Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Xmas radio

I'm sitting in my classroom listening to Internet Christmas radio. There are a few classics but most of them unknowns, including some Spanish songs.

A lot of my students are out tonight because it's Christmas eve, the most miserable day of the year for singles; the most demanding for lovers. At least that's what it is in Japan.

I'll go home to my family at 10 in the evening just like any other night. There isn't anything special really about Christmas, especially now our baby is small and we can't go out to eat in a restaurant like we did when we were dating.

I miss those silly years when I was miserable on Christmas eve/New Year's eve. There is no better place to be than the here and now.

Merry Christmas to you all!

If you're bored on Christmas, try these:

imagine 10d

On a flat object (2d, like a piece of paper), the human mind is able to perceive a drawn 3d image, which is not actually 3d.

The following video shows that with more imagination, you can get even further, all the way to the 10th dimension. Be forewarned, it induces good brain exercises.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Cayman reviewed

Hold your horses, no, it's not the best car in the world, not yet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

lies, put into perspective

War president fuck yeah! America! USA! USA...

Friday, December 05, 2008

cayman - lsd

Overland extravagant drug use?

NO, NO.... not Cayman Island; not that kind of LSD.

Porsche Cayman 2009 is "face lifted", but most important of all, is what's changed inside. It is now a completely different beast.

Limited Slip Differentials (LSD)
In plain English, it means that you can drive harder, take corners with more confidence, and the already sporty coupe will be less likely to suffer from understeering as well as body roll.

Direct Fuel Injection (DFI)
It translates to better fuel efficiency and more horse power in real world terms.

PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung)
meaning that it will shift automatically, faster than the best driver out there.

Although like many car enthusiasts, I still have a hard time justifying driving a car with an automatic transmission, even if it means going slower. What fun is it if you can't tell your car exactly what rev and gear you desire at any particular point in time? One can argue that the PDK is in reality an auto-shift manual transmission, and on top of that it's got a +/- shifter. The PDK is getting closer to an acceptable alternative to good old stick-shifters, but without a clutch, I'm not sure if I'll ever want one.

Conclusion: The manual shift 09 Cayman now comes equipped with LSD and DFI has everything anybody could ever wish for in a quick coupe.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the current AE86

A Mazda RX8 is everything an AE86 was 20 years ago.

Similarities between AE86 and RX8, both:
are funny looking.
are wonderfully underpowered.
handle well, take corners like a champ.
have similar power to weight ratio.
have comparable price tag to power ratio.
are naturally aspirated.
are rear wheel drive.
sit 4 passengers.
are affordable sports cars.
are seriously fun.

A lot of people would argue that RX8 is a disgrace to its former rotary-powered brother, RX7.

The 8 is lackluster for the 7's fans.
The 8 misses all that made the 7 great- speed and looks.
The 8 can no longer attract boy racers.

Ding! That's the point exactly. Thank you RX8 engineers.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

my addiction...

to sports cars has worsened in the past year.

I'm able to identify most sports car models at a glimpse.
I frequent car sites and blogs often refreshing their page only to find there is no update.
I have plans for the next three car purchases, or for the next 5 - 10 years.
The cars I have "chosen" have gotten more expensive.
I enable all javascripts on my browser for car websites.
I have a hard time considering anything having more than 2 seats.
I have a strict up-shifting scheme, on current car, lowest threshold 3.5k rpm.
My real dream car would be a sleeper or a Q-car.
I know which 4 cars (a particular model that I like) are available at local used car lots, always.
While I'm getting busier at work, car browsing still takes up considerable time nightly.

Maybe we can look at something a little less realistic:
(I know I said a sleeper car but let's face it, if you can, you would too!)

Koenigsegg CCR
4.7L V8, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door roadster
6 speed manual, 806 horses, 0-100km/h (0-62mph) = 3.2sec

Porsche Carrera GT
5.7L V10, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door roadster
6 speed manual, 612 horses, 0-100km/h = 3.9sec

Pagani Zonda R Clubsport
6.0L V12, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door coupe
6-speed sequential manual, 750 horses, 0-100km/h = 3.3sec

Ferrari FXX
6.3L V12, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door coupe
6-speed sequential, 800 horses, 0-100 = just under 3.0sec

McLaren SLR 722 GT
5.4L V8, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2 door coupe
5-speed auto, 650 horses, 0-100 = 3.6sec

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640
6.5L V12, mid engine, 4 wheel drive, 2 door coupe
6-speed eGear, 632 horses, 0-100 = 3.6sec

Gumpert Apollo
4.2L V8, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2 door coupe
6-speed manual, 650 horses, 0-100 = 3.0sec

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

now you've won


wandering, results, nostalgia

I'm wandering in the tubes of the Internet waiting for the election results to come in, but of course nothing so far.

I come across this Google maps subsite that does a good job on finding your nearest polling place. So I go along and put in my old address, from where it accurately pinpoints the very place I cast my first vote as a young and responsible American. It was in a local high school within a stone throw from my old apartment. I voted twice there 7 or 8 years back.

Thanks to "street view", I am able to walk the virtual streets of Brooklyn. Boy! Can one be drown to death in nostalgia?

There was this place we used to live in a townhouse on the second floor. The subway track is inches in front of our front windows. They would shake when trains pass. A karaoke bar right under. We used to get free drinks for putting up with the noise, and that the co-owner and I went to the same university. A liquor store 3 doors down has Japanese sake. We made our "atsukan" without knowing how. A laundromat across the street I met a dark Scandinavian girl who worked there part time, folding and doing people's laundry for a fee. I kept going back even after we moved away. My out-of-job friend would give me a lift there once a week since I didn't have money for a car. I promised her I would make time to visit. But I lied. I'm sorry.

