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2016/08/29

Enjoying the “Atmosphere”

Rock'in JAPAN 2016

After a long wait the “Rock'in JAPAN 2016” festival has arrived. It’s four days in total, but I always end up only participating in the first day, this time around being Saturday, August the 6th. This year was my seventh attendance.

The venue, the Hitachi Kaihin Park.

The trip starts from Gunma prefecture to Ibaraki prefecture so we sleep early and get up around 3AM with plenty of time before the start. Over the years getting up at a weird hour has turned out more trouble than benefit, so we set out at night this time and slept at a highway parking area halfway there.

In the years past our motive was always to listen to as much music as possible and so we would busily run around the different stages while regularly checking the time tables. Lately that’s become too much work and we’ve ended up just placing a tarp in the tent area and drinking. Even for artists we’re especially interested in seeing it’s turned into a “no big deal” style of attendance.

In other words, we’re there to enjoy the “atmosphere.”

We can’t see the main stage from the tent area, but we can hear the music loud and clear.

“Sound for snacks,” might be a cool way to describe it, but to be honest there are some tens of thousands of people meandering through a giant park filled with different stages, all outdoors during a hot season, where you can hear something from no matter where you are. It’s an experience so distanced from our everyday lives that we feel the need to participate without fail.

I admit, this year I drank too much and was down for the count halfway through, but I will go again next year without regret.

From Naotyn

2016/08/04

Flatlander

Quantum Physics can be a difficult subject for people to get excited about, but once you do your whole world changes.

Last time I wrote about higher dimensions, but that’s a subject almost impossible to fully understand with a Human brain. One way to help understand it better is to actually go backwards, and look at a lower dimension, 2D.

Imagine you exist not in 3 dimensions, but only 2. Like the King in a deck of cards, you are flat. You have an up and a down, a left and a right, but no forward or back. Some things would become very different for you.

For example, you could not have a digestive system because drawing a tube through your body would cut you in half.

A beach ball would look like a circle to you, because you could not perceive it’s depth. In fact anything 3 dimensional object would only look like a slice to you. A Human being would look very strange indeed, perhaps a flat slice through their stomach or through their head.

If a beach ball moved through your dimension it would start out as a dot, grow into a big hollow circle, shrink back to a dot, and then disappear. To your 2 dimensional consciousness this would seem like a miracle for sure. Something came into your world with no explanation and vanished before your eyes.

This is really what happens to us all the time. The Universe is not 3 dimensional, but we are. The Universe has probably twelve or thirteen, or even more dimensions, but they look like miracles to us. Black-holes, ghosts, aliens, and a lot of other “unexplainable” phenomenon are probably things that move through more dimensions that we understand and so look like magic to us.

Getting up in the morning to brush your teeth before you go to work it can be easy to forget that you are a ghost wrapped in meat and bones on a giant rock hurtling through space. The Universe is actually a lot more interesting that we give it credit for, so don’t worry about your hair so much.

From Postman

2016/07/28

4K-8K-NHK

The first high definition broadcast was in 1991.

High definition spread rapidly during the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. “If you’re going to watch the Olympics, watch them in High Definition,” said the slogans of the various companies selling their new models at the time.

Not far from now we’ll have the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. In line with such an event the next generation of television broadcasting has begun.

Super High Definition.

4K is 4 times high definition, 8K is 16 times the resolution of high definition, bringing an immense amount of detail with brand new technology. 4K is 5.1ch, 8K is 22.2ch with extremely realistic sound and video far surpassing high definition. Apparently. (I’ve yet to experience it…)

Currently there are some paid channels that broadcast in 4K, and starting August 1st NHK (Japan Broadcasting) BS will be broadcasting in Super High Definition.

4K TVs are sold quite normally nowadays and so we can enjoy them at home, but 8K doesn’t yet have any TVs that can even view it and so can’t be enjoyed at home. However at official NHK buildings and some select locations there will be sample broadcasts available for public viewing.

At NHK broadcasting stations throughout Japan you can view sample broadcasts from 10AM to 6PM on weekdays, as well as public displays of the Olympics from August 6th through August 22nd including Saturdays and Sundays.

