The Specialist

Again I was in the lecture of transportation technology.
The professor here usually talks just along the textbook. But today was special. Today we learned about optical transport, where he talked a lot besides the content in the textbook. He also spoke much faster than usual. I had to write it down on my notebook in so good a hurry, that I used only rough Hiragana. A miserable description!

Now I’m sure, that he is a specialist in this field.


Abbreviation Hell

Today I was looking through a textbook of transportation technology which is used in the lecture in the Univ. Then I remembered a little thing happened in the lecture last week.

At the end of the lecture we were asked to fill an answer sheet with a few questions about what we had learned on that day and submit it to the professor, before we go out.
All questions were easy, and its answers were written in the textbook. Possibly it was not to evaluate a student’s ability, but only to test “whether he read the textbook enough.”

Then a student, with whom I had never talked before, came to me and asked, “Excuse me, can you answer this question?”
“This” was as follows: How many devices could be connected and how many communications could made at the same time through ISDN?
I showed him the answer, that is, where on the textbook it was written.

Now I don’t think he was such lazy that he would not read the textbook. Instead, I guess, he was upset, facing with the abbreviation ISDN – a term in the past.

It was more than a decade, that in Japan ISDN was introduced as the next generation of internet connection, superior to the conventional telephone wire. The major merit of it was “Daddy can see the web while Mom is talking on the phone.” On the other hand, the communication was not so fast. A few years later ISDN was mostly replaced with DSL. At that time, the student must have been infant.

When I was a student, I had to cope with a lot of “new” technical terms expressed in abbreviation. Students nowadays would be to handle “old” terms in addition. That will be more difficult, because they will never experience what they really would be.

Suits for an Engineer

Today we went shopping – my husband needed a new suit. Although he is an engineer and he travels to install, repair or operate Electron/X-ray/Atomic force/Tunnel Microscope, he has to visit his customer in a suit. Therefore he carries heavy tools and parts, steps into a narrow space, put his arms between stingy LSI boards, in a suit. In consequence, his suits get worn pretty soon.

We were in a store which sold ready-made suits. Many products were hanging on the arrays of racks.
The price was labeled on each piece. All cost around 60,000 yen ($600 US). We felt that might be expensive. Then the shop assistant came to us and told, “If you buy two pieces, we will provide you the second one for 1,000 yen.”

That meant, if we bought two pieces of suits, each would cost around 30,000 yen.
What a curious way of sale!
Maybe the shop wanted to say the quality of their product were 60,000 for each. Moreover, they wanted to sell as many pieces as possible.

OK, clothes would not perish so soon. As my husband is a busy man, he would not get fat so soon, either. We bought two.

Again we wish some day every worker would be socially admitted to wear most suitable clothes for him. It would be difficult, though. Even the electricity crisis in this summer, the intrinsic regulation “a man must wear a suit in front of the customer” did not collapse.

Why we are reluctant to reveal our names

Though users of Facebook are increasing in Japan, there are still many people balking at it, because of the rule to use “real name” there. Is is said here, though I’m not sure, that a user with nickname might be deleted his account. To reveal the “real name” or not is therefore a serious matter for many Japanese.

It is attributed to Japanese nature in favor of staying anonymous or reluctance to taking initiative, lack of responsibility. etc. But I think the problem lies in that there are always some people in Japan who would like to do something mischievous, or even malicious, on private information of others.

Decades ago there was such an incident – in the plot of a comic on a famous newspaper, the author showed a telephone number, for which he had set numbers randomly. Unfortunately, there had been the same telephone number actually used. It resulted in, that the owner of the number was suffered from frequent calling by unknown people, all of whom “were just interested in testing where that number really existed”. From that affair on, in any comics or novels in Japan telephone numbers are always expressed by other symbols, like “***-****”.

Few years ago, I took the lecture of “Information management” in the university, as an adult education. At the first day of the lecture, the professor gave the students a question.