We used to discuss petty things like weather and snooker, but soon we started talking about more serious issues like politics, wars, and unemployment. I thought we had made an interesting connection spanning those boring hours looking at machines spin.

We watched the first broadcast of the Iraq war in "SWC laundromat" when my damp laundry was tumbling in the dryer. There was a large TV tuned on something like MSNBC at night. It was almost 6 years ago. I told her I would be in Japan for a while and hopefully we can catch up soon enough. She had a boyfriend who shot a mean 9-ball pool game, had his own expensive cue, and a cold attitude. We kept in touch through emails but eventually the emails turn annual, finally there was no more.

After these 6 years I have arrived, with my little success, in my own peaceful corner, remote to all those memories.

Friday, October 17, 2008

give us this newsanchor, NOW

I'm mad as hell. I'm not gonna take this anymore!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

state of the union

It's a little long, but worthy of your time.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.-BF

Monday, October 06, 2008

dire fate

The US, as a whole, is gradually becoming more prone to a total collapse each day. Its politics dominates the parts of my brain that respond to feelings such as concerns. The USA is not only an American problem. When it does go under, it will take a good size of the global community with it.

Money problems:

Even though there are some reasonable doubts (e.g. 9/11 Pentagon attack) in this clip, the overall message is clear.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some of us are tired of hearing, seeing, or reading about current US political drama

but when you're, excuse the language, FUCKED IN YOUR ASS by said politicians later on, don't complain!

I'm tired too.

I'm tired of hearing Palin's incoherent pie hole trying to utter a complete sentence.

I'm tired of seeing a proven war hero, over 26 year's time, has slowly turned into a coward who sinks ever lower every week. Presidential debates? Presidential campaign? Responsibilities? WHAT THE FUCK?

I'm tired of watching the US dragged down by asshats whose best qualification on their resume is being able to spill empty rhetorics, which are evidently bought by a large number of ill-informed, ignorant Americans.

Fucking thing sucks. We won't do it live.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the Bush Doctrine

taken from
The Bush Doctrine works like this:

Imagine you're walking down the street, minding your own business. You're a God-Fearing American (GFA), so you have all kinds of concealed weapons on your person and a grenade in each boot.

As you walk down the street a strange person catches your eye. There are four basic scenarios we're concerned with:

Scenario 1

Said strange person pulls a gun and shoots you. You pull a gun and shoot back.

This is "self-defense".

Scenario 2

Said person pulls a gun on you, but you pull a gun and shoot first.

This is "imminent threat".

Scenario 3

You pull your gun and shoot the person because you think the person might have, at some point in the future, pulled a gun on you and so you "couldn't take the chance'.

This is "the Bush Doctrine".

Scenario 4

You just start shooting because they're there.

This is "the Bush Doctrine" without all the fancy pants legalese and rhetorical solemnization.

Anyway, everyone has pretty much agreed that scenarios 1 and 2 are justified, whereas 3 and 4 are not. So instead of admitting that's what they're doing they hide behind this screen whereby they say "We really thought they were going to shoot us so it's still okay because it's scenario 2 and not scenario 4!" link

Is it coming?

Before we jump the gun, let's look at this objectively, without being paranoid or careless.

I don't know what to make of this. What's the need for an active-duty army unit (The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team), rotated directly from war, to be stationed on US soil for civil unrest and crowd control? What happens to other law enforcements like the national guards, police, special forces... etc?

3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army
By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 8, 2008 6:15:06 EDT

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

strategize and diversify

What makes the US American is lost, as long as we let our government do whatever THEY WANT in the name of fighting terrorism. Everybody loses. You, me, and everyone we know are fucked, Americans or not.

In other news:
The U.S. Army is nearing a grim statistic: The number of soldiers who committed suicide this year is on pace to be an all-time high. The record was set in 2007 when there were 115 suicides.

The Army says there have been 62 confirmed suicides by active duty members in 2008, with 31 unconfirmed cases that appear to be suicides.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

W5: Pillars of Star Creation

Credit: Lori Allen, Xavier Koenig (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA

Explanation: How do stars form? A study of star forming region W5 by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope provides clear clues by recording that massive stars near the center of empty cavities are older than stars near the edges. A likely reason for this is that the older stars in the center are actually triggering the formation of the younger edge stars. The triggered star formation occurs when hot outflowing gas compresses cooler gas into knots dense enough to gravitationally contract into stars. Spectacular pillars, left slowly evaporating from the hot outflowing gas, provide further visual clues. In the above scientifically-colored infrared image, red indicates heated dust, while white and green indicate particularly dense gas clouds. W5 is also known as IC 1848, and together with IC 1805 form a complex region of star formation popularly dubbed the Heart and Soul Nebulas. The above image highlights a part of W5 spanning about 2,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. W5 lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

why today is an interesting day

On Sept 10th the Large Hadron Collider is tested for its main function- sending protons around a specially designed series of circular tunnels deep under Europe, in velocity nearing the speed of light. It was successful.

Now step two follows in Oct when the actual collision will take place. Despite rumors across the interweb saying it's going to destroy our existence, we'll be just fine. Earth's top scientists are 99.99999999% sure. We'll walk away having a better understanding of the Big Bang. I can't wait!

Take a 360 degree look at the actual tunnel.
LHC official website has so much more.

Large Hadron Collider: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios
The Big Bang Theory

Best Case: The Large Hadron Colliders' ALICE experiment successfully creates quark-gluon plasma, a substance theorized to have existed just milliseconds after the Big Bang. By generating temperatures more than 100,000 times hotter than the sun, scientists hope to watch as this particle goo cools and expands into the particles that we know. That could help scientists answer why protons and neutrons weigh 100 times more than the quarks they're made of.

