Master Blaster

Writer / Translator

Master Blaster is the two-man translating team of Canada’s Steven Le Blanc and Japan’s Masami M, a pair who in addition to writing work are in English education and created the StudyNow app for Japanese students of English.

Together they have written somewhere around 1,500 articles for RocketNews24 covering such diverse topics as Chinese men selling sanitary napkins to each other and a Japanese guy dragging an ear of corn around the Tokyo train system. A few of these were actually good, but don’t take our word for it! Here’s what our beloved readers had to say:

“One isn't always in the mood for bold tastes. But when I'm in the mood for bold flavor I turn to you.”
“Stupid article. Who cares what the Japanese think it's cool. You don't call a monkey, "gorilla".”
“You know, this is about the most cogent explanation of how a turbocharger works that I have ever seen in the non-motorsports world.”
“Thanks for the article peter!”
“It's people like you who make exploitation possible.”
“It looks yummy and the story was great. Thank you for the smile.”

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All Stories by Master Blaster

COCOROBO Is the Funnest Vacuum Cleaner Ever! I Know That’s Not Saying a Lot but It’s Really Fun

When robot vacuum cleaners first hit the scene about a decade ago, they appeared to signal the end of lugging around traditional upright models.  However, with a pretty hefty price tag and comparatively limited cleaning ability, they haven’t exactly caught the world on fire.

Seeing this, Sharp has developed a robot vacuum cleaner destined to light a fire under consumers: ladies and gentlemen, meet COCOROBO (also affectionately known as, RX-V100W). So what makes COCOROBO so great? Well, for starters, it’s remote-controlled and able to talk with people.

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Japanese Criminal Arrested After Visiting Police on the Advice of His Victim

A 19 year-old male university student was arrested on suspicion of violating the Minor Offenses Act for attempting to video tape inside another female university student’s room.

The shocking part was how he came to be arrested.  Before starting the story, I would like to emphasize that this criminal was enrolled in an institution of higher learning, which should imply a certain level of intelligence.

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“Sutra Master” is Cute, Confusing, and a Little Controversial, Goes on Sale at Comiket 82 by Ryoho Temple

Tokyo’s famous Comic Market (Comiket) 82, the world’s largest doujinshi convention, is set to kick off on 10 August.  We can be sure to expect cosplayers and original comics a plenty, but one particular creation has be stirring up a fair bit of hype weeks before the gates open – the PC game Sutra Master.

Sutras are, in a nutshell, short pearls of spiritual wisdom like something you might find in a high-brow fortune cookie and are often compared to prayers in other religions.  Taken from Buddhist texts and often chanted during meditation or religious ceremonies, sutras are generally treated with solemn dignity but Sutra Master takes them to a weird new place.

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Soccer Scientifically Proven to Raise Our Sex Drives, Just Wait Until After the Game

We recently ran a report on how the sexual drives of younger Japanese people have been plummeting in recent years.  Little did we know that lady luck would swing by this nation in crisis taking the forms of Japan men and women’s Olympic soccer teams.

So what does Olympic soccer have to do with knocking boots?  According to a recent study, it may be a bigger aphrodisiac than oysters.

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Limited Edition Bathroom Scale Features Japanese Voice of Barney and Phoenix Wright

Famous bathroom scale manufacturer Tanita is joining forces with Nippon Cultural Broadcasting to create a limited edition high grade bathroom scale featuring two of the most prolific voice actors in Japan, Daisuke Ono and Takayuki Kondo.

The machine itself isn’t so much a bathroom scale as it is a body composition meter allowing you to get a crystal clear idea of what’s going on under your hood.

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Korean Couple Refuse to Pay for Food at a Taiwan Restaurant Because “That’s not How it’s Done in Korea”

A lot of people have ways to get out of paying a restaurant bill.  Some put hair or other foreign matter into their dishes, while others just run out of the place after eating.  However, this might have been the first time that people have claimed diplomatic dinning immunity to save a few bucks. And it worked.

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School Children All Over China Get a Lesson in Ethics and Economics with “Summer Homework Substitute Services”

As children in China are halfway through their summer vacation, the pressure to finish their homework assignments grows stronger.  This is exactly what summer holiday homework substitute services are hoping for as advertisements have been springing up everywhere on the internet, according to Tawain-based news site NOWnewsThese business men and women are offering their experience and knowledge to do your child’s homework for a nominal fee.

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How to Make a Horror Bento, Perfect for Fights with Loved Ones

We’ve covered the phenomenon of charabens in the past ranging from the extremely cute to the downright bizarre. However, as with any art form, the horror genre cannot be left out.  Inspired by some photos of horror bentos found online a reporter from the website Pouch, Hotaru Yamakawa, has decided to make her own series of 3 horror bentos and help you make your own.

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A Worker’s Guide to Being a Hyper Cool Biz Gentleman

The other day RocketNews24 introduced a breakthrough energy saving and morale building program called Hyper-Gentleman’s Cool Biz which was met with a warm reception from the titans of industry.

Thanks to your report I’ve decided to start Hyper-Gentleman’s Cool Biz in my company.  The mankinis are on their way! But, I was wondering, how should I instruct my staff to alter their daily routines under HGCB?

Sincerely,

Larry Sage, CEO, Goggle Inc.

Well Larr, you’re in luck!  Because we have compiled a comprehensive multimedia guide to being a Hyper-Gentleman’s Cool Biz worker arranged in a streamlined manner for quick reference.

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Even Non-Alcoholic Drinks Should be Limited to 20 Years Old and Up According to Survey

To all our under-age readers, I feel for you.  Understandably, alcoholic drinks are off-limits as they can be harmful to your growth at a young age.  But now, it seems the adults want to take away your non-alcoholic drinks as well according to a recent survey.

