Archive for January, 2013

NIke Run LIKE Me entered for a Facebook Studio Award

Delighted to see that the campaign I did with Wieden+Kennedy and Nike Japan has been entered for an award – fingers crossed the judges appreciate just what a great use of social media it was! 

Check out the award page here: 
http://www.facebook-studio.com/gallery/submission/nike-run-like-me

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TEDxTokyo Google+ Hangout

今晩は TEDxTokyo Google+ ハングアウトでTED2013 のスピーカーとして選ばれたBLACK氏をゲストの一人として参加していただきました!

BLACKさんが現在Campfireのcrowd fundingサイトで支援を求めています。
彼の素晴らしいパフォーマンスとスピーチをぜひサポートしてください! 

http://camp-fire.jp/projects/view/541

World Yo-Yo Champion, TEDxTokyo Speaker and all-round very nice guy BLACK has been chosen to speak / perform on the main stage at TED in California this year. He joined us as a special guest for tonight's TEDxTokyo Google+ Hangout.

Help him take his performance to the next level by supporting his crowd-funding campaign to help cover the costs involved. Can't wait to see him wow the world!

TEDxTokyo Google+ Hangout 2013年1月21日: TED2013 スピーカーについて

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The Snow Penguin

As a new day breaks over Tokyo, the Snow Penguin is reminded of the dark years he spent living in a snow cave in the crater of Mt. Fuji. 

Oh how life has changed.

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Snow in Tokyo

Today’s weather is quite a contrast to the lovely warm temperatures we’d become accustomed to in Guam…

The snow was really piling up on our balconies – there was only one person I could call to help clear them – The Snow Penguin.

Snow Penguin 6413

Snow Penguin

Snow Penguin and Joseph

As the snow starts to melt, we’re now being treated to what feels like a lightweight bombing raid – huge blocks of snow are falling from the floors above us, crashing down on our balconies. Somewhat unnerving, but their hitting the concrete far enough way to avoid splatting the Aloe vera, so it’s all good.

Finally, Tokyo's Hanzomon subway line has data connectivity

There's a nice New Year gift.

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My initial reaction to skydiving

My initial reaction to skydiving

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Countdown to the jump

Not long now until we take to the blue skies over Guam in a little diddy plane, climb to 14,000ft, then jump. Excited! Yesterday we did a little altitude training whilst attached to a boat. Great fun!

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Holy Cake Batman!

You know you're in America when the cake portions are bigger than your head.

I'm going to have to do a lot of running when we get home.

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Under the Sea

A few captures from the video I shot this morning over a coral reef here in Guam. Beautiful waters. Sony Sportscam dive housing works great too!

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Back seat driver

Had a lot of fun this morning – Jet skiing, snorkelling, being thrown off a banana boat, and parasailing. 

Was only mildly terrified when TwinkleTame was driving…

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The 6km Guam Banana that Wanted to be a Bay

It's late here in Guam, and I've just got back in from a run. One thing I've found – there are not as many roads on Guam as in central Tokyo. So, when it comes to the Art of Running, there's not much to work with.

Having said that, we went to local market this evening, where a couple of locals had a stunning array of banana varieties on display. This triggered a thought: "Hmmm, bananas. I'm sure there's an ancient legend about them, connected with the local bay…"

A quick search, and sure enough, I found it: The story* goes that there was once a banana that so wanted to be a beautiful coral-lined bay, that it deliberately ate too much for months on end, and consumed thousands of litres of water, until it had grown to the size of the bay. It then snuggled up behind the bay and whispered in its ear, "Can we swap places for a day?"

On hearing this, the bay turned around and said, "Don't be stupid, you're a banana".

It's not known what happened to the banana after that. 

Anyway, that's why I ran this route tonight.

*the story isn't actually true. Although I was actually inspired by a banana seller at the local market tonight.

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Hello from the Mariana archipelago!

Had a little drama getting to Guam today…

I don't know what it is about me and airports, but I also seem to manage to create some sort of drama. 

Two years ago, when flying from London to Barcelona, I managed to leave my wallet on the airport shuttle bus. This led to a series of events that finally resulted in me flying to spain with just my passport and all our money – and without my wife – on what was supposed to be a mini-honeymoon trip for us. Twinkle Tame, who I'd left at security with all our luggage and no money, was forced to miss the flight and catch a later one. Looking back now I can hardly believe I managed to get us into a situation like that, and I totally deserved the kick I got from Twinkle when she finally arrived at Barcelona.

Today though, Twinkle Tame had everything very well organised. Bus to the airport, flights and all, everything in good time. 

I'd made sure to bring along my new passport with its RFID chip – this was to be its first trip. It was only when we got to the immigration check that I realised that I had forgotten something …my visa and reentry permit, which were both in my old passport …at home.

I approached an immigration official and told him what I'd done.

He immediately asked me for my Alien Registration Card, which as a foreigner I'm obliged to carry at all times, and which he could use to check my status. I opened my wallet where I always kept it …and it wasn't there! I checked again, and nope, nothing. Why???!! 

Then I remembered – just yesterday I was sorting out a new Paypal account, and had had to submit a copy of my card, so I'd taken it out of my wallet to scan it, and had forgotten to put it back in. It was still in the scanner.

This was a big problem. No visa. No re-entry permit. No gaijin card. If I left, I wouldn't be able to get back in to Japan. 

I felt a bit sick – but then remembered Evernote, 

I've been using Evernote for a few years now, and have well over 5,000 notes in there now. I use it for all sorts of things, such as daily backups of all my tweets for later reference, searchable scans of all business cards, automatic downloads of photos that friends tag me in on Facebook (!), all sorts of shared notes for various projects, searchable PDF product manuals, and recording my audio diary.

…and copies of my passport & gaijin card. 

"No, no, we can't accept a copy" he said, gesturing for us to follow him to the immigration office.

As we walked I showed him the copy of my card in Evernote on my iPhone. He looked at it, looked again, and seemed to change his mind. 

"Well, let me take a note of the card number and see if I can find it in our system. There's not much time until your flight, but I might be able to transfer your permit if I can find your record".

And ten minutes later, he handed back my new passport, complete with a freshly printed copy of my permit. We were good to go! 

We ran down the corridor, making it on board just before the doors were closed. 

So, thank you to the guy in immigration for bending the rules and acting so fast to get us on this flight 🙂

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Heading South

The last two years have been crazy busy, so much so that @twinkletame and I haven't had a proper holiday since New Year 2011. 

When Twinkle's resignation from her previous job coincided with the unexpected cancellation of a big project I was working on, we found ourselves with a bit of time, so decided to use the opportunity to realise a long-held ambition – to go skydiving.

We're heading 2,400km south to Guam, where later in the week we'll jump from a plane at about 14,000 feet. 

Provided we survive the fall I'll upload the video when we get back!

Took this photo a few minutes ago here at Narita Airport as the planes were taking off and landing.

行ってきます!

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An Art of Running project for Yomiuri TV

For those friends in Kansai, do check out Garigeru on Yomiuri TV on Tuesday night – last month I spent a very memorable day running a special GPS art piece (with a twist) with comedian and global runner Kanpei-san, along with tarento Nishino-san and Anne Nakamura. There's a short trailer on the site which gives you an idea of what we got up to…

http://www.ytv.co.jp/garigeru/next/next.html

関西地域に住んでる皆さん、火曜日の深夜放送の「ガリゲル」にご注目!先月、芸人&ランナーの間寛平さん、タレントの西野さんと中村アンさんと撮影したランニングアートの特別プロジェクトが放映されます!番組HPで予告編も見られます。

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