48 different kinds of ojisan

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The most entertaining thing I saw on Japanese TV while I was back last week was a special that had the subtitle: The 48 different kinds of ojisan: What one do you like best? Apparently it’s trending right now to study the ojisan zukan (old man almanac). If you’ve lived in Japan, it’s hilarious because you know you’ve all met these old men before. Maybe he was sitting next to you on the subway. Maybe he is your dad, or your husband.

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Help me crowdfund our documentary about surfers rebuilding Japan

We Are All Radioactive IndieGoGo campaign video

Hey guys – just a quick reminder to visit We Are All Radioactive’s crowdfunding campaign page, when you have a sec. As you know, this is an episodic documentary film that I’m making with TED director Jason Wishnow, and the *only* way you get to see new episodes is if you help us fund them!

Right now, we’re just a couple thousand bucks away from funding Episode 3. Episode 2 is in its final stages of post-production before it goes out to the world this Wednesday!! So get excited, and join us. We have some great perks lined up for those of you who do – special shout outs, signed copies of Jason’s amazing short film starring a potato and a tomato, and the ability to influence future episodes.

WE ARE ALL RADIOACTIVE on IndieGoGo

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, a short documentary about the spring after 311

I just watched The Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom, a beautiful Oscar-nominated short by director Lucy Walker. It’s a beautiful film that begins with some of the saddest raw footage of the tsunami I’ve seen yet . Walker interviews several survivors shortly after the disaster, juxtaposing their resilience against the power and flexibility of the sakura trees that survived and, despite being drowned in sea water, proceeded to bloom a month later. Watch the trailer here, and keep an eye out for screenings near you!

And, of course, while you’re on the post-tsunami film binge, don’t forget to check out and donate to my film, We Are All Radioactive.

We Are All Radioactive – Chapter 1 is now online

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Chapter 1 of WE ARE ALL RADIOACTIVE, the episodic online documentary that I’m making with TED film director Jason Wishnow, is now live. Please take a look!

Episodes of WAAR are only released as they’re funded. We’re just a couple hundred dollars away from unlocking Episode 2. Please visit our IndieGoGo page and donate to what we promise will be informative, beautiful, and engaging.

Maywa Denki debuts the Otamatone Deluxe at SXSW

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I just got back from a fabulous two-day trip to Austin, Texas for SXSW with Novmichi Tosa of Maywa Denki. Tomo + I went took him there as part of the IEEE contingency. He gave an amazing performance and debuted the Otamatone Deluxe, which goes on sale next month. (You can buy the normal-sized Otamatone on Amazon.) I’ve known him for years, but this was the first time I got to see him perform live. So great!

Amazing video interview here

We Are All Radioactive – my new online documentary film project!

Hey guys! Guess what, I’m making a movie!

We Are All Radioactive is an interactive, episodic documentary film project about surfers rebuilding northern Japan. I co-directed it with Jason Wishnow, who is the film director at TED.

Sunday is the one-year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake, and we really need to remind people of how people in Japan are still living with the aftermath + uncertainty about radiation every day.

Because I’m a storyteller and I spend a lot of time on the Internet, I figured the best way for me to help Japan is to tell stories that are normally ignored. Like the stories of these surfers. And the fishermen they’re helping. And the government officials who are looking for a neutral third party to connect them with the locals.

We Are All Radioactive is going to do all these things, and more.

Because this is an independent project, we need your help in making it real. We are crowdfunding the film — as soon as we raise enough money to pay our editors + designers, we’ll release a new episode on our web site. Our web site launches on Sunday, so I’ll give you the URL as soon as it’s ready!

For now, please visit our campaign page to join the movement! We have lots of fun, meaningful interactive perks lined up for those who join the Radioactive community, like video messages from the characters and the chance to contribute your thoughts on a future episode. Super cool right?

http://www.indiegogo.com/WEAREALLRADIOACTIVE

Remember: by supporting this campaign, you’re helping us tell the inside story of an amazingly resilient community that shared their lives with us so that we can communicate their struggles to the world.

Material Change, a new book about fabrics, design, and human rights

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My friend Eve Blossom recently released this beautifully bound, thoughtful, and inspirational book called Material Change. Eve does her part in making the world a better place by connecting artisans from countries plagued by human trafficking with high-end designers to create beautiful fabrics through her company, Lulan. The book puts her story in the context of the larger movement of social entrepreneurship and design thinking, both movements that are super close to my heart as well. There’s even a little segment in there about Tofu Project advisor Joi Ito! Be sure to check it out next time you’re at a bookstore.