dateURLjapan stuffother
09.29.99 Kuko Iwamoto's giant ceramic microbes
look at these things. they're so cool and weird and beautiful--and you can't really do very much better than those 3 adjectives, i don't think.

there's other good stuff in the vortex gallery too. [Thanks to Chisa for this find.]

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interesting guestbook
the rest of his site is kind of cool too. (i found this via the above-mentioned vortex gallery.)

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Freedom to Innovate Network
"The FIN is a non-partisan, grassroots network of citizens and businesses who have a stake in the success of Microsoft..."

Cracks me up so bad. "Grassroots." Okay, enough said.

(oh, and look someone up in Washington state has registered, but they're not doing anything with it yet. hmm.)

and i promise i'll never link to microsoft again.

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once upon a forest
this is a nice-looking flashy flash thing. if you're not sick of nice-looking flashy flash things, maybe give it a look-see.

it made me mad at first because it forced the new flash plug-in to install on my machine. a lot of people have been complaining about that one. what the hell was macromedia thinking? everyone knows that's rude and invasive. anyway, it started doing that, and every time i got all mad and clicked cancel, but then finally like the fourth time or something, i just sat back and let it happen and it was actually painless and everything is fine now. (oh, except they put an alias to their stupid Shockwave Remote in my startup folder. why would i want that?) i guess i was worried something would break or i'd need to restart. but it only causes problems if you use both IE and Netscape, which I don't at the moment, so I'm fine.

You're probably thinking, "my what a long, whiny, and uninteresting tangent. why didn't he put it in the 'other' column so i'd know not to read it." yes, you're right to think that.

09.28.99 404nord
holy crap. i don't even know what i was looking for on this server, but suddenly this guy appeared from behind another window.

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urameshiya is what ghosts say in japan. kind of like "boo" i guess. the title of this page is also urameshiya and it features pictures of a haunted house in Kyoto from the Kyoto Shinbun.

looks like this haunted house functioned as an excuse for teenage girls to pretend to be afraid while their boyfriends pretended to be unafraid.

and i guess they put this picture in to prove how scary it was. it clearly terrorized these two kids, so it must have been a pretty decent haunted house.
in Japan, it's not uncommon to see young boys dressed in those one-piece suspender-shorts things with buttons on the front, while also sporting a wide-brimmed straw hat with a ribbon around it. maybe even with high white socks and shiny black shoes. girls too, but somehow this surprises me less than boys. every time i see a kid dressed like this, i think of the goody-two shoes kid from The Little Rascals.

but what's even more amazing to me than this outfit itself, is that the kids who dress this way are able to do so without getting beat up.

in the US i think the merciless taunting would start within 5 minutes after they left the house.

09.22.99 robot!
here's a 9 MB quicktime movie of a robot that i was downloading in the background for maybe 3 hours today. i forgot all about it and then i just now watched it and it's so great. it's a little robot with a face. i don't have sound turned on right now, so i couldn't hear anything, but i could tell from his face that the little robot was happy, then he was angry, and then he was a little worried.

it's a demonstration from a paper called "a layered architecture for lifelike robotic motion" which i had trouble downloading for some reason, so i don't konw anything about that. i do know that i call this robot happy-and-angry robot. go robots!

[another from katherine! go katherine!]

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origami monster
yes. and look how scary. other animated origami goodies also nearby.

now i'm looking all around the rest of jeremy's site--jeremy is a dancing, juggling, unicycle-riding, origami-folding, handwhistling madman.

[big gracias to katherine for finding this.]

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no, not of course everyone knows and loves cardhouse dot COM. this is cardhouse dot NET. i went here accidentally today and was freaked out by the scary little elf on the front door.

the company that owns this site is in Taiwan. they also own an assortment of pretty strange domain names that they're not doing anything with yet--including:,, and

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japanese finger flute club
We get carried away with our own finger flute. Why don't you join us for playing finger flute?"

here are some famous finger flute players. and good advice: "You must disinfect your finger with cotton soaked in ethanol before playing a finger flute..." also, you can learn how to play a finger flute.

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barbara bush
ladies and gentlemen, it's barbara bush.

i was looking for hillary clinton's cookie recipe which i'd heard was on i couldn't find it, but i did find this big painting of barbara bush. simply stunning.

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this is cool if you're wondering what life is like at an antarctic research station. as always, i went straight to the photo gallery where i found this halloween picture, plus a picture of a laser beam and also this weather balloon. (i like halloween and i like laser beams and i like weather balloons.)

anyway, i love thinking about the 160 or so people who stay there over the nine-month winter ("winter-overs") when no airplanes can land and it might be -40 degrees Farenheit; you can only stay outside for 7 minutes.

