Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The other day I came across this racket. Before this, I had no idea that 'Mizuno' manufacture badminton rackets. All I knew of is only one established brand from Japan that manufacture badminton rackets. However, I realized that the established brand is charging me more than what 'Mizuno' is offering. The quality of the current racket also seems to be better. Sometimes, established brands spend a lot of money sponsoring athletes that they have to put a heavy price on their products. Always better to lookout for the alternatives!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Amusements in Mathematics. It's a compelling book even though it was published in 1917. In 2005, it was released to the public domain under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License. I could imagine that one could spend quality time solving the probs in this book while waiting for the train/bus rather than reading a novel. Recently I converted it to 'pdf' format and uploaded it here

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Mechanical Universe. I can still remember during my school days, I will be rushing home after school every Friday just to watch this show. Even though I understood only a bit back then and maybe dozed off in the middle of this show, I was captivated with the knowledge this show got to offer and the presentation style undertaken throughout this series. Today, thanks to the power of the internet, I can still view it on Google video. It's good to start from here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WinDjView. Quite often, I receive scanned documents in 'DjVu' format. For this purpose, I've been using this super-lightweight application to view and print my documents. Get it here

Monday, September 22, 2008

Women only compartments inside the train are currently common in Kansai area. At first, I thought this is a form of sexism to men. However I read somewhere (I cannot recall where) that this is to avoid any form of harassment to women during the crowded work-rush period. Yeah! there are plenty of jokers out there.. sorry-sorry for not posting last week

Friday, September 12, 2008

Managed to catch this movie ('The Dark Knight') only last week. Everyone who had seen this movie are praising 'Heath Ledger' for the role he played. At one moment during the film I thought "could anyone slash this guys head", that's how good he was. Sources from the IMDB website (2008) stated that 'he lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character's psychology, posture and voice'.. Wow! Even though he passed away after making this movie, I think he definitely deserves an award

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From time to time I tend to watch some interesting documentaries. The latest one that I saw was 'Dust to Glory', which is about the Baja 1000 off road race. Even though the documentary has been around since 2005 and the race itself has been going strong for years now, I've totally have not heard about it before ('my sincere apologies'). The race takes place in Mexico's Baja California Peninsula and the documentary is about the 2003 event. Overall this documentary is about the dream of people in certain sport and the distance they're willing to go ('distance here means both the actual distance of the race and also the challenges they're willing to endure') to achieve their dream

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lake Biwa, Shiga. I dropped by this place the other day with some friends. This is my first visit even though it's just around the corner. This place turns out to be a very relaxing spot, maybe perfect for yoga, fishing, BBQ (discussions did take place) etc. According to Wikipedia (2008), it's the largest freshwater lake in Japan and provides drinking water for about 15 million people in the region. Probably I been drinking water that comes from this lake for so long and only knew about it 5 min ago!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Japan is the birthplace of cellphone novel (or 'Keitai Shosetsu'). Even though it's been around since 2003, I was only aware of it very recently (sorry! sorry!). Here in Japan, these novels are usually very short and is uploaded by the author (amateur or pro doesn't make a difference here) to a website to be shared. The idea have since expanded to other countries around the globe. One such website that is still going strong is maho (Japanese). Others are textnovel and quillpill (English). Due to the popularity of 'Keitai Shosetsu', some stories have been turned into actual novels ($$) and even into motion picture (e.g. 'Koizora' and 'Deep Love'). According to the NY Times, 5 out of 10 best-selling novels in Japan last year were originally cellphone novels (Onishi, 2008). Hopefully the future is bright for the authors..