Sunday, July 31, 2005


When does infatuation become valid, if ever?

What draws the line between infatuation and love?

Who makes that decision? (apparently someone I know does)

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Insomnia comes visit again. I think I'm slowly getting closer to insanity. I think food consumption is most of the time just a necessity since I am not particularly motivated to do it for fun. I think sleeping is most of the time just a necessity for I'm not particularly into it.

I'm otherwise healthy both mentally and physically. I'm gradually becoming a vegetarian though. My meat consumption is at its all-time low, well close to it. And I quite enjoy it. Sooner or later we'll all be vegetarians. That's the only way to go if we're to become truly civilized.

I tell ya real civilization can only be achieved by a different species other than man. Unless we start unloading our brains onto supercomputers we'll be doomed soon enough, surviving the first impacts or not.

Emotions are the byproduct of intelligence. If we're to achieve a utopia, we'll have to give up emotions. But if we'd do that, would life even be worth living? Should we continue to dwell on in this "infatuation" state of civilization? (this is a marker)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Global Dimming, Typhoon #7, Discovery

It's been a very busy day.

Typhoon number 7 just arrived right here as it brings downpours and strong wind.

As it dissipates northwards the day after.

Watching NASA's Discovery launch live on the Internet and listening to the crew and ground control for a good hour. They let you listen to so much details it's unreal. I don't recall they used to do this.

Commander Eileen Collins.

Global Dimming* might well end it all. (wikipedia link here)
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*registration may be required to view

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

my head hurts

I am one of the lucky few in the world who seldom have headaches(physical). So I go and get myself some. I think I'm turning this blog into some pseudoscience rants. Well I'm ready for any changes since I've decided to do some soulsearching. Let the real blog begin. existentialism/cosmology/philosophy/parallel universes/madman.

I don't think I have ever been this existential before in my life. It was the right choice to give up my social life afterall.

event horizon and time

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An event horizon is a boundary in spacetime for a given observer beyond which no electromagnetic energy, including light, can reach the observer.

Light emitted from inside the event horizon will never reach a stationary observer outside the horizon, hence the name black hole. Note the dependency on the observer of the concept of event horizon. For example, a free falling observer toward a black hole does not experience an event horizon (see e.g. catastrophic gravitational collapse).

The event horizon for an outside observer really acts as a horizon. He sees an object falling toward the horizon approaching it, but (in his own proper time) never reaching it. In his observations the object goes slower and slower toward the horizon and at the same time the redshift increases beyond bounds to infinity. Also the intensity of the falling object quickly becomes zero. In a finite time the outside observer will receive the last photon from the falling object. He will never see the falling object passing through the event horizon.
Philosophy of space and time; Ontology

In ancient thought, Zeno's paradoxes challenged the conception of infinite divisibility, and eventually led to the development of calculus. Parmenides (of whom Zeno was a follower) believed that time, motion, and change were illusions, basing this on a rather interesting argument. More recently McTaggart held a similar belief.

Newton believed time and space form a container for events, which is as real as the objects it contains. In contrast Leibniz believed that time and space are a conceptual apparatus describing the interrelations between events.

Leibniz and others thought of time as a fundamental part of an abstract conceptual framework, together with space and number, within which we sequence events, quantify their duration, and compare the motions of objects. In this view, time does not refer to any kind of entity that "flows", that objects "move through", or that is a "container" for events.

The bucket argument proved problematic for Leibniz, and his account fell into disfavour, at least amongst scientists, until the development of Mach's principle. Modern physics views the curvature of spacetime around an object as much a part of that object as are its mass and volume.

Immanuel Kant, in the Critique of Pure Reason, described time as an a priori notion that allows us (together with other a priori notions such as space) to comprehend sense experience. With Kant, neither space nor time are conceived as substances, but rather both are elements of a systematic framework we use to structure our experience. Spatial measurements are used to quantify how far apart objects are, and temporal measurements are used to quantify how far apart events occur.

Nietzsche, inspired by the concept of eternal return in his book Thus Spake Zarathustra, argued that time possesses a circular characteristic. Postulating an infinite past, "all things" must have come to pass therein; the same for an infinite future.

