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Public Transportation – Japanese Reporter

25 Aug

André Sato

by Sato

According to wikipedia Tokyo has one of the biggest rail systems in the world. You can literally go to any place in the city by public transport.It is by far the fastest way to reach any destination, and the most reliable one. They have so many lines you can easily get confused when choosing the lines you need to pick up to go from one place to another:

The metro map

The metro map

 

The railway map

The railway map

So how you can find the best route? Piece of cake. There are several mobile apps, or web pages that do that for you. And the best thing is that the arrival time of the trains are very accurate so you can schedule transfers(norikae) between lines very smothly.
You can use this site: http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/
Or this other one if you know how to read Japanese: http://transit.yahoo.co.jp/
There are many other more sophisticated sites/applications that you can even setup your walking pace so it calculates the time from the distance between the stations, and also the distance until your final destination in the map, like in google maps, just search to find one that is most suitable for you.
The public transportation is a very serious business in Japan. They are very strict about the time. One proof of this is the train delay certificates(chien shoumeisho). It is a certificate given by the rail company usually when the train is delayed by more than 5 minutes.
Typical train delay certificate

Typical train delay certificate

Nowadays you can also download from the internet, avoiding paper wasting. This is used to justify arriving late at work or any appointment, and it will be accepted as excuse without any further questions.
Those delays, by the way. in rush hours can cause some the famous scene of the train staff pushing the passengers inside the wagon.

There is always space for one more!
You can go to almost any place in Japan by train, it is very convenient, reliable and in most cases comfortable. If you ever go to Japan, don’t miss the wonderful experience of getting a ride on one of their railroad lines!
Vocabulary:
乗り換え – norikae – transfer
遅延証明書 – chien shomeisho – delay certificate
電車 – densha – train
地下鉄 – chikatetsu – subway/metro
切符 – kippu – ticket
駅 – eki – station

Cricket Time!

13 Aug

garcia

by Danilo

Hello Everyone!

Danilo here to bring you the latest news on cricket.

England has regained the ashes! I repeat, England has regained the ashes!

If you’ve been following my posts, you must know the ashes are a series of 5 matches.
Last week England and Australia battled for the fourth time in the series at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire. England won the first and third matches and they needed a victory to regain the ashes and they didn’t disappointed. What a match!
I’ll tell a little bit about what happened.

England won the coin toss and decided to bowl first and something magical happened. Australia was dismissed for 60 runs in just 111 balls. It was the shortest innings in a Test match in history.
Stuart Broad took five wickets from 19 balls, the fastest five-for-in in history, he’s at the top with E. Toshack from Australia, 1947 at the Gabba.
Australia was out before lunch and England started batting. On day two, England declared on 391 runs for 9 wickets, it was time for Australia to bat again. With a target of 331 runs just to even the score, they had much (a lot of) work to be (get) done, but England bowled so well that they didn’t stand a chance. Australia second innings ended 253 all out and England beats Australia by an innings and 78 runs securing the ashes.

Here’s a link to a Recap of what happened – 3 min long.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02z3jhq

Highly recommended for people who wants to improve their listening skills 😉

Next and final match will be held at The Oval, London next Thursday, stay tuned.

See ya!

Brazil through gringo-eyes: The mother of all traffic jams

30 Jul

kristof

by Kristof

Yes, the traffic situation in Florianópolis could use some improvement, to say the least. Most of the important transit roads between the various areas of the city are narrow, often with only one lane in each direction. On top of that, there are little or no alternative roads you can use when traffic on the main road is getting exceptionally bad. The city’s population has been booming in the last decade, especially with those gringos moving in from all over the world and ruining the place for us manezinhos. The transit system is not built to deal with this kind of population growth, which results in a lot of traffic-related frustration.

