Thursday, December 22, 2005
For people living in Japan who have always wondered where to buy cardboard boxes other than the handy post office, Askul sells boxes in sets of 10. They have a wide variety of sizes to choose from. I am unlikely to need 10 boxes at a time unless moving though.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Shinjuku is pretty these days. Specifically, the area around Takashimaya Times Square (not a square as far as I can tell) has pretty holiday lights out. Apparently it is titled "Snow Cosmic Fantasy" this year.
By the way, the other day I passed a club titled "Evil Yokohama" in Yokohama. I'm not sure what clientele they're going for...
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Also, I like tender, tasty pork (who doesn't?), and soft but chewy noodles. Al dente pasta I can understand, but not ramen noodles.
肥後のれん（ひごのれん）のひごラーメン：Higo Noren apparently has several shops but I've only visited the main branch in Shinjuku. The パーコーめん is the specialty, but I tried the Higo ramen on my only visit. All-around perfect とんこつ ramen! The pork was flavorful and tender, the noodles were the perfect texture, and the soup was delicious. The only down side is that the shop is small and a bit dingy. Not a place to go for atmosphere, but great for a bowl of ramen. I can't wait to go back.
天下一品（てんかいっぴん）のこってりラーメン：Tenka Ippin is a Kyoto chain which has a couple locations in Shinjuku alone. It's been reliably good, and wow, the thick soup is very densely flavored (this is not a healthy soup!). I like that, but people new to ramen might want to try the あっさり(assari) version, which is supposed to be light. I've only been there twice and I've gotten こってり(kotteri) both times. The noodles are the perfect consistency; soft but chewy. The pork is average from what I remember, and there is only one slice if you order the regular.
I shouldn't write these reviews when I'm hungry.
Yesterday was nice. I got a little Uniqlo shopping in (like Old Navy, but better quality), studied for a couple hours, and went to sleep early. The Indian curry last night put me out like a sleeping pill. Maybe it was the lassi.
Hoping to get my haircut this week, but so far the hair salon has been closed by 8pm.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
It's kind of amusing what you can use the WWW for.
My first paragraph reads like a really boring set of if-then statements. I was just trying to be clear...
Second attempt to say the same thing as the first paragraph:
To check that I am using a verb with the proper particles or articles, I search for my usage, to see if Japanese websites display the same pattern. I'm going on the assumption that the more pages there are that use the pattern, the more accurate the grammar is likely to be. Of course, there is a margin of error, since not everything on the web is accurate. But it assures me that my grammar is at least not wildly inaccurate. (Double negative!)
I give up. Maybe I can write clearly tomorrow.
Korean bbq on Sunday! 期待しています。
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I just noticed that there is an electric hot water heater under the sink at work. That explains why I recently noticed that we had hot water in the bathroom. I hadn't noticed the water before so I wondered if it had changed recently. Apparently it did. I wonder why the office felt the need for hot water. It's nice to have though.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
"If you give away all your coins, you won't have any left for the trains. Which will mean you will end up with more coins. So you might as well get over it and start carrying a coin purse."
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Animal Farm; George Orwell
The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Thornton Wilder
The Catcher in the Rye; J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath; John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby; F. Scott Fitzgerald
Invisible Man; Ralph Ellison
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; C.S. Lewis
Lord of the Flies; William Golding
The Lord of the Rings; J.R.R. Tolkien
1984; George Orwell
To Kill a Mockingbird; Harper Lee
I would be upset, except for the fact that a lot of books that I think are brilliant weren't on the list.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Today some kids were yelling at the ticket gate of a train station, and all the commuters nearby were staring around nervously. It was kind of odd. Of course, it's not such a big train station, but I just ignored it and went on my way to work.
People are pretty quiet inside the trains too. Only rarely are there loud conversations. Half of the time the people talking loudly are foreigners, haha.
Mystery of life: why can't I sit up straight? After a couple minutes I end up slouching in a position that takes as much effort as sitting up straight.
Friday, October 14, 2005
I ran into a classmate from college yesterday. I still can't get over the shock. I saw him in Shinjuku, of all places! Only the biggest commuter-filled station in all of Japan. We apparently take the same line to work though, so I ran into him at the ticket gate for the line. Opposite directions though. How totally random! He's the one who saw me; I was in my usual morning daze where I have to focus all my attention on getting to work as fast as possible. I'm not really late, it's just amusing to rush. Especially when everyone is running around, it's best just to get in and out of Shinjuku as fast as possible.
On a side note, as an American, it sounds odd to say "I went to University" when my school is called an Institute. Semantics?
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
From The Washington Post:
Calvin sounded like a 6-year-old psychotic on Ritalin one day and a Yale lit grad the next.
It's sad that Bill Watterson stopped the comic, but what he left us with is so brilliant that I can't complain.
And his lack of commercialism is refreshing. Look at the Harry Potter author or the creator of Dilbert. Completely different.
Calvin and Hobbes are the best!
