Goyaboy and goyablog needed a change and fresh start — call it a mid-life blogging crisis — and so, as I begin working in my new study after having planted my new garden, I have moved and refreshed goyablog. It is still bitter and still good for you, but you’ll have to find it here. Be sure to read the “goyainfo” page for more whys and wherefores. And be sure to bookmark it anew.
I spent the last four days landscaping around the new addition and ended up planting these:
1) Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese Privet, 5)
2) Ilex crenata ‘Soft Touch’ (Soft Touch Japanese Holly, 3)
3) Pinus mugo pumila (Swiss Mountain Pine, 3)
4) Juniperus conferta (Shore Juniper Blue Pacific, 12)
5) Thymus serpyllum (Mother-of-Thyme, 10)
6) Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary, 2)
7) Golden Carpet (have to look up full name, 6)
8) Abelia X grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’ (Rose Creek Abelia, 1)
9) Pieris japonica ‘Valley Rose’ (Japanese Pieris ‘Valley Rose,’ 2)
10) Acer palmatum ‘Kiyohime’ (Japanese Maple ‘Kiyohime,’ 1)
Given that I am now transitioning to my book chapter that involves the greenification and tropicalization of Okinawa after the war, I figured that a little greenthumbing was in order. Photos to follow once I finish laying the rock garden.
My new study, from the inside west and east and before I junked it up with my junk.Â
Call it obsessive–I call it a controlled coincidence–but my new glasses match my new desk chair AND a new wireless mouse…
I got new specs this week; in another age they would have been bifocals. Today they are superduper Seiko HD digital progressives. Yup, I have HD digital glasses. But all that means is that some digitally controlled computer etched the backside of the lens in order to increase clarity through focal ranges–and to increase price. As with all progressives, the periphery gets blurred, which I think of as selective focus, as in my favorite lensbaby photos. And yes, one reason I got green and black frames is because they match my new Steelcase Cobi task chair upon which the specs sit on this photo. I'll pose them next to the matching wireless mouse later….
This is simply a test of Posterous autoposting to my blog, Flickr, and Facebook. Oh yeah, and it IS a photo of our addition (his 'n her studies) in the back of our house. I'll post more that with fresh photos later.
In my first-year writing seminar “Self & Cyborg in Japanese Animation” we have quite a few philosophical discussions about virtuality, simulation, fake memories, and the like. Most of it functions on a theoretical level, as philosophical puzzles to think with, to pose liminal scenarios, to defamiliarize common knowledge. Given that it tends to be theoretical in my class, it’s always nice to read about real-life concrete applications of virtual space. This latest article I came across is about the use in med schools such as Imperial College London of Second Life to train students in getting around in an OR, diagnosing patients, working in teams with doctors and nurses from across the world, and saving the virtual lives of dying avatars. Cool stuff. Making the virtual a virtue.
I’ve recently taken up casual play of Call of Duty (the original version that was recently ported for download to Mac Intel machines) and it occurred to me whether or not such WWII games, especially first-person shooters targeting virtual Germans, are sold and played in Germany. The thought was actually more specific: what would it mean (if anything) for teenage GÃ¼nther to blow away virtual versions of his grandfather? Would it be a problem? Would anyone care? Should anyone care? If it is a problem one should care about, why? After a bit of casting about on the Web, I was able to glean that it seems as if media such as violent video games in general are more restricted to minors in Germany and that what’s restricted are excessive displays of gore and display of swastikas. So, apparently little GÃ¼nther can blow away Â virtual versions of Nazi soldier grandpa & co. as long as bloody body parts and swastika flags aren’t flying. Of course there could be a German version where you play the Germans and shoot Americans and Russians and Brits and French, but there can’t be. Imagine the outrage that might provoke — a WWII first-person shooter where you are supposed to identify with the evil losing side. However, how is that different from any Avalon Hill WWII board game, such as The Battle of the Bulge that my dad and I used to play? Is it the first-person POV and graphic firing of weapons and killing of pixel-persons rather than the pushing about of tokens representing infantry and Panzer units that’s the difference? Probably. I find this interesting. Germany and Japan seem forever relegated to the receiving end of any WWII first-person shooter. Is that right? Any Goyagamers out there please correct me if I’m wrong. (I’ll provide screen shots some other day