The exhibition runs until 16th February next year, so, if you’re in Japan anytime between now and then you should go and see it.
I’ve been on annual leave and therefore away from work since last week, so it’s been quite difficult to make sense of the changes that were announced a few days ago.
I’d like to write more about it here on the blog, but I’ve been quietly informed by a couple of work colleagues that it’s almost certain that my employer’s monitoring the web to see what’s being said. So, not wanting to give them an excuse to fire me, I’m being super cautious about what I write online.
What I will mention on here though is that as part of the proposed changes, my current job is to be done away with, and replaced by a new and as-yet undefined role of ‘Customer Service Manager’ which, from watching the
propaganda YouTube video that was put online at the same time the changes were announced, seems to involve wandering around the ticket hall of a virtual Tube station with an iPad.
Even though I’m being careful about what I post online, TfL have gone ahead and fully embraced the whole ‘social media’ thing as they’ve set up a ‘Fit for the Future’ website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account, though I’m thinking that these are probably only meant for LU / TfL employees and not for the wider general public, so don’t be surprised if you can’t see much – if any – of the available content.
I might be able to share more on here depending on what I find out when I get back to work next week, but these may or may not be my last words on this subject.
I’ve left the comments on this post open just in case anyone has anything they want to say.
I spent a good part of yesterday evening and most of this afternoon writing a long post about yesterday’s big announcement, but after reading back what I wrote I’ve had second thoughts about posting it online.
Instead, I’ll just mention that I’ve decided to start using my Flickr account again as I was getting pretty fed up of losing my most precious photos to hard drive failures, computer upgrades, cloud storage limits and the like.
I’ve uploaded a few of the test pics that I took walking around Richmond over the last couple of days, so if you’re also on Flickr then feel free to add me as a contact.
And if you’re not on Flickr you can still see some of my latest uploads here on the blog.
If you haven’t already seen this, I recommend you go and have a look at the Aizu Wakamatsu station webcam.
I realise that it probably isn’t very interesting to most of you – after all, it’s just a live stream of the platforms of a Japanese railway station, but the resolution is so high you can clearly see the passengers walking along the platforms, hear the announcements and watch the trains come and go.
Now imagine if London Underground did this: views of every station platform – well, the ones in the central area (that’s Zone 1 for you regular Tube commuters) at least, broadcast on the web via a high-quality live stream. You’d then be able to check beforehand on an Internet-connected device – either via a web browser on a desktop or notebook computer or via an app on your smartphone or tablet – how congested (or not, depending on the line you want to use, and the time and day of the week) the platforms at your particular station were before you made your way down underground.
Most of the IT network infrastructure to do this is already in place thanks to TfL’s commercial Wi-Fi provider Virgin Media, and the installation of high quality webcams on each platform could be achieved relatively easily at most Tube stations, most likely at minimal cost too.
I’m sure there are people out there who might object to this for privacy reasons or those who claim that such a system could potentially be misused by ‘terrorists’, but the Tube is a public space that’s already covered pretty much in it’s entirety by CCTV cameras, albeit ones that are controlled and operated by LU, but I would argue that giving the public access to a live stream of railway station platforms would actually increase security by deterring potential terrorists.
The only drawback I foresee would be in the event of an incident such as a person under a train, where the feed from the camera on the affected platform might need to be switched off until the incident was over, but even that, technically speaking, probably isn’t a difficult thing to do.
But before any of this could happen, LU would almost certainly need the agreement of it’s staff as well as that of the Mayor, the TfL board and the various railway unions, but it absolutely is feasible. After all, it’s already been done at Aizu Wakamatsu station.
I’ll leave the comments open. Discuss.
The Hobonichi shall be my planner / diary for 2014, and replaces the MUJI desk and pocket diaries that I normally buy, and use to keep track of my work shifts, annual leave and any overtime I work.
Interestingly, MUJI’s diaries, which are usually on sale at the end of October don’t seem to be available to buy just yet, although you can still order one of their academic diaries should you want or need one.
UPDATE – 07-11-13 – And it looks like MUJI have pulled the academic diaries from their website
I did have a plan to to go to Camden Market yesterday, to hunt out a new scarf for the winter and maybe a cheap sweater too. But despite having a whole extra hour in bed thanks to the clocks going back early on Sunday morning I still didn’t wake up until well after midday, meaning it was a bit late to make the journey all the way from west to north London and back before it got dark.
As it turned out the weather wasn’t great anyway, so I stayed home and watched the ‘Scary Kawaii Special’ edition of Kawaii International on NHK World instead. One of the presenters, Mari Sekine’s ‘ghost’ sweater reminded me of a cute cardigan Yuko wore when she visited the UK a couple of years ago.
As for the rest of my weekend I’ve done little except a bit housework, play some GTA V and watch a few movies, but it’s been good to be able to relax at home and not have to go to work in the bad weather.
When I do go back to work I’ll be on night shifts and will have to spend my Halloween night stuck in a haunted Tube station, but the one thing I’d like to do on Halloween if I ever get the night off work is to go on the Hampton Court Palace ghost tour as the Palace is supposed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the entire country. It also happens to be one of my favourite buildings too.
Oh, and you might well be wondering how I know for certain that the station where I work really is haunted, right? Well, I might tell you all about it in another blog post.
The videos explore the periodic table of chemical elements and their associated properties in an interesting and fun way.
Just have a look at this video about gold, which was filmed inside the bullion vaults of the Bank of England. Who says chemistry’s dull?
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck off the coast of north east Japan, and a tsunami advisory issued for Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba Prefectures. The tsunami’s height is expected to be 1m.
** UPDATE – Earthquake magnitude revised up to M7.3 ** [Link to BBC News story]
** UPDATE2 – Tsunami measuring 55cm (1.8ft) detected at Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in Miyagi. Plant able to withstand 17m (55ft) tsunami ** [via Hiroko Tabuchi's Twitter feed]
** UPDATE3 – “Officials at Japan’s Meteorological Agency say they observed tsunami at Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture at 3:07AM, local time. The height of the tsunami was 30 centimetres.” ** – NHK
** UPDATE4 – 20:08BST – All tsunami advisories lifted **
Despite finishing my night shifts almost two weeks ago I’m still not sleeping properly.
I went to bed nice and early last night but was awake again after just four hours. Hopefully tonight will be better.
My gameplan for the rest of the week is to keep my head down and try to get the rest of my early shifts over and done with as quickly and painlessly as possible. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
A while ago I set up a Goodreads account but I hadn’t really been using it until now. If you have a look in the far right-hand sidebar of the blog you’ll notice that I’ve shoved a widget in there which displays what book or books I’m currently reading.
The iOS app that goes along with the widget has a handy barcode scanner feature, so any books that I scan and add to my Goodreads account ‘currently-reading’ shelf should now show up in the sidebar. Nice and easy. Just don’t expect it to be updated too often.
If you’re also using Goodreads feel free to add me as a friend – my profile can be found here.