Archive for June, 2007

Meeting interesting people

Imagine if you spent your whole life being followed round by a mini-me, that insisted on doing whatever you were doing, back to you.

It would drive me nuts, and thus I really pity this guy.


His brother, meanwhile, doesn’t have that issue. Interesting chap. We sat and had coffee for a while, and chatted about his homeland, where somewhat unusually, everyone except him is purple.

Horse in Shibuya

I’ve seen this horse a few times in Shibuya. It tends to frequent the mobile phone shops for some reason. I can’t think why though – have you ever seen a horse using a mobile phone? I mean, how would they hold them? I guess they could stand up on their hind legs and clutch them between two hoofs. Or, they could have bluetooth headsets I spose, with voice dialing.


Hmmm. Something to think about.

Revision vs. Procrastination

It’s interesting how Mac culture is really starting to become mainstream, something which I would say has only really started to happen in the last couple of months. Take You Tube’s new interface for example – the selection of videos offered at the end of any av story of a dog miming along to a Romanian folk song whilst slipping over on a banana skin is remarkably similar to the Mac OSX Dock. I see the BBC has no fear of embracing this copycat culture either – check out their DJ page – now what does that flash movie remind you of?! Did someone say the word ‘coverflow’…?

The unfortunate thing is, is that as Macs become more popular, so threats to their security will increase. It seems that Macs aren’t necessarily safer, it’s just that until now they haven’t been targeted. This was demonstrated by the release of Safari for Windows earlier this month, which within hours was revealed as having numerous security holes. Was it simply that it became less secure when ported to Windows, that these flaws were Windows flaws? It would seem not. Rather, the consensus is that the tools to discover and exploit security loopholes on Macs are yet to be developed to the extent of those that exist for Windows systems. But who would want to hurt a Mac anyway? (strokey strokey)

I’m a bit peed off with myself for being so excited by the iPhone, especially considering it’s not even available on this continent and I won’t be picking mine up until late 2008. And the fact that I dislike mobile phones.

Sucker.

Oooohhh, but look, I can pinch my photos!!

Let’s hope that by the time it makes it to Japan it has at least a 3.2Mega pixel camera, and an expandable memory slot.

I could do with one of them myself.

Incidentally, have you seen the spoof of the Microsoft Surface computer thing? They’ve used the original Microsoft video, but dubbed over it. Rather amusing.

And did you know, that in Japanese, “Dubbing” means “to copy a DVD”. This really confused me when I was lent a DVD last week and told that I wouldn’t be able to dub it. “Why would I want to do that?” I wondered. It was only when I copied it with Mac the Ripper that I realised that it had copy protection on it (thus dubbing must mean ‘copy’). Of course I would never do that with commercial DVDs…

Then there’s the Bourne Ultimatum Trailer 2 which went live earlier today. I am far too excited about that film.

And why all this excitement? Because I have exams next week, and a ridiculous amount of revision to do for them. It’s at times like this that anything and everything not related to my studies becomes wildly exciting. And I attempt to make bread again (it’s looking good this time, having risen into a beautiful plump monster).

This is the kind of revision I’m doing. It’s not all that hard, but does require that one actually looks at it in order to do it. Rather than websites etc.


Crikey. I’ve just eaten a whole pack of American Double Choc Chip cookies. This is bad.

Does anyone have a scanner to sell, or do they want to buy a Canon printer?

Ok, ok, enough. Just do it.

Book recommendation

I actually have a tonne of books I’d like to recommend – reading has truly set me free this year – but tonight I just want to pick one in particular, for the benefit of those studying Japanese.

Boys and girls, Hoshi Shinichi (the kanji are ‘star’ ‘new’ ‘one’) is our hero. I’m surprised I’d not heard of him before today. He wrote a tonne of short stories, many only 5 or 6 pages long, which most Japanese should have read (and therefore his books should be in virtually all 2nd hand book stores). Although his stories are read by high school students, they are not necessarily children’s books. The language is pretty simple (i.e. it follows the grammatical patterns we have learned), and the length of the tales means that one can get through a whole story when making the 15 minute train ride home.

Today I bought “Mirai no Isoppu” (Aesop’s fables of the future). In this book, he has rewritten all of those classic stories we know and love and given them a modern twist.

For example, in The Hare and the Tortoise, the hare is stopped by a police patrol car for speeding, because the tortoise bribed the policeman the night before (I think it was bribe, I’m yet to check the kanji).

Another one I recommend is “Uchu no aisatsu” (Space meeting / or A meeting in Space), another collection of short stories. The short story that the book takes its title from is a real page-turner!


Oh, and someone commented on the previous post that they thought I was drunk…? Nope, not one bit. Just retold as it happened this evening in Ikebukuro.

"What country are you from?"

When I answered, the old man behind the counter of the second-hand book store sprang into life, whipping out his gun and shooting me at point-blank range. I laughed, and told him that I loved James Bond too. I love him even more now that I know that he has succesfully taken Beckham out of the picture, and has assumed the role of Stereotypical British Male.