Tag Archives: Japan

After NASA and ESA, India would send its Mars mission before China and Japan

Soldiers stood guard in Sriharikota last week next to the launch vehicle (Source: Associated Press)

Main Point:

India is planning to launch Mars mission that could cause the country to move ahead of China and Japan in the field of astronomy or more technically you can say “interplanetary exploration”.

Study Further:

According to the reports of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), over 10 months are required to send the Mars satellite to the Martian orbit and sending the information back to the Earth. India’s Mars satellite is dubbed as Mangalyaan, or Mars craft in Hindi. It will cover a distance of 422 million miles and will reach the Martian orbit on Sept. 24. It will join the Mars programs of NASA and ESA that are already present there.

“This is a major turning point in our space program–towards exploration,” said Koppillil Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, the country’s civilian space agency. It will bring “technological advantage for the country.”

Although it will be a great program but critics are saying that India has to consider the ground based problems first. In India, nearly 350 million people live on less than $1.25 a day and over 30% of the population has no electricity. Continue reading After NASA and ESA, India would send its Mars mission before China and Japan

Facial expressions developed by shadows

The 12 Noh mask images having overlaid shadows with different facial expressions (Credit: Nobuyuki Kawai et al./PLoS ONE)
The 12 Noh mask images having overlaid shadows with different facial expressions (Credit: Nobuyuki Kawai et al./PLoS ONE)


Main Point:

Researchers have found that shadows are helpful in changing the facial expressions of expert actors wearing Noh masks in Japanese traditional Noh drama.

Published in:


Study Further:

Noh Drama and Masks:

The word “Noh” has been derived from nō, which means “talent” or “skill”.

Noh dramas are Japanese traditional form and represent one of the oldest extant theatrical forms in the world. In this form of drama, Noh performers use visual appearances and movements to represent the tale rather than acting.

Interestingly, Noh performers use hard wooden masks with fixed physical properties and through these masks they give different presentations of emotions. “During the actual Noh drama the mask conveys all kinds of different emotional facial expressions, as termed “mugen hyojo (infinite facial expressions)”,” Researchers wrote.


Mona Lisa (Credit: Wikipedia)
Mona Lisa (Credit: Wikipedia)

In the present study, researchers have found that the Noh mask images with the shadows of upward and downward tilted masks were evaluated as sad and happy, respectively. They have reported that the masks represent more happiness while tilting from upward to downward tilting angles and the largest downward tilting angle, i.e. +30 degrees, in this case, showed more happiness.

“The results thus suggest the effect of shadows in terms of altering the emotional impressions of a Noh mask, by simply changing the head inclinations of the original images,” Researchers wrote.

Researchers are of the opinion that this finding can also represent the mysterious facial expressions found in Western paintings, such as the elusive qualities of Mona Lisa’s smile, which is more apparent in the peripheral vision than in the central vision.

Not only in western culture but also in eastern culture, such as in Beijing opera (Chinese classical opera) and Kabuki (Japanese classical drama), the effect of shadows represent different emotions.


Noh TheatreEncyclopaedia Britannica

Nobuyuki Kawai, Hiromitsu Miyata, Ritsuko Nishimura, Kazuo Okanoya (2013). Shadows Alter Facial Expressions of Noh Masks PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071389

Compact pocket-sized ironing device for the wrinkled clothes

Pocket sized iron (Credit: esupply.co.jp)
Pocket sized ironing device (Credit: esupply.co.jp)

Japanese technology has brought a small pocket-sized iron to press your clothes while on the go. This little iron runs on three AA batteries or it can be charged from your PC by USB port. The iron costs only $10.

In order to hold the cloth, the cap of the repressor itself helps. Heating is built on both sides of the body inward and is about 90 to 95 degrees in about 1-3 minutes.

Card hot-repressor has the dimensions of about 100mm x 60mm x 18mm and weighs just 60 grams making it ideal for travel trips and business engagements. Continue reading Compact pocket-sized ironing device for the wrinkled clothes