Saturday, June 30, 2012


Saturday!, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

How can this be Saturday again? This was never in the plan... Meetings on Saturday seem to be getting sadly common. Too much bureaucracy! Having said that the atmosphere is quite jolly, and we get to take a weekday off in lieu, which is advantageous for bumming around in Kamakura, a town that is only busy at weekends.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spot the difference competition

Tokyo skyline
A bit of Tokyo

Field n Cows
A bit of Lancashire (with probably Yorkshire in the background)


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


They say you should photograph things you are passionate about. But David B Benson is confusing passion and beauty. My sports car passion is based in incredulous fascination, not desire. I have a superiority complex. I know that for 1/10th of the price you can have 10 times as much fun.

James on the tandem

I also know that, in the unusual transport stakes, Hyper Viper red beats Ferrari red every time.
hyper viper red
Yes, it is the sports car drivers who turn to look at us.


Saturday, June 23, 2012


Sadly favoured by organisers of climate conferences, Tsukuba is designed to be mind numbingly dull, but Tachikawa - whence commeth the mathematicians - is in a whole different league. It is so horrible it is kind of fascinating. More than just the usual Tokyo disarray caused by a lack of housing regulation, this is clearly deliberate. I wonder what went through the minds of the town planners. The feet of the Tachikawan's rarely touch the ground, which makes me think of flying cars and Bladerunner.

monorail - and those pedestrians are still several floors above terra firma...


grotesque underground mural - but at least people can escape into their phones...

endless overpasses
Could have spent hours taking photos there but, as usual, James led the way home, and there was only time for a few snaps.


Friday, June 22, 2012


The day started off a bit wet...

trundling through the beautiful landscapes of urban Japan...
Where have all the wimmin gone?
We were reminded that when particle filtering, good particles are duplicated, but I still don't know why we needed so many power points at the banquet.
For the final speech, an old man told us about how he became a Bayesian on the floor of a men's toilet. Really. 

Away from the mathematicians we seem to be one the set of Bladerunner.

Mathematicians are pretty funny. Day 2 of the meeting is tomorrow, but there will be no lunch, because mathos don't worry about things like that, so there are no commercial establishments in the vicinity of their institute. Oh please bring back the social scientists!



The one we've all been waiting for...

...or is it just me?

Ferrari red

Ferrari red
I think this Ferrari is one that originally caught my attention at Starbucks. But back then I was a less audacious photographer, and wouldn't dare photograph someone else's car when they might be sitting close by watching me do it.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Buddha loves blue

...and so does James, who took this! Today we took the day off (as we have to work on Saturday) and visited Meigetsuin, where un-blue hydrangea are few and far between.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


There is a patch of land down the road from our house which has been mostly wild but inaccessible ever since we arrived. The council bought up the land years ago as it is the site of an old important temple, and they seem to have been spending a bit of year end money on it here and there. This year it opened up. It is no longer so wild but it is presently possible to go hunting in the grounds. Well, bug hunting anyway. I hope it does not get grassed over, as that would spoil the fun.

Japanese grasshoppers look headless until you get eye to eye with them. They are also not that good at hiding, which must help the mantises grow fat.

purple flower
Many of these purple cloverish things are sprouting. I suppose, to fit in with the bug hunting theme I had better pretend there was a butterly on top of it just before I pressed the shutter.

But on the leaves of the cloverish plants were these odd looking things. I'm guesing that their ruse is to look less delicious than grasshoppers, as they were not even attempting to blend in to their surroundings.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Plague of Pompoms

From "For most bigleaf hydrangea cultivars, blue flowers will be produced in acidic soil (pH 5.5 and lower), whereas neutral to alkaline soils (pH 6.5 and higher) will usually produce pink flowers. Between pH 5.5 and pH 6.5, the flowers will be purple or a mixture of blue and pink flowers will be found on the same plant."

Hydrangea pink and blue
I don't believe it - in our neighbourhood and at Hase Dera, there are many different colours next to each other. I suppose that the different varieties have different responses to the acidness.

A typhoon is going over presently. Perhaps it will squash all the pompoms!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hobby Parking Again

Well I must say I am disappointed that no one has counted the petals on the daisies.

Oh well, perhaps James' geeky readers still like cars. Yes, the Starbucks on Sunday Hobby Parking continues. I really thought I'd seen them all already, but here are two new ones from last Sunday.

A Car

A Honda Car

My favourite silver Boxster was parked in between these two.
We are now up to 12 Starbucks cars - you can see them all in this Facebook album. The green MG in that album was parked a couple of minutes walk down the same road, so strictly speaking doesn't count as refuelling at Bux..


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sums on Sunday

Alright then you shameless overanalysing spods, get out your Fibonacci calculators and start counting...



Saturday, June 9, 2012


Starting underwater and working upwards...





[all at Hase Dera, Kamakura]


Friday, June 8, 2012

Ajisai - hydrangea

Yes, it's that time of year again, when the whole world is overtaken by the amorphous blob flower. Last Saturday I went to find enlightenment in the ponds of Hase Dera, forgetting that its the number 2 ajisai temple in Kamakura. Of course we had to do the ajisai walk...

ajisai - hydrangea

ajisai - hydrangea

ajisai - hydrangea

Hase Dera has various varieties of ajisai, and I was delighted to find that some architecturality was present in my photos.

The third pic is taken with sister-in-law Helen's 80-200mm. It is a tradition that when we meet up with Helen we swap camera gear. So she's got my rather new Canon S100, and I've got 2 rather old but super-cool Nikon lenses! I was going to run out and buy a new S100 as soon as I was recovered from jetlag but James told me to wait a little while. Within a week this was rumoured then announced and will be in the shops in another week. So now I've got a quandry. I've been willing Sony to make a camera like this as the thing that is miserably bad in the S100 is the multi-shot modes. I was surprised at how poor Canon's multishot modes are after the Sony TX10. I'd assumed that the problem had been generally solve by the industry, but now I wonder if perhaps only Sony have it nailed. It is pretty clever what they do. It seems to me that the first shot taken bascially defines the picture and then subsequent shots are used to add signal and reduce noise, but not in places where movement occurs. What Canon do wrong is not use the first shot to define the picture, so you are pretty much guaranteed a blurry mess.


Thursday, June 7, 2012


The boss asked for a logo for one of the two new Japanese climate mega-projects. This is our entry.

Now you can fully appreciate why I chose the scientist rather than graphic artist career path.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Watching the lotus grow.

Lotus at Hachimangu
Keeping both eyes open while looking through the viewfinder of a camera can be fun. This is what I saw while playing with my new 80-200mm, given to me by my sister in law during our latest UK trip. As I had another camera round my neck with the right focal length for my left eye's view, I took both shots and then combined them in Gimp (it's free you know). Having submitted 2 papers last week, this weekend we weren't up for much more than watching the lotuses grow.


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