Saturday, October 01, 2005
2 months left until the day of the Japanese Proficiency Language Test (level 1).
Ignoring the looming deadline, I'll work hard and study every day.
Ah, this is why I don't usually write in both Japanese and English. How do you say "looming deadline" in Japanese? 「考えずに」is just "I won't think about it" or "ignoring that" as far as I know.
And the ALC dictionary comes through! すばらしい！
# looming deadline
# face a looming deadline for
try 1) 締め切りに追われることを考えずに頑張って毎日勉強します。
try 2) 締め切りに追われることを無視して、頑張って毎日勉強します。
For some reason I like 「考えずに」.何故でしょうか？
Friday, September 30, 2005
Apparently, you're supposed to remove the cap when you recycle a PET bottle. I only fully realized that today. Oops. Of course, that means that the lovely plastic cap does not get recycled, which is a bad thing.
Like we need more plastic which degrades very verrry slowly (slower than George Bush's brain, can you imagine that?) cluttering up the world. At least the aluminum bottles get completely recycled (I think). I will have to stop using PET bottles.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
FEMA did not set a self-directed course towards disaster. A career professional who made it a model agency was replaced with a political crony who rendered it a useless mess. Now conservatives are crying out that Katrina has proved the public sector inefficient, and we should give the same leader who weakened FEMA the opportunity to award private contracts for future disaster-relief. We should trade political patronage for crony capitalism.
Bush's decisions transformed a remarkably efficient government agency into a fatally incompetent one, so conservatives want to let him do it a second time. It's completely insane. This isn't a private vs. public debate -- contrast Clinton's FEMA with Bush's version to see that. But the right would much prefer that it was. Democrats should make sure voters understand that Bush took a superb organization and destroyed it by handing control to a politically-connected incompetent. Republicans who demand we let him do it a second time in a less reversible manner should be laughed out of the room.
The Naval Medical Center in San Diego's Balboa Park was shut down to accommodate a visit by President George W. Bush Aug. 30, RAW STORY has learned, forcing patients to cancel chemotherapy treatments and hundreds of scheduled patient visits.
"I'm sorry ma'am, the President is coming for a photo op so we can't give you chemotherapy today."
And then he cancelled his photo op. So all these people were inconvenienced for nothing!
In other news, Barbara Bush says Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans.
In fact, Bush thinks he was extraordinary with Katrina, while his wife thinks it's Hurricane Corrina.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Journalists question official response to the catastrophe.
On "Meet the Press," Tim Russert cited President Bush's comment that no one anticipated the breaching of the New Orleans levees, saying: "How could the president be so wrong, so misinformed?" Russert also loudly lectured Chertoff on the dispatching of evacuees to the city's convention center: "There was no water, no food, no beds, no authority there. There was no planning."
The first to blow the whistle on the initially color-blind coverage was Slate media columnist Jack Shafer, who wrote Wednesday: "Race remains largely untouchable for TV because broadcasters sense that they can't make an error without destroying careers. That's a true pity. If the subject were a little less taboo, one of [the] anchors could have asked a reporter, 'Can you explain to our viewers, who by now have surely noticed, why 99 percent of the New Orleans evacuees we're seeing are African-American?' "
Third World scenes in New Orleans
An interesting article on poverty: The Daily Crush Of Poverty, Strong As Any Storm
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
My one complaint is the air between the couple. If there weren't space between their faces, the picture would be perfect. Maybe it's just me. But the bride's hair and dress are picturesquely windswept and the scene is absolutely magnificent. Yes, I'm gushing, but I love Alice's work. I also adore black and white pictures.
Alice is available for international bookings :)
At the hosting site there is the cutest picture of a puppy. My Spanish is pretty poor but I think the poster titled the picture, "Conquerer of the World."
HipHop is so international it's funny. Mystic was apparently at a hip hop festival in Denmark. I'm so glad to hear that she's active. She writes such intelligent lyrics that it would be waste to lose her as an artist.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Kobayashi ate 83 dumplings in 8 minutes the day before the contest in a preliminary round.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
for the service but stopped half-way. However, sms.ac already imported
my email list so they may send you spam. If that's the case, I deeply
apologize. If I'm lucky, any invitation emails from that site will go
straight into people's spam folders.
update: so far it doesn't look like I spammed anyone. Thank goodness!
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Word of the day: 正反対（せいはんたい; seihantai): opposite, antithesis, clear contrary. The meaning is fairly clear from the characters that compose the word. Making progress on the Japanese study, but I don't know if I'll be aiming for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level 1 or not. There's more than twice as much kanji to learn! Not to speak of the grammar involved.
I caught a ping pong lesson on TV on Thursday evening. I love Japanese tv. Very convenient after playing table tennis for the first time in a couple years last Sunday. The pros make it looks so easy.
