Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hard to believe another year is gone.  It's disturbing how fast the years are going by.  If we could all somehow just slow down and reflect on what is important in life, maybe it wouldn't go so fast.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dorodango (泥だんご) - Shiny Mudballs.

Dorodango.  The art of Japanese mud ball rolling. I saw this on a recent episode of Mythbusters and found it quite interesting. There are a few sites out there with instructions, looks fairly easy to do. Some of the results are surprisingly amazing.  

Picture is from dorodango.com   He also has some historical info on this fascinating art.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Electric Stimulus to Face Test

I don't even remember what I was looking for when I found this.  This guy must be very brave or..  I wonder if you could cause permanent damage if you did this too much.

Auntie Anne's Que Line

    A que? Although we live in a fairly small city  the Auntie Anne pretzel line is  always ridiculously long. Most of the time we just walk on by, however the kids usually beg us to get  a hot, cinnamon-sugar pretzel and we let them get one as a special treat.

    The other day was the first time I have seen que line set up at the mall.  Usually the line goes painfully slow, but this episode went surprisingly quick.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ef - a fairy tale of the two.

I am trying to find this figure with no success.   I am thinking it is only in kit form at the moment. Any leads?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Augmented Reality

I know this has been around a while, and it has been blooged about alot.  But, with Geisha Tokyo Entertainment's release of the interactive maid アリス in October, It got me looking at all the uses and possibilities for this technology.  

If you want to have some fun download  the ARToolkit by HIT
 Lab at the University of Washington.  The ARToolkit gives you som basic examples you can try for yourself without having to program anything.  All you need is a webcam.  It contains everything you need to develop your own applications as well.

Now if only they can perfect holographic imagery, things could get very interesting. Although old now, below is a prime example of what this technology can do.


...and アリス:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Western Digital HD Media Player with .mkv support! - Part 1

Finally .mkv support in a stand alone media player!! The new  Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player.

I have been waiting for something like this for a while now. I am looking forward to seeing if this thing will do all they say it will. As of now I use a philips DVP5992/37 in conjunction with the Vantec NexStar hard drive dock, and a 500gb bare drive to watch my media. Although I am limited to DivX videos and 720p only. It is a little finicky with GMC too. Looks like the WD player is just what I need.

Another bonus is fat32 support. External drive formats include: FAT32, NTFS, HFS+ (no journaling)

From the Western Digital website:

File Formats Supported

Music - MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA

Graphics - JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG Video -MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI(MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264)

Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL Subtitle -SRT (UTF-8)

- MPEG2/4, H.264, and WMV9 supports up to 1920x1080p 24fps, 1920x1080i 30fps, 1280x720p 60fps resolution.
- An audio receiver is required for surround sound output.
- AAC/Dolby Digital decodes in 2 channel output only.
- JPEG does not support CMYK or lossless.
- BMP supports uncompressed format only.
- TIF/TIFF supports single layer only.

See Part 2! Here

Amazon has it here:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Puccho (ぷっちょ)

A friend in Japan was kind enough to send us some Japanese snacks. Among them were these Puccho gumi's made by UHA Mikakuto. I've had other hard candies with a fizzy type filling like the Ramune candies, but these are a little different. They are kind of like a cross between a gumi bear and a starburst with a slightly fizzy thing in the middle.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Japanese Pod

I use a variety of tools to teach myself Japanese, but one of my favorites is Japanese Pod 101.

JapanesePod101.com - Learn Japanese with Free Daily Podcasts

The English speaking host makes the series alot of fun to listen too. The native Japanese speakers are very good and easy to listen too. The lessons are up to date and include informal speech as well, which I have not seen in other lessons. I think anyone learning on their own will find this a valuable tool.

Have you had your Sencha shot?

This was at one of our local grocery stores.  Even if things have a Japanese label I won't bother if it is made in the US, but the label says it is a product from Japan, so I had to try it.   I was expecting something of a disaster.  Surprisingly I found it quite refreshing.  I do like green tea but I have never had it cold.  I thought the quality of the product was very good.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Domo Kun At Target?

I thought it was funny to see this at one of our department stores. So I took a picture with my phone.  I guess they are trying to use it as a Halloween monster. =/


Wife got me one!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock

After buying my Philips DVP 5992/37 DVD player with USB 2.0 Port,  I need something to get all the movies, music, and pictures on.  Putting them on DVD's is too tedious and thumb drives too small.  This little thing lets me take a bare drive and attatch it to my DivX DVD player and have up to 1TB of all my stuff at my fingertips.  Actually I should have posted a review of the DVP5992/37 first.  It is great for PC backups too.  The only downside is that the drive is bare.

iKnow! Learn Japanese Fast!

I have been teaching myself Japanese for just over a year and a half.  Yesterday I came accross this site.  I can't even remember what I was searching for at the time.  I don't know why I didn't find this sooner.  I found it an excellent tool to add to my arsenal of learning tools.  The excersises seem fairly comprehensive although I have not had a lot of time to test it out.

Almost Otaku © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.