radio program

2016-05-23 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- My friends Akio Ohnishi, Hiroya Tanaka and I appeared on a local radio program on station Air-G (FM 80.4 MHz facebook twitter). This was the first time I appeared on commercial radio.

I've been on the air on amateur radio and aviation radio. Commercial radio is quite a different experience, mostly because it's broadcast on a schedule as opposed to being a two-way conversation that can continue as long as desired.

The program we appeared in is a 10-to-15-minute segment called "School strike" (
website twitter) contained within a 105-minute live show called "GTR" (website). "School strike" sounds like teachers demanding better working conditions (which I would agree with for my colleagues' sakes) but the radio station means "strike zone" or "dead center" of topics related to education in the Sapporo area. Most listeners are middle school and high school kids, their parents, and their teachers. They are eager to learn what tertiary education offers them.

At 20:30 local time we were shown to a spacious recording studio. The announcer D J Ryota asked us questions and we took turns answering to the best of our ability. We adjourned at 20:47. Tonight's segment lasted a few minutes longer than usual, I believe.

In a few weeks transcripts and an audio recording of our segment will be posted online by the radio station. When that happens I will put links here.

The following 2 pictures are screenshots of the radio station's tweets.

Right to left: D J Ryota (wearing a white cap), Akio Ohnishi (founder and CEO of Version2, Inc
website facebook), Hiroya Tanaka (professor of English language at Hokkai Gakuen University website), and me. Hidden behind the orange artificial flower on the desk is Sirokuro Puppy (the mascot of my online learning courseware).

After our segment the program went to music and the microphones in the recording studio were turned off. We took souvenir pictures. Mine features Sirokuro Puppy and the uniform for Paddy (website twitter), the ultimate frisbee men's and women's teams that I am the faculty advisor for at Hokkaido University. One man and two women from our teams were chosen to represent Japan in the world championships! Only 24 for each gender are selected.

sapporo summer

2016-05-22 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Summer! No need to heat the rooms before getting out of bed or stepping out of the shower! As I write this at 07:20 local time (3.5 hours after civilian sunrise) the windows are open to a nice easterly breeze.

View from our west window towards the ski jump on Okura hill.

Almost all snow disappeared from the top of Teineyama while we were in Tokyo last week.


2016-05-22 (UPDATED FROM 2016-05-18) TOKYO, JAPAN -- Bright blue skies and warm almost hot arid winds greet the throngs at Tokyo Big Sight for the annual EDIX trade show. I assume EDIX stands for "education using information technology exposition". I attend and give talks each year.

The Tokyo Big Sight building is oddly shaped and not easy to navigate. The conference halls are underground. The aboveground superstructure accommodates meeting rooms.

View of Tokyo bay from the top floor. Tokyo Big Sight is built on reclaimed land. In Japan the standard construction technique is to keep dumping dirt into the water until an island is formed. They have been doing this in Tokyo since the early 17th century. In the Netherlands they build dikes and pump the water out. Either way the ground is soft, moist, and often encroached by the sea.

I enjoy interacting with the audience. I gave 2 talks per day for 3 days. My audience size ranged from 5 to 40. Day 1 is energetic but not productive (because everybody's attention is scattered). Day 2 is the best (because everybody understands this year's trends and interests). Day 3 starts good (because serious people attend) but ends bad (because people start to leave).

Yamaha demonstrated an electronic band practice kit. Really quiet!

And Yamaha displayed a trumpet! If I asked they might have let me play it in the soundproof booth they were demonstrating.

Sometimes booths are so packed that posters and demos are hard to see. Chieru staff dress in bright orange so at least finding them is easy.

3D printing has been the rage the past few years. Of course I need one to build my own cute pink octopuses (or octopoda if you like).

snow and sakura

2016-05-03 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Crazy weather in Sapporo! One day warm enough to run in a T-shirt and short pants. Sakura (cherry blossoms) bloomed. Next day snow, sleet, rain, plus intense winds that blew sakura petals off the branches.

We took our first day off in a month. Walked through sakura in downtown Sapporo.

Late-blooming sakura trees were the smart ones! Today 24 degrees C. Tomorrow sleet is forecast.

Blown-off petals fall through the sky like snow.

We enjoyed an art exhibit of Yokoyama Taikan.

back at hokudai

2016-04-01 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Returned to Hokudai today after stopping by our parents' homes on our way back from Lincoln City, Oregon. We are grateful that all of our 4 parents are healthy and active.

Mom runs a publishing company out of her house. Pictures of my departed sisters adorn the walls.

I'm relieved that there is hardly any snow left in Sapporo. I slipped and fell a couple of times earlier this winter and was sore for a while. Ouch!

Oh and I was promoted to full professor effective today. No big deal -- our school limits the number of full professors so qualified associate professors wait their turn. I qualified years ago. Vacancies were created last month when several professors retired. I ordered bilingual, double-sided business cards.