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Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's blog is my mini-journal about GaryJWolff.com. It...

  •  lets you know whenever any new pages are added to GaryJWolff.com
  •  allows me to periodically share some interesting stuff about Japanese culture  
  •  keeps you up-to-date on any other postings or news regarding GaryJWolff.com

Enjoy...

Cheers, 
Gary


Recent website updates (at bottom of the page)
Feel free to share your comments below.


Jan. 16, 2021 - Origami (折り紙) Changes Everything

The ancient art of paper folding known as origami (formed from 'ori (折り)' meaning folding and 'kami (紙)' meaning paper) has been used for centuries, but in recent years research teams have adapted the origami folding technique to many other interesting applications, ranging from microscopic stomach cleaning robots to solar sails and telescopes that can unfold in outer space. One obstacle to its full potential, though, has been achieving mass production.

Professor Ichiro Hagiwara, Ph.D., a professor in Meiji University's Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, and his origami engineering research team have been working to solve this problem and have successfully developed a 3D origami printer. He believes origami-based manufacturing will greatly improve our lives in the near future in fields like automobile safety technology, car parts, space development systems, beverage containers, and more.

Watch the "Origami Changes Everything" video below to learn more. [The video is also available with Japanese subtitles (日本語字幕) here.] It's one of several other videos in Meiji University's "Incredible Senseis" series viewable here in a YouTube playlist.



Origami Changes Everything
[The video is one of several others in Meiji University's "Incredible Senseis" series.]
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Jan. 1, 2021 - 1st Sunrise of the New Year in Tokyo - 初日の出 Hatsuhinode

Hatsuhinode (初日の出) is the Japanese Shinto tradition of viewing the 1st sunrise of the New Year to greet Toshigami (年神), the god of the New Year, with hopes of receiving good luck, well-being, and health. Before sunrise on January 1, many people will drive to the coast, climb a mountain, or go to the top of a tall building or structure, like the Tokyo Sky Tree or Tokyo Tower, to view it. Here's the one which occurred in Tokyo this morning at 6:51 am. Happy New Year!! May we all be blessed this year with "good luck, well-being, and health."


1st Sunrise of the New Year in Tokyo - 初日の出 Hatsuhinode
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Dec. 28, 2020 - Ten Characteristics of People who end up Rich

Hindsight is 2020, and so it's time to look forward to a new start! Dan Miller, author of "48 Days to the Work You Love," has some ideas on how to enjoy a prosperous New Year. HAPPY TWENTY TWENTY-ONE, everybody! smiley

Ten Characteristics of People who end up Rich:
  1. Expect Success
  2. Create a clear plan
  3. Work Hard
  4. Avoid Debt
  5. Be teachable and a lifelong learner
  6. Exercise self-control, persistence, and delayed gratification.
  7. Accept Personal Responsibility
  8. Keep Good Company
  9. Remain Opportunity conscious
  10. Enjoy the present but plan for the future



Dec. 26, 2020 - The New York Hudson Yards Vessel

A good friend of mine in London who's an architect with the Thomas Heatherwick design studio there, recently introduced me to an amazing project his firm designed in the Hudson Yards in New York City.

The "Vessel" is an open-air, 16-story honeycomb-shaped spiral staircase for visitors to climb. Comprised of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs – almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings – the attraction offers remarkable views of New York City and the Hudson River. WOW!

The Hudson Yards Vessel
The New York Hudson Yards Vessel
(photo credit: https://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com)




Dec. 19, 2020 - 2020 Tokyo Midtown illuminations (東京ミッドタウンのイルミネーション)

Highlights include the Snow Light Globe, Step Lights, Midtown Ice Rink, and the Santa Xmas tree with 1800 mini Santa figurines. Wow! Don't miss the ice skater with colorful lights on his skates! Merry Xmas, everybody...



2020 Tokyo Midtown illuminations, Roppongi, Dec. 5, 2020
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Dec. 3, 2020 - Santa Mickey (サンタ ミッキー) thrills the masses...

2020 was indeed a tough year for many folks, but the good news is that 2021 is just around the corner! To help boost your spirits, back by popular demand this year is the famous Santa Mickey, who for the past decade has thrilled kids worldwide with Xmas carol karaoke practice. smiley Happy holidays from Santa Mickey!!


