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On Hotels · I’m heading home after a couple of days of customer visiting in Minneapolis. The week before, I’d been in Matsue, a small and remote Japanese city. The prices were about the same, but Japanese hotel was decisively better, and it’s just silly that North American hotels are so crappy in so many ways ...
Matsue, Shimane · What happened was, I got an email from a Japanese colleague asking if I could come to an all-day meeting at the Sun EBC with the Open Source Software Society Shimane. I wrote back saying “Huh?” and he wrote back explaining that Shimane is a prefecture in Japan and that the delegation would include Yukihiro Matsumoto, also known as “Matz”, the designer of Ruby, who lives there, and that I’d been asked for. I wrote back saying “OK”, and now I want to go and visit Matsue, the capital city of Shimane, an hour’s flight from Tokyo ...
COOL BIZ · Via NoniWeblog, a pointer to the unsurprising fact that Japanese businesspeople are discovering the virtues of not wearing a tie; if you’ve ever been to work in a Tokyo summer you’ll understand why this is a good thing. But, in a uniquely Japanese way, they’re not just doing it, they’re mounting an official government-backed campaign. But mostly I wrote this so I could slip in a pointer to this picture.
3 Views of Mount Fuji · What happened was, tired in an airport looking for lightweight reading, I grabbed The Last Defender of Camelot, collected late works of Roger Zelazny, who was at the centre of the SciFi universe a few decades back. It has a piece called 24 Views of Mount Fuji, by Hokusai which won a Hugo in 1986 and as a story is only OK but as a narrative wrapped around a famous set of pictures it’s awfully good. On impulse, I typed “hokusai 24” into Google, to discover that there are 36 pictures in the original series, but that Tim Eagen, back in ’98, poked around the Web and assembled the 24 images from the Zelazny story; a fine piece of curatorship and really an essential companion to reading the story. Looking at one of them, I thought: I’ve been there. There’s an amusing narrative to accompany the views ...
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