Must Visit For Ghibili Fans: The Ghibli Museum

I love Japan. I love their quiet and safe streets, beautiful places, temples, Zen gardens, food and more. I’ve visited Japan three times now, but I don’t mind going back if it means having another great time with my boyfriend. Sometimes if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find a boyfriend, a best friend and travel buddy rolled into one.

Guess where you are going today, milady?
Studio Ghibli!!

After he said that magical words to me, my brain started to accommodate Studio Ghibli-related things. It was now preoccupied of possible things await us.

Before this travel, we rewatched all the films made by Studio Ghibli. Yet, I still don’t have any idea that we are going to the Studio Ghibli Museum. Maybe because I assumed that it’s quite difficult to get a ticket reservation. They said that the museum can only accommodate 100 people. One of the reasons why a lot of people queue up to get reservations. And as a fan for quite a long time, I still can’t believe it’s really happening. He did “fucking” get us the tickets to Studio Ghibli! I was so happy I almost cried.

We joined a tour group. We have buffet food, comfortable bus, not having difficulty finding our way to the Ghibli Museum, and a friendly, professional tour guide. Our tour guide is awesome. You get the sense that she knows what she’s talking about. That she’s also a passionate fan. On top of my overwhelming excitement, I can also feel her excitement on her voice. And the moment she smiles, you immediately see why she was perfect for this job. She’s got this bright smile when she says, “Welcome everyone, my name is Miki” not Kiki from Delivery Service 🙂 Too bad I didn’t have her photo to show. I’m afraid and too shy to take a photo of her.

She explained really well our itinerary that day and provided some trivia about Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki’s favorites and what-not. How important the food is for Hayao in creating a story. Indeed, judging from his works, he always incorporates how important food in his story. This is one of the reasons why there were food replicas from the movies on display on the 2nd floor of the museum. She also mentioned a few beautiful spots to hang out inside the museum since she will not be joining us inside. It was a fun trip on the coach. Complete with interactive games provided by our tour guide where she will show a photo of food, then got to answer which film that food belongs to. I recognized some. Yay! She showed a photo of a chicken pot pie, no one seems to know that it’s from Kiki so I just said it out loud. So proud of myself. LOL

Photo by: Ghibli Museum review blog.

BUFFET at Hotel Gajoen

Our first stop is at Spirited Away’s bathhouse-inspired Hotel Gajoen, where we had our buffet lunch.

While having the fanciest lunch you could ever imagine, a couple next to us asked me who is my favorite Doctor. The girl had noticed my Doctor Who Tshirt that I’m wearing that day. I’m not one for big conversations with people I do not know, but I’m not rude either so I replied “I liked “Nine”. What’s yours?” She said she likes “Eleven”. I smile and replied back, “Eleven is really awesome as well”. We were like exchanging what’s our favourite number, but only Doctor Who fans would definitely get it.

Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan is one of the top tourist spots in Tokyo. Inside and out of the museum was designed by Hayao Miyazaki. You can see the guard robot from the Castle in Sky movie on the terrace garden. I kind of hate it that they don’t allow taking photos inside. Be sure to take as many photos as you can outside. I don’t why it is important to have a physical visual of something beautiful we saw. Probably we want to provide evidence that such beautiful stuff exists.

Continue reading “Must Visit For Ghibili Fans: The Ghibli Museum”

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Ladies And Gentlemen, James Randi Show You The Evidence, You Make Up Your Own Mind

“No matter how smart or well-educated you are, you can be deceived,”  — James Randi

Woohoo Finally, I’ve got to see James Randi’s An Honest Liar. It was a documentary of life and career of the world-famous magician (also known as The Amazing Randi) and skeptic of the “superstitious woo” such as psychic powers, psychic surgery, faith healing, Paranormal, crystal healers, dowsing, fake channeling, Aura reading, and etc. across the world.

They typically have one thing in common; they’re scammers. In other words, they are manipulative human beings who want money from the gullible people. He exposed those elaborate hoaxes of these scammers on television over many years. He showed how people got duped with just a slide of hands and illusions.

Philippine: Psychic surgery

If you read Carl Sagan’s book – Demon haunted world. The “Physic surgery” that became famous in the Philippines was mentioned there. Yes, I saw this “psychic surgery” on the telly when I was young. As a kid, I for one believe it. And was transfixed on how it was done. Imagine you can have a surgery without them cutting your skin and they eventually perform a surgery and pulled your guts with their bare hands. Many people actually buying this bullshit. Vulnerable and desperate people who wanted help to cure their diseases. They are willing to pay without questioning the real medical benefits from it.

Here’s the clip: 

Remember this classic, guys? hehe

The film also shows Randi’s life when he was a kid. Just like a typical kiddo, Randi was amazed by magic. It had his attention when a man made the woman float in air. By then, he joined the carnival and never went home.

“When I introduced myself as a magician “Good evening my name is the great Randal! I’m a liar, cheater and a charlatan. I will lie to you but for purposes of entertainment only, of course.”

