NTT selects TypePad

Congratulations again to the Six Apart Japan team!
Six Apart Announces NTT License of Type Pad for New Blogzine Weblogging Service
via Anil


1995, scout builds nuclear reactor

Hard to believe but fascinating story from 1995 about a 14 year-old boy scout who was a self-taught nuclear scientist and attempted to build a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard, after building a neutron gun. There are many crazy aspects to this story, one being that his parents never understood what he was doing, and that the US Government supplied him with a lot of information when the kid impersonated a teacher in correspondences.

As Auito’s [the scoutmaster’s] wife and troop treasurer, Barbara, recalls: “The typical kid [working on the Eagle Scout merit badge] would have gone to a doctor’s office and asked about the X-ray machine. Dave had to go out and try to build a reactor.

Harper’s Magazine: The radioactive boy scout: when a teenager attempts to build a breeder reactor.


new XML feed

Thanks to Dav Coleman, I now have a new RSS feed with the full text of my posts. It is now the one that is linked off my “Syndicate this site” link on my homepage as well.
I’m wondering if it is time to also make an ATOM feed too. Does anyone know where I can go to do that easily?


Hello Kitty, the interview

GLOCOM has an interesting interview with NY Times reporter, Ken Belson, who also wrote the new book profiling Sanrio and Hello Kitty, “Hello Kitty – The Remarkable Story”, a half-a-Billion-dollar-a-year cat character.
Here are some details from the interview:
– 22,000 Hello Kitty products are on the market at any time.
– Hello Kitty and Sanrio products are sold in over 40 different countries
– Sanrio has sales of over $1 bil./yr
– Hello Kitty has a twin sister, “Minnie” (sp?) who has the bow in her hair on the other side.
– Products are designed to be cheap enough to be good gifts
– Sanrio was started as a silk company and in the early 1960s
– Sanrio has over 425 characters other than Kitty-chan
– Kitty is 3rd most famous brand in Asia below Sony and Cathay Pacific
– 15% of Sanrio sales are overseas
– Sanrio is expanding stores into the US, Germany, Italy, UK, Latin America, Russia (!), and China
– May be the best-known modern Japanese cultural export
– Sanrio does not need to advertise new characters; tremendous distribution network
– $30,000 platinum Hello Kitty pendants were issued for the 30th anniversary of Kitty-chan
– Kitty-chan personifies the “kawaii” culture of Japan (obvious but important)
GLOCOM Platform – Inrweviews – “The Remarkable Story of a Billion Dollar Feline” Ken Belson (Co-Author, HelloKittyTheBook)
Paul Baron has compiled a great list of online resources for Japan’s kawaii culture.
IN-duce: DE-duce: Kawaii – Cute references


Japan’s bias against non-Japanese

This is the kind of bullshit that I have NO PATIENCE for whatsoever.
The Japanese Immigration Bureau has a website form which allows anyone to specifically report foreigners in Japan who are suspicious or illegal. I have no problem with the immigration officials wanting to control illegal immigration. I have a BIG PROBLEM with this execution of the policy.
Let’s ask US Attorney General John Ashcroft to make an INS Website to easily report all the Japanese students who are illegally “studying” in the US. How’s that turnabout for fair play?
Koizumi is trying to bring more tourism/investment/foreign capital/foreign companies to Japan. This seems an awfully strange way to be promoting the nation to non-Japanese.
KAKYOU’S WORLD DOMINATION DIARY: Welcome to Japan, a Modern, Freindly Nation. Now Get The Hell Out!