Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Once I finish typing this post out, I promise myself that I am going to watch only one segment of Saigo no Yakusoku before turning off the computer and resuming with my homework.

Out, omegle!

Oh, and see http://www.unrelatedcaptions.com/.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

OSIM - Oh Shit It's Monday

As ripped of from http://www.unrelatedcaptions.com/. Hope this cheered you up from your Sunday blues! It's back to school tomorrow. Ho hum.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saigo no Yakusoku - Watch it here!

Remember the drama Saigo no Yakusoku that I posted about here? Well, you can now watch it here on MySoju! The videos are on videohosting site DailyMotion, and the quality is quite good. :) I haven't watched the entire thing yet, shall do so soon and give a review on it! The main actors in the drama are ALL 5members of Arashi, as well as Kuroki Meisa. The video was actually posted on 23January, seems like I'm rather slow! "=.=

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm not the only one here who carries umbrellas

I snapped this today (too shy to ask the boy to pose for a photo so had to do so secretly!). I was quite happy to see this li'l boy carrying an umbrella all by himself, because few Singaporean youngsters, let alone boys, carry umbrellas when the sun is out. I get quite annoyed when people call those who carry umbrellas to block out the sun "aunty", "kiasu", etc, especially those who complain that they want to be fairer. I mean, if the umbrella is blocking their view or taking up too much space, I can understand, but if it's not affecting you, can you please stop going on and on about it? Carrying an umbrella is a good way to block yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays, especially in hot and annoyingly humid Singapore. It also helps you feel cooler and will prevent you from getting sunburnt!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day in Japan

Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow and I might not update for the next 4759143years, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Chinese New Year in advance! :)

Also, a short article on the Japanese traditions during Valentine's Day and White Day... Read on!

On Saint Valentine's Day, the 14th of February, Japanese women give men chocolates, as well as other gifts.  These gifts of chocolate are divided into two types: giri choko (obligatory chocolate) and honmei choko (chocolate for the man the woman is serious about). Giri choco is given by women to their superiors at work as well as to other male co-workers. It is not unusual for a woman to buy 20 to 30 boxes of this type of chocolate for distribution around the office as well as to her family members and male friends. Giri choko is a symbol of goodwill and appreciation, not love.

Needless to say, the approach of Valentine's Day is something that department stores and shops look forward to and promote with zeal because of its potential for increased sales. Large displays featuring chocolate usually with heart-shaped displays start to grace the floors of department stores from mid-January or so.
A woman will normally purchase boxes of giri choko in the several hundred yen range and may purchase an expensive box of honmei choko and another gift such as a necktie for her "special someone". Unpopular co-workers receive only "ultra-obligatory" chō-giri choko, or cheap chocolate. Friends, especially girls, may exchange chocolate referred to as tomo-choko.

Exactly a month later, on March the 14th, is White Day. White Day was created by the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association as a "reply day", where men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. On White Day, men who were lucky enough to receive gifts of chocolate have the chance to return the favor by giving the women who gave them gifts of chocolate a more expensive box of chocolate or sweets (for some reason or other, these return gifts seem to be priced slightly higher than those the women purchase). Again, the stores provide plenty of reminders of the approach of this day so that even the most forgetful man cannot say that it slipped his mind. The gifts of chocolate that men buy are in white boxes (after all, it is "White Day") and come with separate shopping bags to put them in. (Wikipedia, TanuTech)
So I didn't get to watch Valentine's Day yesterday. Still. It was okay. Realised how amazing my teachers were. :) Thinking, for a while, that I wouldn't want to leave.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hong Kong

I'm going to Hong Kong soon. :) Hehe I'm excited as I said I'd love to live in an Asian city that isn't Singapore and HK is one of them! I know HKers tend to be rushing all the time and their apartments are god-awful small, I know someone who was so proud that his apartment was the size of the master bedroom in my house, but I love the atmosphere. The weather's lovely too, cold, but you can always rush into the nearest shopping centre if it gets too chilly. And the shopping! I love spending endless hours in thenight markets and street shopping, hahaha it's awesome! Though many people think Hong Kong staff provide great service, I often feel rather intimidated by them. I'm not sure why but my preferred level of service is that the salesperson replies nicely and professionally when I ask them a question, I don't really like it when I walk into a shop and the staff all shout "WELCOME!", or when I'm browsing and the salesperson starts "stalking" me.

Okay, actually the 'soon' in I'm going to HK soon is about a month away, and I might be going to watch the movie "Valentine's Day" this week!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Arashi in Saigo no Yakusoku - Poster madness

Watch this:

When I first saw this video here on YouTube, I thought the boys were doing some autograph session or meet the fans appearance, but it turned out that all the women in this video were taking photos of posters of Arashi! HAHA. Turns out though, that this is a limited edition advertisment campaign for an upcoming drama called Saigo no Yakusoku, or The Last Promise. This drama series feature all five members of Arashi, which is a popular Japanese boyband (if you didn't know that already you ought to be shot). This it the first time in a decade that the 5boys are appearing together, so be sure to catch it! Actually it started airing in Japan on 9th January, I'm not sure when we'll be able to watch it (soon, hopefully!). Anyway, from the video above, we can all be assured of Arashi's popularity in Japan! Haha, just look at the way they are all jostling to take a good photo. Wouldn't it be better (and easier) to just print out a photo of them from the internet? I'll try to keep tabs on the news about this drama! :))

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Measuring Tape Toilet Paper - Productive toilet time!