His favorite magician is Houdini. And there was a chapter in the film where Randi also did the stunts on what Houdini was being famous of, a great escape artist. A chapter in his life where he said  this “If the man can make it, I could break it”

 

On February 7th 1975, an unidentified man (Mr. X) working for a Toronto film company was dangled over the precipice of the Horseshoe Falls at the Table Rock by a crane for five minutes while strapped into a strait jacket.
On February 7th 1975, an unidentified man (Mr. X) working for a Toronto film company was dangled over the precipice of the Horseshoe Falls at the Table Rock by a crane for five minutes while strapped into a strait jacket.
And yep, this was James Randi, his sweet escape!

Not only he wanted to be like him, but It also became his obsession to escape faster than Houdini. And just like Randi, Houdini started out as a magician, escape artist, and debunker, and dedicated his life to keeping people from being duped.

Furthermore, the film also focuses on exposing these two scammers:

Two Charlatans:

Peter Popoff  This part is my favorite too.  There are actually three ways to be rich in this country, and I guess, in other countries too — be hardworking, be corrupt, and be in the religion business. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being rich. It’s how you get there that is the question. Peter Popoff, a televangelist faith healer and had his own Tonight Show where he showed to his followers that he knows their diseases, as well as their names. He is harming them to the point that they didn’t have to go to the doctors anymore by believing that Jesus (through Popoff) has healed them.

After the Popoff’s show, he ordered his assistants to get buckets, so people would put their money there. People are throwing 5, 10’s and even 20’s. Because one of the things Popoff always tells them is that whatever they give, they will get it back ten folds. Taking money from the “desperate” in exchange with a false hope of getting healed :-/ That is sickeningly disturbing. And made me vomit. Watch it here: Hello Petey..Can you hear me? 

Randi’s friend from the stadium where the faith healing was made; noticed an earpiece from Popoff’s’ ear and he reported it to Randi to investigate right off the bat. Randi said a man who can heal the deaf shouldn’t be wearing an earpiece. So they decided they need a technical help. And boom, Petey was busted. He’s guilty of lying to people for profit. Randi had an interview and told the world how Popoff had lied to his faithful followers.

Uri Geller —  The man who can bend spoons using mind? Yes, Uri Geller is the man. He had claimed that he can bend spoons, keys etc. using his psychic power. So here comes The Randy, and he knows what to do. Here it is —James Randi exposes Uri Geller .  Uri Geller defended himself by saying that Standford Researchers are on his side (‘cos he tricked them in a test). By saying that – as well as saying Randi is just a “magician” seems rational enough to many people – and still buy his shit. Yes, after his wrongdoing being exposed, there’s still a lot of willing victims supporting this guy. And they hated Randi because of that. (How come the man who was telling the truth and telling you that your money is not worth it, is the bad guy here, huh people? (Grrrr… duh! Grow UP!)

This film also shows how people still in denial even if the evidence were shown right before their eyes. Which is very sad actually. 🙁 And that’s the way it’s always been. As long as there are frightened, vulnerable and gullible people, there will be scammers and charlatans lining up to take their money.

James Randi with Jose Alvarez :-)
James Randi with Jose Alvarez 🙂

Above all, his love story is quite sweet. James Randi came out of closet at age 81. You see in the photo, that was his partner for 25 years, Jose Alvarez (Deyvi Peña). I had mixed emotions on this part, and this was the part that I don’t want to spoil for you. Prepare tissues and all.  Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it, you can judge it for yourself 🙂

He didn’t want to get called “The Great Debunker”, actually. As he said those people can still show if they really had this so-called superpower. In fact, he has still been challenging them on his One million dollar paranormal challenge.

You can check out a lot of his clips on YouTube. They are impressive and delightful as you witness him debunking the fraudulent woos of these charlatans. Here are some bits and pieces of it, they are not from the film but watch it anyway.

Argh! My movie review of this film was quite late now, as I wanted this to be very special for Mr. James “Amazing” Randi. 🙂 Your life is truly amazing. He isn’t only about being skeptical of the paranormal, he is also  about promoting a scientific worldview.

He once said from his speech that “Science has created and shaped much of the world in which we live. But constant vigilance can never be relaxed.”

In our simple society where science only takes you so far, knowledge only takes you so far, and you need something else – magic comes in to fill this. 

We can’t all be James Randi, but we can all do something to bring reason and oust superstition from the world.

Happy Women’s Day To Y’all Beautiful Ladies

Since we are celebrating the International Women’s Day, let me wrap up to you some of interesting films in 2011 that were intended for women. I wanted to write an interesting topic – I mean a thought-provoking article such as; a woman who revolutionized the minds of many in the 15th century, women in the history of human spacefaring endeavor – but It’ll take time to do research on those. So came up with an easy topic to discussed – movies (at least for me – it is easy) . Haha 😛

What is the difference between films for men and films for women? I’m not segregating things or whatsoever – but there are films which were obviously intended for girls. Movies that most of the guys might find it boring and cheap while the women might find it brilliant. For some girls, watching movies makes them relax and entertain. In 2011, many movies win the cinemas with their interesting plot. Half of the film that I’ve truly enjoyed was from a Rom-Com genre which I’m certain that most of the women will consider to watch.  Continue reading “Happy Women’s Day To Y’all Beautiful Ladies”