From November 2010

Shenzhen Update: Earthquakes & More

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about life in Shenzhen so I thought I’d provide a quick update of what’s been going on the past few weeks. One of the most notable experiences was when an earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale hit Shenzhen on Friday 19th Nov at 2:42 pm (Beijing time). Read more

Toyota Universal Design Showcase

Tokyo is often portrayed as a high-tech wonderland being run by robots and full of futuristic gadgets you can’t find anywhere else. While the truth is rather more mundane it can certainly be said that Japan is a leader in the field of robotics and a few concepts are on show at Toyota’s MEGA WEB Universal Design Showcase on Odaiba island in Tokyo Bay. Read more

Odaiba Island in Tokyo Bay

On my final day in Japan I visited the artificial island of Odaiba (お台場) in Tokyo Bay. The island was originally part of a number of coastal fortresses but was redeveloped in the early 1990s as Tokyo Teleport Town, a showcase for futuristic living. It suffered when the “bubble economy” burst but has since rebounded as a commercial and entertainment zone. Read more

Electric Akihabara & Tokyo Transport

Tokyo’s transportation network is as staggeringly efficient as it is complex. I don’t think I ever had to wait more than a minute or two for a train to arrive and while it sometimes get crowded at rush hour it wasn’t too uncomfortable since everyone is so polite. Read more

The Evolution of Interaction

It struck me yesterday while playing with my iPhone that hardware is no longer what defines an object in much the same way that a person’s body is not what makes us who we are (even if it is a contributing factor). Technology of the past was defined by physical switches and buttons which each served a singe function but todays devices are mere windows into the software which ties all their components together. The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. Read more

Day Break at Tsukiji Fish Market

Usually the last thing you want to be doing while on holiday is waking at 4am in the morning but that’s exactly what I did on chilly Saturday morning in order to pay a visit to Tsukiji fish market (築地市場) in Tokyo, famed for its daily tuna auctions. If you’re not a fan of eating animals then you’ll probably want to give this post a miss. Read more

1 in a Billion: China’s Human Flesh Search

A friend of mine, Cai Qing, was recently in Chaoyang Park (Beijing) when she noticed a group was holding open auditions for a part in an upcoming Chinese movie. She’s not an actress by profession but thought it would be fun so recorded a couple of short introductory casting videos and went on her way. For most people the story would end here but things took an intriguing twist… Read more

Ginza & Roppongi Hills

After visiting Tokyo’s Imperial Palace I took a train to Ginza (銀座) which is recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world. Shopping holds little interest to me but I did want to get a feel for the area and pay homage to a couple of places, namely Japans flagship Apple and MUJI stores. Read more