We saw a number of these little signs embedded in the paving stones. This one seems to say ‘electricity‘:
This one seems to say ‘weakelectricity‘, perhaps suggesting that you should not dig here?:
The warning sign on the arm seems to say:
Large black characters: “Entermouth“, or “Entrance”
(Note that the smaller red characters were difficult to read, this is my best guess):
Smaller red characters:
“Pa/Ba- beam/girderRe SeNSa- ??Middle!!”
“Hand Wo(of)?Re?To Fu(Bu/Pu/Wa)Ga?Ri ???Come out”
Perhaps something about a bar sensor, and cars may come out? (Or perhaps the standard warning, that the bar may move seemingly of its own accord, and bonk you unexpectedly?)
When we were there, there seemed to be some sort of election going on. Here is a selection of various campaign posters:
Interestingly, his name is in Hiragana, not the more formal Kanji, I’m assuming so it’s easier to read. At the time of the election, he would have been 52, I’m not sure if that would make him young or old for running for office (as to why he would include his birth month on the poster). Also note the prominent but understated wedding ring.
“What do you want?” A very bold statement, especially with the English being given equal treatment with the Japanese language. Direct translation: “MiNNaGa LaughingFaceDeIRaReRu (of could to be) NiShiTaI (to do)”
The person seems to by Fumiaki Matsumoto. Note that the person making the poster helpfully spelled out his first name ‘FuMiAKi’, probably to help people vote.
Stay tuned for next time, when our intrepid heroes visit the mythical Department Store ‘Tokyu Hands’!
In some ways, these repeated similar words remind me of the words around the ‘Utwig Planetary Engineering Tool’, or Ab’s commentary about the ancient weapon. Also similar to many sci-fi novels’ ‘translations’ of alien languages, putting multiple words to represent one alien word, to show that their concepts are grouped differently than they are in English.
The large green label on the left reads: “MaChiWoMi ShiKu!!” or “Town/Neighbourhood (of) Beauty District”.
This would make sense, given the prominent advertisement for ‘Hair & Make & Photo Studio”. There seem to be a number of restaurants, such as the ‘YaKiToRi ToMaRiBa’ (or Yakitoi Haunt)
There are a number of things I can’t decipher, such as: “FuaMiRi- Ma-To”, and “(TeNTeN)”, which might be a cool bar with a difficult-to-search name, or perhaps an eyebrow salon.
“TeRuRuMoBaIRu”, possibly a mobile phone store, but also turned up this in a google search.
There’s also “SaNKuSa YoYoGi …” “Sankusa Yoyogi bundle opening store” But ‘Sankusa’ is in Katakana, meaning it’s a loan word from somewhere, Yoyogi is the neighbourhood, and the last three words seem to be describing it as some sort of store. If we were there, it would probably be easy to find out. 🙂
The last one is in the lower right corner: “DaNSu SuTaJhiO M&S Company”, which sounds like a Dance Studio! 🙂
The previous map and the next map were beside one another on the street, suggesting that they referred to the same or similar neighbourhoods. At the time, we had figured that these maps were some sort of neighbourhood directory, but I had thought that the one above was commercial, and the one below was residential.
At the top, in blue on white, it seems to say “INTa-NeTo”, beside a ‘DoKoNeTo’ ad, suggesting it’s an internet company ad. Beside it is a pointer to a QR code, which I will ignore, because QR codes are silly.
Looking at some random establishments, we see:
– “MaGuNa” (The smaller characters are difficult to read, perhaps SuChiIToANa-?)
– “Yoyogi ZeMiNa-Ru”, “Yoyogi Seminars”? beside:
– “Yoyogi A-To GiyaRaRi-” Which seems to be ‘Yoyogi Art Gallery”
– Beside what looks like a large building titled “BaRo-Ru Yoyogi MaNShiyoN” or “(something) Mansion Yoyogi”, which has such establishments as:
– “AHAHA LAND”
– “HeA-SuTaNO” (Perhaps ‘Suntan’ or spa?)
And many others I can’t make out. How many can you find/translate?
This next map seemed somewhat the worse for wear:
I can’t make out too many words in this one, perhaps a ‘KuRi-Su’, there’s a JR station on the right side of the map, ‘SaSaNiTaWa-‘, and many others I can decipher even less about.
What can you figure out? I feel like this has helped me with a lot of Katakana practice (and Yoyogi-recognition practice), but I still have a long way to go. It’s also interesting to see how many different neighbourhoods that we had heard of were so accessible to each other, often just by walking at random.
Stay tuned for next time, when our intrepid travelers, now that they’re oriented themselves, start actually experiencing the city!
Some of their explorations from that first day, related to the design of the city and various objects, were captured earlier in ‘Thoughts on Design in Japan‘.
