Recently in Info - Useful information Category

Although there's strong interest in open access as the future of anthropological publishing, it isn't free. One of the best models for digital publishing is PLOS One but as their website indicates, they charge authors $1350 for publishing an article, and some of the other journals in their portfolio charge up to $2900. There are waivers available.

PLOS Biology US$2900

PLOS Medicine US$2900

PLOS Computational Biology

PLOS Genetics US$2250

PLOS Pathogens US$2250

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases



A note for Karen: One of the open source programs for open access journals is:

I'll be giving a talk at the Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology tomorrow night (Thur March 22; 7pm) with the title: Crooked Nails Standing Tall: Images and Stories of Disability and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan. If you're in the Winston-Salem area, stop in!

I'm often asked by people who have read my articles or my book, Deaf in Japan, if I could introduce them to people who are engaged in disability or deaf studies in Japan. Unfortunately, I cannot do this because introductions in Japan are considerably more fraught than in the United States:

An introduction in Japan has two dimensions:

  • Guarantee: By introducing someone to one of my informants, I am serving as their guarantor and vouching for them. If there are any problems or difficulties, it then becomes my responsibility to resolve any social or financial damage that might be caused by them.
  • Reciprocity: By introducing someone to one of my informants, I am asking my informant to do a favor on my behalf -- to take care of the visitor and to make sure that their needs are met. The assumption is that this favor will be reciprocated by me at a later date.

While I will do introductions for my students and people that I meet and know, I cannot vouch for or ask favors of my informants for people that I have not met and do not know. Instead, I will usually refer people to google or use the white pages and to cold call people (or more appropriately, to use their own letterhead in a formal letter of self-introduction).

This is definitely one of more stuffy and formalistic aspects of doing fieldwork in Japan.

Yay! Using the info here, I finally liberated myself from that incessant LinkedIn spam:

LinkedIn Customer Support Message

Subject: Add My Email To Do Not Contact List
Hi Karen,

I truly apologize for the delay in my response.

Per your request, I've added your email address to
our "do not contact" list.

You will no longer receive any email from LinkedIn or our members on this
email address. If you decide at a later date that you want to set up a
LinkedIn account, you will need to first contact
us to have your email address removed from the “do not contact” list.

If you have further questions, please feel free to reply to this message.


LinkedIn Customer Service
Original Contact:
Member Comment: Karen Nakamura 01/17/2012 01:33
Please add my e-mail to your do not contact list. I have no wish to ever use linkedin.
Thank you.

Karen Nakamura

My pal Eric sent me this link:

Some links for further cogitation:

I was trying to find a link to the oft-quoted dilemma of TV news crews in disasters -- keep filming the person being swept away by a river, or jump in to save them. But couldn't. Readers?

As a faculty member of an Ivy league, I get a lot of crazy e-mails. This one seemed legit at first:
Dear Professor,

The Beverly Hills Times Magazine is considering running an article on the hypotheses, biography, and pictures located at [redacted]. We are asking for your assistance because your extensive expertise was brought to our attention. …

Our main goal at this point is to determine whether there is any established scientific evidence that tends either to support or invalidate the hypotheses. We would also consider publishing one of your own articles as trade for your contribution. We are interested in opinions from multiple fields of expertise. If you do not have time please feel free to forward this to a colleague.

but there were too many red flags. I decided to see if there was any legitimacy to it, and it turns out that there isn't:

While not a phishing attack, malware, or a Nigerian prince with the last name of Nakamura, it's still a type of link bait scam. Avoid.

And don't feed the trolls.

Elyn Saks on schizophrenia

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I somehow missed this great article about Elyn Saks' book, The Center Cannot Hold:
In 2007, after years of weighing the possible risks, Elyn R. Saks, a professor of law at the University of Southern California, published a memoir of her struggle with schizophrenia, “The Center Cannot Hold.” It became an overnight sensation in mental health circles and a best seller, and it won Dr. Saks a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius” award.

Thought the 1/2000 second shutter on your camera was fast? The NY Times reports on a new generation of scientific cameras with shutter speeds in the femtoseconds -- two-trillionths of a second -- fast enough to catch light moving as a wave:

I want to know if I can retrofit it to my Leica III. :-)

Two tips for Microsoft word

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I'm on the cusp of sending the manuscript for A Disability of the Soul to my publisher. I was cleaning up the text and came across tips for two important tasks:
  1. Are you plagued with horizontal rules in Word that won't go away? These horizontal rules are created when you type three dashes --- in a row -- and are almost impossible to get rid of. Deleting them won't work, cutting them won't work. They are immortal. Here's how to get rid of them:
  2. I needed to add line numbers down the left side of the page to make it easier for copyeditors to mark material. Here's how to do it:

In both cases, scroll down as the tips are at the bottom of the pages.

A student who is afraid of flying asked me how to survive the fourteen hour flight to Japan. These were my tips:

  • Shorten. Take a direct flight. Connections suck.
  • Reserve. Make sure to get a seat in the forward half of the cabin. Less turbulence and less claustrophobic.
  • Sleep. Don't drink any caffeine on the day of the flight and try to board the plane slightly sleep deprived. If needed, pharmaceuticals can be your friend. Take a (properly prescribed) chill pill or sleeping pill (not both!) and sleep through the entire thing. Alcohol can dehydrate you and make you wake up with a headache, but if a small glass of beer or wine will send you to lala-land, go for it. (I personally can't take either drugs or alcohol, so these last two are based on the advice of seatmates and other travelers).
  • Nest. Get a window seat and bring your own neck pillow and fluffy blanket.
  • Shutout. Get good earplugs, noise isolating or noise cancelling headphones with a good soundtrack or audiobook on your iPhone, and an eye mask and/or wear a baseball cap (it can shade the cabin light quite well).

Any other tips or suggestions?

Reminder – Call for Films – ETHNOCINECA 2012
Deadline: January 15 2012

Dear colleagues and friends,

ETHNOCINECA is a film festival based in Vienna focusing on ethnographic
and documentary films. We would like to invite you to send us your
contribution(s) or to forward our Call for Films to interested filmmakers,
students and scientists.

