full effect, you should really just double-click on the video to watch it at Youtube, and view it on HD and full-screen, because it's very pretty despite the watermark.

I like the tones of some of the photos in this, too, but they're harder to pick up on. (And these photos I posted previously. I don't have the visual vocabulary to describe what's going on with the colors or the processing. HELP.)

- Stereographics/Small Planets/Ultra Fisheye photos of places in Japan; a Flickr set that I love unduly.

- World Sand Sculpture Festival in the Tottori Dunes, Japan's own mini-sandy-desert. The theme was "fairy tales and legends" this year. I'd rather see the Hokkaido snow festival, but this is kinda neat.

大きな箱とねこ: Big Box and Cat. It's a cat, trying to and eventually succeeding at jumping in, and out of, a box. That's pretty much it. Does what it says on the tin.

Maru <3.

(Unrelatedly, I had always wondered how a Japanese restaurant could call itself something like Wagamama and be any good, but if Maki says it isn't, I'll take her word for it. (Even for Asian fusion it's no good, she says.)

Her recipes at and are excellent, by the way.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Formosa Boulevard Station in Gaoxiong featuring a blazing rainbow of a glass installation (commemorating the incident which was apparently one of the turning points in Taiwan's pro-democracy movement). Wow--I want to see this if I ever get back to Taiwan.

A clever way to see if your Windows PC might be infected with Conficker, via [ profile] tattermuffin (yes, the site is safe). More info.

All boxes are the wrong size.

(I am trying to mail something. The boxes in the house come in two varieties: Just a Bit Too Small, Dammit, or Hilariously Oversized.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Turning red after a couple of drinks maybe not harmless: it may be linked to an inherited deficiency in an enzyme called ALDH2 and an increased risk for a dangerous throat cancer, which is exacerbated if you drink (or smoke).

And you probably also read that piping hot drinks are linked to a different kind of esophageal cancer, too. (I've never been a straight-from-the-pot drinker myself.) I think this is interesting but it's not a cause-and-effect study. I'm waiting to find out what the actual connection is. At any rate, I don't think anyone should let themselves feel silly for letting their drinks cool a bit.

Via [ profile] phinnia, 6 reasons North Korea is the funniest most sadly absurd evil dictatorship ever, from (?!). Enough of it's true to my knowledge that I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of it's true, too. Oy vey, North Korea.

I'm redoing Talk to the Clouds because I kept running into the old theme as iconic of Twitter. Sigh. The new theme I'm toying with is an extremely customizable, powerful one called Atahualpa (last emperor of the Inca, what), but right now it looks very boring because I haven't customized the billion settings yet. It's a little overwhelming. I have thrown in a few of my own photos as header images; I used some that are grainy and blurry that I think look kinda cool up there, but if you think they're distracting, let me know. They rotate, which is interesting and makes it hard to come up with a unified look to the site. I'm trying to decide if I should go to the effort of finding/making an icon set to use everywhere on the site or what. I don't know. Or if I really won't want something so plain looking and I want something more integrated and decorative. I don't know. *wail*

The problem is that to get something more integrated I really have to go with someone else's package and then I will inevitably wind up looking like someone else.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (chii-yesplease!-me)
I only posted about it on Facebook, but I just realized that LJ could probably use good news too, in case you missed it.

The governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, repealed the legality of the death penalty in New Mexico. He nailed it: "Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime."

Also, the Obama administration will have the US endorse that UN statement calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality.

(And you might enjoy if you're still cranky after those two rays of sunshine--give it the URL of a website you dislike and unleash meteors, dinos, etc. all over it! Sound optional but images pretty essential. Thanks to [ profile] tikistitch.)

P. S. I'm sorry I'm posting so very much, but I'm home and I don't feel well. :/
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Touchy topics that well-meaning outsiders unwittingly bring up that are actually hot-buttons for your occupation or other group .... an interesting thread on AskMetafilter, bringing out the cranky librarians, linguists, media people, Buddhists, guitarists, archaeologists, etc.

Some of the answers are just cliched responses that people give on learning your occupation (e.g., lawyer jokes, "you don't look like a librarian") but others are things that really can spark off unwanted firestorms. Very entertaining! (And cautionary! I'm sure I've committed some of these sins.)

