Archive | June, 2012

My blog’s in the “Top 4”!

25 Jun

According to “Blog Rank”, my blog here is the fourth biggest “Tokyo blog” ranked by Google!

It’s also the 13th biggest”Tokyo blog” as ranked by the number of incoming links, and the 39th biggest “Tokyo blog” overall.

I was pleasantly surprised to find my blog listed (three times) on their list.

Japan is the healthiest country

19 Jun

The online magazine Health Fiend recently published their list of the World’s Healthiest Countries (and their list of “the world’s least healthy countries” too).

Japan was ranked the World’s Healthiest Country based on the magazine’s criteria of:

-the longest healthy life expectancy at birth,
-lowest pollution,
-the percentage of a country’s population with access to improved drinking water and sanitation,
-low infant mortality rates,
-low rate of prevalence of tuberculosis,
-the density of physicians per 1,000 people and
-low undernourishment rates.

Three aspects of Japan were credited in particular with giving Japan the world’s highest life-expectancy:
the healthy Japanese diet,
Japan’s health-care system, and
ラジオ体操 (government-sponsored exercise)

Here are the magazine’s list of the top ten world’s healthiest countries:

10. Australia
9. Austria
8. Denmark
7. Italy
6. France
5. Germany
4. Switzerland
3. Iceland
2. Sweden
1. Japan

Machu Picchu exhibit in Tokyo

16 Jun

Yesterday my wife and I went to a special “Machu-Picchu” exhibit at a museum in Tokyo.

Have you heard of Machu Picchu ?

They are an ancient Inka ruins in Peru that wasn’t known to the Spanish when they invaded South America…therefore it wasn’t plundered when it was discovered by an American archaeologist in 1912.

Since this year is the one-hundred anniversary of the discovery of Machu-Picchu, the 「国立科学博物館」 (National Science Museum) has a special exhibit about the Inka people and Machu-Picchu, titled 「マチュピチュ発見100年インカ帝国展」 (“The Inka Empire, 100 Years after the Machu-Picchu Discovery”).

Machu-Picchu flyer

The flyer for the special “Machu-Picchu” exhibit.

Among the items in this collection, you can see actual mummies and a short twelve-minute 3-D movie that takes you “into” Machu-Picchu.

This exhibit can be seen at the 「国立科学博物館」 (National Science Museum), not far from 上野駅 (Ueno train station) in Tokyo until Sunday, 2012 June 24th.

Technology

9 Jun

When I was a teenager in the ’80s, my parents finally got a microwave oven and a VHS VCR…they both seemed so “high-tech” back then.
The microwave could heat food in literally seconds! It seemed so “futuristic”! And the VCR allowed us to program it to record a TV show while we weren’t at home so that we could watch it later! How convenient!
(Never mind that no one could actually understand how to program it…even setting the clock on it was a chore!)

I think every housewife had a copy of this video in the ’80s when VCRs became popular.

Other “new” technology back then were CD players, the “Walkman“, and video games. They were all so popular.

(Click here and read a post I wrote a while back about the Walkman).

In the ’80s, everyone was surprised how “small” this music player was!

A popular TV show when I was in junior high was “Knight Rider“. It was about a vigilante and his “partner”…a super-intelligent Trans-Am that was bullet-proof (even the tires!) and it could do an endless array of unbelievable things. But the three things it did in every episode were: carry on a “witty” conversation with it’s driver and/or whomever else was near it, drive itself and “turbo-boost” over things.
I couldn’t wait for cars like that to become reality!

How often would this really be necessary?

A teacher of mine in the ’80s once told my classmates and me that by the time we were thirty there would be “flying cars”. Obviously that didn’t happen! What a let-down!

I was looking forward to this!

Another “high-tech” item that my family got was I was a kid was a “push-button” telephone with a “re-dial” button. It seems so ordinary now…but it was such a time-saver compared to how telephones had been until then!

Remember these? Yes? Then you must be at least my age. 😉

Now we have a huge variety of technology all around us that we would have never dreamed of even twenty years ago.
For example, when I was dating my wife, one time I misunderstood our meeting place and we couldn’t find each other. That date was lost!
Today’s young people couldn’t imagine such a thing happening because they grew up after cell-phones were invented and became something that everyone carries at all times—like a wallet and keys. If my wife and I had cell-phones when we were dating, my mistake wouldn’t have been an incident at all.

The internet and computers are extremely convenient and useful. They can do so many things and are practical in our daily lives now.
I have had a cell-phone with internet-access for a number of years now…I can barely remember how I used to “kill time” on the train during my daily commute before I had a cell-phone!

Nowadays, nearly everyone uses the phone on the trains in Japan.

But all of this new technology isn’t always good.
When I came to Japan, I had no idea what to expect. There was no internet back then.
And when I got here, everything was different and unusual to me!
But nowadays, most people never travel anywhere without “researching” the destination online first. Nothing’s a surprise! Is that always good?

And there are often stories in the news about people (usually teenagers) bullying others online. It’s regrettable.

I wonder what new technology we’ll see in the future.

Salty Watermelon

2 Jun

I have written posts about some of the unique, only-in-Japan flavors that Pepsi-Cola (and other companies including Kit-Kat and Coca-Cola) here.

If you want to see those posts, enter “Pepsi” in my blog’s Search box (or click here).

Well, watermelon is very popular in Japan in the summertime. And some people put salt on their watermelon to enhance it’s natural taste.
I tell you that in order to help you understand Pepsi Japan‘s latest flavor…

「塩スイカ」 (“Salty Watermelon”).

Pepsi 「塩スイカ」 (“Salty Watermelon”)…only in Japan

Pepsi’s 「塩スイカ」 (“Salty Watermelon”) is scheduled to go on sale in Japan beginning 2012 July 24th.