You can find more information about the submission process in our entry

For further questions please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards,
Nadja Haumberger

Reposted for a colleague:

Funding available for Doctoral Research in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester

Application for a place on a PhD program should be made by mid-February at the latest, in order to be meet further deadlines for funding in March. Applicants are advised to make contact with faculty members who are potential supervisors in advance of formal application. For informal inquiries, please contact: Dr Sharon Kinsella, School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, at

The North West Doctoral Training Centre, jointly run by the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester, is offering 3 PhD studentships in Language-Based Area Studies, in fields which include East Asian Studies and Japanese Studies. These are open to UK and EU students. In addition, the University of Manchester is allocating about 40 President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) awards to outstanding applicants across the Humanities. Approximately 20 of these PDS awards will top up an AHRC or ESRC award by an additional 1000 pounds, to raise the overall level of funding to 14, 590 pounds. A further 20 awards will be awarded to UK, EU and International applicants without AHRC or ESRC awards and will include tuition fees and an annual allowance of 13, 590 pounds. Successful candidates will be based at the University of Manchester.

The University has wide-ranging expertise in contemporary East Asian Studies with relevant members of staff based across the Faculty of Humanities, particularly in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, and the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures. We will be able to offer supervision on a wide range of topics on modern and contemporary Japan, and in topics involving East Asian societies, media, politics, population, and history.

For description of the North West Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) and of the opportunities for post-graduate studies which it offers, please go to
The deadline for the application for the North West DTC studentships is 25 March, 2011.

For description of the President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Awards, please go to
The deadline for applications for the PDS Award is the 1st March 2012.

UK and EU applicants are advised to apply for both awards in order to be eligible for both an ESRC and a PDS award.

Please note that prior to these deadlines you should apply for a place on the PhD programme in one of the two Schools mentioned above. The choice of School will depend on the location of the member of staff you wish to be supervised by and your field of study.

I updated my desktop a while ago to 10.7 and tried to fire up Final Cut Pro. I was still running a fairly old version of FCP6 since I hadn't found any good reason to upgrade to FCS 3.0 -- and with the new "unimproved" Final Cut Pro X, decided to stay where I was. Final cut pro x But my FCP wouldn't run. Strange. I decided to try to reinstall it, but the installer wouldn't work. A quick search of the internets revealed:
  • FCP6 and 7 will run under Lion but won't install as the installer is based on PowerPC code.
  • Lion doesn't include Rosetta, the PowerPC emulator
  • You can install Rosetta from a 10.6 install disk
So I scrounged around my archives and found a OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard Disk) and in the Extras folder was an installer for Rosetta. Ran that and it installed without complaint. Then went to my FCP Studio 2 disk and ran the installer, and it worked! It's installing away just fine. Step by step means to install FCP 2 on OSX 10.7 Lion:
  • Find OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard disk)
  • Inside the "Optional Installs" folder is an "Optional Installs.mpkg" file. Click on that and select the "Rosetta" installation option
  • Install Rosetta
  • Install FCP 2 (ignoring the warnings)
  • Bask in glory
Phew! I was worried that I would have to shell out more money for the distinctly inferior new Final Cut Pro X -- which wouldn't be able to even read my previous FCP projects!

My home network has two wireless access points operating on two frequencies. My main Airport Express which is operating on 802.11n in the 5 gigahertz spectrum and a Linksys WRT54G (dd-wrt) which is operating on 802.11g/b in 2.4 GHz land.

This allows me to have full-speed on my 'n' devices which can operate in the clear airspace of 5 Ghz while still allowing legacy devices on 2.4 Ghz. I wish I had the latest Airports which had dual tuners, allowing for both at the same time, but this is the cheap way to get the same effect.

Recently, I wanted to check on my WRT54G but forgot its static IP address. It's in bridge mode, which means that it's not serving IP addresses itself and is basically invisible to the network. Good for devices connecting through it, not good if you want to update its settings.

I was struggling with remembering its IP addresses and thought I'd have to basically try all the IPs ( ping when I remembered a UNIX hack:

Karens-Neo-MacBoopPro:~ nakamura$ ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.069 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=0.957 ms (DUP!)
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=1.409 ms (DUP!)
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=5.339 ms (DUP!)

I pinged the network broadcast address ( and all the devices on the network responded. The only device in the list I didn't recognize was that was my router!

I had some trouble configuring denyhost on my Mac OS X 10.6 (user) machine as the instructions on the website @ were wrong. Here is the correct configuration for denyhosts.cfg:


# Mac OS X (v10.4 or greater - 
#   also refer to:
# SECURE_LOG = /private/var/log/asl.log
# SSHD_FORMAT_REGEX=.* \[Sender sshd\] \[PID \d*\] \[Message .* PAM: (?P.*?)\].*?

# Mac OS X (v10.6 or greater - 
#   - reversion to standard log format. No need to do log regex parsing.
SECURE_LOG = /var/log/secure.log

# zip down a bit to the bottom:

#this work_dir worked for me, it's where the python install script added it:

WORK_DIR = /usr/share/denyhosts/data

#this lock_file worked for me although I had to create the directory:

LOCK_FILE = /var/lock/subsys/denyhosts

and then for the file [daemon-control]:

#### Edit these to suit your configuration ####

DENYHOSTS_BIN   = "/usr/local/bin/"
DENYHOSTS_LOCK  = "/var/lock/subsys/denyhosts"
DENYHOSTS_CFG   = "/usr/share/denyhosts/denyhosts.cfg"

PYTHON_BIN      = "/usr/bin/env python"

Hope this helps! This is only really necessary if your Mac is on the internet with a static IP and not behind a firewall or NAT router. 99.9% of home machines are ok because they are hidden behind NAT routers, it's mostly academic machines that are in danger.

If spam wasn't enough, my machines are also getting hit by hackers trying to get through the sshd port:
Jun  5 00:35:31 kyoto sshd[59150]: Invalid user prueba from
Jun  5 00:35:32 kyoto sshd[59152]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:32 kyoto sshd[59154]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:33 kyoto sshd[59156]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:34 kyoto sshd[59158]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:34 kyoto sshd[59160]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:35 kyoto sshd[59162]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:36 kyoto sshd[59164]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:37 kyoto sshd[59170]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:37 kyoto sshd[59172]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:38 kyoto sshd[59174]: Invalid user postgres from
Jun  5 00:35:39 kyoto sshd[59176]: Invalid user hadoop from
Jun  5 00:35:39 kyoto sshd[59178]: Invalid user hadoop from
Jun  5 00:35:40 kyoto sshd[59180]: Invalid user hadoop from
Jun  5 00:35:41 kyoto sshd[59182]: Invalid user hadoop from
I've installed denyhost, let's hope that it can work to cut back on some of this nonsense.