Worst Case: Scientists inadvertently make a micro black hole, and the earth is quickly erased from existence. Just kidding: scientists at CERN and elsewhere have ruled out the possibility that the LHC will create any kind of doomsday scenario. The black holes that the LHC could theoretically create don't even have enough energy to light up a light bulb. On the other hand, the U.K.'s Astronomer Royal put the odds of destroying the world at 1 in 50 million (which puts it in the realm of possibilities but still not as likely as hitting the lottery).

Friday, August 22, 2008

it's a girl!

Our first born arrived this morning. She was a lot of work. Both the baby and her mom are fine. They came out victorious after about 30 combined hours of latent phase (hurt) and contractions during active stage of labor (hurt like hell). The mother is an exhausted soldier. I was there every painful minute to witness the miracle of life.

Congratulations to my wife and myself.
Yes, I'm a dad!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

lesser of 2 evils, much less

Obama isn't really my cup of tea. There are times when he's wonderful, gracious, and intelligent, making him a qualified presidential candidate. But there are times he's a pure politician, in every definition of that word. But if that's what it takes to win, a lot of his supporters can and will look the other way.

Let's put it this way, in order to do good, sometimes one has to pretend to be a little evil. Not that I agree with the ideology.

Bottom line, Obama is the lesser of the two evils. In fact, running against McCain, Obama is a saint, a real savior for the American people. And he probably is, only if you can see for yourselves what McCain will surely bring - WARS.

The polls show a close race between the two right now. Who would you vote for?

Borrow chart

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Team USA basketball

I've been following team USA basketball. It looks like they have a good shot at the gold this time. But pre-Olympic games are still too close for comfort.

A little history with team USA basketball in Olympics. Three phases:
Early Dominance
1930s - 80s (9 golds, 1 controversial silver, 1 bronze, 1 boycott)

NBA Dream Teams
90s (complete fanfare and dominance resulted in 2 breezy golds)

NBA losing it
21st century (1 close-shave gold, 1 bronze, multiple disappointments on international championships)

reference: wikipedia

2008 roster vs the original dream team

Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd, Deron Williams (Coach: Mike Krzyzewski) (Assistant Coach: Mike D'Antoni)(Assistant Coach: Jim Boeheim) (Assistant Coach: Nate McMillan)


Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Chris Mullin, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton, David Robinson, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Christian Laettner (Coach: Chuck Daly)
average margin of victory: 43.8 points in 8 games
timeouts called: 0

Saturday, July 19, 2008

motion sickness from quake

USGS records a 7.0 quake off East coast Japan today. link

This is the first time I felt a little sick from the shaking caused by an earthquake. One would think it might happen more often.

The ground shook like a boat, moving slowly from side to side. I'm still feeling "sea sick".

TOKYO - A strong earthquake with a preliminary 6.6 magnitude struck off of Japan's eastern coast Saturday, the country's meteorological agency said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The 11:39 a.m. quake, which occurred off the coast of Fukushima prefecture about 150 miles northeast of Tokyo, was followed by several aftershocks.

The quake, which struck about six miles below the ocean's surface, shook buildings as far away as Tokyo.

The agency issued a tsunami warning for parts of Japan's eastern coast, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu said there was no broad threat in the Pacific. Yahoo! news

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Our baby is only one month away! Mother and the baby are looking healthy and ready as ever.

We've added another classroom in our school, and been looking for a grammar teacher.

Typhoon number 7 is going to hit Southern parts of Japan anytime now.

Air temperatures have reached 30+ degrees everyday for the last week.

Summer holidays for school kids commence this weekend.

Three more weeks to drama-filled Beijing Olympic games.

Friday, June 20, 2008

you win some; you lose some

Boston Celtics took the steering wheel for a joy ride in the much deserved win over Lakers' sloppy game 6 to capture the NBA finals. What is Kobe Bryant's Lakers missing? A better point guard? A consistent center? A productive bench? No, no, no, and no. A leader. There was no direction, no determination, no shit. Better luck next year. On the other hand, Pierce, KG, and Allen can finally laugh in the face of ringless-greats Malone, Stockton, and Barkley. "na na na nan nana..." Congratulations!

In this past week, we're all losers. We lost Tim Russert, the Meet the Press host, a nearly extinct newsman species. But I'm going out on a limb to say that Russert wasn't that excellent of an anchorman. He had his misses with the war and whatnot. He stood out as one because the rest is pathetic, pathetic! You read right. Pa-fucking-thetic!

Why can't Bill O'Reilly have a heart attack? His infamous short temper fits the profile. One can hope.

Russert didn't sell his journalist soul to the devil, nor was he a saint. With all that said, he was more than decent, really good at what he did, and as honest as a major network newsman could be these days in order to remain in that post, of which, is very sad. R.I.P.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

large scale protests work

If the people can stand up passionately against their government's policies, the bigwigs in high office will have to respond. There is something here the US can learn from these young and passionate Koreans.
S. Korea: 80,000 protest new US beef import accord
SEOUL, South Korea - About 80,000 protesters gathered in the South Korean capital Tuesday in the largest demonstration yet against the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports, as the entire Cabinet offered to resign in the uproar over the policy.

President Lee Myung-bak's office did not say whether he would accept the resignations, an attempt to defuse the beef crisis that has paralyzed his government less than four months after the former Hyundai CEO took office following a landslide election victory.

