Thursday, June 28, 2007

the bed scene

I'm late on this (no, really late), but finally watched "Lost in Translation" the other day. I thought it was a great movie, delicate and nuanced, Bill Murray is excellent (besides, the guy sings - no, really sings), and Tokyo looks mesmerizing and mysterious as it really is.
There's one scene though that keeps coming to my mind - the bed scene. Well, it's not exactly what you were thinking.
Bob Harris (played by Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) lie in bed, talking about life. It's a very chaste scene (as chaste as any scene with Scarlett Johanson in bed could be), and yet you couldn't get a more intimate, tender and delicate scene between two people.

"Bob Harris: It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids.
Charlotte: Yeah. It's scary.
Bob: It's the most terrifying day of your life... the day the first one is born.
Charlotte: Yeah. Nobody ever tells you that.
Bob: Your life, as you know it... is gone. Never to return.
But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk, and...
... and you want to be with them.
And they turn out to be the most delightful people... you will ever meet in your life.

Watch the entire scene below on YouTube (gotta love YouTube).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

tokyo's limousine bus lady

While in Tokyo, the best way to and from Narita International Airport is the Limousine Bus. Thousands of passengers make that trip every day and they're always greeted by Kaoru Kubo, who has been the voice of the Airport Limousine for the last 23 years.
Who could forget her "gentle" reminder?
" phones should not be used on this bus as they annoy the neighbors!".
Listen to her voice on

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

200m in 19.62s

American sprinter Tyson Gay ran the second fastest 200m in history, at the U.S. Championship held in Indianapolis, behind only Michael Johnson's phenomenal 19.32s world record from the 1996 Olympics.
That in itself would've been a fantastic performance but given the wet conditions and a 0.3m/s headwind, we can only be left to wonder what Gay (photo below) would've done were conditions optimal.
But I have to say I can't help to be kind of wary now, given all the doping cases that sprung recently in the sport, and it's really sad that we get suspicious every time an athlete comes up with a world-class performance. Hopefully this is not the case. But I'm an incorrigible 'track nut' and can't wait for the Osaka World Championship.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

soldiers, go make babies!

When it comes to army enlistment, some have it much easier than others. Take Brazilians, for instance. Sure, we're all required to enlist, but the percentage of people who actually serve the full year is very low. Most people are dismissed without ever putting on a pair of boots. You can be dismissed for a myriad of reasons, e.g. simply because you are shortsighted.
Compared to that, some countries in Asia seem much more strict.
Despite the economic growth, regional instabilities and some demographic trends translate to a more rigorous recruitment system.
First, they're faced with regional uncertainties, such as North Korea, the Taiwan Strait issue, and the lingering Sino-Japanese tension over WWII atrocities.
Second, some countries face a shortage of able-bodied men. Singapore, for instance, has a total population of only 4.5 million (of which about half is male). South Korea is bigger, with a population of 49 million, but they also have a much bigger worry across their North border. What makes matters worse for young men in these countries is that both countries present declining birth rates.
These factors force Singapore and South Korea to extend their military service to a 2-year compulsory program. No excuses. In Singapore, even if you're heading to college you have to postpone it for when you finish the National Service, as it is called here.
But you can't keep young men out of the workforce much longer than that. That's too damaging to their careers and to the countries' economies as well.
Faced with this tricky situation, the South Korean government has just announced that starting next year, married soldiers will be allowed to sleep at home, instead of at the barracks as they currently do. The order is clear: protect the nation during the day, make babies at night. (via iol)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

cellphone symphony

Avant-garde musician Bora Yoon has been called "a one-woman orchestra". Watch this video recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she creates a song by incorporating the sounds of her cell phone keys, and understand why. Forget about those annoying ring tones. This is quite nice!(via wsj)

Monday, June 18, 2007

pantone pattern recognition

Softbank Mobile: choose from 20 colors

Shinsei Bank Visa Cards: choose from 32 colors
Pantone Folders (via Eddie Wong)iPod Nano (okay, that's only 5 colors)
Have you seen other brands offering multiple color choices?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

we are what we eat

I was struck by the humanity in the photographs of this Time photo essay, "What the World Eats". Taken from Peter Menzel's book "Hungry Earth", the essay shows what's on family dinner tables around the world. It evoked all sorts of thoughts about globalization, inequality, and culture. Judge for yourself.
Japan: The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Kuwait: The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City
United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
See the entire photo essay here.
(via infosthetics - I'm an avid reader of this blog, in case you haven't noticed)

and while at ad age...

A couple of other interesting articles in Advertising Age:
- CNN the TV channel is no match for CNN the website (the chart below tells the whole story)- McDonald's recruits moms to be the ultimate influencers: gatekeepers to go on field trips and hopefully return as evangelists.

lee clow - the ad age interview

Lee Clow in Advertising Age, interviewed by Bob Garfield, discuss his views on the evolution of the industry. Great stuff, by the man who gave us this (among other things).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

jane jetson's dress

Shape-changing dresses by Hussein Chalayan.Watch the YouTube video here.They remind me of Jane Jetson's dresses. Really cool.(via infosthetics)

Friday, June 08, 2007

iphone ads

Just feeding the hype. The latest iPhone ads, on Apple's website.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

for all rock & rollin' grandpas

Now that baby-boomers are fast approaching their mature years, gadgets such as the new TEAC bone-conduction headphone are set to become very popular.
Like Docomo's Sound Leaf, the TEAC headphone works by sending the sound's vibrations through the bones. As the diagram below shows, the TEAC is to be used over the temporal bone, instead of the usual ear-covering headphones, so that people with hearing impairment can keep enjoying music (and banging their heads). (via Japan Today)

Monday, June 04, 2007

give me whatever...

"Whatever"... the typical "couldn't care less" expression of today's youth, has become a beverage brand in Singapore. Coupled with "Anything" they form an interesting concept: a surprise in every can. You order Whatever or Anything and you'll never know for sure what exactly you'll drink. Whatever comes in 6 different non-carbonated juices flavors, and Anything comes in 6 different carbonated flavors. Only after you open the can you'll find out which flavor you got.
Below, one of the TV ads (watch it on YouTube here)