This is just for people running Mac OSX server. If your secure.log is full of spam like this:

Jun  8 23:02:40 media-lab[55]: Succeeded authorizing ri
ght by client /usr/sbin/QuickTimeStreamingServe
r for authorization created by /System/Library/CoreServices/ServerManagerDaemon.
Jun  8 23:03:40 media-lab[55]: Succeeded authorizing ri
ght by client /System/Library/CoreServices/Serv
erManagerDaemon.bundle for authorization created by /System/Library/CoreServices
Jun  8 23:03:40 media-lab[55]: Succeeded authorizing ri
ght by client /usr/sbin/QuickTimeStreamingServe
r for authorization created by /System/Library/CoreServices/ServerManagerDaemon.
Jun  8 23:04:40 media-lab[55]: Succeeded authorizing ri
ght by client /System/Library/CoreServices/Serv
erManagerDaemon.bundle for authorization created by /System/Library/CoreServices

Then the problem is an overzealous servermgrd (server manager daemon). You can throttle it back by editing its preferences at:


Change the idlePeriod from 60 to 300 (the max). This will at least put 5 minutes between the spam messages.

Thanks to: macenterprise

Queer Japan syllabus

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A student asked me for books about sexuality in Japan so I began to think what a preliminary reading list might look like. Here goes. The first half is from my review essay "Chrysanthemum and the Queer":
  • EMERGING LESBIAN VOICES FROM JAPAN. Chalmers, Sharon. New York: Routledge Curzon, 2002.
  • COMING OUT IN JAPAN: THE STORY OF SATURO AND RYUTA. Ito, Satoru, and Ryuta Yanase. Melbourne and Portland, OR: Trans Pacific Press, 2001.
  • LOVE UPON THE CHOPPING BOARD. Izumo, Marou, and Claire Maree. North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinifex, 2000.
  • MALE COLORS: THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN TOKUGAWA JAPAN (1603-1868). Leupp, Gary P. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995.
  • CARTOGRAPHIES OF DESIRE: MALE-MALE SEXUALITY IN JAPANESE DISCOURSE 1600-1950. Pflugfelder, Gregory M. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999.
  • TAKARAZUKA: SEXUAL POLITICS AND POPULAR CULTURE IN MODERN JAPAN. Robertson, Jennifer Ellen. Berkeley, CA: Uni- versity of California Press, 1998, ISBN 0520211510, 1998.
  • 0QUEER JAPAN: PERSONAL STORIES OF JAPANESE LESBIANS, GAYS,TRANSSEXUALS,ANDBISEXUALS.Summerhawk,Barbara, Cheiron McMahill, and Darren McDonald, eds. Norwich, Vt.: New Victoria Publishers, 1998.
  • GREAT MIRRORS SHATTERED: HOMOSEXUALITY, ORI- ENTALISM, AND JAPAN. Treat, John Whittier. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
and some new volumes:
  • Bad Girls of Japan, edited by Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.
  • Queer Voices from Japan: First Person Narratives from Japan's Sexual Minorities Edited by Mark McLelland, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and James Welker 2007.
  • Queer Japanese Gender and Sexual Identities through Linguistic Practices Hideko Abe 2010.

So I'm in my hotel in Tokyo, trying in vain to get my Kindle3 to connect to my shared Internet Sharing connection with my Mac so that I can get it to sync and download all my blogs for on-board reading. My hotel only offers a hardwired ethernet connection, so I have to provide my own wireless.

Argh! My Kindle just doesn't connect with my Mac. My iPhone 3 connects just fine.

Some browsing around reveals that there is apparently a bug in the Apple Internet Sharing feature -- some people think it has to do with the DHCP provisioning. In any case, it makes the Kindle and other non-Apple devices have problems connecting. Let's leave aside the fact that Apple only has WEP encryption in Internet Sharing. Lame.

To fix it, you have to connect your Kindle manually. It's best to copy the settings from a device that *can* connect such as your iPhone, but if not, here are generic settings:

DHCP:   <- change the last digit from what your iPhone displays, '100' is usually safe

Thanks, internet magicians!

I have a little Neat Receipts Travel Scanner that I originally bought for my Windows netbook when I'm travelling. It's so cute I wish I could use it on my Mac ... and not under VMWare or BootCamp.


Neat Receipts would sell me their bloatware for the Mac for $80. I looked for a cheaper option... My favorite, VueScan, unfortunately doesn't work with it.

Then, I saw a forum post that said that the Neat Receipts was actually a rebadged PlusTek M12 scanner. I went to their website and downloaded their M12 installer for the Mac (PlustekM12Series.dmg BETA dated 7/2010), clicked on the installer and ... the installer crashed with a Rosetta error, of all things.

On a hunch, I opened up the installation package (right click on it and select "Show Package Contents") and found inside it two other sub-installation packages (opticslimM12Digiscan.pkg and opticslimM12Support.pkg).


I installed those two installes one-by-one and rebooted, and presto, my Neat Receipts scanner works just fine as a PDF or JPG/PNG/TIF scanner under Mac OSX natively using the DigiScan application. Yippeee!



Co-blogger Jason recently queried why I had written off using a DSLR as both my still photo camera and video camcorder in fieldwork. My pat answer up to now has been while there are some strong pros, there are some definite cons:


  1. Beautiful video. The sensors are much larger, much better bokeh, brighter lenses.
  2. Interchangeable lenses.
  3. One less device to carry or forget to bring batteries or memory cards.


  1. Audio: Most DSLRs have really atrocious onboard mics, low digitization rates, and no option for external audio (such as XLR jacks or even plug-in-power). They rarely have adequate mic monitoring (onboard displays or live monitoring via headphones) and usually only offer automatic gain, no manual gain option .
  2. Form factor: The SLR form factor is really designed for one form of eye-level shooting and not for live action.
  3. Autofocus: Some DSLRs cannot autofocus while video recording.
  4. Auto-Aperture: Some DSLRs cannot adjust the aperture while video recording, this makes lighting changes in a single clip difficult. Others cannot adjust the aperture in a stepless fashion, causing visible artifacts during adjustments.
  5. Zooming: OK, power zooming is generally evil, but everyone does a slow zoom once in a while, and not having a power zoom is a (major) pain.
  6. Sensor: Because almost all SLRs are single-sensor, you get color mosaicing from the Bayer filter.
  7. Shutter: Most DSLRs use an electronic rolling shutter when shooting video, unlike the mechanical shutters on dedicated video cameras. This can cause strange "jellyroll" effects on tall objects that move quickly across the screen -- or during fast pans.


Audio was one of the killers for me, since I do my own camera and audio. I usually have an external mic or two in interviews, feeding back into my camera. I've done dual sound using a flash recorder, and it isn't ideal. I prefer having a strong onboard sound option.

