Sunday, February 16

Tokyo like a Richard Scarry episode

This screenshot doesn't do the video quality any justice.

Usually I have something insightful to say. Today, I'm just gonna sit back and let this beautiful time-lapse video of Tokyo do the talking. This video is called ちちゃな東京 (Chicha na Toukyou), or, Little Tokyo and is by Darwinfish105. Enjoy.

In a related post (by title only), please enjoy the open, yet camaraderic racism that is South Park: Little Tokyo.

Saturday, February 15

Can you hurt water's feelings?
Did you read that? (source)

So this Japanese businessman is a 70-year-old with a strange interest in water. Masaru Emoto believes that water has strange properties that were previously unknown. Supposedly, water reacts differently to different emotions. He has spent a lot of time examining the ice crystals of water exposed to positive or negative verbal content (i.e. some water might develop more crystals, or be cleaner, if praised daily). Some believe he is a quack and their is a general consensus that he practices a pseudoscience. Don't let that disinterest you, though.
This experiment looks legit (source)

This experiment, the one I want to talk about, is a bit different. Basically, he has three jars full of rice and water. He bad-mouths the one jar, praises the other, and ignores the other. The results are interesting. Whether or not they are reproducible under scientific conditions is beyond my point.

I buy these results, to some extent. I don't however, buy the explanation. Rice is not a temperamental food with human emotions. Please, Mr. Emoto, don't anthropomorphize your rice. It is very possible, though, that talking to rice release germs that help ferment rice (which hardly seems like a positive outcome save for the "sweet" smell). Also, I can imagine that rice that didn't have mouth germs spread in its vicinity might react differently. Finally, it's very possible that using different words, or even more emotion can spread a different amount of germs or even a different kind of germs (tongue germs, throat germs, etc.). What's your take on this guy?