For simpler lulz, someone linked to Oh, so you're a [insert profession here]! How [insert whacky generalization and misguided curiosity here]? (Man, there are a lot of librarians on Metafilter.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ghibli-totoro-holidays-me)
Here are the personal projects of my LJ friends and their friends and family, which I think are great places to start your holiday shopping. I think I posted everything that was sent to me, but if I missed something, please let me know. (And I'll keep adding to this post if you missed the previous requests for your info!)

[ profile] whytraven has a book, Raven's Roads: A Little Twist of Texas (Also, all you librarians should see if this is something you can/should order!) She says "It's the tale of what it's like to take a long solo motorcycle trip. (Scary, but ultimately quite an awakening.) I've had many comments along the lines of "Oh, now I understand why you ride" from non-riders. If you like travel essays you'll probably enjoy it. :)"

[ profile] cissa has many projects:

  • Electric Celt: "My original Celtic designs on jewelry, greeting cards, t-shirts, switchplates, and more! One can also get my Celtic ogham divination system, "The Voice of the Woods," there."

  • AFMetalsmith: "My artisan jewelry in silver and gold, with glass enamels, and precious and semi-precious stones. Some of this work is for sale; some of it is not but shows my range of work. I am happy to accept commissions" [ED: but since I, [ profile] wintersweet waited so long to post this, I think it's too late now--you can always give a certificate or promise, though! I was very happy with the item I commissioned for our wedding :D]

  • And my Etsy shop: "There's some overlap here with the other 2 sites, but a lot of unique work too, in a price range of $10 and up. It's all handmade jewelry in silver and gold (mostly), and many pieces have gems. Pieces like my Trinket Rings, made to order in any size, generally ship within a week; however while I can also accept original commissions through Etsy," [same thing as above].

[ profile] tewok says: Port Righ: "I'm in a folk band called Port Righ, which mostly does trad. Scottish music, plus some Irish, sea shanteys, and some originals. I play pipes and concertina and sing for the band. We have one CD, "Na Bi Gorach" ("Don't Be Foolish", in Scots Gaelic) that's available at here and at CD Baby. Jo Morrison: My wife is Jo Morrison, and she's a superb Celtic harper. She has five CDs, including her latest "Flights of Fantasy" that's all original music. Her CDs are available at her website here and at CD Baby".

[ profile] banzchan says: "Studio Capsule - We have a zazzle account. We sell t-shirts, buttons and other stuff. All our stuff is super cute and fun. I especially, like our panda and our penguin."

[ profile] dreadpiratetait promotes her mom's stuff, saying: "I'm personally very partial to her Celtic tiles--I can vouch for the oak tree which I got for my birthday and the Celtic swans which she sent us for our anniversary. (I mention the tiles because they're very affordable.) Then there's my sister's jewelry. There's not a huge amount on her Etsy site yet because she spends far more time making jewelry and at her physical store but this gives a good idea of her work and she does do custom stuff. It's under SilverSwanDesigns. She really needs to get more of her work up there."

[ profile] jenstclair has an Etsy shop:
and says: "I also have four books in print and have copies on hand to sign if anyone is interested. They will also be on my etsy shop, though. My youngest sister Jessica has been making jewelry, and she also has an etsy shop: and she really does great work."

[ profile] two_star says: "I still have a bunch of copies of my laser-cut acrylic geometric puzzle L-topia, which I'm selling for $15 a pop."

[ profile] ellyssian's Zazzle shop: [some very appealing nature photography, and if you know any covered bridge junkies, there's a really nice calendar with images from 3 bridges.] There's a Fungus Among Us book on Blurb.

[ profile] bossymarmalade's BFF (hee!) has a shop on Etsy, Amias, with beaded jewelry and handmade crafts.

[ profile] dlandon has an Etsy shop, Dena Stoll Designs, with "handmade, cloth bags of various sizes and bags specifically for knitters."

[ profile] niac says: "I have available photographs, my flickr stream. Anything that's not people I will print for $15/print + shipping. Ask about the people. Some have signed releases, most not. "

[ profile] cortneyofeden says she "can make chainmail bracelets and necklaces. They're made from aluminum, lightweight, and I can use lots of fun colors." She can make other jewelry as well.

