Showing posts from March, 2007

Pink Tokyo!

This time of year, Tokyo is so photogenic (though this quality rarely shows in my pics.) Everywhere is beautiful. And Japanese are crazy about Hanami.

I too went to Yoyogi Park with my labmates. Indeed Hanami is another form of Nomikai (drinking party) except that it is outside, usually with daylight and falling sakura. Lots of talks, mostly on love and relationship. Though I was a very passive talker (in the other word, I partly understood their conversation, so I didn't dare speak out) it was fun.

After that some joined other parties and the rest (only three) went to Shinjuku to have more conversation over coffee. Again I was a good listener but I caught some secrets they were sharing. It is always good to know that who loves who. :-)

When the time came, I went back to Shibuya. In no mood for going home, I went in and out of Tower Records, Tsutaya, and HMV, and finally bought 3 DVDs. After spending enough money, I rode train back to my room, turned on TV for "top 10 singles o…

Sleepy Me

Lately I feel sleepy all the time, despite enough sleep time (from 6AM to 2PM.) Thus I have no energy to continue any of my research projects. Three of them have been left untouched for more than a week. Even I spent a whole day shopping at many shops including plain ones (in order to get plain easy-to-buy things) like American Apparel and Base Station; I got nothing. In a word now I am not productive on any aspects. Not much update in my life and nothing I significantly consume except:

Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All
Finally I am playing the last case. Its comedy quality shines. Play it as soon as you can get your hands on.

Picross DS
Everyone knows Picross. Gameplay is the same with better graphics and the best news of all is that it is launched in the most suitable gaming system to itself, Nintendo DS. Cheers!
Note: For geeks, Picross is NP-complete. (reference)

Benny's video (1992)
Add it to the list of great films by Michael Haneke. He has never disappointed me. Its s…

Today I ran into Asano Tadanobu at Shibuya!

... but I did nothing (of course.) Did you expect me to do something insane?

I just found a trivia in his bio:

"When he married Chara, they exchanged wedding rings while standing in the middle of an intersection in Shibuya."


Pink is new Black

From ...

it has become ....

Though I am quite not sure why Japanese are so crazy about sakura, a theory on these fragile pink petals' short life sounds romantic. Today I experieced 花吹雪 (Hanafubuki; lit. sakura blizzard) myself and felt indescribably calm :-)

Later I went to Ginza to find something to eat and shopping. Below are two very diffrent Yoshinoya's.

And I had a chance to take photo of Mikimoto Ginza by Toyo Ito finally.

Graniph and Graphic

I could not help myself buying more t-shirt and parka from Graniph again.

And I have just found out that pages I created when I was undergraduate is still being hosted in one of the computer engineering department's servers. You can check it out at Surprisingly, I still love my previous designs. Their rawness seems fresh to me.

Tomorrow is Monday. Another busy week is waiting. From farewell party (to lab's graduates), Hanami (pinky sakura and golden beer!), part-time job, to computer graphics seminar, and weekly meeting (again and again!!)

Life in Photos

I ate ...

I bought ...

People graduated.

Brown is turning into ...

... pink.

P.S. In case that you wonder what are in the second picture, there are KitKat Hokkaidou Milk, ChocoBall Black (Cocoa) and White (Vanilla+Peanut), Pocky Tiramisu, and Pocky Mango Milk.

FireFox exists in no Safari

After listening to Amy Winehouse's Rehab for more than 10 times straight, I decided to use Safari as my major internet browser. Though my typo-prone self embraces new spell-checking feature affectionately, Firefox 2 tends to crash easily and doesn't try to adapt itself to native Mac environment. In addition Safari's text rendering is far easier to read and a string of Thai words are correctly broken into readable lines unlike problematic Thai language support in Firefox.

