A person I admire

The following is an essay that I wrote for an English school AEON as an assignment of writing:

Topic: A person I admire Style: Casual

Hiroshi Orihara, a professor emeritus of the university of Tokyo, is a person I admire and respect. He was born in 1935. He is a famous researcher of the sociology of Max Weber. In 1968, when he was an assistant professor at the Komaba campus of the university of Tokyo, he protested against the university regarding a unwarranted suspension of a student in the literature department and declined to restart lectures for several years. What he criticized harshly at that time was dual attitude of the university’s professors who teach in one side scientific approaches to students and do not follow those scientific principles in another side; in their real lives. (The student of the literature department was suspended by false accusation that he used some violence against a professor which he instigated. But the truth was, the professor tried to drag him out of a room and the fact that he resisted against that was interpreted falsely. Mr. Orihara tried to find the hidden facts by a kind of scientific approach, but the university ignored his protest and the suspension was not changed eventually.)
In his study of Max Weber’s sociology, his main achievement was that he studied Max Weber’s one of main works named “Economy and Society” very precisely spending 10 years and showed one very strong hypotheses for the correct edition. (I joined this study in the first two and half years when I was a university student). In this giant work of Max Weber, there is a famous edition problem. He started to write this book as an inclusive textbook of economics and sociology in 1910. He was forced to stop writing because World War I started in 1914. After the war, he tried to revise the old drafts and also tried to make some additions, but since he suffered from Spanish Flu, he died in 1920 and could not finish the work. After his death, his wife Marianne Weber tried to rearrange the whole drafts based on her own judgement. Her edition was criticized very harshly by some scholars later, and controversies for the correct arrangement of the drafts has been still continuing. Mr. Orihara joined these controversies from Japan and criticized German scholars who edited the complete works of Max Weber, published by Mohr Siebeck.
What I plan in the near future is, to publish “Economy and Society” in the orders based on Mr. Orihara’s hypotheses. (Please note that Max Weber’s copyright expired in 1990.) I have already prepared the web site for this project: https://max-weber.jp/
Since Mr. Orihara is now 83 years old, I must be hurry.

シャプトン砥石を水に長時間漬けるとどうなるか実験

シャプトンの昨日届いた1500番のセラミック砥石(マグネシア系)について、ちょっと使う気が失せたので、この際マグネシア系がどの程度水に弱いのか調べるために、一晩水に漬けて放置しました。大体7時間半です。結果として、見た感じの変化はほとんどなく、クラックや剥がれも発生しませんでした。ただ、やはり硬度は落ちている感じがあり、試しにアトマエコノミー(ダイヤモンド砥石)で角部をこすってみたら、結構簡単に削れました。おそらくこういう吸水した状態で刃物を研ぐと、ぼろぼろいきそうな感じです。実際に研いでみれば良かったんですが、朝で時間がなかったのでそこまでしませんでした。まあこの結果からは普通の人造砥石のように使う前に15分くらい水に漬けても、そこまでひどいことにはならないのではないかと思います。ただ注意点は今回テストしたのは5mmの砥石層に15mmの補強層が付いたタイプであり、15mm全体が砥石層で補強がない「刃の黒幕」シリーズが、長時間水に漬けてトラブルがない、という保証にはならないと思います。

マグネシア系の長所は、1000℃以上の高温で焼き固めるビトリファイ系に比べ、ほぼ常温での製造になるので、収縮が小さくサイズについて精度を出しやすく、特に研磨粉の径が小さい仕上げ砥が作りやすいということだと思います。(ビトリファイ系で小さい径の研磨粉を使うと収縮が大きくなり、歩留まり良くサイズを揃えるのが難しくなる。)

ちなみにビトリファイ系のビトリとは、元々ラテン語で「ガラスの」という意味です。丁度12月の実践ビジネス英語で、体外受精のことをIVF=in-vitro fertilizationというと習ったばかりです。(この場合はガラス=試験管のことです。)日本語でガラスのことを昔「びいどろ」と言いましたが、これはこのvitroと同語源で、おそらくポルトガル語のVidro(ガラス)から伝わったものです。

Japanese cuisine and kitchen knives

The following is my essay that I wrote as an assignment for an English school in Japan:

