Brian is a researcher, technologist, and futurist working in Kyoto, Japan as a programmer, web developer, and software engineer. He has a CS degree from VT in VA plus several years experience and a wide interest in many topics. Oportunities and Interest Always Welcome.
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Words about Japan, Technology, Politics, and Entertainment seldom spelled correctly
Sunday, March 31, 2002 permanent link
  Just in time for Easter I found Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics.
Saturday, March 30, 2002 permanent link
  The Picture of the Week is a bit more of alternative culture. I photographed these guys in the same area of town as the earlier girl. For lack of a better word I would call them "punks". Again, I have no idea about them, so I can not tell you how dangerous or benign they might be, but I would probably not want to test them without a goood reason. This kind of fairly radical look probably indicates a divergence from the normaly mild mannered and polite japanese person. I asked if a picture was OK before shooting, as I usually do anyway, "shashin tottemo ii desu ka?".
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  It was a complete coincidence that this joke was sent to me the day after I express the need for the word "funly". Itsa funtaining read-thing. (I rate it PG13).
Wednesday, March 27, 2002 permanent link
  Just in time for easter, a friend sent me a link to a useless but funly interactive cartoon bunny done in Flash. And yes I know "funly" is not a word, but it should be!
Tuesday, March 26, 2002 permanent link
  Now for some Japanese culture. The word of the week is panchira. I came accross the word when I was reading this article, which had a perfect quote: "As for Inoue, he likens an unexpected glimpse up the skirt of an attractive woman to finding a 100 yen-coin on the street. 'It doesn't make me really, really happy. But if you're a man, it can in some way be an enriching experience.'". Also on the same website you can read about the signs you might be a gaijin (foreigner in Japan).
Monday, March 25, 2002 permanent link
  I don't want to cause a stir with the religious folks, but I'm not sure how I feel about Jesus playing sports. This bothers me in a similar way that it bothers me when sports figures thank God or Jesus for helping them win. I just can't believe God cares one little bit about which side of a team wins a game. Also, comercializing religion is where Catholics got themselves some trouble in the past... can we say "selling of indulgences"?
Saturday, March 23, 2002 permanent link
  The Picture of The Week is a alternatively dressed girl in Kyoto. Alternative culture is much less common in Japan but does exist. Mostly I think this kind of dress is saved for weekends or going to concerts. But I have almost no knowledge about the people in these groups. (image is copyrighted by me. non-commercial use is free with written permission).
Friday, March 22, 2002 permanent link
  A friend asked, "Why do you say an ocean in the drop? By drop, do you mean a water drop? If so, then how can an ocean fit in a drop?". First off, we have to forgive her for taking things so literal. English isn't her first language. Many poets and artists refuse to comment on their art, leaving it up to the viewers to bring their own personal interpretation. However, I am not yet pretentious enough to call myself an artist or a poet, so I will explain. My interpretation of the phrase is that consciousness is something we cannot quantify. Much like this web page is something created by me, and read by you, it has no physical existence that is easy to define. Lacking a physical reality, an ocean could be contained within a drop.
Thursday, March 21, 2002 permanent link
  For some inexplicable reason I decided to buy a Nintendo Famicom yesterday. This is the original Japanese version of the NES. I have always fancied the idea of colecting old video game consoles, even though I don't currently have one of the new systems. I realized however, after finding several pages similar to one man's person collection, that I don't realy have a strong enough desire, or time, to become as serious collector. I never really did, and still don't, play video games much. I mostly just like old technology.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002 permanent link
  Personal Thought: There are two commonly used phrases for uplifting our spirits. Both intend to have generally the same effect, yet each comes to that conclusion by very different premises. The first is, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. The other is “Carpe Diem”, meaning seize the day. Both are meant to give you a positive outlook on life, to give you the feeling that anything is possible if you only try. The premise of “the rest of your life” is that you have the future ahead of you. You have “the rest of you life” to become what you want and accomplish what you want. The premise of “Carpe Diem” however is that tomorrow waits for no man. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today because you don’t know what will happen. Our days are numbered, we all die, so don’t hesitate. Though coming from different angles, the two premises are not contradictory however, because “the rest of your life” makes no promise about tomorrow. The saying is that “today" is the first day of the rest of your life, not that “tomorrow" is the first day. Putting the two concepts together you get a more complete and powerful message, even if a little less uplifting, than each separately. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life… and maybe your last. So get on with it.”
Tuesday, March 19, 2002 permanent link
  The earth was almost hit by an asteroid very recently and we didn't even know it!
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  A friend of mine, we will call him Jonathan M., said "I don't understand why you call it blogging. Looks like a normal site to me". I aswered, because new entries are added at new times. Each new entry goes on top. It is like a log (diary) on the web. weB + LOG = blog. I didn't event the term. If you go to You can find many other people doing the same thing. Some are probably much more intersting than mine... not to me of course :)
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  I spent some time Sunday at a double decker driving range with an automatic ball tee-er. Then I watched Virus and Requiem for a Dream. Virus was a bad sci-fi, but barely entertaining enough. Requiem for a Dream was an independent film about drugs and depressed me so much I had to stay up late watching something more cheerful before I could go to bed.
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  1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. 2. On the other hand, the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. 3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. 4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. CONCLUSION: Eat or drink what you like. It's speaking English that kills you.
Monday, March 18, 2002 permanent link
  Check out the wild ride that the Japanese yen has been taking. It is giving me a headache.
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  Big Brother is watching you. If you haven't read Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell, I beg you.
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  Did you you know you can buy Playmate action figures? Suddenly fathers are encouraging their son's to play with dolls! [Disclaimer 1: Sometimes I find my links as a result of random surfing, somtimes from a specific search. It is probably best if you always assume my links come from random surfing :-) Disclaimer 2: to my older relatives, sometimes I am going to post on adult subjects. Mostly it is not going to be too bad, but if you are bothered, I can only ask you to not visit.]
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  This is an incredible website. A disturbing way to explore where the power in today's society lies.
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  The first article I am posting is this one from CNN: National Geographic tracks down famous photo subject. I was struck by two things. The first is the change in the girls face, how it has become worn and hardend by life. The second is the fact that "she had never seen her famous photo". I have seen that photo so many times in my life. It is practically an icon of National Geographic, a magazine designed to show the splendor and magic of the planet we live on. Yet she has never even had the opportunity to see her face on that magazine, much less experience that magic.
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  This is my first entry to my new blog. A blog, for those of you who don't know is a web log. It has become a very popular thing on the internet recently and I often visit several different blog-like web sites. I decided to create my own and see what comes of it. Hope you enjoy.
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