Interestingly, some DSLRs are now getting external audio options. The Olympus Pen E-PL2 (micro 4/3) has external audio through the SEMA-1 option, it provides for a 3.5mm plug-in-power jack. The higher end of the Lumix series such as the GH2 have 2.5mm audio mic jacks. And the higher end of the Canon EOS series also have 3.5mm audio jacks. Still, no real-time headphone monitoring (I think).

After the jump, I look at some specific cameras from the Canon EOS and Panasonic Lumix (micro 4/3) series. I'm interested in those two as I own older models in those series and can swap lenses.

I have to say, I'm not 100% convinced -- but like many things he has asked about before, Jason has gotten me thinking seriously about this.

One of my buddies wanted to know how much it cost to make a 35mm exhibition print from his hi-def digital video files. He had just finished an ethnographic film and wanted to submit it to some film festivals that could take 35mm prints.

One of the major transfer houses charges $350/minute for video+sound to 35mm; $250 a minute if you're willing to go with 16mm.

So for his 45 minute film, it would be $15,750 for a 35mm print and $11,250 for 16mm.

My home network is based around Windows 7. Shocking, yes, I know -- but Win7 media center has a much better 10 foot interface than FrontRow and I can build each HTPC for around $300.... as compared to $600 for a MacMini which isn't expandable.

In any case, my Win7 machines were having a problem forgetting their login credentials for file sharing. Found the fix here:

Schizophrenics Anonymous

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Here's a wonderful youtube video about the founding of Schizophrenics Anonymous (SA):

This is from the website SARDAA (Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America).

I'm in the final stages of setting up the Withoutabox entry for the 2011 SVA Media Festival in Montreal. I've populated most of the entries and am just waiting on my steering committee to give the go ahead to make it live.

One of my graduate students told me about this film, Children of the Stars, which is about Chinese children with autism. I'd love to see it, but there's no distribution in the USA yet for their DVD:

One of my friends asked me about my experience publishing a DVD with CreateSpace and Amazon.

createspace-logo-csp.gifCreateSpace is a company that allows you to publish your own DVDs, CDs, and books. They were bought out by Amazon and so Amazon can also handle the distribution of your materials. The royalty rates are quite generous, especially comparison to mainstream publishing and distribution companies.

I have two films distributed through them: Bethel: Community and Schizoprehnia in Northern Japan and A Japanese Funeral

I personally think that CreateSpace is a harbinger of the future for publishing independent documentary and ethnographic films. It used to be that you needed a publishing house for DVDs because of the complexity of the production process. But now with Apple's Final Cut Studio, it is easy to author a DVD entirely by yourself and produce a master disc suitable for reproduction.

After the jump, I'll go into the steps that I took to master A Japanese Funeral.

Yikes! You've been out partying in Tokyo and missed the last train for the night. You need to crash, but where? Here's my list of cheap  ways to spend the night in Tokyo:


  1. Net cafe:  Many manga+net cafes are 24 hours and have private cubicles that you can crash in. They have "overnight" rates which are quite reasonable, coffee and soda machines, and of course manga comics and networked PCs. Some even have massage machines, tanning beds and foot spas! The "night pack" price for a random netcafe that I googled in Shinjuku is a measly Y1500...
  2. Super Sento Bathhouse: Many of the larger "super sento"-type bathhouses have relaxation rooms where you can spend the night. It might cost an additional Y1500 on top of the Y1000 admission fee, but still Y2500 for the night (and all the hot spa baths you can handle) isn't too bad.
  3. There is of course the capsule hotels. I'm claustrophobic so this isn't an option for me.
  4. Business hotels:  the cheapest business hotels like Super Hotel or Toyoko Inn have rates that start around Y4980 for a single for the night. The problem is that these cheapo hotels don't tend to be in front of popular train stations, so getting to one might be an issue. And the rooms tend to fill up quickly.

I was inspired to write this because of two random events that happened this summer:   one of my students almost got stuck herself stuck by herself in Osaka overnight .... and I went to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari bathhouse yesterday with my sweetie and noted that they had a very nice women's only "relaxation room" with full reclining chairs and individual TV sets -- and there appeared to be several patrons who were gearing up to spend the night there.

Oedo Onsen is quite expensive, Y2000 for general admission and another Y1700 for spending the night (in their lingo "extra late-night fee"), but other super sento in Japan are cheaper.

The LA Times has written a travel/shopping story about my favorite store in Japan -- no, not Yodobashi Camera, but the ubiquitous ¥100 stores:


Bargain hunting at Japan's 100-yen stores

In this shopping-mad country, the latest craze is the 100-yen store. For a little more than a dollar, savvy consumers can stock up on everything from origami paper to banana cases to milk carton-shaped erasers.,0,4323842.story


Anyone else a fan of these bargain emporiums?


How do you share files between computers that you own? Say you have a Word document on your desktop that you want to bring over to your laptop. Do you e-mail it to yourself? Put it on a thumbdrive?  That's what I used to do until I discovered a really cool web 2.0 serviced called "Dropbox".


Basically what Dropbox does is create a folder on your computers that is shared in real time between all of your computers.  Drop a file into your dropbox folder on your Mac and it appears magically in the dropbox folder on your netbook.  Update a spreadsheet on your laptop and it gets synced automatically to your desktop.

There are some other places that offer this service, like Apple's  MobileMe. But Dropbox has several things going for it:

  • Blazingly fast.  I'm in Tokyo and my work computer is in New Haven. I've dropped a file into my dropbox on my New Haven computer (using a VNC connection) and it literally popped into my laptop computer here in Tokyo within two seconds.  I was absolutely gobsmacked by how fast it is.
  • It actually syncs.  This is one of the reasons why I've come to hate MobileMe.  My gorrham iDisk is constantly failing to sync and plays havoc with my files.
  • It backups.  Dropbox keeps 30 days worth of archived versions on its servers, so if you accidentally overwrite a file with the wrong contents, you can retrieve it. Many places can handle deletes, but not overwrites, so I'm very happy.
  • They have Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Linux versions.
  • They are free: They'll give you 2 gigabytes free as a matter of course but....
  • They also have a great referral program: if you sign up with my referral code,, they'll give both you and me an extra 256 megabytes free.

You can get up to 8 gigs of free cloud space just by referring your friends. Which is what I'm trying to do.

So.... if you need a great file sharing / syncing program -- or you just want to help me out -- please sign up for DropBox!  It's absolutely free and the referral bonus will mean a great lot to me in the long run.


Thanks everyone!





I've recently been looking at recent statistics issued by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regarding Americans with Disabilities employment discrimination cases.

