Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: March 2012

23 March 2012

596th post - Concept of mind/body swapping/changing

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You may have come across some (fictional) stories, or a part involving, where one finds themselves in a body of something different from what they are used to. This can be to an animal, an item, or even a robot, but most authors usually restrict this concept to between humans of the same gender not too far away, and know each other prior to it happening.

So what you find yourself in someone else's body and then someone else talks to you as if you are their parent/child/sibling. Psychologically, these people are complete strangers to you, but the body you are in makes you to be related to them by blood. Your original family members would also not recognize you.

Methods of how that happens, or what happens later on, is different, but "waking up one morning" and "demanding to change back" are usually the typical things that happens. For the latter, it usually involves someone else who cause it to happen (usually a scientist), various difficulties (expense, conditions that are hard to achieve or happens once in a very long time), and reluctance to reverse it.

Stories involving body/mind changing can be told in many different ways: chasing someone down by possessing people near the target commonly found in action movies, or in ways that would intentionally raise the arousal levels of the reader. The two I mentioned are what they are commonly used in.

Due to the nature of this concept, it's also not clear if mind swapping means being in a different body, or have memories of someone else while leaving no memories of who they were before that. In the latter case, the person would perceive themselves as being in a different person's body, even though their mind never moved at all, as the only memory they have is that of someone else. To other people, telling these two methods apart can be hard, possibly impossible.

To put it simply, everyone has the same mind, but (without synchronization and) due to exposure to different things that is location and time-specific on top of what a person knows at that time, that is where differences happen. Even siblings and twins too: one would encounter something that happened in the absence of the other, or the actions they do (who knows and do things differently from the other).

Speaking of mind-swapping, I have watched Kaiba (カイバ; Winter 2012 anime) that is based on this concept, but the weirdness of this (far weirder than Nisemonogatari on a whole different level) makes it difficult to watch that nobody watches it unless they are... No, that's a bad example... Cocoro Connect (top image) is a better example of what I'm writing here.

(PS. If you are wondering why this is numbered as the 596th post instead of the 597th post, that's because it's in the order I created them, which includes post that I created first, but publish posts newer than that. That would mean that the previous post is actually the 592nd even though it came out after the 595th.)

15 March 2012

Teary Promise (Part 13)

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On one of those days my group visited a place somewhere that is quite some distance away from the city center. Not sure where, but I do know that most of the way there has nothing but high-rise apartments. Unfortunately, I got separated from them while figuring out on getting around at an unfamiliar place. I don't know how it happened, but it did.

I'm kind of scared to approach anyone, who are already looking at me. My uniform kind of stands out as there aren't any schools in this country that has a similar design, judging by the students that I had seen. My mobile phone doesn't seem to work while overseas. Payphones are nowhere in sight and, even if I do find one, I don't have the coins for it. Also, I don't remember the numbers to dial to contact people who might be able to help me.

People were already looking at me because the design of school uniform I'm wearing is not used in local schools. The fact that people are even looking at me makes me scared. I would like to ask the locals for help, but the problem is that I am unable to speak the language. I don't have any additional clothes with me, or have money to buy any new clothes that would have me to blend in.

I've never felt this scared before. Being in an unfamiliar territory too doesn't make me feel at ease either. What I'm fearful the most is to have suspicious men to approach me and, being a girl, more likely for them to do something to me.

Well, my first instincts are to head back to a more familiar area. The trains around here surely must eventually link to around there, but where is the nearest station? I'm sure they had noticed that I'm missing, but did they know when and where I was separated from them? I don't even know where I am, and I don't know how others would be able to locate me.


Walking around, I heard a soft ringing tone from not too far away. It sounds like mine, but it's of the generic type that anyone else could have it. Plus, mine does not work overseas anyway.

Well, that was what I thought, but the ringing was persistent. Also, the loudness and angle of the ringing remained the same no matter where I went, so the only way that is possible is if it's mine, but how is that possible?!

Feeling scared, I slowly took out my phone. Just as suspected, all that ringing was coming from my phone. What's even creepier is that the name of the mobile carrier my phone belongs to back in my home country appears there too at full signal. Who is calling me?

It's the big boss of the company my mother works for, Hisakawa Saeko. I had her number saved on my phone because it had accidentally synced my mother's contacts on the family computer. Mine and mom's contacts have since been merged that it becomes a very long contact list. The phone's interface makes it difficult to delete contacts in this very long list, on top of mom's knowing people who has the same family name as my friends whose given name I'm not sure about, which explains why I didn't delete them.

Hisakawa: "Yumiko-chan? Are you okay? Your group of friends had told the staff that you went missing while traveling with them."

