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
Thursday, February 27, 2003 permanent link
Japander :n.,& v.t. 1. a western star who uses his or her fame to make large sums of money in a short time by advertising products in Japan that they would probably never use. ~er (see synecure, prostitute) 2. to make an ass of oneself in Japanese media.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003 permanent link
To the left is the first inline photo that I have posted to my log. It was freaky enough to be worthwhile. Read about it to see exactly why it is so freaky.

As long as were are exploring the grays boundaries between childhood and adulthood, I found a far less disturbing and much more fun example, my current wallpaper which came from a collection of advertisements by Dr. Seuss.

Monday, February 24, 2003 permanent link
  I have found too many references on the net lately about the newest crazy craze in Japan that I can no longer ignore it. First, I live in Japan, and I have never seen anything like this. IF the skirt's exisited, it would definately NOT be a rage. Even in Japan the're not that crazy. Teenage girls may be prostituting themselves for designer clothes, so the media tells us so, but they do it in private. Secondly, those pictures are obviously fakes, so I can't believe how many people want to believe it. I have seen these same exact photos on lots of web pages out there now. 1.) If you were going to paint an ass on your skirt, wouldn't you make it a great ass? Those photos are of just normal asses. 2.) If you did paint an butt on your skirt, it would only correctly look "see through" from 1 view point. From all other view points, it would look like a painted-on-butt. Most likely the 1 view point they would paint would be from directly behind and some of those photo's were not showing the girl from directly behind. So even if the skirts actually did exist, then those photos were well posed and not pictures of real girls in real life. So, sorry to ruin all the fun, but there is enough crazy shit out there that we don't need to be fooled.

UPDATE: This looks real. Maybe this is the inspiration for the fakes. However you shouldn't think that this alone is evidence of Japan being crazy. I saw something similar a few years ago on a beach in Florida. From a distance my intereste was piqued by a seemingly nice bikini, and then my hopes dashed as I realized it was a T-shirt covering a flabby 40-something-year-old.

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  I'm glad that the UK is getting serious about renable energy. It is about time and I hope they really do. It is also time, past time actually, for the USA to do the same. I have never voted, but I have 2 issues that I will go out of my way to vote for from now on. The first is campaign finance reform, and the second is combating global warming.

Not worthy of its own post, but still important to me, is this interesting quote from this article: Moreover, U.S. court decisions in the 1980s that strengthened patent protection for software led to less innovation. "Far from unleashing a flurry of new innovative activity," Maskin and Bessen write, "these stronger property rights ushered in a period of stagnant, if not declining, R&D among those industries and firms that patented most." Industries that depend on sequential product development -- the initial version is followed by an improved second version, etc. -- are, they argue, likely to be stifled by stronger intellectual property regimes.

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  I recently, last year, took the official Japanese language test. Officiated by whom I don't know. In any case I passed the the level four test! If that sounds impressive, then that is becaus you don't know that level 4 test is the easiest level, and level 1 is the hardest. During this test, I'm sure one or five of the problems I missed delt with recognizing correct kanji (Chinese characters). I know quite a few basic kanji, however they decide to use some very similar kanji to confuse me, the difference between some of them being 1 stroke out of about 8. Keep in mind the most number of strokes in the English alphabet is 4, for the letters E, W, or M. Well the great irony here folks, is that I just got a new certificate that states I passed the test. This new certificate replaces the original because the original had an error on it. You guessed right, they used an incorrect kanji. The original certificate "mispelled" the city that I took the test in, Osaka. I am sure that no one notice because they accidently used a character looked so similar to the correct kanji. If the test officials can't even get it right the first time, I am surely never going to make it to the level 1 exam.
Thursday, February 20, 2003 permanent link
  Here is the amazingly well designed Official Homepage of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, where you can learn that "the great leader Kim Il Sung will be always with us". You can also learn amazing facts that "only a few people in the world know", such as the USA is the only thing keeping North and South Korea divided. The fact that North Korea is a communist dictatorship has nothing to do with it. (Warning to Chinese journalists, the preceding paragraph is entirely sarcastic).
Wednesday, February 19, 2003 permanent link
  Do you like the comic strips from most newspapers in the USA? I found a classic Dilbert that seems especially appropriate for some of my ex-colleagues
Tuesday, February 18, 2003 permanent link
  At this date and time, I am coining, tradmarking, and patenting the word, term, expression, phrase, sentence, and paragraph, "qooler", optionally spelled "cooler" or "kooler". The meaning of this term is a combination of the slang terms "cool" and "killer". An example sentence would be "Hey man, that website is pretty qooler".
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  CNN did a story about this website. It would allow me to rate my Viginia Tech Professors, if I felt justified doing that 4 years after graduating. I realized today that if I had a child born right now, I would be my dads age now when my child graduated. And yet I still don't plan on having a kid for another few years. This thought made me realize however that I should be careful that I am not too old to relate somewhat to my child and have the energy to properly raise it.
Monday, February 17, 2003 permanent link
  A friend and fellow web-surfer sent me a link to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's copy of a patent for a Hydro-therapeutic stimulator. Make sure you lick on the "Images" link at the top.
Thursday, February 13, 2003 permanent link
  I discovered a freakin gold mine of free movies! This is great. They are all old, which makes them so cool. A library of old educational videos online. I'm dowloading plenty of them. I suggest always getting the DivX whenever available. In addition, here is a video made by a coworker of himself and my friend driving the hell out of the "company car". You will need the latest Quicktime player. (Update: Thanks to the movie archive I now know how the rear differential in a car works! Update2: I now know that "a floodtide of filth is engulfing our country in the form of newsstand obscenity")
Wednesday, February 12, 2003 permanent link
  I really like modern ruins and some day really want to visit Gunkajima Island, Japan. On a completely unrelated note I found a a good web Rubik cube linked from this site.
Sunday, February 09, 2003 permanent link
  I saw a report on Japanese television last night about this dog washing machine. It occurred to me that if they dogs could name it, they might call it "Box-O-Hell". It was quite funny to watch these dogs get shoved into a box and sprayed down and then blow-dried and they at first panicked and then finally pressed themselves against the glass to try and escape. As they were let out, the look on their face seemed to say "what the bleeping hell was that!?". (update: the "sadistic sudser" was actually created by two Spaniards)
Wednesday, February 05, 2003 permanent link
  Ever wonder why we hiccup?
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  Join the EFF. Help regulate against the large multinational corporations taking over the public domain and destroying fair use. Help fight software patents and take action on many other issues that can dramatically affect our future in an ever more wired world. Here is a funny Comedy Central skit about the police state (movie: funny political satire) that the EFF is trying to prevent.
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