Measuring Tape Toilet Paper was designed for those so obsessed with weight loss they can't resist monitoring their measurements at every bathroom break. Not happy with the results? Simply flush and the incriminating evidence is banished to where the sun don't shine: your local city sewer system.

But wait, there's more! Not wanting to "waste" all that blank space alongside the metric tape measure, the manufacturer has printed a full range of exercises Biggest Loser rejects (and you) can do without leaving the toilet seat.
A type of toilet paper that has just been launched comes with printed measurements as well as various illustrations with instructions in pale blue ink that demonstrate how you can do exercises while on the porcelain throne, from stretches to toe touches. The Measuring Tape Toilet Paper is printed with a measurements in centimeters that you can use to do a quick gut check while no one else is looking, and then dispose of the evidence of your metabo problems. It takes losing weight in the bathroom to a whole new level!

The toilet paper aims to make your time more productive and healthy by encouraging exercise and helping you keep tabs on your results.

While this is clearly a novelty of sorts, toilet paper in general is a blank slate just waiting for a creative, value-added innovation. Brands certainly don’t like the idea of being defiled, but there are plenty of other ways to use this ubiquitous and personal medium.

Each roll of Measuring Tape Toilet Paper weighs 130g (about 4.5 ounces) and unrolls to a total length of 30 meters or 98.5 feet. It's made in Japan from 100% recycled paper - recycled from WHAT, they don't say.

Get yours for just 92 yen (about USD$1) per roll from Rakuten, who will take your order online and even gift wrap your purchase for free. (Japan Trends, Inventor Spot)

Haha, I think this is awfully cute! \"_"/!

Free Umbrella Rental in Japan?

We all know what it’s like to get caught out in the rain when you are sightseeing. Japan is lucky to be a place with convenience stores on almost every street corner where you can always pick up a cheap, see-through plastic umbrella. Why don't they sell these here? I think those transparent Japanese umbrellas are so sweet! However, these break easily and can be often be found discarded in trash cans, or worse, left by a road. Read: Bad for the environment!

Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture, well-known for its heavy snow and rainfall, attracts large amounts of domestic and international tourists for its Kyoto-like historical districts and gardens. Since mid-December last year it has been working to keep its visitors dry in an eco way through the “Minna no eRe:Kasa” scheme (みんなのeRe:傘 or “Everyone’s Re-use Umbrella”).

Serving both as a convenient service for people caught in sudden rain without protection — and also as a way to reduce thrown-away broken convenience store umbrellas — the project has placed thirty re-used umbrellas each at twenty-one key spots in the center of the city, including the big JR station, sightseeing areas and shopping malls. The City held an inauguration event featuring the singer Eri Takenaka (above) accepting gifts of unneeded umbrellas from local residents, which would then be donated for the scheme.

No registration process is required and usage of the umbrellas is totally free. The City merely asks that borrowers return the umbrella, preferably to the same rental station or at least to another official one.

However, the Daily Yomiuri reported last month that already some one thousand of the fifteen hundred umbrellas are missing, and that the City will have to replace them. This raises the question of how to maintain the umbrella stock at the stations. One solution would be to make special umbrellas in a distinct design, so that people would be too shamed to steal one — or would be sure to return it if they accidentally took it home. However, making a new set of durable, unique umbrellas would definitely be an expensive and highly non-eco process! (Japan Trends)

How to use Baidu (step-by-step guide to downloading a song)

After looking around in a few forums, I realised that there are many people who aren't very sure of how to download songs for Baidu either because their Chinese isn't good enough or they don't understand Chinese at all. Well, here's a step-by-step demonstration to guide you along! Btw, for those who aren't in the know, Baidu is something like the Chinese form of Google, and it also lets you download songs for free! Click on images to enlarge.

1. Go to http://www.baidu.com/.

2. To download a song, click on the "MP3" option above the search bar. You can type in english words, eg. "lady gaga", or chinese phonetic alphabets, eg. "zhou jie lun". Search suggestions will come out. Search wichever one applies.

3. The search results will come out. Click on the song you want to download.

4. A window will pop up with a few links (don't worry if there's only one link!).

4. Right-click on any link and save the link by clicking on "save target as".

5. The file will start downloading. It won't take a long time, I've yet to wait more than a minute for one song.

6. Specify where you want the song saved.

DONE! : )
That was my first ever how-to guide, so please excuse an irregularities, eg. some of the screenshots are in the middle and some are on the left. If you have any feedback or still have problems, please enquire! I'm looking into providing guides for English speakers on how to use Chinese/ Japanese websites, so suggestions are welcome!