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Sunday, May 30, 2010

LAMP Harajuku celebrates its 10th anniversary

Image source: SO-EN

As Jane Marple is celebrating its 25th anniversary this spring, it is also another famous name celebrating an anniversary - 10 years, it’s not that bad - LAMP Harajuku which is ravishing our eyes with a revisited fashion inspired by 60’s and – believe it or not – a Czechoslovakian movie. Located between Omotesando and Harajuku Station, LAMP Harajuku will guide your shopping into their house looking-like shop, where you would stay all day long...

The concept of the shop – you might be aware on how Japanese designers like to play with concept in fashion, whether for the fashion itself than for the box – is based on girls duality, a girl who could be cute and cruel, allying beauty and toughness. And this inspiration of duality, they picked it up in the 1966 Czechoslovakian movie Sedmikrásky – known as Daisies under its US title – a feminist movie, a farce about war, with a virginal floating image and weird enough to please Japanese audience. If you look at the movie and then visit the shop, you would certainly feel a similar mood.

LAMP Harajuku distributes mainly Japanese brands, like Mina Perhonen, Sowa, yab-yum (cherished by Mori Girls), COSMIC WONDER Light Source, Les Briqu’à braque and Vida=Feliz… All brands based on some folklore image from eastern and northern Europe and interested in developing the design itself but also caring a lot about fabrics, trying to develop materials and new ways of development (an ecologic approach indeed).

Mina Perhovenfor born in 1967 - same timing as our Czechoslovakian movie – takes its inspiration form a trip to Scandinavia. Yab-yum - who found its name into Tantrism, the expression YAB-YUM, according to what says their profile, being the image depicting sexual relationsfound - got its folklore inspiration during a trip to India although its relation to Indian folklore, doesn't seem obvious. If you look at their collection, it is nothing like the concept highly and precisely described in their profile but certainly an image inspired in the shape and mood by Nepal, Tibet and a fantasized American Indian look. Embroidered emblems and plants motifs from COSMIC WONDER Light Source found a place of choice in LAMP Harajuku, playing in its shop design with the same type of motifs. Les Briqu’à Braque when playing the Matriochka look isn’t scared of assembling strong colors and strong designs (especially in its new collection 2010).

Of course, this type of fashion, based on development, natural materials, new ways of designing and creating, run by a Japan based crew, has a price. Camisoles would cost between 15 000 and 35 000 yens, dresses between 30 000 and 55 000, leggings and pants between 15 000 and 20 000 yens.

But even if you're not planning to spend all of your savings at LAMP Harajuku, you’re not forbidden to visit it, spare some time in its beautiful house, and have a look at their gallery. Because, that’s another main interest of LAMP Harajuku, to offer a gallery where you can see paintings, installations and hand made accessories. And if you still want to bring a souvenir from this wonderful place, you could still have a look at the funny candles created by Vida=Feliz.

Let's also take a minute to think about what we spend in fast-fashion (H&M, Forever 21) and how we cumulate simple and cheap clothes that we keep on renewing because we are getting bored of them after only a few days. Think also that these cheap clothes might be made by the hands of a kid or simply by the exploitation of adults. It might be more useful and independent as a thinking, to save money for some pieces of collection that you would treasure because you would have thought over before buying them, even if it means that your closet will be less well-lined. Certainly, there is less chances that you get bored, and also, that you see them every day on another girl. Independence in fashion has a price, but it might also be a way to revise our consumer behavior, not simply buying for buying, but because we know we will treasure the desired item, handmade and manufactured by experts hands.

Author: Valerie Fujita

Giro d´Italia 2010 - Stage 21 via La Gazzetta dello Sport.it

AirAsia offering tax only fares to Bangkok

AirAsia is offering 10,000 tax only fares from its international destinations to Bangkok from 28 May to 1 June, 2010 for travel between 7 June and 31 August, 2010.
The low cost airline through its travel holiday division AirAsiaGo is also offering guests traveling into Bangkok free night offers (stay, pay promo) for hotel stays in Bangkok including free transfers and free half day city tours.