The government agreed in April to lift almost all restrictions that had been imposed on imports of U.S. beef over fears of mad cow disease. Protesters have been demanding for weeks that the government scrap or renegotiate the beef deal amid perceptions it did not do enough to protect citizens.

The demonstrations began after a popular current affairs TV program questioned the safety of U.S. beef and claimed Koreans are more susceptible than Americans and Europeans to the human variant due to genetics. ap via yahoo

Well, there is something we can do: impeach Bush.

Rep. Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution
WASHINGTON - Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic presidential contender, said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to impeach President Bush.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi consistently has said impeachment was "off the table."

Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment language in a floor speech. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war.

Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. That resolution was killed, but only after Republicans initially voted in favor of taking up the measure to force a debate.

Kucinich won 50 percent of the vote in a five-way House Democratic primary in March, beating back critics who said he ignored business at home to travel the country in his quest to be president. ap via yahoo

Monday, June 09, 2008

Akihabara massacre

I believe he did it because: (speculations)

He doesn't have the social skills to properly ask for help.
(He's a country boy who's lost in a big city, trying to survive.)
He was hoping someone would stop him before he gave himself up to rage.
(He chronicled the entire killing plan online as he made the long drive from Shizuoka to Akihabara, Tokyo, where the killing took place.)
He has a violent and short temper.
(needless to say)

(more speculations)
In a nutshell, this is hardly an only-in-Japan problem. The younger generation distance themselves from real social interaction because the net is an easier place to make "friends", who resemble the real thing well enough . But that's where the similarity ends. They provide no real friendship when support is needed the most.

In other words, the suspect in this case is a typical outcast who can't cope with the stress of society nor is he resourceful enough to solve or even see the monster building up inside him. He snapped.

There's a collection of the smaller things like, lack of job security, strain with family, solidarity, indulging in a comic book world, personality flaw, etc...

No one ever gave him a second look. His act was a way to validate his existence.

Random acts of violence happen all over the world, but they're almost never truly random. We're going to find out more about what led up to and ultimately triggered the breaking point.

What was the most surprising was- why didn't anyone stop him?
after he mauled three people down,
with a big-ass truck,
leaving a pool of blood,
in the middle of a busy street,
in board day light,
where he stepped outside the vehicle,
all the while a shopper crowd looking on,
consequently allowing him stab 14 people thereafter.
Stop that crazy motherfucker!

He's probably going to get the death penalty and that's what he deserves but it will not solve anything. Your typical justice at its best.

Death toll from stabbing spree in Tokyo's Akihabara rises to seven

The death toll from a stabbing spree in downtown Tokyo on Sunday afternoon has risen to seven, police said.

The random attack in the Akihabara district of Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, also injured 10 others, paralyzing shoppers with fear.

The 25-year-old killer, Tomohiro Kato, 25, a temporary worker from Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, was arrested for attempted murder because none of the victims had been confirmed dead at the time. Police are poised to upgrade the charges to murder. mainichi

Thursday, June 05, 2008

been busy... my head.

Sure, at work as well- students are signing up slowly but steadily. We have a solid student base to call this a proper neighborhood English school.

With our baby only 2 months away, we're doing all we can to make this little world as comfortable as humanly possible, while staying within our means.

With more responsibilities the bigger, more enjoyable things in life come semi-voluntarily falling into places without us focusing too much effort on them. That doesn't mean it's not a little tiring. But the joy of getting these things planned out nicely outweighs the pressure.

When those things are ready maybe I'll let you in for a peek.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tesla Roadster

Let's take a look at the roadster that's named after Tesla. Notable details:

0-60mph = 3.9 sec
All-electric plug-in
reduced dependence on oil
An all-in-all fun sports car

Top speed = 125mph (201kmph)
248 horses 13,000rpm redline
range on one single charge = 200+ miles

What's holding some people back?

Now, enjoy a teaser clip


Tesla Motor
Tesla Roadster's wikipage

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tesla- sane in a mad time

There are many versions to this following story:

"A horseman comes to an end-of-the-world town where the entire population seems to be insane. After further investigation he realizes the town's well, its only regular water source, is poisoned with chemicals that induce madness. Since there is no where else to go, he's faced with two choices - (1)he'll drink from it and go insane, or, (2)he'll stay away from it and drink only from rainwater and fruit juice, but forever treated as a mad man."

Nikola Tesla was that mad man.
Free worldwide wireless energy, death rays, earthquake machines, remote control and green power, all from the fertile mind of the genius who electrified the world. Now, Nikola Tesla's Mad Electricity, on Modern Marvels.more

In addition, he was an unparalleled genius, a man who was able to out-envision the Inventor- Thomas Edison. He was the futurist of the future, hindered by short-sighted townpeople.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What does the Universe expand into?

I was reading reddit and came across this comment to the question above.

the growth is uniform?

In general. There are local areas where galaxies are gravitationally bound, but the expansion of spacetime means other groups become increasingly more distant.

the growth can be measured?

This is the most solid area of the cosmological science. We've known about the expansion since the 20s, and despite its unintuitiveness, discovered that the rate of expansion is increasing.

there is no central point from which the expansion is happening?

There are no privileged frames of reference. Within our 3-dimensional experience, there is no center. Every point is expanding away from the others equally.

But 4-dimensionally, you can view the instant of the big bang as the point in spacetime from which everything expands. As we move along the axis of time, the spacial dimensions all increase.

Alternately, if you view our universe as the surface of a hypersphere, the center of that sphere can be viewed as the central point; however it is "outside" the space we occupy.

The Bad Astronomer attempts an explanation:

that still indicates that the balloon is expanding IN something... know what I mean?

Not really; that's where the analogy breaks down. Space and time are both metrics internal to the Universe. They only make sense in reference to things within space and time. You can have no "space outside space" or "time before time".

