Entries Tagged as 'japan'

Fuck Darwin, Happy Gundam Day!

Ok, ok. So I know this year marks Charles Darwin‘s 200th birthday, and almost 150 years since the publication of the Origin of Species but I find myself forced to let loose a little otaku here and preempt any evolution-centric notions of bicentennial celebration with a hearty helping of what has become a multicultural phenomenon on par with, if not surpassing in its breadth, Star Trek. Today marks the 30th birthday of the world’s introduction to Gundam!

(Gundam Statue in Suginami-ku via Michael John Grist

(and what the hell, a Youtube AMV as well)

I suppose that you can say what you like about the many series that have comprised the franchise over the years, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for snowy afternoons peaking in on a paradoxically idealized yet dystopian future of military domination and individual ideals. And to think I was only a year old when this premiered. Go figure.

If you need me, I’ll be in the basement painting my miniatures.

Day of Gundam via Japundit

Now if I could only figure out that vague mauve tone…

From the teeming morass that is the ever seething interwebs every once in a while you happen across something that truly makes one pause and reflect. And no, I’m not talking about 2 Girls 1 Cup. Trevor Brown of the Baby Art blog scanned and posted a handful of images from a series by japanese mangaka Takashi Itsuke, which later came to the attention of Coilhouse(which I’m rapidly growing fond of). The subject of the unfortunately short series is amputated robotic bondage scenes. The interplay of so many emotionally intense elements; the cold functionality of technology, the human vulnerability of the subject, the grisly decadence of a society based on replaceability, all contribute to a truly and strangely moving tableau. The effect is not unlike taking a sudden, unexpected step to the left and quickly discovering you’d run out of earth to stand on. More can be found on Trevor’s site here and here. Not so much SFW, naturally.

If only ‘Stacey’ had been this creepy…

zombie girl

Seriously, can’t you just hear her laughing and shrieking “braaaaaaaaaains!”? I do, or perhaps that’s the massive amount of red bull and caffeine it takes to wrest me from my morning slumber and keep me appropriately twitching and paranoid throughout the day. Try it, please. Tell me I’m not alone in this…

Link via Laughing Squid

Not getting enough sleep?

Put on an old CD and take a nap. It seems the BBC is encouraging people to put on an old CD while they nap. The logic is that even though we try to get some shut eye our minds are still too busy try to remember all the details from the day. As success is being measured by how much we can check off of our meta-to-do-list or how much data we can organize, sleep is constantly being placed farther down the priority list. I can certainly think of many nights tossing and turning obsessing over minute details, grouping and regrouping information into little neurofiles. By putting on one of those CDs you have memorized, you can successfully distract the mind enough while not giving it more to focus on. New ones won’t work we will focus on the lyrics and try to learn the melodies.

I can remember a time when I came home from school with the beginning of a migraine, went straight to my room and put on “Plastic Surgery Disasters” by the Dead Kennedy’s not good music for a headache, but I had the CD so memorized that it worked perfectly. I felt like it kept me contained, and has strong enough that my mind couldn’t focus on anything else. That’s exactly what an overstimulated person like myself needed. These days I would probably put something more mellow on, the Smiths maybe?

Another really interesting part of the article, comments on napping customs in the Japanese work place.

< Napping at work isn’t acceptable in the UK, but in Japan dozing anywhere from Parliament to business meetings is allowed. It’s called inemuri, which literally means “to be asleep while present”.

Japan's former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi

Japan’s ex-prime minister shows how it’s done

The custom is partly a result of how commitment to a job is judged in Japan, says Dr Brigitte Steger. Inemuri is viewed as exhaustion from working hard and sacrificing sleep at night. Many people fake it to look committed to their job.

It’s a concept that seems bizarre in the UK but the Japanese are the ones who’ve got it right, says Dr Stanley.

“The Japanese are right in their assessment that you work better after a nap than before it. There’s a degree of machismo about it, you’re saying look how hard I’ve worked. But that’s better than the macho rituals we have over here, like how late you can send a work email to prove how long you’ve been working.”

Strict rules apply to inemuri. These include who is allowed to do it – only those high up or low down in a company – and how you do it – remain upright to show you are still socially engaged in some way.

“The rules are written nowhere but everyone knows them, they learn them culturally,” says Dr Steger.>

Man wish I could get away with that here. It takes looking busy at work in a whole other direction.