I caught this very odd looking tv dating show where 8 people (4 men and 4 women) live together in a house. They all have to wear masks the entire time that they are in the house.If they decide to leave the house, then they reveal their faces. The masks are like the masks in The Tick. It's rather off-putting at first. They look so weird! But the point of the masks is to base the relationship on personality as opposed to appearance, and get to know a person's heart first.
If a person falls in love with another person, he/she asks the love interest to move to the second stage where they live with each other separately from the other members of the house, but remain masked. If the love interest declines the request, the rejected person unmasks and leaves the house, and a new person moves in.
A lot of the mundane details are cut out so the tv show just shows any events and new developments. The people go to work normally during the day but the women all sleep in one room and the guys all sleep in another, so it's got the feel of a dorm.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
I went to Yottekoya Ramen to try their tonkotsu-based ramen. They have 3 flavors: the kiosk style tonkotsu soy sauce soup, the plain tonkotsu soup, and tonkotsu salt soup. Plus some other types. I tried the tonkotsu salt type. It wasn't bad at all. The pork could be more tender but the flavor wasn't bad. I liked the thinly sliced scallions and slender bean sprouts mixed in with the soft noodles. I will go back and try the kiosk style tonkotsu soy sauce soup and make a final decision. I probably would rank this place as ok. Not bad, not great. Just good.
In an unrelated note, I wonder why I've been so bad about replying to emails lately. I have a 4 or 5 month backlog.
Yesterday I had a pleasant meal at Mi Piace in Sasazuka. They have lovely fresh pasta (made from scratch). The asparagas tagliatelle was delicious. I'd be delighted if they'd start carrying desserts, but it's probably healthier that they don't. One of the chefs is rather unfriendly, but the lady (part-owner?) is very nice.
I can't find any place which carries soup. Unless I go to Soup Stock Tokyo, but the closest branch is in Shinjuku station and is really crowded. Ramen just doesn't cut it when I want soup.
スープの店を探しているけどなかなか見つけられません。Soup Stock Tokyoは新宿駅にあるけど、いつも込んでいるので余り行きたくない。
I had tan tan men on Wednesday. Quite tasty.
I should get my phone's camera fixed. Then I'd be able to post pictures of what I ate.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Secure Flight is a disaster in every way. The TSA has been operating with complete disregard for the law or Congress. It has lied to pretty much everyone. And it is turning Secure Flight from a simple program to match airline passengers against terrorist watch lists into a complex program that compiles dossiers on passengers in order to give them some kind of score indicating the likelihood that they are a terrorist.
To make it even scarier, the Department of Homeland Security (so-called) is pushing for less independent Congressional oversight, and to allow the TSA to use commercial databases to invade our privacy. So we don't need Congressional oversight because we can trust TSA?!?! These Homeland security people are obviously delusional. I really don't see why we let drug users try to keep us safe. You're not making any sense, Mr. President.
"It boggles the mind that after you start with a strong position against commercial data and then you have the agency caught red-handed doing things it said it would not do -- that the GAO has said were unlawful -- then for Congress to say, 'Oh, that doesn't matter, in fact, you can do it some more if you explain it,'" Tien said. "That doesn't make any sense if you care about privacy."
The Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, said in March that Secure Flight had yet to pass nine out of 10 tests required for certification.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I was looking for postgreSQL introductions when I ran across
this post. I mostly agree with the assessments of the major news anchors. Who is this Wolf Blitz guy? Must be after I gave up on TV news in disgust in 2001.
U.S. TV Olympic coverage is worse than useless. It actively kills brain cells. If only they would actually cover the sports...
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I wonder who I'd call a legendary actor. Sidney Poitier? Morgan Freeman? It's hard to think of legends who are still alive today. I probably shouldn't say anything since I have seen so few movies. But I thought Al Pacino and Marlon Brando were very impressive in the Godfather. Judi Dench is pretty cool. Lauren Bacall seems like a pretty darn legendary character, but I can't say I've seen any of her films.
I think Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Tilly are very impressive actresses. I don't know if I've even seen any of Tilly's films, but her ability to play wildly different characters is fascinating.
Hayao Miyazaki is a legendary director. :D
Marilyn Monroe is a fascinating and rather tragic figure. Gloria Steinem has a very interesting essay regarding her experience interacting with Monroe in an acting seminar. It left me with the impression that Monroe just wanted to be happy, but she never managed to find happiness.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Like the ketchup fanatic, the "マヨラ" thinks mayonnaise goes with everything, but it is normally found in a large variety of Japanese dishes. Traditionally お好み焼き（おこのみやき okonomiyaki) is topped with decorative lines of mayonnaise. Seafood pizza such as Pizza-Hut Japan offers comes with a liberal helping of mayonnaise. Many of the japanese rice balls called おにぎり(onigiri) may have mayonnaise, including the "sea chicken" type which contains tuna mixed with mayonnaise. Today I had a つくねおにぎり(tsukune onigiri, grilled ground chicken) which had a dollop of mayonnaise between the rice and the chicken. It was really tasty, but Japanese mayonnaise is a bit rich so it was a little heavy for breakfast. I love Japanese mayonnaise in very small quantities.
