Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Japanese post: new vocab

トロイの木馬(とろいのもくば): Trojan Horse. Can be used to refer to the viruses of the same name.

直訳(ちょくやく):literal translation.

Monday, August 29, 2005

delightful black and white photos

Wow! Alice has the most delicious black and white portrait on her website! You should go look at it. It may take a while for the site to load up, but what a delightful seaside picture!

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 :)

bunny suicides and world conquerers

Courtesy of katiedid, I have found the coolest cartoons! May be off-color at times, but the placid-faced bunny contriving all sorts of suicides is rather funny. Ok, morbid, but it's quite an engineer of a little bunny or two (with infinite lives). The picture that katiedid features is my favorite.

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."

Mystic is coming out with a second album

Yeah baby! The Bay area rapper/singer Mystic (no site yet but she's got a domain) is apparently working on her second album. I'm excited. I really liked her first album, Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom. Here is an interview with her from 2002.

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

another eating contest title

The Japanese eating machine Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi has won a contest in Hong Kong for eating 100 pork buns in 12 minutes. He ate more than twice as much as any other competitor. Fearsome!

Kobayashi ate 83 dumplings in 8 minutes the day before the contest in a preliminary round.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Brock Peters

I was very sad to read that Brock Peters passed away. To Kill a Mockingbird is a brilliant book and movie. I remember watching the movie in English class, after we read the book, of course.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

interview with Park Chan-wook in The Washington Post

It's quite an interesting article. Although you have to laugh when you read the title of the interview Revenge, an octopus and acclaim for S.Korea's Park. I mean, Park is a pretty common Korean name. Isn't calling someone "S.Korea's Park" like referring to someone as "America's Smith"? Anyway, director Park Chan-wook sounds like a pretty interesting guy. I probably don't have the stomach to watch his films, but he has some interesting things to say. He's also a Hitchcock fan.

Monday, August 22, 2005

i think i just spammed people

With sms.ac - if I did, I'm really really sorry! I started to register
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.

コピーされたと思います。本当にごめなさい。<(_ _)>

update: so far it doesn't look like I spammed anyone. Thank goodness!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

table tennis and dating shows

My soon-to-be-2-year-old cell phone is still way cooler than U.S. cell phones. Dude, how do Americans live with such inferior technology? Hahah.

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

tokyo jihen

東京事変 is a Japanese pop/rock group that I just caught on TV today. A lot of the music is kind of jazz-styled so it's not really my thing, but their performance of the lead singer 椎名林檎(Shena Ringo)'s song 「ここでキスして」(Kiss me here) blew me away. I think I will have to go buy their live dvd. Their performance rocked! Apparently Shena debuted in 1998 but the band only formed recently. I love these random TV shows. There are entertainers like Hamasaki Ayumi and then there are entertainers like 東京事変。The difference in emotion and expressive power is severe.


Friday, August 19, 2005

yottekoya ramen

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.


maybe i should keep political rants on my ranting page

hrm... Probably.

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.
昨日Mi piaceに食べに行った。生パスタは美味しい!アスパラガスのピューレーは美味しかった。ティラミスほしいけど、店が売らなくて健康にかんしていいことです。

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.

navajo photographer

The Washington Post has an interesting article on LeRoy DeJolie, a big format landscape photographer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

TSA violating privacy, and what is the Dept. of Homeland Security smoking?

It's fascinating how some companies just trample over federal laws and lie about it. These people at TSA (the company developing Secure Flight) should be arrested.

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

I've been linked by a complete stranger!

How exciting! Maybe I can dream of international influence. Laf. Also exciting was that he commented on various entries in my blog. I feel validated. :D Anyway, found the note at the bottom of Beautiful Talker rather amusing too. He had a very nice comment on my Mayo post, but I still cringe when I reread my post. It's a little pedantic, no? Have to rewrite it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

peter jennings

I was sorry to hear that Peter Jennings passed away. Rather a surprise. He was a staple on the news channels. I used to like Dan Rather, but he seemed to go for more and more tabloid reporting. Tom Brokaw seems to do a lot of interesting investigations.

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

My mom has met Miss Manners

How funny! It would be nice to meet Miss Manners, but I imagine it would not be a terribly interesting experience for her. I like her writing, anyway.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

lauren bacall is pretty cool

Her comments on Tom Cruise were pretty fair.

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.