Monthly Archives: April 2009

We Ω “Green Porno” – by Melissa

Isabella Rossallini directs, writes, and stars in Green Porno, a series of one to three minute biologically accurate short films about the reproductive lives of creatures. The writing is theatrical, the filming beautiful, and Rossallini hilarious. Season One follows bugs and Season Two focuses on sea creatures with creative scoring, dramatic lighting and simple but riveting set and costume designs. Green Porno takes itself and its art seriously with Rossallini’s tantalizing control responsible for both the comedy and dramatic tension. Continue reading

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Filed under animals, Art, Inspiration!, Reviews

Pedal Powered Roller Coaster – by Melissa

Taking advantage of the hilly terrain in Okayama, Japan, the Washuzan Highland amusement park makes its guests work a little harder for their fun.  The Skycycle is a pedal powered roller coaster which runs up, down, and around an Okayama hillside and, like traditional roller coasters, has sections that appear genuinely exciting. The Skycycle’s carts seat two people cycling in tandem on a guide rail.  Each cart is equipped with a handlebar, seat-belts, and a little pink basket in front. Continue reading

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“There’s nothing wrong with being naked.” – by Melissa

Legally, there’s often quite a lot wrong with public nudity and the consequences are extremely high if you are a public figure, a member of a popular boy-band (SMAP is like N’Sync circa ’98, we’re talking pop-u-lar), and live in Japan.  Last weekend Tsuyoshi Kusanagi scored three for three when police found him loud, drunk, and nude in a Tokyo park.  His reported defense at the scene: “There’s nothing wrong with being naked.”  For once I found myself agreeing with Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara who felt there was no need to blow this incident out of proportion.  However, what is phenomenal is that the Japanese public insists on it.  Continue reading

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Filed under Japan, Music, News

The Koto Concert – by Melissa

In the women’s dressing room, a concerted kimono effort was taking place. As if my entrance had startled a flock of birds, layers of kimono flapped in the air and floated down around the necks of my fellow koto players. Two helpers per woman kept the wings up while the wearers’ arms slipped in, the fabric was wrapped and tied, and a third helper stood on a stool behind, up-sweeping the hair in a fashion that screamed prom. Butterfly clips and sparkling feathers adorned the sides of these up-dos. Here, it wasn’t kitschy, it wasn’t tacky. These women, ages 17 to 60, looked elegant in kimono passed down from their grandmothers who wore them the exact same way. Continue reading

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Filed under For the Love of Japan, Inspiration!, Music