In Existentialism, time is considered fundamental to the question of being, in particular by the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Time in physics

Prior to Albert Einstein's relativistic physics, time and space had been treated as distinct dimensions; Einstein linked time and space into spacetime. Einstein showed that people traveling at different speeds will measure different times for events and different distances between objects, though these differences are minute unless one is traveling at a speed close to that of light. Many subatomic particles exist for only a fixed fraction of a second in a lab relatively at rest, but some that travel close to the speed of light can be measured to travel further and survive longer than expected. According to the special theory of relativity, in the high-speed particle's frame of reference, it exists for the same amount of time as usual, and the distance it travels in that time is what would be expected for that velocity. Relative to a frame of reference at rest, time seems to "slow down" for the particle. Relative to the high-speed particle, distances seems to shorten. Even in Newtonian terms time may be considered the fourth dimension of motion; but Einstein showed how both temporal and spatial dimensions can be altered (or "warped") by high-speed motion.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

one of the bigger ones

Tokyo has not suffered a major earthquake since a 1923 temblor that killed 140,000 people, but many experts say the capital is overdue for another strong quake. A government report last year said a powerful earthquake under Tokyo could kill as many as 12,000 people and destroy 850,000 homes. Yahoo! news

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click map for Japanese info.


Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 07:34:58 (UTC)
Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 04:34:58 PM local time at epicenter

35.49N 139.97E

72.3 kilometers


30 km (20 miles) SE of TOKYO, Japan
110 km (65 miles) SSW of Mito, Honshu, Japan
130 km (80 miles) E of Kofu, Honshu, Japan
130 km (80 miles) SE of Maebashi, Honshu, Japan
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click map for English info.

One of these days a big one would hit and that would be the end of it all, at least for me.

edit: Two noticable aftershocks, one on the same day immediately after the initial shock, another just right now on the next day 6pm.


Here are some of the most esthetically outrageous concept cars.


Friday, July 22, 2005

It's good to be alive.

Sometimes, just sometimes, maybe there's no need to have a reason to celebrate. Just celebrate, the fact that I'm alive. No, don't be alarmed. I'm not writing a suicide note. In fact, I'm the last person in the world to consider ending his own life. I just appreciate the simplest thing in life, life, itself. And no, I don't do recreational drugs.

I've always been fairly unlucky yet I'm a really lucky guy, in all aspects and none at all. I'm from a really poor family but we're all decent people, hard-working and decent human beings. We work hard and over time we earn our merit.

My oldest sister is the simple type I've explained before. But she is nowhere near stupid. Quite the contrary, she is brilliant. Mentally organized, straight to the point, practical, powerful, sometimes even intimidating. My second sister is a bit more like me, into more artsy things, literatures, philosophical, intelligent, and more polished. She and I can never be understood in the eyes of my oldest sister. She just doesn't get it. My second sister is the most academic of the three of us. I love them both dearly. Yes I managed to just slip that in there. You'll have to read to notice. I've slacked behind in school maybe because I don't much believe in organized education. Or I simply suck as a student. Yeah, the irony.

I bet they didn't see what's coming from me, and then one day, it hits them right between the eyes and they miss it. Sooner or later they'll understand. When one day I said I'll take off and never be seen again, they saw it as a threat. "What in the world is my little brother saying?" they thought. But it wasn't a threat. It is who I happen to be. I seem to drift, from one place to another. I happen to think that privacy is important. And I happen to think that family will stay together forever, in the least tight way imaginable. And it doesn't diminish my love for them.

I'm not particularly good looking, but I fare well enough. Oh who am I kidding, I do alright as looks go. I don't have a particularly tough time meeting people if I want to, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood. I can pass for a flaring smooth operator one day and a silent antisocial the next. Moodiness is my weakness but I have adopted the urban camouflage. I don't really understand country people as they tell me they'd love to move to Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, or New York. I just don't enjoy metropolis as much as the next person. I suppose it's really great to have everything right next to you, but why? I grew up in the biggest of the cities in the world. They're what I need least. Not that there aren't any sentimental values. I'll probably die in one of them.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

invasion of the Japanese kei cars

Japanoid is a Canadian importer of K-Cars (also called Keicars, keijidōsha) and other extremely compact Japanese cars. You can read more about K-Cars here or on the FAQ of the site, but basically what you need to know is: "Japan is a country with very few natural resources. So the Japanese government created very smart laws that give special tax breaks to cars of certain size and efficiency. [...] K-Cars must be under 4.4 meters long and 1.5 meters wide. Their engines are also regulated to be less than 660cc - no more than 64 horsepower." Some have more powerful engines than the K-Cars specifications yet keep the extremely compact proportions.