Finally, my ([ profile] wintersweet's) brother-in-law has cool stuff, weird stuff, and pretty stuff at Zazzle, including ties (a betta fish tie AND a Squid Pope tie?) and we both have stuff at Cafepress, including some solstice holiday items.

(Sorry, at least it's out on December 1 this time. Yes, you can still get listed if you comment. Yes, services like web design are fine to mention too.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (holidays will eat me)
I don't think it's too early to share these links, but if you're still in the allergic-to-all-holiday-stuff stage, sorry.

A lot of us are eyeing the holidays with some extra dread due to budget issues, but maybe some of these links will be helpful. Cooking holiday desserts instead of buying them, making gifts, etc., can save a lot of money if you have the time, so I figured by posting early enough, maybe you'll have time. :)

  • Since a lot of people will be cooking a holiday meal in just a couple of weeks, here's Cooking Light's Ultimate Holiday Cookbook. 73 recipes with photos, including appetizers, soups, entrees, desserts, and vegetarian recipes. (Their recipes are generally tasty, reliable, and reasonably healthy; a plus and a minus is that they don't use a lot of tricks like, you know, non-fat "cheese" or sugar substitutes or that kind of thing. So it's real food without the preservatives, bizarre textures, and general strangeness you get from cheating to make ultra-"light" items. The downside is that if you are on a highly restricted diet, their recipes won't work for you. It's a great alternative to sources like Bon Appetit, though, where they seem to just dump cream and butter and lard in everything without thinking about whether they actually need it, so it's a great happy medium for me.)

  • 34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself from Get Rich Slowly, including more links at the bottom and in the comments. And yeah, it's not too early to start now if you're making stuff--it always takes longer than you think it will. (I am always happy to get handmade gifts, including food items! I also love secondhand books, and I think it's worth asking your friends to see if they're cool with that too. Two used books > one new book, or one used book > no books, haha.) Here's a MeFi thread on best/worst homemade gifts.

  • Paper madness! Printable holiday "coupon" templates from Microsoft, mod tree gift tags, more gift tags, sturdy Japanese paper box, box templates, use a square of cloth and do it furoshiki-style and make the cloth and a printout of the instructions part of the gift(Actually, printing up a bunch of the best ideas from Papercraft World and Papercraft Paradiseonto awesome paper, with markers and scissors and a cool folder, would be a neat gift for a kid or kid-type person.) (Thanks to [ profile] flourish for the idea! She also suggested classic Victorian/mid-century DIY decorations, but I have run out of steam.)

  • PROMOTE YOUR STUFF OR SERVICES! The last several years I've run a post where I link to your online shop, commission information, etc. Let's do that again this year. Leave your info in a comment along with a sentence or two (or whatever) explaining what kind of things you have/do and who might like your stuff. Anything from your website to a Cafepress page to an LJ post with info or whatever is fine. I'll gather the info and post it all in one post in a week or two. (I think someone else on my f'list did this already; I had a tab open so I could reply but I totally failed to and then had to restart at some point. Sigh.) NB: Please don't assume I know your website or anything; I'm not going to list you unless you comment here (because maybe you have too much business already, for all I know!), so please comment if you would like a shot at more business.

I'm thinking of making some Geek Gift Coupons PDFs myself--e.g., "1 Session of Your Favorite Game," "1 Session Tanking Services," etc.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Netflix users: You might like , which lets you evaluate your Netflix usage (how much are you really spending per movie? etc.).

Another new Alltop page:

Contest: "Rebrand" a literary novel with a mainstream/pop fiction cover style. I hope someone remembers to post a link to the results, because I can't wait. I'm too lazy to use Photoshop and enter the contest, though (and I have no good ideas anyway).

OMG WAIT WHAT: Origami space shuttles! (well, paper airplanes.) ... To be tossed to Earth from space! Did I read that right? Would 400F resistance really be good enough? I think I must have read that wrong.

It's chilly! I need to buy slippers. Also, 'tis the season to make sure I keep some boxed Trader Joe's creamy tomato soup around. I'd really go for a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup right now.

