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.