Sunday, December 6, 2009

How I passed JLPT2 (hopefully)

Today I took level 2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The test has had four levels for a long time. Level four is the easiest and level one is the hardest. Next year they will add one more level as a stepping stone between levels 2 and 3. The amount of words and characters that need to be mastered rises nearly exponentially with each level, for example level 4 requires knowledge of only 150 kanji characters (any moron can do it), level 3 requires about 300, level 2 requires a thousand and level 1 requires about two thousand. The progression is similar for the amount of vocabulary that must be learned, with level 1 requiring a whopping ten thousand words.

The test only measures your listening and reading comprehension so the hardest part of Japanese, writing is completely left out. The first part takes 35 minutes and is basically about picking the right kanji for some words and picking the sentence that is using a word in the right way. The second part, listening comprehension takes 40 minutes. In this part you usually listen to some dialogue going back and forth between a few options and then you have to pick up the clues that tell which option they finally settled for. The last part takes 70 minutes and it is the most difficult. You have to read quite a lot of texts about various topics and answer questions about them, at the end there is a section where you have to choose the right grammar for a sentence.

I had been wanting to try my skill in the JLPT for a long time but never bothered to find out where and how to do it. This year I finally got off my butt and investigated the application procedure. To make a not so long story short, if I had remembered to check up on JLPT just one day, or even just a few hours later, i would have had to wait for the next year's test.

After my application was accepted, I started studying like crazy. It feels like I've learned more new words and grammar constructs in the last few weeks than in the 2-3 years before that. I went through all the grammar and all the vocabulary and made flash cards with Mnemosyne at the end I had about 2200 flash cards, a lot of them were duplicates from having one card with Japanese to English and another for English to Japanese. This also helped me learn a lot of grown-up words that I haven't had opportunity to study that much before. Like contribution, political party, committe member, prime minister, management and so on.

After I had created the cards and practiced them a bit (I didn't have time to practice that much really) I moved on to doing a few of the older tests. I managed to download crappy scans of some older tests and went through the ones from 2005 - 2008. I only had the opportunity to check the scores for 2006 and 2007. The max score for JLPT2 is 400 points and you need 60% of this amount to pass. I got about 80% in the 2006 and 2007 exams so I felt pretty confident going in to the test.

There was a surprisingly large amount of people taking the test. I counted about 40 people in the level 2 class room. I felt like I did ok. But the reading comprehension part went a bit worse than expected. I lost track of time for a bit and spent too much time on a few texts so I ended up having to guess the answer for one question. Now I have to wait a whole three months before I get the result from the test.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Ok, finally the world's crappiest TV show Lost has begun again. For your "pleasure" I will liveblog my experiences of these two new episodes and how much they will suck.


- The mysterious asian is recording his mysterious videos and some cryptic stuff happens. Time manipulation with limitless energy... hooray for crappy sci-fi plots.

- Let's see how long it takes for Jack to become emotional or shout at somebody to create some forced drama

- Some agents show up at Kate's house to find out if she is the mommy of her baby and then the people on the island are gonna get in trouble somehow... I don't remember if they explained why somebody was gonna give a shit about who is on "the Island"

- Sawyer did something useful while walking around looking all manly. He bitchslapped the asian-looking physicist into giving some answers. Let's see if he tells anything useful... The island has "spun off time" or something...

- Ok so some of the Lost people have now sided with the ever annoying Ben Linus and Sun wants to kill him for some reason

- A decent action scene with Said owning some random guys in his appartment while Hurley eats a hamburger

- The physicist guy explains that time is a string or something and that if you go back in time everything that happened will happen again or something... O_O I didn't really pick up what they were trying to stop and didn't bother rewinding to find out

- All kinds of characters that I hardly remember what they did from the earlier seasons show up briefly

- A guy called Richard tells Locke that he has to die and every must go back to the island for the island to be saved. To be saved from what? I have no idea. Why should Locke have to sacrifice himself for the damn island?

- There's a lot of random time travelling happening so you understand even less what's going on

- Aha, I think some boat exploded and that's what they're trying to prevent. Some faint memories from the last seasons start coming back

Closing comments: typical Lost episode. Many different characters. Lots of stuff happening, yet nothing is really happening. I can think of tens of old mysteries that they seem to have stopped caring about explaining. Lost still sucks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Christian Student Magazine VIP

This summer, I asked mommy to get me Richard Dawkins' the God Delusion which I've only now started having time to read. It's really interesting and well-written so far. But fortunately, saving me from getting a too one-sided, dogmatic, atheist picture of reality, some christian fundamentalists decided to bless me with their christian student magazine. The hot centerfold article is a criticism of naturalism by Tapio Puolimatka, who's a professor of pedagogy and docent of practical philosophy. I am often annoyed when people make long, unintelligible expositions to support their view of something so I'll try to just list some of the useless points made by the good professor:

- He claims that science dogmatically excludes other explanatory models and compare their descriptive power objectively. The paragraph doesn't make it clear what these other hypotheses would be, but since the article is in a christian magazine and tries to criticize atheism and naturalism we may assume that he's talking about the God Hypothesis. The stumbling block for this is that a hypothesis involving something that doesn't follow any Rules cannot be scientifically explored.

