Category Archives: Miscellany

Wow, I really don’t know how to categorize these.

Treehouses

Are you addicted to Toxel? I am. It posted about treehouses, and there are a couple of interesting ones in Okinawa.

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

The Beach Rock Treehouse was designed by Takashi Kobayashi. What’s best is this is the thing in which we’ll likely make first contact!

Kobayashi, a leading treehouse-maker, also made this:

I want it

I want it

One speculates that because of this skill, he would be the ultimate father.

A concrete Gajumaru tree.

A concrete Gajumaru tree.

The Naha Harbor Diner is a fun idea. It certainly sticks out. Unfortunately (but for obvious reasons), the tree is fake. Certainly looks real, though.

Now I want to visit Okinawa even more.

I loved treehouses when I was a kid, but didn’t have enough friends or siblings to warrant having one of my own. The thought of having a small house all to myself was absolutely titillating, however — I loved miniature versions of things, as I suppose some girls do, with doll houses and such. (That was back when Polly Pocket was good, and yes, I loved and collected those, too.)

Having seen fine examples of crazy treehouses from around the world, I decided to see how many notable treehouses are in Japan.

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And Now, Dinosaurs are Real (Again)

Japan has brought one of my dreams to life!

I don't remember Triceratops looking this silly

I don't remember Triceratops looking this silly

Augmented reality dinosaurs! That’s cool as hell! I was a big ol’ dinosaur fanatic when I was younger (to the point where I wanted to go into paleontology—yeah, that big), but unfortunately I’ve never so much as seen dinosaur bones. Visiting this would at least somewhat make up for it. OR, with that camera pressed to my face, it could just feel as silly as my audio-guided Egypt museum trip (not that it wasn’t awesome).

This will be going down in Chiba, Japan in a museum exhibit including well over 200 different species. I hope the dinos render at 1:1 scale. I would have eaten it all up as a child. If you’re in Chiba, take your kids!

Mmm, Japan just can’t get enough of gigantic reptiles.

GI-GAN-TOR

We have another life-sized robot replica on its way—the first ever Giant Robot from the early days of anime.

GIGANTOR THE GIANT ROBOT

GIGANTOR THE GIANT ROBOT

Tetsujin 28-go, or Gigantor, will be nearly 60 feet, standing forever in the midst of Wakamatsu Park in Kobe. Apparently it’ll be unveiled in my birth month. What an awesome present! No, actually, this is much better regarded as an awesome homage to Mitsuteru Yokoyama. I can only hope to get something so awesome after I die.

yay

yay

Read more about it/watch videos here.

Gundam is Real

At least, realer now than it was before.

oh my god

oh my god

Now that we’ve realized the dream, we can relish in what is a statue of Pure Awesome smack in the middle of Odaiba, Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park. It was built to scale in honor of Mobile Suit Gundam‘s 30th anniversary.

In a matter of time they’ll have made the thing fully functional – THEN we’ll be seeing a new era of… actually, that would be slightly terrifying. (I’ve never particularly been a fan of Gundam – I think the robots could be more sleek – but I know awesome when I see it.)

You can see more awe-inspiring pics here.

Mind-Reading Billboards (Or Not)

Well, we’ve arrived. We’ve come to the point where billboards can scan us and feature advertising based on what we (might) like.

Actually, that's...not as cool-looking as you'd expect it to be. Function, not form, right?

Actually, that's...not as cool-looking as you'd expect it to be. Function, not form, right?

This is all thanks to Yahoo! Japan, which is kinda like Japan’s Google, if you get what I mean. It won’t be long now—this fall, in fact. First they’ll start off small, then grow and expand—! Soon these boards will be able to scan pregnant women and tell them what brand of clothing is best suited for their eventually-newborn baby son. (Comel and NEC Soft, developing this in tandem with Yahoo!, didn’t say that, but it’s only the next logical step.)

Like almost everything else from Japan that I have heard of or encountered, this is kind of creepy, but REALLY cool at the same time. I had anticipated similar technology ever since I watched Minority Report a few years back. People involved with the movie, and others’ predictions for how life and technology will be approximately 40 years from now, are kind of like this. Brace for it.