Tag: ‘Video’

Time-lapse video of slightly darkened Tokyo

19 Apr 2011

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By fading back and forth between scenes of pre- and post-quake Tokyo, this time-lapse video by YouTube user darwinfish105 shows how the metropolitan nightscape has been affected by Japan's ongoing power shortages and conservation efforts.

Hifana – Rainy Session

31 Mar 2011

Breakbeat duo Hifana (a.k.a. KEIZOmachine! and Juicy) mellow out in a rainy day session with Keisuke Muto (sitar), U-zhaan (tabla) and Izpon (percussion). Just chill.

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Cute ‘Pluto-kun’ cartoon dispels plutonium fears

29 Mar 2011

In the early 1990s, Japan's Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) -- a nuclear energy research organization which is now part of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) -- created a pro-nuclear PR cartoon entitled "Pluto-kun, Our Reliable Friend." The aim of the animated film, which features the company mascot Pluto-kun, is to dispel some of the fears surrounding plutonium. Scroll down for a rough summary.

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[~1:30] The video begins with Pluto-kun disguised as a ghost. He explains that much of the fear surrounding plutonium is due to misconceptions. He says that it is very unfortunate that plutonium is used in nuclear weapons [like the one dropped on Nagasaki]. But he hates war! He loves to work for peace. He aspires to be like dynamite, whose power has been used for the benefit of mankind.

[1:30] Pluto-kun provides some basic information about plutonium. He explains that plutonium is created from uranium in nuclear reactors. He also says it was discovered by the US scientist Glenn T. Seaborg in 1940, and that it was named after the dwarf planet Pluto. (See Wikipedia for more.)

[2:30] Misconception #1 -- Pluto-kun addresses the fear that criminals could obtain plutonium and build a nuclear weapon. He explains two reasons why this would be virtually impossible. First, weapons require plutonium with a purity of at least 93%, but plutonium from reactors is only about 70% pure. A high level of technology would be required to produce weapons from this plutonium. Second, a high level of security is maintained around plutonium in Japan, making it all but impossible to steal.

Pluto-kun -- Pluto-kun --

[4:00] Misconception #2 -- Pluto-kun addresses the fear that plutonium is deadly and causes cancer. Plutonium's danger to the human body stems from the alpha radiation it emits. Because alpha radiation is relatively weak, it does not penetrate the skin, and plutonium is not absorbed into the body if it comes into contact with skin. He explains that you would not die instantly if you were to drink plutonium. If swallowed, the vast majority simply passes through the digestive tract without being absorbed. If it enters the blood stream (through a cut, for example) it cannot be removed easily from the body. It accumulates in the lymph nodes before ending up in the bones or liver, where it continues emitting alpha radiation. Plutonium can also get into the liver or bones if it is inhaled into the lungs. It is important not to breathe it in or allow it to enter the blood stream.

[6:00] No human is ever known to have died because of inhaling or ingesting plutonium.

[7:00] Pluto-kun explains what would happen if criminals dumped plutonium into a reservoir that provides our drinking water. Plutonium is heavy and it does not dissolve easily in water, so most of it would sink to the bottom. Even if you were to drink plutonium-laced water everyday, the vast majority of it would simply pass through the digestive system without being absorbed by the body.

Pluto-kun -- Pluto-kun --

[7:30] Pluto-kun suggests that the dangers of plutonium are often overemphasized, making it seem scarier than it actually is. He explains that most people associate plutonium with deadly radiation and nuclear weapons, but he likens this to a fear of non-existent ghosts.

[9:40] Pluto-kun explains that he is not a monster, and he asks you to understand who he truly is. As long as people use him peacefully and with care, there will never be any danger or anything to fear. He will provide an endless source of energy for a long time to come. He will be a reliable friend.

Video: SWITL magic goop scoop

28 Mar 2011

SWITL -- an impressive "robot hand" tool developed by factory equipment manufacturer Furukawa Kikou -- seems to defy the laws of nature by picking up deposits of gels, sauces and other soft semi-liquids without smearing them or altering their shape. This demo video shows how well the tool handles mayonnaise and ketchup.

Details about the technology are not available on Furukawa Kikou's website (perhaps because the patent is pending), but the tool appears to incorporate a conveyor belt design. According to the company, the magic goop scoop was originally developed for use in bakery production lines, but its unique ability to cleanly handle semi-liquids makes it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Video: ‘Machine Civilization’ – World Order

25 Mar 2011

World Order -- the celebrated music/dance performance group led by former martial artist Genki Sudo -- has released a fabulously choreographed video for the track "Machine Civilization," along with some words of hope following the recent devastation in Japan.

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Sudo's message in the YouTube video description:

The unprecedented disasters unfolding in Japan; earthquakes, tsunami, and nuclear explosions, will somehow change things to come. And to send my message about this, I have expressed it here with WORLD ORDER.

These disasters can be interpreted as a turning point for civilization. I think that we have arrived at a time of revolution, shared with all the people of the world, in today's society, economy, and political systems.

Incidents themselves are neutral. I believe that every single one of us, wandering through this deep darkness, can overcome anything, if only we let go of our fear, and face the it all in a positive light.

The world is not going to change. Each one of us will change. And if we do, then yes, the world will be changed. It is darkest right before the dawn. Let's all rise up to welcome the morning that will be so very bright for mankind.

Video: Siberian tiger ‘escapes’ from Tokyo zoo

23 Feb 2011

A person disguised as a Siberian tiger ran wild through Tokyo's Tama Zoo yesterday in an exercise to prepare zookeepers for dangerous situations involving escaped animals.

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Yesterday's dramatic simulation involved a Siberian tiger that escaped its pen following an earthquake. The mock animal wandered freely through the park, attacking zoo workers and visitors before it was surrounded with nets, shot with a tranquilizer dart, and transported back to its cage.

Theatrical exercises involving people in animal costumes are conducted each year in Tokyo at either Tama Zoo or Ueno Zoo. In addition to providing hands-on experience with capturing escaped animals, the drills force zookeepers to administer first aid, usher visitors to safety, and coordinate with local emergency services. Here are a few videos of past exercises.

+ Rhinoceros - Ueno Zoo, 2004

+ Polar bear - Ueno Zoo, 2002

+ Orangutan - Tama Zoo, 2007

+ Tiger - Ueno Zoo, 2010

+ Zebra - Ueno Zoo, 2008

Video: Slow-motion running in Cambodia

10 Feb 2011

Video director Sou Otsuki has released a new version of his video for the song "Luv(sic) pt.2" by Nujabes with Shing02, featuring a variety of people running ludicrously in slow motion. The new version was shot in Cambodia and stars a few courageous amputees and exploding landmines.

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Here is the original version shot in Japan (and a link to the lyrics).

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Video: GAL-O Sengen

02 Feb 2011

Tokyo hip hop artists Policeman pay irreverent tribute to the gyaruo youth subculture in a funky animated video for "GAL-O Sengen," a track from their "Keisatsu" album due out later this month. Directed by AC-Bu.

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Video: Kirishima volcano eruption

27 Jan 2011

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Shinmoe peak (Shinmoe-dake), part of the Kirishima volcano group in southern Kyushu, began erupting yesterday (Jan 26) in dramatic fashion. The eruption, thought to be the largest at Kirishima since 1959, sent a plume of ash 1,500 meters into the air, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to issue a Level 3 volcano warning for the surrounding area. This spectacular footage of the eruption was captured by an observer in the area.

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Last night's action was also captured on a webcam at Kirishima [click "霧島山 猪子石(新燃岳)" in the menu on the right to display the latest image], and the still images were pieced together into a time-lapse video.

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