Genpatsu-kun (Nuclear-Reactor-kun) and the Japanese spirit

The cultural background of Genpatsu-Kun, aka Nuclear Reactor-kun, a viral video explaining how a nuclear reactor accident like the one in Fukushimaa works.

Radioactive material level monitoring points

Here are a collection of links where you can monitor radioactivity levels.

Who is @makiwi and what am I doing?

How to help Japan

UPDATE, March 26: I've stopped my Twitter flow for the most part - here's why.

UPDATE, March 15: Since Twitter may be experiencing occasional load problems, I am archiving my tweets on this page. It should be polling Twitter to get data in every hour. Warning: There's a lot of stuff in the past few days.

Since a lot of new people have started to follow me on Twitter recently, I thought I'd just explain exactly what I'm doing right now on Twitter, to those who don't know anything about me. (Updated to add "who is 'inhouse engineer aka @pdfguru.)

Marauding mobs! (Japan earthquake)

It's now the night of Day 4 of the earthquake in Japan, and I think we can all need to relieve some tension...especially in Japan. This is being retweeted around in Japanese Twitter circles now; being that Japanese is a more compact language all the links and headlines fit in one tweet, but that doesn't work for English. So here is it as a blog post.

The rough translation of the text is: "Mad rush for food. Fighting over scraps. Devastation after riot. Marauding gangs. Is this the reality of Japan? Do not look! DO NOT LOOK!

A memorable tweet from the Japan Earthquake

I've been tweeting the news from Japan in English for about 13 hours straight. It's the very least I can do.

I've been following some Japanese tweets from ordinary people too, many re-tweeted by my Twitter friend @choytan. And this one by @resaku just struck me straight in the heart.

As I was walking for 4 hours from central Tokyo, I was thinking. The sidewalks were overflowing with people, but everyone was walking stoically, in an orderly manner. The conbini (convenience stores) and other stores were all open for business as if nothing had happened. The internet infrastructure survived all the shaking, and was fully operational. All around, emergency help centers (for people trying to get home) were opened, and the commuter rail lines were soon back in operation and said to run all night. This is a great country. I don't care what our GDP rank is.



The Social Network and the 'getting it' gap

I finally got to see the movie The Social Network about three weeks ago, on a transatlantic flight. (It's kind of hard for me to catch first-run movies in the original language in theatres.) Since then, I've been quite obsessed about it. I've been checking out all the reviews, analyses, and interviews of the principals that I can find.

The movie itself is really well done, as mainstream movies go. There's nary a dull moment, the acting is generally terrific, the music quite fitting. I have mixed feelings about that snap-crackle-pop dialog style that is the trademark of an Aaron Sorkin script, but it did fit the feel of the subject matter.

(warning: spoilers abound below.)

Awareness and such

Aware of what? You and your awesomeness?

One last Satoshi Kon post: 100 Movies chosen by The Dreaming Machine team

Besides that last blog post, something else that Satoshi Kon posted on his blog - on August 18th, just a few days before he passed away - was a list of the 100 movies that were "chosen by the Yume Miru Kikai team".

Further language and cultural notes regarding Satoshi Kon's last words

There may be some things about Satoshi Kon's last words that may be puzzling to non-Japanese readers, so I'm going to attempt to clarify some of them. Note that this is not based on any kind of personal knowledge of Mr. Kon or his family, but just on general principles that are atari mae, commonly held mores and principles, in Japanese culture.