Heineken TV Commercial

Tokyo was an incredible city back in the bubble years…some of the clubs and shows were incredible…this spot is like a night in Tokyo in the late 80″s early 90’s…Club Gold, Club Orange and One Eyed Jack when they had a casino. There was even a club with mermaids swimming behind the bar.

This spot looks like it was shot in the Russian restaurant in the basement called Volga. Lost in Translation was great at showing a side of the city that people think was over the top but having lived there I can tell you it was the real deal.

Tokyo is still a wild place but during the bubble it was surreal, 24/7.

Shot of Volga near Tokyo Tower
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Traumatized? Playing Tetris may reduce flashbacks!

Can this be true?

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A new study suggests that the rapid-fire visual puzzles that make Tetris so engrossing may also make the video game a promising treatment for post-traumatic stress.

Recurring, intrusive thoughts of a traumatic event are one of the hallmark symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder. According to the study, which appears in the journal PLoS ONE, playing Tetris soon after a traumatic experience appears to protect against these flashbacks, by distracting the brain from the event and short-circuiting how upsetting memories and images are stored.

Not just any video game will do. Notably, the study found that games that rely on trivia or language skills don’t appear to have the same therapeutic effect as stacking Tetris blocks, probably because they activate different areas of the brain.

“Verbal tasks may not be as effective because they will not affect the same neural networks,” says Dr. Alexander Obolsky, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, who specializes in the treatment of PTSD. “It’s a different part of the brain that processes that information.”

Actually playing Tetris may even build up your brain. The researchers concluded that, “A visuospatial task such as Tetris may offer a ‘cognitive vaccine’ against the development of PTSD flashbacks after exposure to traumatic events.”

I don’t know if I am buying it but I have been using “Angry Birds” to ease some stress at work and I think it has helped me sleep too.

Maybe Tetris could replace medical marijuana?

Dali’s Late Work at the High Museum

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This was a great treat…we went to see his work at the High Museum in Atlanta this week…
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His art and his personality were larger than life. This exhibit brings together a stunning collection of more than 40 paintings, plus film, sculptures and photographs—many never before seen in public.

According to the High’s team this exhibition shares for the first time the diverse body of work that Dalí created in the last forty years of his career. Reinventing himself during the 1940s, Dalí used his art to visually explore science, psychology, and religion—as he often said, painting the subject matter of his time.

Wish I had continued painting after seeing this…

Making of Evian Babies and the TVC

According to a Pew survey, more than one out of five adult Americans still don’t use the internet. What are they missing? Well they’re missing the skating babies.

It’s a simple formula. Take babies. Put ’em on skates. Add music. Watch the internet hits take off.

What did Bill Murray say at the end of “Lost in Translation”?

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It’s rare that you find a movie that sticks with you long after you’ve seen it for the first time. “Lost in Translation” was like that for me, for some reason. Maybe it stems from a time in my life where I was living and working in Tokyo and spent many days and nights at the very Park Hyatt this was filmed. Usually meeting with Western colleagues to de-cipher and untangle the day’s events and interchanges with my Japanese colleagues.

It had great appeal to me, despite the nature of being very much on my own there. I could relate to Murray’s character and the Japanese scenarios were almost too realistic making me cringe at points.

Perhaps that’s why “Lost in Translation” had the impact it did. Bill Murray, who plays Bob Harris, is in a strange country and cannot sleep, and he meets Charlotte, played wonderfully by Scarlett Johansson, who is also in the same situation, but almost totally alone as her new husband has other things to do.

They connect with each other out of their need to be with something familiar. Being in Japan with no English spoken, these two naturally relate and spend a lot of time together over the next few days, trying to hold onto this amazing thing they’ve found amidst their loneliness.

The movie did a superb job of bringing the audience into the emotions going on inside these two. You actually can almost feel what they are going through and how they long to just “be “ with each other.

And that brings us to the end of the movie. Bob has to leave, the filming is done on his TV commercial, and it’s time to go home and that means leaving Charlotte behind. But that’s the end really, they had no future, they were both married and their time was up. You felt their pain in ending the short relationship, but what other choice was there?

So Bob gets into his limo and is taken away, while Charlotte heads out onto the streets, back to wandering aimlessly like she did before, alone and out of place in this strange country.

But Bob stops, goes back and finds her walking.

They look at each other for a moment, and then they just hold each other. He whispers something to her, which makes her cry, makes her smile. They kiss, and she continues walking down the sidewalk, tears flowing, but a new look of happiness on her face. Bob gets into the limo and is gone.

I loved the movie, and I loved the final song in it so much that I now own the “Jesus and Mary Chain” album Psychocandy that it came from.