By the way, the kewpie doll created by Rose O'Neill is the mascot of the most popular Japanese brand of mayonnaise, which is called Kewpie Mayonnaise. Introduced in 1925, the product is overwhelmingly popular, and often called simply Kewpie.
Friday, July 15, 2005
All of this implies that the SCO CEO Darl McBride is deliberately lying or is completely ignorant of UNIX and Linux. Does he have any idea what he's talking about? Corporations are absolutely fascinating.
Once a company gets that stupid, something drastic has to be done.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
It was an interesting talk. Seki presented statistics from several studies regarding the current status of the blogging industry and the anticipated market. I found the data gathering methods pretty interesting. In one study, they surveyed a sample size and extrapolated the results to the entire population. Another study looked at ping counts from existing blogs and used that to estimate the total number of blogs in Japan.
I think the current popularity of blogs is a reminder that good tools are always going to be useful, and they may drive interesting innovations in unexpected areas. Essentially web presence is really cheap and there are a lot of opportunities to use that.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Also, a column on why giving the customer power will make a site successful. Rather interesting. I was really irritated when ofoto.com started requiring periodic purchases in order to maintain my account there. I think Netflix is great. The killer feature is having no late fees, but I also like the huge selection.
Of course, I don't own a dvd player. heh.
In that respect, Yodobashi fails miserably compared to Bic Camera. At Bic Camera's site, I typed into the search bar the name of the game I was looking for and hit enter. Done. All found. At Yodbashi, I typed in the name of the game and hit enter, and got a Yodobashi page with no message text; just the regular default menu bar and copyright footers. Very informative. I didn't even know if the search found anything; as far as I know the site hit a bug while trying to search. I tried browsing and after clicking through 10 pages actually found the game I was looking for, but searching for it gave me a blank page or no results, at various times. I went back to the site after 20 minutes and the search finally worked properly. I guess the site was broken.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman said a litany of comments by Democratic elected officials and their liberal allies underscored Rove's point. "It is outrageous," he said, "that the same Democratic leaders who refused to repudiate or criticize Dick Durbin's slandering of our military are now attacking Karl Rove for stating the facts. . . . Karl didn't say the Democratic Party. He said liberals."
I'm not sure how Mehlman defines facts, but I'd like to see how he proves that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's statement "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers" is a fact. Any way you look at Rove's claim, it's an inflammatory generalization. It's like saying "all Republicans are conservatives," which is blatantly untrue. Some are liberal, some are conservative, some are moderate, and lots are crazy.
Anyway, I'd still like to know what the Bush Administration plans to do about Osama Bin Laden. Hello? It's like they all got selective amnesia: "Bin Laden who? Who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001? Huh? You mean it wasn't Iraq? You mean Hussein had nothing to do with it? Are you sure?"
I feel so safe.
Why? The date displayed for my virus definition file hasn't changed since April. Oh, sure, Symantec will periodically update new virus definitions, but the date displayed hasn't changed at all. I tried the troubleshooting instructions on the Symantec site but they didn't help at all. Thank goodness you can retrieve files from the trash.
problem is that people do not think.
The FBI "witch-hunt" in Lodi
By Veena Dubal and Sunaina Maira
On June 7Th 2005, national and international media attention focused on the small, agricultural town of Lodi, located approximately forty miles south of Sacramento. The FBI arrested and detained two individuals, both Pakistani-Americans, who they suspected had AL-Qaeda affiliations.
The investigation was presented as a "terrorism case" by the government and news sources. The initial affidavit released to the media said that U.S.-born Hamid Hayat, had attended a terror-training camp in Pakistan along with "hundreds" of other terrorists, and returned to the US intending to "attack . . . hospitals and large food stores." This kind of detail resulted in a flood of sensationalized media coverage, portraying 23-year old Hamid as a prospective mass murder and his father, Umer Hayat, a 47-year old ice cream truck driver, as the financial supporter and mastermind of an alleged "Lodi terrorist cell".
Neither allegation, however, was in the affidavit filed with a federal court in Sacramento the same day.
The FBI retracted their affidavit alleging Hamid's plot to attack domestic targets and began downplaying the seriousness of the presumed threat the men posed. Both Hamid and Umer were ultimately charged only with lying to federal investigators about Hamid's visit to Pakistan in 2003.
Three other Muslim men from Lodi, among them two respected imams, were also detained on suspected visa violations. One of the imams had actually been the target of FBI surveillance beginning three years ago when a secret court used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to approve wiretapping of Mohammed Adil Khan.
While the Justice Department has maintained that it was not deliberately trying to precipitate an anti-Muslim witch hunt, the difference between the two affidavits - the one released to the media and the one filed in court - as well as recent FBI activity in Lodi, speak a different story. None of the five men have been charged with carrying out or planning to commit any act of violence.
