Knife massage

This ancient tradition is still popular in Taiwan, says this video. Many students (and teachers) may want something like this today, after staying up late to watch Japan in the World Cup. A loss in the game, but an advance in the tournament! 👏 ⚽ 🎉

Understatement! —

“It is very dangerous … if you hit the wrong area, it will be painful and you might bleed.”


Noodles make the world a better place

There’s so much to like about this video, but one thing I really enjoyed was the first chef’s comment about how many people’s sickness is really in the heart, rather than the body or the mind. And noodles may cure them.

Controlled chaos

Bike culture in Amsterdam is not a subculture, it’s THE culture.

I live in a place where I don’t really need a bicycle, and of course I don’t need a car: trains and buses are plentiful and punctual. But recently I had the opportunity to try one of Tokyo’s (relatively) new bike share systems, and it was, like most other things in Tokyo, efficient and fun.

The one I used seems to be the most comprehensive — it has bike ports in 9 wards: Chiyoda-ku, Chuo-ku, Minato-ku, Shinjuku-ku, Bunkyo-ku, Koto-ku, Shinagawa-ku, Ota-ku, and Shibuya-ku.

There are several different plans, but the one I tried allows you to register your credit card online and then anytime you want to pick up a bike, you just swipe the panel on the back fo the bike with your credit card and the bike unlocks for you. The first 30 minutes cost ¥150, with each additional 30 minutes costing ¥100. You can pick up a bike at one port in one ward and drop it off at any other port in any other ward.

Oh, and these bikes are electric.

“Aimlessness is advisable.”

A quick quiz before reading:

  • What are the 5 senses? Can you name them all in English?
  • What’s the 6th sense? (not the movie)

This article from Quartz describes the concepts of biophilia (the affinity humans have for the natural world) and 森林浴 (shinrinyoku・literally, “forest bathing”).

‘Japanese “forest medicine” is the art of using nature to heal yourself—wherever you are’

When I was reading this, I read “bibliophilia” (the love of books/reading) instead of biophilia. I think reading has just as much power to heal as forest bathing, and you can certainly read wherever  you are.

Here’s some forest bathing I did in Kyoto a while ago. Definitely sublime.

Today’s post title is from this section of the article:

“To experience soft fascination, it’s necessary to meander through the woods. Forest bathing isn’t the same thing as hiking or brisk walking.Aimlessness is advisable. The tree tonic works best with minimal effort. Let your gaze be drawn wherever it wants to land.”


And on that note, I’ll be taking the rest of our spring break off from posting, to recharge my batteries and prepare for the new year.

The academic year begins again in April. I’ll be back then with more topics.

In the meantime, there’s plenty in the archives, if you’re looking for something to read, watch, talk or write or think about, in English.