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Here’s what $5 million buys in housing markets across the globe

Here’s what $5 million buys in housing markets across the globe

If you’re looking for a pricey vacation home for the end of summer, we’ve checked out what $5 million can get you in real estate around the world. Our friends at Point2Homes helped us find everything from a tiny apartment in Monte Carlo to a 16,000-square-foot mansion in Qatar. Needless to say, $5 million should get you pretty far no matter what city you live in.

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Pic of the Week, Round 1: WINNER!

Pic of the Week, Round 1: WINNER!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you have done us proud. Last week we asked you for your funny, cute, beautiful and inspiring photos from Japan and Asia, and by the beard of Mr. Sato did you provide!

Join us after the jump for our pic of the week, plus three honorable mentions!

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Fighting like cats and dogs? Not these cute little guys! 【Photos】

Fighting like cats and dogs? Not these cute little guys! 【Photos】

Sometimes just keeping up with the news makes you despair for humanity. Between all the war, racially motivated killings, ethnic strife, and general meanness, you have to wonder if we will ever be able to get along.

It’s been one of those days and I needed a pick-me-up, so here is a collection of photos of dogs and cats getting along. Because if they can manage to overcome their differences, maybe we can too.

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Geopolitical dictionary: Japanese net users turn countries into verbs

Geopolitical dictionary: Japanese net users turn countries into verbs

You know how in English you can take pretty much any noun and make it a verbderivation for the cunning linguists out thereby adding to to the front? For example, how the search engine Google has become to google, as in, “Why the hell are you asking me? Go google it, you twit!”

Well, you can do the same thing in Japanese by adding -ru or a handful of other suffixes to the end of a word, and some Japanese net users recently had some fun with this by turning country names into some very non-PC verbs.

Have a look at our geopolitical dictionary and see how your country fared.

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What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

Nicknames can be confusing things, especially when they’re the only name by which you’ve ever known someone. I can clearly remember the moment when my friend’s Japanese wife looked at me with a mixture of surprise and betrayal, for example, when she found out that Phil (or “Firu” as it’s awkwardly pronounced in Japanese) is in fact short for Philip.

But after learning that the same green dinosaur that I’ve traversed hundreds of levels, raced go-karts and carried baby Mario back to his parents with since I was about 10 years old isn’t actually called Yoshi, I can kind of understand why she was so shocked.

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These kids’ driving simulator toys still work decades later! …kind of

These kids’ driving simulator toys still work decades later! …kind of

The names of the toys – Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard; Fun-To-Drive Dashboard – might not ring any bells. But the boxy red plastic exterior, the click of the gear stick and the repetitive roar of the engine that drove parents to distraction? Yep, you know this game.

One Redditor recently pulled his Dashboard out of storage and was delighted to discover that it “still runs like a dream”. Cue reams of nostalgic commenters flung back into their playground days, when kids could be kids and sit alone all summer playing 100-mile-an-hour driving simulator without prompting any hand-wringing or moralistic wailing. It’s time to raid your stash of enormous dry cell batteries – we’re going for the drive of your life.

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Nintendo’s Mercedes-Benz for Mario Kart 8 is actually kind of depressing

Nintendo’s Mercedes-Benz for Mario Kart 8 is actually kind of depressing

Nintendo’s business is in dire straights, and has been for three consecutive years. Perhaps that’s why the company let Mercedes-Benz sponsor three new cars into its cartoonish racing game for the Wii U, in the form of a free downloadable content (DLC) package set to release at the end of the month.

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Share your photos with us! RocketNews24 is now accepting submissions for Pic of the Week

Share your photos with us! RocketNews24 is now accepting submissions for Pic of the Week

Hey, you! You like taking pictures don’t you? Well how would you like to have your best snaps up on RocketNews24 for all the world to see?

Every Wednesday, we’re running a fun little contest called Pic of the Week. All you have to do to enter is send us an Asia-related photo that you’re especially proud of or think your fellow readers would enjoy. If we like it, we’ll feature it on our site and maybe even say nice things about you.