The international destinations included in this special five-day promo are Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang), Myanmar (Rangoon), Cambodia (Phnom Penh), Singapore, Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi), China (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau, Hong Kong), Taiwan (Taipei) and Indonesia (Bali, Jakarta).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Giro d´Italia 2010 - Stage 20 via Live-Radsport.ch

Foto : Sabine Jacob, www.eventfoto-jacob.de

World's Strongest Beer

Man's favourite recreational drug just got much stronger.

Alcohol is the oldest and most commonly used of all recreational drugs, with annual sales exceeding USD 1000 billion a year. Beer has been the world's most popular alcohol since well before the invention of the wheel with annual sales now exceeding USD$500 Billion – roughly the GDP of Indonesia, the 18th largest GDP of any nation.

Read the full article at Gizmag 

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Friday, May 28, 2010

This Is Your Brain's Anti-Drug

What's your anti-drug? Well, it might well be hemopressin. At least, that's probably your anti-marijuana.

Hemopressin is a small protein that was discovered in the brains of rodents in 2003: its name comes from the fact that it's a breakdown product of hemoglobin and that it can lower blood pressure.

No-one seems to have looked to see whether hemopressin is found in humans, yet, but it seems very likely. Almost everything that's in your brain is in a mouse's brain, and vice versa.

Pharmacologically, hemopressin's literally an anti-marijuana molecule: it's an inverse agonist at CB1 receptors, which are the ones targeted by the psychoactive compounds in marijuana, and also by the neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids turn CB1 receptors on, hemopressin turns them off.

Artificial CB1 blockers were developed as weight loss drugs, and one of them, rimonabant, made it onto the market - but it was banned after it turned out that it caused depression and anxiety in many people.

So hemopressin is Nature's rimonabant: in which case, it ought to do what rimonabant does, which is to reduce appetite. And indeed a Journal of Neuroscience paper just out from Godd et al shows that it does just that, in rats and mice: injections of hemopressin reduced feeding.

Interestingly, this worked even when it was injected by the standard route under the skin - many proteins can't enter the brain if they're given this way, because they can't cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning that they have to be injected directly into the brain, which makes researching them much harder. So hemopressin, with any luck, will be pretty easy to study. Any volunteers for the first human trial...?

ResearchBlogging.orgDodd, G., Mancini, G., Lutz, B., & Luckman, S. (2010). The Peptide Hemopressin Acts through CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors to Reduce Food Intake in Rats and Mice Journal of Neuroscience, 30 (21), 7369-7376 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5455-09.2010

Fleur Jolley

Happy Ending Massage

The ultimate happy ending massage. Worth every penny.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Briton facing death penalty over redshirt riot breaks down in Thailand court

A Briton facing jail, or even the possibility of a death sentence, for his alleged part in redshirt rioting in Bangkok last week, broke down in tears in court today, saying his incarceration is distressing his elderly mother.

Led into court barefoot, Savage was manacled in leg-irons, and wearing prison-issue orange shirt and shorts. He struggled with guards and insisted he was being blamed for the crimes of others.

"We're being scapegoated. Where's all the other people who were in the protest? … We're being made scapegoats. We're political prisoners."

But facing a judge for the first time since being arrested at the weekend, he broke down sobbing. "This is hurting my mother, she's 80 years old. Can't anybody help me?"

Savage appeared in court alongside an Australian man Conor Purcell, who berated the judge, saying that the court had no authority to try him.

"Nobody in this country has authority over me. I'm not under Thai law. I'm only obeying international law. I'm head of the red gang," he yelled at the court, brushing off efforts by embassy officials to calm him down.

Purcell, who also claimed to have been beaten in prison, is facing similar charges to Savage. He is accused of inciting violence through a series of incendiary speeches made on the redshirts' main protest stage.

Both Savage and Purcell had their detentions in Bangkok remand prison extended under the emergency decree for another week. They will reappear in court on 4 June.