As part of our preparation for going back to Japan (and now that I’ve finally organized all of my pictures), I’ll be revisiting our first trip there in 2012. Part of the goal is to help me re-learn Japanese, part is the fun memory lane trip.
We rejoin our intrepid travelers in Tokyo, by Shinjuku station. As they prepare to exit the station, they consult the map:
Moving on to ‘Shinjuku Southern Terrace’ (literal translation ‘Shinjuku SeZeN TeRaSu', which you get to through the ‘Southern Terrace Entrance’ (‘SeZeN TeRaSu Opening‘). Note that the last character is not the Katakana ‘Ro’, it is instead the Kanji ‘KuChi‘, for opening.
Moving clockwise, we see the ‘East Japan Railway Company Head Office’, or ‘JR East Sun originmaincompany BiRu’.
(Those of you who play Mahjong will likely recognize ‘East’ here. Also note that the second character in ‘Japan’ (‘origin’) takes a different meaning (‘main’) in ‘Company Head Office’.)
(I likewise learned ‘2’, or ‘Ni’ in this context from playing Mahjong. Note also that the ‘yoyo’ in ‘Yoyogi’ is an alternate of ‘daidai’, which presumably someone who grew up in Japan would know, but is perhaps non-trivial to someone trying to translate it.)
This takes us to one of the places that we stayed in Tokyo, the ‘Hotel Sunroute Plaze Shinjuku’ ‘HoTeRu SeNRu-To PuRaZe Shinjuku’, which shall forever be near and dear to our hearts. 🙂
This is right next to the ‘Shinjuku Maynds Tower’ ‘Shinjuku MaINZu TaWa-‘, which seems to be a 34-story office building.
‘Shibuya‘ ‘reluctant valley ?’ is surprisingly difficult to translate, as for some reason the handwriting recognition didn’t recognize the third character ‘district‘
Moving down to the bottom, in red, you will see one of the most important set of words to recognize in Japan: ‘Black UDoN MountainFood‘. (The operative words here are ‘Udon’ noodles and the Kanji for ‘Food’. 🙂 )
The last one that I want to translate here is in the lower left-hand corner, in red: ‘Shinjuku SeNE- BiRu 1F’ ‘FueSuTei BaRu GoRuFu’ ‘Shinjuku WING Store‘. This seems to say (to me) that there’s something on the first floor of this building, perhaps a bar and grill and store?
Katakana is often difficult to de-transliterate, as you often have no idea which language the words are loaned from. Perhaps someone in the comments can answer!
Next time, our intrepid heroes pause to ponder the immensity of Shinjuku station, where the large number of train tracks is just one part of a huge complex:
…and then continue on their journey. Stay tuned!
Many thanks to the KanjuVG Project and Ben Bullock: http://kanji.sljfaq.org/ They were able to detect my poor drawings of kanji symbols on the first attempt, and their first suggestion was correct three out of three times (for the third symbol, I had to tell the program to ignore my stroke order)! If you’re going to be working a lot with Kanji, it’s worth learning the rules for stroke order.
Interestingly, ‘Shinjuku’ means ‘New Juku’, or ‘New Lodge‘. Knowing this meaning of ‘Shin’ was to be helpful later.
Mirror Blaze Night Flame Test #2 “There is a lot of light.”:
Mirror Blaze Night Flame Test #3 (blue flame and backdraft tests):
I really enjoyed the blue flame in this video, and whenever it happened at the event. This set of tests were mostly us calibrating the length of time we needed to open the solenoid to get the optimal flame. If we set it off too quickly, there would be no propane in the accumulator, and we would get a small ‘foop’ flame. Setting if off for too long would give a slowly dwindling flame. The trick was the sweet spot in between.
Complicating this was the backdraft issue, where you had to have some air flow pushing the denser-than-air propane up the tube, or it would fall down and ignite out the bottom of the tube. In practice, we found that warm air (from an immediately previous ignition) was often enough to supply this airflow upwards:
Also note that the tube was starting to get sooty.
Hellblazer also got in on the flame action!
Stay tuned for next time, where we strike camp and pack up!
I also have a video of Francis, but the video quality is not very good, and the words are not very sfw. PM me if you want to see it.
Then we did a few tests of Flamey, with Marc offering debugging help from (mostly) upwind:
Flamey test 1:
Flamey test 2:
Even Cynthia got a chance to try the flame effect:
Then was the part I was most afraid of. I had learned welding approximately 1 week before, and my first ever welded item was going to be supporting our dozens of pounds, expensive and difficult to source quartz tube.
