Visiting Tokyo for Verizon and a personal media plan

Tokyo skyline by Harry Vale: click to embiggen[Update 12 September 2013: For a variety of reasons, I’ve cancelled this trip.]

On Monday 16 September I’m heading to Tokyo to attend a lunch presentation by Verizon on the 17 September. Since it’s my first visit to Japan I’ll be staying through to Sunday 22 September and doing something… special.

Yes, I’m going to Tokyo for lunch. Don’t question me. Or rather, don’t question how the internet and media industries work.

It’s actually an opportunity for the Asia Pacific tech journalists to meet Verizon’s president and chief executive officer, Lowell C McAdam, so it’ll be worth it. I’m also presuming they’ll have some announceables.

Wednesday through Sunday will be my exploration days in Tokyo. I’ve decided that I’ll do that as a personal media project, crowdfunding the money to pay for it.

At this stage I think I’ll call it The 9pm Tokyo, but it won’t be “just” a podcast. I’m thinking of setting a “target investigation” as a theme for each of the five days — “Where does the sake come from?” or “Just how weird is the tentacle porn?” — and reporting on that in words and pictures and maybe audio or video. Something like my Unreliable Bangkok series but with many more words.

That then raises the question of what I can actually investigate. Apparently whisky bars are a thing. What else should I see and do in Tokyo?

[Photo: Tokyo, as seen from the Metropolitan Government Building by Harry Vale, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.]

Watching 29,000 aircraft

Time lapse video of aircraft flight patterns over the USA

This isn’t a new video, but certainly one I like: a time lapse video of flight patterns over North America as they unfold over the course of a day.

You can clearly see the wave of activity following the time zones east to west as the morning commuter flights do their thing. International flights follow a different drummer.

One of the reasons I like this video is that it reminds us we’re all part of something much, much bigger. In this case it’s the human-made world of aviation, but like the Powers of Ten video, it helps generate a sense of perspective.

Thanks to The Long Now Foundation for the reminder — and follow their blog for many more similar reminders, such as a 35-year time lapse of the Tokyo skyline and some slow art.

I’ll write more about The Long Now Foundation another time.