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It’s time to vote for this week’s Pic of the Week!

It’s time to vote for this week’s Pic of the Week!

It’s Monday evening here in Japan, and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to vote for our Pic of the Week! Join us after the jump for 10 superb photos taken by our very own readers and to vote for the one you think deserves to be crowned Pic of the Week.

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New Sony Cyber-shot: a perfume bottle camera specifically designed for selfies

New Sony Cyber-shot: a perfume bottle camera specifically designed for selfies

Recently, a weekend stroll around Tokyo took me to Roppongi, where I stumbled upon a giant replica of Godzilla, emerging waist-up from the grass next to a busy road. What ended up stopping me in my tracks was not the menacing monster with fluorescent blue spikes but the gaggle of girls running around his waist, holding up strange-looking perfume bottles as if to calm the beast with a spray of Chanel No. 5.

What the fashionable young ladies were actually doing came as a bit of a surprise; they were taking photos of Godzilla with iPhones in cases that resembled perfume bottles. It’s the hot new trend in China at the moment, and from the looks of things, we all might be following them soon as Sony has just released a perfume bottle that’s more than a case - it’s an actual Cyber-shot camera.

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Cute puppy goes to grandmother’s house and finds dentures for toothy grin, hilarious photo op

Cute puppy goes to grandmother’s house and finds dentures for toothy grin, hilarious photo op

Here’s a small but concentrated dose of silliness for those of you who need an afternoon (or morning, or evening) pick-me-up. And it’s a good opportunity to prove that canines can be monarchs of the World Wide Web too!

Did it take a moment for you to realize what’s going on in the photo on the right? No, it’s not another before/after photo of plastic surgery or a sad tale of a dog that auditioned for a Dentastix commercial and failed; it’s what happened when a Japanese Twitterer visited her grandmother’s house with her Pomeranian pup. Reactions ranged from “Cute!” to “Ew!” to “Scary!”, but as a beloved villain with the wicked grin put it, “Let’s put a smile on that face!”

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Did Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto just call casual gamers “pathetic”? Well, yes and no

Did Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto just call casual gamers “pathetic”? Well, yes and no

In the latest issue of long-running UK gaming magazine Edge, industry legend and creator of Super Mario Bros. Shigeru Miyamoto sits down to talk about the direction in which Nintendo is heading. During the interview, which spans several pages and touches upon subjects ranging from upcoming title Splatoon to the lack of young talent at the company, the veteran game designer is quoted as saying that casual gamers are “pathetic” for not wanting to delving and getting the most out of video games.

A handful of gaming news sites immediately leapt on this statement and ran with it, hinting that Nintendo may be about to turn their backs on the very people who made products like the Nintendo DS and Wii the hits they were. But did Miyamoto honestly just diss the casual gaming public? We really don’t think so.

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Your turn, Samsung – Mr Sato returns the Ice Bucket Challenge to Korea’s electronics giant【Video】

Your turn, Samsung – Mr Sato returns the Ice Bucket Challenge to Korea’s electronics giant【Video】

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is still going strong, thanks to its mix of suspense, physical comedy, and contributions for a worthy cause. Business and entertainment moguls from around the world have participated, and recently even inanimate objects have started taking part with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone being doused by the Korean conglomerate’s U.K. division.

As per the rules of the challenge, Samsung then exercised its right to pass the dare onto someone else, and it designated rival Apple’s iPhone 5s. A quick comparison of the spec sheets for the two competing phones has some people crying foul at singling out the iPhone 5s, though. Today, we’re offering Samsung a chance to make things right.

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A skeptic’s guide to anime – Five series to ease you into Japan’s most popular export

A skeptic’s guide to anime – Five series to ease you into Japan’s most popular export

Viewed from afar, Japanese animation may appear to be populated entirely by giant-eyed, squeaky-voice schoolgirls and young men who suffer from frequent nosebleeds. Their plots, too, can seem awfully convoluted at first glance, and so anyone who didn’t grow up with anime or have the chance to catch popular series when they were just getting started may feel completely out of their depth when trying to get into it.

If you’re the kind of person who, like me, despite being into Japan and Asia, never really understood what all the fuss was about anime, or who would like to give this strange medium a chance but doesn’t know where to start, then we have a special treat for you today: no fewer than five anime recommendations from members of our very own writing staff, guaranteed to be easy for even anime-skeptics to get into. Who knows, these might just be the gateway shows you’ve been looking for!

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Pic of the Week Round 3: WINNER!

Pic of the Week Round 3: WINNER!

Babies and gentlephlegm, noise and churls, it’s time to announce the winner of our weekly photo contest!

This week, we mixed things up a little by asking you, our dear readers, to vote for which of our 10 favourite photos you thought most deserved to be crowned Pic of the Week, and the results are in! Join us after the jump for our overall winner and two very special mentions!

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Are Chinese “dama” masks actually fashionable now?

Are Chinese “dama” masks actually fashionable now?

After saving global gold prices in 2013, Chinese dama, or middle-aged women, have found another claim to fame: Influencing world fashion trends.

While most think of going to the beach as an excuse to wear as little as possible, many of these women prefer to stay covered up. But don’t start calling them prudes, since, for them, it’s a matter of practicality and beauty!

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Are Women-Only train cars illegal in Japan?

Are Women-Only train cars illegal in Japan?

File this one under things we hope don’t fall into the wrong hands: Those Women Only train cars in Japan aren’t actually enforceable under the law.

All foreign men in Japan can recount their first harrowing experience of obliviously stepping onto a train, only to find that literally every single other passenger was a woman. There’s a moment of confusion and, if you’re lucky, a good Samaritan politely explaining that wieners don’t belong here, followed by the terrible realization that you’ve broken not only an official rule set forth by the train company but also an unwritten social rule, which is kind of almost worse. But, from here on out, you can rest assured that even though you’re committing a social taboo, you’re not breaking any laws!