All 5 videos are in a playlist and will play continuously, non-stop. Or click on the playlist symbol in the upper right corner above to select any of the other 4 videos. OR... play the entire playlist in a new window here.




Nov. 25, 2020 - 'Tis the season....

...for the gorgeous fall colors in Tokyo! Let the fun begin! After SO many years of living in this beautiful country, I can still never get enough of the non-stop display of fall foliage which begins here every year around mid-November. Hopefully I'll have more to share in the weeks ahead!

fall colors in Mizumoto Koen
Mizumoto Park, Tokyo, Japan
 



Nov. 5, 2020 - Motivating Students With the Quizizz Classroom App

The presenter, who has enjoyed success motivating students using real-time online classroom games like Quizlet Live, recently added another new game to his repertoire called Quizizz, a free online tool for creating quizzes where students can use their mobile devices to compete against each other in the classroom. This video introduces the Quizizz app, including demonstrating the classroom Live Game mode, as well as how Quizizz can be used for out-of-class study.


Motivating Students With the Quizizz Classroom App
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

0:00 Intro & presentation outline
1:33 Presenter’s background & experience with gamification
3:44 Intro to Quizizz
5:16 Quizizz Features
6:20 Quizizz Effects on Student Motivation
8:00 Quizizz website
13:23 Types of questions & creating questions
14:50 Video demo of a live Quizizz game
20:27 “Reports” feature for student assessment
23:59 Reference sources
24:23 Contact details




Oct. 24, 2020 - America in Peril — America 2020 Predicted in 1961

America In Peril exposes the list compiled in 1961 that details the specific goals necessary to destroy Christianity in America, destroy the republic, and implement a godless Marxist, communist system of government.

The 45-item list was published in 1961 in “The Naked Communist” by former FBI Agent W. Cleon Skousen and is shown at the conclusion of the video below.

Most of the communist goals have been achieved, and our country is on the brink of becoming a communist country where liberty is crushed and the people live in fear and misery.

Watch this shocking analysis of what is going on in the United States today and what we face in the crucial upcoming election. Conduct your own analysis, pray, and vote. (Source: Buzzsaw Media)


America In Peril — America 2020 Predicted in 1961
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Oct. 17, 2020 - We can never be too careful...

...to protect ourselves against COVID-19!! Meanwhile in my home state of Texas, this guy is Double-Filtered, ha ha... laughing icon

Meanwhile in Texas
Meanwhile in Texas




Oct. 6, 2020 - Japanese "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー)

This interesting piece of Japanese playground equipment is known as a "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー), to measure how high you can jump up and touch. The little numbers range from 210-280 and indicate height in centimeters, e.g. the red "225" represents 2.25 m (~7 ft. 5 in.). Only in Japan... laughing icon

Japanese high jumper
Japanese "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー)




Sept. 25, 2020 - NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia (スペースシャトル・コロンビア) is found alive and well....in TOKYO!

Just when I thought that all of NASA's space shuttles had been retired, then while out on my bike earlier this year, I found Space Shuttle Columbia (スペースシャトル・コロンビア) parked on the rooftop of a Tokyo kindergarten, disguised as a piece of children's playground equipment. laughing icon

Space Shuttle Columbia in Tokyo
Space Shuttle Columbia (スペースシャトル・コロンビア) in Tokyo
                 



Sept. 12, 2020 - THE FAMILY TREE OF VINCENT VAN GOGH:

The dizzy aunt -- Verti Gogh
The brother who ate prunes -- Gotta Gogh
The brother who worked at a convenience store -- Stop N Gogh
The ballroom dancing aunt -- Tang Gogh
The bird lover uncle -- Flamin Gogh
The fruit-loving cousin -- Man Gogh
An aunt who taught positive thinking -- Way-to-Gogh
A sister who loves disco -- Go Gogh
His niece who travels in an RV -- Winny Bay Gogh
The grandfather from Yugoslavia -- U Gogh
His magician uncle -- Where-diddy Gogh
His Mexican cousin -- A Mee Gogh
The Mexican cousin's American half-brother -- Gring Gogh
The nephew who drove a stage coach -- Wells-far Gogh
The constipated uncle -- Can't Gogh
The little bouncy nephew -- Poe Gogh
The great-niece who worked at an organic dyeing factory -- Indi Gogh
The safari-cousin -- Con Gogh
The half-brother who exported cars from Japan -- Car Gogh

