31 05 2009

click on each to enlarge.  I took the photos in 2008 at at the Louvre.  It is hard to tell by just looking at the photo but the painting is huge.IMGP5026




22 05 2009

The Vatican has launched a new website that looks pretty cool but  the site was sluggish as of Friday Japan time.   I think they really underestimated the traffic and the server is swamped.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has entered the world of social networking sites and smartphones with a Vatican portal that includes Facebook and iPhone applications.

The Pope2You Web site was launched Thursday and allows Facebook users to send virtual postcards with photos of Benedict and excerpts from his messages. An application for iPhone and iPod Touch gives surfers video and audio news on the pope’s travels and speeches, as well as on Catholic events worldwide.


I went to facebook and tried to log on to their app, which didn’t work at the time, hoping they might have a papal profile as part of the package.  Yeah I know as if they would have  a profile where people could be friends with the pope but I though hey you never know.  Well it turns out there wont be any papal profile… for now.

The prelate said the cards are sent by way of an application from Facebook, although he made it clear that the “Pope will not appear on Facebook with his own profile.”


If they ever do put up a profile I bet the pope will have the most friends ever.  I also think their website should have a store selling B16 tshirts, his books, and so on.  You know official Vatican merchandise for those who cant go to Rome or people like me who went but still want souvenirs.

They also have an iPhone & iPodtouch news app.

The application is available in eight languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, and Chinese.

Hey that’s not fair they should add Japanese too!  Its highly unlikely the app will be blocked by the J government which is more than I can say for China which, sadly, is probably censoring it as we speak.

Jesus Body Diet Pills

19 05 2009


No I am not making this up it is a real product!   I first saw it on and had to google it to see for myself. sells the pills but their page is boring  this site has a much louder ad.   I don’t know what else to say its simply one of the strangest things I have ever heard of here!

Antichrist in Japan?

17 05 2009

A very short video I caught recently.  Its not often I see this license plate number so I had to capture it.  Which begs the question when the real Antichrist comes someday would he use the number of the beast on his license plate or would that be too obvious? 😛

H1N1 Flu Precautions at Church

13 05 2009

Japan has three or so confirmed cases of H1N1 flu however some churches have already introduced measures they think will help prevent the spread of the flu.  Two examples are these very busy churches in Tokyo St Ignatius and the Franciscan Chapel Center Roppongi.  On the main page of their website St Ignatius has a prominent notice titled Information about Influenza A(H1N1)

Their  website is here.  The notice reads

May 9 2009

To avoid the spread Influenza A(H1N1), for the time being, there will be no Holy Water at the entrance of the Chapels.

May 1st 2009

From now on, taking into consideration the government’s regulations, we will need to take measures here to prevent the spreading of the virus. These measures might include the suspension of masses, confessions and all kinds of meetings.
We will keep you informed through the Church’s Home Page and the Bulletin Board. Please check it before coming to Church.

As a first step, beginning on Monday, May 4th, Holy Communion will only be placed in the hand (not in the mouth). We ask for your understanding and cooperation.

The FCC does not have an obvious notice on their website rather you have to look to the most recent bulletin which is a pdf document.

The Pastor writes:

I have decided to take the following measures at Holy Mass, in order to reduce the possibility of spreading influenza.

1.  At the greeting of peace bow to each other.  Avoid shaking hands or making any physical contact.

2.  At holy communion, receive the Eucharist on your hand. We will not give it in the mouth.

3.  Before holy communion, priests and communion ministers will wipe their hands with disinfecting paper towels.

I also urge everyone to wash your hands and gargle before coming to Mass, and after returning home.  <snip>  We will observe these measures until the danger is over.

A few clarifications.  At Masses in Japanese the sign of peace is a bow but for English and other language Masses people shake hands so that particular parish insists on bowing only now.  Gargling may sound silly however it it is a very common practice here that people do thinking will help prevent illness.  People don’t simply gargle with water but a store bought solution of which a few drops are mixed with water then gargled.  I have no idea what is in the solution.

Now my two yen.  I am torn between thinking it is good that they are taking precautions and thinking that they are over reacting.   Practically speaking though I do have food and supplies at home mainly in case of an earthquake but they can be used to cover a quarantine too.  I remember watching the news and hearing a Mexican family who had been quarantined at home for a week say how they are really low on food.  I know some governments urge people to have a three day supply of food and water in case of emergency but I think that is not enough and people should have as much supply as they can possibly store.  Plus supplies of toiletries, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, and so on.


11 05 2009

This is a funny video that has been mentioned on other blogs lately but I thought I would post it here as well.


10 05 2009

The first release of a national (US) media campaign launched by titled “Life: Imagine the Potential”  Well worth the 41 seconds it takes to watch.

The second release of’s national new media campaign “Life: Imagine the Potential.”  Very Impressive.  I was guessing right to the end.