These cars were never available new in the US or Canada, but Canadian law allows their importation if they are 15 years old and pass a safety inspection before leaving Japan and one when they get in Canada. US law also allows them to be imported, but only if they are 25 years old, so de facto they are banned.

Japanoid offers exactly that: 15 years old cars, usually with a low amount of kms (since the Japanese drive less than Canadians on average), many have souped-up motorcycle engines with sophisticated turbos, superchargers and dual overhead cams, and most get fuel economy in the 50 mpg range. Prices seem to hover between CAN$5000 and CAN$7000.

Obviously they are not for everyone, in part because they are right-hand drive, but they must be loads of fun (especially the Toyota Sera and Suzuki Works). My only wish is that we get rid of the 15 years wait and import the current ones.
source of this article

LOOK! THEY EVEN HAVE MY CURRENT CAR! I warned you it looks like a duck, doesn't it?
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Blogger's spell checker the shittiest spell checker in the whole wide world (www). I know it's a free service and I appreciate everything else. Seriously, it doesn't ever suggest the right word no matter how little the typo is spelled wrong. And in this post, it tells me the word "Blogger" is incorrect and suggests "Blockers" for replacement. I hope they do something to change it.
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drunken inventions

OK, so this is what I used to tell my friends after a couple of beers. Since I've been writing crap anyway, this wouldn't seem out of place.

The invention of the century, maybe best ever of and for mankind, IF indeed inventable. The prelude goes like this: what causes the world's problems? What triggers the rage between you and me? What leads to destruction? Physical space.

As long as we occupy physical space, we'll bump into each other. Say why is car insurance so expensive? Because of the number of accidents of course. You drive; you pay the premium. The simple fact that two physical things can not exist in the same point of space dictated by the four known dimensions, is the key to the invention.

As we know, or more accurately, observe, dimensions can be bent, or shifted, at least on a molecule level. Following that thought, who is to say we can't manipulate those properties of the physical world?

So this machine allows the push of a button to shift/twist/bent any specified dimension at any given time.
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This other one belongs to a friend of mine. I do not remember it in its entirety so forgive me for messing it up a bit. It goes like this:

You know how all the partying and menstruation bring you the ultimate headache. What you get is a lady-packet, or whatever it's called. You can purchase the pack from a special vending machine in a lady's room, possibly in a club. It comes in a convenient plastic bag. In the bag you'll find some painkiller, disposable knickers (my friend is British, obviously), and tampon. The real trick is the tampon because it's combined with medicine that alleviates the user. It all seems like that this lady friend of mine lives in a world of pain for some reason.
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A third in a row, yeah! This invention makes sense but seems like it has been mentioned a number of times before. It's what my friend calls "Icecoolwave". You saw that coming, didn't you? The concept is simple, like microwave, you put food in the oven, turn the dial , in no more than a couple of minutes you'd get hot food. Some say it's the magic of the devil. Well let's get back on track, the only difference is of course it cools instead of heats things as you stick them inside.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sunday, July 17, 2005


If memory serves, there is a theory in Economics that says:

For every person in the world, there would be a perfect job. But because of transportation (rather the incapability of it), you can't reach it. It might be on the other side of the globe. There's no way someone could commute there on a daily basis. It's not economically sound.

Can the theory be applied to the perfect mate? This person can be in London, Zurich, Vatican, Murmansk, or somewhere you have not heard of. So, do you just go to the next best that is available?
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The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
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"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls."
And whisper'd in the sounds of silence.

Friday, July 15, 2005

cogito, ergo sum

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"cogito, ergo sum"
Don't you think it's a bit too arrogant? Isn't it a bit more like "I think, therefore I must have existed at some point, and might still do."

What if the world has already ended and what our senses tell us are just memories? Your argument is rationally going to be "who is remembering the memories then?" Well the universe is. We are the universe's memories and well-documented ones at that. There's got to be more than just five dimensions (X, Y, Z, time, and possibly wormhole). I suspect one of them is where the memories reside.

Monday, July 11, 2005

one day at a time

Recently I got excited about my summer plan - roadtrip to Hokkaido. I'll get two weeks for the summer break. A couple of teachers and I are sharing the driving as well as costs. Some camping would be great but we haven't decided on that yet. We'll probably play it by ear. What I am most excited about, however, is to complete my cross-Japan trip in a car paying no tolls (except bridges). Did my first half here. It will be a small feat.

