2015’s Biggest Science Story

What do you think is the biggest science story of the year? 2015 isn’t over yet, but I think it’s safe to say that we have a very good candidate already.

My choice is New Horizons at the Pluto system. Pluto was expected to be a certain way, somewhat like Triton, but it turned out to be completely unique. It was unexpected. It’s likely to still be active, since there’s a huge area covered by ices, there are tall mountains, and the colouration is providing a lot of questions. One of the more recent pictures showed the atmosphere over a horizon that was lit by the sun, and the surface shows mountains. This is that image:

nh-apluto-wide-9-17-15-final_0Click the image to see a larger version. Or go here to see the full sized image.

There are still many months of images to download from New Horizons, so we’ll get to see many more surprises over the next year or so.

So, what’s your choice for biggest science news of 2015?

Choose My Best Instagram Photos – Round 1, Group 23

The last group of photos were rather plain, I thought. However, this next group has some interesting ones. Lots of sky photos. I hope you enjoy them.

The rules are simple. I post 10 of my Instagram photos every few days, and you get to vote on your favourites. It’s multiple choice, so please vote for 2 to 4 photos (3 is ideal). Leave a comment saying why you voted the way you did. The poll comes after the photos.

Here are the photos.

Old car at the Shonan Hotel of Raphael

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

The Shonan Hotel of Raphael

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Stone wall/foundation

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Fujisawa sunset

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Beautiful weather

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Yokohama sunset

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Giant beer can!

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Family Street!

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Fujisawa city centre view from the 7th floor

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on

Public art, Shonandai Culture Centre

A photo posted by @jaydeejapan on


And now the vote. Please vote for your favourite photos (ideally 3, but anywhere between 2 and 4):

Thanks for voting! Let me know why you chose the pictures you voted for in the comments below.

Sitcoms of the 70s and 80s

Spending my elementary school years in the 1980s, I watched a lot of sitcoms in the evenings. Some were from the 70s, but most were from the 80s.

These were my favourites:

  • MASH – This was probably one of the best sitcoms in history.
  • Perfect Strangers – I always loved watching this. Balki was hilarious.
  • Three’s Company – I remember watching this on a tiny black and white TV in the kitchen during dinner. I thought it was extremely funny.
  • The Cosby Show – Despite the recent revelations about what kind of person Bill Cosby is, this was one of the best of the 80s.
  • The Golden Girls – Even though it’s supposed to be about four elderly women, this was really funny. Betty White is still amazing.
  • All in the Family – I didn’t watch this when I was a kid, but when I was in university. This show challenged a lot of social issues.

Did you watch these shows? What were your favourite 70s and 80s sitcoms?

Childhood Cartoons

Yesterday, we talked about comics. Now, let’s talk about cartoons, especially those we watched when we were kids.

I was born in the 1970s, so I was a child of the 80s. And that meant I got to experience the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons! The 80s were a great time to watch cartoons.

I was a big fan of The Transformers, and watched all the episodes, the movie, and had lots of toys. In 2004, I bought the complete DVD set, which I enjoyed just as much as when I was a kid. It had been so long since I’d seen it, it all felt fresh and new. I also watched MASK and had toys for that. I loved Garfield and Friends, Inspector Gadget, and the old Spider-man. And I also watched Astroboy, which is known as Tetsuwan Atom in Japan. I had no idea it was Japanese, and definitely didn’t know I would visit his neighbourhood in Tokyo, Takadanobaba. There’s even a big mural under the station dedicated to Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Tetsuwan Atom.

What did you enjoy watching when you were growing up? Share your answers in the comments!

From Japan to Canada – Changing My License

After I came to Japan, I changed my Canadian driver’s license to a Japanese one. It took me about five hours one day, but it was finished. I had to get my Canadian license and five year driving record translated, but that was all. No tests were required. It was basically an exchange of licenses.

Now that I’m going back to Canada, I have to do he reverse. It’s a bit easier, because I won’t have to get my driving record here in Japan. I do have to get my license translated, though. And that’s the difficult part. According to the Alberta Motor Association, I must have my license translated by an approved translator. However, Japanese licenses are a special case. They must be translated at the Consulate-General of Japan, which is in Calgary. And that will require a little trip down to Calgary. Also, to get my license, I need to provide AMA with my address, which I’ll probably be able to give them once I’ve changed my address at my bank.