- It's also silly that people like Professor Puolitie are trying to act like they are the radical thinkers these days (In an Expelled Ben Stein way). He's playing the "Big Science is dogmatic"-card. This seems to completely ignore the fact that their medieval world view was the only accepted view for about one and a half millennia. And that science has had to work hard to build up this natural world view.

- The combination of these two is also expressed in the statement (again similar to Expelled) that scientists are afraid of publishing results that go against the natural world view. But of course science isn't afraid of anything. It's just that science cannot work with hypotheses or objects that cannot be said to follow any rules.

It's sad that people at universities are engaged in this kind of bad thinking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I re-discovered one of my old arcade favorites Splatterhouse when looking through the game roms we had on our old computer. They had this game at Vasa's good old theme park Wasalandia and I must have been around 10 years old when I saw this game the first time. I was completely awed by the level and monster designs. I also remember when I was watching some older "juvenile delinquents" or something playing it and they got to the level where you're fighting a bunch of poltergeist chairs. I must have been really impressed by that because I said in swedish something like "Whoa, chairs". I remember the big guys made fun of me or something so I felt a bit embarrassed and scared. But that's the power Splatterhouse has on a little kid like I was back then. These days, I can beat this game pretty easily myself but I am always reminded of my stupid "Whoa, chairs" line when I get to that level. Below follows a few pics of some of the coolest scenes from the first five of seven levels.

Hot meat-clever action in the first stages. The baddies always die in gory ways. You can't really see it as well as I hoped in the first pic, but I am chopping that zombie alien's head off clean.

A crazy dual chainsaw-wielding maniac!

One of my favorite boss encounters. First we find this girl lying on this couch here. I think it might be the girl you enter the Splatterhouse with in the short intro. But i am not sure, I haven't really tried to figure out the story.

But then she changes into this really cool freaky clawed monster.

This should be level 2, there's a really cool sound when you hit these gray ooze monsters with the short baseball bat-looking wooden stick. The monsters splash all over the wall in a really cool way too.

Encounter with a poltergeist. The room will shake; chairs, knives and even the painting will attack you.

This is a really gross freaky blob monster that tries to slime its way all over you.

All in all a really cool game, it's a bit on the easy side though. Not a lot of strategy required. But great graphics, monsters and music.

If you wanna see this game in action here's a two-part movie of somebody going through the game at a pretty fast pace. Unfortunately in the first stage he doesn't use the meat-clever so no decapitations there.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sega Mega Drive Twin Pad Player

Look what the postman brought me a few days ago. It's a clone of Sega's old 16-bit mega drive video game system. This one has 20 built-in games. They are all by Sega I think. I even think the thing is an official Sega product for the chinese market or something. It has some pretty nice games. You can check out the games list here: I've only had time to play Gain Ground and Eswat a few times so far.

This is the main menu screen you are greeted by when powering up the machine. It looks kind of craptastic. The box it came in was pretty ugly as well. But who cares. The games work really well. It just seems that some pixels are stretched a bit. Not sure if it's my TV or the mega drive-clone.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Greetingz from Stockholm

I am sitting in my friends' kitchen right now and writing a crappy blog post on my super cool Asus EEE PC. We have just had a wonderful lunch made by K. It was a kind of noodle shrimp vegetable stirfry. Yesterday we walked around in a lot of shops until our feet hurt. I bought a new sleevelss "wifebeater" (not really a wifebeater, they have those gross little fishnet holes in them so the upper body almost looks naked when wearing one). It was yellow, it will match my yellow sandbag boxing gloves perfectly. The clerk also told me that yellow was a good color and more guys should wear yellow. Apparently yellow is one of this spring's colors along with purple and tourqoise. Last night we also watched the latest episodes of lame Lost and gosuuu Trumppi. Trace Adkins was being useful as usual.

We are soon going to take a walk to some station somewhere and then go to a ramen restaurant. I haven't eaten ramen in a looooong time. I hope it's good.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Taste of Japan part II

I cooked up some more Japanese food today. Two very simple things here that were just godlike. The egg thingies on the left are a sweet omelet roll thing called tamagoyaki, the little soy cup in the middle is for dipping the tamagoyaki. It was just sooo good. The recipe is simple: you need at least a few eggs and a tablespoon or two of sugar. If you are a pro you can put in a bit of dashi and soy or mirin or whatever as Yasuko of Yasukon Keittio told me. I followed this really awesome youtube video for the cooking technique. It has a really cool electronic song that plays in the background that I was listening to many times while making the tamagoyaki. Strangely about 8/10 youtube commenters seemed to hate the song. Well that is just more proof that the only people commenting on youtube are 'tards. Anyway as you'll see in the video the tricky part is the cooking technique where you have to re-oil the pan and roll the omelet up a few times. You should also ideally have a special frying pan like this.

The other thing that was really awesome was the sesame seed salad dressing I put on the salad. I haven't tasted that in like 4 years. It was just as good as I remembered it. The blue soup plate just contains some simple tanki udon, they're the same thick tapeworm-y noodles that I made a stirfry variation of in my earlier blog post.