All charges of employment discrimination under the ADA have to be channelled through the EEOC so this data can be considered authoritative. Of course, many claims are settled even before they go to the EEOC so that data is not visible.

The data is available here:


Appalling Figures

In 2009, there were 18,776 charges of employment discrimination under the ADA that were resolved by the EEOC. Of those, 11% were settled and 6.5% were withdrawn with benefits. Not all settlements are positive for plaintiffs, but let's be optimistic and say that 100% were. Of the mere 5.1% of cases that EEOC found reasonable cause, only 2.2% of cases were successful.

So a whopping 11+6.5+2.2 = 19.7% of cases brought before the EEOC had positive outcomes for the plaintiffs.

(The EEOC counts 22.6% as "merit resolutions," but I'm unsure how they get their data since the missing 3.1% would likely be the 3.0% of unsuccessful "reasonable cause" claims).

Or put another way, 80.3% were found for the defendants, the employers.

Put another way, only 5.1% of cases were found to have reasonable cause to go to court and the EEOC won just less than half of these, resulting in only 2.2% of cases there were actually "won" by the EEOC in litigation.

Put another way, it sucks to be disabled in the United States.

What about the big bucks won by "professional litigants?" The EEOC shows that $67.8 million in benefits were won in 2009. With a total of 2065 + 1217 + 408 = 3690 people settling or winning benefits, that's an average of just over $18,000 each.

Not enough to pay your lawyer, or even six months of wages.

Like I said, it sucks to be disabled in the United States.

Or put another way, it is great to be an employer in the United States. Plenty of workforce flexibility.

NYLUG '10: Colloquium in Photography


Photoethnography, Visual Anthropology, and the Leica

The invention of the first Leica camera in 1913 ushered in new
possibilities for naturalistic photography. Heavy tripod-mounted
wooden cameras could be replaced by Oskar Barnack’s pocketable little
brass wonder. Dozens of bulky film plates could be exchanged for a
single interchangeable film cartridge. New vistas for street and
field photography were opened up. Anthropologists were early adopters
of this technology to bring back images from across the world. It is
remarkable that almost a hundred years later we are still using the
same film in much the same film cartridge that Oskar Barnack
originally developed.

Karen Nakamura is a cultural and visual anthropologist of Japan.
An assistant professor of anthropology at Yale University, she has
written an award-winning ethnography titled Deaf in Japan. She is
known as the creator of the website and has also
filmed and edited two ethnographic films.

In this presentation, Karen will be talking about how the history of
visual anthropology, how she uses her Leica cameras in her fieldwork,
and share some of the photographs that she has taken in Japan,
Malaysia, China, and the United States.


School of the International Center of Photography
1114 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue and 43rd Street)
New York City

Date and Time:
Saturday, May 22 at 5:30PM

For more information:

AinuKomonjo0048.jpgDr. Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney at the University of Wisconsin has been digitizing some very old Japanese texts about the Ainu first people. The real benefit is that there are wonderful drawings of the unique clothing that the Ainu wore, which indicated which clan they belonged to.

The user interface has to be one of the worst I've ever used, but still with a little browsing, you can get images like the one to the right.

I had trouble locating the full text of the 1900 Mental Patient Custody Act in Japan. Here it is below for mostly my purposes. The original was here ( but like all things on the web, I don't want to count on it still being there.


第一条 精神病者ハ其ノ後見人配偶者四親等内ノ親族又ハ戸主ニ於テ之ヲ監護スルノ義務ヲ負フ但シ民法第九百八条ニ依リ後見人タルコトヲ得サル者ハ此ノ限ニ在ラス
2 監護義務者数人アル場合ニ於テ其ノ義務ヲ履行スヘキ者ノ順位ハ左ノ如シ但シ監護義務者相互ノ同意ヲ以テ順位ヲ変更スルコトヲ得
 第一 後見人
 第二 配偶者
 第三 親権ヲ行フ父又ハ母
 第四 戸主
 第五 前各号ニ掲ケタル者ニ非サル四親等内ノ親族中ヨリ親族会ノ選任シタル者

第二条 監護義務者ニ非サレハ精神病者ヲ監置スルコトヲ得ス

第三条 精神病者ヲ監置セムトスルトキハ行政庁ノ許可ヲ受クヘシ但シ急迫ノ事情アルトキハ仮リニ之ヲ監置スルコトヲ得此ノ場合ニ於テハ二十四時間内ニ行政庁ニ届出ヘシ
2 前項仮監置ノ期間ハ七日ヲ超ユルコトヲ得ス
3 行政庁ノ許可ヲ受ケテ監置シタル精神病者ノ監置ヲ廃止シタル後三箇年内ニ更ニ之ヲ監置セムトスルトキ又ハ民法第九百二十二条ニ依リ禁治産者ヲ監置セムトスルトキハ行政庁ニ届出ヘシ

第四条 精神病者ノ監置ノ方法又ハ場所ヲ変更シタルトキハ二十四時間内ニ行政庁ニ届出ヘシ

第五条 監置シタル精神病者治癒シ死亡シ若ハ行方不明ト為リタルトキ又ハ其ノ監置ヲ廃止シタルトキハ七日内ニ行政庁ニ届出ヘシ

第六条 精神病者ヲ監置スルノ必要アルモ監護義務者ナキ場合又ハ監護義務者其ノ義務ヲ履行スルコト能ハサル事由アルトキハ精神病者ノ住所地、住所地ナキトキ又ハ不明ナルトキハ所在地市区町村長ハ勅令ノ定ムル所ニ従ヒ之ヲ監護スヘシ

第七条 行政庁ハ精神病者ノ監護ニ関シ必要ト認ムルトキハ監置ノ許可ヲ取消シ監置ノ廃止ヲ命シ又ハ監置ノ方法若ハ場所ノ変更ヲ命スルコトヲ得
2 監置ノ許可ヲ取消サレ又ハ其ノ廃止ヲ命セラレタル者監置ヲ廃止セサルトキハ行政庁ハ直接ニ監置ヲ廃止スルコトヲ得

第八条 精神病者監置ノ必要アルトキ又ハ監置不適当ト認ムルトキハ行政庁ハ第一条第二項ノ順位ニ拘ラス監護義務者ヲ指定シ之カ監置ヲ命スルコトヲ得但シ急迫ノ事情アルトキハ行政庁ハ仮リニ其ノ精神病者ヲ監置スルコトヲ得此ノ場合ニ於テハ第三条第二項ノ規定ヲ準用ス
2 市区町村長ニ於テ監護スル精神病者ノ監護義務者ヲ発見シ又ハ監護義務者其ノ義務ヲ履行シ得ルニ至リタルトキ亦前項ニ同シ
3 本条ニ依リ精神病者ノ監置ヲ命セラレタル監護義務者其ノ命ヲ履行セサルトキハ第六条ノ例ニ依リ市区町村長ニ於テ之ヲ監護スヘシ
4 本条ニ依リ監護義務者ノ監置シタル精神病者ニ関シテハ行政庁ノ許可ヲ受クルニ非サレハ其ノ監置ヲ廃止シ又ハ監置ノ方法若ハ場所ヲ変更スルコトヲ得ス