The many inconsistencies in the case and the hysteria it stoked coincided very neatly with Bush's campaign to renew and expand the 2001 Patriot Act, which can only be justified if there was an ongoing "terrorist threat" and the public continues to fear that there are Muslim or Arab terrorists in their midst.
On June 14, we traveled up to Lodi to assess the impact of the arrests and surveillance of the local South Asian community, which is estimated to consist of over 2500 Pakistanis, some of whom have been living in the town for three generations. Basim Elkarra, Executive Director of the Sacramento office of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) has been diligently organizing in response to the arrests and interrogations of local Pakistanis by FBI agents swarming into town and warned us prior to our arrival about the extent of surveillance and the fear the community felt. But no amount of warning could have prepared us for the state of near siege in the town.
As soon as we stepped out of our car in Lodi, we were made aware of the FBI's presence. Not only is the entire Muslim community being surveilled by the FBI, which had interviewed many of its members, sometimes without an attorney present, in the days following the arrest - so are the attorneys and activists who are making sure that constitutional rights are upheld. During our brief visit with Mr. Elkarra and civil rights attorneys from the ACLU, a man with a large afro-wig in a blue SUV circled us and took photos. When we tried to approach him, he fled, only to return later to take more photographs. His conspicuous appearance made us realize the extent to which the FBI harassment is not at all a secret investigation: it is an overt act of intimidation of the community at large.
One of the attorneys we spoke to noted that the community feels "terrorized." Residents believe that they are being interrogated by the FBI and placed under
automatic suspicion because they are Muslim..
Pakistanis who attended the "Know Your Rights" workshops held by CAIR in Stockton, Lodi, and Pleasanton were all subject to obvious FBI surveillance. One Muslim mother told an attorney that her young child was followed from her home to an ice cream store by an FBI car. Others complained that they were taken out of their places of employment by the FBI for questioning and then could not return because their co-workers became suspicious of them.
The most shocking of these reports was that of an incident where the FBI stormed the Hayat home, when only women and children were present, by ramming down the front door and putting a gun to a woman's head. When her eleven-year old daughter passed out, she was denied medical attention, a gross violation of human rights that outraged even the local emergency care personnel.
After handing out "Know Your Rights" fliers to community members who have been repeatedly questioned, we went to visit the Lodi mosque that is under FBI scrutiny. The mosque is a small, humble structure - a former Jehovah's Witness church - next to the cannery where Pakistani men have worked as fruit packers, in some cases for more than thirty years. South Asian and Latino children were
playing basketball together across from the mosque while older South Asian men sat on the grass, presumably relaxing after a long day's work.
Most of the Muslims who attend this mosque speak Pashtu and are from the Northwest Frontier area of Pakistan. Some have family that had been in the area since as early as 1908, working on the railroads. They told us that the FBI began coming to Lodi immediately after September 11Th, making "friends" with mosque members. The men all seemed undaunted by the FBI siege. However, it was clear within minutes that beneath the welcoming, calm exterior, was a harassed, interrogated, and scared community.
One man described to us, without looking around, exactly where each federal agent's car was parked; we saw the three large, black-tinted SUVs just yards from the mosque and the courts where the young boys were playing. Another middle-aged man said calmly, "Let them come ask us questions; we have nothing to hide." While this resilience was encouraging, we were reminded by another Pakistani man who had already been questioned several times that while he did not mind speaking to the FBI, it was frightening for his wife and children. In addition, this has led to a racist backlash by some Lodi residents agitated by the lurid media reports about Islamic terrorists and sleeper cells.
The government's investigation in Lodi has been conducted in a way that does not respect the legal rights and dignity of the Muslim community: individuals have been systematically discouraged from exercising their right to an attorney and have been disallowed access to attorneys; there has been at least one detention of an individual who was not read his Miranda warnings; and women and children have been intimidated and denied medical care. Perhaps equally disturbing, however, is that the general public has been given new reason to fear South Asians and Muslims as presumed terrorists. A community that has made this area home for over one hundred years has been investigated, intimidated, and cast under a shroud of suspicion, all within days.
Veena Dubal is a JD/PhD student at the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall, and Sunaina Maira is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California at Davis. Both are volunteers with the SF Bay Area organization, ASATA - Alliance of South Asians Taking Action.
I should start volunteering.
First, donations to J4NA and the ACLU.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Anticipating any questions that people may have and answering them in advance would be useful. Of course, there is the possibility of being verbose, but I would rather say too much than say too little. Since communication is tricky, we should avoid misunderstandings whenever possible.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
I didn't even notice the guitarist. I have to watch the video again.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Friday, June 03, 2005
Intellectuals. She has a book coming out from MIT Press. A fitting publisher for the topic. Their blogs have inspired me to write something a bit more analytical than normal. Now, if I could only communicate the following properly in Japanese.