And I saw you smiling, so...there ya Gogh! laughing icon

Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait
(public domain, courtesy of Wikipedia)




Aug. 28, 2020 - The final TGIF sunrise of August 2020! :-)


Edogawa sunrise - 20.8.28
Edo River (江戸川), Tokyo, Japan
Fri. Aug. 28, 2020, 5:11 am




Aug. 18, 2020 - Funny Japanese store names

One of the pleasures of living in Japan are the delightful little surprises one routinely encounters in a typical day. For example, strolling thru Tokyo shopping malls might raise a few eyebrows while trying to decipher the creative use of English in some of the shop names! Never a dull moment in the Land of the Rising Sun... smiley laughing icon

American Holic store in Tokyo, Japan
American Holic store in Tokyo, Japan


Awesome Store in Tokyo, Japan
Awesome Store in Tokyo, Japan


Love Toxic store in Tokyo, Japan
Love Toxic store in Tokyo, Japan


3 Coins store in Tokyo, Japan
3 Coins store in Tokyo, Japan




Aug. 6, 2020 - YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN TEXAS IN AUGUST WHEN…

- Trees are whistling for dogs.
- The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
- Hot water now comes out of both taps.
- You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
- You discover that it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
- You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 am.
- The temperature drops below 95 (35 C) and you feel a little chilly.
- You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
- You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
- Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, 'What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?'
- You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
- The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt, and pepper.
- Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
- The cows are producing only evaporated milk.
Ah, what a great place to call home.
God Bless the Great State of Texas. laughing icon

waving texas flag




July 26, 2020 - Social distancing failure

Oops! Looks like someone's brain wasn't firing on all cylinders when laying out these waiting lines on a Tokyo subway station platform. But definitely worth a hearty laugh, ha ha! smiley laughing icon

social distancing failure
Social distancing failure
(photo credit: David Couvreur)




July 20, 2020 - I have ARRIVED!! :-)

I'm finally moving up in the world. At long last, after a remarkable six decades, I've finally been granted my own personal parking space... smiley laughing icon

Gary's bicycle parking space
Gary's new personal bicycle parking space




July 13, 2020 - Lettuce face mask! :-)


lettuce face mask

Lettuce come together.
Romaine calm.
This may just be the tip of the iceberg. laughing icon




July 4, 2020 - Happy Birthday, America! (お誕生日おめでとう、アメリカ!)

Today, on the occasion of America's 244th birthday, I just want to share a song that has truly touched my soul. It's America's national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," sung by a precious little 8-year-old girl named Malea Emma. WOW, what a BIG, beautiful voice from such a tiny little person! smiley



"The Star Spangled Banner," sung by Malea Emma
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)








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Website Updates

Jan 15, 2021

Origami (折り紙) Changes Everything

The ancient art of paper folding known as origami (formed from 'ori (折り)' meaning folding and 'kami (紙)' meaning paper) has been used for centuries, but in recent years research teams have adapted the origami folding technique to many other interesting applications, ranging from microscopic stomach cleaning robots to solar sails and telescopes that can unfold in outer space. One obstacle to its full potential, though, has been achieving mass production.

Professor Ichiro Hagiwara, Ph.D., a professor in Meiji University's Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, and his origami engineering research team have been working to solve this problem and have successfully developed a 3D origami printer. He believes origami-based manufacturing will greatly improve our lives in the near future in fields like automobile safety technology, car parts, space development systems, beverage containers, and more.

Click link to watch the "Origami Changes Everything" video below to learn more. It's one of several other videos in Meiji University's "Incredible Senseis" series viewable in a YouTube playlist.

Continue reading "Origami (折り紙) Changes Everything"

Jan 15, 2021

Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's blog keeps you up-to-date with my everyday life in Japan, as well as recent additions/changes to the GaryJWolff.com website.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog"

Jan 01, 2021

1st Sunrise of the New Year in Tokyo - 初日の出 Hatsuhinode

Hatsuhinode (初日の出) is the Japanese Shinto tradition of viewing the 1st sunrise of the New Year to greet Toshigami (年神), the god of the New Year, with hopes of receiving good luck, well-being, and health. Before sunrise on January 1, many people will drive to the coast, climb a mountain, or go to the top of a tall building or structure, like the Tokyo Sky Tree or Tokyo Tower, to view it. Here's the one which occurred in Tokyo this morning at 6:51 am. Happy New Year!! May we all be blessed this year with "good luck, well-being, and health."

