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Mikimoto was here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Odyssey ain't Odyssey

There was this one thing that kept bothering me in the back of my head. It's this question: Are Honda Odysseys the same all over the world? I asked this question because when I landed here in NZ, I thought the Odysseys here are somehow smaller. Yeah. Sounds stupid, but it felt that way. When I got a ride on an Odyssey from a friend at NCI, a fellow passenger commented how large it felt, compared to the one from Japan. I dismissed her comments thinking how absurd... An Odyssey is an Odyssey, right? Well. It bothered me enough so that I actually looked up the specs on the web. And guess what, she might have been right all this time. The US version has an engine that is a whopping 1 litre larger than the one in NZ! The body size is about 40 cm longer, 10 cm wider and 20 cm taller. Apart from the fact that they are both minivans called Odyssey, you might as well call these two car different. Both of them can carry 7 people; does it mean the one for the US is made bigger because people on average there are... Bigger? But then again... The one in the US is the latest model and the one here isn't? Is that why there is a difference? Oh well.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

14th Century Tech Support

I've just made up that 14th Century part, but anyway. I just saw this on the YouTube. Absolutely loved the skit.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I dozed off earlier this evening while watching telly. I must have been tired from all the walking and searching... Then I was woken up by a loud horn. Must be coming from a ship, I thought. Bloody loud it was. Then the fireworks started going off. WTF? Then it hit me; I thought I saw a very tall cruise ship berthed at the pier downtown; I didn't see the usual Hilton, but instead I saw a top of the ship with "... Mary 2" when I was walking home. Could it be the Queen Mary 2? Is she down here, perhaps? I quickly looked up on the web, and yes, she is. She arrived this morning. And apparently she's already left. Probably the horn was the signal and the firework was a send-off. In-and-out. That's a quickie... She's on her way to Sydney to start her maiden world cruise to Dubai. I'd love to get a cruise on a ship like that. Some day, I hope (though her Sydney-Dubai cruise is almost affordable, and Cunard's Atlantic Crossings even more so).

Searching for a book

I've been looking for this book titled "Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throan." It's got such a bad rep, I wanted to take a look at it. The reviews at Amazon are mostly scathing, Japanese government demanded an apology from the author and the Japanese translation is not going to be published after the publisher decided it's not worth the hassle. Anyway. I went down to Newmarket yesterday by taking advantage of a "late night shopping day" in search of this book. In reality though it's not really a late night as the shops close at 7PM instead of the usual 5PM; right now, the sun sets around 8PM... Anyway. First, I went through Dymocks. No, they don't have it. Okie. Went over to Whitcoulls. No, they didn't have it either. I ended up picking up something else by Tom Clancy instead. I hope his style has improved somewhat. Anyway. I decided that I would go downtown and see if anybody else might have it. So, after processing my fish embryos (yet again), I took a detour downtown today to check out bookshops there. I went to Borders first. But no, they don't have it, though it can be specially ordered. Not a good sign. I went to Dymocks and Whitcoulls as well, just in case, and of course they didn't have it either. I saw this book at Whitcoulls and nearly bought it; but I managed to refrain myself from doing so. I came home with no books. Bugger. The little walk down the Queen Street was not a total waste though. At least I found out the price of the lens I've wanted to get ever since it came out; it costs NZD1400 or thereabouts. I won't be getting it anytime soon I guess. I also saw D40; I've heard that it's a cute little thing. And it was, but with a price tag of NZD1300, I don't think I'll be getting that either; I'll be okay with the D70 for the moment, thank you very much. Oh well. I guess I'll be stuck with that Tom Clancy book for the moment, unless I decide to order the book online...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

One more reason to carry a laptop with you

The said article gives you a clear evidence that you should be carrying your laptop with you, preferably in the path around your vital organs. Because in this day and age, you never know who might pop out of that dark alley and shoots you with no good reasons. Then again, if you are shot in the face, you are dead anyway...

Little Miss Sunshine@Rialto

I went down to Newmarket after processing my 3 dpf fish embryos and setting up a few PCRs. I wanted to give a go at a couple of new things. The first is the Asian food court in Newmarket. It's located opposite this Chinese grocer I frequent, and I've wanted to give a go... I had a Char Kway Teow. It wasn't bad. I'll try Laksa next time I come down here. The second thing I wanted to try was this Rialto Cinema that shows many art house films.

It has similar atomosphere to Bethesda Row Cinema. Seatings were great as they were more like single seat sofas. No cup holders between seats, but instead had little platforms to park wine bottles! Yep, you can drink in this theatre. Not that I did, but thought it was great.

Anyway. As to the movie, I throughly enjoyed it. Yeah. Doesn't happen often for me. I was not expecting too much from it. A story about a kiddie beauty pageant? C'mon, how could it be that good? Even though I didn't read the review beforehand, I heard good things about it. I guess for me the take home message from this movie was that even when you are at the lowest of your life/career, somehow you will pull through. And the characters certainly did in the movie. I would give 4 out of 5.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


O' Gatorade, wherefore art thou? I've been looking for one, but haven't managed to find one yet. I wanted to get the powdered kind so that I can make some whenever I am to step out for a little walk. I thought I could use some when climbing up that little steep hill to Grafton today. Local supermarkets stock protein drinks but not Gatorade. I might go with these... Except they usually taste horrible... Or at the least they have acquired taste.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Waitangi Day

It's Waitangi Day today. What is it? According to Wikipedia, it was the day the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Māori and the British. It's supposedly the day that New Zealand was formed. So I guess it's like Australia Day or Independence Day or Kenkoku-kinenbi elsewhere in the world. So, it is a public holiday.

And what did I do on this day? I went in to feed fish. I volunteered to do that so that I'll be able to take some other time off when I need it. I might as well get feeding duty out of the way, as often as possible. I've also done some lab work, just doing some routine stuff like running a gel and purifying some DNA. I guess it was not time wasted, and I'm sure I'll reap the rewards later on.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Diamonds are forever...

Well. I guess it's no longer the hardest substance on Earth. According to this article, the hardest substance is an amorphous of barium titanate and tin, at 58 to 59 degrees. What would it be good for? I don't know. I'm not a material scientist.

Talking about something not lasting forever, Australians finally lost a cricket match last night. England finally won a match for this summer. Took them 10 matches, but they finally did it. It was a dead rubber for Australians as far as getting into finals series though.

Quite obviously...

Humans have impacted the environment. Duh. Isn't it obvious? The population of humans have been increasing. We've been using up resources for our comfort without thinking too much about consequences. But then again, that's human nature. Still, I found it appalling that pollies needed to be told in clear and blunt language that it is the case. I guess what's pretty obvious to the rest of the population wasn't for some of them. Or is that because of conflicting interests? In any case, the cat is now out of the box. So how do we fix things now? It took some time for us to affect it, and it will take some time to fix. It's also human nature that once you tasted luxury, it's pretty hard for us to give it up. I guess alternative measures need to be made to replace harmful practice. Political will be solely needed in this process.