The Big Bang wasn't an explosion of matter into an already-existing expanse of space. Space and time themselves emerge from that singular point, along with all the matter and energy in the universe.

If the universe exists at its origin point as a singularity, then that is how it exists relative to anything "outside". Everything else happens "inside" and has no bearing on what occurs "outside". One model is that our universe is one of an infinite number of "bubble universes" that simply pop into existence as a consequence of quantum vacuum fluctuations.

Here's a few links that may address your question better than I can:

Hey Mike!

First off the bat, let me condemn commercialism. EVIL EVIL I tell ya!

Despite the moral setback, enjoy this convincing CG where Michael Jordan plays 1-on-1 with his younger self. Their taunts crack me up. "Get your young butt out there." Wouldn't that be something?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


YADS - yet another doomsday scenario

Our solar system wades through the Milky Way not unlike mother Earth orbits the Sun. Every so often we come to a dense section of the spiral disc where comets and other space debris hurl towards us ten times more frequently. Is it time the dinosaurs went distinct again?
Scientists at the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology built a computer model of our solar system’s movement and found that it “bounces” up and down through the plane of the galaxy. As we pass through the densest part of the plane, gravitational forces from the surrounding giant gas and dust clouds dislodge comets from their paths. The comets plunge into the solar system, some of them colliding with the earth.

The Cardiff team found that we pass through the galactic plane every 35 to 40 million years, increasing the chances of a comet collision tenfold. Evidence from craters on Earth also suggests we suffer more collisions approximately 36 million years. Professor William Napier, of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, said: “It’s a beautiful match between what we see on the ground and what is expected from the galactic record.” Cardiff University

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

overpopulation the begining of end

First of all, we'll have to understand where it has been and where overpopulation is taking us:

World population on wiki

The world population reached its first billion in 1804AD, 2 million years since the dawn of human race.

The second billion reached in 1927, 123 years later.
The third billion reached in 1961, only 34 years later.
4th billion in 1974, taken only 13 years.
5th billion in 1987, taken only 13 years.
6th billion in 1999, taken only 12 years.
The next billion projected in 2011, 3 years from now!

Now let's see the consequences:
World Food Program warns of 'silent tsunami' of hunger

By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press WriterTue Apr 22, 4:56 PM ET

Ration cards. Genetically modified crops. The end of pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap supermarkets.

These possible solutions to the first global food crisis since World War II — which the World Food Program says already threatens 20 million of the poorest children — are complex and controversial. And they may not even solve the problem as demand continues to soar.

A "silent tsunami" of hunger is sweeping the world's most desperate nations, said Josette Sheeran, the WFP's executive director, speaking Tuesday at a London summit on the crisis.

The skyrocketing cost of food staples, stoked by rising fuel prices, unpredictable weather and demand from India and China, has already sparked sometimes violent protests across the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. via Yahoo! news
Japan's hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations

Justin Norrie, Tokyo
* April 21, 2008

MARIKO Watanabe admits she could have chosen a better time to take up baking. This week, when the Tokyo housewife visited her local Ito-Yokado supermarket to buy butter to make a cake, she found the shelves bare.

"I went to another supermarket, and then another, and there was no butter at those either. Everywhere I went there were notices saying Japan has run out of butter. I couldn't believe it — this is the first time in my life I've wanted to try baking cakes and I can't get any butter," said the frustrated cook.

Japan's acute butter shortage, which has confounded bakeries, restaurants and now families across the country, is the latest unforeseen result of the global agricultural commodities crisis.

A sharp increase in the cost of imported cattle feed and a decline in milk imports, both of which are typically provided in large part by Australia, have prevented dairy farmers from keeping pace with demand.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

the most affordable supercar to date

You're probably sick and tired of hearing all about it- praises sung across the interwebs clogging the tubes. In this Japan's domestic market, the Nissan GT-R is no doubt the most affordable supercar that's arguably the best automotive engineering money can buy to date.

Consider its price tag: 7,777,000 Yen
roughly 76,204.01 US Dollars
or 47,788.46 Euros

For this kind of money, it's nuts to have these eye-popping specs (JDM) across the board: (US specs)

twin-turbo 3.8L V6
473 horsepower and 434 ft-lbs. of torque
0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds
GR6 dual-clutch six-speed
Nurburgring lap time: 7:35

