30 Apr 2018

I love Stairs 2 - Stairs in movies

Continued from the last journal, I would like to write about the same subject again. 
As a stairs lover, there are movies I cannot ignore.


If you are a puzzle lover, I guess you may be interested in Penrose Steps.
In the movie "Inception", there's a scene of two people going through the stairs in a Paradoxical architecture.

Please look at the video as shown below. In the video, from the time of 20 seconds, Penrose Steps will appear.

This movie is special because I love the world of three-dimensional rooms in the movie. I remember one of the characters, Cobb, looks for someone who can create a three-dimensional world for his job and he meets Ariadne.

There is a scene in which Cobb gives Ariadne a test to draw a maze. The test is drawing a maze, isn't it interesting? If you are a reader who has been reading my blog, you can guess I like mazes. This is a fiction story, but if it's a real story and I saw a help-wanted advertisement, I would definitely apply. This is the ideal job for me.

There is another stair scene in the movie, two men fight in a place which looks like an emergency staircase, and the lower stairs move and connect to the upper stairs. It reminds me of Escher's work.
"Inception" is full of three-dimensional scenes and I can enjoy seeing it again and again.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The second movie is one of the Harry Potter series. As you know, the main characters live in a dormitory and there are several staircases there. I like a scene where a staircase moves suddenly and changes the direction where it connects. It is truly a witches and wizards school, isn't it?

Spirited Away

Spirited Away is a Japanese animated film. A ten-year-old girl goes into a magical world unwillingly. She gets a job and lives in a big old Japanese bathhouse. That's house that has stairs and I like that three-dimensional space. This animated film makes me think how the structure of the bathhouse looks like. It's not only me, I found a guy who made the bathhouse by 3D software, it's awesome.
Here is the video of the 3D Spirited Away bathhouse.

Everyone has different tastes, and it depends on his or her preference, the rating can be different. My preference is related to space perception, so I like a movie that describes space and sometimes time. To sum up, I love "Inception" the most.
While I'm writing this journal, I noticed that all three movie stories are based on an unreal world. Maybe it makes a movie more fantastic and mysterious.
I'm looking forward to someone making a movie reminiscent of Escher's work.

28 Apr 2018

I love Stairs

I love boxes. As I wrote in the blog on 26th of April, I made lots of paper boxes when I was small. When I made paper boxes, I lived on the fourth floor of a 5-story housing complex and used stairs every day. The view from the veranda was very nice and I could see the beautiful night view of Tokyo, which was beautiful as if a jewel box had been overturned and scattered jewels.

I loved night views and there was one more thing I loved; stairs. Just so that you won't be misunderstood, I haven't exercised and am not a sporty type, so, I don't like going up stairs; I like stairs themselves. I don't know why but I like something that gives me a feeling of three-dimensional space, and stairs are one of them.

Cups which have stairs inside

About seven years ago, I was surfing the net and found interesting cups. You see the picture below; this cup has stairs inside. Isn't it strange? I like this nonsense idea of making stairs in a cup.

I bought four cups of these. Until I received the cups I didn't notice that this cup is a little inconvenient when I stir sugar because the spoon always hits the stairs, but I still like it. I love stairs but it's not like other hobbies, it's difficult to collect stairs, you know? The only thing I can do is taking pictures. So, this is a precious stairs collection for me.

The dead-end staircase

Speaking of staircases, there is one I should write about. In 2009, I attended the IPP29 (the International Puzzle Party), in San Francisco. I think some readers of this blog should have been to the IPP29. During the party, I was on a tour of the Winchester Mystery House the famous huge mansion in San Jose. 

This mansion is famous for being kept under continuous construction for decades by Sarah Winchester. Here are some pictures I took. I saw several stairs there and one of them was dead-end stairs. It looks weird and stimulates curiosity. I have no idea what the dead-end stairs were made for. It reminds me of Escher's works. This is one of my favorite places I've ever been to.

I wonder myself why I love stairs.
At least I know that stairs stimulate my imagination. I like to imagine a space that is spread after going through the stairs. I had a friend who also loves stairs in Japan. I think I was lucky I even met one and I wonder if there are people who love stairs somewhere? The world is huge; I hope I'm able to meet someone who loves stairs someday through this blog.

26 Apr 2018

A gingerbread which deviated from the norm

Gingerbread is cut out from a man-shaped cutter. They all look the same, but please look carefully, there are differences, some wear a bow tie and some wear a skirt. If you were a gingerbread, what would you be? If I were a gingerbread, I think I'm a gingerbread which deviated from the norm.

I was a kid that loved brick toys, mechanical things and handicrafts. My favorite plaything was paper crafts, especially, making tiny paper boxes. I was obsessed with making boxes and my bookshelf was filled with tiny boxes and it looked like as if dwarfs prepared for gifts hard for Christmas that was coming soon.

As I wrote in the blog on 26th of February, "Cannot stop watching mechanical linkages", watching machines' moving was one of my amusements as well. Every time I went out, I stopped in front of a Japanese traditional sweets shop window and watched the machine working until my mother became bored. For my mother, I did not apply to the definition of girls whom my mother thought of.

Looking back at other girls in my childhood, most of them loved to collect pretty things like hair ornaments with ribbons, Hello Kitty's stationery or something coloured pink and they preferred to play with these pretty things and enjoyed talking, and they were talkative. I liked pretty things too, but those things were not attractive enough to grab my heart.