Joi Ito has an entry on the popular anime Naruto and how BitTorrent (peer-to-peer file sharing software) has helped expand the fandom. I think it's safe to say that BitTorrent and other file-sharing applications like mIRC are helping spread fandoms and generate customers. A friend of mine was remarking that there are all sorts of random manga which have rabid followings in the U.S. although the manga aren't that well known in Japan. I guess it's a matter of individuals picking the stuff that they run across, and propagating it to other fans who basically take what they can get. I'm pretty sure that niche manga genres are thriving in the U.S. and other countries because of this.
It's pretty cool in a way. Fans (and creators) are a bit less dependent on corporate distributors and have more freedom to pick what they want. It would be nice if I could order any movie online and watch it, as opposed to having to wait for some American distributor to decide it would be profitable to bring the movie to the U.S., and hope it shows up in my local theatre or video store. Frankly, it's no fun to be dependent on the perceived taste of the average American consumer. I still can't believe who won the election.
Ito mentions how niche fans are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a particular title or show. I am probably one of those niche otaku. Although I'm not sure you'd call SlamDunk niche, would you? It's mainstream, really.
It's funny that anime and manga are pervasive in Japanese society, yet being an anime fan is being not quite normal.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Ludacris employs a lackey whose only responsibility is to ensure the rapper's GameBoy always has charged batteries.
Friday, May 27, 2005
I'm working through a very interesting paper on the separation of church and state as it is popularly called. The author of the paper states that the U.S. Constitution actually calls for "the separation of religion and state."
I remember holding a little copy of the Constitution, but certainly haven't read all of it. I should take another look.
One friend started up my browser, and waited a couple seconds for the expected home page to load. When it didn't, he hit the home button and was confused when nothing happened. Laf. He searched around the bookmarks but neither Google nor Yahoo are in my bookmarks. It would have been faster for him to just type in the url, but I guess that didn't occur to him.
Laf. Change is good.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
I have only the fuzziest idea of Vietnam's history.
I read that Chinese are told that Chinese resistance ended World War II.
An article from the Financial Times on Chinese history textbooks.
Apparently it can really be a bad thing to be a Chinese reporter in China. A 30 year old Chinese journalist was mutilated by a group of attackers who entered his home.
This is why news is depressing.
Oh, in funny news, hay fever sufferers in Japan may be able to thank China for the levels of pollen.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Laf, what a reputation Sony has.
The adapter was about $130, and the battery was about $270. Ouch! Company will cover it actually though, which is very cool. Anyhoo, anything for a reliable computer. I was stressing out about it before. I would have replaced the stuff earlier, but without replacement parts it's hard to narrow down the source of the problem. Yesterday I borrowed the parts from a guy on the same project, which is how I figured out that the problem was the adapter.
On a side note, I was in a huge rush to buy the parts this morning before work. And going to the PC parts section of Yodobashi camera, I told a salesguy that I was looking for an AC adapter. I was annoyed to be asked if it was for computers. Dude, why would I come to the PC parts section for anything else? But I guess they can't assume anything. They probably sell all sorts of adapters. Still, why aren't the PC parts kept in the PC parts floor? Weirdos. j/k.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I'm eyeing the 19" LCD monitor with TV tuner for about $680. I could get a whole setup for about $1280 ($680 + $600) but looking at U.S. Dell the computer portion is available for about $300 so I dunno. Laf.
Anyway, my primary need is for a TV. A regular TV is about $200 to $300. An LCD
14" TV is about $500. Hrm...
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Monday, May 16, 2005
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Time Magazine is reporting that the Bush Administration is removing U.S. delegates from the Inter-American Telephone Commission because they gave money to John Kerry in last year's election.
Send in the Clones! (Score:5, Insightful)
by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday April 25, @06:01PM (#12341438)
(http://www.dragonswest.com/ | Last Journal: Thursday February 24, @01:27PM)
call us nutty
I'd rather call them transparently corrupt. How about a rubberstamp government, like those we lately seem to be suggesting oughta respect democratic principles, etc. (so long as they represent the right democratic principles, unlike all those heathen socialists in South America.)
Monday, April 25, 2005
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Fundamentally, racism is to treat someone differently because of their ethnicity (or perceived ethnicity). I think it's very interesting how people justify their racism.
In my opinion, it is acceptable to hate individuals for their actions (and corporations - although their actions tend to be the result of individuals in control), but to say that you hate a nameless population because they are a specific ethnicity seems to be clear racism.
Nationality versus ethnicity is an interesting issue. For certain countries, they are almost one and the same (to an extent), although I don't think any country can claim complete homogenity of ethnicity and nationality. So, is hatred of a nation racism? It seems pretty close, but really hard to tell.
I find this interesting because Japan is a pretty homogenous nation, but there are quite a few different ethnicities here. There are the native populations, of which the Ainu are probably the most well-known. There is Okinawa, which historically was an independent nation that frequently traded with China. There are the generations of Korean descendents who have been born and bred in Japan and have recently become full-fledged Japanese citizens (I believe). There are also at least one generation of Chinese descendents who live here. So we talk about the population of Japan, it is not as homogenous as people may think.
