Five wine addicts joined a wine tasting party held on Sunday, November 16, 2008, 2pm-8pm in Tokyo. According to the Wine Enjoyment Guide for a blind test,
http://www.winecountrygetaways.com/fun-wine-tasting.html, it is advised as
1. Twelve to sixteen people is about right for one of these wine tasting parties.
2. One bottle of wine can easily be poured in small amounts for 12 to 16 people.
3. Four to six wines for comparison and rating is about the right number.
4. Set a theme for the wine tasting.
5. Bag your wines.
6. Pour about 2 oz of wine in each glass.
7. Use our easy scoring sheet to score the wine. Then repeat with the next bottle of wine.
Our party was a bit different from the above advice, seven people were originally invited, since the seven is a magic number of glasses from one bottle. We don’t believe one bottle of wine is enough more than a dozen people for drinking as well as tasting. Unfortunately, two of the seven couldn’t make that day; one mistook Saturday for the party and the other had got injured by a traffic accident a week before. The five people were taking a bottle of Champaign, and five bottles of red wine. It meant one and one fifth bottle for each person. That was a great opportunity for the wine addicts. The above picture, from the left to the right, shows the five red wines which we selected:
1. Chateau Mont-Perat 2006, Merlot 80%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, Cabernet Franc 10%
2. N.V. Opus One Overture 2003?, Napa, CA. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot (that is what I brought from my precious stock.)
3. Brunello di Montalcino Granducato 2003, Motalcino, Toscana, Sangiovese
4. Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Marsannay, 2005 , Fixin, Côte d'Or, Pinot Noir and
5. Gary Farrell 2006,Russian River, CA, Pinot Noir
The theme was to confirm whether the Chateau Mont-Perat, a Bordeaux red blend wine from France, outperforms a Napa wana-be French, Overture.
The other theme in conjunction was whether we could tell the Russian River Pinot Noir from the Marsannay Pinot Noir. The Brunello was added as a wild card that was expected to hinder (in other words, to challenge) our sense of taste.
The result was miserable in terms of our excellence in tasting good wines. We could successfully categorize the two Bordeaux-type wines from the others and identify the Russian river as a Pinot Noir. One fault was the Marsannay and the Brunello were reversed. The Marsannay showed, unexpectedly from pinot noir grape, a strong structure and its rich taste and thus the Brunello was considered as the Pino Noir. The Brunello worked very well as the hindrance in that sense.
More than worse, the total evaluation results turned out deceptive since the Chateau Mont-Perat and the Overture were reversed also.
I didn’t expect that the French lower pedigree wine represented a typical and expensive Californian strong color and flavor, while the Overture represented a thin and elegant French delicate. So, that means a French wine is becoming more than Californian and vise versa. I together with the other participants lost the game.
Anyway, the party continued till 8pm and we really enjoyed the five bottle of red wines.
Five wine addicts joined a wine tasting party held on Sunday, November 16, 2008, 2pm-8pm in Tokyo. According to the Wine Enjoyment Guide for a blind test,
November is my favorite month and my birthday month as well.
I haven’t known this: the Latin ‘novem’ means nine and it used to be the ninth month in history. It makes sense when considering that Oct. and Dec. mean eight and ten. January and February intervened before March.
When I visited Quebec City, Canada last September
(see http://picasaweb.google.co.jp/micknerd/QuebecInSept2008) , the temperature was about 5-13 degrees centigrade though, it was a bit early to see “Tint of Autumn.” I missed the best season to visit Quebec at that time.
I like autumn, needless to say, since Japan's muggy and humid summer is getting worse and is going beyond my tolerance. The summer exists to welcome the autumn in my understanding.
Having said that, I traveled Hokkaido, which is Japan’s most famous northern Island (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokkaido) for sightseeing, early November in 2008.
I rented an all -wheel -drive car at Asahikawa Airport, and I hit the road to Furano.
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It was a marvelous drive and that made me FEEL Tint of Autumn in Hokkaido; that is my main purpose to visit there. Larch trees got golden colors, and maples trees were turning off with red colors already. There are not better chances other than in autumn. The mountains and valleys are never more beautiful and temperatures is nice and refreshing, and the air is perfectly clear.
Today, I was on the way back from Osaka to Yokohama, and stopped over Kyoto, formerly the imperial capital of Japan from 8th century to 19th century.
This chance led me to go Sanzen-in temple in Ohara district (See http://www.artofjpn.com/kyoto/sanzenin.html for further information).