I set goals, then I reach them. To some people these goals are certainly no big deal, but coming from where I'm from, I have had a few obstacles to overcome. I live by this golden rule: take it one day at a time. If tomorrow is the end of the world (or me), I'd have no regrets as to what I've been doing up to the very last second. Although sometimes I anticipate the end of the world a bit too much.

So far things that I have crossed out on my list (since Japan):
  1. visit the Great Wall of China. (emotional)
  2. teach in Japan.
  3. teach in China. (briefly but done)
  4. speak five languages with at least some proficiency.
  5. live in a foreign country, experience their culture.
  6. watch at least 100 movies in a year.
Things on my list that are yet to be crossed out:
  1. master's degree.
  2. teach in Hong Kong.
  3. live and work in Europe. (possibly Spain)
  4. settle down in ONE country. (if I live long enough)
  5. own a "real" car. (a driver's car)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

my amazing ride

Let's not talk about what I drive. But I will write about what's good about it.

Shifting: In roughly six seconds, I have to shift from first to the top gear. That's the equivalent of a Formula One car. Yes, I red-line it every chance I have.

Steering: feather-light.

Delay of the clutch: The car jerks because it's not designed for quick shifting, which means it trains me into a smooth shifter.

Primitivism: It's got absolutely nothing. No power-anything, no ABS, no cruise control, no CD player, no stability control, no extra computer chips, no nothing, 100% driver. Let me remind you that's the concept behind every road-going track-day supercar!

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Well, that's all that's good about it. The rest is dreadful. It's a kei car with four gears, really lacks power but on Japan's country road, that's fine. It also looks like a duck.

the pondering type

The philosopher in each of us.
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You know when you meet the pondering type. They don't ever give a straightforward answer. They always appear deep in thought. What you get from a simple "How you doin'" is an academic-paper-ful of what their state of mind is. Well, to survive in the wilderness that is the world, most of us just cut the so-called "bullcrap" and say what we are expected to instead. So, "How're you doin?" "Just rollin' man" is all you'll ever get. You've got to love that urban camouflage.

This world however is sometimes more suitable for the simple type. I'm not saying that they're less intelligent. Simplicity works. Go see a movie that tries to do too much. It always leaves you frustrated. Sticking to the basics and making a better all-around movie keeps the world going. They rake in more money. People can keep their jobs. They bring food to the table. They're usually those who are quite successful, even though they seem to lack the depth in certain things. Not that anyone cares, since they can look as flashy as life can offer. Are they really stupid? Or do they one-up most of us?

Although the answer is probably the ant theory. We're born with a talent(s), which we utilize to work together in repairing the fundamental flaw of the human race. So people with "A" quality though lacks "B", are complimented by the "B's", and so on. In other words, we need each other. Is world peace such an afterthought? As long as we're ruled by the simple type.

Hajime no Ippo

Title: はじめの一歩 aka Fighting Spirit
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Studio Madhouse
Format: 75 episodes
Dates: 10/3/2000 to 3/27/2002

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Sports-related anime continue to surprise me, as I expect nothing more than mindless action. Instead, I am frequently presented with sharply-written, deep, and humorous shows which just happen to also contain great action. Hajime no Ippo is, without a doubt, the cream of the crop in the genre.

In a show where everything clicks, the best place to start would be the plot. Ippo's story isn't in-depth with twists and turns, but is instead fairly straight forward: Ippo gains the motivation to box and begins a series of training and fighting. Interspersed throughout are bits and pieces of his home life and interactions with his opponents. This is what brings out feeling, character depth and caring for what happens in the show. The characters are incredibly well-fleshed out in a short period of time; their side of the story is presented well, and this caring on both sides of the boxing card is what draws you into the show.

The animation and art are both fine, on par with other current anime. There are some mighty good tunes throughout the series; I especially liked the first opening Under Star, though I know not everyone shares that opinion. All of the opening and closing themes are used well; additionally, snippets of the themes are oft-played during key fight sequences and really give a nice punch (pun intended). Speaking of which, the in-ring action features a nice blend of realism and anime-style insanity. The action in Princess Nine follows along the same lines. Artistic touches such as smoke and glowing eyes add to the atmosphere.