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Dead or Alive 5 achieves new level of creepiness with “Bath and Bedtime” costumes

Dead or Alive 5 achieves new level of creepiness with “Bath and Bedtime” costumes

It should come as no surprise to learn that the fighting game series that spawned a bikini-packed beach volleyball spin-off and whose developers included the option to change how much female fighters’ breasts jiggle likes to get sexy. Dead or Alive has always been about scantily clad females, enormous boobs and gratuitous close-ups and poses; it’s not especially tasteful, but to each their own.

But the latest round of downloadable costumes for Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, called the “Bath and Bedtime” series, seems to be confusing “sexy” with “creepy”, as it pits female martial artists against each other while wearing naught but their jammies and bath towels.

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Not as easy as it looks! The making of viral video “Mario Jumps into Battle”

Not as easy as it looks! The making of viral video “Mario Jumps into Battle”

Just under a week ago, a fan-made video featuring Nintendo’s Super Mario appeared online. Titled “Smash Bros. Mario Jumps Into Battle”, it showed the portly plumber doing a bit of shopping in a real-life Tokyo store before realising that he was late for his appointment in Nintendo’s upcoming brawler, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, and dashing across the capital city.

Due to its incredible animation and clever blending of real and computer-generated images, the video was quickly picked up by a number of gaming news sites (and shared on our own Facebook page) and scored thousands of hits in the blink of an eye. But even short videos like this don’t just pop out of question-mark blocks; they take weeks of hard work…

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Amazing aquatic artwork transforms water into sky, aquariums into fantasy realms

Amazing aquatic artwork transforms water into sky, aquariums into fantasy realms

Compared to cats and dogs, fish do have a couple of undeniable drawback as pets. You can’t really play fetch with them or take them on walks, and while there’s nothing physically stopping you from holding a goldfish on your lap and petting it, the sight of it desperately flopping around makes it far less relaxing than petting a purring kitty.

That’s not to say fish don’t have anything going for them. For example, they’re far less likely to pee on the sofa or cough up a hairball than a dog or cat. Plus, since they live in the confined space of a tank of water, you can create amazing scenery for them, like these amazing artistic aquariums.

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What’s that emoji? Let’s take a look at Japanese culture with these texting emoticons!【Part 2】

What’s that emoji? Let’s take a look at Japanese culture with these texting emoticons!【Part 2】

In Part 1 of this article, we learned some fun facts about three iconic foods so beloved by the Japanese that they, yup, became icons—how an old lady and a samurai gave birth to the first rice cracker; what it means to be called a pudding-head in Japan; and how a classic 1960s manga cemented the way oden would be illustrated for decades to come.

So get ready for Part 2, in which I’ll attempt to sift through millennia of history and get you further acquainted with three more emoticons!

First we’ll look at the mythical tengu, a complex, multifaceted creature that in modern times pops up in things like Digimon and the Mega Man series. Then we’ll check out a New Year’s decoration that may have originated from taketaba, a shield made from bundled bamboo that became necessary once firearms were introduced. To close, we’ll explore the customs and lore surrounding the Tanabata festival, including the romantic legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are both star-crossed lovers and actual stars in the sky.

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Moon prism power-up your balloon art with Princess Serenity and Queen Elsa

Moon prism power-up your balloon art with Princess Serenity and Queen Elsa

We’ve all seen our fair share of balloon art—dogs, mice, maybe a princess hat or two. But Sailor Moon fan and self-proclaimed balloon artist Robin Trout is giving the craft a royal makeover, successfully twisting balloons into two familiar princesses.

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Dog butts — Japanese netizens are going crazy for them!【Pics】

Dog butts — Japanese netizens are going crazy for them!【Pics】

Certain animal parts, like the ever-venerated cat paw, seem to have a special place in our hearts. (Well, you can’t really blame us for finding cat paws, or even cat nuts, for that matter, irresistibly cute, can you?) Animal buttocks also seem to be a favorite around the world, based on their popularity on the web. Japan is no exception, and we have our fair share of animal tooshie lovers — even a following of hamster butt fans on Facebook. So it’s not really surprising that the Japanese online public has recently been swooning over a series of pictures featuring … dog butts! But darn it, nobody warned us canine bums were so lethally cute!