For comparison: (somewhat older times)
7:36 --- Porsche Carrera GT, factory test driver Walther RA¶hrl (2002)
7:40* -- Porsche Carrera GT, *estimated time on cold and partially wet track (2003)
7:40 --- Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR, Klaus Ludwig, Autobild July 2004
7:42 --- Radical 1500 SR3 (2002)
7:43 --- TechArt GT Street (2001)
7:43 --- Porsche 996 911 GT3 RS
7:43.5 - Lamborghini Murcielago (Autocar magazine, 2002)
7:44 --- Pagani Zonda C12 S (2003)
7:45 --- Gemballa Porsche GT-R 600 (2000)
7:46 --- Porsche 996 GT2
7:46 --- SHK Porsche 993 GT2, 652 PS (1999)
7:47 --- Porsche 996 GT3 RS, 381PS (996) (2004)
7:49 --- Porsche 996 GT3 Cup
7:50 --- BMW E46 M3 CSL (08/2003)
7:50 --- Blitz Supra, 750 PS, Herbert SchA1rg (1997)
7:50 --- Honda RC30, Helmut Daehne (1993)
7:50 --- Lamborghini Murcielago (06/2002)
7:52 --- Gemballa Porsche 911 Le Mans (1995)
7:52 --- Lamborghini Gallardo E-Gear (12/2003)
7:52 --- Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (06/2004)
7:54 --- Porsche GT3 (996) (2003)
7:55 --- Caterham R500 Superlight (2002)
7:56 --- Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale (02/2004)
7:56 --- Porsche 996 Turbo
7:56 --- Chevrolet Corvette C6 (tested by Dave Hill)
7:57 --- Lotec Porsche 993 Turbo, 600 PS, racing suspension
7:59 --- Porsche 911 Carrera S (997) (Performance Chassis) (Walter Rohrl - WHEELS June 2004)
8:02 --- Porsche 911 Carrera S (997) (Sport PASM setting) (Walter Rohrl - WHEELS June 2004)
8:03 --- Porsche 996 GT3 (1999)
8:04 --- Lamborghini Diablo GT (07/2000)
8:05 --- Ferrari 575M Maranello F1 (12/2002)
8:05 --- Porsche 911 Carrera S (997) (Normal PASM setting)(Walter Rohrl - WHEELS June 2004)
8:06 --- Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
8:06 --- Caterham 7 Superlight R, Robert Nearn
8:07 --- Ferrari 550 Maranello (06/1998)
8:09 --- Honda NSX-R 3.2 (08/2002)
8:09 --- Ferrari 360 Modena (10/1999)
8:09 --- Lamborghini Diablo SV (no ABS?)
8:10 --- Chrysler Viper GTS, 411PS, UK-Spec, no ABS (10/1997)
8:10 --- Donkervoort D8 180R
8:12 --- Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG (04/2002)
8:12 --- Porsche 993 Turbo
8:13 --- Lotus Esprit Sport 350, 354 PS (05/1999)
8:15 --- Ruf 911 CTR 2, 520 PS
8:15*-- Holden GTS (2000), *estimated
8:15 --- Porsche 911 Carrera 2 (997) (Walter Rohrl - WHEELS June 2004)
8:16 --- AC-Schnitzer E36 M3 CLS II, 350 PS (11/1997)
8:17 --- Aston Martin V12 Vanquish (2003)
8:17 --- Porsche 996 C2
8:18 --- BMW Z8, 400 PS (08/2000)
8:18 --- Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition, 344 PS (09/2003)
8:18 --- Ferrari F355 (06/1997)
8:20 --- Audi RS6 (2002)
8:22 --- BMW E46 M3 (12/2000)
8:22 --- BMW M Coupe, 321 PS (10/1998)
8:22 --- Mercedes-Benz C55 (07/2004)
8:23 --- Aston Martin DB7 GT (2003)
8:23 --- Porsche 996 Carrera 4
8:24 --- Subaru Impreza WRX STi (2004)
8:25 --- Audi RS4 375 HP
8:25 --- Callaway Corvette C12
8:25 --- Mitsubishi Carisma GT Evo VI (11/1999)
8:25 --- Mitsubishi Carisma GT Evo VII (11/2002)
8:26 --- Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG (05/2001)
8:26 --- Nissan 350Z (2003)
8:28 --- BMW M5, 400 PS(also confirmed by Motor Commodore magazine, 2000)
8:28 --- Nissan Skyline GT-R, 277 PS
8:28 --- Porsche 993 Carrera 2
8:29 --- Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG (05/2000)
8:29 --- Audi S4 4.2 Avant (11/2003)
8:30 --- Maserati CoupA© Cambiocorsa (10/2002)
8:31 --- Ferrari F355 GTS, 380 PS
8:32 --- BMW M Roadster, 321 PS (09/1997)
8:32 --- BMW Z4 3.0 SMG (05/2003)
8:32 --- Porsche Boxster S
8:32 --- Volkswagen Golf R32
8:34 --- Acura NSX, 276 PS
8:34 --- BMW Z3 CoupA© 3.0i, 231 PS (04/2001)
8:35 --- BMW M3 Coupe, 321 PS
8:35 --- Brabus-Mercedes Benz C V8 SportcoupA© (02/2002)
8:36 --- BMW E36 M3 EVO, 321 PS
8:36 --- Alpina-BMW B3 3.3 CoupA© (07/1999)
8:37 --- Maserati 3200GT (2002)
8:37 --- Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG (09/2001)
8:37 --- Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec, 350 PS
8:37 --- Subaru Impreza GT Turbo
8:37 --- Honda NSX 3.0 (07/1991)
8:38 --- Honda NSX 3.2 (08/1997)
8:38 --- Mercedes-Benz SL500 (12/2001)
8:38 --- Porsche 996 Carrera, 296 PS

In the US, 76k gets you:

Lotus Exige S 240 (MSRP: $64,890)
1.8L I4
240 horsepower and 170 ft-lbs of torque
0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds
6 Speed Manual
Fast, light, good handling, but not a supercar


Cadillac STS-V (MSRP: $78,215)
4.4L V8
469 horsepower and 439 ft-lbs of torque
0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds
6 Speed Automatic
powerful, bulky, poor handling, not a supercar

5th Gear's coverage

The new GT-R (R35) can humiliate Prosches and Lambos, which cost five times more money, on a racetrack. It drives like an everyday car when you're not on a mission. But I don't like:

1)No option for a stick-shift manual

2)A through and through engineering marvel with perfect numbers on paper for the x-wii-station generation. It translates well into supercar performance on track, however may indeed lack a soul for people who lust after a driver's car. The car is superior than anything on the road, but most of the driving is done by the 200 on-board computer chips, not you.

