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Found 15 results

  1. DonRocks

    Earthquake-Proof Buildings

    "How Japan's Skyscrapers Are Built To Withstand Earthquakes" by Martha Henriques on bbc.com This is an interesting, ten-part slideshow that explains energy-dampening features in Japanese skyscrapers, including the world's second-tallest structure, the Tokyo Skytree.
  2. "Tuna Sells for Record $3 Million in Auction at Tokyo's New Fish Market" by Angie Teo on reuters.com
  3. I've seen enough of Naomi Osaka where I'm thanking the Lord that we have the next Women's superstar who doesn't squeal like a sodomized chipmunk every time she strikes the ball. Osaka grew up idolizing Serena_Williams, and was wonderfully deferential to her after a somewhat controversial victory (which included three code violations that went against Williams). In fact, when Williams won her first Grand Slam title, Osaka wasn't yet born. Remember the name, Naomi Osaka: You'll be hearing it for years to come.
  4. dcpolicywonk

    Japan

    My wife and I will be in Japan for two weeks in July. I spent six months there back in 1992 as an exchange student and was not real interested in fine dining. This time around, we have the means for a couple of nice experiences and I was wondering if anyone would have suggestions for their favorite places. Price is not an issue nor is type of cuisine.
  5. You cannot really unsee or unhear this. But it is actually kind of infectious. I'm 6 years in to a fascination of exploring the metal branch of the music tree and friends send me stuff. This is one of those things.
  6. I don't care what people say about Robert Griffin III being a "bust" - he was a *great* athlete and college football player, whose career was basically ended because he wasn't properly trained to play in the NFL, and because he was left in a game when he was so badly injured that he could barely walk. When I first saw Griffin's highlight video coming out of Baylor, I could not believe the things I was seeing: plays such as Griffin running to his left, then stopping on a dime and throwing a 50-yard laser cross-field to a receiver sprinting down the *right* sideline for a touchdown. During his rookie season with the Redskins, even his detractors grudgingly came around to admitting that this kid was phenomenal, and two-thirds of the way through the season, there wasn't merely unanimous accord about him being the Rookie of the Year, but also serious talk about him being the NFL MVP. Yet, there was that college-style game he was playing - the equivalent of storming the enemy without wearing a bullet-proof vest, and the Redskins were doing nothing to help him transition from a college-style game to become more of an NFL pocket passer, because he was taking them to the playoffs and they were thinking short-term. Griffin's career-ending injury occurred when he was left in the game with an injury so obviously severe that everyone could see it - the announcers were incredulous - and the next play would essentially be his final one in the NFL. A superstar done in by being rushed along and not coached into becoming an NFL player who could survive in the long-term. Maybe so, but he'll always have *my* respect, and I hope he has a lifetime of happiness with his millions of dollars, even though he'll never have the Hall of Fame career which was his for the taking. And it's absolutely *not* his fault - he was a *kid* who only knew one speed: overdrive, and it was the coaches' job to reign him in, to develop him, and to protect him. Look at what the Nationals did in 2012 when they had the best record in the National League, and Stephen Strasburg hit his (arbitrary) "maximum pitch count" before the season was over - why didn't they bench Strasburg *before* he hit that pitch count so that they could use him in the playoffs? I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this confounding decision when Strasburg was showing *no* signs of physical problems. Whatever their rationale, they chose not to save Strasburg even when it was obvious they'd make the playoffs without him, and then they lost to the Cardinals in the National League Division Series, 3 games to 2. Would Strasburg have made a difference in a five-game series? What the hell do you think? If the Redskins had given Griffin one-tenth of the protection that the Nationals gave Strasburg, we might have a superstar quarterback leading us to the playoffs right now, year after year; instead, we have someone who was made into a scapegoat for the Redskins' stupidity, and is wrongly and unfairly called "one of the biggest busts in NFL draft history." RG3: World-class athlete, Hall of Fame potential, the definition of class when he was forced to go an entire season without taking a single snap, and no more of a bust than Bo Jackson.
  7. Along with: * Winning the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards * Playing in 3 different decades * Being one of surely only a few players to play in the Negro Leagues, Major Leagues, and Central League (Japan) Don Newcombe this evening threw out a ceremonial first pitch alongside Sandy Koufax.