Let yourself be temporary a very evil person and assume that you happened to obtain the name and address of a person you don’t directly know. Imagine as evil thing as you could using those information.

Luckily or unluckily, I myself had missed the very lecture because of illness, and I only heard the results of the survey.

The largest majority of the answer was: To expose the information on the web.

“I was relieved to find that most of you are good people, satisfied only with such action, ” the professor said.
However, the result showed many students had some expectation that once someone’s personal information were revealed, that owner of the information would soon fall in trouble.

In what kind of trouble? – the second majority would give a good example: Go to the person’s house, ring the doorbell, and dash away before he would come out.

In this post I show my real name as my public profile, because it is an English contents. I have few Japanese contents because I don’t like it to be made something “mischievous” on by someone. Of course, I never show my name there.

Cold!…but all right.

Nowadays the weather is changing every day. When I got up this morning, the temperature of my room was 17.9 centigrade, according to the thermometer. It was the coldest of this season.

In Chigasaki, when the temperature outside falls below 20 centigrade, we dwellers say “Cold.”
And today? The lowest record of this morning was 9 centigrade! It was as if winter had come suddenly.

Only for 30 minutes in the morning, I used the air conditioner to raise the temprecure to 20 degrees, because I saw my breath frosting white (That’s exaggerating, the truth is “condensing white”). From that time on, I am carrying on in the room without air conditioning. It is now 18.7 degrees.

I wear threefold, all in fleece, and covering my knees with a blanket. I am weak at cold rather than heat. But I’d like to stay this winter using heater, by either electricity or fuel, for as short time as possible.

In the last March, just after the disaster, we had rolling blackouts for a few weeks. We had to carry on without electricity for about three hours in a day. At that time we felt so sad and anxious about the future of this land. Now the situation is much better, so I will rather enjoy to save energy.

More about isosceles

Well, though there are still so many serious unsolved problems in the world, today I would like to write about geometry again.

When I had applied to take this lecture of geometry in the university, I had not known this was aimed to train the students to be a teacher of junior high school. When I knew it, I felt like a bit sorry “So we would only repeat mathematics for junior high school? It might be unnecessary for me, who doesn’t plan to be a teacher.”

But so soon as at the first day I could confirm myself, that I was right to take this lecture.
Although the question is for junior high school, the professor always shows us many important ideas that we had ignored.

We are still discussing how to prove the axiom “In an isosceles both base angles are same in measure”.

For this proof one should write:

“Let D to be the midpoint of the side BC”

D is the midpoint of the segment BC

Then I asked the professor: “Should we also write that Draw the segment AD to join A and D?”
He answered “You could write, but not needed. You can call it just as AD…because the segment is the only figure one could drawn when only two points are given as information.”

I asked him one more: “Can’t we describe the midpoint D as The point D for which BD=CD ? ”
He answered:
“Then you must write The point D on the side BC, or there might be another case of BD=CD for a point D”

Another case of BD=CD for a point D

“That might be complex, so it would be simpler just to use the name midpoint.”

Our discussion on an isosceles will be continued more.


Today’s news reported that japanese researchers of Hydrology explained why Thailand is suffering from so prolonged flooding.

It is already known that this year there has been heavier and longer rain than usual at that area. In addition, the rivers lying there are very wide and have smaller inclination, so the water would stay spilled in the field for a long time.

In Japan, everything is scaled small. Japanese rivers are short, narrow, and running from steep mountains. So the water runs fast. It often overflows, but are poured into the sea as soon as the rain stops.

The average width of the rivers in the field in Thailand is as large as the largest lake in Japan, the researchers say. Really the scale of the nature there is far beyond our imagination…

Some people says, Japanese enterprises should search for the place free from such disaster, when they build factories in foreign country. I don’t think it enough. They should collaborate with the government to protect the whole region from natural disaster. SONY, Honda…I hope those companies, who has factories in Thailand, would do something positive to the damaged region.