It may be a small consolation, but things can always be worse. Traffic in my own home country isn’t too great either: roads are often in a poor state, various long-lasting road works and deviations can turn your morning commute or a simple trip for an afternoon of shopping into an ordeal that will leave you stressed and frustrated. The ring road around Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city has been a problem area for decades. With several highways coming together, it’s a major traffic hub for Belgium and neighboring countries and the road just doesn’t have the capacity to handle the flood of cars and trucks during peak hours. Add this to the fact that the ring isn’t actually complete (it’s open on 1 side!) and it makes the whole thing a bit shameful.

antwerp

A few weeks ago, however, things really got out of hand. It was a long weekend with some sunny weather predictions, so it was an ideal weekend for a trip with the family. The already existing problems combined with the increased traffic and road works – that were inexplicably done during the day, instead of at night – that closed off 3 of the 4 lanes, created the perfect storm of traffic chaos. Many tourists from the Netherlands and Germany as well as Belgium had to pass by Antwerp on their way to the coast or other holiday destinations and ended up stranded in traffic for up to 3(!) hours. As the day progressed, people started to become dehydrated. Some started to feel unwell or even faint. Emergency services were called and ambulances were sent to help the people in need. The Red Cross also tried to distribute water. Tried, because even that went wrong: As more and more cars joined the traffic jam, people found nothing better, but to use the emergency lanes, effectively blocking them for the emergency vehicles they are meant for. It was reported that it took an ambulance almost 45 minutes to reach a person in need.

So, you can see a bit of slow traffic on Beira-Mar Norte isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Next time you’re in stuck traffic in Florianópolis, try not to get wound up too much, but instead remember this heartwarming story and sigh with relief that you’re not stranded for half a day on your way to some relaxing destination, with your whole family crammed into hot and small car, while your children are complaining that they’re hungry and thirsty and your grandmother starting to feel faint and you have to wait 45 minutes for anyone to come give her some water, because the car next to you decided it was ok for him to use the emergency lane. And if that’s not enough to relax you, you can turn your head 90 degrees and take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunset behind the mountains on the continent.

sun

 

Cricket Time!

8 Jul

garcia

by Danilo

Hello folks!

It’s summer in UK and that means: Cricket!
The cricket season started a few months ago, but this season is not just any season.

braceThat’s right, The Ashes started today at 7 am BR Time, the venue: Swalec Stadium, Cardiff city, Wales.
The last competition in 2013 went badly for England, ending in a 5-0 loss to Australia or a whitewash as it is called. Now, two years later, they’re playing again in England for the first series of 5 matches. The second and final series will be held in Australia during their (our) summer.
Will England get their revenge on last ashes whitewash? We’ll see.

More info on the topic on http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/cricket/
See you later folks!

P.S: If you know jack about cricket and didn’t understand a thing about this post, check this out: https://tribalingua.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/cricket/

Movie’s Review: Lucy

14 May

laura

by Laura

Hi folks, it’s movies time!!

 

Quick question for you: have you ever thought about what kind of power would we have if we used more the 10% of our brain capacity? How intelligent would we be? What could we do with such capacity?

 

Interesting isn’t it?

 

Well, we have a movie to illustrate this kind of situation.

 

Lucy is a  science fiction action film that takes place in a world controlled by the mafia and surrounded by drug addicted people, corrupted cops and gangs.
The name of this movie came from her protagonist, Lucy (played by Scarlett Johansson), an american woman who lives and studies in Taipei, Taiwan.

cover

 

 

Tricked by her boyfriend, she ends up working as a drug mule for Mr. Jang, a Korean mob boss and drug lord.  She is captured and a bag of a new synthetic drug, called CPH4, is forcibly sewn into her abdomen. While in captivity, waiting for a travel to Europe, Lucy is beaten by one of her captors, with a lot of kicks in her abdomen and the bag of drug breaks.

 

 

With a large quantity of this drug in her systems, Lucy increases her physical and mental capabilities, such as telekinesis – ability to not feel pain and super strength. Aware of these changes, she kills her captors and escapes. Lucy runs to an hospital to remove the bag of drugs from her system and discovers more about the drug: it is a pregnancy substance given to fetuses during prenatal development. However, in large quantities, it can provoke serious consequences to an adult human…

 

So Lucy starts searching the Internet about her condition. She gets in contact with Professor Samuel Norman (played by Morgan Freeman),  a well-known scientist and doctor whose research is based in neuroscience and the possibility of expanding the brain’s capacity.

scene

 

 

As time passed, Lucy became more aware of her skills and the progressive expansion of her brain’s capacity. She decides to meet Professor Norman and help him in his research while she still has time. This meeting will not be easy, since Mr. Jang and his gang are running after Lucy to retrieve their product.