There are two main reasons that I still have to visit Firefox from time to time. Firstly, many websites' feature sets are limited in Safari. The obvious example is Blogspot itself. Though now I am blogging in Safari but I think after publishing this text, I might switch to Firefox to formatting my text as only spell-checking and image-inserting buttons are available in Safari! Not even bold or italic formatting!! Google promises an extensive support but I see no progress on this. Now the evil is not onl…

Note on Thai language (1)

If I tell you that there is no isolated concept of 'honesty' and 'loyalty' in Thai language, will you be surprised? Sure, you will. Indeed they come in one package of a word "ซื่อสัตย์" (SueSad) which means both. One who is not familiar with Thai will be amazed why two totally different words are combined into one. I have just come across this fact this morning when I looked for a corresponding word in Japanese and found two, 忠実 (loyal/faithful) and 正直 (honest/fair/straight). Then I realized that English has two separate words too.

Actually there is a word, "จงรักภักดี" (JongRakPakDee), which directly means 'loyal', but it doesn't work with phrases like 'customer loyalty' and has limited use for respect towards royal family only. I do believe that 'honesty' meaning of "ซื่อสัตย์" (SueSad) comes before 'loyalty' as people who openly express their minds should be good guys and become good followers with con…

She Rehabbed Me!

Lately I have a very good luck in being exposed to good music. Fall Out Boy's Infinity on High was nice, but didn't impress me as much as Amy Winehouse's Back to Black did. She performed what Christina Aguilera might want to do but never get it right. Bit of hip-hop, pop, soul, funk, and jazz set her among many famous female jazz vocals and Lauryn Hill. Obviously flavored, inspired, and influenced by oldies, Winehouse added contemporary content like infidelity(?), drugs, and alcohol to her mildly adventurous album. My favourite track so far is Rehab. It could be this year's Gnarls Barkley's Crazy; catchy and deep (but without groundbreaking music video, sadly.)

Awakening Sleeper

Yesterday I watched another Woody Allen's early work, Sleeper (1973). Actually his pre-Annie Hall (1977) films like Love and Death (1975) and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) were a little disappointing, so I didn't expect this sci-fi comedy to be great. It turned out that Sleeper was one of the funniest Allen's and probably one of the funniest films of all time. It has a mixture of both slapstick and witty dialogues.

... pornographic connect-the-dot books.and
My brain! It's my second favorite organ! to
Do you know that "God" spelled backwards is "dog"? ..., Allen criticized (American) society on every topics including controversy ones like religion (he also made fun of Jews; he is a Jew too.) With future set-up, he took a position of an outsider, looking back at our current absurd situation especially on scientific advancement. Despite being categorized in so-called sci-fi genre, Sleeper features many …

Weird Things

Yesterday and today I spent my time from 9 to 7 at Interaction 2007, a symposium on -- no surprise -- interaction. Full papers were just ok but a lot of interesting ideas were in poster sessions. Small party and free dinner sponsored by Google and Microsoft Research was nice too. Strange that I didn't bring my camera. Stranger that I spoke Japanese most of the time and enjoyed talking with other researchers. I wonder beer or wine did the job.

... maybe the weather did. Tokyo is getting cold again. Weather report said that the first snow of this year's winter has just fallen today, March 16th; 2-3 months late and a month later than the latest ever.

... maybe because justice has come to the right place finally when Livedoor's founder was announced guilty today. 30 months in jail might say something to him and the society whose young members are morally confused.

... maybe it was nothing but superposition of many possibilities.


You could notice that this blog is less active as lots of my posts are now at PoppuPot. It is okay to promote another blog of mine, right? You might want to head right away there if you don't know me and just want to kill sometime in a blog which collects interesting stuffs (in my view.) It is updated 3-4 times a day and succinct.

This blog, PoppuPuri, will be more personal. At first it was a little confusing to me, but now I got used to it and feel better that my intimate note is not mixed with what I collect for reference's sake.

One of customs of this blog is that I usually say many things in a post. It is natural like writing real diary (smell of paper, ahh~) so I will continue this routine.

Now I am listening to The View's debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers. A little bit of pop and rock and some spice. Energetic and captivating. Easily another promising UK rock band. (I wonder why most US bands suck and most UK solos are talentless.)

Ghost Story

Even I wonder why I have never felt terrified by ghost or possibility of its existence when I live in Tokyo. When I had internship at NECTEC which was far from my home, I stayed at a dorm of nearby campus of Thammasart University. I admitted that I felt frightened sometimes (even though I knew that my friends were in the very next rooms.)

