Attending Niigata Science Cafe

On Aug 25th, I set out to neighbouring Niigata to attend “Niigata Science Cafe”. Took a long-distance coach around 7:50, rode on a motorway for about 3 and half hours.

Between the boundary of Toyama and Niigata, there is a sea called “Oya-Shirazu”, means “Don’t care for parents”. Precisely, “Don’t care for parents, nor children”. Because of turbulent waves, parent and child passed by used to escape without minding the other in the old days.

Now, it’s just a clear and quiet sea, if you had an eye you could find jade stones.

There is a break-time, at a rest area. You can get drinks, meals and souvenirs.

Around noon, our coach reached to Niigata City.

My lunch. A soba in a container called “Hegi”, thus called “Hegi Soba”. This one contained some sea vegetables.

With full stomach, I headed to the bookshop which the cafe was held, located the other side of Niigata Station(below).

This is inside gigantic Junkdo bookstore, first basement. Tons of medical, science, arts…etc.

There was a space for multi-purpose with a piano, accompanied by a tea shop. You pay for a drink and listen to what lecturers say.

I arrived too early for the second lecture I was attending, so went round a store and had some chat with staffs.

Voluntary staffs. Because this day’s theme was “elements”. Cool T-shirts.

A publisher specialised in chemistry, Kagaku-dojin released cards called “Elemen-tramp”. It’s a set of playing cards available from elementary school children, consisting of elements and elementary particles(perhaps latter are like Jokers). The rule is somewhat like Pokemon cards, maybe children would get used to it sooner. For me, it was a bit confusing.

Kids played them before the lecture.

Now the time of the talk…

Mr. Kentaro Sato studied organic chemistry (like me), got master’s degree, and worked for certain pharmaceutical company for 15 years. He is an owner of the blog called “Organic Chemistry Museum-branch(in Japanese only)“and actively writing about chemistry with beautiful computer graphics. His lecture was named “113 Elements Consists The World, Get Closer To Their Truth”.

Very enjoyable topic, but he told he was thinking to talk it somewhere else later, I wouldn’t spill out what I’ve heard.

Just one pic. Pure Cesium crystal. It’s a hot element in Japan after quake and accident of atomic power station, although most of cesium is not radioactive.

I was invited to some drinks, but regretfully needed to take a returning coach soon. I’ll write here soon, got a new ferret 1 week before that and needed to care of him.

From the bus, a beautiful sunset was seen. It was really hot this summer, indeed…

Soon it was gone, instead a half-moon appeared. Not taken well with my Android.

Then Android’s battery was gone, so I concentrated on the book I’ve taken with me. Walked from nearest train station, arrived home at 10:30. Two fuzzies were waiting for me.

It turned out that Niigata was not so far, even it’s a quite long (north to south) Prefecture. If I had a chance, like to visit this cafe again!


Coursera Funder’s Presentation at TED

Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education

My study at Coursera is going on. But I’m always start viewing video around 2 hours before the quiz deadline. Last Monday, video has stopped, maybe because of overload of the server, and I missed submitting the quiz of “Vaccines” by just 1 minute.

It seems that this project is still trial and error stage. “Vaccines” I mentioned above has terminated on the screen by mistake, but actually class is still going on. Apologising e-mails were sent to students. Although the class is quite exciting, and Professor Paul appears in above video just a short time.

And, sometimes subtitles, which is indispensable for ppl like me, is sometimes off. Seems that they are using automated recognition, so sometimes [inaudible] appears in the subtitle many times although even I can hear what Professor is talking about.

As for “Fundamentals of Pharmacology”, I found that I need more knowledge in Japanese at first, so will get more professional book than I have now (I’d like to work in medical field translation).

From the next month, “Modern and Contemporary American Poetry” will start. @ModPoPenn(Oct 23, corrected this twitter account) twitter account is already working on. This one is solely on my interest, looking forward to what gonna happen.

Coursera-Top Universities’ Lectures At Home

Don’t remember where I got this information, but University of Princeton, Michigan, Stanford and Pennsylvania started joint online lecture courses recently.


You can choose lectures as you like, for instance I’ve taken 8 or something. Because lecture is not long, just about 20 min.

Last weekend, watched the first lecture of “Fundamentals of Pharmacology”, which is very close to the job I want to do in the near future. Professor’s English was slow, maybe on purpose, and lots of slides were used. Also “Vaccine” is already started.

What else, computer science, genome, sociology, finance, literature…I’ve taken two literature related. If it was interesting, I’ll report it here!

Have a nice weekend!