Posted by simon c on 2009 December 1日 Tuesday
Posted by simon c on 2009 September 11日 Friday
This should be familiar to those living in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
Posted by simon c on 2009 August 16日 Sunday
Posted by simon c on 2009 August 2日 Sunday
Out of Japan, there’s a baseball player who has an edge like no other: a fastball-pitching, homer-hitting robot.
The pitching robot fires into the strike zone 90% of the time. It currently throws a plastic foam ball at 25 miles per hour, with hopes to later improve its speed to 93 mph. The team that designed the robot are planning to move the bot’s range of motion beyond fastballs into curveballs and spitballs.
The batting robot hits pitches in the strike zone almost 100% of the time, and does not swing at pitches outside the strike zone. The robots resemble cars with arms rather than human forms.
“The demand level of the robotics technology of each robot is very high,” University of Tokyo professor Masatoshi Ishikawa said. “What was difficult was to create a mechanism to satisfy such a high level of demand.”
Posted by simon c on 2009 July 25日 Saturday
Former Morning Musume Ai Kago is singing a couple of classic anime songs on a compilation and they’re gonna be produced by none other than Public Enemy. What is this world coming to?! 😛
Ai Kago back in her Morning Musume days.
Anime songs she is covering are “Himitsu no Akko-chan”:
and “Lum no Love Song” (Lum’s Love Song) from Urusei Yatsura:
Admittedly I’m curious about what the songs will sound like in the end, but there’s no way Public Enemy (or most likely just Terminator X?) knows who Kago or Morning Musume are, or the anime songs in question at all, haha.
Posted in 02_English, culture, information, music, opinion | Tagged: Ai Kago, anime, うる星やつら, ひみつのアッコちゃん, モーニング娘。, ラム, Himitsu no Akko-chan, Kago Ai, Lum, momusu, morning musume, PE, public enemy, Urusei Yatsura, 加護亜依 | 3 Comments »
Posted by simon c on 2009 July 13日 Monday
Japan’s embattled Prime Minister, Taro Aso, is to call an election for 30 August, officials from his party said.
His office said he had agreed the date with his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and coalition partner, if bills already before parliament were passed first.
The Kyodo news agency reported that Mr Aso had told party lawmakers parliament would be dissolved on 21 July.
The move comes after Mr Aso’s ruling coalition suffered a crucial defeat in local elections in the capital, Tokyo.
The opposition Democratic Party (DPJ) won 54 seats to 38 for LDP, ending four decades of dominance in the assembly.
Finally, Japanese people stood up for change, the LDP’s been in power for so long that just cleansing the eternal corruption will be a welcome change, and this result should be an indicator for a DPJ takeover of the Diet (though, DPJ is a mess of its own and they may not gain majority and force the government to form an unwieldy coalition.)
Posted by simon c on 2009 July 1日 Wednesday
Initially annoying, but now catchy ads for Hot Pepper, a free coupon magazine, by Kaela Kimura and the Peanuts gang.
Posted by simon c on 2009 June 9日 Tuesday
After examining some 300,000 Twitter accounts, a Harvard Business School professor reported last week that 10 percent of the service’s users account for more than 90 percent of tweets. The study dovetails with recent analysis by the media research firm Nielsen asserting that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next. Both findings suggest that, thus far, Twitter has been considerably better at signing up users than keeping them.
Posted by simon c on 2009 June 6日 Saturday
Posted by simon c on 2009 May 26日 Tuesday
After a long and successful career in the Japanese and East Asian markets, she has tried to penetrate the biggest pop music market in the world, the US (she’s born and partially raised in NYC so she is a native English speaker).
Her US debut album EXODUS in 2004 was a dud, topping the Billboard charts at 160. She has just released her second all English album aimed at the US market, This Is The One. And she has earned a network TV appearance on CBS’s 2nd Cup.
I gave the album a listen at my local HMV, and unfortunately her second all English offering is very similar in flavour to her debut effort. Her voice is extremely well suited for J-Pop but not the US Top 40. And her naturally bilingual wordplay makes her (especially early) Japanese albums great, but she can’t unleash this aspect in a monolingual album.
This Is The One has entered the Billboard Album charts at #69, which is an improvement from her debut album, we’ll see if this is the peak or she can gain word of mouth cred and air play to move up the charts. She also violates my sampling rules by heavily sampling Ryuichi Sakamoto’s classic tune Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence. I’m all for sampling, but not when the new song basically freerides on the coattails of the original (even though this is sort of like a tribute/remix). Unfortunately, for me, her recent Japanese album was rather soppy and lame as well, so she hasn’t produced anything that I really like in a while. Maybe she needs to marry another guy who could be her father? 😛