Led from the court, Savage was again defiant: "They won't gag us. This is a political case … they're charging me with a criminal case." 

Read more at The Guardian

Ed. Looks like Savage now realises his 15mins of fame might be his last, ever. Purcell ain't got the message yet.

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Giro d´Italia 2010 - Stage 18 via highroadsports.com

Do Genes Remember?

Almost all neuroscientists believe that memories are stored in the connections between neurons: synapses. Learning, then, consists of the strengthening of some synapses, the weakening of others, and maybe even the formation of entirely new ones. But a paper from Catherine Miller and colleagues suggests that changes to DNA are also involved: Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory.

DNA is a series of bases, and fundamentally there are just four: C, A, T and G. However, the Cs and the As can be methylated, i.e. modified by the addition of a very simple methyl chemical group. They then stay that way until they get demethylated in the reverse process. Methylating a gene generally reduces its expression.

It's a bit like writing notes in pencil on top of a printed document: it doesn't change the underlying genetic sequence, but it's a semi-permanent change and it can be inherited by dividing cells. Methylation is a classic example of an epigenetic change, and epigenetics is very hot right now.Miller et al found that learning induces the methylation of a gene called calcineurin (CaN) in the cells of the frontal cortex of rats. These changes appeared within 1 day of the learning event, and they persisted for at least 30 days (the longest time studied - they could well last much longer). Methylation of another gene, reelin, was also increased, but only for a few hours.

When they blocked these changes by injecting a DNA methylation inhibitor into the frontal cortex, it caused amnesia - even if the drug was given 30 days after the learning had taken place. In other words, the methylation inhibitors somehow erased the memory traces. These authors have previously reported that the same kind of learning causes a short-lived increase in methylation in the hippocampus. Taken together with these data, this fits with the well-known theory that memory traces start off being stored in the hippocampus and are then somehow transferred to the cortex later.

This kind of research has a bit of a history. The idea that memories are stored in DNA has led some to theorize that memories can be inherited. It also reminds me of the work of psychologist and Unabomber-victim James McConnell, who claimed that planarian worms can learn information by eating the ground-up remains of other worms who knew something...

These data are very interesting, but they don't imply anything quite so exciting. The pattern of methylation seemed entirely random (except in the sense that it was targeted at certain genes) - so rather than encoding information per se, the DNA changes were acting as a way of reducing CaN gene expression. Most likely, the reduction in CaN was limited to certain cells, and these were the cells that formed the connections that encoded the information.

ResearchBlogging.orgMiller, C., Gavin, C., White, J., Parrish, R., Honasoge, A., Yancey, C., Rivera, I., Rubio, M., Rumbaugh, G., & Sweatt, J. (2010). Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory Nature Neuroscience, 13 (6), 664-666 DOI: 10.1038/nn.2560

Sin Sister 2 trailer with English subtitles

Mix Up YouTube Tunes With Muziic DJ

The author of one of our favorite music apps for Facebook,Muziic, is back with a new app that brings some pizazz to your YouTube music listening sessions. Muziic DJ is a web application that turns YouTube into a virtual DJ studio, enabling you to create playlists and mix the tracks into a seamless party mix.

The app lets you search YouTube for tracks and albums, which you can play in two virtual “decks” or save as playlists for later. Features such as Auto DJ (which automatically switches to the next track) and crossfade make the DJ-ing experience quite enjoyable. The app also supports some simple effects such as “brake” and “reverb,” as well as additional loops and sounds you can play over the songs.

Read more at Mashable 

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photoshop Day Cream keeps you young...

Expat school reports: British schools in Thailand - Telegraph

Expats in Thailand have been holding their breath as anti-government protests brought violence to the streets of central Bangkok this month, and at least three of our featured schools were closed for a period during the trouble.

But away from the protests, Britons have many quality establishments in the country from which to choose, while a British-style education is increasingly sought-after by Thais themselves. All featured schools take pupils from the early years through to 18.

Schools covered in the report are:

  • Bangkok Pattana School
  • Harrow International School, Bangkok
  • The Regent's School Pattaya
  • Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok

Go to telegraph.co.uk for full article.



