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2015/12/25

A moment of luxury

 The leather seats of the green car on the Touhoku Shinkansen (Bullet Train)I don’t often have a chance to make use of the Touhoku Bullet Trains, but…

 Earlier in the year I had to make a trip to Aomori Prefecture and got to ride the E5 for the first time. Better yet, I had a seat in the front most car. With only 18 seats, clean white and neatly arranged, there was a high-class atmosphere. From the moment I entered I was greeted by a smiling attendant and the smell of an elegant interior. The smell of real leather, only slightly present.

 This was a world you have to experience for yourself.

 Hot towel service, a light bento, free drink, snacks, and cake, most gracious. There were alcoholic beverages as well.

 Inside the car was only the faintest of noises, with a seat that changed into different positions with the push of a button. You can relax comfortably at 300km/h.

 The drink service of the green car on the Touhoku Shinkansen (Bullet Train)The person in the seat in front of me got off before the final stop, but it looked like he was asleep so the attendant came to wake him. It seems as if they know where everyone is intended to get off. This too creates a feeling of safety, letting guests sleep without worry.

 I felt sleeping through such an experience would be a waste. Or perhaps it was the excitement of the new experience keeping me from being able to rest. It’s hard to calm down when enjoying a luxury you’re not used to.

 On the ride back we were in a normal car.

 The noise at 300km/h had returned.

 Such luxury can’t be partaken in very often, but good for us once in a while, no?

From 3+

2015/12/22

Things with form are things that break

 The engine of an ApriliaHow many years has it been since my beloved machine, an Aprilia, suddenly lost its rhythm and took on a strange noise while coming down Nagano prefectures Mugikusatoge amidst golden week. How many years have I left it to sleep since then. I, who would not open the engine after assuming the symptoms were similar my first blown engine experience.

 I, who loves vehicles, once responded to the questioning of a friend,

 “How many years can an old car be driver?”

 “No matter how bad it breaks anything can be repaired, but when your passion runs out you can’t ride it anymore.”

 I had said so myself, yet didn’t want to admit I had lost my passion.

 Nothing but time passed with excuses that it was hard to make time, I finally came around to scolding myself. I took the bolts out one by one, the exterior, cab, and muffler coming off, I put my hands on the engine. I removed the engine head and sure enough, several vertical lines were clearly marked inside a cylinder. Ok so the problem had been found, treatment would consist of a new cylinder and piston.

 The gears have started rotating as I begin to close the screws. Looking over my now scattered beloved machine whose care I shall continue until her beat returns.

From Pumping Both Wheels

2015/12/14

The year again barely remains

 Family SantaWith only two weeks left in the year I was remembering the resolutions I made at its beginning. One of my resolutions for the year was to eat breakfast every morning. Before making that resolution I had been told several times by my family that it would be good to eat breakfast, but had been unable to humbly accept their advice.

 Around that time I was told by someone that “Good work starts with breakfast,” which got stuck in my mind. Due to the timing I decided to make it a new year’s resolution.

 I now enjoy breakfast as an obvious part of the day, and comparing the many years I did not eat breakfast to now I do feel as if I have more energy in the morning.

 Another saying goes “A person’s growth is proportional to their humility.” It seems as we pack on the years we build our own experiences and positions that come with a pride which makes it difficult to humbly input the advice of others. I thought I would pledge to spend the last two weeks of the year trying to remember my humility.

 Now that I think about it, Christmas is at the end of the month.

 As in the song, “The hasty Santa Claus,” has arrived this year at our house. As soon as I noticed him he ran off in a hurry. Don’t forget some presents next time you show up!

From Jyoushin Electric Railside Resident

2015/12/03

Madeleines and Financiers

 Madeleines de CommercyIsn't food just wonderful.

 An update from me who finds happiness in delicious food.

 This time I would to introduce the difference between madeleines and financiers. Both are French born extremely delicious baked pastries. They differ in looks with a madeleine being shell shaped, while a financier has a square shape and a golden tone, though are commonly mistaken for one another. However, with slight changes in the ingredients their flavors and textures are in fact quite different.

 Two rectangular financiersThe differences are

 1. Eggs

 Madeleines use the whole egg

 Financiers only use the whites

 2. Butter

 Madeleines use melted butter

 Financiers use brown butter

 3. Almond Powder

 Madeleines do not use almond powder

 Financiers use a lot

 These are the only three major difference in ingredients giving madeleines a moist fluffy texture thanks to the gentle butter and eggs. Financiers have a much more distinct flavor thanks to their brown button and almond, making the outside crispier with a soft moist interior. When compared their difference can be clearly tasted.

 We are manufacturers.

 Even small changes can have a large impact on the internal structure of products, as can be understood through pastries by those with an eye for them.

