Tag: Japan

Play For Japan charity album has been released!

by on Jul.11, 2011, under Art, Articles, Entertainment, Gaming, Music, Video Games, Videos, Visual Media

So I am a few days late in announcing this and for that I am sorry but the video game music album, Play For Japan has been released on iTunes. If you don’t remember what I am talking about here is video game composer Laura Shigihara to explain:

Video Link: Play for Japan: The Album

The album is a charity album with all it’s profits going to relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that hit back in March of 2011 and has on it original songs written by many famous video game composers including:

[spoiler show="Click to see the list of composers and songs."]Akira Yamaoka (Shadows of the Damned) | “Ex Animo”
Arthur Inasi (Harmonix) | “We Are One”
Bear McCreary (SOCOM 4) | “Maverick Regeneration”
Chance Thomas (Lord of the Rings Online) | “Rise Up”
Hip Tanaka.β (Mother) | “HVC-1384″
Inon Zur feat. The Lyris Quartet (Dragon Age) | “Remember”
Jason Graves (Dead Space) | “Necromancer”
Koji Kondo (Super Mario Bros.) | “Super Mario Medley On Two Pianos”
Laura Karpman (Everquest II) w/Lisbeth Scott | “Pine Wind Sound”
Laura Shigihara (Plants vs. Zombies) | “Jump”
Mitsuto Suzuki (The 3rd Birthday) | “Play for You”
Nobuko Toda (Metal Gear Solid 4) | “Reminiscence”
Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) | “Every New Morning”
Penka Kouneva (Prince of Persia) | “White Cloud”
Sean Murray (Call of Duty) | “The Temple Stone”
Tommy Tallarico (Advent Rising) | “Greater Lights”
Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption) | “Moshi Moshi”
Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger) | “Dimension Break”[/spoiler]
You can download the music now from iTunes by follow this iTunes link or wait until July 15th for it to go on sale on Amazon.com. For more information you can see all my posts about Play For Japan or go to the Play For Japan website.

 

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Play for Japan Update

by on Jul.09, 2011, under Articles, Entertainment, Gaming, Music, Video Games

So my only update for the charity album, Play For Japan, is that there is no real news. The album is being released by premier video game composers to help raise money for Japan after its recent natural disasters and has apparently been tied up in copyright issues.

 

(original album artwork by Yoshitaka Amano)

There is some new and interesting facts about the album released via Gamasutra’s interview with Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill), Laura Shigihara (Plants vs Zombies), and Woody Jackson (L.A. Noire).

 

If you are still interested in more information you can visit the Play For Japan website, follow Laura Shigihara’s blog, or just keep watching here.

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Play For Japan: June 20th

by on Jun.13, 2011, under Art, Articles, Entertainment, Gaming, Music, Video Games

As I posted earlier, many prominent video game composers are putting together a charity album of music that will go to support Japan’s rebuilding efforts. Laura Shigihara, one of the composers, has posted an update video regarding the album, along with a sneak preview of one of the songs:

So as she said in the video, the Play for Japan album has been moved back to June 20th. Don’t worry I’ll remind you.

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Play for Japan: The Album

by on Jun.09, 2011, under Articles, Entertainment, Gaming, Music, Video Games, Videos, Visual Media

Above is a video Laura Shigihara, the music composer for the video game Plants vs Zombies, posted about a donation opportunity to help support Japan. In June an album will be released containing music composed by several well-known and internationally famous video game composers. Let me quote the full track list:

Akira Yamaoka (Shadows of the Damned) | “Ex Animo”
Arthur Inasi (Harmonix) | “We Are One”
Bear McCreary (SOCOM 4) | “Maverick Regeneration”
Chance Thomas (Lord of the Rings Online) | “Rise Up”
Hip Tanaka.β (Mother) | “HVC-1384″
Inon Zur feat. The Lyris Quartet (Dragon Age) | “Remember”
Jason Graves (Dead Space) | “Necromancer”
Koji Kondo (Super Mario Bros.) | “Super Mario Medley On Two Pianos”
Laura Karpman (Everquest II) w/Lisbeth Scott | “Pine Wind Sound”
Laura Shigihara (Plants vs. Zombies) | “Jump”
Mitsuto Suzuki (The 3rd Birthday) | “Play for You”
Nobuko Toda (Metal Gear Solid 4) | “Reminiscence”
Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) | “Every New Morning”
Penka Kouneva (Prince of Persia) | “White Cloud”
Sean Murray (Call of Duty) | “The Temple Stone”
Tommy Tallarico (Advent Rising) | “Greater Lights”
Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption) | “Moshi Moshi”
Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger) | “Dimension Break”

“Play for Japan: The Album” will be released on iTunes in June, and I’ll make sure to tell you the exact date as soon as we know. 100% of the profits will be donated to the relief efforts in Japan. Please help us spread the news about this wonderful video game music charity album, thank-you^^

You can find composer Akira Yamoka’s personal message and more information at the Play For Japan Website here.

So there you have it. Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, and Laura Shigihara, and many others, all on one album. It’s rather amazing. Plus the cover art will be done by Yoshitaka Amano!

So keep an eye out for it. I’ll post more updates as I hear about it.

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International Atomic Energy Agency reports on Japan

by on Jun.07, 2011, under Articles, News, Science

IAEA completes fact-finding mission to Japan [The Examiner]

Short and sweet article on the preliminary information released by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s fact-finding mission in Japan. Their full report will be given June 20th but the IAEA has released some preliminary reports.

The team posted some summarized bullet points the article above notes.

  • Japan’s response to the nuclear accident has been exemplary, particularly illustrated by the dedicated, determined and expert staff working under exceptional circumstances;
  • Japan’s long-term response, including the evacuation of the area around stricken reactors, has been impressive and well organized. A suitable and timely follow-up programme on public and worker exposures and health monitoring would be beneficial;
  • The tsunami hazard for several sites was underestimated. Nuclear plant designers and operators should appropriately evaluate and protect against the risks of all natural hazards, and should periodically update those assessments and assessment methodologies;
  • Nuclear regulatory systems should address extreme events adequately, including their periodic review, and should ensure that regulatory independence and clarity of roles are preserved; and
  • The Japanese accident demonstrates the value of hardened on-site Emergency Response Centres with adequate provisions for handling all necessary emergency roles, including communications.

I find it interesting that the team does feel that the plant designers and operators were at fault for not protecting against a Tsunami of that magnitude that hit Japan. The Earthquake itself was one of the largest in human history. Although I suppose it is possible the team feels that a more effective upkeep and standards system for disaster control needs to be implemented, more than actual blame being laid. If I remember correctly the plant that was hit the hardest was one of the oldest and had the most retrofitted safety systems.

All in all, kudos Japan. International team says you did good, which most of us know you did, but it’s always nice to hear the experts give praise too. Helps mitigate, in my mind, all the sensationalist press that went on during the disaster.

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Plants vs Zombies for Japan

by on Mar.23, 2011, under Announcements, Articles

Plants vs Zombies Soundtrack Sale for Japan [Laura Shigihara]

The above link is to the private blog of Laura Shigihara, the composer to the sound track of Plants vs Zombies. She has been selling the soundtrack to Plants vs Zombies on her Bandcamp page for $3.99 and as of right now, all proceeds go to the Mercy Corps and Peace Winds Japan organizations. Here is the video of Laura explaining other avenues you can take.

And again, if music isn’t your thing there are some awesome sketches available for purchase on Creepy Kitch whose proceeds will also go to Japan.

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Creepy Kitch (yes we know it’s misspelled) helps Japan!

by on Mar.17, 2011, under Announcements, Articles, News, Politics

Creepy Kitch: Creepy Kitch Helps Japan

I’m sure all you blog readers out there have already found your primary donation spots for giving to the latest world disaster but if you haven’t and you still have some spare cash, click on the link above. It leads to Creepy Kitch, one of my favorite horror podcasts hosted by the two lovely and kitchy (Yes they know it’s spelled wrong) ladies Cins and Stacs. They are selling prints of various Creepy Kitch related art with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. I know these ladies personally and can vouch for their authenticity in regards to both receiving the art and the money making it into the hands of a charity.

Here are two of the prints I plan to buy:

Happy Birthday Creepy Kitch by ~CinsAngel on deviantART

Zombie on a Hamster Wheel by ~CinsAngel on deviantART

 

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Japan, Scandinavia, and The Nuclear World

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Comics, News, Politics

Scandinavia and The World: Don’t Panic

I can’t verify the comic’s claims that Japan is taking it all in stride. Although some of the videos I have seen show rather stoic Japanese.

What saddens me is the commentary after the comic. The amount of misinformation obviously evident in most of the comments. As I read a few I kept hoping perhaps they were being ironic but I am not sure.

And here is another Uncle Pat rant on Crazy Uncle Ivan’s updating the nuclear issues going on in Japan. He attempts to set some of the record straight regarding the dangers and what plants have problems. Yes there is more than one that is having a problem but the general media is too confused (plus people who don’t read Japanese have a hard time remembering the different names of each plant) to explain it correctly. Perhaps confused is too nice of a word.