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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TTTT - Time for Top Thai Talent........

Sorry guys - eye candy for the girls this time.....

If you want to see more of the same go to Lyn's Lakorn Blog.

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Briton faces jail or execution for inciting Thai redshirts to torch mall

A Briton arrested in Thailand faces years in jail, or even a death sentence, for urging redshirt rioters to burn down a shopping centre.

Jeff Savage, a 48-year-old married man, originally from Tonbridge in Kent, has been accused by Thailand's prime minister of being a long-time member of the anti-government redshirt movement and a key agitator in the riots which saw swaths of the capital burn last week.

In his first prison interview since being arrested on Sunday, Savage, who has lived in Thailand for nine years, told the Guardian he was being fitted up for crimes he did not commit. He denied he was involved in burning down the Central World shopping centre in the heart of Bangkok's shopping district.

"I am being stitched up, being fitted up. I thought it was just for overstaying my visa, but now this is serious," Savage said from behind bars in Bangkok remand prison.

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European Handmade Bicycle Exhibition 2010

10 Ways to Eat Healthily at a Thai Restaurant

A further interesting post on the Eat This Not That site is a post on 10 Ways to Eat Healthily at a Thai Restaurant. Click on the link for the full article but the section that caught my eye was the benefits of eating 'pet mak' meals. 


It appears that if you can stand the heat, tell the chef to turn it up. That burn on your tongue comes from a class of pepper-based phytochemicals called capsaicins, which have been shown to clear congestion, lower cholesterol, and boost metabolism to reduce body fat. Taiwanese researchers even found that exposing developing fat cells to capsaicins caused them to die before they matured. And hey, who says you can't break a little sweat at the dinner table? 

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Eat This, Not That

Eat This, Not That is a really informative site on what's healthy and also unhealthy, to eat and drink.

On the latter theme, their recent post on the 20 Worst Drinks in America 2010 contains some staggering facts on the junk we throw down our necks. They pull no punches with big brands like Starbucks, Dairy Queen, McDonalds and Baskin-Robbins all taking hits. For example, the following is in 3rd place overall for the worst drive-thru shake:

McDonalds Triple Thick Chocolate Shake (large 32 fl oz).
It contains 1,160 calories, 27g of fat and a whopping 168g of sugar.
The drink is the equivalent of eating 13 McDonald's Baked Hot Apple Pies.

Not only does this shake have more than half your day’s caloric and saturated fat allotment and more sugar than you’d find in Willy Wonka’s candy lab, but Ronald even finds a way to sneak in a full day of cholesterol-spiking trans fat. The scariest part about this drink is that it’s most likely America’s most popular milk shake.

Ed. It's worth checking out the other 19 drinks on the list. Not all are sold in Thailand but I reckon you'll be amazed by the fat and sugar content of many other branded drinks. 

PhoneFinder: Find & Compare Smart Phones

With new phones coming out every week, it is hard to keep track of what’s good and what’s not. Plus, not every phone works for everybody. GSMArena has put together a cool PhoneFinder that lets you find & compare smart phones by specifying your criteria.
You can specify up to 40 different factors including price, height, weight, display size, Dual SIM, resolution, camera, bluetooth, GPRS, memory card slot, touchscreen and many others. You can specify the network bands you want the phone to work on for e.g. 2G or 3G. If you don’t care about most of these features, just leave them to “It Doesn’t Matter“.
Keep in mind though that the more features you specify, the narrower your search. You can also focus on phones that are available or phones that are coming soon, discontinued, canceled or even rumored.
  • Search for a phone that suits you.
  • Choose from over 40 different features.
  • Specify price range to narrow down results.
  • Restrict results by entering a model name.
  • No registration required.
  • Similar tools: TryPhone
Visit PhoneFinder @ www.gsmarena.com/search.php3

Whopper just walking the dog!!

Chaz - is it Whopper?


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Club Blu Jailhouse Party

Looks like yet another good night in Club Blu.