One theory is that Tokyo is so safe that I am afraid of nothing. Along a dark alley from one of Shibuya's Starbucks to my dorm, I can walk carefree at 2 or 3 in the morning. No possibility of any external harms including some fierce and irrational Japanese ghosts has ever crossed my mind.

Tokyo seems occupied by people all the time. Despite feeling lonely, you are never alone in this city; you can feel that somewhere someone wakes up doing something within 1 squared kilometre of your location. Somehow that makes me feel more lonely.

Up until days ago, I had never realized that security is totally different from comfort. Though my study (I won't …

Burnt Money Burnt!

I went shopping like crazy though farewell party to master students in my lab is coming, but when I thought that this thing cost much less than drinking for 3 hours in izakaya, I bought it right away. What I have bought lately are:

Wireless router (~ 7000 yen): I chose the least fancy one; the others are like UFOs from uncivilized culture.

2 sweat t-shirts from Graniph (each ~3,000 yen): To be frank, I don't like them much; I just wanted to buy something and buying something that can give some warm for coming Spring was a good idea, right?

And finally what you can buy; my latest portrait (in one of my Graniph t-shirt collection without pants :-P ) ...

All About Sofia Coppola (aka When Marie Antoinette Wears Converse All-star)

I didn't make it up; the above picture was captured from a scene in Sofia Coppola's latest feature, Marie Antoinette (2006). It is not a historical period though many updated facts about one of the most (in)famous queens are historically accurate. Her majesty in this version spoke American English, wore corset and Manolo Blahnik shoes, ate French full-course and Ladurée's macaroons, and listened to opera mixed with modern indie rock. Perhaps she is the most fabulous queen ever or at least the most pastel one.

Coppola has directed only four films so far. I have watched three of them and found many obvious similarities, motifs, or trademarks across her visual and especially sound. My grade on all of them are below:
The Virgin Suicides (1999) 8/10
Lost in Translation (2003) 8/10
Marie Antoinette (2006) 8/10She hasn't made a knockout for me, yet hasn't disappointed me. It is very hard to constantly make good films; even Woody Allen failed sometimes. The strength and…

I hate Simulation!

... because it is against one of my philosophy on study which should obtain more understanding towards nature of things (regardless of the existence of real nature.) But, like Rendering in computer graphics, it is merely a hack. Naturally everyone knows that it is impossible to simulate the effect of exact ray-tracing or smoke interaction as in fact there is no mastermind, say CPU, controlling each vertex one-by-one. All rays or particles just obey physics laws; just like there are a number of processors equal to the number of objects changed in a scene, so everything is done in a flash. Boom, done. So bad that I have to work on what I hate.

Now I am working on knot simulation. To get real-time performance, a rope has to be modeled as a string of many rigid rods. That works fine in most cases except the most important aspect of knots, friction. There are many knots that friction plays an important role like Münter hitch or Prussik knot which is well-known and useful in mountain-climbin…

WYSINWYG: what you see is NOT what you get

I have just dyed my hair. I bought a grey package but it turned out to be red again. I used to try blue and green before, but they all were actually red.

Red, red, RED!

Should I sue them? Or should I admit the fact that those fancy colours are just impossible; everyone knows, fool.

Lab (Ski) Trip 2007

In the early morning of Tuesday, members of Igarashi lab headed to Nagano, city of mountains and, of course, ski. About half went by train and the others went by rental car. Though it was an annual trip and ski was put into the schedule, there was no trip last year and some didn't ski. Thus let say it was a kind of trip that allows Japanese worker bees to give an excuse for themselves to rest.

First off, we skied as soon as we reached the resort. Even before checking in. Though winter was kind of over, there was enough (bad-quality) snow for sliding down mountain.

Some are really good at skiing; otaku do sports too.

For my personal record, I spent around 25,000 yen for this 1.5-days-and-a-night trip. 10,000 for transportation fee; another 10,000 for ski gears and ware rental; and 5,000 for one-night hotel, dinner and breakfast. It couldn't be helped about sports-related expense but I could have saved on train tickets if everyone had decided to go slower or taken normal train inst…