See this Porsche 911 Turbo eaten alive

Monday, April 07, 2008

Top Gear's May man of men

I've never seen anyone spotting a haircut like that capable of such coolness. I salute you James May. Ramsay on the other hand...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cat's Eye Hubble Remix

Credit & Copyright: Vicent Peris(OAUV / PTeam), MAST, STScI, AURA, NASA


Staring across interstellar space, the alluring Cat's Eye Nebula lies three thousand light-years from Earth. One of the most famous planetary nebulae in the sky, the Cat's Eye (NGC 6543) is over half a light-year across and represents a final, brief yet glorious phase in the life of a sun-like star. This nebula's dying central star may have produced the simple, outer pattern of dusty concentric shells by shrugging off outer layers in a series of regular convulsions. But the formation of the beautiful, more complex inner structures is not well understood. Here, Hubble Space Telescope archival image data has been reprocessed to create another look the cosmic cat's eye. Compared to well-known Hubble pictures, the alternative processing strives to sharpen and improve the visiblility of details in light and dark areas of the nebula and also applies a more complex color palette. Of course, gazing into the Cat's Eye, astronomers may well be seeing the fate of our Sun, destined to enter its own planetary nebula phase of evolution ... in about 5 billion years.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

dog ball bot

warning: can be loud.

This is just so cute. Go Jerry go!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

1USD = 100JPY

The US dollar hits 12-year low against the Japanese yen today.
1 USD buys you 100.4 JPY as of now.

Japanese Yen Soars To 12-year High Versus Dollar

(RTTNews) - Thursday morning, the Japanese yen soared to a 12-year high versus the US dollar and new multi-day highs against the euro and the pound. Against the Swiss franc, the yen climbed to one-week high during this time.

A Bloomberg report stated that, the dollar fell against the yen on speculation U.S. retail sales growth slowed, adding to evidence the economy is entering a recession.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mixi's asshole move

The Japanese equivalent to Myspace, Mixi, is adding lines to their terms of service that let them retroactively utilize users’ content for their own ends. In the words of AltJapan: By posting information, including diaries and the like, on this service, users grant the service the unrestricted right to use said information (whether in the form of reproduction, publication, distribution, translation, modification or the like) without compensation.” In other words, all your content are belong to us. Jprobe

x-AC 曰く、


第18条 日記等の情報の使用許諾等

1. 本サービスを利用して、ユーザーが日記等の情報を投稿する場合には、ユーザーは弊社に対して、当該日記等の情報を日本の国内外において無償かつ非独占的に使用する権利(複製、上映、公衆送信、展示、頒布、翻訳、改変等を行うこと)を許諾するものとします。
2. ユーザーは、弊社に対して 著作者人格権を行使しないものとします。




追記: 附則によれば、「2 本利用規約の施行前にユーザーによって行われた行為についても本利用規約が適用されます。」だそうです (by mhatta Tue, 04 Mar 2008 11:13:31 +0900) slashdot jp

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Carter's right hand

I haven't seen this idea thrown around, that Vince Carter's right arm, all the way from his finger tips to his right shoulder, has taken too much stress in his Raptors' years. As a result, he doesn't play ball like a franchise player anymore. Instead he shuffles his feet up and down the court, barely making an effort. After all sticking his arm through the rim in a dunk can't be good for him. You don't see anyone else does it in the league.

That's the price he pays being the most prolific, most violent dunker in the long history of the NBA.

There have been many arguments on who should be crowned the best dunker of all time. Should it be Dr J? Wilkins? Jordan? Carter? Howard? People who argue otherwise have not really paid attention to Carter.

I'm hoping the ranking will settle once and for all like this:

1- Carter (because he simply is)
Listed height: 6' 6" (198 cm)
Style: with authority, he cuts through lanes and jumps over defenders.

2- Jordan (classic Jordan late 80s to early 90s + his success)
Real height: 6 ft 4.75 in (195 cm)
Style: with air, he glides though air and jumps over defenders.

3- open to discussion

Friday, February 29, 2008

age doesn't matter in true love?

Consider the following situation:

A 25-year-old guy and a 13-year-old girl run away from home because the girl's parents oppose their "relationship". Hello? Someone beats a little common sense into this guy. Couple arrive in Tokyo where cops are in place waiting to end their little journey. Only time will tell if these two are for real or the guy deserves some serious jail time.
Man convicted of abduction for running away with 13-year-old girlfriend

A man who ran away to Tokyo with his 13-year-old girlfriend last year has been convicted of abduction.

The Tokyo District Court has sentenced 25-year-old Atsushi Tominaga to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for abduction of a minor.

"The girl was still young and didn't have the ability to make sound judgments. His actions adversely affected her education. The defendant is guilty, even though the girl agreed to go with him," Judge Yoichi Omura said as he handed down the ruling.

The judge explained that the term was suspended because Tominaga had not taken the girl against her will.

Tominaga took the girl from her home in August last year after her parents opposed their relationship, according to the ruling, before taking her on a 16-day trip around Kobe and Shinjuku-ku in Tokyo.
Mainichi Daily

Thursday, February 28, 2008


My gaijinhood is somewhat different from your run-of-the-mill westerner, because I ain't one. I'm an in-between. Nonetheless I did commit some typical foreigner's assholeness overall. I remember having had to remind myself to blink the first few weeks. I thought my little world was THE Japan experience. Now fast forward to 5 years later, boy was I wrong!