Oops: Usually I make sure to check fabric labels at Lane Bryant, but this pretty purple sweater I got last month is, apparently, "reshape, dry flat, and warm iron." Ugh. It's pretty thin and soft and is going to look great with a black turtleneck under it, but ... gah. Who wants to iron a sweater? Not me. And I usually try to simply not buy anything that says "reshape" on it, oy.

(Actually, it's "reshape whilst wet"--perhaps made in Bangladesh or something, but I can't actually find the label with the fabric contents and where it was made.)

Here's the sweater (the color's a bit more heathered than the photo). Apparently it's rayon/nylon. Hrm.


Oct. 9th, 2008 11:13 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Steampunk "Twelfth Night" in NYC. Obviously, I can't go, but it looks awesome.

Age of Sail

Oct. 9th, 2008 11:02 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (wachifield-pirate-me)
Thanks to [ profile] brown_betty, I've discovered [ profile] despatches, which is a kind of LJ newsletter for "Age of Sail" fandom, including PotC, Horatio Hornblower, Temeraire, Aubrey-Maturin, Austen, etc. (and according to [ profile] brown_betty, also Heyer etc.).

If only they'd explicitly include Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, I'd be very happy indeed.

I'm only slowly getting into Temeraire/Hornblower/O'Brian, but anyway, [ profile] assaultdoor is already into them, so the news posts are good. Posts consist of fanfic links at the topic, which I will likely largely skip (I just can't get into fanfic for the most part), but there are news and other links at the bottom.

wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (potc-droppedmybrain)
This morning I had a non-standard headache (that is, a headache that didn't feel like a migraine, which is my standard headache). I took my temperature: 98.9. I took it again, because my temperature is never right the first time. 105.9! Gah! I took it again a few minutes later: 102.9! Yeah, time to go thermometer shopping. Now I have one that takes a reading in just a couple of seconds, with a nickel-sized, round display that lights up green, yellow, or red according to (conventional standards for) whether you have a fever. And my temperature is 98.7, thanks.

I think this is important:
They've sent science questions to congressional candidates (and Obama and McCain). Relatively few candidates have answered, but you can encourage your local candidates to fill out the form. Let them know that science is IMPORTANT.

Financial blogger is shocked that snacks at the movies are really expensive and turn an already pricey outing into a ridiculously expensive 120 minutes. Duh. Yes, if you're trying to be frugal, don't buy food at a movie theater! Sheesh.

Actually, I'm just redirecting my real outrage--the real reason I'm upset is that Portland apparently has at least 5 discount movie theaters. The Bay Area only has one that I know of, and it's far enough away that I'm not too interested in going. I would if I lived closer, because I've heard nothing but good things about it from [ profile] mactavish and others. Milpitas used to have one--we went there once before it "closed for relocation" and never reopened. Sigh. A matinee here is around $8 and an evening movie is at least $10.

*checks Portland community college math/CS-teaching positions again*

Speaking of, um, other states: WSJ report on a study on personality trait distribution in the US. Yeah, I'm sure people will be punching holes in it ASAP, but it's kind of interesting. Click on the Interactive Graphics tab at the top for details (I have a feeling the resulting tables aren't screen-reader-friendly, sorry!).

Via [ profile] geographile.

Via [ profile] pegkerr:
Authors can donate books to the fundraiser; readers who donate $250 to the Obama campaign will receive 5 books. Creative, I guess!

So tomorrow we're driving to Pasadena, leaving around 9:30. Of course, we'll get stuck with the horrible dilemma of WHERE TO HAVE LUNCH ON I-5. I imagine we'll get hungry somewhere north of Bakersfield. Sigh.

We'll probably have dinner in Alhambra or Pasadena. Our motel is in Alhambra, but we're thinking of going to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena unless someone else has a better suggestion about how to entertain ourselves. We discussed trying to venture into LA proper and decided against it. We're also going to go to the Famima, of course.

If you have suggestions about where to eat around Alhambra or Pasadena, please let me know. Pasadena, not surprisingly, seems to have a lot of very good and very expensive restaurants that we can't afford (according to my stroll through Yelp).
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I know there are a lot of grad students on here, so I thought I'd pass this on. I'm hoping I can find some people to help me out there. We'll see. Anyway, I got this from the excellent Tomorrow's Professor mailing list, which I recommend to anyone in higher ed.

