Global

Japanese netizens proud to see Tokyo named safest city in the world, Osaka number three

Japan had plenty to boast last week when Tokyo was named as the safest city in the world by The Economist, with Osaka coming in a respectable third. Netizens were proud that even with Tokyo’s famously terrible (and sometimes dangerous) commutes and Osaka’s penchant for strange crimes, the two cities stood out to claim top spots among some of the largest cities in the world.

Click below to find out what made the two Japanese cities rank so high and which other cities made the list!

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Tuna born from mackerel: Japanese scientists develop surrogate tech to save threatened species

Last November the sushi world was struck with some bitter news: the Pacific bluefin tuna was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. While not considered endangered like its close relatives, the Atlantic and Southern bluefin tuna, it has been proclaimed as a vulnerable species.

Bluefin tuna is considered the best of the best, its tender red meat is coveted by sushi chefs and sushi consumers alike. But what will happen if the Pacific bluefin becomes extinct? Foreseeing a future of sushi connoisseurs being forced to eat tuna-shaped cakes or playing with tuna models to try to get their bluefin fix, scientists have come up with a radical new idea: use mackerel to breed bluefin tuna. 

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Could this teen’s simple but genius idea help put an end to cyber bullying?

Bullying is not a new phenomenon. Even if you haven’t personally experienced it, you likely know some who has been bullied, or have seen it happen to someone else. So have our parents, and most likely their parents too. Adults can be bullies too, but children and adolescents are much more likely to act without thinking, making it much more of a problem for the younger generation.

What is a relatively new phenomenon, however, is cyber bullying. After hearing about a young girl who was bullied to the point that she decided to commit suicide, 14-year-old Trisha Prabhu knew something had to be done, and set to work making a system that could drastically reduce the incidences of cyber bullying.

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The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】

If the internet is a part of your everyday life, as it is for billions of others around the globe, then you are probably no stranger to video-sharing giant YouTube. There you can find videos of pretty much anything that interests you, watch news and events from around the world, take a peek at other people’s lives through their vlogs, learn new skills through how-to videos, or squee over countless cute animal videos. If you’re bored, nothing passes the time quite like getting lost in a YouTube black hole, where one interesting video leads to another, and another, and yet another…

Not quite as well-known, but still very successful in its own right, is Niconico (formerly NicoNico Douga), essentially the Japanese version of YouTube, though the website is also available in English and Taiwanese. What is unique about Niconico is the ability it gives users to add comments which are then overlaid directly on the video and synced to a specific playback time, which often become as entertaining as the video itself.

Both sites have billions of videos for a lifetime’s worth of entertainment, but have you seen the oldest videos of them all?

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An early version of Samsung’s next Galaxy phone might have just leaked

We’ve been hearing for months that Samsung may be designing the Galaxy S6 “from scratch,” but now we might have a better idea of what that actually means. Blog Phone Arena published a photo that reportedly shows an early prototype of the Galaxy S6.

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Espresso Patronum! Artist creates awesome artwork on Starbucks’ cardboard cup sleeves

The iconic Starbucks mermaid is an instantly recognisable commercial symbol, up there with McDonald’s golden arches or Nike’s tick. But don’t you get a little bored sometimes with the same old face peering back at your from the cardboard sleeve lovingly hugging your steamy cup of joe? One artist decided to jazz up the old mermaid design using black pen, featuring everyone from Dragon Ball‘s Goku to The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, and the results are kind of awesome!

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Terrorists release third video of Japanese hostage, say it will be his last

More than a week has passed since terrorist organization ISIS released its first video of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto. Days later, in a second video, a voice believed to be Goto’s was heard stating that Yukawa had been killed by the terrorists.

Now, a third statement has been released, in which a man identifying himself as Goto says that he has only 24 hours left before he will be murdered as well.

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French literature classic ‘The Little Prince’ coming soon to cinemas as an animated film!

Calling all movie-goers, animation fans and literature enthusiasts! It’s not often that we get the chance to pique the interest of individuals from these three groups all at the same time, but the animated version of The Little Prince, one of the most famed pieces of French literature of our time, is set to hit the big screens in the later half of this year! If you haven’t already seen the trailer, read on and get ready to be mesmerized!

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New Star Wars toys are rolling their way into our galaxy right, right here

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…an enormous franchise was born, and with it a clearly ludicrous amount of merchandise. Perhaps the most coveted kinds of “merch” were the Star Wars toys. Thousands of figures and collectibles were made for children, although, many were snapped up by teen and adult fans. The smartest of whom would keep them in their original packaging to preserve their mint condition and value. But what good is a toy if you can’t play with it?

With a Star Wars new movie heading to cinema screens in December 2015, hundreds of new toys will be hitting the market. Just like before, the toys are aimed, at least partly, at children, but that won’t stop the grown-up fans from wanting them too.

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New video claims one Japanese ISIS hostage killed, authenticity of video under investigation

Earlier this week, a video that is thought to have been produced by Islamic State militants surfaced, demanding that Japan pay a ransom of $200 million within 72 hours for the release of two Japanese hostages, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had recently visited the Middle East and pledged $200 million in non-military aid, vowed to not give in to terrorism. The 72-hour time limit came and went, and on Saturday a new video was posted claiming that one hostage, Yukawa, was killed. While Abe and the Japanese people are angry, experts are taking a closer look to verify the authenticity of the somewhat questionable video.