The only complaint I had was that, being based on a huge manga, the anime opens a few doors that were explored in the manga but, unfortunately, not all of them. A couple of relationships and some one of the other boxer's future paths were briefly mentioned and then never explored. Hopefully an OVA or movie will explain some of it because I will gladly sign on for more of this terrific show.

This is one of the best anime I have ever seen. Hajime no Ippo is up high on my Top 10 anime list, and I would eagerly recommend it to anyone who likes anime... or Rocky. (review by Mugs)

comment: never been a boxing fan and probably will never be. that's how wonderful this anime is. you don't have to have anything to do with boxing. It's about growing up, reaching your goals, respect, be respected, and a lot more.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

farewell to Prelude


Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Highly recommended:
history of the Verve label:
The Verve catalog grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s to include most of the major figures in jazz, though Granz tended to record established artists, sometimes in decline, rather than new talent. It also recognized the potential of comedy albums, producing Spike Jones' first LP, Dinner Music For People Who Aren't Very Hungry in 1956 and several best-selling albums featuring live performances by Shelley Berman beginning in 1960.

Granz sold Verve to MGM Records in 1961 for $3 million. Albums were now produced by Creed Taylor, but new recordings ceased, for twenty tears, in the late 'sixties .

In the seventies the label became part of the Polygram label group, at this point incorporating the Mercury/EmArcy jazz catalog, which Phillips, part owners of Polygram had earlier acquired. Seagram bought Polygram in 1998 and merge it with its Universal Music group. Both Polygram & Universal's jazz holdings were folded into the Verve Music Group.

Since 2002, the label has released a series of Verve Remixed compilation discs where classic tracks by Verve artists are remixed by contemporary electronic music DJs.

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Verve//Remixed Vol.2
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Verve//Remixed Vol.3
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album art:

Monday, July 04, 2005

Live 8

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LIVE 8 is part of a day of action across the world which kick-starts The Long Walk to Justice that calls on the leaders of the world’s richest countries to act when they meet in Gleneagles on 6th-9th July. On July 2nd in London, Edinburgh, Philadelphia, Berlin, Paris and Rome millions will be coming together to call for complete debt cancellation, more and better aid and trade justice for the world’s poorest people.

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Download all your Live 8 videos here.

Live 8 logo and pic:


Being a perfectionist, one must see perfection in imperfectness. The way imperfection works is, when it's done right, it's more perfect than perfection.

This 4th of July really was some sort of a downer. Usually I do okay, but when there is a special occasion, I feel the need to be near people. I did exactly that yesterday and it felt forced. I saw so many people, and beforehand I thought to myself I didn't have to talk if I didn't want to. It's Japan afterall. They're used to long pauses and silence. In the end it was my reflex to talk and try to be interesting. The whole time it wasn't me, it was my social self who took over. The anxiety to perform is cunning.

They were all very nice. I feel like I have been fasting and just started eating solid food again. It's almost painful. Like always I got no numbers from anybody and didn't feel like asking either.

Friday, July 01, 2005

[ドラマ] エンジン

(English title: Engine)

spoiler: (highlight to read, "ctrl + a")
I honestly doubt anyone who reads this would actually watch it. But there are search engines out there so who knows. Anyway I really like the ending. In Japan, whatever you watch, cartoon, TV dorama, manga, ANYTHING, the main character always wins the final "battle", in the most in-your-face fashion. It didn't happen here. He lost his "final" race and in life, more realistic than not, winning doesn't happen often, especially the step-up-to-the-stand-and-be-crowned kind. I am not glorifying losers here but winning is wrapped inside a number of layers. Winning is subjective. He indeed has won during the process. Going on and trying the best one can is itself bittersweet. It's not how the fight turns out to be; it's how you fight.

Starring: 木村拓哉(Takuya Kimura), 小雪(Koyuki)

Story of an over-the-hill (he's relatively old in this business) professional racer chasing a dream to become the fastest guy again. After struggling for a few years on foreign soil he came back to Japan finding more than what he was looking for.

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comment: a washed-out typical Japanese drama. recommended to those who are NOT familiar with Japanese TV. If you have seen a few "dorama", you don't care much about this, a Fuji TV front-runner with quite bit of cliché. The kids from the nursing home, on the other hand, are pretty cute.

edit: gaining some momentum it is.