You yourself might work with someone who's annoying or even live with someone who's annoying--but imagine how their annoying-ness would increase exponentially if you had to spend 9 months cooped up with them.

also, here's a dictionary of Antarctic slang.

plus check out the Antarctic Sun newspapers in pdf format. the january 99 issue had a cool article about what a winter-over is like, plus this example of what people do under the influence of cabin fever + Wild Turkey.

and there's an even better photo gallery on this site. i think it's better just because there are more people pictures.

[another find by stefan who i should just to surf for me.]
tv timer
this isn't about the crazy, crazy stuff on tv but about our tv itself--the appliance. (i will tell you about crazy tv programs sometime, dear reader. like phone info and toilet anecdotes, i could probably fill this column every day with weird tv show stories--some of which happen to involve phone stuff and toilet stuff.)

anyway, we got a tv 2 weeks ago, and this tv's got a timer on it that lets you set it to turn on at a certain time. it's good if you like to be woken up to tv, i guess. i can't imagine who likes that. anyway, the funny thing about this feature is that we're illiterate here and so we don't know how to turn it off. it just suddenly turns on at 9 pm. we can change the time, but we can't turn it off.

"America's Pork Producers and Photography by JCPenney are inviting American families to smile and say 'pork' - for FREE!"

[oops--i should have credited Tsering for this. That was rude of me. Tsering rocks bigtime for sending this to me, bless her heart.]

09.13.99 touch the fire
"Rest your mind, warm your soul, and feel the fire." I actually drank some of this stuff. It's bad--all burnt tasting. Burnt in the fire, that's their gimmick, I think. It was the cheapest canned coffee at the store, and now I know why.

It's all part of the beverage party happening courtesy of Kirin. oh, here's the beverage party happy calendar (not updated since april, but hopefully still happy).

and hello, why are you here? explain yourself mister well-dressed rabbit with a message about lunch.

Also, if you fancy it, you can click through Kirin's entire non-alcohlic beverage line.

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noam chomsky on east timor
from a radio interview on september 8. [via stefan]

09.08.99 NATOarts: Scott Lizama
i thought this was really fascinating. Scott Lizama helped launder money in Moscow, tried unsuccessfully to incite a Chamorran revolution in Guam, and then created documentary art about his activities.

NATOarts granted him membership for his work, after deciding that his extensive criminal record should have no bearing on whether or not he could be a member.

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great tshirt
also, scroll up because there's more interesting art above it.

another treat from originally from kittyfeet.

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National Mole Day Foundation, Inc.
it's over a month away, but i'm already getting really excited for Mole Day 1999: It's a Mole World.

some past themes (1991-1993):
  • The Mole The Merrier,
  • Go For The Mole.
  • Mole Out The Barrrel.
also don't miss the snapshots from ChemEd'99 when they announced the Mole of the Year. I'm surprised it wasn't Captain Chemistry.

i'll spare you the link to the mole day jokes.

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wearable computer stuff from 5 years ago
the prototype walkman must have looked really terrible too.

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facial animation research
totally freaky-looking movie files of facial animation research.

so much great stuff. like it led me to this haida mask animation which is probably even weirder with sound, but even without it, it wigs me out. and this laughing face, which is lucky it's not a real person because it would get slapped.
japanese emoticons are different than they're amero-euro- counterparts. they're better, in fact, i mean, as emoticons go. for one thing, they're right side up. also they're cuter.

in japan, everything can be made better and cuter.
eye poke
i poked my eye so hard. like some kind of crazy man. jammed my own thumb right into my eye. out of the blue. what the hell is wrong with me that I would do that to myself? you'd think that evolution would have weeded out that behavior, however i am walking red-eyed proof that it did not.
weird and almost cute japanese portal. the little mascot guy is so active and happy, doing so many things, but still not quite cute--maybe the problem is the clown hair. there's also this page with different promo items featuring the mascot. and here's how you bookmark it.

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an american web designer in tonga
a nice bite-sized photo journal by a guy teaching people how to make web pages in tonga.

also, coincidentally, the name of my idea for a new tv show that CBS has expressed interest in.

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funny animated gifs
a lot like stick figure death theatre. i like the second to last one best; it started with a simple game of hopscotch, but ended in tragedy.
pea cereal
i guess it's really not so weird, but it freaked me out the first time i saw it. maybe the idea of green cereal is what was hard for me. but i guess, if we eat processed flakes of corn, what's so different about eating milk-covered processed pea flakes?