From Creampuff-fingers

2015/11/26

What is gravity?

 Newton's InspirationGravity pulls things together, just as the Earth pulls you down. Why? Because the Earth has a massive amount of… mass. In fact all things with mass “produce” gravity.

 Thanks to the Sun’s gravity which pulls on Earth, we have an orbit that keeps us not too cold, not too hot. Thanks to the Moon’s gravity, which pulls on Earth, we have ocean tides that many believe were necessary for life to evolve out of the oceans. The Moon’s gravity also helped to slow down the Earth’s rotation giving us a perfect day length of 24 hours, that’s not too hot, not too cold.

 Did you know that the Moon’s gravity is still causing the Earth to rotate slower and slower. Every 18 months we lose one second. In billions of years the Moon and Earth will synchronize making each day last for 1,128 hours(47 days) and the Moon will stay fixed in one spot in the sky. This of course will kill everyone because the sun will stay up for so long, but it sounds like a good movie!

 Where does this “gravity” come from though? The Earth and the Moon aren’t touching in any way that we can measure. There is no transfer of energy across the 384,400km of mostly empty space. No transfer, except for gravity.

 But we can’t see it with anything. With machines we can see x-rays, gamma rays, radio waves, electricity, sound, light, but not gravity.

 If you park a large truck next to a hanging pendulum, it will sway towards the truck, pulled by the trucks gravity. When you stand on an electric scale it will show you that you are indeed being pulled down towards the Earth, but by what? You can see the result, but not the cause. Even you and I give off our own gravity, we all do! But how? Nobody knows.

 This is one of the great mysteries of science that no one has ever been able to answer. Einstein figured that gravity would also affect time, and he was right. But even Einstein couldn’t explain gravity. If you think you can explain gravity you will be awarded millions of dollars and be remembered by the Human race as a genius for thousands of years. Why not give it a try?

From Postman

2015/11/19

Monster Hunter X (Cross)

 Monster Hunter X (Cross)It’s finally time to lift my ban on hunting, with the upcoming release of Monster Hunter X (Cross) on Saturday November 28th.

 The last series brought in the Charge Axe and Insect Glaive but this time a whole assortment of actions and stances have been added. Of course new monsters are present, as well as some monster than hadn’t been around for a while, meaning I’m looking forward to lifting my own ban on hunting.

 This time I’ve reserved a copy at a local convenient store so at 7 in the morning on the 28th I can dash down the street for my pickup without waiting in line anywhere.

 Though, as I say this, my adventures in Dragon Quest X (which is a ten, not a cross) that I spoke of in a previous blog don’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

 Monster Hunter or Dragon Quest, who to give priority to.

 My inner conflict shall continue until the release date.

From Naotyn

2015/11/11

An annual customary event

 [The Jyousyuu beef and root Bolognese from Gru]We’re heading straight into winter, but as is our annual custom it’s time for [The 7th King of Pasta 2015], taking place at the Takasaki Motenashi Hiroba. It often rains on the day of the event so it’s planned to be fun even in the rain.

 A good way to enjoy the event is to buy the 1,500yen ticket that allows you to compare pasta from 5 restaurants of your choosing amongst the 18 participants (five samples is estimated at one meals worth). Also, you can buy a pre-sale ticket for only 1,400yen at the tourist information center inside Takasaki Station.

 Amidst the participants, I’ve got my eye on one specific restaurant [Gru : Jyousyuu beef and root Bolognese], which I highly recommend.

 As for parking, it is being suggested that event goers use the various surrounding paid parking lots. For the chance to taste so many of Takasaki’s famous flavors all at once, it’s well worth it!

From Aqua

2015/11/05

The 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015

 The Tokyo Motor Show 2015A big event once every two years! I went to the Tokyo Motor Show.

 This is the third time it has taken place at Tokyo Big Site. It was easy for people to stop by after work with a new closing time of 8PM, which I did after visiting some customers in Tokyo. I arrived at 6PM expecting to pay the entry fee of 1,600yen, but when less than four hours remain the price drops to 700yen; small victory pose.

 Just as in the news each company was pushing their automatic driving systems and fuel cell systems, largely with what felt to me like smoother designs from a decade or two ago.

 The RX-VISION revelead at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015Amongst all of that, the car that vibrated most with my heart was a concept car that had its world premiere unveiling at the Tokyo Motor Show, the “RX-VISION.”

 Even though Mazda discontinued sales of their low gas mileage rotary engines, they continued research into them and have mounted the RX-VISION on the SKYACTIV-R. I think it’s great to see the release of a rotary engine amidst so much talk of ecology, and it’s gaining quite a bit of attention.

 While fewer young people seem to take an interest in cars, car makers continue the put out new exciting models, giving me hope that the automotive industry will take off once more.

From Pumping both wheels

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