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New research suggests even low-level radiation in Fukushima negatively impacting wildlife

New research suggests even low-level radiation in Fukushima negatively impacting wildlife

Dr. Timothy Mousseau, professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina and researcher for the Chernobyl and Fukushima Research Initiative, presented new findings to the International Ornithological Congress in Tokyo last week that suggest radiation contamination around Fukushima Daiichi, even at low levels, is negatively impacting biodiversity and wildlife populations.

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“Pirates” challenge Asian leaders to ALS Ice Bucket Challenge; Monkey D Luffy not invited

“Pirates” challenge Asian leaders to ALS Ice Bucket Challenge; Monkey D Luffy not invited

As of August 25, 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Donations have reached a whopping US$70.2 million. The challenge has made it across the globe, with participants ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch to Kumamon. While the challenge is raising awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), new participants are finding their own ways to make the challenge more interesting.

One Korean-American rock band has challenged the leaders of three Asian countries to pick up that bucket and do their part to raise awareness and money for the neurodegenerative disease.

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Rumour: Super Smash Bros. character list leaked? 【Update: Pretty much confirmed】

Rumour: Super Smash Bros. character list leaked? 【Update: Pretty much confirmed】

If you’re the kind of person who likes video games and isn’t dead inside, chances are you’re looking forward to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, due to release later this year. The comic fighting game’s creators have been teasing us for what feels like decades now by slowly revealing which characters will be available to play as, talking of trimming the fat while simultaneously revealing what appears to be every Nintendo character under the sun.

If the following “leaked” screenshots and video are to be believed, however, Nintendo’s character roster-teasing days are about to come to an abrupt end.

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How many references can you find in these bustling hidden object images?

How many references can you find in these bustling hidden object images?

How would fourteen of the world’s most vibrant cities look if you asked an artist to cram everything that represents them into one explosive image? Read on below for all the wonderfully diverse pictures, and see if you can spot the hidden passenger.

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Pic of the Week: Hey you, it’s time to vote! 【Update: Poll now closed】

Pic of the Week: Hey you, it’s time to vote! 【Update: Poll now closed】

As mentioned at the end of last week’s Pic of the Week, we’ve decided to open the contest up and make it as fair as possible by asking you, the good-looking, intelligent, art-appreciating people that you are, to decide this week’s overall winner.

So join us after the jump to see this week’s photos and vote on which you think deserves to win the right to be called Pic of the Week.

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Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality 【Video】

Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality 【Video】

Projection mapping is a technology we seem to be hearing about quite often these days, and you may have seen it being used at various events or amusement park shows. But the video that we’re sharing with you today makes use of a highly unexpected and unusual surface to create a series of projection mapped images quite unlike anything we’ve seen before. In fact, the technology used in the video is so visually convincing that it seems to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and once you see it, we think you’ll be impressed by it too!

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Flappy bird creator releases his next creation on the world, world productivity plummets

Flappy bird creator releases his next creation on the world, world productivity plummets

Nguyen Ha Dong, creator of Flappy Bird, has been teasing his second game recently and it has finally been unleashed upon us! The game, called “Swing Copters“, shares many of the same gameplay elements of his first game, but might be even more annoyingly difficult than Flappy Bird! Is Swing Copters going to become the next Flappy Bird? Is it “fun” enough to warrant your time? Find out with some hands-on impressions!

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Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Earlier this week, we brought you some footage of players’ terrified reactions to Japanese video game developer Hideo Kojima’s upcoming horror title, Silent Hills. We played the short preview for ourselves and it scared the bejeezus out of us, leaving us with high hopes that the finished game would mark a return to the original’s greatness and that we’d be sleeping with the lights on in the not-too-distant future.

But what if we told you that Silent Hills isn’t just about things that go bump in the night? Or, rather, that some of those ‘things’ are aliens? A radio broadcast which can be heard during a particular section of the playable teaser, it has been found, refers not only to what is believed to be Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, but suggests that aliens are already here, watching…

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Pic of the Week Round 2: WINNER!

Pic of the Week Round 2: WINNER!

Heads up, photo fans! It’s time to announce the winner of our weekly photo contest.

The number of professional-quality photos we received this week was nothing short of staggering, and it took a long, long time for us to decide on one overall winner (and of course three very honourable mentions!), but here we go…

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Six brand names that have highly unfortunate meanings in other languages

Six brand names that have highly unfortunate meanings in other languages

Naming a product is a bit like naming a child: the smart thing to do is to first imagine all the possible ways the name could be mocked and misunderstood, just like they did in The Simpsons:

Marge: ‘What about Bart?’  Homer: ‘Hmm, let’s see. Bart, Cart, Dart, E-art… nope, can’t see any problem with that.’

And if you want to launch your product into the international market – well, you’d be wise to do your research into what that name means in the country you’re trying to sell it in. We bet these companies wish they’d done their homework.

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Sharks go for the great taste of internet

Sharks go for the great taste of internet

When you hear terms like “the cloud” being bandied about, it’s hard not to conjure up images of internet infrastructure being some servers housed in slick network of Gattaca-style complexes, each connected by some glowing, neon-colored optical cables like something out of Tron all topped off by touches from other sci-fi films.

Although shown to be relatively reliable, the reality is far less sexy: just a massive fiber optic cable lying along the murky depths of the ocean floor. What’s worse is that our internet service is constantly under attack by none other than hungry sharks. These occasional nibbles cause companies such as Google to undergo costly repair and reinforcement projects at several locations of their own undersea cables to protect themselves from the ravenous fish.

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