Tag Archives: Japan

Pod accommodation – in India

I first read about capsule accommodation in the 1970s when the first one opened in Japan. The amenities were pretty basic and that memory informed the creation of ‘short term transit pods’ in Innerscape. But time moves on, and the humble, claustrophobic pod has become high tech, finding takers in some of the world’s largest, and not so large, cities.

If you follow the link below it will take you to an article about the new pod hostel that opened in Mumbai, India. The photos look quite amazing with push button everything:

https://scroll.in/magazine/834487/a-night-at-indias-first-capsule-hotel-shows-that-mumbais-space-crunch-is-now-a-hospitality-fad

The article also gives a nod to the ‘Tiny Homes’ movement which I’ve featured before. And just in case you thought this could not happen in your city, think again. Pod hostels have now sprung up in China, Iceland and…ta dah…Australia, amongst others. You can find some interesting titbits in the video clip right at the end of the article.

I’m still not sure if I’d be able to lock myself in and sleep in a pod, but I’d love to try one on for size…just for fun. Then, I’d traipse off to a nice big hotel room and thank my stars I can afford it. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 


Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Website : Kkaa.co.jp

via Tsubomi Villas by Kengo Kuma — Mega Luxus

I have always loved the inspired simplicity of Japanese art and design, but this one really does take my breath away. Curves are the basic building blocks of nature, not straight lines, but I cannot begin to imagine how much work went into creating this organic, deceptively simple shape. Pure perfection.


#Music – the what-eremin?

Okay, I thought this was either a joke or a tongue-in-cheek scam when I first saw it, but the #theremin is an actual instrument – an electronic instrument that plays almost like a violin or harp, but without the strings. What makes it particularly difficult is that the musician has to ‘find’ the note, literally from thin air!

This first video clip (audio only) is from a very old recording by Clara Rockmore who was the first musician to play the theremin… and it’s 100 years old!

In this second video clip you can watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to play a theremin.

[Warning! The guy sometimes plays flat. I don’t have perfect pitch but it did grate on my nerves a bit. The reason I chose it is to demonstrate just how hard it is to play the theremin well.]

And what would a music post be without a Guiness World record? Having seen how hard it is to get just one theremin to play on key, watch as 273 Japanese thereminists play Amazing Grace…complete with harmonies. You heard me. This is worth watching even just for a minute or two. In fact, I found it quite beautiful, more like a very good choir than an orchestra.

[Note: I started the 16 minute clip at about minute 5 to save you from heaps of setup footage. The actual music ends at about 10:38. ]

Enjoy!

Meeks


Floating #solar power plants!

I first read about floating solar power plants in Quartz, and just had to share. Here are a couple of amazing video clips that prove this is not sci-fi!

The second video clip is not as slick as the first and has no sound at all. BUT. It shows time lapse photography of the plant being put together in a week!

And just in case you think these are just weird one-offs, here’s one from India. 🙂

The thing I like most about this concept is that it is cheap. So cheap, in fact, that it puts clean, green energy within the grasp of the poorest countries. With it, they can embrace technology and make a better life for their people without having to go the dirty-fossil-fuels path.

I predict that these countries will be leading the way in clean energy within 30 years while my own country will still be talking about waiting for the rest of the world ‘to do something’ about climate change…

-face palm-

Meeks


Watch a real exoskeleton at work!

Sci-fi movie buffs will be familiar with this scene from the movie Aliens 2 where the heroine [yes, a woman] uses an exoskeleton to try to save a child from the baddie.

And if aliens are not your cup of tea, how about Iron Man from the Avengers movies? That pretty red suit he wears is not just a fashion statement, or yummy body armour, it’s actually an exoskeleton as well.

But now, for the first time, real exoskeletons are making an appearance in the hospitals of Japan. Designed to aid both patients and carers, this amazing, robotic invention is set to become commonplace in the real world.

And that, my friends, means that at least one, small part of my Innerscape story is no longer sci-fi! If you’re curious, my protagonist, Miira, wears an exoskeleton in the very first scene to give her a degree of mobility and independence. [You can read the most recent version on Wattpad here]

Ironically, I snuck the concept of an exoskeleton into the beginning of the story to provide a subtle clue that Innerscape was, in fact, a science fiction story. Now I’ve been foiled by the rate of technological advancement. It makes me wonder what else will be out of date by the end of the year, let alone the end of the century.

I’m not complaining, but this incredible technological advance does highlight one of the major drawbacks of writing in the ‘near future’ – no one can accurately forecast what that future will look like. Still, it’s fun to try. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Science fiction is becoming a reality

Whilst the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant is an on-going tragedy for Japan, it may end up being the trigger for something wonderful.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has unveiled a proposal to build solar farms in space. If the proposal goes ahead, it could solve Japan’s power problems, and allow the country to decommission at least some of its nuclear power plants. It could also usher in a whole new era of clean energy  for the world as a whole.

The following quote from JAXA researcher Susumu Sasaki  really struck a chord with me :

It would be difficult and expensive, but the payoff would be immense, and not just in economic terms. Throughout human history, the introduction of each new energy source—beginning with firewood, and moving on through coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power—has caused a revolution in our way of living. If humanity truly embraces space-based solar power, a ring of satellites in orbit could provide nearly unlimited energy, ending the biggest conflicts over Earth’s energy resources. As we place more of the machinery of daily life in space, we’ll begin to create a prosperous and peaceful civilization beyond Earth’s surface.

You can find the full article on the Venture Beat website :

http://venturebeat.com/2014/05/04/japan-wants-to-build-a-space-based-solar-energy-farm/

cheers

Meeks


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