Friday, September 25, 2009

Brain-powered Robo

This short video is an extraordinary one from Mainchi News, shows how Taku Ichikawa, a student of University of Electro-Communication, control a bipedal combat robot by sending commands through a set of electrodes applied to his forehead that measure his neural activity, making it possible to control the 50-centimeter tall and 2 kilograms robot just by thinking. The robot will compete in the Robo-One robot fighting tournament which will open on Saturday, September 26 at Toyama Techno Hall, Toyama Prefecture.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tokyo 2016

It's about one week to go for the announcement whether Tokyo will win the Tokyo 2016 Olympic bid. IOC will announce the city to host 2016 Summer Olympics on October 2, 2009. Tokyo's competitors are Chicago (US), Madrid (Spain), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). If Tokyo wins the bid, it's gonna be the second time to host Summer Olympics after the previous one in 1964.

'Nihon dakara Dekiru. Atarashii Olympic!' ((日本だから、できる。あたらしいオリンピック!) is the motto in Japanese and the English version is "Uniting Our Worlds"
(Picture courtesy of Tokyo 2016)

Japanese anime heroes show their support for Tokyo's Olympic 2016 bid in a parade held in Omotesando.

(Picture courtesy of Andi Laver via Japan Today)

I do hope Tokyo wins too... full support from me Tokyo! Ganbatte ne.. :)
And check out this unique "Tokyo 2016 Scrapbook" blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Tribute to Crayon Shin-chan author

A sad breaking news from Mainichi:

A body found at the bottom of a cliff on a mountain in Gunma Prefecture has been identified as that of Yoshito Usui, author of the popular manga "Crayon Shin-chan." A climber found the body on Saturday morning, and a Gunma Prefectural Police helicopter lifted it out of the area on Sunday afternoon. An autopsy conducted at Shimonita Police Station concluded that Usui likely died around Sept 11, after his lungs were crushed from the impact of the fall.A regular member, Usui had left his home on the morning of Sept 11, saying he was taking a trip to Mount Arafune. His wife filed a search request with the police the following day, when he failed to return.

In 1990, "Crayon Shin-Chan" started as series in Futubasha's 'Shukan Manga Action' magazine. The stories about five-year-old Shinosuke "Shin" Nohara and his parents, neighbors, and friends, and is set in Kasukae, Saitama Prefecture. This adventure of kindergartener who loves beautiful girls became a hit, and in 1992 an animated television version was launched . Since 2000, Crayon Shin-chan has been carried in the monthly "Manga Town" publication. Futaba officials said they had already received the manuscript for the December issue which will go on sale on Nov. 5.

(Picture from here)
Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sook Cut

This post is not about amazing gadget from Japan, no.. but indeed it's a really cool gadget for foodies who addicted to facebook or other social networking sites, you can stay connected while cooking at your kitchen, checking out the recipe list, snapshot your creation and share the picture on your facebook all at once.

The Sook Cut is a three-part concept designed by Adam Brodowski, a design student at Savanah College of Art and Design in USA, that makes delicious meals out of ingredients you may not know how to combine.

The cutting board (Sook Cut) contains a moisture sensor, scale, and electronic tongue to determine what food is being prepared, then sends the information to Sook Touch to generate a delicious recipe.

The Sook Touch is a touch sensitive display that lists recipes, detailed nutritional information, and stores a library of ingredients. You can touch and drag the to build custom recipe, save and upload the to the web.
The final piece is Sook Dock, not only does it charge the Sook Cut abd Touch appliances, it also work as an RFID scanner to identify what foods are nearby and then adds them to the Sook Touch database. When you finished cooking, Sook Touch takes snapshots of your creation and syncs them to your food blog!
(Source: Yanko Design)

Sook Cut

Sook Touch

Sook Dock
(All pictures from Yunko Design)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hanami literally means 'flower viewing', it's a Japanese custom of enjoying the beauty of blooming flowers in spring, in this case almost always meaning sakura or cherry blossom and believed to have started during Nara Periode (710-794).
Today, the Japanese people continue the tradition of hanami, gathering in great numbers wherever the flowering trees are found. Thousands of people fill the parks to hold feasts under sakura trees, and sometimes these parties go on until late at night. Hanami at night is called 'Yozakura' (literally means night sakura). The teasing proverb 'Hana Yori Dango' (dumplings rather than flower) meaning that people are more interested in the food and drinks that accompany a hanami party rather than actually viewing the flowers themselves.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Last weekend we drove for about one and half hours from the city to visit Golden Wheel Garden in Galston. There are some varieties of cherry blossom trees in this garden, relatively smaller than the ones in Japan and the flowers are slightly different from what they called sakura in Japan but the beauty of cherry blossom in full bloom is really worth a visit.

(kinda wind chime?)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

World Chef Showcase

Another foodie event is coming to town!
Sydney International Food Festival will be held in Sydney in October 9-11 with one of the much-anticipated events is World Chef Showcase weekend, combining cooking demonstration, talks and tastings with top chefs from Sydney and around the world, including the culinary master Yoshihiro Murata from the legendary Kikunoi restaurant in Kyoto, Japan. There will be tastings and tipples, recipes, book signing and much more.
For more information please click: Sydney Internatonal Food Festival, and you can book the ticket via Ticketmaster.

Here are some creative pictures representing each country.

(Pictures courtesy of SIFF)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coffee Story

Coffee and cigarette are two inseparable things, especially for men, and I just found this interesting 'Coffee Story' by Ryohei Yoshiyuki.

An ashtray made out of used coffee grinds, what an amazing idea and invention from Ryohei. The coffee's fragrance will neutralize the strong odor from the cigarette.

Ashtray made out of used coffee grinds

(Pictures courtesy of Ryohei Yoshiyuki)
Thursday, September 3, 2009

Church of Color

I got this beautiful picture from Mainichi News

(Picture courtesy of Mainichi News)

Colorful LED lights iluminate St. Mary's Cathedral in Tokyo's Bunko Ward. Colorful lights and a piped organ created a fantastic atmosphere and the futuristic cathedral, which is known as a masterpiece of late architect of Kenzo Tange.