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Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

So it’s the 30th anniversary of the Transformers, the 20th anniversary of the original PlayStation, and TakaraTomy Arts is the bolder, crazier cousin of the legendary Japanese toymaker TakaraTomy (who distribute Transformer toys in Japan).

What do these three things have in common? Well, TakaraTomy Arts apparently saw that the venerable console and the adored-before-a-certain-Hollywood-filmmaker-destroyed-it cartoon robot franchise were both celebrating a milestone and decided to commemorate it the only logical way: By combining the two into a new badass toy.

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Get the most out of your visit to Japan with these tourist-only deals 【Ninja Life Skills】

Get the most out of your visit to Japan with these tourist-only deals 【Ninja Life Skills】

Japan has a reputation as a very expensive place to travel, but it is trying to raise its profile as an international destination with some deals available just for foreign visitors. We here at RocketNews24 have gathered all the information together in one place for your travel-planning pleasure, so now you have no excuse not to visit us!

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Watch this totally unique Sailor Moon fan video — created with illustrations by over 250 artists!

Watch this totally unique Sailor Moon fan video — created with illustrations by over 250 artists!

Now, I firmly believe that art in all forms makes the world a richer place. And since there are as many styles of art as there are artists, you can imagine how interesting it would be if a whole bunch of artists got together to create a single animated video using illustrations in each of their unique styles —  which is exactly what happened when over 250 artists provided artwork to reanimate an entire episode of Sailor Moon. The result? A full-length parody episode titled Moon Animate Make-Up that visually looks so hilarious, we just had to share it with you! Read More

Game dev berates gaming media on its “junior high school” analysis of PS4’s performance in Japan

Game dev berates gaming media on its “junior high school” analysis of PS4’s performance in Japan

In the battle to determine the supreme video game console of the eighth generation, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been doing incredibly well so far – or at least it has outside of Japan, anyway. The console was released in the West in November of last year and quickly became the fastest-selling console ever at its launch in the UK. In contrast, since its February release in Japan, the PlayStation 4’s sales numbers have been decidedly underwhelming.

Any number of articles on the web can seek to explain the reasons behind the PS4’s popularity overseas and Japanese consumers’ apparent indifference, but it seems like one game developer CEO is fed up with nonsense articles full of fluff and no depth. In fact, according to him, even junior high school students could have written most of the stuff that has appeared on some gaming sites! He, at least, is hoping for a more substantial analysis of the situation. More details to come after the jump.

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Kids’ Hello Kitty Dictionary is surprisingly gritty

Kids’ Hello Kitty Dictionary is surprisingly gritty

Hello Kitty’s reach of product endorsements spreads far and wide like so many whiskers from her pillowy white face. From contact lenses to passenger planes to melons, her adorable ribbon can be seen on everything, so a Hello Kitty Dictionary is hardly a shock.

What is shocking, however, is how encompassing this dictionary is including terms from the darker corners of human existence. It could be a good thing though as learning about forms of mob lynching is perhaps best done through the gentle cupcake decorated words of Hello Kitty.

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Raising awareness in the competitive gaming community – two female perspectives

Raising awareness in the competitive gaming community – two female perspectives

We here at RocketNews24 had a blast at last month’s E3 video game conference. Without a doubt, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the whole conference was the Super Smash Bros. Wii U Invitational Tournament. Hundreds of fans showed up to cheer on the competitors in person, while thousands more tuned in to watch the live stream of the event via Twitch.

Our reporter recently caught up with Lilian Chen, aka Milktea, one of only 16 players from around the world who were specially invited to compete in the event. In addition to her history of playing competitive Smash, Milktea has remained an active part of the gaming community for the past eight years, most recently sharing her personal reflections as a female gamer in a series of online posts.

Join us as we take a deeper look at the world of gaming from a female perspective, including some of Milktea’s thoughts on the issue and the ongoing work of another advocate, the creative team of She Got Game.

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