Crossposted to [ profile] loveandacademia.

The Graduate Junction

The Graduate Junction,, is the first website to bring together Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral researchers from any discipline around the globe. It aims to provide an easy way to meet and
communicate with others who share common research interests in a global multi-disciplinary environment. Through The Graduate Junction you can learn about current research being undertaken by other graduate
researchers all over the world. The Graduate Junction also aims to become a central source of relevant information.

This new free online resource has been developed by graduate researchers at Durham and Oxford University (UK). They have designed a simple, easy to use platform which only provides relevant information and
functionality. More information about The Graduate Junction’s vision, its Team and university testimonials are available online.

Launched in May 2008, early versions of The Graduate Junction, with limited publicity, attracted more than 8000 researchers from over 70 countries to register. Now with a redesigned site, an expanded Team and articles in well established press such as The Chronicle of Higher Education (US) and The Times Higher Education (UK), the community is growing rapidly.

Please help us to build an online global graduate research community. If presently you cannot find exact matches to your research interests, fill in some very basic details about your own research and as the news
spreads, others will be able to find and contact you! The information listings have only just been added so it will take some time to provide comprehensive coverage. If you are organizing a conference or involved
with a graduate journal and want to list it for free please contact us. If you support our vision please help us spread the news to other researchers at your institution.


Sep. 11th, 2008 06:24 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

Put in a surname and see its geographical distribution.

Be sure to scroll down for more info!

(Fun to combine with theName Voyager, as someone on Metafilter mentioned, but much more global! I had no idea Ryan was so common in Australia, or that Byers is more common--%wise--in Canada than in the US.)

(EDIT: I should mention that it definitely has some bugs. Entering one friend's Japanese surname brought up a distribution of 1.8/M in Japan and 0.4/M in the US, which is possible, but the map colors were backwards. And some of the other data is clearly hinky as well, but it's still fun to play with. Hm, maybe I should put in C.'s actual German family surname rather than the Irishized one they've been using for the last 80 years.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Yeah, yeah, ganked from Metafilter:

Really interesting, mostly Soviet-era (a few more recent) original posters for Hollywood and international movies released in Poland.

Also, the comments are just so awesome, in the most sarcastic use of "awesome" possible. To wit:

"Many of you may call these “art”, but maybe you are just giving them too much credit because they are old. To me, they just remind me of all those dirty, boring, drab things from decades ago. Like watching TV shows from the early 90’s."

Duuude, yeahhh, totally! Like, that "Wanted" poster totally blew all of these out of the water, man!


Some of these would make great icons, like the Pink Panther and Short Circuit 2 designs. Even the ones I think are creepy and I wouldn't want to look at for very long are still kind of interesting. Neat stuff.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Cute! Hobbitish Japanese styrofoam dome houses. I totally want one.

The Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest winners, hosted by nearby SJSU, are out!

Joanne watched her fellow passengers - a wizened man reading about alchemy; an oversized bearded man-child; a haunted, bespectacled young man with a scar; and a gaggle of private school children who chatted ceaselessly about Latin and flying around the hockey pitch and the two-faced teacher who they thought was a witch - there was a story here, she decided.


Kitten in San Jose needs a home! My friend [ profile] tattermuffin is hanging on to the kitten, but she needs to be adopted by someone. She looks so cute! Somebody? Please?
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
You might want to check out USA 2020 Political Simulation. [ profile] idealistagain is working on it, and it looks interesting. There's a lot of information at the website, so take a peek. There's also an LJ community: [ profile] usa2020.

If you're interested in becoming an administrator, you can e-mail getinvolved [a.t]
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

This is really the real Wall Street Journal, yes?

They have an article on 4chan. And rickrolling. And ... no, this cannot be real.

(The MeFi link to it is funny--billed as "The Wall Street Journal invites kids onto lawn.")

Bwuh. The parody writes itself!

(Also, wouldn't the real Wall Street Journal know what the plural of "phenomenon" (see sidebar) is? Sigh. Now I'm kind of sad that it's real.)