So the big mystery for all that saw it was this: What did he say to her?

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Some wise words of comfort from an older man that allowed her to move on? That he’d see her again? That he loved her?

Well, we now know. Someone took the scene and digitally enhanced the sentence that Bill Murray whispers to Charlotte and posted the video on YouTube. Sorry the link is no longer on YouTube.

It was hard to hear, but I think they got it right.

Now, not everyone wants to know. The way it ended was perfect in my opinion, leaving it up to us to decide what he said to her. It was fitting and obviously kept people thinking about it afterwards.

So if you don’t want to know, don’t watch the video or read on after this point. But if you do, check it out below.

Here is the final line from him again, if you didn’t watch it or want to see it again:

Bob: “I have to be leaving…but I wont let that come between us, okay?”

Charlotte: “Okay.” *gasp*

This exchange seems totally fitting to me. But the real meaning behind it will always remain a mystery. Did that mean he was coming back to her? Or was he just leaving her with hope. That in having this hope, she wouldn’t be completely miserable and lonely. Her gasp at the end was like a breath of relief escaping her, so the words he said were the right ones.

I don’t know what it means. I don’t think we ever will. They are both married, so the real guy inside me wants to think that they just return to their lives, but another part of me hopes they end up together.

What do you think? Does it make a difference knowing what he said? Am I the only one who really enjoyed this film?

Absolut Ice Bar and “Real” Experience Marketing

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On February 17th 2006, Tokyo saw the opening of the first ABSOLUT ICEBAR outside of Europe. The project is a collaboration between ABSOLUT, ICEHOTEL and Carrozzeria Japan. The ABSOLUT ICEBAR TOKYO is located in Nishiazabu/Tokyo.
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Significantly, everything in the new ABSOLUT ICEBAR will come from the same source. Purity of quality at origin is essential to the ABSOLUT ICEBAR: Just as ABSOLUT produces all of it’s vodka in Ahus, southern Sweden, all the ice present at ABSOLUT ICEBAR TOKYO will come from the Torne River, from whose crystal clear ice the ICEHOTEL has also carved.

ABSOLUT is a creative brand and is always striving for the unexpected. The ABSOLUT ICEBAR is a perfect example of how ABSOLUT, as a brand can offer a unique experience that could not have been delivered by anyone else,” says Michael Persson Senior Marketing Director at V&S Absolut Spirits in Stockholm

“We know, from our experiences at ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi, that our concept of working with ice environments are very much appreciated by our Japanese guests and therefore we are especially pleased to now be able to present this unique experience right in the heart of Tokyo”, says Agnetha Lund, Director ICEBAR International.

The new ABSOLUT ICEBAR will host up to 50 guests at a time. As the bar contains an environment of -5 degrees centigrade where everything – from the walls, bar and artwork to the glasses that holds the ABSOLUT cocktails – is made from crystal clear Torne River ice, guests will be provided with specially designed capes and gloves on arrival. The bar is developed according to exactly the same concept, and with the same ice, as the bar at ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi, giving the visitors a chance to experience the icy cool of the Lappish winter throughout the year.

“I read a newspaper article about the opening of ABSOLUT ICEBAR STOCKHOLM two years ago at a hotel in Stockholm. It captured my attention and I felt I had to visit it immediately.. The beauty and purity of ice inspired my ideas, and also ABSOLUT ICEBAR’s values of originality and authenticity impressed me. I am sure the people of Japan will enjoy the experience of the exclusive trip from Tokyo-metropolitan to Lapland- Jukkasjarvi”, says Minoru Ohba, President for Carrozzeria Japan Co., Ltd.

All the ice in the ABSOLUT ICEBAR comes from the Torne River in northern Sweden. The purity of the water and the freezing process in the river creates the remarkable crystal clear ice. The ice is harvested from the Torne River this winter and is transported all the way to Tokyo for the construction of the bar.

ABSOLUT ICEBAR can also be found at the world famous ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi in Sweden, as well as in Stockholm (launched in 2003), Milan (launched 2004) and London (launched 2005). The ABSOLUT ICEBAR TOKYO is the first ABSOLUT ICEBAR to launch outside of Europe.

The partnership between ABSOLUT and ICEHOTEL was brought to international attention with the ABSOLUT VERSACE campaign that was photographed at the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi in 1994.

Art plays a prominent part in the ABSOLUT ICEBAR, the head designer at ICEHOTEL will invite different artists to create a series of sculptures from the Torne River ice that will be on display in the stunning place. Twice a year a total new design will be created to ensure the guests an experience that is always evolving.
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