Topic: Japanese cuisine and kitchen knives
Style: Free writing

Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese are now quite famous worldwide, and UNESCO added them to their list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013.
One of the most important factors that supports this sophisticated culture is wide variety and long tradition of Japanese kitchen knives. If you think of Japanese dishes, you might be reminded of sushi or sashimi. Both dishes use raw fish. Some people may think the latter one is quite easy to prepare since it is just a dish with cut raw fish pieces. Yes, it is just cutting fish, but what is important is how you cut it. If you cut raw fish with a normal kitchen knife, the cells of fish meat will surely be crushed, and you cannot get cut pieces of fish with sharp edges. It is alleged that bad way of cutting diminishes the taste of sashimi quite a lot. All Japanese skilled chefs use very thin and long special knives specially dedicated to sashimi. They cut fish meat utilizing the whole length of a knife and cut it by drawing the knife quickly because the edge degree will be minimized and it will enable better cutting.
In order to keep sharp edges, it is vital to sharpen them before you use them. In western countries, chefs use a grinding bar to sharpen knives. Japan has a long tradition of Japanese swords and sharpening skill has reached at the highest level in the whole world. Japanese blacksmiths and chefs use several different grinding stones to sharpen Japanese swords and kitchen knives. The stones are usually flat stones with sizes usually around 7 X 30 X 3 cm. They start to grind swords or knives by rather harsh stones, and gradually change to stones with finer surfaces. Most grinding stones now in Japan are made artificially, but some good chefs stick to natural stones. A good natural grinding stone costs sometimes more than $1,000. Some say that each good knife has an ideal grinding stone as a pair, and they do not spare money to find it.
Another interesting thing about Japanese knives is that many of them are single-edged while most western knives are double-edged. It is said that single-edged is better in cutting but is difficult to cut something straight. There are also big differences in the way we sharpen single-edged knives compared to sharpen double-edged ones by grinding stones. Good chefs in Japan usually sharpen their knives by themselves, but there are also many of those who leave it to some professionals.

Cell phones and social etiquette

The following essay is what I wrote as an assignment of an English school AEON.

Topi: Cell phones and social etiquette
Style: Formal
Among many alleged manners for cell phones or smartphones, the most vocal one in these days might be “do not use your cellphone/smartphone while you are walking on the street”. It is absolutely true that looking at the screen of a cellphone/smartphone during your walk is quite dangerous not only for you, but also for others whom you may jostle. Some of smartphone applications, however, require users to watch the screen while they are walking. The most typical one is Google Map. Many people (including myself) use the app to find destinations when they are lost in unfamiliar areas. Some may argue that we should use the “vocal guidance” function so that we do not need to look at the screen. For many others, however, it is inevitable to look at the screen even with some vocal guidance since the app is named “map”. And a map is to look at while we are walking. In the past, when we had no cellphone/smartphone, nobody said that we should not look at a paper map while we were walking. The difference between the old information system and the new one is, just the number of people who use it. People did not always have maps in the past, but now most of them have smartphones and they use them almost all the time while they are awake.
From this example, we can argue that we should think more how to solve the addiction to smartphone than to expect good manners for smartphones. For many young people, the first thing to see in the morning after they woke up and the last thing to see before they fell asleep are the same thing, their smartphones. When I travelled in China in last September, what shook me most was the fact that many young engineers with whom I had a lunch one day started to check their smartphones as soon as they finished eating. At this point of change in personal behavior, we should intensively study potentially negative impacts to human health for both body and mind.
As a conclusion, smartphone addiction is quite a serious problem and to consider good smartphone etiquettes is quite useless without thinking of possible solutions for this addiction.

TOEIC L&R 234回結果

TOEIC L&Rで10月末に受けたのの結果が出ましたが、何と20点下がって945点でした。それもリーディングは前回より5点上がって490点で満点まで後5点になりましたが、リスニングは前回より25点も下がって455点でした。
以下がこれまでの受験結果。
年月     L  R  Total
1995年02月  470 420 895
2014年07月  430 440 870
2015年06月  460 455 915
2016年06月  450 465 915
2017年06月  480 485 965
2018年10月  455 490 945

リスニングは水物、ということかと思いますが、この結果はまったく納得出来ません。少なくとも35歳で受けた時の470点より、今の方がリスニングの能力はずっと上がっています。また、試験の一週間前に書籍版の模擬試験でのリスニングは100問中97問正解でした。
それで、来年1月13日にまたL&Rをリベンジで受けることにしました。更に勢いでその次の週の1月20日にS&Wも受けることにしました。