Ohara district is well-known in terms of “a reserved and promised place” away from the bustle of Kyoto downtown. In that spirit, which I believe, Sanzen-in temple first build in 985 offered me a circumstance which welcomed me so softly with the November sky which was high and clear enough.
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Here is a Japanese delicate. I’ve never seen such a perfect and elegant mixture of the fresh green moss, the red of maple leaves, the blue sky and the patina atmosphere. Here is something more than peace.
It reminds me of another place and time with a close friend, who loved Yosemite... and passed away recently.
It was a one-night stay and three-day business trip from
(I confirmed with a cabin attendant; this is exactly same as their working schedule.)
I left Yokohama 23rd afternoon and got the hotel noon on the same day, and left L.A. next day, August 24th noon for Tokyo.
The 2008 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award, presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), recognizes nine contributing companies to the JVT: Broadcom, Docomo, Dolby Laboratories, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Microsoft, Motorola, Panasonic, Sony, and Thomson, as well as ISO, IEC, and ITU for the Development of the High Profile for H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC. Here the JVT stands for Joint Video Team Standards Committee. H.264 is now being used with Blu-ray Disc for high definition content delivery, and also for mobile multimedia content distribution over 3G network in
I represented Docomo at the winning ceremony. I know an “Emmy” is not only for actors and actress but also for engineers, while Emmys, in general, have been being considered the television equivalent to the Oscars . In 1996, JPEG, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 were awarded Emmy for their technical contribution to the television,
I recall that I started my MPEG career in 1993 for MPEG-4 standardization, and completed my participation in 1997. After moving to Docomo from Panasonic, I was facing the emergence of H.26L (i.e., tentative project name of H.264 at that time). It was 2001, and to be honest with my friends, I was against that standardization activity, since Docomo just had started mobile multimedia applications with MPEG-4 simple profile over its 3rd generation mobile network. That was a simple timing issue, for which I thought the new standard was too early to be born. From the viewpoint of a technical person who had been trained to write patents in Panasonic, however, I decided to enter “the game.” My ex-colleague T. K. Tan joined my team, and Frank Bossen also started his contribution in docomo USA Labs (NOTE: I moved from Yokosuka Labs to USA Labs in late 2002). Behind them, several colleagues were working so hard to improve the compression quality. In 2001-2003, I really enjoyed that endeavor with them. Sorry, let me keep them anonymous. The game was so exciting!
Although we were not able to publish papers so often, nor able to show off our contribution due to the IPR issues, we are luck enough to be recognized as one of nine major JVT contributors to H.264 high profile.
Lessons from that event:
- Given the excellent people, and given the clear and crisp technical target, a project goes successful. Those are the conditions.
- “Do the right thing” will be rewarded in the long run.
- The stars at the stage are the tips of the iceberg of anonymous but diligent engineers; we have to imagine how they achieved!
I visited Hong Kong last week for an educational event with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
I love that state as an independent territory from the mainland China. Please don’t misinterpret my observation. I always love a mixture of cultures. Hong Kong is unique in terms of the fact that mixing different things make more than the simple mixtures.
Someone wrote “Hong Kong disappears through simple dualities such as East/West and tradition/modernity. What is missing from a view of Hong Kong as merely a colony is the paradox that Hong Kong has benefited from and made a virtue of its dependent colonial status, turning itself into a global and financial city and outstripping its colonizer in terms of wealth.”
That’s true. I agree. Nevertheless it seems Hong Kong has its strength. Through the event with HKUST, I’ve learned so much from the students which I consulted as their mentor. The findings are that they are very aggressive, well-motivated, productive, talkative, risk-taking, and self-steamed.
Chinese press reported my observation on the students as follows.
(Note: I can’t read Chinese.)
There are a typical Generation Y culture, in which it is said that they can be described by the following keywords: Optimistic, Idealistic, Empowered, Ambitious, Confident, Committed Passionate, and Traditional.
(Note: Generation Y is the generation following Generation X, especially people born in western culture from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. The generation is also alternatively defined as the children of the Baby Boomer generation., according to Wikipedia)
The story is getting redundant. To sum up, my Hong Kong generation Y showed a consistent culture of US, while the generation Y in Japan showed the generation X heritage more. They are more Immature, Moderate, Isolated, Leaden, Fated and Superstitious. I may have a lot of objection from my junior colleagues though, Japan is a bit behind the globalization where East and West meet.
