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.”
In Japan, the katakana alphabet is usually used for indicating loan words from other languages. However, be very careful when using them in speech because they may not be used in the same way and more over pronounced differently.
Can you spot the use of katakana English in the phone conversation between a hotel clerk and guest?
Clerk: Good morning, front desk. How can I help you?
Guest: Good morning. I have a claim about my cooler. The rimokon doesn’t work. I think it needs new batteries.
Clerk: We’re sorry about that. I’ll have someone come up and replace it with new ones.
Guest: I also have a request. I’m trying to use my note pasokon, but the consent is different. Do you have an adapter I can borrow?
Clerk: Certainly, sir. Could I please have your room number? I’ll have somebody bring an adapter and batteries to your room as soon as possible.
Guest: Oh, no. That’s okay. I’m going out now. Can I come down in five minutes and pick them up at the furonto?
Clerk: No problem, sir. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Guest: Thank you.
Claim – is to say something is the case or is true. The guest should say complaint.
Cooler – is a container for keeping food or bottles cool, or a refrigerator. The guest should say air-conditioner.
Rimocon – is a shortened katakana word for remote control.
Note pasokon – is a shortened loan word for personal computer, but should be called laptop.
Consent – is to have or give permission to do something. In this case the guest should use plug or socket.
Furonto – is a shortened katakana word for front desk. The word reception desk can also be used.
How did you do? Were you able to spot them all?
What’s your favourite mythical creature?
Mythical creatures have long been a fascination for me. I grew up with tales of dragons, unicorns, imps, griffins, centaurs and a whole host of other creatures. One of my favourite stories as a child was the C.S. Lewis series Chronicles of Narnia. It introduced me to a world full of wonderful, and some frightening creatures. This led me to an interest in Greek mythology with creatures such as the Minotaur and Medusa, again quite scary but each story had a strong and ingenious hero to prevail over dark times. Following this I found a great interest in the Ancient Egyptians, I found the stories of their Gods to be captivating. Do you believe the dragons, unicorns or even a phoenix existed?
For general good health, the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get a minimum of 2-1/2 hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Yet many people may need more than 2-1/2 hours of moderate intensity activity a week to stay at a stable weight.
The Women’s Health Study, for example, followed 34,000 middle-aged women for 13 years to see just how much physical activity they needed to stay within 5 pounds of their weight at the start of the study. Researchers found that women who were in the normal weight range at the start of the study needed the equivalent of an hour a day of physical activity to stay at a steady weight.
If you are exercising mainly to lose weight, 30 minutes or so a day may be effective in conjunction with a healthy diet.
If you currently don’t exercise and aren’t very active during the day, any increase in exercise or physical activity is good for you.
For more information please check out the following link:
How much do you exercise? How fit do you think you are?
Come rain or shine I almost always commute to and from school and work every day. I clock up to eighty minutes a day just on riding my bicycle alone. Add that to twenty minutes of daily housework and that adds up to a hundred minutes. It is healthy and I am burning off energy, but is that really exercise? It’s a routine thing for me and I wouldn’t consider it as exercise, so I try to run for at least thirty minutes on my days off, just to get my heart pumping. For me it’s not much and I wish I could do more. I’m not as fit as I used to be, however summer is my favorite season and I love going out and being active. One of my short-term goals for this season is to get fit.
How are you keeping in shape? Are you more, or less active in summer?
I went to the seaside yesterday and it was wonderful! I have always found something very relaxing, and healing from being by the sea. I love the feeling of walking on sand, it’s a connection with the Earth that I don’t experience when I’m wearing shoes. Although it is frustrating how sticky it can be – I know I’ll be finding sand everywhere for a while now.
I also enjoy paddling, it’s a lovely refreshing feeling. The water was still a little too cold for me to venture all the way in, but a paddle was enjoyable. I managed to catch most of the sunset before getting the last bus home. I hope that this was the first trip of many to the sea shore for this year.
As I mentioned in a previous post, June is my least favorite time in Japan. I found another reason other than it being the wettest month on the calendar. There are fifteen public holidays per year, but none fall in June! I know that it’s a measly little thing to complain about compared to some countries with less than ten public holidays a year. But, really? Why stop at fifteen?
Each month has at least one public holiday with five of them observing and honoring nature. There’s Spring Equinox in March, Greenery Day in May, my favorite one which is Marine Day in July, Mountain Day in August, and Autumn Equinox in September. If I could create a public holiday in June, I’d name it Rain Day or Water Day. Sound silly? What do you think? If you could come up with a public holiday in June, what would you name it?