第九条 私宅監置室、公私立精神病院及公私立病院ノ精神病室ハ行政庁ノ許可ヲ受クルニ非サレハ之ヲ使用スルコトヲ得ス
2 私宅監置室、公私立精神病院及公私立病院ノ精神病室ノ構造設備及管理方法ニ関スル規定ハ命令ヲ以テ之ヲ定ム

第十条 監護ニ要シタル費用ハ被監護者ノ負担トシ被監護者ヨリ弁償ヲ得サルトキハ其ノ扶養義務者ノ負担トス
2 市町村長ニ於テ監護スル場合ニ於テ之カ為要スル費用ノ支弁方法及其ノ追徴方法ハ行旅病人及行旅死亡人取扱法ノ規定ヲ準用ス

第十一条 行政庁ハ必要ト認ムルトキハ其ノ指定シタル医師ヲシテ精神病者ノ検診ヲ為サシメ又ハ官吏若ハ医師ヲシテ精神病者ニ関シ必要ナル尋問ヲ為サシメ又ハ精神病者在ル家宅病院其ノ他ノ場所ニ臨検セシムルコトヲ得

第十二条 本法又ハ本法ニ基ツキテ発スル命令ノ執行ニ関シ行政庁ノ違法処分ニ由リ権利ヲ傷害セラレタリトスル者ハ行政裁判所ニ出訴スルコトヲ得

第十三条 本法又ハ本法ニ基ツキテ発スル命令ノ執行ニ関スル行政庁ノ処分ニ不服アル者ハ訴願ヲ提起スルコトヲ得

第十四条 官吏公吏又ハ行政庁ノ命ヲ受ケテ公務ヲ行フ医師本法ノ執行ニ関シ不正ノ所為ヲ為シタル者ハ三年以下ノ重禁錮ニ処シ百円以下ノ罰金ヲ附加ス

第十五条 官吏公吏又ハ行政庁ノ命ヲ受ケテ公務ヲ行フ医師本法ノ執行ニ関シ賄賂ヲ収受シ又ハ之ヲ聴許シタル者ハ刑法第二百八十六条ノ例ニ照ラシテ処断ス

第十六条 左ニ掲クル者ハ一年以下ノ重禁錮ニ処シ百円以下ノ罰金ヲ附加ス
 一 詐偽ノ所為ヲ以テ行政庁ノ許可ヲ受ケ若ハ虚偽ノ届出ヲ為シ精神病者ヲ監置シ又ハ拘束ノ程度ヲ加重シタル者
 二 医師精神病者ノ診断書ニ虚偽ノ事実ヲ記載シ又ハ自ラ診断セスシテ診断書ヲ授与シタル者
2 前項第一号ノ場合ニ於テハ監置又ハ拘束ノ日数十日ヲ過クル毎ニ一等ヲ加フ

第十七条 左ニ掲クル者ハ二月以下ノ重禁錮ニ処シ二十円以下ノ罰金ヲ附加シ又ハ百円以下ノ罰金ニ処ス但シ監置又ハ拘束ノ日数十日ヲ過クル毎ニ一等ヲ加フ
 一 許可ヲ受ケス又ハ届出ヲ為サス若ハ命ヲ受ケスシテ精神病者トシテ人ヲ監置シタル者
 二 禁治産ノ宣告又ハ監置ノ許可ヲ取消サレ又ハ監置ノ廃止ヲ命セラレ若ハ仮監置ノ期間ヲ経過シタル後監置ヲ廃止セサル者
 三 許可ヲ受ケ又ハ届出ヲ為シ若ハ命ヲ受ケタル程度ヲ超エテ精神病者ヲ拘束シタル者

第十八条 左ニ掲クル者ハ一月以下ノ重禁錮ニ処シ十円以下ノ罰金ヲ附加シ又ハ五十円以下ノ罰金ニ処ス
 一 精神病者ノ監置ニ関シ虚偽ノ事実ヲ記載シタル願届其ノ他ノ書類ヲ行政庁ニ提出シタル者
 二 監護義務ヲ履行スヘキ順位ニ在ラサル者ニシテ許可ヲ受ケス又ハ命ニ依ルニ非スシテ監置ヲ廃止シ又ハ監置ノ方法若ハ場所ヲ変更シタル者
 三 官吏又ハ行政庁ノ指定シタル医師ノ臨検若ハ検診ヲ拒ミ又ハ其ノ尋問ニ対シ答弁ヲ為サス若ハ虚偽ノ答弁ヲ為シタル者

第十九条 左ニ掲クル者ハ百円以下ノ罰金二処ス
 一 監置ノ方法若ハ場所ノ変更ヲ命セラレ其ノ命ヲ履行セサル者
 二 監護義務者精神病者ノ監置ヲ命セラレ其ノ命ヲ履行セサル者
 三 第八条第四項及第九条第一項ニ違背シタル者

第二十条 第四条及第五条ニ違背シタル者ハ十円以下ノ罰金二処ス

  附 則

第二十一条 本法ハ明治三十三年七月一日ヨリ之ヲ施行ス
2 本法施行前ヨリ精神病者ヲ監置シタル者ニシテ仍之ヲ継続セムトスルトキハ本法施行ノ日ヨリ二箇月内ニ第三条ノ許可ヲ受ケ又ハ届出ヲ為スヘシ
3 第三条ノ許可ヲ受ケス又ハ届出ヲ為サスシテ前項ノ期間ヲ経過シタル後監置ヲ廃止セサル者ハ第十七条ノ例ニ照シテ処断ス
4 本法中市区町村長ニ属スル職務ハ市制区制町村制ヲ施行セサル地ニ在リテハ市区町村長二準スヘキ者之ヲ行フ

第二十二条 外国人タル精神病者ノ監護ニ関シ別段ノ規定ヲ要スルモノハ勅令ヲ以テ之ヲ定ム

第二十三条 人事訴訟手続法第五十条又ハ第六十条ニ依リ裁判所ニ於テ精神病者ノ監護ニ付必要ナル処分ヲ命シタル場合ニ関シテハ本法ノ規定ヲ適用セス


Just a note that the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held next week in Philadelphia. I'll be in Philly starting Tuesday as part of the Society for Visual Anthropology conference which starts right before it.