Also, via [ profile] telophase: USAmericans are invited to take this survey about "American Jewish Language" (Yiddish and so forth). Both non-Jewish and Jewish respondents are needed.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
So Japantown has had some changes since the last time I was able to actually go through everything. Luckily, they're mostly good changes.

- Kinokuniya has a bottom floor with most of the manga and stuff. ([ profile] hoshizora, they've put PiQ in the Japanese art/media mag section near S Magazine and all.)
- There's a real purikura place now with staff and all! If you haven't done it, purikura is a great way to waste $5--imagine a HUGE photo booth with green screen capabilities, after-editing, and more, and the results are printed out on stickers (sometimes rubber stamps and stuff, too). In Japan and Taiwan, purikura places have dozens of booths, a closet with funny hats and boas and fans and other costume items, full-length mirrors, staff, paper cutters (to divvy up your results), etc. Pika Pika, the new place, has all of this stuff. It's also full of Asian-American 13-year-olds, but heck, go in anyway. (Here, check out Flickr's purikura results, which include a few interior shots of such places in Japan, but mostly scanned photo stickers.)
- Coming soon: a manga kissa/manga cafe, Manga Cafe Mika. I'd always thought one would be worth a try, but kind of assumed it might not be legal or something in the US. I think they're opening April 26.
- Another very nice looking tea place, Kissako Tea (under the stairs near the castle model). They'll be having cosplay cafe service four times this year. Yeah, it's a matter of time till a maid cafe ...
- The hotel where we got married has been overhauled and is now the Hotel Kabuki. Stupid name, but their improvements look like actual improvements. The koi pond and garden where we were married has been preserved, too.

We caught a few performances and managed to entertain the entire Suzuki Kai dance/kimono club from Kagoshima, because after their performance we headed for a water cooler outside the room. The cold handle was really difficult to use; [ profile] assaultdoor is stronger than I am so he was able to wrangle into into dispensing cold water. Then the kimono club came out, all tired and rushing for the water, but they couldn't operate it either. We exchanged some hesitant English and Japanese, and [ profile] assaultdoor wound up operating the dispenser for each one of them. The second or third lady he helped exclaimed かわいそう. Heh. Anyway, I'm glad that I was able to actually produce some spoken Japanese for once, even if I did mentally cross "atsui" (hot) and "akai" (red)--a mistake I've never ever made before. I'm really bad about actually speaking up, so that was progress.

There was a nice new art exhibit/competition, "Japonisme," too. So the day went well despite the bad start.

Despite some of the other deliberately LSD-evocative games on this particular website, I think Harmful Park: High-Brow Gag & Pure Shooting wins my personal prize for wackiest, most Japanese game. No, really, just go look. The review contains the classic line "Also, check out the cow abduction in the background." Also, "Not only is this massive Frankenstein giving you the finger, but it's being controlled by a dancing cat in his head." YES.

(Secret message to [ profile] kyspaz: Cattle mutilations are up!)

Google Maps' new live traffic and traffic prediction function is nice. has such a thing too, but Google's involves less clicking. (Load your route, then click on Traffic, and "Change" if you want to go to prediction.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I know a couple of you are contemplating major home repairs soon (foundations, roofs, etc.), and a few of you have started your own businesses recently, so I thought you might be interested in this Ask MeFi post about Angie's List:

I'd been wondering for a while whether it was a scam or something useful.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
[ profile] fastfwd and [ profile] matociquala got a good plug for their stories in Rewired, a "post-cyberpunk" anthology, which I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on. ((Direct Amazon referral link to Rewired.)

Also via BB, a team from the Hokkaido Research Institute has built "melody roads" that play a tune through your car using groves in the road. Oh, Japan! I can't decide if this is the most wonderful or most annoying thing ever!

As noted on BB, this is one way to let drivers know they're going the right speed, eh?

Lonely Planet has a photo challenge pool on Flickr, through which you can enter your photos to win LP guidebooks.

I'm going to go see my unofficial thesis advisor this afternoon. I'm so worried about whether I'll sound even vaguely intelligent/informed. Gyah. (I'm not good at recalling theory-related details on the spot, and I am mostly self-taught on this subject, so I'm likely missing big pieces of the big picture, too.)


wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

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