An alternative to Kouhaku?

For the past seven years or so, I’ve watched Kouhaku Uta Gassen  (紅白歌合戦 literally, Red and White Song Battle), Japan’s big annual New Year’s Eve musical extravaganza. Kouhaku runs from about 7pm to midnight in Japan, which is roughly 2am to 7am California time. Usually it’s a lot of fun, but the 2018 edition seemedContinue reading “An alternative to Kouhaku?”

Romaji vs. Hiragana

For students of Japanese, unless you’re only learning enough to go on vacation—“Hello! Nice to meet you! Where’s the bathroom?”—you’ll eventually need to learn hiragana. Japanese uses four writing systems: hiragana, a set of 46 characters and their combinations that represent syllables; katakana, a similar set usually reserved for writing foreign names and words; romaji,Continue reading “Romaji vs. Hiragana”

Creating Art with S Memo

In the last year or so, I’ve been creating art—mostly portraits—using S Memo on my cellphone. S Memo is like a simplified version of Microsoft Windows Paint: you get some drawing tools (pencil, brush, marker), an eraser, a text tool, a customizable color palette, and an undo function. The whole thing began when I decidedContinue reading “Creating Art with S Memo”

Recently on Radiopanik (Dec 4 edition)

Here’s a selection of music I heard recently on Radio Panik, an online radio station based in Belgium. “Grues” by Moussu T e lei Jovents “Green & Gold” by Lianne La Havas “Points” by Ruth Anderson “Neon” by Baleine 3000 “En Léger Différé” by Mickey 3D “Eight Corners” by Gastr del Sol “Hot Tea ToContinue reading “Recently on Radiopanik (Dec 4 edition)”

31 Days, 31 Horror Films

Inspired by my friend @crisismattie, who tweeted his favorite 31 horror films in celebration of October and Halloween, I’ve created my own list.  Because there are more than 31 horror films I like, I’ve excluded some of the most popular and well-known titles (such as The Bride of Frankenstein, Plan 9 From Outer Space, TheContinue reading “31 Days, 31 Horror Films”

Eurovision Song Contest 1963

Here are my choices for best songs at the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in London, England on March 23. Except for the winning entry from Denmark, I had not heard any of these songs until now. My Rank Country Title, Artist Eurovision Final Ranking 1 Sweden “En gång i Stockholm”, Monica ZetterlundContinue reading “Eurovision Song Contest 1963”

Jogobiz—The Case of the Missing Sales Rep

I used to work for a drug store chain and was in charge of ordering sodas. Once a week, a rep from each of the major companies would show up, check our inventory, ask if we had any sales coming up, place an order, and then a day or so later a truck would appearContinue reading “Jogobiz—The Case of the Missing Sales Rep”

Official: List of Artists and Songs for next Jogovision Song Contest

The following is the official list of participating countries, performers, and songs for the next Jogovision Song Contest. Country Artist Song Language English Translation Argentina Nieve y Niebla Nací Para Boogie Spanish I Was Born To Boogie Australia Keylime Meringue Don’t You Know It’s You I Like? English — China (PRC) Jìng Lin 美丽的国家 (MěilìContinue reading “Official: List of Artists and Songs for next Jogovision Song Contest”

Eurovision Song Contest 1994

Here are my choices for best songs at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Dublin, Ireland on April 30. Except for the winning entry from Ireland, I had not heard any of these songs until now. My Rank Country Title, Artist Eurovision Final Ranking 1 France “Je suis un vrai garçon”, NinaContinue reading “Eurovision Song Contest 1994”

Eurovision 2015 / Semifinals 1 and 2

About a week ago, I posted my top twelve choices for Eurovision 2015 based on either their studio recordings or their performances in their respective countries’ national finals. The funny thing about watching the songs in the semifinals is that some songs that sounded great in the studio fell flat onstage (often due to theContinue reading “Eurovision 2015 / Semifinals 1 and 2”