Friday, March 30, 2007

eikaiwa not always a rosy picture

Chiba prefecture, Japan, where I'm at, is sending its police left and right to investigate a murder mystery involving an English conversation teacher (22 y/o) from Britain and her private student (male, 26 y/o).
A British woman found dead in the bathtub of an apartment here might have been asked by the man now wanted for abandoning her body to give him an English lesson at the residence, police have said. read
With that said Japan is still the safest place I can think of. I hope they find the fugitive and thus bring some closure to the family and friends.

Descriptions of said suspect here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

a heck of a record

A Briton, Robert Garside, aka the Runningman, becomes officially recognized as the only person to have run across the globe.
[He] received the approval of Guinness World Records for a 48,000km six-year trek.
According to this BBC news report in 2003, the trailblazer has had a history of humble beginning. He had never stuck at one thing including dropping out of college before he went and achieved the unbelievable from 1999(?) to 2004. His record, like the journey itself, is no smooth sailing.
The Guinness verdict was a major vindication for Garside, who has been dogged by accusations of cheating by endurance runners sceptical about a man who claimed to have run through jungles and across deserts with no support team.

Others accused him of embellishing his exploits and of skipping whole sections of the run, something Garside denies.
My little drives across Japan pale in comparison. But I won't stop at that, watch out! There are so many things I want to do but by settling down only sneaky bits of craziness thereafter. Here are the things that will be quite unlikely:
  • Living alone in the wilderness for an extended period of time;
  • Backpacking across Europe;
  • Going up Gobi desert, thru Ruissa, across Siberia, etc, etc.
One day.

Edit: I was informed by an anonymous commenter that Robert Garside's run might have been fishier than thought: archived page

One wonders.

Friday, March 23, 2007

new sheriff in speedville

picture: Shelby Ultimate Aero TT (SSC - Shelby Super Car)

recent years production car speed record: (wiki)
Mar 31, 1998 McLaren F1 391.1 km/h (240.1 mph)
Feb 28, 2005 Koenigsegg CCR 387.87 km/h (241.01 mph)
October, 2005 Bugatti Veyron 407.5 km/h (253.2 mph)

Here comes a major player tuning for the crown. With these specs it may be more than just another word-war, and a chance to bring the speed record back to the USA.
After getting snowed out on day 1, the cast and crew reconvened on Highway 93 in Nevada and had another go at the record books today. Test pilot (and veteran Silver State Challenge 200 mph club member) Rick Doria reported wheelspin at 190 shifting into 6th on one pass that yielded about 221 mph, but felt confident enough to try again. A couple more passes and the 1,183-hp Ultimate Aero TT posted a top speed around 230 mph at 50% throttle in 6th. At that point the car had traveled the 2 miles deemed appropriate for the test runs. The driver reported that he was sure the car could easily break the 253 mph Veyron speed, let alone the "official" 242 of the Koenigsegg CCR. -autoblog

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Did you know?

Exponential times, is what we're living in:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the March 13th report

I notice it's already been 13 days into March yet I haven't had an entry. Not to make it sound like a chore, here are what I've been up to. I've been pondering very deeply what to do next. Some of that stress comes from the fact that within the next 10 weeks or so these things would happen one way or the other, in no particular order of importance:
get married,
a new (used) car,
move into a new apartment,
have a farewell party with my students and the office staff,
somehow maintain a stable income,
travel to the US to say hi to family and friends,
a mini honeymoon in Miami/Key West,
might have to kick boss in the nuts, etc, etc.

And out of character, I've actually been to two rock concerts lately, one with Phoenix, a French alternative rock band, the other Idlewild from Scotland. As a casual observer who wandered off into these little known territories, both the bands and the venues in the ever-so-distance Shibuya crowds shot me an eyeful of shock and awe.

I let out a quiet scream, had fun on both occasions. But I also have my complaints about the fans: too tame when they should be giving a warm welcome to a travel-weary bunch; too pushy when the lights go out.

OK, Asian people can't dance for shit (I can say that because I'm Asian), even though Japanese have a better sense of unity, who would have thought? of all people? They dance like a schoolgirl driving a hot import. In other words, the Japanese, good at many things, are the worst offbeat dancers I have ever seen, when the drums hit boom cha cha boom they hit boom cha boom cha cha. How I wish someone can see it right there and then. I'm the only sane person in a town-ful of crazys. Am I being punked? Where are the cameras?