We have long time, short time and now stir time. Would love some 'stir time' with 3rd from left, (front row).....

Photo from Alistair Gall's Album

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Monday, May 24, 2010

I Blame the Russians for all this Public Interruptus...

In the past few months, a number of Russian couples have been interrupted during interruptus (coitus) on Pattaya beaches. It seems to have caught on so now even the locals are trying it......

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TTT - Time for Top Talent

fMRI In 1000 Words

I thought I'd write a short and simple intro to how fMRI works. Most such explanations start with the physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and eventually explain how it lets you look at brain activity. I'm doing it the other way round, because I like brains more than physics.

So - everyone knows that fMRI is a way of measuring neural activation. But what does it mean for a neuron to be active? All brain cells are "active": they're alive, firing electrical action potentials, and sending out neurotransmitters to other cells at synapses. If a certain cell gets more activated, that means that it's firing action potentials faster, or sending out more chemical signals. It's mostly synaptic activity which fMRI picks up.

How do you measure neural activation? You can do it directly by sticking in an electrode to measure action potentials, or use a glass tube to measure neurotransmitter levels. You can put electrodes on the scalp to pick up the electrical fields created by lots of neurons firing. But fMRI relies on an indirect approach: when a brain cell is firing hard, it uses more energy than when it's not.

Cells make energy from sugar and oxygen; oxygen is transported in the blood. So when a given cell is working hard, it uses more oxygen, and the oxygen content of nearby blood falls. Synaptic activity, in particular, uses loads of oxygen. So you might expect that highly active parts of the brain would have less oxygen. Counter-intuitively, they actually show an increase in blood oxygen, which is probably a kind of "overcompensation" for the activity (although there may be an "initial dip" in oxygen, it's very brief.)

So blood oxygen is a proxy for activation. How do you measure it? Oxygen in blood binds to haemoglobin, a protein that contains iron (which is why blood is red, like rust, and tastes metallic...like iron). By a nice coincidence, haemoglobin with oxygen is red; haemoglobin without oxygen is blueish or purple. This is why your veins, containing deoxygenated blood, are blue and why you turn blue if you're suffocating.

You could measure neural activity by literally looking to see how red the brain is. This is actually possible, but obviously it's a bit impractical. Luckily, as well as being blue, deoxygenated haemoglobin acts as a magnet. So blood is magnetic, and the strength of its magnetic field depends on how oxygenated it is. That's really useful, but how do you measure those magnetic fields?

Using an extremely strong magnet - like the liquid-helium-cooled superconducting coil at the heart of every MRI scanner, for example - you can make some of the protons in the body align in a special way. If you then fire some radio waves at these aligned protons, they can absorb them ("resonate"). As soon as you stop the radio waves, they'll release them back at you, like an echo - which is why the most common form of fMRI scan is called Echo-Planar Imaging (EPI). All matter contains protons; in the human body, most of them are found in water.

Each proton only responds to a specific frequency of radio waves. This frequency is determined by the strength of the magnetic field in which it sits - stronger fields, higher frequencies. Crucially, the magnetic fields surrounding deoxygenated blood therefore shift the radio frequency at which nearby protons respond. Suppose a certain bit of the brain resonates at frequency X. If some deoxygenated blood appears nearby, it will stop them from responding to that frequency - by making them respond to a different one.

fMRI is essentially a way of measuring the degree to which protons in each part of the brain don't respond at the "expected" resonant frequency X, due to interference from nearby deoxygenated haemoglobin. But how do you know what resonant frequency to expect? This is the clever bit: simply by varying the magnetic field across different parts of the brain.

Say you make the magnetic field at the left side of the head slightly stronger than the one at the right - a magnetic gradient. The resonant frequency will therefore vary across the head: the further left, the higher the frequency. This is what the "gradient coils" in an MRI machine do.

Gradient coils therefore translate spatial location into magnetic field strength. And as we know, magnetic field strength = resonant frequency. So spatial location = magnetic field strength = resonant frequency. All you then need to do is to hit the brain with a burst of radio waves of all different frequencies - a kind of white noise called the "RF Pulse" - and record the waves you get back.

