Tsūjun bridge is an arch bridge made of stones, which is located in Yamato town, Kumamoto Prefecture. The bridge is 84-meter long with the arch spans 27.3 meter. The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has designated the bridge an Important Cultural Property. The bridge is so famous because it proves the high level of stone bridge technology at the time it was built.
This waterfall is called "Gorou waterfall" or ごろうがたき, it is one of Kumamoto Prefecture's appointed scenic spots and natural treasures. The fall is 50-meter tall, surrounded by a magnificent cliff and has a basin below with a very clear water. Next to the hill, there is a path led to a suspension bridge, just in front of the waterfall, from which you can enjoy the breathtaking scene (and take picture, like above) of this beautiful waterfall.
I think our discussion in the LTE today is very special. We talked about how Japanese student who preparing to graduate are encouraged to take a private intensive course (jyuuku) after the school. According to Yasuo, who a part-time teacher in one of Jyuuku in Kumamoto, final grade students usually finish their school at 4pm, and then directly continue to the Jyuku class, sometimes until 23pm! Final test is a very serious thing for the Japanese student, that's why they will do anything to make sure they can pass the exam, including spending their time in Jyuuku's class.
Photo credit: Angie Harms
If you can ride a bike, remember how you learned to ride it? Did you go to a bike school? Did you need to study the bicycle’s rules, or read textbooks about bicycles? No. Nobody learns how to ride a bike by studying, you learn by doing. Well, learning to speak English is pretty much the same. There is no success without directly using it in a real conversation. Of course, non-native English learners have most probably taken some English class or reading books at least once, but any of them will agree that fluency can only be achieved by using the language as much as possible. The problem is how to find a good place and partner to practice English conversation, isn’t it?
Knowledge is happiness, because to have knowledge—broad, deep knowledge—is to know true ends from false, and lofty things from low. To know the thoughts and deeds that have marked man's progress is to feel the great heart-throbs of humanity through the centuries; and if one does not feel in these pulsations a heavenward striving, one must indeed be deaf to the harmonies of life. [Hellen Keller]
Symmetry creates balance, and balance in design creates harmony, order, and aesthetically pleasing results. It is found everywhere in nature, and is probably why we find it to be so beautiful. Symmetry is one of the fundamental principles in gestaltism, a human behavior theory that proposes that our mind naturally creates order and completeness in the things we see and encounter.
Do you know Alzheimer's? Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. But a recent research by Psychologist Ellen Bialystok and her colleagues at York University in Toronto has shown that bilingual people's brains function better and for longer after developing the disease. From 450 Alzheimer's patients involved in their research, all had similar levels of cognitive impairment, but those who were bilingual had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's about four years later, on average, than those who spoke just one language. This proves that those bilingual patients have been able to cope with the disease and can continue to function. Bialystok said. "Bilingualism is protecting older adults, even after Alzheimer's disease is beginning to affect cognitive function". So, want to protect our brain against the effects of Alzheimer's? Learn another language.
When I have questions about science and technology, I often consulted a fantastic resource called How Stuff Works. Being in Japan, I can see vending machines almost everywhere. But I am interesting about something else: how does a vending machine read a banknote? After some hunting and pecking, I found an interesting information about dollar bill changers that discusses the mechanics of automated currency identification.
While vending machines use a variety of methods to read bills, they check four different characteristics used to verify paper money:
Those nifty currency counters that you see operated by shady types in gangster movies use a similar array of technology: magnetic sensors, ultraviolet readers, fluorescent bulbs, and optical magnifiers. After all, criminals need to watch out for counterfeit bills, too.
Pagi yg indah agak dikejutkan dengan account x10hosting.com yang tiba2 di-suspend. Alhasil, personal website saya yg masih under construction, blog dan moodle (yg harusnya aktif setiap saat karena sedang dalam penilaian Nagai-sensei) semuanya tidak bisa diakses.
Setelah login ke control panel x10hosting.com, ternyata penjelasannya sebagai berikut:
You have been suspended for inactivity. It is a requirement that you login to the x10hosting forums once every month to keep your account active; posting is never required. This is an automatic suspension, you're able to unsuspend yourself immediately
Emm… ternyata harus login ke forum minimal sekali setiap bulan. Proses “unsuspend” cukup mudah, dan here we go… account saya up kembali. Kayaknya sudah perlu berpikir menggunakan payed-hosting nih…
Apa yang terlintas di benak anda ketika mendengar kata "ritual"? Emmm... tunggu sebentar... pasti tidak jauh dari berbagai rupa aktifitas keagamaan, praktek-praktek adat istiadat dan lain sebagainya. Ok... benar demikian. Tapi dalam artian yang lebih luas, "ritual" sebenarnya sering mewujud dalam kehidupan kita sehari-hari. Setiap malam, ayah saya selalu mengecek semua pintu dan jendela rumah kami sebelum ia tidur. Mungkin ini hanya kebiasaan biasa saja, tapi ia tak bisa tidur sebelum melakukan kebiasaan itu. Inilah "ritual": sesuatu yang dilakukan berulang-ulang, sehingga lama kelamaan memberi perasaan khusus; dalam hal ritual ayah saya: rasa aman.
Nah, bagaimana membuat sesuatu menjadi ritual? Tindakan iteratif tentunya tidak bisa dihindari. Dari perulangan itu muncul kebiasaan, dari kebiasaan muncul ketergantungan, dari ketergantungan muncul antisipasi: yakni dorongan kuat untuk tidak bisa tidak melakukan ritual tersebut. Bayangkan jika kita bisa merubah beberapa hal yang bermanfaat dalam keseharian kita menjadi "ritual": menulis blog, menghafal kata asing, membaca satu bab buku, mengucapkan "I love you" kepada istri dan lain sebagainya. Bayangkan jika "ritual-ritual" itu mulai bertransformasi menjadi "ketergantungan". Tidakkah sangat bermanfaat?
(Terinspirasi dari: "The Five Minute Writer", Margret Geraghty)