Archive for May, 2010

Live from Japan: Vilkommen To Tokyo

It’s been a flurry of activity on MNP recently, and today is no exception.

The Editors at large would like to welcome a writer and graphic designer named Marcus Bird to the glory that is- a recent Tokyo transport from Jamaica who is on a mission! He’ll be writing a series, ‘Live from Japan’ about his experiences- starting with….. Vilkommen to Tokyo!

In the last seven days I've been to about thirteen clubs, took the early train in the morning, and felt like the world's greatest wolf man. I'm aA writer and a graphic designer who moved to Tokyo with a dream… a dream of writing about my time in one of the world's coolest cities, and just trying to figure a few things out. I like to consider myself a person with an eye for writing about the moments in between moments, stuff that make you chuckle, or think for a few minutes. Mixed crowds are my forte, which lead me through very interesting days and nights..

I've been in Tokyo for a month now, and the memories come and go in flashes. A throbbing crowd of young Japanese men grabbing each other and shouting "Oi! Oi!" ad naseam. Cute Japanese chicks holding bottles of Smirnoff seductively and flashing fake eye lashes. Laughing at the comically nasal voices of many train conductors on the Tokyo rail system. The salary men being helped out of a train station at seven in the evening, already drunk, red-faced and out of control. The break of light in the early morning over a cityscape filled with the jagged rooftops of a megalopolis. This is Tokyo, and I will be giving a bit of my perspective on it. From any angle.

Let's take my first Wednesday, four weeks ago.

"We can get 90 yen beers at this spot nearby here." One of my housemates says to me.

I raise an eyebrow. A ninety yen beer is less than a dollar in the states. I'm in. AWithin an hour or so, we roll out; two Jamaicans, a guy from the Bahamas and a German who's half Japanese. At the restaurant, popularly called an Izakaya, we wolf down cheap grub and pound beers. Cute girls giggle at the gaggle of obvious foreigners, and the beers keep coming. At beer ten or eleven, it's decided we are going to Camelot, a club in Shibuya.

I'm down for it, but I know what I'm in store for. Any late night outing in Tokyo will be an all night outing if you aren't trying to pay ridiculous amounts of cab fare to come home. I had moved to Tokyo only a week before, flared up an old back injury from lifting ginormous suitcases and suffered a mild flu attack because of stress from the pain the back injury caused. That very night I had limped to the Izakaya with the boys, and when I heard we were going clubbing, I said emphatically:


Buzzed and still hobbling a bit, we headed back to our placeaa kind of glass tower in the middle of Shinjuku, and got ready. I had never partied in Shibuya that much before, I've only really partied in Roppongi, and I was curious to see what would be in store on that side of town. I promised myself I wasn't going to party too hard, but this I would later realize, was impossible.

Traveling with a group of drunk guys is always fun. Fresh-faced and new to Tokyo, I schooled them on some of the basics of Japanese sexuality. "There is no religious guilt." I said to them. "Meaning that your entire concept of how to meet and hookup with women is different."

"Really?" said Marty, the German.

"Yes," I replied.

I went on to explain other little tidbits, like tricky ways to say a cute hello, or the Japanese for a quick exit strategy if you were trying to head to a love hotel. In the middle of this sermon on Japanese pickup lines, we all realized one thing: We were lost.

Shibuya is a unrelenting cascade of brightly colored buildings with a similar design. Along the side of the building is usually a large neon sign emblazoned with Japanese characters advertising the different businesses from floor to floor. These buildings all seems to mesh together (especially if you can't read the Japanese characters) and there are no directions or street signs. After asking three bouncers, two policemen and a cute girl or two later, we were still lost. A shaggy guy with a sign advertising cheap ramen tells me vaugely "Go north of here". Following this instruction, we ran into a few fellow foreigners. "Hey man do you know where Camelot is?" I said.

"Yeah buddy, that's where we are going now. Come along." One of them replied.