Racism is an issue where my parents truly do not seem to understand my thinking. I think the difference must be in education. Do they talk about racism in Taiwan? I don't think they talk about it much in Japan or China. But it's a huge issue in the U.S.; I surmise because of the civil rights movement. It's very interesting how education affects consciousness.
A local sushi restaurant has a sign advertising for employees which says "no foreigners." The whole concept of racism seems to be alien. I think the U.S. concept of equal opportunity is rather alien. Of course, it took the U.S. a while to develop this concept from U.S. and European theories of justice and rights. Women's suffrage took a while! And African American suffrage took even longer. Rather different from what I know of Confucianism. Confucious had some good ideas, but he had some really stupid ones too.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Regarding a comment by some guy at CA about the Linux kernel:
Not what we want. (Score:5, Funny)
by ShaniaTwain (197446) on Tuesday April 19, @08:19PM (#12287753)
"We are not interested in the game drivers and music drivers that are being added to the kernel."
..we want text, orange, perhaps green on a black background. We want large buzzing metal boxes that only we are allowed access to. We want to store our data on large spinning reels of magnetic tape, or better yet punch cards.
also we want a sandwich.
That is all.
What is CA's motive in saying this ? They have no real experience in developing operating systems, nor are they producing data and a testing methodology to backup their opinion.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Friday, April 15, 2005
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Issue 1) The problem of viruses in Word documents.
Issue 2) They're big files
Why not use HTML? Sure, nothing is completely safe, but it's safer.
They can be easily converted to text too.
Friday, April 08, 2005
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
One option is to get a case for an existing hard disk and use that. We have a bunch of hard disks lying around apparently.
Alternatively, I could just buy the whole thing. This sounds like the simpler option.
Next, I need to decide what kind of external hard disk to get.
space: >=40 GB
price: as low as possible
I don't have very many requirements. I can get an 40 GB IODATA HDA-iU40 for 7000 yen. That was the very cheapest thing on kakaku.com.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
I'm betting it's an anime song that I'm listening to right now. It's a very pretty song. Ah, it is an anime song: 宝石（ほうせき）曲:井上麻里奈（いのうえまりな）.
The website for the radio station I'm listening to is rather amusing. It has an unfriendly blue rabbit charging at the screen.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
a number of Shinkansen bullet trains have broken speed limits between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations because of a computer programming error on an automatic train control system.
Can you imagine a cop trying to pull over a bullet train? Laf.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
My new pastime while commuting is walking through all the cars to the back of the train (closest to the station exit) while the train is moving. The doors in between the cars are fairly heavy so it takes a little effort to open them. Also it's a little challenging to keep my balance while the train is moving. It's pretty fun to move forward while the train is slowing down in the opposite direction. I found it very amusing this morning.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
A large group of pre-schoolers and their handlers lined up on the other side of the platform, by track 3, where a Keio New Line train was waiting. They were grouped by hats - the first group wore blue, the second wore pink, etc., and were lined up two by two. Unbeknownst to them, the 9:35 Keio Regular train would arrive soon at track 4. When it arrives, masses of commuters rush across the platform over to track 3 and board the Keio New Line train which heads into the bowels of Tokyo (the center really).
So, the kids and their handlers were happily lined up by the track 3 train, blocking the entrances to the trains, when the invasion arrived at 9:35. All these harried commuters rush over to track 3 and all the kids and handlers flee in fear! It was really funny. They really ran away (as best they could, as there wasn't exactly space to move to)! And all the commuters aren't exactly going to run over the little kids, so they were pretty puzzled too. I wish I could have filmed it.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Sunday, March 20, 2005
It went after some food and he dragged it away. When it was getting pulled away, it didn't have any traction on the floor so it was sliding backwards, all limbs pointed at the food. It was hilarious. Like a little baby being dragged away from colorful items. I really wanted to take a picture but the owner was busy on the phone so I didn't want to interrupt him to ask.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
It's a very nice film in my opinion. A lot more to my taste than stuff like that violent looking asian american film about stressed out yuppie kids.
It's funny how insular the American film market is. Another reason I like living in Tokyo. It's more international here.
Take Postmen in the Mountains as one example. The film was made in 1998. It was a "top box-office grosser" in Japan in 1991. Only in 1994 did it entering small independent theatres and film festivals in the U.S.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Location: Komae station on the Odakyu line.
order: Salt ramen
soup: B (ok)
スープ： B （まあまあ）
noodles: A (excellent)
pork: B (ok)
チャーシュー： B （まあまあ）
The noodles were excellent. They seem handmade and fresh. Slightly wider and perhaps a little thinner than the average. Tasty, chewy, all around excellent.
The soup was ok. Not bad. I wouldn't mind having it again. It's not as good as Santohka（山頭火）but not bad.
The pork was not bad. Again, wouldn't mind going back.
Next time I'll try the soy sauce ramen.