One of the most important things I need to do is get a car. There’s a very good chance that the job I’m going to be doing will require a car. So, I need my license as quickly as possible, and I will most likely be leasing a car.

But what kind of car? Something small is fine at first. Once we’re all settled and ready to buy a car, we may be looking at some smaller SUVs, or crossovers. I’m a bit partial to the Honda Vezel, which is available in Canada as the Honda HR-V. We may also consider the Subaru Forester. But in the beginning, we kind of have our eye on the Toyota Aqua, which is known as Toyota Prius c in Canada. Keep in mind that this is not actually a Prius, but a different model. It just has the Prius name in North America. And, honestly, I wouldn’t mind the Audi Q3 or Q5, that is if I had the money.

And finally, I really do miss driving in Canada. I’m sure my sister found it interesting being a passenger in Japan while I was driving one day.

Do You Read Comics?

I blog about books. But I never talk about comics. Comics are books. But I’m not a big reader of them. I know there are some very good comics, many of which have become TV series or movies. The Walking Dead is a big one, but I’ve never read it.

I tend to only read Garfield these days. Occasionally, I look at Bizarro or The Far Side, too. But I’ve been reading Garfield since I was a kid.

When I was a kid, I also read The Transformers comics and watched the cartoon. I read a little of Superman and Batman, but very rarely. And I read the comics in the newspaper all the time.

How about you? Do you read comic books? Which ones do you read?

Week in Review – November 21, 2015

What a week it’s been.  It started off with a low point in Paris, but a lot of my posts have actually been about writing and books. And a review! Finally, a review.

This week’s posts

The first post was a big one. I was Disgusted: Paris and More. Think about more than just what happened at Paris, but also many other places.

After that, I lightened the mood a bit. There’s a Canadian Sumo Wrestler in Japan! He goes by the name Homarenishiki. Check out his videos.

On Monday morning, I had A Few Minutes to Spare and Relax. I got some reading done in a beautiful park. With pictures!

Later on in the day, I started a discussion: Is Investing Your Time in Novel Series Worth It? Lots of comments. You can still join the discussion.

Did you know that there are Star Wars Soft Drinks? Well, I still haven’t tried them. I might soon, and take a video.

I love it When Reading Pushes Me to Write. I’m currently reading a book that is really inspiring me. On the other hand, the previous book sucked the creativity out of me.

Finally! A Book Review – The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F. Hamilton. Great book, though incredibly long. Check out the review!

MTV released some videos on YouTube, showing The Shannara Chronicles Character Introductions. This has me even more excited to see the TV series. However, Allanon looks nothing like I expected. What do you think?

I’ve been feeling like Getting Back on Track with a lot of things on this blog. Check out what I’m going to work on.

There’s a New Post Editor! My initial thoughts of the new editor for WordPress, which looks better, but still many things missing. I’m still using the old editor.

The regularly scheduled Authors Answer continues with Authors Answer 55 – Our Characters on Screen. We discussed who we think should act in TV or movie versions of our books.

But then I saw H. Anthe Davis’ Big Thorough Author’s Answer on her own blog. Here on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun, her answer was shorter, but go see her blog for her much longer answer.

And finally, I found an article on Space.com with some Great Space and Science Fiction Books. These are the ones I want to read. Take a look at the full list on Space.com.


As I’ve written already this week, I feel inspired. More of a feeling, but I really do want to write. I just need peace and quiet to do so, which is something in very short supply. I just need to wait until April, and I’ll have that peace and quiet!


It’s going really well. I’m already 33% of the way through The Dragon Reborn. I should finish it next month and have a review done. I’m also at 82% on The Book of Deacon. Slowly progressing, but I don’t read eBooks very often. I should finish it in December, as well.

Language Learning

No change in levels on Duolingo, but I am progressing. I should be leveling up in Spanish soon. I think it’s time to do that test driving of other languages.

Thanks for reading this week. The next week should have another review, and hopefully some Japan videos. The end of the month will be approaching, and the numbers for this month are looking good.

The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.


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