Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mushi atsui! (Humid and hot)

It is hot and humid these days, I can't imagine what it must be like in Tokyo and I am looking forward to running off into the mountains for Obon!

2 weeks ago, I went on a bit of a rant about Japan's policy against immigrants. This week, I read an interesting article from the same author talking about a new proposal which would reform the existing system. It's nice to see some steps are being made in the right direction. I think it's important for Japan to realize that Immigration is not a bane, but a boon, to a country with a declining population. Allowing skilled immigrants into the country can only help make it more prosperous in the future and help to mitigate the collapse of the social safety net due to the aging population. Speaking of which, Japan is now the oldest country in the world, with 21% of its population over the age of 65. It recently passed Italy's 20% to take the lead.

On the learning front, I am thinking of getting into the Japanese a little bit more... starting with picking up my katakana textbook again, which I haven't spent more than 5 minutes on in the last 3 months. On this note, I got an interesting comment the other day and found a funny little tune about hirgana and katakana. The song even has it's own blog here and you can have a listen to it here. Unfortunately, my Japanese pronunciation is not the problem, it's drawing the little buggers, they look too much alike! Maybe a video version of the same song???

In other news, I've decided to purchase a new camera. My little Sony Cybershot DSCW1 has done marvelous things for me, but I feel I am ready to move up in the world of digital photography and am looking at the feature packed SLR-like models available out there. Both Sony and Canon have recently come out with new models, the Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 and the Canon Powershot S3 IS. I am leaning towards the Canon due to it's reputation and such (and the fact that it looks very cool!), but the Sony does have some interesting features (like a 3" screen and an extra mega pixel), and I could use my existing memory cards in it.... hmmm.... things to ponder. I think it will end up being a matter of fit and comfort when I handle both models at the store, we shall see! By the way, anyone interesting in purchasing a camera should definitely check out the site I linked to above. You should definitely check out www.dpreview.com for EXTENSIVE camera reviews and digital photography news and discussions.

That's about it for now. One of my students has invited Yoshiko and I over on Sunday, I am really looking forward to it.

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