Saturday, January 09, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Yet another totally bizarre music video from Japan, sponsored by Sony. The intro is weak and the last 2 minutes are just useless promo junk, but the middle portion with an "Ultraman" and a giant squid are beyond belief. What the Fuck is going on here? I have no idea, and I have lived in Japan several times for over 3 years (Yokota AFB, Soshi Gaya Okura). Does anybody out there understand Japanese modern pop culture?
BONUS: Another completely incomprehensible video sales pitch from Japan. I think it has Ultraman, but it's definitely got Godzilla. What in the world?
Big ship wants to park. No matter other ships are in the way. Looks like a scene in Asia, perhaps the Philippines? No matter, it's the same all over the world, the Big Guys always get their way.
BONUS: Amazing gymnastics!
Bacon or Beer? answers that eternal question on what to have for dinner in Jamacia. A very friendly and perhaps stoned Rasta answers your question and teaches you about the local lingo and inflection. Snoop Dog would be proud.
China Smack has a few early comments on Avatar, which might add a billion or two to the gross.
James Cameron’s latest film, Avatar, was released in China on 2010 January 2. Many Chinese are familiar with and loved James Cameron’s previous famous film, Titanic, which is still the number one most successful movie in history. Although Avatar or 《阿凡达》 (“ā fán dá”, in Chinese) has premier two weeks later in China than the rest of the world, it has become very popular and successful as many Chinese are waiting in lines every day to buy tickets to watch the movie.
The Chinese people who have watched Avatar have praised the amazing computer special effects, but this is expected. What is more interesting is how many Chinese people feel the story of Avatar is very similar to a controversial social issue in China.
In the movie, humans use violence to take the land of the Na’vi alien residents on the alien world of Pandora. In China, there are news reports and internet postings about local Chinese governments using violence to forcefully evict residents from their homes (to demolish the buildings and redevelop the land). chinaSMACK translated and reported some of these stories in recent months, such as Woman Sets Self On Fire To Protest Demolition Of Home and Kunming Residents Believe In Brother Chun To Save Homes.
Now that you are aware of that background, you can understand the sarcastic reactions that many Chinese netizens have posted on BBS forums after watching Avatar…
A phenom video about the intersection of art and architecture. Trust me, you really should watch this video. Wonderful.
Here's how it was made:
From Jotman in Bangkok.
ABC has a report on a rare collision in the Southern Ocean. The Japanese whaling security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 has rammed and damaged the Ady Gil, a $2 million high-speed trimaran belonging to Paul Watson's anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Society. The Andy Gil is believed to be sinking but the crew were rescued by the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. The Sea Shepherd Society has asked Australia to send a naval vessel to "restore peace" and protect the 21 Australian citizens on board the Sea Shepherd and the whales from the Japanese. According to ABC, the incident happened "outside Australia's economic zone but within Australia's search and rescue zone."
The Sea Shepherd website gives some background about the unprecedented resources the organization has sent into the cold waters off Antarctica this whaling season.
The objective of Sea Shepherd’s three-ship campaign is to bankrupt the illegal Japanese whaling fleet and to sink them economically.
“This year, I have three ships, four small boats, a jet ski, a helicopter, 77 crew, and a bagful of aggravation for the Japanese whale poachers,” said Captain Paul Watson. “We intend to make life miserable for the whale killers over the next month and a half.”
Included in the crew is the Animal Planet crew filming the third season of the hit television series “Whale Wars.”
The Sea Shepherd crew number 77 from 16 nationalities including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.
As World Architecture News puts it: not a bad place to crash in Phuket.
Villa Amanzi grows out of the rocks overlooking the Andaman sea in Phuket
Nestled in a cascading, west-facing ravine with a dramatic slab of rock defining the northern edge and a stunning outlook over the azure blue of the Andaman Sea to the south, Original Vision's commission; to do this demanding but ultimately spectacular site justice, was both daunting and exciting.
The defining elements are the rock and the view. They dominate at every juncture. They resonate on first approach, through the migration from public to private space, in the living and in the family areas, in the gardens, in the bedrooms; and they continue to command respect down the tropical jungle steps that arrive at a secluded rock platform, flanked by the same seam that welcomed you 60m above. Constant reference to these elements instills a feeling of solidity that contrasts with the openness of the house, reinforcing the dynamism and vibrancy that pays homage to the magic of the location.
The home grows out from the rock; the bedroom element rests between it and the wing that strikes the perpendicular, rising vertically from the slope. This composition defines the open living and dining space that is simply a transition between two garden areas. It is intimate but open and the uninterrupted clear span creates a bridge under which the conventions defining indoor space disappear.
Cantilevered over a massage sala, the swimming pool completes the composition. It is the focal point that draws the eye to the view and instills a calmness that provides balance with the energy of the architecture.
This is an interesting photo of Thai PM Abhisit meeting with Muslim girls in Yala. Notice their makeup and sense of style and obvious beauty. I've had the same experience traveling around SE Asia and visiting very fundamentalist Muslim towns. The girls are anxious to meet you and change your mind about Islam. It's a real change of pace and a change of mind.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Building Demolition Fail. Funny video of a building demolition gone bad.
The Daily Mail has still photos and more background.
China Smack has the most important post and comments of the year, about China.
TreeSpotter on the year 2009 in Indonesia. Great writer. Wonder what he does for a living in real life?
Liquor for the Muslims in Gaza?
The Boston Globe Big Picture looks at everything.