The strength of the radio waves at a given frequency therefore corresponds to the amount of protons in the appropriate place - so you can work out the density of matter in the brain based on the frequencies you get. Also, different kinds of tissues in the body respond differently to excitation; bone responds differently to brain grey matter, for example. So you can build up an image of brain structure by using magnetic gradients.

Of course you can't scan the whole brain at once: you scan it in slices, divided up into roughly cubic units called voxels. Typically in fMRI these are 3x3x3 mm or so, but they can be much smaller for specialized applications. The smaller the voxels, the longer the scan takes because it requires more gradient shifting. The loud noises that occur during MRI scans are caused by the gradient coils changing the gradients extremely quickly in order to scan the whole brain. Modern scanners typically image the whole brain once every 3 seconds, but you can go even faster.

As we've seen, deoxygenated blood degrades the image nearby, in what's called the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) response. Neural activation increases oxygen and literally makes the brain light up; you could, in theory, see the changes with the naked eye. In fact, they're tiny, and there is always a lot of background noise as well, so you need statistical analysis to determine which parts light up, and then map this onto the brain as colored blobs. But that's another story...

Truevisions UBC Hi-Def for Sports and Movies

Truevisions UBC Hi-Def feed covers 2 channels only. One for sports and one for movies.

Benefits include:
  • 5 x picture resolution (program prroviders will upscale non hi-def material)
  • Dolby Digital surround (selected programs only)
  • Wide screen 16:9 aspect ratio

The Hi-Def service is for Platinum and Gold subscribers only.

On a Thai language poster advertising the service it looked to me as if the cost of the Hi-Def service is an extra Bt590/- per month which I guess is for the digital decoder. Don't hold me to this as my Thai language skills are basic, If you are interested in Hi-Def , please  phone 02-7252525 or call in to your local Truevisions shop to see a demo of the Hi-Def service.  

Pattaya Rag


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Saturday, May 22, 2010

[100 Lolitas & Gothic Lolitas Testimonies] Week 7 - Sanja, Slovenia

How and when did you discover Lolita and Gothic Lolita fashion?
Over Mana-Sama, about 4 or 5 years ago.

Could you tell us what are your favorite brands and why? Can you find them easily?
Moi meme Moitie, it has the special something. If you know where to search it's easy to find ;)

What is your favorite Non-Japanese fashion brand? Why?
Hmm, that's difficult to say. I absolutely adore the pre-fall 2010 collection of Versace (take a look: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/2010PF-VERSACE) though it doesn't have anything to do with Lolita (but with Japan ^^), but also some collections of Gaultier, Chanel, La Croix, ... I'm happy that designers lately use the lolita-shape more often.

How did you feel when you bought your first Lolita outfit? How did you feel when you first wore it? Which brand was it?
I have bought my first Moitie outfit in Paris (in the shop called Harajuku). Then I wore it the whole week (in Paris) and felt awesome ^__^ And people liked it too!!

What is the type of reaction when people see you dressed up in Lolita clothing? Your friends? People in the street?
It depends on the country. In Slovenia, where I live, people stare at you or just stop talking and make big eyes. But in Germany and especially in Paris it's great. They can’t stop to tell you how awesome you look. Even if they don’t speak English, they try to tell you that they love your shoes and many people ask for internet connections to get such clothes. It's only sad when some people takes pics of you like of an exotic Zoo Animal then just walk away... or the ones who think you're a whore/satanist/[insert mainstream band]-fan etc.

What was the decision factor for the purchase of your latest fashion item?
Let me think... My latest fashion-to-be item was 2 kg fake fur ^^ But the last Lolita item was a black Moi-Même-Moitié blouse. I liked it, I needed it, I bought it.

Do you see any difference in the way that Japanese girls and western girls wear Lolita?
I think the Japanese Lolitas are much more "free" and creative. Out of Europe, girls are so crazy about following all the "rules" :/

Do you think the fact that now Western girls wear Lolita fashion will change the way Japanese Lolita fashion designers think and create?
I don't think so. ... Maybe only the sizes. But not the design or something.

