Metabolism

    Since leaving Japan, I have become aware of, and incredibly fond of, Metabolism, a Japanese architectural style born out of Modernism which–to me at least–has Brutalist overtones. It speaks to me of an unrealised utilitarian future.

    It seems few Metabolist buildings were constructed, and even fewer remain standing today–they were often impractical, and did not age well, leading to many being demolished or heavily altered.

    A number of the remaining buildings can be found in the Minato-ku district of Tokyo and, in spite of spending two years working there, I never took the opportunity to really pay these buildings the respect they deserve. A little over a year ago, I decided to right that wrong, visiting both the Nakagin Capsule Tower, and the Yamanashi Press and Broadcast Center.

    Nakagin Capsule Tower

    Yamanashi Press and Broadcast Center


    If you’re interested in reading further, here are a few of the highlights I discovered1:


    1. I’d also love to hear about the buildings and details I’ve inevitably missed. 

    Converting PDFs

    Sometimes it can be useful to convert PDFs to images. The ImageMagick convert command makes this really easy, with just one caveat: unlike converting regular images, it’s important to specify the -density flag. I’ve found a DPI of 300 typically yields good results:

    convert \
        -density 300 \
        input.pdf output.png
    

    Ginger Granola

    Over the past few years, I’ve continued to tweak and adjust my granola recipe. Sarah recently asked me for a ginger and pecan version and enjoyed the opportunity to make some adjustments.

    Ingredients

    • Rolled Oats – 400g
    • Pecans – 2 Handfuls
    • Coconut Flakes – 2 Handfuls
    • Olive Oil – 6 Table Spoons
    • Honey – 6 Table Spoons
    • Candied Ginger – 2 Handfuls

    I find this makes roughly two weeks of granola; adjust quantities to your own tastes and needs.

    Method

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 250ºF.
    2. Crunch the coconut flakes and pecans into smaller, irregular pieces by hand.
    3. Combine the oats, nuts, and coconut flakes and spread them evenly over a baking tray.
    4. Mix the honey and olive oil in a bowl until you have a uniform syrup.
    5. Pour the honey and olive oil mix evenly over the oats, nuts, and coconut flakes.
    6. Using a spatula, ensure an even coating of honey and oil.
    7. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, turning every 20 minutes, breaking up larger chunks when they form.
    8. Allow the granola to cool and then mix in the candied ginger.