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Here’s how a 2000-year-old Chinese art can make you more productive

When Anthony Minko was designing his new office in Brooklyn, the estate planning attorney knew that it needed to feel calm and supportive.

After all, a place where people talked about what will happen after they die should feel secure.

So Minko — who had studied the spend idly slow martial art tai chi — hired RD Chin, a New-York based feng shui architect.

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People from around the world share surprising quirks of their country in enlightening video

Did you know that in the United States, you can buy an apple, literally eat it all the way down to the core, and then return the core for a refund? It’s like free apples every day.

Okay, so that’s a little far-fetched; pretty much everybody in the US would go out of business if you could just return everything when you were done using it. But it’s true that, comparatively speaking, return policies stateside can heavily favor the consumer. With the exception of certain goods, you can return most things still in decent condition as long as you remembered to keep the receipt.

And that’s just one of the quirks about various countries of the world revealed in this adorably peppy Taiwanese video:

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The Japan Self-Defense Forces have their own kind of Coming-of-Age ceremony and it’s pretty cool

If you haven’t heard yet, last week 20-year-olds all over Japan dressed up and gathered together on January 12 for their government official Coming-of-Age ceremonies. The event takes place every year for any young adult who turned 20 in the previous year. It’s an event that signifies their entry into adulthood and ability to legally drink alcohol.

However, there are some 20-year-olds who don’t get to celebrate the same way as their peers: those who joined the Japan Self-Defense Forces after high school and are off on duty somewhere. The forgotten few were not so forgotten this year, as some pictures of them were posted on Twitter. And you thought the guys in Okinawa were badass? Check out these soldiers.

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Struggling with Japanese? Let Tako lend you a hand…or five

Yes, I know octopi have eight tentacles not six, but Tako of Takos Japanese has five. It’s the same cartoon logic that makes the Simpson family all have eight fingers. And yes, I know the name should probably read “Tako’s Japanese.” Really though, let’s not get bogged down in talk of appendages and apostrophes right now.

Today we’re here to look at a new Japanese study app released by Spain-based Giant Soul Interactive. A lot of Japanese study apps found online are either fun but limited in content or deep but boring and stodgy. Learn Japanese with Tako (recently changed from “Takos Japanese”) aims to strike a happy balance of a fun way to learn the language that’s also rich in content. Let’s find out if they succeed.

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The 6 volcanoes most likely to destroy, like, everything (guess which country has the most)

If volcanoes were comic or fantasy villains, they’d be more akin to Marvel’s cosmic entities or Lovecraftian horrors than the puny likes of Magneto or, uh… The Slug (I don’t know many Marvel villains). They strike only every few thousand years before slipping back into a long slumber, lurking for centuries as humanity slowly forgets the horrors they can inflict, inching closer to the looming mountains with each passing year, setting up cities at their very feet. Then, when mankind least expects it – just chillin’ ‘n shit as Dave Chappelle might say – the volcano strikes again, blasting molten rock and ash over miles and miles, smothering out whole cities in the (cosmically speaking) blink of an eye.

Yet, even as we know intellectually that volcanoes are kind of a big deal, we tend to look up at them less with abject horror and awe and more with shouts of, “Hey, check out that big-ass rock!”

Well people, we’ve got news for you: There are at least six big-ass rocks capable of blotting out not just entire cities, but entire civilizations and possibly humanity itself and you’ll never guess which disaster-prone island nation has the most.

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It sounds like HTC’s new phone is going to have an incredible camera

HTC is planning to announce a new smartphone and smartwatch at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona on March 1, according to a report from Bloomberg.

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Islamic State militants demand $200m for release of Japanese nationals, threaten their execution

A video purported to have been made by Islamic State militants showing a man dressed in black standing over two Japanese hostages has been released online. The video addresses both the Japanese government and Japanese public directly and demands a ransom of US$200 million, to be paid in less than 72 hours.

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Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya nominated for Academy Award

We’re just about a month away from the 87th Academy Awards presentation, and if you’re a general cinema fan, odds are you’ve been looking forward to the event. However, if the only thing that can make you take a trip to the theater is a screening of a Studio Ghibli anime, you might not have been expecting too much from the gala to be held at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater.

Ghibli’s newest film, When Marnie Was There, hasn’t been getting the sort of rave reviews of a Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. Six months after its Japanese release, Marnie is mostly forgotten in its home country and still unreleased in North America, making it ineligible for this year’s Oscar race.

Thanks to the time lag caused by international distribution, though, Ghibli does have one film eligible for the upcoming academy awards, and it just cleared the first hurdle with the Academy announcing The Tale of Princess Kaguya as a nominee in the Best Animated Feature Category.

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Swiss man visits Japan, returns home an internet sensation 【Photos】

Lovers of Japan and Japanese pop culture the world over plan for their dream trip to the motherland of anime, delicious food, and all things cute, to experience first-hand all that this fantastic country has to offer. For those finally living the dream, social media makes it easy to share your adventures with friends, family, and others interested in Japanese culture too.

When Twitter user Swiss Ambassador Rayun (@yuzu_rayun) documented his most recent trip to the Land of the Rising Sun – posting pictures of his travels, delicious eats, and his haul of eroge (erotic game) goods – we doubt he expected the amount of fame he was about to receive, as his Twitter follower tally has grown by the thousands over the past few days.

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