Do you think that Europe or United States, or any other foreign countries are now ready to see Lolita Fashion invade their streets?
If some they are, it’s probably Germany and France.

Do you think there is a best way to spread Lolita fashion?
"Best" ... I think it's like with every other "new" thing. Spread it but carefully and friendly and it will work. Just don't make it a fake wannabe mainstream...

Would you like to see some specialized magazines translated in your own language? Would you like a new magazine issued and produced in your own language and focusing on Lolita fashion in your country?
Since I'm probably the only Lolita in my country I'm ok with any German/French/English/Japanese magazines.

Is there any Lolita community (ies) in your country? Could you list them and their website address?
Yes, it's the mighty imperium of Immortal Angel, starring me and my closet ^^

Do you have any message to worldwide Lolitas?
Stop destroying yourself with some imaginary rules, fights and bad comments and just enjoy Lolita. Take more care about your inner hygiene, politeness and good spirit.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Issue 18

Zipp talks with Bjarne Riis

Giro d´Italia 2010 - Stage 13 via COLNAGO.com

More on Farang involvement in the Central World Fire from Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond has written a lengthy article on Jeffrey Savage's involvement in the arson attacks on Bangkok with some additional quotes from Savage. One of the most worrying is:

The war is over for the time being.  But in two months time things will start up again. The attacks will begin”.

Given this guy appears to have had prior knowledge of the arson attacks and admits to being at Channel 3 when that was torched would suggest he could also know something of the Reds longer term strategy. I suspect the police will want a lengthy chat with him and it won't be over a cup of tea.  

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Higher taxes on holidays, marriages and driving for Brits

Small investors, married couples, motorists and holidaymakers are likely to be hit with tax rises under plans unveiled by the coalition Government. Cameron confirmed that the coalition Government would push ahead with plans to increase sharply capital gains tax on the sale of second homes, shares and buy-to-let properties.

The plans, which could see the tax more than double from 18 per cent to 40 or even 50 per cent, will be set out in detail in next month's Budget.The tax increases, which will affect the middle classes, are designed to protect lower paid workers and help pay Britain's debts.

More money is expected to be raised by changing the way flights are taxed, which could add more than £300 to the cost of a long-haul family

Trevor Brown, post-humanism and free immorality

Trevor Brown, if this name doesn’t tell you something right away, however, if you're tied to Japanese culture - or rather say Tokyoite culture - for some time, you've probably seen his well-rounded juvenile style somewhere... Since the Tokyo-based English illustrator is neither more nor less than the illustrator of the cover of the sulfur novel Snakes and earrings (2003) by Hitomi Kanehara. So what makes this "gaijin" (1) artist so especially noteworthy in the Tokyoite landscape at the point of chaining number of books in his own name, being sought by galleries around the world, magazines fan of underground art, and many music artists whose he produced cd covers (Venetian Snares, Whitehouse)?

As the fetishist illustrator Trevor Brown is dealing with the new success of his own Alice’s vision (Editions Treville, 2010), we thought it was the occasion to review shortly why Trevor Brown is an ideal figure for a modern art in Japan, combining neo-pop culture and ero-guro, kawaii (cute) and Kowai (scary).

If Trevor Brown follows a classic route - attending an art school, design studios, working in the advertising... - he calls it himself a very boring route. In a post-punk industrial England, where we could still afford to say and do anything, it is in 1985 that Trevor Brown releases his taste for the visually and politically incorrect, in booklets under such provocative titles as “graphic autopsy” or “abused images”, distributed on the sly in underground music circles. But England – as soon everywhere in the Old Europe, where it would become impossible to have the slightest thought of politically incorrect or having a taste for provocation - was being increasingly castrating and started censoring artists, Trevor Brown fled to Tokyo in 1993, with her companion, the teddy bear artist Izumi Konomi (Hippie Coco).