Which reminds me, the SVA is cosponsoring an exhibit called Ethnographic Terminalia:

Ethnographic Terminalia

The Icebox Project Space at Crane Arts will feature an innovative group exhibition entitled Ethnographic Terminalia from December 2-20, 2009. Scheduled to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, this year in Philadelphia, the curators have brought together an international group of artists and ethnographers who are actively engaged in experimental and emergent cultural forms. Visitors are invited to join in a multisensorial happening that challenges the boundaries and borders that demarcate the margins of ethnographic, anthropological, and art practices. In this exhibition, a diverse group of artists and anthropologists present boundary troubling works in eleven separate installations. Each installation project in Ethnographic Terminalia offers a thought provoking and playful (or agitating) alternative to considering what lies both beyond and within imagined and constructed boundaries of the skilled practices of artists and ethnographers.

This exhibition features original works by: Trudi-Lynn Smith; Erica Lehrer and Hannah Smotrich; Kate Hennessy and Oliver Neumann; Marko and Gordana Zivkovic; Chris Fletcher; Roderick Coover; Jayasinhji Jhala; Craig Campbell; Mike Evans and Stephen Foster; Stephanie Spray; and Scott and Jen Webel. While these works are deployed within the rubric of anthropology they answer visual and aesthetic questions in unique and particular fashion, decentering the priviledged categories of both ethnography and art through various mediums.
According to the curatorial team: “This exhibit will be of great interest not only to professional anthropologists but other publics as well. By drawing the studied methodologies of ethnography into a familiar art environment this collective exhibition delivers an all too uncommon challenge to disciplinary and professional boundaries. By engaging with the politics of representation, memory, documentation, and archive Ethnographic Terminalia will impress upon all visitors their own stake in the interpretation of cultural worlds.” The works presented in Ethnographic Terminalia address the possibility of showing and interpreting cultural worlds outside of the traditional cinematic, museological, and textual frameworks of Cultural Anthroplogy while challenging the art world to consider the sensuous complexities and textures of everyday life.

Visit the website for more details about the show:

Exhibition Opening Reception & Shindig

4 December 2009 7:30-10.00pm


Location: Icebox Project Space at Crane Arts, Philadelphia (PA)

1400 N. American Street

December 2-20, 2009

Wednesday to Saturday 12pm-6pm

Entry is free


Craig Campbell, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)
Anabelle Rodriguez, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
Fiona McDonald, University College London (London, England)

Organizational Team:
Kate Hennessy, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
Stephanie Takaragawa, Chapman University (Orange, CA)

I was exploring teleprompting software for the Mac. This page seemed the most useful:

Prospective graduate students have been writing me for advice about doctoral and masters programs in visual anthropology. Since my previous entry on this topic is outdated, I've decided to update it to the best of my current knowledge.

M.A. Programs

Ph.D. Granting Institutions with Visual Anthropology Programs/Faculty

* Italics = denotes junior faculty member who may or may not be taking on graduate students.

Note that the wikipedia entry on Visual Anthropology also has a very useful list of visual anthropology programs.

I'll keep updating this list, if you have any suggestions, additions, corrections, feel free to e-mail me or drop a comment below. Last updated: 2009/10/23

Leica M9 announced

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Along with the Canon 7D, the new Leica M9 now joins the ranks of things I want but sadly have absolutely no money to buy:


According to the Mirror, the M9:

Specs wise, we’re looking at an 18.2MP sensor on the Leica M9, plus reduced noise at high ISO settings, and an SD slot, and it could be out as soon as this week.

DPReview has an extensive hands-on with this new full-frame digital rangefinder:

Do you think if I put a paypal "Donate to Karen's M9" button on this website, I could collect enough for it? It's only around 5000 euros....

Meta: Snow Leopard problems

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Upgraded to Snow Leopard (Mac OSX 10.6) and so far things are smooth with some exceptions:

  • My favorite utility, QuickSilver would no longer launch. Finally figured out that I not only had to trash the preferences file in the ~/Library/Preferences folder, but also the entire application support folder in ~/Library/ApplicationSupport/Quicksilver.
  • Dymo Label doesn't work and there's no driver until "the early Fall which is December in developer speak. Not good.
  • 1Password doesn't work under Safari unless you get their secret beta version 3.
  • VMWare Fusion also needs to be updated

And one of my buds had problems with -- turned out that RSS feed prefs didn't transfer over well from 10.5. He trashed them and it started working again.

20th Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS) Conference

Call for Papers/Panels

14 – 16 March 2010, University of Texas at Austin

The organizing committee of the Japan Anthropology Workshop welcomes panel and paper proposals for the 2010 JAWS conference, which will be held in Austin, Texas. The conference theme is "Identity, Ritual, and Religion in Japan” although the organizers are open to all topics of anthropological interest related to Japan. The organizers call for panel and individual paper proposals that lay out Japanese contexts within the general scope of anthropological portrayal. Keynote speaker for the conference will be Satsuki Kawano, University of Guelph. Participation is open to scholars and students from all over the world. Please include the following items when submitting a proposal:

***Deadline for all abstracts: 1 December 2009***

The conference website is available at Registration information (including credit card payment options) will be available at the website after 1 May 2009. Information about accommodations and travel will also be available at the conference website. Early registration and hotel reservations are encouraged, as the conference will correspond with the early part of the South by Southwest Film and Music Festival in Austin.

One of the more interesting panels at the Association for Asian Studies meeting Chicago was the Japan Image Use Protocol Guide workshop. This was organized by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources.

Basically, the Image Use Protocol Guide is designed to help academic authors and publishers navigate the somewhat circuitous path to getting image use rights from Japanese copyright holders. The most useful portion for me is the Permission Request Templates that you can use to send to image rights holders (museums, publishers, etc.) asking for permission to reprint photographs in your papers and monographs.

The protocol guide is still in the beta stage and they are asking for comments:

I buy a lot of DVDs from Japan, but unfortunately they are often region 2 restricted. In order to play them back on American DVD players, I need to "rip" them and then burn them back as unrestricted (region 0) DVD-R.

The program I used to use on the Mac was MacTheRipper. Unfortunately, the program development on it seems to have stalled, and it isn't keeping pace with the latest encryption and anti-hacking technologies being used by some companies.

Fortunately a very good replacement for the Mac has come out called RipIt. It does cost $20, but well worth it if you have a lot of foreign DVDs that you want to play (or to backup DVDs that you watch often).

