Sour Japanese Music Video does it with Webcams

August 5, 2009

This breathtaking video was made by coordinating dozens of fans of the Japanese music group Sour. The only way I can think of describing it is “webcam synchronised swimming”. Watch it. It is pure genius.

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Posted by @eunmac


Piezoelectric on the go – forward that is

December 14, 2008

Piezoelectricity is the ability of some materials (notably crystals and certain ceramics, including bone) to generate an electric potential in response to applied mechanical stress.

I have been talking about this before in April here with piezoelectric material and in July here when I was talking about a power generating dancefloor. There I suggested it would be a good idea to put it under streets to generate power.

image And it seems like the UK has been reading my post as well 🙂 :
”An idea mentioned by the British Environmental Transport Association (ETA): a road filled with tiny piezoelectric crystals that would be smooshed with each vehicle running over it. Each smoosh generates a small electric charge, and the net effect is that just one kilometer of this piezoelectric roadway would generate 400 kilowatts, enough power up eight small cars, according to the Israeli researchers behind the plan.”

A test is scheduled for next month.

And the Japanese will be testing something similar.

East Japan Railway Company (JR East) will install piezoelectric elements in the floors at ticket gates and other areas of Tokyo Station to test a system that generates power using the energy created by passengers passing through the gates.

And now I come back to my point before and I really hope these tests will show that it is a brilliant idea. Maybe at some point we can use the energy generated to power the cars driving on them – good bye fuel!

Piezoelectric is an interesting concept and if you want to know more, you can find some great details here.


NICT researchers develop new method to make holography

November 26, 2008

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Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (or NICT) have gone some ways towards making holography a tiny bit more practical. As Tech-On reports, their method is based around a fly-eye lens that consists of a number of micro lenses, which allows for moving images to be captured in normal lighting conditions, and is also used to display the image after a computer works its magic on the raw images. There are still a few fairly significant drawbacks to the setup, however, as the image displayed is currently limited to one centimeter in size with a two degree viewing angle, although the researchers say they should be able to increase that to a four centimeters within the next three years.

Still a bit off but closer to my holographic companion than ever.


Monkey waiters serving Sake

October 9, 2008

I’ve been trying, for some years now, to engineer a job that would allow me to train and film a monkey serving drinks behind a bar (sorry – is that weird?). Well, these guys in Japan have done it … and it isn’t the result of a Creative’s weird fantasy.

This all happens in Kayabukiya tavern – a sake house just north of Tokyo. They employ two macaques (Yat-chan and Fuku-chan) to help out their human waiters.

Not only do they serve drinks, but the more experienced waiter (Yat-chan, 12) takes punters orders and delivers the drinks to their table.

Not surprising then the hairy servers get tipped by customers with boiled soya beans. Well if you pay peanuts you get … a really cool bar that I’d like to visit. AP