And now we had to attach it to the ground so that nothing would fall over and break the tube. We had the brilliant idea of attaching it with rebar (1/2″ rebar just fit inside the square steel tubing), which meant hammering rebar into the ground (fine), but then aligning the stand with the rebar, and hammering it down onto the rebar. I couldn’t do it myself, and luckily, Patrick was up to the task of making sure my amateur welds didn’t crack under the strain:
Note the flame-resistant fabric and silicone placemats used to protect the tube from the possibly sharp metal frame:
Then we added the flame effect:
Put the tube up, and we were ready to go! (Note that the front mirror is still open here, for easy testing (and we’re not totally sure the flame won’t melt it.)):
Mirror Blaze Flame Test #1:
Mirror Blaze Flame Test #2:
Leaving us with our favourite iconic picture:
Next time, we get to see what Mirror Blaze looks like at night! Stay tuned!
Our friendly flame effect. We are very creative.
First, a test of the mirrors (warning: not for the easily spun nauseous):
Then, more panel attachment!:
Then, just before we attached the last couple of mirrors, rain struck! Luckily, we had planned for this, and beyond making sure our gear was in our tent and power tools were covered, Mirror Blaze was fine (or so we thought).
It looked kinda cool with the water droplets:
Sadly, not all was fun and games, as we noticed that our two-way mirrors (the most expensive ones, of course) were susceptible to water damage, it seemed particularly around the holes that we had drilled in them:
That’s it for today! Next time, we start playing with mirrors and fire!
Note that S stopped being visible in mirrors. One can only guess at the reason.
The first part of the maze that our crew built was the central triangle:
To help you place things, here’s the overhead view again:
The following is probably the most useful (and one of the simplest) tools I’ve ever used. Patrick started using it when we were attaching mirrors to post hinges, and it allowed for much, much easier alignment. We ended up purchasing like five of them for the playa build. It is probably correct to say that this simple tool halved the amount of time required for the build. At Canadian Tire (where I purchased them), they’re called ‘Lineup Punches’.
Stay tuned for next time, when we assemble the rest of the mirrors! Hooray!
Marc had arranged with some friends of his for a large field to be available for the weekend. This allowed us to spread out and use a lot of space to setup. It also offered some interesting logistical challenges. You see, the large trucks (26′, I think) couldn’t make it all the way to the back field, so we had to offload onto pickup trucks for the last leg of the journey. Thankfully, we had two on hand:
There was a lot to move, with teams at the large truck unloading, doing transport via pickup truck, and unloading the pickup trucks at the back field.
So, if you’ll recall, the purpose (for us) of this weekend was to do as much of a build as we could, an integration test to make sure that our design and construction for Mirror Blaze were sound. Here’s the overhead view:
Here’s the list of the mirrors and posts that we ended up using for the integration test. Note that we constructed the inner triangle surrounding the flame effect, along with a small corridor on the left so we could test the feeling of being inside the maze ablaze:
The next couple of pictures should give you a sense of the size of the area that we were fortunate enough to have to play with for the integration weekend (and the incredible number of people who came to help out, my apologies for names I’ve missed). Also, you can see the staging area where the pickup trucks would drop off parts for the various installations:
Here you can get an idea of the scale of Riskee Ball:
Silicone place mats did the trick, preventing abrasions from the metal stand onto the quartz tube!:
Not visible in this picture: The rebar holding the post:
I really enjoy making .gifs, especially ones that include such joy:
Stay tuned next time for more integratey goodness!
This was similar to the occasion when we had to move biosafety cabinets from one part of campus to another, where the loading dock was around a corner where the large trucks could not go. The solution was the same, offloading onto a pickup truck.
I think one was Seth’s, and I don’t remember who had brought the other one.
Last time, we talked about learning to weld, so that we could build a stand for the quartz tube for the first integration weekend.
First, we had to make sure we had all of the parts for our flame effect (and that we had built it!). Luckily, we had purchased all of the parts during our expedition to the excellent Helios makerspace in Montreal (post forthcoming):
We called our flame effect ‘Flamey’ because we are creative like that:
A few days before integration weekend, I recall running around to hardware stores looking for non-abrasive things with high melting temperatures. I found the fabric below (in the welding supply section of a Home Depot, IIRC), along with silicone placemats (not in the welding supply section):
Also, we had not been camping in many many years, so I went to get some inflatable pillows. They were okay, but I would bring ‘real’ pillows next time, unless space was a critical consideration:
(Not shown. Tests of the flame effect. S might have pics of this, to be shown later.)
Then it was time to pack up and go! Trish drove the truck over to our place (Francis had been at least partially living in our garage for a while), and we started packing! We are still thankful for the many volunteers who tolerated our hinged posts:
There were some moments of pure joy juxtaposed with moments of pure contemplation: