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  #1  
Old 10-26-2015, 05:40 PM
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Television BEGIN Japanology

My BFF who lived in Japan for a decade or so told me about this show and I am now officially hooked. BEGIN Japanology is an English-language series which explores different aspects of Japanese history and culture in each episode. The range of topics is vast, from the most venerable history -- swordmaking, name seals, Kagura dance -- to food -- abalone, mushrooms, seaweed -- to household goods -- rice cookers, bicycles -- to contemporary trends -- plastic food models, vending machines -- and it's all completely riveting.

I watched the Stationary episode yesterday and it seriously almost brought me to tears. The pens... Dear god Jesus the pens...



But okay, anyone who knows me knows that I'm going to plotz the fuck out over pens, especially over pens with tips fine enough to write kanji (the Japanese are the reason micro tips even exist, peace be upon them). It's the shows you don't see coming that suck you in the most, like the episode on traditional storehouses.



And the plastic food models.



The rice cooker episode almost drove to buy a crazy expensive Japanese rice cooker just because they're so damn cool.



The Tale of the Genji, the 11th century novel (often called the first novel) by noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu gets a two-parter, and it deserves it.





I could embed the whole series, really, because so far I haven't found a dud in the bunch. You don't have to be into Japan before you start watching, but I guarantee you will be when you're done.
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2015, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

I will definitely check that out, because I am really into the Meiji Restoration. But I hate, hate, hated The Tale of Genji. After listening to me bitch about it for what must have seemed like ages, Mick completely supported my decision to stop reading. All he did was seduce women, dump the women he had already seduced and whine about the one woman he couldn't. When he abducted a child and deceived her into marriage I couldn't take anymore. What a bastard!
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2015, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

Oh yeah, it's the worst in a lot of ways, but I have to let it off the hook for inspiring the Mazarin Chest.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:34 AM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

Yeah, so once again, I have a giant shopping cart all filled up at JetPens. I WAS TRYING NOT TO DO THAT.

Is there some way I can charge this to you, or should I just invoice you later?
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2015, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

My business manager Bort R. Man handles invoicing issues.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

:typingmonkey:
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

I also was seduced into ordering some Japanese-made pens and pencils :whygod:

We don't have a UK version of JetPens though so I was reduced to ordering them via vendors on Amazon.co.uk. :muttercircle:
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

I can't look at JetPens site. It's literally too much. I cannot even. :gah:
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

I heartily approve of all your pen-buying orgies. Has anyone tried those mechanical pencils that rotate the lead so it wears down evenly on all sides? If I had known about those in college that damned drafting class I took wouldn't have been such torture.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

Quote:
Has anyone tried those mechanical pencils that rotate the lead so it wears down evenly on all sides?
This is a thing? :gimme:
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

YES! This is why you need to watch that episode. There's a whole wonderland of genius in Japanese stationary stores going on behind our backs.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus View Post
Has anyone tried those mechanical pencils that rotate the lead so it wears down evenly on all sides?
I ordered two of those (0.5mm size). I also ordered some of those pressurized ball-point pens that are said to write upside-down on wet paper or on ceramic tiles at below-zero temperatures - I don't really intend to use them on wet paper or ceramic tiles, but they're claimed never to dry up or blob either.

It's funny how you suddenly decide you have to buy these things once you know they exist - even though you'll probably never need their special abilities and you never even wished for such things before you knew they existed.
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  #13  
Old 10-30-2015, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

That's why advertising works, although I definitely need the special abilities of that 28-sided eraser.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
I can't look at JetPens site. It's literally too much. I cannot even. :gah:
Pens envy? :chin:
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Last edited by Ymir's blood; 10-30-2015 at 11:48 PM. Reason: removing space to unbreak smiley
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

:angrybeet:
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

I watched the Bento episode. Now I feel like a really bad mom when I pack lunches. But CRAZY
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

In Japan in 2007, a railway line was due for closure until a cat named Tama was appointed as the station master. That bought in many thousands of tourists and saved the line. The trains were named and painted in honor of Tama.



One of the railway stations was rebuilt so as to resemble a cat's face



Tama on duty in 2012



Earlier this year, Tama, then aged 16, died but now her replacement, another cat named Nitama has been appointed.

Railway names Tama the cat's replacement as stationmaster | The Japan Times
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

I received a parcel from Amazon today, (Sunday) :stunned: I didn't ask for special delivery - I went for the cheapest possible shipping which was 'free economy delivery' on most of the items and the slowest for some items that didn't offer free delivery.

Anyway the parcel contained the two 'rotating pencil' things and the special, write-on-anything ball-point pens along with some other bits I'd ordered for a Raspberry Pi.

These were the cheap plastic versions of the pencils, not the fancy one in liv's link. One is sort of yellowy-green plastic and the other one a light blue plastic, both are the same other than the colour. They only came in a plastic bag, but there were also a couple of tubes of lead refills and a pack of five spare erasers. Mine are like the two shown on the left of this pic.



See the orange bit inside the pencil up near the nib end? That has a little logo on it and you can watch it rotate as you write. It makes one complete rotation for about every forty times you touch the pencil on the paper and release it. Other than that they look and work much like any other mechanical pencil.

You can see the difference by writing a few words with the pencil and then drawing some lines at different angles - with a regular mechanical pencil you get thick and thin lines due to the angle the lead has worn to - but with these you get nice consistent widths no matter which direction you draw or when you change the angle of the pencil in your hand.

The pens are also at the cheap end of the scale - a pack of five: two black, two blue, and one red - but even though they are the cheaper models they have a nice quality feel and are comfortable to hold.



The 1.0 is the diameter of the ball in millimetres - but they write a much narrower line than that, and there is also a 0.7 ball version available if you want to write with super-narrow lines. They are nicer to write with than any ball-point pen I've owned previously.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

:headasplode:
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology

LOL you buttheads. Through sheer force of will, I successfully managed NOT to buy a million dollars worth of stationery, but I just accidentally bought a rice cooker.

I have resisted getting a rice cooker because my kitchen is about the size of the kitchen on a houseboat, but then I started thinking about that video a lot and steaming vegetables and fish and stuff, and then I saw this one, which does all that like ON LABEL plus it has yogurt settings and it will toast your quinoa and all that stuff and it was on sale for $50 over to the Kohl's.

And so now I have a giant rice cooker that looks like a robot taking up like half the kitchen, and it is livius drusus' fault.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:06 PM
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Holy shitballs, it's a 20-cupper! lol lisapea lololololo. This gives me such a power rush. Also a jelly rush because I WANT IT. BAD. I'm just not far gone enough to buy something I have zero room for in the kitchen. Yet.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: BEGIN Japanology



I have been a fan of the little trees since adolescence. They are some of the most constant, unchanging things I know of. You can see pictures of a tree taken decades apart and they look just like they did the first time you saw it. I haven't grown any myself, but I cherish some of the famous ones just for their very existence.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:09 AM
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