The one calling me is mom's big boss, but the voice and the words she said suggests that she's also the Mizuho girl that I'm sharing the hotel room with. So, it wasn't some girl who did a poor impersonation of her, but rather a very good disguise. I don't know if it's because she knows my mother that she revealed her true identity to me.

Me: "How are you calling me? My phone did not have a signal the last time I..."

Hisakawa: "Now is not the time to talk about that! I can't maintain this call for long. Anyway, if you are the schoolgirl I'm seeing, turn 45 degrees to your left and wave your free hand while looking towards the sky."

She can see me? But there's nothing but the wide open sky in the direction she asked me to look at, and a camera in that direction is certainly out of the question. Maybe she's looking at me from behind? I feel silly doing it in a crowded area, or be facing away from where she could be looking at me from.

Hisakawa: "Ah. That is you. I'll be picking you up at the lowest level of the basement car park of the shopping center near you in a while."

For some reason, she chose to pick me up at a basement car park instead of the road near me. I guess it's the only deserted place inside a very crowded area, but doesn't the location sound suspicious, like ambushing me for a kidnap or something? I am a daughter of a scientist who is important to some degree after all, and I heard of scientist of similar rank, but at Hatsuya, has been killed by terrorists many years ago.

I have my doubts if the female voice that called me was even the Hisakawa-san I met.

11 March 2012

595th post - Remembering the Tohoku Earthquake

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It has been exactly a year since the large earthquake happened in the Tohoku region.

I remember a year ago when people were calling and messaging me to check if I'm okay. I'm relatively unscathed, and I don't have relatives affected by this.

Tokyo was relatively unaffected, and buildings remain standing as they are designed to withstand strong earthquakes. Although, food supplies, and things like radios and batteries were mostly empty shortly after due to people rushing to buy this and/or supply routes/factories were affected by it.

Outside Japan, and most foreigners inside Japan, the situation at that time was kind of exaggerated by the lack of knowledge (and spreading their misinformed knowledge to others) of what is happening, and the areas affected. The fear in these people seem to imply that the whole of Japan is affected.

As for the radiation, yes there was dangerous radiation around the Fukushima 1st nuclear plant, and, yes, radiation levels in other parts of Japan are higher than usual since that incident, but if you put that in perspective, it's still within safe levels, and still lower than in other parts of the world.

It's... painful for me to write further, so I'll stop here.

01 March 2012

594th post - Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Got my hands on the Windows 8 consumer preview. Download time is smoother than expected. Besides opening the Weather app and installing the two apps at the bottom right, this is what you see right after installing. Background colour could be changed from the green seen in the consumer preview.

Like before, you can create an account with a Windows Live account. If you have an Xbox or Hotmail account, you can use that to sign in.

All most of the apps you see in the Developer Preview are mostly gone, but it does make up with being able to use the app store that was unavalable in the Developer Preview. Of course, the screenshots you see here are for the Japanese version, so it may be different from what you see here.

Animation, and simentanously viewing weather of other cities, seems to be missing here compared to the Developer preview. It looks weird with that blank area at the far right. My only real complaint here is the units the tempreatures and distances are in. No country outside the US uses those units anymore.

Control Panel and Settings
Apart from some fine-tuning since the Developer Preview, and beign able to pick a different colour scheme, the settings page seem very much the same. Accessing it, however, has changed: it's located at the bottom of the settings panel where you adjust the volume and stuff.

Language Settings
You can add emoticons too
Sad to say, the option to switch between display languages is not there: just the keyboard layout. This was avalable in Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (the full-featured and most expensive version). However, I hear that there are plans to do that.

Being the Japanese version and having the Japanese keyboard, the Japanese input should be there too. Although there's a different UI in the metro version, it looks the same as Windows 7 for the desktop mode.

As a test, I installed Google's IME thing, which I primarily use in Windows 7. Sad to say that it doesn't work in the metro interface, though it does work in the desktop mode. (It crashed cmd.exe when I tried to use it.)

Other Pre-installed apps
Well, I don't know if it's because of the location settings somewhere, or if the server is not working, but these apps don't work well. Maybe I just don't have an Xbox to begin with.

What on earth is this?

Well, this isn't the finalized version, so there do tend to be some bugs and crashes here and there. Some things work on the Desktop mode, but not in the metro version. Although, I haven't restarted the PC since installing the updates you saw in one of the screenshots above. (@^^)/~~~

From the very start of writing this post to the end, this was written on a computer that was running on battery, and I see that it could run for longer. That does tell you about how energy consumption (which directly affects how long a battery lasts before it needs to be recharged) has been imroved a lot by having apps that are not in use to be in a "frozen" state. It's like the program has been closed in terms of usage of PC resources, except that it's not closed.

I'll use it again at a later time to see if there are hidden things that are yet to be found.

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中野区, 東京都, Japan
帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.