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Western Culture Sucks

Coming back to the USA there are some serious cultural differences between the USA and Japan. Some are arguably good. People in the USA are generally more individual. I think that’s good.

On the other hand, something I really hate about the USA (and many other western countries) is there is this attitude that I can only some up as “It’s fun to laugh at other’s expense” or maybe “It feels good to piss on other people”.

Simple examples are vandalism. Why do people key cars? Keying someones car, taking your keys and scratching the paint on their car has no point whatsoever. Most people don’t key the car of someone they know, they just pick some random car and scratch it. Why? What is it about our culture that compels people to do that?

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F.O.B.

I’m in San Francisco now and there’s been quite a lot of reverse culture shock. I guess not just culture shock from Japan to the USA but also I’ve never lived in downtown San Francisco and it’s very different from my experience anywhere else.

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The Secret Life of Machines

I don’t know how long they’ll be up but if you’ve never seen them check out The Secret Life of Machines on Google Video.

The Secret Life of Machines is a program that aired on the BBC in the late 80s, early 90s that explains how lots of machines work in super simple ways. It also used to run on the Discovery channel. It’s crazy how simple some machines really are. One example, they make a tape recorder by showing that if you put rust on a piece of tape and manually run it across a recording head it will record on to the rust.

Some of the cooler ones:

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Leaving Japan

I’m Leaving Japan.

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Gmail sucks! Yahoo rules!

I know I’m going to get flamed but damit, I don’t get the love for gmail.

I’ve been using the new Yahoo for a year or so now and I didn’t see the point to gmail but……..gmail has one thing which it does that Yahoo currently doesn’t AKAIK. Gmail has the option to correctly send Japanese mail in a Japanese encoding (ISO-2022-JP) instead of Unicode (UTF-8).

This means to many Japanese friends, if I send Japanese email from Yahoo they get garbage were as if I do it from gmail it works.

So,……..yesterday I tried switching to Gmail and so far…..YUCK!!!!

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Gifts for older Video Game Fans

I wish I had found Etsy before Christmas

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The Moist Towelettes

My friend Dave and his friends Emi, Yuko and Mike have a new band, the Moist Towelettes. They kind of sound like Puffy AmiYumi. Check’em out.

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Hotel Design

Just some random thoughts here but I was visiting the USA early last month and I noticed some issues with the places I stayed. Maybe because I’ve been reading so many software design articles they stuck out as poor design.
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Tokyo Trains

If you are coming to Tokyo or if you are newly living in Tokyo here's a few tips for dealing with the trains and subway in here.

One of the biggest issues is there are about 10 different train companies in Tokyo. Off the top of my head, JR (Japan Rail), Eidan, Toei, Keio, Odakyu, Keikyu, Seibu, Tokyu, are all different train companies.

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Buying a Notebook

This is just a rant but damit, why are the prices for notebooks so varied?

I’ve been wanting a notebook computer lately and have been looking and it’s so frustrating because there are so many tradeoffs. Go for lightweight and then settle for a small screen? Go for cheap and therefore no power? Decide I just want to browse the net and read email and therefore don’t need the graphic speed or decide I might want to program at a cafe and therefore need the graphic acceleration. And so it goes back and forth, back and forth.

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