SciBlogs

A visit to the deep sea cafe Motoko Kakubayashi Apr 09

With dozens of crustaceans bustling over displays and food, this cafe knew how to stand out in one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Tokyo.   From February to last Sunday, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) opened a special cafe inside major department store Tokyu Hands in Shibuya.  In an area [...]

24 metronomes in synchronisation Motoko Kakubayashi Sep 21

  It has been known if you put several metronomes (set to the same frequency, or same number of ticks per minute) on a movable platform, then no matter how out-of-sync you set them up to be at the beginning, eventually all of the metronomes will tick at the same time in the same direction. [...]

World’s first smartphone for senior citizens Motoko Kakubayashi Jul 24

With an advanced touchscreen, big icons, automatic sound adjustment during phone calls in noisy places, is waterproof, has an 8 megapixel camera, and a 4-inch display, the Raku-Raku Smartphone F-12D is getting ready to hit shop shelves in August in Japan.   The smartphone was developed by Fujitsu and will be sold by Japan’s largest [...]

World’s tallest tower becomes Tokyo’s new icon Motoko Kakubayashi May 25

The world’s tallest tower Tokyo Skytree opened to the public this week.  The broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower uses some of the latest technologies developed by Japanese companies. I read a story outlining a few of the highlights, and here they are: Control device at tip: At the top of the tower (634 metres up) is [...]

What to do with 20 million tons of debris Motoko Kakubayashi Apr 27

Tidy piles of rubbish line the north-eastern Japan coastline where there used to be towns.  The question is, what can you do with so much stuff? The tsunami which hit Japan’s coast on March 11 last year destroyed houses, shops and entire communities, condensing it into more than 22 million tons of debris.  To get [...]

Sushi robot with top speed of 3300-sushi-per-hour Motoko Kakubayashi Apr 05

Spinning, pressing, chopping, and precisely-arranging sushi at speeds man could not achieve is the way for one Japanese manufacturer. Sushi-making robots are on display at a food business expo in Tokyo this week, including a shari robot (shari is prepared sushi rice) and a norimaki robot (norimaki or makizushi is sushi usually wrapped in seaweed, [...]

A trip to the doctor in Japan Motoko Kakubayashi Apr 02

Following a visit to my tenth doctor since moving to Tokyo, I think I have seen enough to give an insight into how different it is from seeing a doctor in New Zealand. To get an idea about my medical past, firstly, I was born in New Zealand.  A Plunket nurse came to check up [...]

Bonobo apes look for injured ape Motoko Kakubayashi Mar 19

For the past year in Japan, there’s been a big emphasis on unity following the Japan Earthquake.  Helping a friend in need.  I came across an interesting story in the Yomiuri Shimbun suggesting humans aren’t the only ones with this ability or emotion. Japanese scientists from Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute studying Bonobo apes in [...]

A $1.5 million fire experiment to test whether school buildings are safe Motoko Kakubayashi Feb 24

Spending more than a million dollars on building a school and then burning it down doesn’t sound logical, but to a group of Japanese scientists it sounded very logical. These scientists wanted to test how fire-resistant school buildings made from wood were, and the only way to do so was to build their own three-storey [...]

Hayabusa movies might be a plus for science Motoko Kakubayashi Feb 14

Over the weekend, the second of three films (four if you include a documentary originally made for planetariums that was later released on the big screen) about the spacecraft Hayabusa opened in movie theatres across Japan. Hayabusa (Japanese for Falcon) was the first unmanned spacecraft that traveled to an asteroid, collected a sample of it, [...]

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