Why not go and see as it’s a free chance to check out 8K.

It’s been over 50 years since NHK started developing high definition in 1964.

A stride in the unending evolution of television, despite the decline of viewers world-wide. Maybe we will all be able to watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with 8K in our homes.

From No.258

2016/07/19

Things with form are things that break 3

The cause of the leaking oil!!

The seal between the sprocket shaft and the automatic transmission was torn to pieces. I decided this was above my amateur skills and sought the help of my favorite motorcycle shop.

After holding off on it for a year I had them poke around and order a locally made replacement. I’d noticed a leak around the front fork as well and had them order another oil seal figuring we'd fix them all at once. That was an Italian made Marzocchi seal I sincerely hoped would stop the leak, and after test driving a few hundred kilometers there were no leaks to be found.

Apparently an Italian once said! “An oil leak just proves there’s oil inside,” clearly I haven’t what it takes to make it as an Italian.

Right about the time I start feeling satisfied, the coolant thermometer starts acting up. Even though the engine is well heated there’s no response, or all the sudden it jumps up to level 3, etc. I like to keep it at level 2, so it’s started to gather my attention.

Looks like I’ve another project for the next extended weekend.

From Pumping both wheels

2016/07/11

Something to eat during the heat

How are you faring amidst these hot days just perfect for ice cream?

I’d like to introduce some ice creams from Haagen-Dazs, considered a high grade maker in the world of ice cream.

Haagen-Dazs is a world-wide company, though did you know they only have factories in three countries at a total of only four locations. All of the world’s Haagen-Dazs is produced at either Aras, France, The United States’ California and New Jersey, as well as Japan, here in Takasaki, Gunma. Because of such centralized production all of their products made specifically for Japan are produced here in Takasaki.

There are plenty of flavors to choose from but as of early June there are two flavors available only at Japanese convenient stores:

- Seven Eleven exclusive “Japonais (red bean, molasses, and kinako)” 360 yen

- Lawson exclusive “New York cheese cake, rum raisin style” 294 yen

which I particularly recommend.

The “Japonais,” molasses flavored ice cream, is a wonder “Eastern” flavor, while the “New York cheese cake, rum raisin style” is a rich cheese flavored ice that blends great with the rum raisin for a “Western” flavor. They are a bit expensive, but the “East” versus “West” flavorings are well worth taste testing against one another.

In my personal opinion, the “Japonais” flavor was the winner of the two. Which do you prefer?

From Aqua

2016/07/06

Famous Gunma Edibles

Isn't food just wonderful.

An update from me who finds happiness in delicious food.

I thought I’d list some of the famous delicacies from different areas of Gunma Prefecture:

-Takasaki - - - pasta, spaghetti, rusk

-Maebashi - - - sauced pork cutlet rice bowl, cooked rice bread, pork and vegetable soup

-Shibukawa - - - Mizusawa udon, maitake tenpura, boiled intestines, steamed flower rice bread

-Numata - - - miso bread, dumpling soup

-Ohta - - - Ohta yakisoba, bulrush style eggplant

-Isesaki - - - Isesaki rice bread, shrine croquettes

-Kiryuu - - - Himokawa udon, children’s western food, kororin syuumai

-Annaka - - -mountain pass kettle rice, brown sugared rice cake

-Fujioka - - - Fujioka ramen

-Tomioka - - - balled congac

etc…

Just thinking about them reminds me how full of delicious items Gunma Prefecture is.

This time I’d like to introduce the soul-food of Gunma citizens, yaki manjyuu, or cooked rice bread.

This is a rice bread that is soft and fluffy, with a sweet yet flavorful miso sauce lathered over it, cooked near the point of burning. They’re pretty big, usually with four cooked up at once on a long skewer. This famous treat has been a part of Gunma Prefecture for over 190 years and I think it definitely has earned the title of soul-food.

Next time you pay us a visit be sure to try some of Gunma Prefectures famous delicacies.

From Creampuff Fingers

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