Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yes We Can!! A Last Action Hero... that we can believe in!

Ok, this one's long overdue...

I've been waiting to post this one for about a month now! Apparently the page got so much traffic that the owner had to take it down for a while, but it's back online now so enjoy. Yes, it's that damn good that the site got slashdotted.

Some people will apparently make action figures of just about anyone, including the first black POTUS. I just love that term... POTUS. Sounds so much better than President and crams all that information into 2 succinct syllables.

Anyway I don't want to steal this guy's thunder, so head on over and check the fun this guy had with Obama: Last Action POTUS. Samuel Jackson move over, and Darth Vader prepare to meet your maker. You will not be disappointed, I guarantee.

Valentine's Day in retrospect

Ok I'm going to recommend that my dad leave the room on this one given his history with the subject matter. You gone now? Don't worry, we'll wait.

Ok now let's get down to business.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and in Japan as with I believe Korea and who knows where else, Valentine's Day is celebrated by women giving chocolate amongst other things to men, which is traditionally reciprocated a month later on White Day (I prefer to celebrate Pi Day myself).

As such, I received a ridiculously delicious and addictive present which I must share with the rest of the world - are you ready for this? Potato Chip Chocolate by a company called Royce'.

I simply cannot stop eating these things... just writing about them and looking at that picture makes me want more. Imagine the crunchy, salty goodness of a fine potato in chip form mated with the sweet and creamy disposition of chocolate. It's an Odd Couple match made in heaven! If you'd like to try your own I can give you a link to Royce's homepage, but alas it's all in Japanese. Anyone domestic to Japan by all means order your own.

Elsewhere in the Japanese Valentine's Day world, I found this link at Japan Probe showing off some interesting candy:

That's right, Ultraman chocolate. I think the big thing is that since these are chocolates geared towards guys, who don't get as much joy out of chocolate for chocolate's sake like girls do, there has to be another element to it.... I wouldn't be surprised if alcoholic chocolates like those Jack Daniel's ones I've heard of sell well.

There was also a roundup of various asundry V-day Japan statistics on another site I check.

I dunno, to me it just seems simpler to have it go both ways on the same day instead of delaying it a whole month. Just seems like the confectionary and card companies trying to cash in. I have heard that giving of chocolates and whatnot do offer enough stimulus to start some relationships since some people are too shy to approach someone otherwise.

Oh God, here comes the yakiimo guy again...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rio for the Olympics in 2016!!

If you live in Tokyo, there is no mistaking that they are making a bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016 - there are signs about it everywhere with this fruity looking rainbow ribbon thingy as seen above. The nationalistic right-wing mayor of Tokyo has been fighting for this forever... since they failed to get the nomination in 2012 at least. Their competition this time around? Madrid, Chicago, and Rio de Janeiro.

Up until recently, I was rather indifferent to the whole issue and wished Tokyo best of luck - I mean why not, right? Well I'll tell you why not. You see, there's this park in downtown Tokyo - the biggest one, actually - known as Yoyogi Park. This place is amazing, and you can find just about anything going on there during the warmer months of the year, from bands, drum circles and performances to people practicing all manner of hobbies from capoeira and juggling to... stand up comedy and fake sword fighting choreography. You can find people playing all sorts of sports, and it is a premiere spot for hanami in the Spring as well as host to any number of cultural festivals throughout the Summer. This place is like my haven - a place of solace to protect me from going mad when I'm feeling stressed from living in this uber-urban concrete environment that is Tokyo. It's got it all, and I'm not even going into the full details of this place by far. Here's some videos I found of a guy walking through Yoyogi on a typical Sunday - check them out.

What does this have to do with the Olympics? Well I'll tell you what. They're talking about ruining this park to make way for new Olympic facilities!! Concreting over even a section of this party would be a travesty - I don't care what they build or how much added traffic and revenue this place gets, sacrificing this park is not worth it and I can't believe they'd even consider it... oh wait, this is Ishihara we're talking about, so yes I can.

So in short, to all this I say Rio for the Olympics in 2016!! I'll be rooting for you all the way as I think S. America is ready to host the Olympics. Sorry Chicago, but they've already been in the US enough times to give Brazil a shot and I'd like another excuse to go down there... besides capoeira, Carnival and the World Cup 2014 that is. Maybe next time.

By the way, BBC seems to agree with me that Rio is the right choice - there's a precedent for World Cup hosters to follow up with the Olympics as well: Mexico '68/'70, Germany '72/'74, and Atlanta '94/'96.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Canada: welcome to the EU

I'm having a hell of a time trying to get hits on the board for this new website at work... the people who normally handle search engine optimization (SEO) have only done so for Japanese pages and aren't exactly fluent in what changes are needed for an English website. Most of their knowledge carries over, but it still means I need to put in some effort that they can't... sigh.

So anyway skip forward to me talking to this one SEO person about our google analytics account - she tells me we got a hit from someone in Europe for some reason, which I thought was odd since I had just checked it and the only hit I saw outside of Africa and Japan was in Canada. She pulls up the map, and sure enough I had to explain to her that it was in fact Canada and not Europe.

How the hell does someone make a mistake like that you ask? Well let me just show you the Japanese version of the world map and let you figure it out:
They put themselves in the center of the map, making them just as arrogant as the Europeans, and putting Europe where a Eurocentric mind might expect to find Canada. I guess it's one of those things that you usually just take for granted, but it does tell you a little about how you view the world. You can really mess with kids by showing them different maps of the world and how Japan isn't at the center of them. By the way, I think the kings of map manipulation for the purposes of self-gratification are still the Aussies...