v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
Mie has arrived from Japan. The photo is one she sent me from her cell phone while taking the train to Narita airport. She had just that moment discovered that her cell phone can superimpose optional frame decorations on the photos (note, she's too shy to smile when taking a photo of herself, ain't that just the cutest?).
So, I'm going to avoid the PC for a couple of days. Actually tomorrow she and I are flying down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a three day mini vacation. This was supposed to be a surprise, but within an hour of landing my housemate Sean says to her "so you're going to Mexico!" ....and before the night was over my friend Manisha says "so you're going to Cabo San Lucas!" I love my friends.
My next travel destination in Japan: Gunkanjima-island, a modern ruin off the coast of Nagasaki prefecture. The tiny island was a coal mining town with a population up to 5000. In 1974 the mine was closed and the population left, leaving the island derelict. It is called Gunkanjima (Warship Island) because from the distance it looks like a battleship.
There are very nice sets of black and white photos here and here.
In a continuation with my fascination with all things strange and Japanese ...my girlfriend Mie who lives in Tokyo recently posted pics of a new health-craze thing she had told me about: rice baths. Or rice sauna, I don't know what you'd call it actually. But it's really not the rice, it's the fact that the rice is swarming with bacteria, which produces an amazing amount of heat. At the Exploritorium in San Francisco there used to be an exhibit which let you push your hand deep into a compost heap, the amount of heat just a few inches in was astonishing (to me anyhow). Well, it's something like that and a fifteen minute dip in a tub of rice bacteria is apparently quite a wonderful experience.
All this work on location systems reminded me of this VRML representation of Yosemite National Park I found after my trip there in July of 1998. It let's you "fly through" the valley, with the trails marked in red, streams in blue and roads in black. There is a way to attach markers to points in the VRML map, and I always meant to put some in and connect them to photographs I took during my trip there. I can supposedly also create a tour track that will trace the steps of the hike I took.
I never got around to doing any of that, but I figured I'd blog the VRML system itself now that I remembered it. Of course you'll need a VRML viewer to play with this. The U.S. Gub'ment has a good site for getting you into all that: VRML Plugin and Browser Detector. I have the full valley set installed on my server, if you have a VRML viewer you can just load this link, but be warned it is over 2MB in size.
Stumbled across this article talking about an "Erotic Sushi Bar" in northern Japan. At first I thought it was another version of that british sushi place that serves sushi with nude women as serving platters.
But actually, reading the article you find this:
"Hi," greets the madame warmly. "Are you a tourist? The course at our shop provides 40 minutes, including 'honban' (the 'real thing' i.e., intercourse) for 10,000 yen."
By Tokyo standards, that price may perhaps be a bit on the high side for sushi, but quite reasonable as far as the going rate for nookie is concerned.
So it's not a real sushi bar at all, it's just a brothel where all the ladies use sushi names as their nom du sex. Ahhh, marketing.
I figured I should do a post exclusively about HunkaButta.com. I stumbled on this guy's site while doing a google image search for a photograph of crowded Tokyo train so I could use it for the banner at Tokyo Tidbits (and he had a lot to choose from). It is a blog about a gaijin's life in Tokyo containing an abundance of photographs, mostly potrait shots. The quality of his images are consistently superb. Take a look at his (self described, I assume) Best of Year One Gallery
I just stumbled across this site when clicking through someone else's blog: Ganguro. This ganguro thing was popular when I was in Japan in 1998 but it seems to have died off now (I saw maybe two of these girls when I was there a couple of months ago, and many many of them in 1998). As a style movement it fascinates me. It's not exactly attractive. But it sort of is. But maybe it's just because the girls were attractive in the first place? I don't know. I like weird things though, I wish it would catch on in the States, ha.
I've got photos up from my recent trip to Japan: Tokyo 2002.
I might eventually post backdated blog entries from what I did on certain dates with more details and links, but that's it for now. Going to be really busy for the next month or so too, lots of business travel and trying to catch up with piled up chores due to all the business travel....