Trevor Brown could be by his style brought in the same type of art with the American painter Mark Ryden. Indeed, his well-rounded juvenile characters wear the mask of innocence, they merrily play with cuddly toys or unappealing insects on washed colors and pastels background, death and religion are desecrated... However, his artwork is nothing like Mark Ryden’s. Because if Mark Ryden is a post-surrealist artist - and yet politically very acceptable - Trevor Brown’s work gets its interests in something pretty post-humanistic (future man and machine connections, and the mutations emerged from these new connections). Through illustrations combining childhood, SM, gothic, erotic and grotesque, violence, Trevor Brown likes to throw us in the face pictures at in the meantime very cute and highly provocative, even outrageous.

In fact, Trevor Brown's art is not for everyone! If the painter somewhat chastened himself with his latest opus, Alice, he nevertheless stopped shaking the jar of Japanese mental illnesses - but also mental insanities of any hyper-capitalistic society, we mustn’t forget that United-States have their share of deviant deceases - children becoming objects, SM gleefully rubbing death, innocent dolls revealing themselves with a perverse nature ready to fulfill their masters’ pleasures, all of this against a cyber punk canvas - would it be surprising when Tokyo is the scene of the cyber punk literature Bible, Neuromancer (William Gibson, 1984)? And if we find in Trevor Brown’s art a taste for any kind of medical scenes, it is not surprising when you know that he has a longtime friendship with the pioneer of so-called "medical art", the French novelist, photographer, illustrator and filmmaker, Romain Slocombe.

Yes, Trevor Brown is a sick mind creator! Explore his work and you’ll surely see the most unpleasant facets of what human nature can bring. Yes, you will surely cute dolls in bondage sceneries, teenagers looking puppets playing innocently with sex toys, young mutilated girls, bruises, scars… A massive brain attack of perversion, fetish, organic-bloody themes that challenge the spectator. But indeed, as Trevor Brown’s artwork is not for everyone, underground art neither. As Tomomi Kazumoto (who admires Trevor Brown) said : “It is sometimes the transgressor nature itself that decides if an artwork is underground or not; it is even by the transgressor nature that positions can be decided; radical allows anyone to easily know if a world repels him/her or not.”

But instead of thinking Trevor Brown is the sick maniac, think over what his work says about the dark side of human nature (and this, in any era of the mankind’s evolution) and the evolution of a too modern society losing its way. In the other hand, realize how Japan with its strict code of behavior, its well controlled society, is actually a land where you can still be politically incorrect, when our western societies are in reality damaging and slavering us with their attempt of stranding morality. More than a simply deviant art, Trevor Brown’s work is a field where we can think over our modern world and where it is heading to.

Author: Valerie Fujita

(1) gaijin: in reality gaikokujin, "someone from an outside country", reduced to "someone from outside" 

Farang predicting attack on Central World regrets.....

A British Red Shirt who was shown on YouTube promising to burn down a Bangkok shopping centre has expressed regret for his words and insisted that he had nothing to do with the arson attack that destroyed the luxury mall four days later.

Jeff Savage, of Tonbridge in Kent, said that his outburst, which has caused outrage among Thai internet users, was sarcastic and came at a moment of frustration because of the imminent suppression of the Red Shirt demonstrators by the Thai Army.

“I hold my hands up — it was me, and I’m ashamed that I lost my temper,” he told The Times by telephone from his home in the Thai resort town of Pattaya. “I was tired and emotional and full of steroids. I said we’re going to burn down Central — I was being sarcastic.”

via Times Online

Ed. Brits and Pattaya to take a beating for this. I cannot believe Mr. Savage will be a guest of Thailand for much longer. Unless he is a guest of the Bangkok Hilton that is. I find the whole think extraordinary. What was he thinking????  

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Hunt the ATM - new game for Thailand

With all bank branches still closed today most ATMs are now out of cash. That includes ATMs at bank branches. The only one I found with cash this morning was a single Bangkok Bank ATM in Carrefour.

Happy hunting.

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19 May 2010 - Introducing

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