  8. Just a notice to all my fellow Sumo Fruit (aka Dekopon) fans that their rather brief season (a month, maybe) is upon us. H Mart has the boxes of 7 a la many other boxed fruits you find at Korean markets for $19. Whole Foods (Fair Oaks, at least) has them loose for $3/lb. these are roughly the same price, I think. I just bought 6 of them and it will be a struggle not to come back tomorrow to buy even more and stockpile them!
  9. After months of trying, and attempting to recommend "Cold Fever" to people, I finally found it for rent online. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it seems safe enough - it will take a leap of faith, however. Believe me, I've tried *everything*, and finally found something that worked, with one caveat. Go to icelandiccinemaonline.com, sign up for an account, and then comes the leap of faith: You need to purchase credits to watch films, in increments of 5 Euros. Renting "Cold Fever" requires 3 Euros of credits, and as of this writing, I have 2 Euros in my account - they're just sitting there, and probably won't be used, so I'll be happy to give them to anyone wanting to watch the film. The catch is that 2 credits aren't enough; you need 3, and so you'll need to purchase 5 more regardless. However, if you do purchase 5 more, I'll give you my 2, and you'll have a total of 7, which will give you enough to watch two films (assuming the second one is no more than 4 credits). I'll also need to figure out a way to either transfer my credits to your account, or give you access to my account, so just write me, and we'll figure this out together. Okay, now for the caveat: This is mostly an English-language film - the Icelandic parts are almost non-existent, but the very beginning is in Japanese, and when I saw this in the movie theater, 20+ years ago, I'm pretty sure the Japanese part was sub-titled into English; this version has no subtitles at all, so I'll need to tell you what they're talking about in the first 10-15 minutes of the film. Once I do, it will be extremely easy to follow: *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Hirata is a wealthy young Japanese businessman, played by Masatoshi Nagase with *hilarious* subtlety. His parents traveled to Iceland for a vacation, where they perished, and if I recall correctly, the anniversary of their death is coming up (it might be the one-year anniversary, or 5 year, but he's a young man, so it couldn't have been too long ago). It is customary to honor your parents by traveling to the place where they died, and performing a ritual at that location, which is what sends Hirata to Iceland in the dead of winter. That is the point where, about 15 minutes into the film, you see him boarding an SAS flight to Iceland, and that's the point where you no longer need sub-titles. *** SPOILERS END HERE *** I really didn't spoil much in the previous section, so it won't kill you to read it, and in fact, you'll *need* to read it unless you understand Japanese, because I'm telling you what happens in the non-sub-titled portion of the film - it won't ruin anything, and you'll need to know the set-up to enjoy the film. The rest of the movie is the "road film" portion, and it alternates between laugh-out-loud funny and darkly, strangely funny. I really recommend this film, not as a masterpiece, but as a 90-minute little gem - a "small film - that will be 90 minutes very well-spent. And, as I said above, I'll be happy to give you my 2 credits - get in touch. If you don't want mine, I might take yours - either way, the extra credits shouldn't go to waste.
  10. Helen Merrill is one of my favorite singers. I think she's probably my very favorite jazz singer who isn't or wasn't black, which actually puts her in some pretty rarefied company. Here she is singing " " on her first album, Helen Merrill, in 1954, with the brilliant trumpeter Clifford Brown, who had a career of about fifteen minutes before being killed in an automobile accident, which also claimed the life of jazz pianist Richie Powell, brother of the legendary Bud Powell. What a sad loss. Brownie didn't even have a chance to get fucked up on heroin like most of his contemporaries. And here's Helen Merrill in the title track of what I guess is my favorite album of hers, , from 1992. That's the brilliant Wayne Shorter blowing.
  11. The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is one of the world's most comprehensive collections of Asian art. Their collection holds more than 18,000 pieces and the museum exhibits approximately 2,500 pieces. When we visited they were in between major exhibitions, but the permanent collection is well worth your time. We spent about 3 hours there and could have easily spent a couple more. If you are a fan of the Sackler/Freer museums in DC, you will love the Asian Art Museum.
  12. Today would have been Eiji Tsuburaya's 114th birthday, and Google has honored him with this Google Doodle.
  13. ok, I know very little about Sumo, and have rarely watched it other than during Akebono's reign. Apparently, the Grand Sumo Tournament is held six times a year, with the upcoming May 2015 edition running from May 10-24. Daikaya will be airing the tournament on tape delay for the full two weeks.
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