Under Windows XP or Windows 7, I use a program callled DVDFab. It's also commercial (i.e., costs money) but there isn't a DVD out there that it hasn't cracked. It works great under Fusion -- and it even writes the VIDEO_TS files out to a shared folder on my Mac OSX partition, so I can then write them out immediately using Toast, or use Handbrake to further compress them.

(You can compress to H.264 inside of both RipIt and DVD Fab but I think that Handbrake's algorithms are better and you have more control over the process).


Written: 2009-02-18
Updated: 2010-07-12

I'm setting up a media server in the anthropology department using Mac OSX 10.5 Server. With the demise of the C-Labs service, I wanted a secure way to make streaming video available for in-class use. The Mac OS X Leopard Server was an obvious choice.

Right now, I'm just using flat files and the Mac OSX Server built-in Apache server. In order to restrict the streams to just Yale students, I wanted to limit the contents of certain directories to just Yale IP addresses.

This should be easily done using .htaccess files. However, the default configuration doesn't have .htaccess services turned on (since it is server / file system intensive to do so). However, I couldn't for the life of me to get the Apache server to recognize my modifications in the /etc/httpd/httpd.conf file. ARGHH!!! It was almost as if it was ignoring it.

I swear that at the American Anthropological Meeting, at least one third of the anthropologists that I met had an iPhone. What a bunch of geeks!

jesus.jpgIn case you didn't know, AT&T will often give you discounted / corporate rates on their monthly service charge if you are an employee of some companies. And most larger schools have these negotiated rates for their students, faculty, staff, and other affiliates.

I should've done this when I signed up for my Jesus-phone but I didn't know until a few months later when a colleague told me. I went down to my local AT&T store and showed them my Yale ID card and they input the discount code in the computer.

Two months later, I'm saving about $12 a month on my service. Not a whole lot, but it adds up to $144 a year.

I was cleaning up my office today when I came across some old Kodak PhotoCDs from the late-paleolithic era (circa 2001). I put them in my Mac Book Pro to see what was on them but was surprised when neither the OSX 10.5 Leopard system (QuickLook or nor Photoshop CS3 could open them.

That's odd, I could've sworn Photoshop could handle PhotoCD .pcd files. A little googling reveals that Adobe abandoned that feature when they ported CS3 over to Intel and never bothered to carry the functionality over. I guess they decided Kodak and PhotoCD were good and dead.

Hmm... well, there's always GraphicConverter, right? It's the one application that can read practically everything. I launched it up and it read and converted the files from .pcd to .jpg just fine -- except for the 4 Base and 16 Base sizes. The Base size (512 x 768) displayed correctly but 4 Base and 16 Base came out indecipherably.

It looked like a bug in GraphicConverter, so I dashed off a bug report to them. I then had a couple of options according to the Google:

  • Run Photoshop CS3 in Rosetta mode and use the old Kodak PhotoCD plugin
  • Get Irfanview for the PC and do the conversion in that program, which just happened to have a very good batch function

Since I had VMWare Fusion running anyway, I downloaded Irfanview, installed the PhotoCD plugin, and ran the batch conversion. All done, all finished and my photos from a bygone era are now safely re-digitized as JPEGs.

The moral of the story is -- archival file formats aren't. Be safe and secure, save your files in something standard like JPEG* that isn't going to go anywhere as it isn't tied to one vendor.

* We'll want to revisit this in 10 years and see if JPEG is still around, but I'm pretty sure they'll still be JPEG importers even in 2018. I'm not so sure about JPEG2000, PNG, and Adobe DNG though!

One of my blog readers recently posed a question by e-mail:

I'm a Mac user with a disability who is debating whether to purchase the MacSpeech VRS. Though I know that Dragon Naturallyspeaking is still superior, I'd much prefer to use software supported on a Mac OS rather than have to switch to Windows. Like Karen I'm somebody who works with Japanese. I understand that MacSpeech does not yet suppose foreign text, particularly non-Roman alphabets. What I'd like to know is your experience writing Japanese names and terms in romanization. I also hear that MacSpeech does not yet have correct as you go or spelling functions. I should imagine this would be a big problem if a lot of the text you are dictating has foreign words in it. I hear that you can upload sample documents for it to analyze, but how useful or efficient is that?

I have to say that I'm disappointed with MacSpeech Dictate. After my initial installation problems (chronicled here), I tried using Dictate in my daily work.

It was fine for composing regular e-mail messages or blog entries such as this one that contained no technical language. However, it was useless for writing any scholarly material as I use Japanese words in my work. Without even the ability to spell out words (N-I-H-O-N-G-O), I'm stuck.

Trying to train it to learn words is an effort in futility, in my experience. There's no way to really train it specifically on your pronunciation so if it doesn't guess Hanako right on the first go, there's nothing you can do it to tell it that Hanako is Hanako.

There haven't been any updates recently and I've sort of lost hope on MacSpeech as a company. I think I'm going to just resort to running Dragon in Windows XP under VMWares Fusion.

"The Psychiatric Service Dog Society (PSDS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to responsible Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) education, advocacy, research and training facilitation. We provide essential information for persons disabled by severe mental illness, who wish to train a service dog to assist with the management of symptoms. We consult regularly with mental healthcare providers in their efforts to learn more about PSD. We also host an online community of service dog handlers veteran and new..."

WebMD cites a study from the recent issue of Molecular Psychiatry on the incidence of mental illness in American adults:

  • 1.7% developed alcohol dependency
  • 1.51% developed major depression
  • 1.12% developed generalized anxiety disorder
  • 1.02% developed alcohol abuse
  • 0.62% developed any panic disorder
  • 0.53% developed bipolar I disorder
  • 0.44% developed a phobia
  • 0.32% developed drug dependency
  • 0.32% developed social phobia
  • 0.28% developed drug abuse
  • 0.21% developed bipolar II disorder

Although the rates seem low, the author points out that the risks are greater than those for lung cancer, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.

Read the article on WebMD.

AA sent me this tidbit:


Constructing Bonds
The politics of relation in ethnographic representation

The festival focuses particularly upon the difficulties entailed by anthropological film production and dissemination â?? what is the â??useâ?? of ethnographic film? How and for whom is it being produced? We consider notions of the afterlife of the anthropological product â?? is it wrong for ethnographic data to be used as market research? Can other disciplines and areas of society benefit from this material? We encourage a diverse audience of anthropologists and non-anthropologists from academia and public realms, offering a community of discussion framed around a media source. Film screenings shall be accompanied by a panel discussion.

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August 2014

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