The summary is basically: Nothing is melting down. No one has been or is in danger and all the safety procedures taken that involve the public (pills and evacuations) are still according to the plan as a ‘just in case’ measure because even if things are still within plan it is better to be safe than sorry. So far nobody but the Japanese electric grid is sorry, thank the souls.

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Nuclear power plant explosion!

by on Mar.13, 2011, under Articles, News, Politics, Science

Doom! Gloom! Japan’s nuclear power plants are exploding!

Explosion rocks Japanese nuclear power plant; 5 reactors in peril by Steven Mufson [Washington Post]

It really does amaze me sometimes what passes for news. I realize that news can be boring if you don’t editorialize or sensationalize it but… dammit if the news is boring, let it be boring. Don’t put your unintentional spin on it. Read the above article. It is kind of hard to get away from the tone of ‘OMG nuclear plant is exploding! Japan is going to die!’ but if you read it critically, you can see the few statements where someone other than a journalist, a specialist who understand the situation, is talking about the situation and explaining that while things are broken, the safety precautions are working to keep people safe. The seriousness of the situation is in the damage and possible loss of a functional nuclear power plant, not in radiation exposure or nuclear explosions.

A good article would present the facts. Tell the problems. Give interviews, even provide links to where readers can find more information about the facts such as the Wikipedia entry and entries on HowStuffWorks.

[spoiler show="Lets analyze this article a little"]Lets analyze this article a little.

Page 1

Opening line: “An explosion rocked one of Japan’s nuclear power plants Saturday, causing a portion of a building to crumble, sending white smoke billowing into the air and prompting Japanese officials to warn people in the vicinity to cover their mouths and stay indoors.”

 

Doom & Gloom: “In what may become the most serious nuclear power crisis since the Chernobyl disaster”

 

Within the first two paragraphs we’ve already set the tone for the article. This isn’t telling you about how nuclear power plant have triplicate power safety systems or shielding that worked make the explosion damage everything but the key systems that could lead to radiation getting released. Instead we focus on the scary parts and make a rather gross comparison to the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history.

Page 2

News & Follow up: “Earlier, NISA said no dangerous radioactive material had been released, but the government evacuated people as a precaution nonetheless.”

 

Relevant News: “Edano said the explosion blew off the roof and walls of the building around the containment vessel but did no serious damage to the container itself.”

 

Immediate Followup: “However, authorities widened an evacuation zone to a 12.5 mile radius from the plant and prepared to distribute iodine tablets to people in the vicinity to protect them from exposure to radiation.”

 

By page two we finally start to learn that officials and specialists say there is no actual radioactive danger and that the government is being cautious. With plenty of right to be. There are non-nuclear explosions happening in an earthquake and tsunami torn area! But the annoying part is for every interviewed statement regarding safety is immediately followed up with words like “but” and “however” with a reinforcing statement showing how people are acting like there is a danger.

Page 3

More doom and gloom followed by statements, at the end, regarding how officials say that none of this is harmful. The actual amount of talking about how things are going wrong is a ratio of 209 words to 29 words. Which do you think has more of an impact?

 

The rest of the article barley focuses on the plants and instead points out American involvement or lack of involvement.[/spoiler]

The Irony

I find this statement on the second page to be the most ironic: “In the United States, it was likely to deal a severe blow to advocates of a nuclear power renaissance.”

And why do you think that is after such an article was written? And don’t think that I’m trying to pick on the Washington Post. Actually I am but there are other such media outlets that report on nuclear energy in a similar fashion, such as the Huffington Post.

Perhaps the most is by the New York Times that did give an equal balance between what officials were saying and what events were actually happening, without need to refer to other disasters or report on non-factual comments like ‘nobody knows about this possible danger’.

In the end it should be you who goes and finds out what is happening. Ever source has a bias. Look at me, I’m trying to convince you that nuclear power is safe and that all the action being taken now in Japan is apart of what happens because nuclear power is safe but I’ve also done research and listened to experts on the subject and I encourage you to do so.

Here is a link to get you started: http://www.epa.gov/radtown/nuclear-plant.html

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Japanese Nuclear Power Plant

by on Mar.11, 2011, under Articles, News

So over at Crazy Uncle Ivans, Uncle Pat, a nuclear engineer, weighs in on the earthquake, tsunami, and it is affecting one of Japanese nuclear power plants.

To summarize the plant is fine and all the numerous safety mechanisms in place have kept any harmful radiation or other dangers in check. There is an issue with keeping the core cool as the cooling system is on its tertiary backup system that will only run for a little while however the dangers from that less likely to affect the environment or people and instead significantly damage a multi-million dollar facility that supplies a significant amount of power to the nation of Japan.

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