I have nothing but respect for some up-and-coming stars that I see on the news these days. I’m sure you’ve all heard about Fujii, the 14 year old shogi genius who has been on a record-breaking winning streak. It’s hard to believe that he has not lost a single game since becoming a professional player. I’ve been told that shogi is a complicated version of chess and that games are generally longer. Good on him!
Then last month, Horimoto- another young lad, aged 13 at the time made headlines by defeating an Olympic bronze medalist at the World Table Tennis Championships. I was able to watch some of the highlights on television and his performance was simply amazing.
The next summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, so I see the media covering a lot of potential athletes such as sprinter Sani Brown (18), table tennis players Miu Hirano (17) and Mima Ito (16), and swimmer Rikako Ikee (16).
It takes passion and pure dedication to reach that high level of fitness and competitiveness, and that is something I truly admire about these young athletes.
What’s in a colour?
Have you ever considered the meaning of a colour? Colours can have a big impact on our impressions of people, places and objects. We associate certain personality types with clothing colours, the atmosphere of an environment by the decor colours and how some objects should be used by the colour of some objects. Here are some common meanings in the UK, are they the same in Japan?
Red: commonly associated with physical representations. This colour indicates power, strength, warmth and energy. Although sometimes it can indicate aggression and defiance.
Blue: commonly associated with intellectual representations. This colour denotes trust, efficiency, serenity and calm. However, it can also indicate a lack of emotional connection and coldness.
Yellow: commonly associated with the emotions. This colour indicates confidence, optimism, friendliness and creativity. Although it can also be associated with fear, depression and anxiety.
Green: commonly associated with balance. This colour denotes harmony, refreshment, reassurance and peace. However, it can be associated with boredom and stagnation.
Violet: commonly associated with spiritual representations. This colour signifies authenticity, quality and vision. Although sometimes it indicates suppression and inferiority.
What does your favourite colour mean?
I’ve taken up Sudoku again recently. It helps keep me awake and pass the time especially while I’m commuting to work on the train. Before console games and smartphones were invented I loved doing brain teasers, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and playing card games and board games with family and friends. My favourite games were and still are Monopoly, Boggle, and Pictionary.
I’ve never been the type to play games on my tablet, so I don’t play Sudoku electronically, but on paper. This number-placement puzzle is a brain stimulating activity that I do daily to sharpen my mind – or so I tell myself. I can’t actually prove that it does, but it helps me unwind and moreover I get a sense of satisfaction once I complete the puzzle within a set time limit.
One game that I aim to learn someday is a traditional Japanese game called Hanafuda. I have no idea how to play it, but the pictures on the cards are really pretty. 🙂
Do you know how to play it? Could you teach me?
Feedback is invaluable, it informs us of areas which we may need improvement. Yet many of us shy away from giving and receiving feedback. This, in part, is because we not only dislike being told, or telling people, but because we avoid it we get out of practice. Criticism which is given without careful consideration can be hurtful as can criticism received out of the blue.
Be direct, but polite before giving the feedback. A simple phrase “Can I share some feedback with you?” prepares the receiver and builds trust. Be specific, make sure to provide clear solutions, or listen to the solutions that the receiver offers. Work from it from the other point of view, the best conflict resolution is to be able to understand the opposing argument. Explain in your own words what you think the other person meant, it will help to clarify if there is misunderstanding that has arisen.
A new report says fitness trackers are not so accurate in measuring the amount of calories our body burns while exercising, and that this may lead people to make poor decisions about their diet. The study is from Stanford University in the USA. Researchers evaluated the accuracy of five popular trackers. These included the Apple Watch, Microsoft Band, Fitbit Surge and Samsung Gear S2. The researchers observed 60 volunteers as they walked, ran and cycled while wearing the devices. Researchers found that none of the devices had an error rate below 20 per cent. Dr Euan Ashley, co-author of the study, said: “People need to know that on energy expenditure, [the trackers] give rough estimates.”
The Stanford scientists said users of fitness trackers should be cautious about using the devices to judge what they eat. Dr Ashley said: “If you go to the gym, and you think you’ve lost 400 calories, then you might feel you’ve got 400 calories to play with.” This could be a problem for those who base what they eat on how many calories their fitness tracker said they burned. One CEO of a fitness tracker company suggested the researchers may not have adjusted the user settings properly. The CEO told the USA Today newspaper that the study method could have reported incorrect data, saying: “We think the excess error reported in energy expenditure is not representative in this study, due to this methodological error.”