Sometimes part of the fun of studying a language like Japanese is "surfing" the linguistic elements that are totally different from anything found in one's native language. One of the most common kanji characters is ki (気）, a rather all-purpose concept for expressing abstract ideas (read chi in Chinese). Although it can be translated as spirit, soul, nature, heart, mood, feeling, or atmosphere, it mainly deals with (spiritual) energy and a person's awareness. The character is found in some elementary words that students of the language encounter right away, such as genki (happy, energetic), tenki (weather) or kuki (air). The word can express intention (seppuku suru ki = the intention to commit ritual suicide, wish I could think of a better example ^_^), and feelings or emotion (kimochi ii = that feels good). In anime series like Dragonball Z, when a character gets so filled with energy that he literally glows with fire, the word for that fire would be ki. The concept is also used in martial arts and yoga, which seek to focus the mind's ki in beneficial ways -- it also pops up in words like kiai, the verbal yell you release when focusing your strength on a task. The word can be found in several Japanese idioms that are used quite often, such as ki wo tsukete (be careful; literally "fix your body's energy and attention on the task at hand"), or ki wo tsukau (to be considerate of; literally "to use your ki on behalf of another person").
One of the most popular "talents" (an all-purpose word meaning singer/actor/ comedian/whatever) in Japan is Takuya Kimura, a member of the popular group SMAP, the male idol band that dominates much of Japan's music scene. Takuya, who plays the voice of Howl in Howl's Moving Castle, has been called both the "sexiest man in Japan" as well as the domestic version of Brad Pitt, mainly because Levi's hired "Kim-Taku" for their jeans commercials to counter Edwin's successful line of commercials featuring "Bra-Pii." Although they started out as a Backstreet Boys-like group, SMAP has utterly woven itself into the fabric of Japan's pop culture, and you really can't turn the TV on without seeing one or more members of the group hosting a variety show or doing their gourmet cooking competition thing or pulling some gag on the air, like when George Lucas came to Japan and they presented him with a beautiful Japanese sword, which turned out to be a cheap plastic light saber. Recently there's a rumor going around that Takuya and his wife, former singer Shizuka Kudo, are going to put their daughter in my son's special English elementary school this April, which has set the hearts of the school mothers all aflutter with thoughts of Japan's sexiest man attending parents' day with them.
J-List sells a unique line of original T-shirts, hoodies and embroidered hats featuring funny and wacky kanji messages, and today we've gotten in a cool new design for you. Every once in a while you hear of a Japanese man who wasn't able to resist his own particular urges, and who got in trouble peeking at pretty girls. Our new wacky T-shirt warns people who see it to beware of nozoki -- peeping toms, who like to watch women secretly -- with a hilarious new design. Check it out on the site, now!
Heh, I'll tell you my own favorite game. All those newfangled video games are okay, but I'm still loyal to the original Unreal Tourmanent, released in, I think, 1999. I'm using it on my Intel MacBook Pro, and the fact that it plays so nicely (even with 300 bots, see below) in Rosetta is really an amazing thing.
The reason it's so fun is that there's a nuke you can use to kill your enemies.
Of course, that's not fun enough, so here's what I do. Load the game, type SUMMON WARHEADLAUNCHER unless I'm on a level that has the nuke, get the warhead, then type ALLAMMO. Then instead of having one pansy nuke you have 999 of them. Muhahaha! LOADED is another fun command that gives you all weapons in the game.
You can then addbots if you like so that you have 100, 200 or more enemies to kill rather than the default of 16. Note that adding too many bots at once can overload the machine since most of the bots appear at the same few spawning spots which causes them to explode, and the computer has to draw 100 x 300 bits of expanding flesh on your screen.
This lets you discover a new kind of game, where basically everyone is trying to kill you but you've got a nuke. You can do fun game of trying to kill everyone else (up to 300 bots) without using any weapons other than the nuke. This means you need to shoot and duck behind obstacles, or shoot at the ceiling to take out someone before they get too close. It's quite a challenge. Another fun thing is to slow the game down so you can set up extra beautiful kills.
There's something about running down the hallway in the contrail of a tactical nuke you've just shot that's so much fun. Incidentally I've played this game so much in the past my eyes actually got infected. That's not good, is it?
Ah, beautiful stress relief... I realize my love of cheating at games goes back to my Captain Kirk complex, since I look up to him as the father I didn't have (Captain Kirk, Carl Sagan and Ernest Hemingway). I guess using NOCLIP or god mode in a game is just my own answer to the Kobayashi Maru test.