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We Take a Slow Ride to the Disputed Russian/Japanese Island of Sakhalin, Taking a Boat Can be Much More Enriching than a Plane

While in Hokkaido I decided to go to the Sakhalin Island just North of Japan.  This island has had a long history of passing between Russian and Japanese control for centuries.  In the closing days of WWII Russian forces took the entire island although no treaty was made to officially declare their ownership.

As a Japanese person it stung a little to need a visa to visit this Sakhalin but the dispute over this island has been quieted recently.  A Japanese Consulate was established there and businesses in Japanese frequently make the trip thanks to warming ties between the two countries.

And so I decide to make the most of this journey by taking a ship rather than a plane.  Ultimately it was full of surprises – good and bad.

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[Olympics] Chinese Media Attempts to Annex 2 Kazakhstani Gold Medalists, Chinese People Wish Their Media Would Give It a Rest

During the London Olympics, two young ladies from the Kazakhstani team Zulfiya Chinshanlo (19) and Maiya Maneza (26) each earned gold medals in their respective weight classes as well as setting a World and Olympic Record respectively.

However, their celebrations were short lived as China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency declared that they are in fact secret Chinese nationals, Zhao Changing (19) and Yao Ling (26) who were sent on a clandestine mission to Kazakhstan to spread the sport.

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[Olympics] Hot Japanese Male Gymnast Inspires Chinese Women to Create Homo-Erotic Fantasies with Equally Sexy German Male Gymnast

Controversy hit the men’s team all-around gymnastics event as a mishandled score was appealed by the Japanese team earning them a silver medal thereby knocking out an angry Ukraine team and angering fans of a now Bronze winning Great Britain team.

It’s a murky controversy that may have implications on how appeals are dealt with in future games.

However, leave it to women with their filthy minds to make everything about sex.  For as the Japanese team accepted their silver with mixed emotions, women in China were going nuts over “the sexiest guy of the London Olympics.”

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America Flexes Its Marketing Muscles by Turning a Bland Japanese Condiment into the Hippest New Diet Food

A common addition to many Japanese dishes is a substance called Konjac (Konnyaku in Japanese which may sound confusingly like Cognac). It’s a peculiar, virtually tasteless gelatinous mass that admittedly has an excellent texture to it.

What may come as a shock to millions of Japanese people is that America is beginning to embrace this garnish not as the Japanese have, but as a replacement for conventional pasta.

Thanks to the West’s keen marketing sense, Japan’s often underappreciated purplish-grey slab gelatin has been reborn there as Miracle Noodles!

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We Head to the Location of OS X Mountain Lion’s Desktop, “Blue Pond” and Soak In the Mysterious Beauty First Hand

Installed on the recently released OS X Mountain Lion is a breathtaking image of an aquamarine pond with trees growing out of it.  We previously gave you the impressions of the photographer Kent Shiraishi, but now we went straight to the real Blue Pond in Biei, Hokkaido to see if it lives up to the photo.

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Meet Family Mart’s Newest Employee, Hatsune Miku

A while back we reported on Hatsune Miku’s hijacking of four Family Mart convenience stores.  This time, however, Family Mart has turned the tables by hijacking Hatsune Miku herself and hiring her as a store clerk.

The news comes during a display at Wonder Festival (Wonfes) Summer 2012 by figurine makers Good Smile Company.  In the display figures of Miku sporting a Family Mart Uniform (with a few cute alterations) could be seen.  These will be part of an upcoming promotional event between the popular Vocaloid and convenience store chain.

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Take the “Public” Out of Public Bathing and Make a Natural Hot Spring in the Comfort of Your Own Home

One of Japan’s greatest features is its many natural hot springs called onsens. Thanks to its highly volcanic location, Japan’s countryside is dotted with resorts welcoming tourists all year round.

For some foreigners visiting or living in Japan, public bathing isn’t a very appealing recreation.  Reasons for this include tattoos which are considered verboten in many onsens, and the fact that foreigners tend to stick out like a sore thumb and might draw uncomfortable stares while bathing.

Now there’s another way to enjoy the relaxing and curative properties of a natural hot spring in the comfort of your own bathroom.  If you want to know how, then give our easy manual “How to Set Up an Onsen in Your Own Home” a quick read.

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Mankind Dealt Further Blow As Robot Which Never Loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors Is Developed

Rock-Paper-Scissors, the longstanding arbitrator of riding shotgun or eating the last slice of pizza has been celebrated for hundreds of years for its simple yet elegant balance of psychology and chance.

It’s such a part of the human experience that a robot could never out match the human mind in the RPS arena.  Until now that is, as Engineers from the University of Tokyo decided to stick their noses in and build a robot that never ever loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors – ever! So how does it do it?

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The Top 25 Things In Japan Most Likely To Blow Foreigners’ Minds

The following is a list of things in Japan that have surprised, fascinated, and shocked the outside world.  Some of these things you’ll wish you had in your home country and a few you may never want to see in person.  So, without further ado, here are the top 25 Japanese things, from obscure to notorious, that leave foreigners mouths agape.

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New Kit Helps You Get Lint Out of Your Belly Button More Safely Than the Fork You Usually Use

Hesogoma Karametoru (Belly Button Sesame Mixer-Catchers) has been flying off the shelves of major department stores all over Japan recently, and it’s no surprise. This product fulfills a basic human need to clean one’s navel, otherwise known as “the forgotten orifice.”

Before the egg-head biologists write in and complain: no, the belly button is not an orifice, but it certainly needs cleaning like one. In further medical news, Japanese people don’t have sesame seeds in their navels. It’s just the slang term for belly button lint.

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