Archive for Site News

New mobile colours and other site tweaks

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Just a small note that I’ve edited the mobile theme so that the layout resembles the desktop site more closely, specifically in the colour department. I’ve also done a few behind-the-scenes tweaks that might make the site a little faster, but if you notice anything untoward at your end, please leave a message here.

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EU cookie notice regulations

By the way, to comply with an EU directive, you now get a message at the bottom of the screen telling you that I use cookies.

It seems rather pointless to me, but Google requires me to do something… If you notice it misbehaving, etc, please drop me a note.

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“Proper enough of stature, and not uncomely in features”

You may have read the news that the Royal Society of London has made available online its archives from the foundation in 1665 to 1881, so naturally I thought I’d see what people thought of Japan all these years ago. The earliest hit was from 1669 (doi: 10.1098/rstl.1669.0027 Phil. Trans. 1 January 1669 vol. 4 no. 45-56 983-986), in an article entitled “Some Observations Concerning Japan, Made by an Ingenious Person, That Hath Many Years Resided in That Country; as they Were Communicated in French by M. I; Whence they are Thus English’d by the Publisher; Who Some Months Agoe Accasion’d This Accompt by Some Queries, Sent to That Traveller“, which may be read online for free here.

The article title comes from this description of the Japanese:

Another article deals with the poison oak tree, the sap of which is used in Japan and China to make lacquer. Page 869 talks about it being known as Sitz-dsju and page 870 as the Fashi-no-ki. Can anyone decode either name into Japanese or Chinese? The current Japanese name is Urushi, but a relative is Rhus succedanea (or Toxicodendron succedaneum), or Hase-no-ki, which looks like a match.

There’s a search engine there, so have fun!

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On my holidays

Just a quick note to say that along with most of the rest of Japan I’m on holiday until next Sunday, so posts may be rather intermittent. I’ve got a number of good surveys that need translating, but whether or not I can find the time…

In the meantime, you can catch me on Google Plus where I am reasonably active. Drop me a note if you want an invite.

Thanks,
Ken

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but…

I just noticed that Metropolis magazine wholesale cut-and-paste my recent survey on weird service station food, without even a back-link.

If you’re going to translate goo ranking surveys, please do so in your own words or acknowledge the site you are copying from.

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I ❤ AKB48

I never thought I’d write such a headline, but the news is that Japan’s most popular jailbait vocal group is donating half a billion yen (over 6 million dollars or just under 4 million pounds) towards earthquake relief:

Donate some cash yourself or I’ll post another video of them!

US Red Cross
UK Red Cross
Japan Red Cross

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How to donate to Japan earthquake relief

I’m still not quite in the mood for posting, so instead here’s how to donate to the relief effort through the Red Cross:

US Red Cross
UK Red Cross
Japan Red Cross

ANything you can give will be most welcome by those suffering in the north of Japan.

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Japan earthquake: I live well away from the danger zone

As most of my readers will have heard about the series of huge earthquakes, I thought I’d better post to say that here at What Japan Thinks I’m well out of the danger zone in Kansai, and well away from the coast so no personal worries about tsunami.

I hope all my readers and their families in Japan are safe too. While I prepare my next post, you may like to read a few surveys on earthquakes.

Update: Google have set up a person finder service and other useful links:

http://www.google.co.jp/intl/en/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

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Slowing down for the holiday period

Although it’s not my holidays until next Wednesday, many of my readers seem to have already gone on holiday, so I’ll be cutting down my posting frequency, working on other projects (there’s two Facebook things I must do) and posting more goo Ranking nonsense for the next two weeks.

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Finger-friendly front-end

Just a quick note for smartphone owners – I’ve added a mobile-friendly low-bandwidth plugin to the site, so if you visit with your mobile browser the site should look much better than before. I went to a mobile phone shop this evening after work and surfed here on a demo Xperia, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice it looked!

The plugin is WPtouch.

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