PauseTalk Vol. 49

I’d like to once again thank everyone who made it to PauseTalk Vol. 49 at Cafe Pause earlier this month — it was held on April 4. I remember a lot of great discussions going on, and although it mostly focused on the Japan Earthquake and its aftermath, I think it still fit the bill as a proper PauseTalk.

Let me also bring up the fact that the next PauseTalk will indeed be Vol. 50, which is something that I think deserves to be celebrated or marked in some way. I’m not sure exactly how that will happen, but so far I’ve had a few ideas, which include possibly recording a live episode of my Codex podcast during the evening (will need to see if I can do such a thing over the cafe speakers, while avoiding feedback from using the mic), as well as me stretching my non-existing design chops to produce some memorabilia. I’ll talk more about this in a week or so. Also, please take note that it will be held on May 9, which is the second Monday of the month, following Golden Week (I always avoid having a PauseTalk during holidays).

Below is a partial list of those who attended PauseTalk Vol. 49, composed of those who filled out the attendance sheet.

Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan

If you’ve been to the front page of this site sometime this week (I have to assume that many of you reading this in your feed reader), then more than likely you’ve noticed the giant banner I have there now. It’s for the big Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan event I’ve been working on over the past few weeks, set to happen this Saturday (April 16). I alluded to it in a recent post, but if you don’t know about it, it’s a big charity event we’ve put together, bringing together the PechaKucha community — we’re 404 cities strong, as of this writing — for a day/night of events all over the world, with the goal of raising funds for reconstruction efforts in Japan. As with last year for Haiti, we’re teaming up with Architecture for Humanity.

The core of the event is on Saturday, with a whole bunch of cities holding PKNs, and a lot of them will be streaming live as well — just go to the Inspire Japan site on the day of the event, and whatever is currently streaming live should be up at the top of the site. But our Inspire Japan efforts will also span all of April and May, and we’re inviting organizers of all PKNs during this period to collect donations — because this all came together so suddenly, many cities were not able to re-schedule already planned events, and some just found it difficult to organize something on the 16th.

Here in Tokyo, instead of our regular home of SuperDeluxe, the event will be held at the Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View (52nd floor), with doors opening at 17:00, and presentations starting at 18:00 (it should run until around 21:30 or so). Entry will be a minimum donation of 1000 yen — you’re of course welcome to leave more. To access the event, you’ll need to go to the 3rd floor to get a free ticket to get to the top, and we’ll have signs there to point you to the event space (where you’ll pay the entry fee).

This will also be the first time I present in quite a while — I only presented once at a PechaKucha Night, 3-4 years ago at a special Tokyo Design Week edition with my friend Jesper (it was about the Swedish Style event we had organized at Cafe Pause). This time, I’ll be teaming with Ian, who is responsible for all of the Inspire Japan graphics you’ve been seeing. The presentation will pretty much be about design efforts to raise money for Japan aid, based on that post I started a few days after the quake, as well as the follow-up I did in last month’s edition of my “On Design” column for The Japan Times. For his part of the presentation, Ian will cover the projects he worked on to help raise awareness and collect donations.

The event should be amazing — I mean, you can’t really beat that view — and you’ll also be contributing to reconstruction efforts, so I urge you all to come and support us. Also, if you’d like to help spread the word, feel free to get and use Inspire Japan banners and ads that Ian created, as well as a very cool (and workable) QR code that SET Japan designed for us.

Codex 23

A new episode of my weekly music podcast, Codex (23), is up. It’s another of my theme shows in which I play a bunch of tracks from albums that have titles that start with the same letter (in this case, “C”). 

Hanami 2011

I won’t lie, my legs are killing me right now — earlier today, we did the long walk from Ikebukuro to Harajuku to go and check out Yoyogi park for some sakura viewing, say hello to friends (at the gaming industry “otaru” hanami gathering), and also get the dog to the “dog run” (pictured below) so that he could run around and have some fun. It’s a 2-hour walk both ways, and I think it probably hit us more than usual because we hadn’t done it in a while. But good fun was had by all, and I had a chance to show off Confiture (my dog) to a few friends who had never seen him.

But it’s been a strange year for hanami this year. Without going too much into the politics of what has been viewed as a crackdown by the metropolitan government (and to a certain degree, Japan as well), because of strange weather, it seems to have come and gone much faster than usual. Yoyogi park today was quite the letdown in terms of pink, and I’m glad that we at least managed a walk and picnic earlier this week by Kanda river near Ikebukuro (pictured above), which was much nicer — in fact, it’s usually my favorite place to take in the sakura.

Now here’s hoping that my old legs can soon get back to a state of normality, as the last week of preparations before next Saturday’s big Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan event is going to be a busy one. Below, a shot of my dog taking in the sakura by Kanda river.

PauseTalk Tonight

Just a reminder that tonight (April 4) is PauseTalk Vol. 49 at Cafe Pause — the official session kicks off at 20:00, but I usually show up around 19:30, so feel free to come early as well. From the Facebook event page so far, it looks like we’ll be getting a good group. As I mentioned last week, it should be nice to get together and reflect on what we’ve all just been through, and what it could mean for our cultural (and personal) lives here in Tokyo this year. I know that regular PauseTalker Edward Harrison will be there, and he’ll be able to talk about his role in working on the #quakebook charity book.