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "1st Sunrise of the New Year in Tokyo - 初日の出 Hatsuhinode"

Dec 27, 2020

The New York Hudson Yards Vessel

A good friend of mine in London who's an architect with the Thomas Heatherwick design studio there, recently introduced me to an amazing project his firm designed in the Hudson Yards in New York City.

The "Vessel" is an open-air, 16-story honeycomb-shaped spiral staircase for visitors to climb. Comprised of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs – almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings – the attraction offers remarkable views of New York City and the Hudson River. WOW!

(click link to view photo)

Continue reading "The New York Hudson Yards Vessel"

Dec 19, 2020

2020 Tokyo Midtown illuminations (東京ミッドタウンのイルミネーション)

Highlights include the Snow Light Globe, Step Lights, Midtown Ice Rink, and the Santa Xmas tree with 1800 mini Santa figurines. Wow! Don't miss the ice skater with colorful lights on his skates! Merry Xmas, everybody...

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "2020 Tokyo Midtown illuminations (東京ミッドタウンのイルミネーション)"

Dec 19, 2020

Santa Mickey (サンタ ミッキー) thrills the masses...

2020 was indeed a tough year for many folks, but the good news is that 2021 is just around the corner! To help boost your spirits, back by popular demand this year is the famous Santa Mickey, who for the past decade has thrilled kids worldwide with Xmas carol karaoke practice. :-) Happy holidays from Santa Mickey!!

(click link to watch video of Santa Mickey Xmas carols)

Continue reading "Santa Mickey (サンタ ミッキー) thrills the masses..."

Dec 19, 2020

Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 2

Page 2 of the most frequently asked questions about climbing Mt. Fuji, including info on routes, maps, videos, transport access, weather, and climber stories.

Continue reading "Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 2"

Dec 03, 2020

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2012

Includes videos of my Sept. 2012 Houston vacation, a Pub Elvis reunion, & NORAD Tracks Santa, plus pics of nighttime fall colors in Rikugien Garden.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2012"

Dec 03, 2020

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2015

Posts include Little Texas Bar & Grill in Tokyo, world's oldest businesses, 60th anniversary of NORAD Tracks Santa, & the Mr. Wolfman song by Kazutoshi.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2015"

Nov 25, 2020

'Tis the season....

...for the gorgeous fall colors in Tokyo! Let the fun begin! After SO many years of living in this beautiful country, I can still never get enough of the non-stop display of fall foliage which begins here every year around mid-November. Hopefully I'll have more to share in the weeks ahead!

(click link to see pic of fall colors)

Continue reading "'Tis the season...."

Nov 05, 2020

Motivating Students With the Quizizz Classroom App

The presenter, who has enjoyed success motivating students using real-time online classroom games like Quizlet Live, recently added another new game to his repertoire called Quizizz, a free online tool for creating quizzes where students can use their mobile devices to compete against each other in the classroom. This video introduces the Quizizz app, including demonstrating the classroom Live Game mode, as well as how Quizizz can be used for out-of-class study.

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "Motivating Students With the Quizizz Classroom App"

Oct 24, 2020

America in Peril — America 2020 Predicted in 1961

America In Peril exposes the list compiled in 1961 that details the specific goals necessary to destroy Christianity in America, destroy the republic, and implement a godless Marxist, communist system of government.

The 45-item list was published in 1961 in “The Naked Communist” by former FBI Agent W. Cleon Skousen and is shown at the conclusion of the video below.

Most of the communist goals have been achieved, and our country is on the brink of becoming a communist country where liberty is crushed and the people live in fear and misery.

Watch this shocking analysis of what is going on in the United States today and what we face in the crucial upcoming election. Conduct your own analysis, pray, and vote.

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "America in Peril — America 2020 Predicted in 1961"

Oct 21, 2020

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2020

Posts include coronavirus statistics, Mariah Carey’s Holy Week tribute, a Texas longhorn, KFC’s Golden Week GW sign, and the Feel the Wind statue.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2020"

Oct 21, 2020

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2019

Posts include beautiful Spring 2019 flowers, including the baby blue eyes flowers in Hitachi Seaside Park and stunning cherry blossoms at Tokyo’s Chidorigafuchi Park.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2019"

Oct 16, 2020

We can never be too careful...