 

With a lot of action, fights, destruction, Matrix-like movements and an interesting perspective of what we would be capable of if we could use more of our brain’s capacity, Lucy is a very good movie. It captures your attention from the beginning until the end.

scene-lucy-2

 

 

Personal opinion: I really enjoyed watching this movie. I wasn’t expecting much of it and I hadn’t seen the trailer before, so I didn’t know what it was about. It is a science fiction with a different theme from the usual – like aliens or super-gifted heroes. Mixing the subject of the movie with science and giving it a pinch of reality, where the brain capability could be expanded by a synthetic drug, it makes you think “Well… what if someone is already researching something similar to it?”. This kind of situation is more real then aliens invading our planet, you know what I mean?
Yeah, really good movie and with an amazing work done by Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. I totally recommend you to watch it.

 

“A full-out action movie – and a sober rumination on the nature of existence. It is both things, effectively and sincerely.” – San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting Sports – Wife Carrying

25 Feb

Pamela_Gnutzmann

by Pamela

After months researching, I’ve finally chosen the next sport to present you: Wife Carrying.

There are many versions of how the sport was created and all of them include men stealing women from villages in the 19th century. But it was only in 1999 that was founded the ‘North American Wife Carrying Championship’, which is held annually in mid-October at Sunday River Resort in Maine.

I bet you are imagining something dumb, like some men running with their wives on their shoulders… And that is exactly what it is!

Of course there are rules about the competitors:

  • They don’t have to be legally married
  • Helmets are required for the carried by the World Championship rules – but not for North American rules
  • The carries may use a belt – this is the only special equipment allowed
  • World Championship’s rules set a weight limit of 49 kilograms / 108 pounds, and weight belts are used to make up any difference in weight. North American rules don’t limit the weight.

There are also some simple rules about the competition:

  • All the teams – carrier and carried – run the course two at a time. The two fastest qualify for a final heat, which defines the winner of the event.
  • If a competitor drops his teammate, they will be penalized with 5 seconds added to their time.
  • Team may not advance on the course without their wives being carries, otherwise they are disqualified
  • The man can carry the woman as he wish. The most popular way is the Estonian Carry, but the Piggyback and Fireman’s Carry are also commonly used.

wife

The course length is 254 meters / 278 yards. North American courses are usually run on an uneven ground with some level of elevation change, but the World Championships are run on a flat track. Courses usually include a couple of dry obstacles and one water obstacle.

Whoever had already carried someone like that for a few steps can imagine how uncomfortable it must be to run and cross obstacles with someone hanging from your neck.

Well, it’s like we say around here “There’s always a looney for everything in this world”.

That’s all Folks! Hope you enjoyed.

World of RPG

24 Feb

Thiago Thomaz

by Thiago

Hello people, I’m Thiago. I used to be a Bamamaha before that ship sinked and this is my first post here =)
I’m here to talk to you about RPGs and this may or may not be part of an ongoing series so lets get this started then.

So, what is an RPG?

nerds

RPG stands for Role Playing Game, it can be an electronic game, or a tabletop one. In this series I’ll mostly talk about tabletops since that’s where the magic is.
A RPG is much like a game of pretend we played as little kids, but with some rules to guide us trough the challenges and balance the characters. You also have a dungeon master that is someone who guides the game, it’s plot, and what characters will meet.

dragon

Now you might think this is silly and it’s a children’s game. But then, good sir/madam, I would have to say that you are wrong.
RPGs are a great way to develop critical thinking, resource management, social skills, and also escape reality for a while.

And if you don’t believe me, well.. I’m living proof that this works. I used to be way more closed and introspective before I started sacrificing souls to Satan while playing RPG, and they helped me build lots of amazing friendships in the process.

And yeah… I think I’ll just leave it at that for now. I promise I’ll post more about RPG in the future. Starting from the following image, what exactly are these?

dices

Bye =)