Monday, December 27, 2004



Gokurousama means "Thank you for your troubles" in Japanese and it is also the name of this blog. Gokurousama celebrates and recognizes the hard work of others.

That explains why I truly respect and enjoy the services rendered by the Japanese and the pride for their hard work.
Gokurousama makes any chores or work truly worth doing.

via Joi Ito's web

The Gokurousama blog and the pictures on it are a very good way to understand the Japanese way of gokurousama. It's also the spirit behind good service and a very nice way to show appreciation of good service. A simple gokurosama will go a long way and is much more respectful than flipping someone a hundred yen coin.

:: beaches and tsunami ::

I used to gripe and bitch about how lousy Singapore beaches are.
No big waves, imported sands, non-horizon views and how dirty and polluted they can be.
Very much unlike the smooth sands and clear waters of our neighbouring countries in the beautiful tropical weather of South East Asia.

A usual lazy Sunday was spent surfing TV channels when I chanced upon ChannelNewsAsia's newsflash "Tidal waves hit Phuket", I thought it was no big deal, just another one of nature's occassional tempers.

But when I saw it as breaking news at BBC and CNN tv channels, it then strucked me on the magnitude of this tragedy. There was not much pictures to show then, just reports from the various correspondents about how a tsunami epicenter near Sumatra, Indonesia has caused havoc to many parts on Asia's shores.

ChannelNewsAsia still do not have much coverage on this tragedy at this point, only its normal Sunday programs. Whatever happens to the being the voice of Asia?.

When I woke up this morning, the devastation was clear - some 20,000 people were killed (at this point of writing).

I prayed for how lucky Singapore is geographically (big brothers Indonesia and Malaysia have shielded us from the quake) and for the resume of normal life to the people all over who were strucked by this tragecy the soonest possible.

::Patong beach of Phuket - In memoriam ::

Saturday, December 25, 2004

:: Christ was killed and Christmas was born ::

Merry Christmas!

Subway commuters walk by an advertisement for the DVD release of Mel Gibson's "Passion" in Tokyo's Iidabashi station on Christmas Day, 2004.

The poster juxtaposes one image of a young man climbing a flight of steps and agonizing under the weight of his girlfriend's Christmas present with another image of Jesus Christ carrying his cross on his way to be crucified.

The Japanese copy reads, "Christ was killed and Christmas was born."

On Christmas Eve, generally considered the most romantic day of the year in Japan, the film was all rented out at one video rental store in the popular Roppongi Hills district as couples snuggled up to watch its explicit violence and brutal murder of Jesus

via Mainichi Daily News

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

:: Best Science and Maths Students - SINGAPORE!::

The local media reported on how Singapore students are the best in maths and science. Guess it is good to read from other nation's perspective.

Japanese students' science levels slip

Japanese pupils' science skills, once regarded as the best in the world, have declined in recent years, according to an international assessment of student abilities.

In 2003, average scores dropped from five years ago for both fourth graders and pupils in their second year of junior high school, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

News of the decline comes following last week's disclosure of results of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development test that showed Japanese first-year high school students in 2003 had showed a marked drop in reading ability from three years earlier.

Education Minister Nariaki Nakayama pledged to rectify Japan's slumping school standards.

"Results of the two international comparative surveys indicate declines in achievements by the children of our country. Students certainly cannot be said to be at the world's top levels," the minister said.

"We must acknowledge the results and take measures accordingly," a ministry bureaucrat said.

TIMMS tested 116,951 elementary pupils from 25 countries or territories and 224,503 junior high school students from 46 countries or territories. Results were scaled so that the average score was 500 points.

Japanese fourth grade pupils scored 543 points for science, a drop of 10 points from the previous survey in 1999 and slipped from the second to third highest score in the world.

Junior high school pupils dropped from 579 points to 570 points, but remained in fifth place overall.

In 1999 and 1995, junior high school pupils dropped 2 points in math skills. At the time, however, the Education Ministry was not alarmed, saying the 2-point decline fell within the study's margin of error.

Exceptional students also declined, with the 29 percent who topped 625 points in 1999 falling to 24 percent by last year. The number of pupils falling below 550 points rose from 34 percent to 38 percent.

Elementary school pupils also showed lower standards, with the number of pupils scoring below 550 points rising from 46 percent to 51 percent and the number of pupils above that score falling from 54 percent to 49 percent.

Singapore's students scored the best results in all subjects for either year surveyed. Finland, which topped half the OECD polls, did not take part in the TIMMS survey. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Dec. 15, 2004)

:: first an assuring man's arm, now this ...::::

Employees of the Japanese toy maker Trane Co., Ltd. relax their heads atop the company's new 'lap pillow', a polyurethane pillow shaped like a kneeling woman from the waist-down in Tokyo on Wednesday

what can i say? i love Japan!

Source : Manichi Daily News

Sunday, December 05, 2004

:: too little time, so much happenings ::

now that ZoukOut is over, there are so many things to update.
The flu, the little hari raya mood, job stuff, etc.

for now, all i want for christmas this year, is this phone

- darn! why can't we have the latest tech gadgets here....

Thursday, December 02, 2004

:: even the most powerful man forgets ::

it has happened to all guys.
even to the president of the US of A.
wonder if our PM noticed it :)

Japan PM : "Bush, your fly is open and your undie is white..."