I remember when I was seven or eight years old, a woman gave me a colouring book. A boy was given a book that had printed patterns of a car which could be cut and assembled as a three-dimensional car. I was disappointed because I wanted the book that the boy was given. I wondered why adults assumed what I liked? I was a girl who was tired of being labeled as a stereotype girl.

As I grew up, the difference between most girls and me were getting more obvious. When I was a high school student, my classmates were crazy about singers and movie stars, and me, I was like still an elementary school boy, interested in insects and animals. For instance, while they went to a movie theater with little fancy clothes and gazed at a movie star with moony eyes, I worn an ordinary T-shirt, and watched ants curiously in the backyard. If my neighbors saw me watching ants on the ground, maybe I should have been thought of as a weird person because they couldn't see ants, but me.

I wondered if I was an eccentric?
One day, when I thought about such a thing, I found a book of Richard Feynman at the local library. While continuing to read his book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman", I found a description that he was watching ants, unexpectedly. Actually, he analyzed the behavior of ants, and I just watched ants, so it's not exactly the same, but I still had a sense of closeness with him. It's not only me!

Even after becoming a full working adult, I was interested in plankton, puzzles, handicrafts and 3D graphics. As you can guess, friends around me, nobody was interested in these things and I was a bit lonely. Rarely, did I pay attention to fashion and accessories, yet still I didn't know famous brand names.
One day, I saw a nice bag with a logo mark. I asked my colleague "Is again b a brand name?" She suddenly laughed and said, "It's not again b, it's agnès b!"
Well, if you have been believing that the logo was "again b" you must be on my team.

It may be a little harsh expression, but since I was small, I've been having a feeling that I'm like a gingerbread which deviated from the norm. When I was young, I took its meaning negatively and gradually I changed the idea. Having differences from others can be an advantage.
Gingerbread is not all the same and I believe the differences make this world attractive and tasty.

photo credit: Cousin Dirk Gingerbread Men via photopin (license)
photo credit: vpickering Gingerbread men via photopin (license)

21 Apr 2018

Rube Goldberg Machine

I picked up one of my favorites for today's topic; it's Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a compound of linkages of each simple function that can be transmitted to the next function. It reminds me of the butterfly effect, but the butterfly effect is a kind of phenomenon, while Rube Goldberg machine is as stated in the name, like a machine which put linkages together.

It's difficult to explain in English because I'm not a native English speaker. So, seeing a picture is worth a thousand words. Please take a look at the picture below.
This is a rough drawing of mine. I would like to have a cup of coffee which is placed on the right-hand side of the table with a sugar cube. So, I have to put a sugar cube in the cup, you see? A sugar cube is on the seesaw just in front of the cup. Of course, it's much easier to pick up a sugar cube by hand and put it into the cup. This is one example. The name of Rube Goldberg machine is originated from an American cartoonist, Rube Goldberg.
To make a thing that can be done easily deliberately complicated and difficult looks stupid but fun.

I would like to introduce you to a very famous TV program that is related to Rube Goldberg machine in Japan. This may interest you. Just in case you are not Japanese, I'll explain to you about this program "Pythagora Switch." This program was broadcasted by NHK (the TV station which has a network in the whole country in Japan). It was made for small children, but it attracted many adults and became famous. I don't know but I guess the word "Pythagora" came from a Greek mathematician's name, Pythagoras. "Pythagora Switch" is at the beginning of the following video.


There is one unique video which is also related to Rube Goldberg machine. This video was the TV commercial film of one of the biggest Japanese mobile phone companies. Strictly speaking, I don't think I can say this is a kind of Rube Goldberg machine, because one wooden ball is rolling in the beginning to the end. If you like Rube Goldberg machine and Bach, you will like it.
The music behind the video is "Bach Cantata No.147 Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring." Enjoy!

17 Apr 2018

Something not puzzling, but which puzzles me

How many keys do you have? I have five keys and all of them are kept on a key ring. A friend of mine gave me this beautiful key ring. 
I like it very much, but it sometimes gets entangled, and a key gets stuck in the ring, and somehow or other, I manage to take the key from the ring several times. I have no idea why the keys get caught in the ring. Maybe it is because I keep too many keys on a small ring? My key ring is almost like a cast puzzle. There are things that are not puzzling but which puzzle me.
Every morning, I open the front gate that is fastened with a hook with chains connected in the end, and it often gets entangled like a cast puzzle too. It irritates me a lot. 

I try to make myself believe that I'm playing with a puzzle to calm myself.
"I'm playing a puzzle. Yes, I am. It doesn't look like it, but it is."
I thought that it might relieve my irritation a little, but it didn't work at all.

There are more things which make me puzzled. They are clothes pegs and pinch hangers. They are made from thick wire and its structure looks like a cast puzzle, really. It depends, when I pick up one of those pegs, I can fish two or three other pegs at once. If it's fishing, it's a good catch. 

I've been writing about cast-puzzle like things, but there are secret puzzle box types of things in everyday life as well. I don't remember what it was, but I bought something and those products had been packaged very neatly and firmly. I couldn't even find the first clue to open the box.

Yes, I know. Human beings are selfish creatures. Sometimes they enjoy being puzzled and sometimes they don't. If the
multiple clip hanger I use was sold as "multiple-clip-hanger like puzzle", maybe I would have enjoyed being puzzled or maybe not?