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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Japanese Treats! Konpeito (Part 1 of 3)

Sugary Sweets. Yum
   I made an order on jbox a while back and received my package (a few days after the earthquake too!). Jbox is a company located in Japan that ships out Japanese goods. This includes everything from office supplies, hobby/anime items, mangas, apparel and much more.

So I ordered a few things to try out (this is my first time ordering). I ordered some konpeito, melty kiss chocolate and some lotte black black gum. I'll be reviewing these treats all day long.

So the first thing is the konpeito. (In the picture, its the green bag to the left, I would have a better picture, but I ate it all already) It's actually not really special. It's just like coloured rock candy. I was told that they are different flavored, but they all tasted just sweet to me.
To give just a little history on it, konpeito was actually introduced by the Portugese and called it confeito. It was been adapted to become a traditional Japanese sweet candy. I've actually had similar rock candy before. Really reminds me of elementary school science where we put a string in a cup of dissolved sugar and see sugar crystals form. YUM.

You can get these treats and other goodies by clicking the pic to the right side bar or at the link below.

Are there any types of candy you recommend? Any wacky Japanese confectioneries you can think of?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Laws of Alchemy

      Full Metal Alchemist, another show that I've stuck by for awhile. I haven't watched the original series but I finished FMA:B awhile back and I loved it. I went on to watch the movie too. The show also inspired me to make an Edward Elric cosplay (just the red robe and inside black dress shirt with white trim).

But what I remember most are the laws of alchemy from the show (Funny thing that I'm remembering all this weird things from different shows). 

Probably the most prominent one is the concept of Equivalent Exchange.
This states that, in order to obtain or create something, something of equal value must be lost or destroyed.
This is then divided into two parts.
The Law of Conservation of Mass & The Law of Natural Providence.

The Law of Conservation which states that  which states that energy and matter can neither be created from nothing nor destroyed to the point of elemental nonexistence. In other words, to create an object weighing one kilogram, at least one kilogram of material is necessary and destroying an object weighing one kilogram would reduce it to a set of parts, the sum of which would weigh one kilogram.

The Law of Natural Providence  which states that an object or material made of a particular substance or element can only be transmuted into another object with the same basic makeup and properties of that initial material. In other words, an object or material made mostly of water can only be transmuted into another object with the attributes of water. 

I think that with the mindset I obtained from the book Ishmael (see my older blog post for that) I've started to see things from a different perspective. I've also been connecting many fictional things to real life. 
When I really think about it, the concept Equivalent Exchange can really apply to everyday life.
Personally, I'm a student so when I think about my work, I'm really working towards a career, so the way I see it, the work I put in during my studies will equate or be lesser then my future career.

I think this is something that society today lacks as most people today are regarded to as the "generation of instant gratification". Some people just think that things will just happen to them, without their own input. Others expect to see results immediately and end up with nothing because of their lack of patience.

I do not own the rights to the above image(s) nor do I take credit for it.

.What do you think about the "generation of instant gratification"?
And on the topic of FMA, any recommended animes for the summer season?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Boondocks

     A show I must say that I remember from my childhood (and probably not suitable for my age back then). Every now and again, I would see it on Teletoon and have no clue on the intent of the show. All I remembered was "A Pimp Named Slickback" and Granddad beating up a blind old guy.

Recently, I obtained seasons 1 & 2 of boondocks, to relive this wonderful series and to interpret the intent of this show. I've finished season 1 and I'm halfway through season 2. So far, I'm really amazed as to the content and animation quality of this show. The show deals mainly with 3 characters, Riley (the younger brother), Huey (the older brother w/ the fro) and Granddad. The show examines African American culture through multiple perspectives. One, through Riley who idols the hip-hop culture and its associates. Another though Riley who looks up the morals and rights, especially to those of African Americans. He also belives that caucasians are conspiring all the time. Granddad, well he's just Granddad, a horny one at that. An old fashioned grandpa that goes by tradition.
We also encounter other characters such as Uncle Ruckus, who despises African Americans and seems to worship Caucasians.
     Every episode seems to examine the life of African Americans, from a satirical perspective to a serious point of view.
A recent episode in season 2 I remember dealt with both capitalism and green and the event where a policeman mistakenly identified a man holding a wallet, as a man wielding a gun.

The Awful Truth - African American Wallet Exchange by Michael Moore. He satirically examines the event and mocks the police force.

All in all, I've really enjoyed the series thus far and I will continue to finish the second season. Unfortunately, the series ends at season 3 which last aired in 2009.

I do not own the rights to the above image(s) nor do I take credit for it.

Has anyone else watched this series? What do you think of it? Any recommendations?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.

TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.   
     The above is simply an ad the narrator of Ishmael saw in the newspaper. The narrator decides to examine this opportunity and the whole story unfolds.
     I just finished reading Ishmael a week back and I'll have to say, it's one of the most stimulating books I've read.It deals with both existentialism and ecocritcism. Quinn basically calls humanity out on their poor way of life. To give some context, Quinn believes that humans have lived by a story. This story of our creation. To any average, atheist person, this story would follow along the lines of evolution.

     Bacteria, microorganisms evolved into higher gradually spread to the land...amphibians moved inland, evolved into reptiles. The reptiles evolved into mammals... small critters in the trees came the branch of the primates left the trees and one thing led to another. Species followed species, and finally man appeared. (Quinn 51, 52)

Essentially, this is the story we all know. It is told in a fashion where humans are the pinnacle end result of evolution. This is not true though as the universe is expanding and evolution continues around us amongst other species of animals. And according to this story, Quinn says that humans have been living life as if we were created to rule and conquer Earth in order to make it a paradise, but evidently it currently is not a "paradise". So what do humans do? Continue to conquer in hopes of total control will create "shargri-la".
Quinn also explains that there are laws in life as there are in nature. These are laws are similar to the laws of gravity and aerodynamics. He says that the law in nature is "The law of limited competition". There are a few components of this law such as: 1) You may obstruct your competitor from obtaining their food source. 2) You have the right to compete for the same food source, but you may not eliminate them 
The way I see this law is simply from the perspective of a farmer. The farmer grows corn in order to eat it, but many insects also feed on the corn. So what does the farmer do? The farmer puts up barricades to limit the food source. When this fails, the farmer simply eliminates the insects. Quinn simply states that when humans think that they are not subject to this law, humanity will cease to exist....eventually.
There are many more components, but I'll leave them for you to find out. I can't say that my entire view on life has changed, but this book has had an impact on me.

Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael. Bantam Publishing, 1995
I do not own the rights to the above image(s) nor do I take credit for it.

Has anyone else read a similar book, or even this book? Or any books that you would like to share that interest you?

Anime North 2011?

Sadly, this year I will not be attending Anime North 2011.
I don't know if it is because I've already gone 3 years in a row and that I've pretty much seen everything at it, or if it is because I just don't fit in.
I mean, I'm not your full blown otaku and I'm not the narutard out there, I'm sort of the middle mush at there.

I do promise myself though that I will attend AN2012 and grab some cool pics.

Just a few Valve related pics from AN2010.