Japan


Helix - Pilot

Here’s hoping a Canadian broadcaster picks this up, or we’ll have to go online

Do you love Sci-fi??? Me too! You may want to check out the trailer below, and catch this new TV series on the Sy-fy channel coming out Friday Jan-10-2014 at 10:00pm. Scripted by Ron Moore of Battlestar Galactica, and produced by the people behind Lost and X-Files.

Sy-fy describes it as “an intense thriller” about a team of scientists from the Center for Disease Control. After being sent to the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, they soon become entangled in a far more apocalyptic affair, facing “a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation.”

Japanese fans will know of Hiroyuki Sanada, who will be one of the stars. He’s in charge of the top-secret research.

Will you tune in to watch some scary black slime??

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Do you like beautiful photos? Then you must like Flickr. So many wonderful photos, so little time to see all the best ones. So, onomeister is here to share the best photos! Like this one by NatashaP who took this eye-poppingly beautiful shot of Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms during a sunset on April 17, 2013 in Yamanashi, Japan. Oh, and there seems to be a river of strawberry milk…

Flickr-NatashaP-Fuji-Sakura

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photo credit: NatashaP (‘shopped color saturation)

Everyone knows about photo blog websites like Flickr. So many amazing photos, and not enough time to sift through hundreds of pages of photos. So, onomeister is here to share the best of the best! Like this one by bbw1150 who took this incredible shot at the Osaka International Airport on May 5, 2013, which is a national holiday in Japan (no, not Cinco de Mayo, but Children’s Day). Also, this holiday falls during Golden Week, the busiest time of the year for the Japanese, as many take their vacations (like Christmas in western countries). Flights, hotels, trains, even restaurants are fully booked around this time of year, and prices are all increased to the highest peak season rates. Tourists, avoid visiting during Golden Week at all costs!

Flickr-bbw1150-Osaka-airport

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photo credit: bbw1150 (‘shopped color saturation, contrast/brightness)

Many have said that Flickr is a wondrous website! People from all over the world share wonderful photos here. Like this wonderific shot of Shinjuku, Japan taken by hidesax. It reminds me of the many times that I missed the shuuden (last train) when I used to live in Japan (due to late night partying… lol), and I had to walk two hours to get home (saved me 12000 yen though – that’s $120). This photo reminds me of the movie Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift. (Important advice: Don’t miss the shuuden, and do see this photo on your PC or iPad, instead of your tiny smartphone!)

Flickr-hidesax_Shinjuku

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photo credit: hidesax (‘shopped color saturation, contrast/brightness)

Wii-u-doomedIt’s deja vu for Nintendo… A year and a half ago, their newest handheld portable device, the 3DS, was experiencing terrible sales, and Nintendo cut the price by 40% in less than six months after release. It was unheard of to slash prices so early in a release cycle. Now, it looks like they may have to go through it again, this time for the Wii U, even though in a recent investors meeting Nintendo president Satoru Iwata reassured them that they would not reduce the price as the newest system is already being sold at a loss.

There was a lot of hype for Nintendo’s new console, as it has a very versatile and responsive tablet controller (a first for consoles) and for the first time in Nintendo’s history 1080p HD quality graphics. So why are Nintendo sales now being associated with words like “abysmal”, “catastrophic lows”, “disaster” and even some are starting to call the system a “flop”? In only its second full month of availability, the Wii U sold a paltry 57,000 units in the U.S. (while the Xbox 360 sold 280,000).

Well, critics like Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter are saying various factors: “First, we think that the console was misunderstood by many as a peripheral for the Wii; second, the price point for the Wii U is relatively high, and the launch was into a weak economy; and third, first party software support was thin, and third-party software was not sufficiently differentiated to convince many that they needed a Wii U as a replacement for their Xbox 360 or PS3.”

Others are saying various reasons: Nintendo’s shoddy marketing of the system pre-launch (basically none); the rise of mobile gaming in Asia; the fact that it doesn’t really outshine existing competitors in any way; as with the company’s previous two consoles, the GameCube and Wii, the waning 3rd party support for the console.

IS THERE ANY HOPE?

Nintendo acknowledged last month that the launch of the Wii U were disappointing and confessed that it had failed to communicate its value to the end-users worldwide. They claim that they will ensure that there are more games for the platform on the market soon.

This is a critical stage. In order for the system to succeed, the only choices for Nintendo is 1. rush more games out from their 1st/2nd party development studios as there’s definitely no help from 3rd party developers on the horizon, or 2. the eventual price cut (I’m gonna say September 2013).

As a video games fan, I feel sorry for Nintendo, a company that stands for innovation and creativity. Competition is healthy for the industry, and gamers like us will benefit if Nintendo does succeed. I really hope that they turn things around.

Flickr has many colourful photos. Sometimes truly breath-taking, like this one of autumn in Tokyo, Japan. magicflute002, thank you for this amazing shot. Luv it +++!

Flickr-Nobutoshi-Akao-Autumn

photo credit: magicflute002 (unshopped!)

(by the way, did you see the man in the photo???)

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Flickr is awesome!! So many fantastic photographers from all over the world sharing their work for us to admire! 10 years ago you couldn’t do this – you’d have to buy photobooks for $30-$50. albertlaw took this one of Nagasaki, Japan. Hard to believe this place was hit by an atomic bomb 67 years ago…

Flickr-albertlaw-Nagasaki

photo credit: albertlaw (unshopped!)

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