Smart Wallet Safety

Smart phone muggings are on the rise. Yeah, that does not sound comforting, and it was one concern I had when returning to live in the US after 6 years in Tokyo.

I was an early adopter of the so-called osaifu-keitai, or smartphone wallet. DoCoMo and Softbank, two of the cell phone providers in Japan, allow users the function of their smartphone as debit cards and/or credit cards for various companies (SuICa and Edy). This was in addition to the phone already acting as a point card (loyalty or frequent-user Continue reading


Bloompy Grieves with Japan

The Blogs of Bloompy was born on April 20, 2004 in Tokyo, Japan. Until 2008, it chronicled observations on life and experiences in that amazing metropolis and unforgettable country. It is therefore with much sadness that I witnessed, from afar, the unfolding tragedy in the forms of Earthquake and Tsunami that had recently befell on the Land of the Cherry Blossoms. I believe that the resilience and the determination of the Japanese people will rebuild those shattered lives.

Bloompy grieves with Japan and the Japanese People.

Bonjour, Bloompy!

Bloompy is launching a new home here at WordPress. Slowly, the old blog entries are being incorporated here, and the Bloompy Eats (culinary reviews) and Bloompy Sleeps (hotel reviews) will be integrated here as well, instead of being in different sites as they were used to be.

Soy Sauce Made from Human Hair

I did not know this, but today I was sent a link to an article that talked about how the Chinese and the Japanese used human hair for the production of soy-sauce. Further, the article said that the amino acid that was present in human hair provided an alternative to soy beans in giving soy sauce its flavor. What makes it dangerous is that the chemicals used to extract these amino acids are carcinogenic. While the Japanese used this method during the World War II because of soybean shortage (because of food shortages, soybean was consumed as soybean, instead of being used to make soy sauce), they stop the practice some time ago. The Japanese put a ban on the production of soy sauce from anything other than organic proteins. The Chinese soy sauce manufacturer, on the other hand, saw the use of human hair as a cheaper alternative to using real soybeans. For full view of the article, click HERE.

Setting Back the Clock of Equal Rights

Maybe it is the trend these days to set back the clock of progress. The United States’ stance on environmental issues seem to unravel decades of the move forward. Now, the Japanese government is tinkering with Article 24 of their Constitution, which guarantees the equal rights for all in terms of marriage and family. This past June, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party proposed revisions that would strengthen the family and community values at the cost of equal rights.

The following is an Op/Ed article from Asahi Weekly/Asahi Shimbun of the International Herald Tribune, dated November 11, 2004. You can click the title of this particular blog if Continue reading

But the Dog Ate My . . .

On the depressing day of the 2004 US election, my laptop hard disk was loose. Subsequent tinkering with it did nothing. The election apparently not going my way, I decided to go to Apple Ginza to have my laptop examined and was informed that I had lost the disk; completely lost it. Thank goodness it was still under warranty. It just happened that a few days before, the external hard disk that acted as a back-up system was experiencing problems too. Somehow, these two incidents paled to the news of the election; I was surprised to find myself at peace with losing the 70GB of stuff from that laptop and risking losing 160GB of data from the external hard disk… Needless to say, I will be without a laptop, and that NaNoBlogMo and NaNoWriMo will have to wait till my laptop comes back as I am typing this on a borrowed computer.

NaNo NaNo

Yes, yours truly has decided to join the NaNoWriMo and NaNoBlogMo for this month. What an earth possesses me to do this, I have no clue. If you are interested, click HERE. Why such name? The National November Writing Month invites and challenges bloggers to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Yes, many a crap will have been produced by the end of this month, including mine. I am supposed to have written about 1600 words per day if I am to finish this on time, but as it is, I am already late!!! Second day, and I am only at 1006. Hm, the at-the-moment election coverage at CNN and BBC News do take away my focus, but what do they say about excuses?