Fly Fishing (in short, F.F.), especially with dry flies, is one of favorites. I was in California when I was invited to my first F.F. That was 2004. Before starting F.F. I thought it was one of fishing and looked so bad and obsolete. After starting F.F. I realized it was a hiking in woods, rocks, and mountain streams, and also a shooting game.
This time, I had a chance to visit Turku, an old former capital of Finland, which is located 160km west to Helsinki for an academic conference.
Here is a question. Can I do F.F. in Finland? If so, where and how can I do it?
I didn’t have the answer before visiting Turku.
From the Internet, I found Merikarvia, 180km north to Turku, is the nearest place for F.F. (see http://www.fishmaster.fi/Merikarvia-english.htm) Then I visited a fishing shop, Turun Pyyntiväline Oy , in downtown Turku so that I could get advices from some of shop workers.
One of them kindly taught how to get Merikarvia and types of flies which were supposed to work there. He said “I’ve not been there quite a long time, maybe for 10 years. Nymph would work well. BTW, I’m going to 1,500km north to Norway for F.F. in water streams in mountains”
I got Peugeot 207 from Hertz and cruised 100km/hour exactly．
It was a nice drive without signals over 130km and stopped over Rauma for rest http://www.rauma.fi/english/immigrants/default.htm
I arrived Merikarvia some minutes past 1pm and bought a fishing license at only one Kiosk there. It took 16 euros for 4-hour fishing activity.
Lovely place it is.
Dry flies worked only for small tiny fishes. I got three or four with dry flies and switched to large nymph flies.
I got two trout larger than my hand. Is this a char? I’m not sure what this is….
I had another business, which was “drinking local beer,” in Turku down town at 8PM..
Then I left there 5:30PM.
One thing to note: I met by chance Olli Ojamo who is the sale director of a fishing tackle factory, http://www.eumer.com/ at a river side of Merikarvia. I parked my car accidentally at his private space.
He showed me his factory where they are producing their original flies, and gave me sample flies. Many thanks!
It was a nice summer day in Finland. I enjoyed local beer also that night till 10:30PM at Panimoravintola Koulu in Turku.
Someone told me that Singapore is the country neither for sightseeing nor fun. I agree to some extent, since the country is a city state, small, too neat and somewhat artificial.
Having said that, I love Singaporean cuisine, where the west, India, Maly, and the east meet. The mixture of the cultures fosters a variety of foods.
British influence has left a gift of nice ales.
I stayed in Singapore from July 20th to 26th.
Here are some of my favorites restaurants:
1. MART Boulevard, 8 Shenton Way Singapore (6227-3487). The best place for beers.
2. Brewerkz at Clark Quay http://www.brewerkz.com/index.htm
, and a bar at Emerald Hill Road to which I always visit when I am in Singapore.
I love the nightlife there. That is a superb choice of bustling pubs, relaxing wine bars and beer pubs.
According to Wikipedia, Bianchi bicycles are traditionally painted in the highly recognizable "Celeste", (Pronounced che-les-te) a turquoise colour also known as "Bianchi GREEN." There are two opposing legends concerning the origin of this colour - some say it is the colour of the Milan sky, others say it was the colour of the eyes of the former Queen of Italy, for whom Edoardo Bianchi once made a bicycle.
I’d always dreamed to own a Bianchi of ”Celeste.”
The pictures shows a folding bicycle which I bought yesterday for my family’s town riding. See http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=DAhXTCtrVck to know how it is folded.
That’s an OEM of BD-1 (a famous holding bike brand) to Bianchi, manufactured at
This restaurant is one of the bests in Tokyo through all my experience.
All Sake (i.e., rice wine) are being served by wine glasses or small bottles. Those are not well-known among most Japanese, but collected from small local wineries of Nagano, Tochigi, Hiroshima, …, mostly western Japan. I enjoyed a chat with the owner, Mr. Ohno. He recommended several glasses including sparkling sake. That's a treat!
Sorry I’d like to make the name hidden, since it is my precious!
Instead, let me leave the phone number 03-3253-0044 and the map for hints.
Tokyo as like other cities in Europe and East Asia (NOTE: unlike L.A. in California) is compact enough to go everywhere on your foot. Late March and April always gift us marvelous opportunities to do. It is a kind of picnic. March 29 was the day which gave Tokyoite shine and full-bloom cherry blossoms. Thus I have no way not to go out. I visited with friends Chidori-ga-fuchi (Pond of Plovers) which is near the imperial palace. “Fuchi” means a pond in general. The place used to be a moat of Edo Castle.