While enjoying my ramen, I reflected on the 3 main elements to good ramen. Of course , there are other aspects, but the core remains the soup, the noodles, and the pork.
Depending on the shop, the boiled egg, the pickled bamboo, and other portions can be important too.
So, I thought up "An Introduction to Savoring Ramen."
Before I begin, I should define "ramen." Although the Japanese often advertise ramen as a Chinese dish, it is a uniquely Japanese food. I haven't had anything Chinese like it, although it may exist in some part of China. China is a very big country so I haven't tried all the food there. Anyway, when I say ramen, I mean Japanese ramen. And I am focusing on fresh ramen, not the instant stuff that you buy in the convenience stores, although that can be an interesting discussion.
So, the first basic is the soup. The second basic is the noodles. The third basic is the pork. It is difficult to get all three right.
I like this shop in Sasazuka for their noodles, which are excellent. Their soup is ok, and the pork is ok (although the pork can be really good at times), but the noodles are yummy!
I like Santohka in Shimokitazawa for their pork and their soup. The toroniku is tend er and flavorful and is really delicious with their unique salt soup base. The noodles are ok. Average, in my opinion.
I like Sakura-somethingorother in Shimokitazawa for their eggs, and the decent tonkotsu soup. The noodles aren't bad either. But the eggs are the highlight; they are half boiled and the egg yolk is actually sweet, while the egg white is nicely salty. Really, absolutely yummy eggs. They have quite tasty gyoza too.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
It's lovely and springlike today! I can start wearing my lighter suits. Yay! Soon it'll be cherry blossom season and time for hanami parties.
花見を楽しみにしています。( ^^) _旦~~
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Friday, March 04, 2005
Crazy weather this year!
And to think that last winter it didn't snow at all.
By the way, you know that you live far when:
The trains get delayed by snow, which means that instead of arriving at 10 am, you arrive after 12.
Laf. My project leader lives way too far away (more than 2 hours).
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
I had to explain all the requirements for the U.S. passport picture, but am confident that they understand the requirements.
Then the photographer took 6 pictures. I'm sure I blinked in at least one of them. Apparently you're not supposed to smile in Japanese passport photos. And they use a blue background, although they put together a white background to meet the U.S. requirements.
It was exciting in that it was novel, and I was able to communicate adequately. Didn't have any problems really. They were very nice. I bet the pictures turn out a lot nicer than my last visa pictures. That place had an actual studio and nice fill lights. Hand focus manual camera too! Heh. My last passport photos were like mug shots.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Sunday, February 06, 2005
At least it worked in the end.
One problem: to install all the software, you need something like more than 6 gigs of space on the hard disk. Why, I'm not sure, as the estimates say only 2 something gigs. But it kept saying not enough space, so in the end I just allocated 7 gigs on the main hard disk for it.
The nice thing about installing Solaris on a virtual machine was that I could delete a hard drive and create a new one, and reinstall Solaris on that if I messed up. Of course I might have all this unused space being locked up, but as far as I know, I don't. Can you tell I'm a newbie to VMWare?
2nd problem: after using the Solaris OS disk (disk 1) to install the os, it prompts to remove the cd and reboot. On reboot, it would ask which partition to boot from, and of course I chose the Solaris partition. Apparently, this is the wrong choice, as Solaris boots nicely from the Windows partition.
Anyway, once I allocated enough hard drive space, everything went smoothly and I have a nice Solaris installation. I think. Laf. I didn't explore much. Once I was finished I went home and cleaned my apt and crashed.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Friday, January 28, 2005
The top court said, "Only Japanese are allowed, in principle, to serve as 'local officials who exercise public authority on the principle under which the sovereignty resides with the people,'" and the country's "legislation has not taken into account the appointment of foreign nationals" to such posts.
The decision was 13-2.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Also, the dictionary form of the verb is called 終止形。Full stop form, if you look at the meaning of each character.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Also, it's really irritating when I send email and the other person sees it as gibberish, but the sent message shows up properly in my email account.
Sigh. I still need a good email solution.
Monday, January 17, 2005
(the "set file and run" box should appear) type "cmd" and hit OK
(the windows command prompt window should appear) type "ipconfig" and hit return
(the IP address and other settings should be displayed)
Any other fast methods?
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
Thursday, January 13, 2005
How cool is that?
On a completely unrelated note, I use my dictionary and my mp3 player more than my phone. Hrm. Laf. If I don't count checking the time on my phone as using it.
Random rant: Paypal's help section is poorly organized. Weak! Took forever to figure out how to downgrade my account to a personal account.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Much apology for the delay! I'll be writing them Saturday, after my informal presentation is over.
In other news, was The Matrix plagiarized? A current 6 year lawsuit also appears to involve the Terminator movies. Some documents are online but I haven't looked at them. The lawsuit is still in progress so there's no actual ruling yet (other than that a ruling that Stewart can proceed with her lawsuit in the California courts).