Resurrection of TokyoFinds

BIG NEWS

I laid TokyoFinds to rest at the beginning of the year.

Thanks to Leah and Angie at Tumblr, IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE!!

REJOICE. Visit Finds here: tokyofinds.com

Sidenotes: as much space as I take up on the internet, TokyoFinds is the only place I post under a paid domain LOL
For those wondering what Finds is:

Instead of polluting my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with all things Tokyo and Japan, I decided to deposit them here. Enjoy.

Big shout-out to Leah!!!!!!!’n Thank you, thank you thank you!

Ode to The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin

It’s not about abortion. It’s about the next 20 years. Twenties and thirties, it was the role of government. Fifties and sixties, it was civil rights. The next two decades, it’s gonna be privacy. I’m talking about the Internet. I’m talking about cellphones. I’m talking about health records, and who’s gay and who’s not. And moreover, in a country born on a will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?

— Sam Seaborn in The West Wing, Season 1, Episode 9. Air date: 11/24/1999

I’m re-watching “The West Wing” again, letting it run in the background in lieu of music. No matter how many times I watch the series — at least three times a year for about six years in a row now — I am blow away by the super sharp, clever dialogue.

The quote up top is only one of the many reasons why “The West Wing” is still my favorite series on television – hands down. Think about it. In 1999, the public was still heavily reliant on pagers. The internet was only used by ‘nerds’ and ‘weirdos’. Dial-up was the norm. Aol was slowly being discovered by teens. Sorkin was way ahead of his time for someone writing for television.

If you haven’t seen the series, it is highly recommended. I may also be biased, as that particular quote by Sam, reminds me how fortunate I am to have lived through one of the most spectacular eras: the shift from analog (vinyls, cassette tapes) to digital. Rise of hardware, software, cloud and back to hardware (wearables). The mobile revolution (pagers to flip phones to smartphones) — I mean, I can go on and on. Every time I think of all that I have seen and experienced, I cannot help but to be grateful.

Thank you, mom and dad!

Digital Expectations

She sucks.” he said. “Just because she has different email habits than you and me, it doesn’t means ‘she sucks’.” I immediately wrote back.

The other day I hooked a friend up with a friend of a friend for a ‘friend’s and family’ AirBnB discount. My friend looking for the AirBnB isn’t online 24/7 but for hyper connected people, one day of unresponsiveness seems like a week. My friend hooking my other friend up with the AirBnB sent a borderline hostile email threatening to cancel the verbal reservation if she doesn’t respond within x number of hours. The whole thing was a bit stressful for all parties involved and unnecessarily dramatic.

But then I thought about it and realized I am guilty of acting like him too. That when I send an email, I expect a response within a day. Which got me wondering: “Do digital people expect too much from others who have different behaviors than us? Do I cause unnecessary drama, stress and negativity because of those expectations?”

I don’t know if there is one answer but the biggest takeaway I got from this interaction is the world isn’t going to end because someone doesn’t immediately respond. Be more empathetic. Lay off expectations. Ease up a bit. Not just for myself but to be better towards others and, to the world.

Learn something new everyday.

Beautiful People, Ugly Site. Oh, the Irony

I got sucked into signing up for a lame site / app. It’s apparently the ‘new Tinder’ but a more selective version, as people of the opposite sex need to vote you in to become a member.

So I log-in, create an account and am immediately judged by the opposite sex.

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The first thing I notice? How dare an app that’s not even optimized for the iPhone 6/6+ judge me. The app’s text is so massive it looks like an old person phone where the font is blown-up so large, one text message hogs the entire screen.

The more I think about it, the stupider this app seems so I delete it from my phone. Not even 10 seconds later I get an email notification: “Someone is checking out your profile.”

Um what? Deleting the app doesn’t delete my profile? Great.

So I log onto their website and…

Online_Dating_Sites__Internet_Dating_Websites_-_BeautifulPeople_com

Holy 1999. This service just took some button .gif off stock images or something, didn’t even bother cropping it. Even kids on MySpace had better graphics than that up there on their clunky HTML pages. Jesus. And don’t even get me started on the font.

Maybe it’s just me but for a service to brand themselves as ‘exclusive’, their attention to detail – or lack thereof – is quite shameful. I’m embarrassed for them and hope this service burns to the ground.

What a crock of shit.

4-7-8 Trick

I came across a post from a blog that taught me something so great, I wanted to share with everyone. However the writing was so painful to read (like fingernails on a chalkboard cringe worthy painful), I didn’t feel compelled to pipe it out on my networks, and did the next best thing: blog about it myself.

The 4-7-8 trick is actually not a trick. It’s a breathing technique used during meditation, yoga, wellness practitioners swear by it, etc. and now that I think about it, I’ve done it many times before during yoga. It never occurred to retain what I learned after leaving the session until now.

If you feel anxious, stressed, or have trouble sleeping, try this. I swear. It works.

  1. breathe in through nose for 4 seconds
  2. hold breath for 7 seconds
  3. exhale from mouth for 8 seconds

The Science

Stress, anxiety → adrenaline pumps through veins → causing heart to beat rapidly = under-breathing.

4 second inhale forces more oxygen intake

7 second breath hold allows oxygen to affect bloodstream

8 second exhale emits carbon dioxide from lungs

above slows heart rate and increases oxygen in bloodstream to relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system; almost like a natural sedative.

The human body never ceases to amaze.
To learn more, I think this man pioneered the technique.

Happy breathing!

*Sidenote: not sure how I feel about the first post of 2015 being about some metaphysical mumbo jumbo but whatever, maybe this is a sign I need to think of myself and my well being more? Who knows, not really reading deep into it.

Flip-phones: Only in Japan

People who live outside of Japan find it hard to believe when I tell them: YES, Japanese people still use flip-phones. And YES, they reside in Tokyo.

Flip-phone sightings happen daily but since I get asked the same questions a lot, I finally took photographic evidence.

This particular young gentleman was in his late to early 30’s, working on his Macbook Pro. He caught my eye because his Pro was up and running with connection, owned an iPhone (see photographic proof *points below)…

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…yet he chose to e-mail from his dinosaur flip-phone.

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I wish I was slick enough to take photos of him navigating the iPhone… he was like a 65 year old man using an iPad for the first time. He held his iPhone upwards, tightly gripped with his left hand. And he was typing with one finger — his right pointer finger to be precise — but the gestures OMG. He was basically stabbing the iPhone screen, tapping the screen so hard he had to grip with his left harder and harder. So exhausting to watch… and his poor, poor phone. I almost wanted to place him under Citizen’s Arrest for device abuse.

Anyway — this is only one of the many reasons I choose to be in Asia. Mobile habits and usage are similar to those of the US in 2007-08ish when consumer Internet just started getting disrupted.

Exciting times.