Cherries were in full-bloom! We started the picnic from Kundan-shita subway station and walked to Iidabash JR station. Cherries cheered us up to walk more than 10km.
For more pictures, please visit http://picasaweb.google.co.jp/micknerd/The2008CherryBlossomsComeInTokyo
That is the energy consumption ratio of terminal v.s. networks.
I have been being curious to know how much energy is used for mobile communications.
Someone says data centers such as a service delivery platform and data ware houses are most dominant for that. Another one says power consumption for cell phone battery charge can not be negligible.
One occasion has come this time as an invitation to an academic workshop on Power Consumptions in Future Network Systems.
In investigating power consumption issues of a specific company, difficulty is to keep the company’s trade secrets for which the company doesn’t disclose the service “BOM (Bills of Materials).” BOM could be noted for this investigation as “BOE (Bills of Electricity). The BOE is the key to know the company’s operational structure.
Fortunately, NTT DoCoMo, which is the largest mobile telecommunication operator in Japan, has disclosed the figures to investigate the operational power consumption structure to some extent.
Let’s see it.
Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released a report fromMinistry's Study Group on ICT System and Network for Reducing Environmental Impacts(in Japanese), March 2007. According to that report (Information and Communication Technology) equipment (e.g., routers, PCs, servers, network systems) is consuming about 45,000,000 MWh in 2006 which is 4% of the total electricity generated all over the japan (i.e., 1% of the country total energy consumption). Over recent five years, it has been increased 20% (See the figure below).
ICT System and Network themselves consume the energy on one hand. On the other hand, they save the total energy consumption of our daily lifeincluding logistics, commuting, business activities and so on. Please note that there are the two aspects when discussing the ecological impact of ICT equipment. I believe ICT System and Network, in total, bring the energy saving effect significantly. Anyway, let's continue the story.
Origuchi et al. has reported a comprehensive study on the third generation (3G) mobile communication systems in view of life cycle assessment and ecoefficiency evaluation. In their study, the result of the environmental impact evaluation indicated that approximately 50% of the total CO2 emission produced in the production stage, approximately 55% of that in the usage stage, and approximately -5% of that in the disposal/recycling stage. CO2 emission from the 3G service mainly came fromterminals (cellphones) and base stations. CO2 emission from terminals mainly occurred in the production stage. CO2 emission from base stations mainly occurred in the usage stage.
According to NTT DoCoMo's environmental performance data report (in Japanese), the company used 2,278,853MWh in 2006 for all the telecommunication equipment, and that includes overhead such as lighting and air conditioning. 2,278,853MWh corresponds to the half of the energy power consumption of the mobile networks in the above figure. The other figure shown below summarizes the yearly energy consumption from 2003 to 2006. The figure also indicates the number of outdoor base stations of NTT DoCoMo. We can see the increase of energy consumption is proportional to the number of BTSs.2,278,853MWh can be decomposed into power consumption for each userper every single day, dividing the figure by 52 million users, 24 hours and 365 days, as 120 Wh
In early 90's when cellphone was becoming popular, the energy consumption at terminal side was 32Wh/day. Now it has been reduced to 0.83Wh/day that includes all the energy consumption of battery chargers and terminals. 0.83Wh is a small number in comparison with the network consumption 120Wh. The ratio is almost 1:150, and thus we can conclude the terminal energy consumption is negligible in operation.
I can conclude more about the mobile networks such as that base stations are consuming most energy of the company, which is more than the other network elements such as switches and data centers. The detail will follow at my presentation somewhere sometime later. Please wait my further report.
Last week, I visited Tokyo Gas Co. to discuss management of technology topics with people from a variety of companies. It was a dull and cloudy winter day though, I enjoyed a lab tour hosted by Tokyo Gas. The tour includes a few fuel cell developments and related products such as residential fuel cells and hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles. See the company site for detail.
It seems they have more than six fuel cell vehicles, which are leased from car major manufactures such as Mazda,
I rode one of fuel cell vehicles, which is a Toyota Highlander.
Its hybrid motor system boosted the power so well. The acceleration was very good. That was owing to the hybrid motors not to the fuel cell.
See the pictures attached. You can find no exhaust pipe but a water drain hole covered by a mesh.
The driver told me that the original gasoline car weight was 1,750Kg. The hybrid version of gasoline and nickel metal hydride battery increased its weight to 1890kg. The fuel cell version reached 2,150Kg weight. What a very heavy car it is!