Here is a great quote:
Less than three weeks after I moved to Japan, I was invited to hanami with a bunch of my wife’s co-workers. She was a McEnglish drone, I confess, so that meant we were with a bunch of Brits, Yanks, Canucks, Aussies, and the odd Kiwi. It started to rain after a couple of hours, at which point we shuffled off towards an izakaya. As we hit the edge of the park, a totally pissed Brit passing by shouted…

“OY! That’s right, fuck off, you lot, this is MY Japan!”
Read the Seven Stages of the Gaijinhood

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jero the enka singer

Jero, a 3/4 American and 1/4 Japanese, is the first black enka (演歌) singer that made it to the main stream by releasing his debut single Umiyuki (海雪) this past month. It's getting good reviews on amazon japan.

He's making frequent appearances on daytime TV and music shows as of late, which give him a lot of exposure beyond the usual gaijin attention. He's a decent singer and with his unique hip-hop fashion style he may very well be here to stay.

Another interesting fact is that the lyrics are written by Uzaki Ryouto (宇崎竜童), who also wrote the majority of Yamaguchi Momoe's (山口百恵) biggest hits in the 70s and 80s.

Street clothes + Enka = sure, why not? I'm rooting for him.

Guy has a blog:

Monday, February 04, 2008

railgun reality

US Navy's test fire of a railgun on Jan 31st, 2008
A railgun is a form of gun that converts electrical energy (rather than the more conventional chemical energy from an explosive propellant) into projectile kinetic energy. It is not to be confused with a coilgun (Gauss gun). Rail guns use magnetic force to drive a projectile. Unlike gas pressure guns, rail guns are not limited by the speed of sound in a compressed gas, so they are capable of accelerating projectiles to extremely high speeds. wiki
In layman's terms, it's a big-ass gun that:

  • doesn't rely on explosives to eject the "bullet"
  • uses a magnetic field that pushes the bullet out perpendicularly
  • hits target up to 230 miles (370 km), or 10x the distance the biggest gun currently can (livescience)
  • reaches Mach 7 and ignites plasma in the air along its projectile
  • strikes and destroys targets with sheer speed, without any need for explosion

courtesy: howstuffworks

A youtube comment hits bullseye on how it should be used - to propel a small rocket into space. A bigger gun is not what we need right now since weapon supremacy alone doesn't win wars anymore. I understand that guns will continually become bigger and researches for advance military means will always get the first nod of OK. But I hope they'll also consider an alternative use. Imagine a relatively cheap way to get a sizable payload all the way up there into and beyond earth's orbit.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Asteroid 2007 TU24 Passes the Earth

Asteroid 2007 TU24 Passes the Earth

Green Bank Radio Telescope,
Arecibo Radio Telescope

Asteroid 2007 TU24 passed by the Earth yesterday, posing no danger. The space rock, estimated to be about 250 meters across, coasted by just outside the orbit of Earth's Moon. The passing was not very unusual -- small rocks strike Earth daily, and in 2003 a rock the size of a bus passed inside the orbit of the Moon, being detected only after passing. TU24 was notable partly because it was so large. Were TU24 to have struck land, it might have caused a magnitude seven earthquake and left a city-sized crater. A perhaps larger danger would have occurred were TU24 to have struck the ocean and raised a large tsunami. This radar image was taken two days ago. The Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico broadcast radar that was reflected by the asteroid and then recorded by the Byrd Radio Telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia. The resulting image shows TU24 to have an oblong and irregular shape. TU24 was discovered only three months ago, indicating that other potentially hazardous asteroids might lurk in our Solar System currently undetected. Objects like TU24 are hard to detect because they are so faint and move so fast. Humanity's ability to scan the sky to detect, catalog, and analyze such objects has increased notably in recent years.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

single most exciting moment in driving

Gigi Galli + perfect entry speed + opposite lock + feathered throttle = one dreamy corner, even with the handbrake pulled.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

in go(o)d company

Prof. Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996),
Prof. Stephen Hawking (1942 - ),
and Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - )
sit down together in this 1988 interview discussing the then-known universe. Not too much is different scientifically - we've learned a lot more but the big picture remains unchanged. Today Sagan is no longer with us. Clarke has one foot in the grave. Hawking is the one that looks half decent. Who would have thought?

I admire and respect these brilliant men, their vision and achievements on science and their effects on our way of perceiving the future. We need to have their equals in this generation.

download your video torrent there

A clip on youtube from the video:

Monday, January 21, 2008

easy absentee ballot

The US of A is a fucked-up country, so let's take responsibility.
Voter Registration on

--== absentee ballot ==--

There are no more excuses for expats to say it's too time consuming. So easy a 5-year-old child can do it. Register to have your say (absentee ballot on General Election) on one of these sites:


Democrats (also vote at Primary online)

Absentee Voting Assistance

--== general information ==--

2008 US Presidential Election timeline:
(Primary, Caucus, and General Election dates)

Candidates in a nutshell:


Friday, January 18, 2008

rare snow

We don't really get much snow in this part of Japan - once or twice in these three years. It started snowing a couple of nights ago, stopped, and picked up again this afternoon. Overall air temperatures have crept just above zero degree centigrade (~32F) after an overnight of subzero single-digits.

It looks like the kind of snow that I'm used to seeing on the East Coast - fluffy and a bit wet. I don't think we'll see more than a few centimeters of accumulation, judging from the ground not being cold enough for it to stick around for long.

I had a close call slow-speed skid (almost brushed oncoming traffic and a lamp post) in my car on my way home the night sleet fell, resulting in a set of spanking new tires (Bridgestone Playz for those who are into car parts) much needed since the initial purchase. It's mostly my fault but nonetheless a learning experience with my rear wheel drive roadster. I feel like we're growing to know each other a little more every step of the way. All in all a good ride with predictable behaviors.

In other news, I had my 31st birthday a few days ago. Yeah 31! Tell me about it. With our baby on his/her way and things falling into places this feels like my second, third, or fourth chance on life. Need I say more?