...to protect ourselves against COVID-19!! Meanwhile in my home state of Texas, this guy is Double-Filtered, ha ha... :-)

(click link to see funny picture)

Continue reading "We can never be too careful..."

Oct 08, 2020

Gyotoku Bird Observatory (行徳野鳥観察舎)

The Gyotoku Bird Observatory is a 56-hectare natural habitat for aquatic birds in Ichikawa, Chiba, and a great place to escape Tokyo's concrete jungle.

Continue reading "Gyotoku Bird Observatory (行徳野鳥観察舎)"

Oct 05, 2020

Japanese "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー)

This interesting piece of Japanese playground equipment is known as a "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー), to measure how high you can jump up and touch. The little numbers range from 210-280 and indicate height in centimeters, e.g. the red "225" represents 2.25 m (~7 ft. 5 in.). Only in Japan... :-)

(click link to see photo)

Continue reading "Japanese "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー)"

Sep 24, 2020

NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia (スペースシャトル・コロンビア) is found alive and well....in TOKYO!

Just when I thought that all of NASA's space shuttles had been retired, then while out on my bike earlier this year, I found Space Shuttle Columbia (スペースシャトル・コロンビア) parked on the rooftop of a Tokyo kindergarten, disguised as a piece of children's playground equipment. :-)

(click link to see space shuttle pic)

Continue reading "NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia (スペースシャトル・コロンビア) is found alive and well....in TOKYO!"

Sep 11, 2020

THE FAMILY TREE OF VINCENT VAN GOGH:

The dizzy aunt -- Verti Gogh
The brother who ate prunes -- Gotta Gogh
The brother who worked at a convenience store -- Stop N Gogh
The ballroom dancing aunt -- Tang Gogh
The bird lover uncle -- Flamin Gogh
The fruit-loving cousin -- Man Gogh
An aunt who taught positive thinking -- Way-to-Gogh
A sister who loves disco -- Go Gogh
His niece who travels in an RV -- Winny Bay Gogh
The grandfather from Yugoslavia -- U Gogh
His magician uncle -- Where-diddy Gogh
His Mexican cousin -- A Mee Gogh
The Mexican cousin's American half-brother -- Gring Gogh
The nephew who drove a stage coach -- Wells-far Gogh
The constipated uncle -- Can't Gogh
The little bouncy nephew -- Poe Gogh
The great-niece who worked at an organic dyeing factory -- Indi Gogh
The safari-cousin -- Con Gogh
The half-brother who exported cars from Japan -- Car Gogh

And I saw you smiling, so...there ya Gogh! :-)

Continue reading "THE FAMILY TREE OF VINCENT VAN GOGH:"

Sep 06, 2020

English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners

A quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with the TH/S, R/L, B/V, & F/H sounds.

Continue reading "English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners"





Pattaya ebook cover
Only $1.99 at Amazon
(¥214 at アマゾン日本)




Alaska ebook cover
Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥340 at アマゾン日本)



Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ at Amazon (¥105 at アマゾン日本)


What's New?

  1. Origami (折り紙) Changes Everything

    Jan 15, 21 08:17 PM

    The ancient art of paper folding known as origami (formed from 'ori (折り)' meaning folding and 'kami (紙)' meaning paper) has been used for centuries, but in recent years research teams have adapted the…

    Read more

  2. Gary J. Wolff's Blog

    Jan 15, 21 08:06 PM

    Gary J. Wolff's blog keeps you up-to-date with my everyday life in Japan, as well as recent additions/changes to the GaryJWolff.com website.

    Read more

  3. 1st Sunrise of the New Year in Tokyo - 初日の出 Hatsuhinode

    Jan 01, 21 08:54 AM

    Hatsuhinode (初日の出) is the Japanese Shinto tradition of viewing the 1st sunrise of the New Year to greet Toshigami (年神), the god of the New Year, with hopes of receiving good luck, well-being, and heal…

    Read more










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Gary J. Wolff
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GW's road trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ at Amazon
(¥114 at アマゾン日本)




new Climbing Mt. Fuji book
Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)




Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)