Beautiful slice of life from Tokyo

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 24, 2014)

Adam Magyar, Stainless – Shinjuku from Adam Magyar on Vimeo.

Shinjuku Station is the Guinness World Records registered busiest transport hub of the world (according to Wikipedia.) I have been there and it is really amazing. This high-speed/slow-motion video Stainless – Shinjuku from Adam Magyar captures the moment that train rolls in. It is quite amazing. Beautiful. Also from this blog, you can see the presentation on the artist, how he did it.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

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Challenges for Japanese pitchers.

farrell-matsuzaka

John Farrell worked closely with Daisuke Matsuzaka on his transition to American style of baseball

Masahiro Tanaka, sadly, is a Yankee. Over the weekend, World Series Champion Boston Red Sox’s manager, John Farrell took questions from audience at Boston Chapter of Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) meeting at the Baseball Tavern in Boston, January 20, 2014. I was there in the audience and was able to ask Farrell a question about Tanaka (around 19:10) and just blogged about it. Read it over at blogs.japanesaeballplayers.com post “John Farrell on Masahiro Tanaka and challenges for Japanese players

Hear the entire session here:

I was there in the audience and was able to ask Farrell a question (around 19:10). He was with Daisuke Matsuzka as the pitching coach of the Boston Red Sox from 2007 to 2010. He experienced a Japanese pitcher’s transition to MLB first hand. I asked him, what would it take for Masahiro Tanaka to be successful in US?

Here is Farrell’s answer:
There are number of things that they are going to encounter here for the first time.
In Japan there is one time zone, here, we are transitioning three.
You got a composition of the mound. In Japan, it is sand-based and your feet slide a little bit, as supposed to clay mound here. It puts more stress on lower half, they are going to have to condition themselves physically for that.
The baseball is completely different. The surface of the Japanese baseball is tacky, it’s sticky. Here, it is rubbed up with mud, there is a film to it and it’s much more slippery.
The strength of the line up that they are going to face in States versus the line up in Japan, not being condescending in anyway, but there is a difference.
The strike zone, I think here, it can be smaller more consistently.
And the fact is that they go from pitching once a week, to now every five days. So there are number of things that is challenging and It will be interesting to see how Tanaka transitions.

But in terms of overall game execution, the ability to use the fastball here in the States, I think, is much more important than it may be in Japan. Just that being different styles of pitching. Now there is a willingness to use the whole count there where they may throw a 2-1 breaking ball and pitch to the full count little bit more than we will. There is less strictness for pitch counts there. Largely because there is more recovery time, you are pitching every 7 days versus every 5th day. There are number of things that will challenge him regardless of the talent that he comes here with.

It is very interesting. Listing to the whole conversation by poressing the play button on the embeded player. People also asked him about Koji Uehara.

As I write this post, there is a news that Masahiro Tanaka signed a seven year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees. Tanaka will be the 7th Japanese Yankee, following Hideki Irabu, Hideki Matsui, Kei Ihawa, Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki. Yankees also have a prospect in Gosuke Katoh who was the 66th pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.


Learning from successful people

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 17, 2014)
Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson on HBR was quite good. The post was from 2011, but it was linked recently from some blog post that I was reading. I should look at this list time to time.

  1. Get specific
  2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
  3. Know exactly how far you have left to go
  4. Be a realistic optimist
  5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
  6. Have grit
  7. Built your willpower muscle
  8. Don’t tempt fate
  9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

NYTimes’s redesign thoughts (Behind the Scenes on the NYT Redesign) was also quite interesting. Liked this quote by Eitan Konigsburg:

[Rebuilding of the technical foundation] includes using Github instead of SVN for version control, Vagrant environments, Puppet deployment, using requireJS so five different versions of jQuery don’t get loaded, proper build/test frameworks, command-line tools for generating sprites, the use of LESS with a huge set of mixins, a custom grid framework, etc.

We are doing a lot of the same stuff. Good stuff.

They also sounds like they had a goal all along, specified. See the number one of that top list there?

  • Be faster.
  • Have a more flexible and adaptive presentation.
  • Have consistency across platforms.
  • Make the site easier to for the newsroom to produce and maintain.
  • Make it easier for our readers to read, navigation, share and explore.
  • Maintain and convert subscribers.
  • Create a high-quality advertising environment.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the two weeks worth of links:

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Leveling up in the game of life

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 3, 2014)

dragon-quest

This is the game that I really, really, really really liked when I was kid. Dragon Quest by Enix. (English wiki page)

A Happy New Year.

Yes, it is beginning of the year and it is so typical/predictable of me, but I am trying out a new methods that I heard from a friend, nerdfitness.com, and decided to level up in my life in 2014.

So here’s what we can do in real life: identify the badasses who are higher levels than you, who already are what you want to become. Then learn from them!

I am not calling it a new years resolution, because those usually don’t last.

To be specific, I am hovering over 200 lbs now and I’d like to be under 190 lbs and keep it there. To do so, I am going back to practicing Aikido (2014 goal: Pass 3rd-Kyu Rank Test) and am leaning toward doing Paleo Diet — meaning not completely eliminating food that are not allowed (like Soft Drinks, Fruit Juices, Legumes i.e. peanuts, Grains, Fatty Meats, Salty Foods, Starchy Vegetables, Snacks, Energy Drinks, Sweets), but rather “limiting” them. For example, I am Japanese and can’t completely eliminate rice. I am going haiga rice first, and eventually maybe moving towards brown rice (yuck!). But, can I reduce the amount or donuts that I eat? Sure, I can. No soft drinks and energy drinks ever again. Sure. The diet calls for no beer/alcohol, but well, again, limiting not eliminating. I can Still eat all meats, all fish/seafood, fruits and veggies, Eggs, nuts.

And I am going to go on a vacation, either a cruise or all-inclusive trip. And am finally going to apply for my citizenship before I turn 40! Clock is ticking. I have 5 month.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

Continue reading…