Friday, August 19th, 2022

Nagasaki, aquariums and tiny apartments

Photograph of the word 'Holland' written in orange letters next to the rabbit character Miffy in front of a wall

Hello. Hope you’re keeping well and had a good week.

An unexpected trip to Nagasaki almost scuppered this week’s missive. I say unexpected, it was more I completely forgot it was happening.

Nagasaki is famous for being the second city to suffer a nuclear attack. Set that to one side, and there is so much more to its history. It was a major international trading port, thanks to its close proximity to China. During the Sakoku period, when Japan shut itself off from the outside world, the Dutch were allowed a small outpost to trade sugar and silver. Local slang for foreigners wasn’t the familiar “Gaijin”, but “Dutch”. 

I’ll add a post in the coming weeks with some more of the history and a few bits of photography. Meanwhile, I have a few things to unpack.

Hope you have a productive week ahead.


From my blog


Photograph of a ray swimming in an aquarium tank

Atoa is part aquarium, part art installation. Beautifully designed, visitors can get close to creatures normally reserved to those who can swim and dive

Copyright Theft

Graphic showing an influencer as a cat burglar, creeping off screen while lit by searchlights and holding a bag of stolen swag

From the archive: desperate for content, some influencers will resort to unethical, even illegal means to get their hands on the next post. If you’re the victim of content theft, there are steps you can take to disrupt their quest for attention.

From the web

It wouldn’t be right just to share my own work. Here’s a few things that caught my eye this past week.

JQuery and the UK Government

JQuery is one of those bits of the internet that takes up a lot of resources without anyone noticing. The UK Government has just done everyone a favour and stripped it off the entire website. This is why they did it and how…

Elon Musk

My Twitter is a lot calmer after blocking Elon Musk and muting everything about him. Even so, the New Yorker’s profile through the lens of his social media use (and misuse) makes for interesting reading. The way he uses trends and pithy tweets to create his own media network is enlightening.

Nokia Ringtones

I’ve had a few Nokia phones in my life, including my current “smaho”. The Verge takes a look at the mythical default ringtone, and the unsung heroes who expanded the auditory landscape as mobiles became ubiquitous.

Muscle Cars

The “American Muscle Car” is a cultural icon. It’s noisy, exciting and burns fuel at a phenomenal, planet destroying rate. However, announcing the death of the Dodge Charger or Chevrolet Corvette might be premature, as a battery powered future awaits.

New Homes

And finally, how big do you think a liveable apartment should be? 40 square metres? 30? 20?


These apartments in central Tokyo weigh in at barely enough space to exist. Yet students and young professionals seem willing to sacrifice comfort for convenience and the money they save.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.