Saturday, November 21, 2020


I have a science page over on Wordpress that I've used for close to 10 years for my Gakken science kit, math, Java, synth, and 3D puzzle kit blog posts. For the past 2.5 years, I've also been writing up my experiences in cryptography, and cipher solving.

Last month, I decided to start up a Patreon account based on these cipher articles, and I moved the cryptography articles over to a new Wordpress page called The Black Chamber. If you like the Crypto-Quip puzzles that show up in some newspapers, then I invite you to follow me at The Black Chamber.

If you don't like cryptograms, but you would like to see more Japan-related blog posts and/or videos here on Blogspot, I'd like to ask you to help support me and this page over at The Black Chamber patreon page. Either way, I am going to start making some cryptography-related videos that will eventually start showing up on youtube, and I'll announce them here when they're ready.



Sunday, November 15, 2020

Reducing food waste

The Japanese government, and the food industry here, occasionally makes big waves over the amount of food waste in the country, and they will spend part of a news cycle pretending to want to do something about it. Recently, this has surfaced on the radar again.

This time, in typical Japanese behavior, they have a typically Japanese solution - removing the days from "best used by" marks. The reasoning goes that consumers buy food and then don't use it. At some point, they look at the Best Used By date, see that the food is one or two days past the date, and then throw it away out of the fear that it's already spoiled, or won't taste good. So, by removing the day from the package, the argument is that those same consumers will be spurred by the uncertainty (is it still good or not?) into eating or using that food right then and there, rather than tossing it or putting it back on their shelves to throw it away later.

I'm wondering why the food manufacturers don't simply use the last day of the month for the Use By date. Maybe it's more about saving money by using a little less ink on each product...

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Trombone Chalk Art, Nov. 2020

New chalk art in front of the Trombone coffee shop in Tenmonkan.

"It's time for "Fall foods." Let's all eat lots of delicious things. We're waiting for you."

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Green Stylish Laundry

Coin Laundry Green.

"because every laundry is different
The Electrolax Group.The world's No.1 choise.
The Electrolax Group is the world's largest of powered appliances for
kitchen,cleaning and outdoor use.More than 55 million Electrolux Group products
(such as refrigerators,cookers,washing machines,vacuum cleaners,chain saws
and lawn mowers)are sold each year to a value of approx.
USD 14 billion in more than 150 countries around the world."

Maybe they include spellcheck in the chain saws...

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Potato Chalk

A few blocks from my apartment, in a neighborhood I don't normally visit, there's a little mom-and-pop grocery story that often has amazing chalk art advertising various produce, although it doesn't change up much. This time, they have a bag of Japanese sweet potatoes (Satsuma imo).

Monday, November 9, 2020

River Cats

River cats just want to have fun.

With a bun.

In the sun.

On the run.

We done?

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Chained Minion

One day, I was walking along the Kotsuki river, when I found a lost keychain figure lying at the base of a bridge barrier wall.

A broken-footed, broken chain Minion. I hesitated to approach it to take a photo...

The reason I hesitated was that there were well over 100 sparrows sitting on the power lines directly overhead. After the city decided to cut down all of the trees that had been growing along streetcar street, they no longer have normal places to roost.

Every 10-15 seconds, there were soft "plop" sounds along the sidewalk. I took my photos and left as fast as I could. Bye-bye Minion.