The guy was wearing aviator glasses, with long Axle Rose style hair streaming from underneath a pilot's hat. Behind him were two less fashionable guys but interesting guys, who I found out were members of the popular band, Relient K. They had just done a show and were checking out the nightlife. Axle hands us discount passes and we finally find the spot. Tall muscular Japanese bouncers with faces used to the night greet us with quiet smirks.

Inside, the place is filled with bodies and I marvel as more people come in, eventually packing the place… on a Wednesday. I had a lot of fun that night, even somehow grabbing a Go Go dancer and awkwardly straddling her on the dance floor. During beer twelve or fifteen, my back pain had disappeared, leaving me feeling immortal and invulnerable in the club. OnA my first night out I met a few rock stars, dancing with tons of ladies and got heavily reduced access to the party. All on a night when most people would be curling up and watching Grey's Anatomy reruns.

But this is just the beginning.


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Posted: May 15th, 2010
at 1:35pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: travel

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JoinAfrica’s WIFI Blanket

Paul English, the cofounder of travel search, wants to blanket all of Africa with free and low-cost Wi-Fi. It’s a "big, big project," one that will consume the next decade of his life, English tells

JoinAfrica aims to bring a world of information to a continent whose population only has 8.7% Internet penetration right now. At the core of JoinAfrica is the belief that providing basic Internet is as essential to society as clean water and clean power.>

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Posted: May 14th, 2010
at 3:30pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: web,development

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Matthieu Ricard - The Art of Meditation

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"The worlds happiest man" philosopher Matthieu Ricard explains how we can train our minds in habits of well-being.

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Posted: May 13th, 2010
at 6:52pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: youtube,life,science,health,philosophy

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India’s New OS

NEW DELHI: The government has set in motion an ambitious plan to develop its own software and end the reliance on foreign operating systems and anti-virus products after growing worries over the spurt in cyber attacks on Indian establishments.

The government formed a high-level taskforce in February to devise a plan for building indigenous software, said a senior intelligence official who is a member. The panel will also suggest ways to conduct third-party audits on existing software in government offices to prevent online sabotage attempts until the software's launch, he said.

The overwhelming belief among government bosses is that an indigenous low-grade, but clean, software could nix the chances of foreign states infiltrating the computers of key Indian establishments and compromising the country's security. "A sanitised, lower level operating system and application software may be preferred to the advanced versions, which necessarily require access to internet for upgrades," the official said. The new software could be deployed in key departments that have been under constant cyber attacks. The taskforce also includes officials of the Prime Minister's Office as well as defence, home and telecom & IT ministries.

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Posted: May 13th, 2010
at 6:45pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: computers,development,ir

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Web 3.0

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

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Posted: May 13th, 2010
at 6:22pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: computers,web,documentary,internets

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Bin Ladens € Notes

The UK has banned the sale of the 500 euro note or Bin Ladens due to criminal use of the high denomination, which is an important means of reducing the bulk of cash.>

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Posted: May 13th, 2010
at 4:11pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: crime,business

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Iceland, Eyjafjallajokull 2010

Iceland, Eyjafjallajokull - May 1st and 2nd, 2010 from Sean Stiegemeier on Vimeo.

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Posted: May 12th, 2010
at 5:10pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: green,today in history

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The Perpetual Acrylic Cube

Combining Robert Morris’ABox With the Sound of Its Own Making with Baudrillard’s writing on the art auction this sculpture exists in eternal transactional flux. It is a physical sculpture that is perptually attempting to auction itself on eBay.

Every ten minutes the black box pings a server on the internet via the ethernet connection to check if it is for sale on the eBay. If its auction has ended or it has sold, it automatically creates a new auction of itself.

If a person buys it on eBay, the current owner is required to send it to the new owner. The new owner must then plug it into ethernet, and the cycle repeats itself.>

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Posted: May 11th, 2010
at 12:13pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: contemporary,auctions,internets

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Chimps On the Edge - Documentary

And no… we ain’t talkin’ about yo’ mama. It’s the Monday documentary, baby!

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Posted: May 10th, 2010
at 7:26am by Black Ock

Categories: documentary,10th dan,ninjas are everyehere

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