My Japan Photo Contest

The Mainichi Daily News is into the 3rd week of its My Japan photo competition. Here are some of the more interesting ones I’ve seen.

Before and After: Train accidents necessitated the uglification of this area in Saitama.

This was taken in Mother Bokujo in Chiba prefecture. The place was awesome, it is antithesis of everything that is Tokyo megalopolitan. I just love seeing vast, open space in this place. The weather was also beautiful thatday! (Wisnu Tejasukmana)

“Even the dead can view the cherry blossoms!” This photo was taken last year at a cemetery (in Toda Kinen Park) in Atsuta, Hokkaido. Walking though this lane during “sakura-fubuki” was breath-taking. We (and the graves on the left of the photo) were showered with blossom petals! (Corazon Niwase)

This one reminds me of the matsuri race level in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, which I’m taking a break from on account of its extreme difficulty.

Google Calendar is Live! (beta, of course)

It’s fast, it’s beautiful, it’s amazing. Just last week, after starting work, I was wishing for this to be released and looked around for alternatives. Eventually I decided that I could live on paper and Kinkless until Google shipped, because really I want integration with Gmail and everything. And this week it’s out! Who would have thunk it.

Try it out. It’s got keyboard shortcuts, instant-loading javascript overlays, and can SMS reminders to you (probably US users only). It allows you to send appointments to your friends, synchronize them, and share your schedule with people who need to know.

Also, Google has implemented the coolest pseudo-intelligent productivity solution since the now-defunct Black Jesus Algorithm from Synapse AI!

What’s the Quick Add feature?

Don’t like filling out complicated forms? The Quick Add box can (almost) read your mind. If you type in something like “Brunch with Mom at Java 11am Sunday,” Quick Add can figure out what you mean and pop the new event right into your calendar.

More ICQ unpleasantries

I even get messages from China while I’m at work.

(10:51:52) 190403526: Are you on line?
(10:51:59) brandon: yes and who are you?
(10:52:49) 190403526: i am a chinese girl.
(10:53:07) brandon: i am a chinese boy. it must be fate.
(10:53:40) 190403526: really?
(10:53:55) brandon: really.
(10:54:04) brandon: i think you should give me your credit card number for safekeeping.
(10:54:35) brandon: now that we are a pair, i must protect our shared interests in the event of an accident.
(10:54:35) 190403526: why?
(10:55:00) 190403526: no
(10:55:08) brandon: well then the wedding is off!
(10:55:14) brandon: i’ve never been so hurt in my life
(10:55:19) brandon: how could you do this to me?
(10:55:47) 190403526: you are not friendly,i think.
(10:55:52) 190403526: bye
(10:56:00) brandon: you think wrong!!
(10:56:43) brandon: come back! i’ll settle for a pre-nup!
(10:57:11) 190403526: can you speak chinese
(10:57:37) brandon: i can say “gei wo ni de credit card hao ma”
(10:58:10) 190403526: something else?
(10:58:51) brandon: “shui shi ni de ba ba? wo! wo shi ni de ba ba!”
(10:59:05) brandon: that’s all for now.
(10:59:09) brandon: i’m still learning.
(10:59:49) 190403526: 过分,不是什么好鸟!
(11:00:39) brandon: wo de niao? how dare you speak about my bird with such familiarity!
(11:03:06) brandon: hello?
(11:04:51) brandon: [aside] it’s ok mr chuckles. she didn’t mean what she said, you’re a beautiful parakeet. who loves you? i do. who loves you? i do! *squawk!*

Birmingham: It’s Not Shit

That’s really the name of the site there, Birmingham: It’s Not Shit.

I’m still looking for reasons, but already I’ve found a great discussion over what the ‘ardest pub in Brum is. Also, the secret of whether or not there really is a beach under Spaghetti Junction. I lived right next to it for 2 years but I couldn’t tell you if there was. Exploring the area was the equivalent of running through Central Park at night with a laptop and sausages.

Here’s some fine comedy writing for you:

People underestimate Birmingham as a holiday destination, those looking for ‘sex, sand and surf’ especially – but anyone who’s seen the sunrise over Acocks Green on bin day can understand that Birmingham is God’s chosen holiday destination.