The diver continued his explanation. “300km distance range is not enough to go around
It is said fuel cell technologies will save our energy consumption and thus prevent the global warming. I agree as far as the hydrogen is NOT made from fossil fuels. In reality, however, hydrogen fuel is being made from fossil fuels. The efficiency of “Well to Wheel” energy transmission is almost comparable to diesel hybrid vehicles and worse than electric ones.
See the report in English , its summary in Japanese and a very critical discussion also in Japanese. The report recalls my memory that a hybrid system (not a fuel cell system from fossil fuels) can save the global warming, where kerosene and gasoline are the most convenient and portable types of fuel for automobile. I leaned from a TTI vanguard session in US 2003. Fuel cell vehicles in general are being developed for environmental appeal, no for real environmental consideration.
My last question to the driver was “when considering the global warming, it is better to use natural gas cars rather than fuel cell cars, isn’t it?”
Omote-sando is one of my favorite places to walk around. Omote-sando means “main front avenue to a shrine” in general; in
Last Friday, I and a friend met together at Omotesando Hills to try wine tasting.
That is one year my absence to the wine shop and restaurant called Bisty’s
Bisty’s offers wines with a small unit, a 20ml, 50ml, and 90ml via their wine serving system, for which I paid several thousand Japanese yen (USD30-40) for a pre-charged IC card.
We started affordable white wines, even with a bottle purchase, and tried Paul Autard Chateauneuf du Pape (
Paul Autard gave us a blackberry and graphite flavors, with solid underlying note of Grenache. Claude Dugat was marvelous full body red (See its description in Japanese)
It was a nice Friday to celebrate a chilly cold winter in night of Tokyo. I love such a winter night, for the best occasion to taste red wines.
Two pictures show the wine serving system, displaying 20ml price of each wine.
The last one is a funny sign board at the avenue that say’s “Heavy Sandwich ” which is playing on words as Heavy -> “Omotee” (in Japanese) and “Sando” ( i.e., Japanese pronunciation of Sandwich) .
Last week, I was in Kyoto to participate MMM2008 for which I served as program co-chair. We published the proceedings as Lecture Notes in Computer Science through Springer Verlag.(LNCS) That conference was successful in terms of enthusiastic participants over the world, fruitful discussions, and demonstrations in corporation with Kyoto University.
One disappointing thing was that the number of submitted papers was decreased more than 50%, comparing the previous MMM2007 conference.
Can you guess why?
One plausible reason is that LNCS has been kicked out from Journal Citation Index of Thomson ISI. As from January 2007, LNCS books are no longer listed in the ISI Journal Citation Index.
It seems that people especially in academia tend to work for papers cited in that list.
If not cited, the efforts may not be evaluated properly in their feeling about the score, and therefore we’ve got the less number of submission.
According to Wikipedia，the Impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure of the citations to science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the importance of a journal to its field.
In a nutshell, a published paper is evaluated in terms of Impact Factor (IF) and nowadays, IF is going to be used to measure the performance of faculty members in academia and researchers in industry. If you wrote four papers with IF of 1.0, IF of 2.0, IF of 2.5, IF of 1.5 and those were accepted in 2007, you would have got total IF of 7.0 points! You might be promoted owing to those figures, and might not be, depending how much score you’ve got until now.
There would have been much debate. Once we set an objective function, researchers, who are typically wise and clever especially in computer science, try to tune themselves to get more scores in academic activities.
I saw such backfires in many occasions of human resource management when I was in U.S. I believe the performance evaluation should be somewhat subjective so that we can avoid “over-fitting” syndrome among researchers. The leaders in government, faculty, and industry should have their own view and insights to lead the organization. The organization can be governed by not “scores” but “views”!
Researchers cannot be evaluated by any automatic objective measurement. Fair, agreeable and infallible OBJECTIVE measures have never existed.
I don’t trust the universities who are using IMACT FACTOR for evaluation of academic achievement performance. The universities should self-govern themselves by their views and visions which lead their members to work harder their REAL IMPACT on business, industry and welfare toward happiness of supporting people.
Thus, the evaluation should be high-minded subjective.
On new year's day, I put not so special but a gentle wish list. That includes "making a good research" and "keeping work-out." For the latter wish, I took a bicycle ride for one hour, 30Km (20 miles) around Tokyo Bay along Route 357. The picture on thetop was taken from Yokohama side to view Chiba Prefecture and the bottom one was to view Yokohama Hakkei Ireland. It was one of chilly cold winter days , 5 degree in Celsius though, I enjoyed riding.
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