June 26, 2013

The Incredible Human Journey by Alice Roberts

In japan, we can see this book at almost all the book shops, and this month, NHK is broadcasting this BBC TV series.

I planed to see this first episode, but missed by going outside, also missed rebroadcasting 2 days before, so checked the web and found this first episode.

I think that this TV series is very intersting. The story is not special story, but it describes this kind of story very easily and very interstingly by using many wonderful video and CG. And furthermore, her storytelling is very good. And also her book is very good one, I think.
As seen from amazon book review, amazon japan review is not good evaluation compaerd with amazon.com review, but my opinion is almos same as the latter.

Maybe in japan, the book publisher and broadcaster (NHK) is closely related (like this special site), but such good scientific series might be good for young people, also for middle aged people like me.

June 18, 2013

hotaru watching at Uji-city

We went to Uji at Kyoto-prefecture to watch hotaru(firefly) at Uji city park. (Jun. 15 sat).

Last year, we went to watch hotaru near our home, but this place was damaged by last year's heavy rain, so I was searching another hotaru-watching places by internet and finally I found this place.

Uji-city is located next to kyoto-city, and it is near my home (about 30 min by train or 1 hour by car) and it hosts world heritage "byoudou-in" and other good temples. I like this place because there is a uji-river and scenary around this river is very beautiful.

At first, we went to tea-shop "uji iemon" at 1:30 pm. This day, weather was very bad (heavy rain) but it was very crowded so we had to wait about 1 hour to enter shop! Maybe one of the reason why might be that this day (15 Jun) was the first day of uji-river cormorant fishing.

After finish eating, we went to uji city-park.
This park always ended about 5 pm, but this 3 weeks was special week for hotaru-watching, so this park was close at 9 pm.

This week was special week so enterance fee after 4 pm was 300yen(about 3$) per person conpared with the normal fee of 500 yen. But this day was very bad weather until 5 pm (heavy rain) so there was little people inside this park.

But after 6 o'clock pm, peaple came there and when hotaru-watching time started (sunset time was 7:30 pm), there were many people (not so crowded but not little).

Above was the special demo why hotaru is bright. Demonstrator mixed 2 type of liquid (luciferin, firefly luciferase+ATP) and shined !

 We couldn't take pictures because firefly are sensible of camera's flash and above was the exits of park after watching hotaru. There were not so much but not so little fireflies but my son liked watching firefly.

June 2, 2013

Noam Chomsky -about education

As I read the book "Reversal of the intellect", there are some writings saying that the education for test is very harmful and he also mention about education system of John Dewey because he studied at school of its education philosophy.

I also agree its opinion because test score is just a indication of understanding, memorizing and there are no other meaning. But as I wrote this, score or ranking is sometimes main goal for study in japan and it is ridiculus.

Reading books and find something that we didn't know is fantastic experiences.
And thinking about the origin of university or college, I think it all started from people' s curiosity. In case of japan, maybe at the begining of meiji-era (1868-) , young people wanted to know abount unknown things or about foreign countries and were gathering and studied at small cram schools and those were the roots of many japanese universities. But the times goes by and the original desire for wanting to know turned out to be a purpose of getting high score and I can't understand it.

For my case, I didn't care which school I would go because school itself was meaningless for me. (furthermore my father & mother & my relative didn't go to university) The only thing that I cared to choose university was that
- it didn't need much fee (because my family were not rich and had anothe brother and sister)
 - needed not to study hard to enter school (because spending much time for preparing examination seemed meaningless for me)
 - seemed intersting ( I liked math & science very much and when I was elementary school, I bought electric-field's books that was for highschool or university students so school's math class was boring for me. So for me, if I could learn such field and not boring, that's ok )

Changing the subject, I read newspaper's article that the ranking score of akita international university(AIU) is almost same as tokyo university and after reading this article, I feel sad because I read some articles about AIU and I think it is good university because it seems intersting and unique curriculum( if I were 18 years old, I might choose this school).
But if AIU is aiming about ranking score, it lose the fascination like other japanese university. So if AIU show some intersts about ranking score, maybe it's over.