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The Winter Olympics would have been far more fun with Mario Kart power-ups 【Video】

The Winter Olympics would have been far more fun with Mario Kart power-ups 【Video】

Despite having a number of genuinely exciting events, the Winter Olympics is also home to a couple of head-scratchers (I watched the men’s slalom with the Wikipedia entry open trying to work out why some skiers were incurring penalties), and some can get kind of repetitive if watched for more than a few minutes at a time. One event I did enjoy watching, though, was the speed skating; those dudes zip around that track–with blades on their feet–at speeds that would probably make me vomit.

But imagine how much more exciting that event would be if participants had access to the full arsenal of weapon items from Nintendo’s Mario Kart racing games? As this hilarious video shows, with some green shells, a handful of banana skins, and the occasional competitor-shrinking lightning bolt, this event could be so much more interesting.

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Gorgeous photos of the Gear Fit, Samsung’s new fitness–minded smart watch

Gorgeous photos of the Gear Fit, Samsung’s new fitness–minded smart watch

Samsung made a few product announcements today, including a new water-resistant phone, the Galaxy S5. But the coolest announcement of all may be its new fitness tracker, the Gear Fit.

The Gear Fit is entering a crowded market. Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone have been innovating on wearable fitness tech for years.

But the Gear Fit’s sleek design, curved glass, robust set of features and multi-color screen make it more alluring than any fitness device that’s currently available. The battery lasts 3 – 4 days.

We got our hands on the Gear Fit at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. It won’t be available until April 2014, but you can check out big beautiful pictures of it now.

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Surprising knock-off goods from Japan

Surprising knock-off goods from Japan

Nowadays, when it comes to knock-offs of popular products, most people think of China. We’re not just saying that to pick on our neighbors to the west, there’s just an awful lot of suspect copies. Korean bootlegs have had their time making the rounds as well, but everyone seems to leave Japan alone. That is until now. A video uploaded by Japanese YouTube user, msdoom99, has surfaced with the goal of giving all those Japanese netizens who have laughed at Chinese and Korean knockoffs a taste of Japan’s little-known copies. Take a look at just a few and ask yourself, “So who’s laughing now?”

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Live-action series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist could well be all kinds of awesome 【Photos】

Live-action series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist could well be all kinds of awesome 【Photos】

Based on Capcom’s hugely popular Street Fighter fighting games, upcoming TV series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist began life back in 2010 as a mere seed of an idea. Three years later, fans of the video games went nuts when the project surfaced on Kickstarter asking for funding, only for it to suddenly disappear again when it was snapped up by a private production company.

Since then there has been so little news about Assassin’s Fist that we were starting to wonder if it would ever see the light of day, but recently released photos and one website’s extremely positive first impressions have our hands tingling with hadouken power more than ever.

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BABYMETAL releases full album, metalheads and idol fans headbang in unison

BABYMETAL releases full album, metalheads and idol fans headbang in unison

After years of boggling the minds of metalheads and J-pop fans around the world with their idiosyncratic music videos, BABYMETAL have finally released their first full-length album. Of course, we got our hands on a copy as soon as we could, and we are happy to report that it is everything we’d expected it to be!

With the album now available world-wide, you too can turn your day from “average” to “dangerously kawaii” with this soundtrack to the adorable apocalypse. And if you’re on the fence about picking the album up, check out some of these reviews found on the Japanese side of the Internet.

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Limited edition ANA Starbucks bottles are available over Japan, but not in it

Limited edition ANA Starbucks bottles are available over Japan, but not in it

Just like it does in other markets, Starbucks offers special limited edition merchandise for specific locations in Japan. But even if you’ve already got special tumblers from Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, you collection won’t be entirely complete without this special Starbucks bottle that you can only purchase onboard ANA flights inside or connecting to Japan.

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Bryan Cranston is amazing in the new ‘Godzilla’ trailer

Bryan Cranston is amazing in the new ‘Godzilla’ trailer

Warner Bros. and Legendary just released the second trailer for “Godzilla” and it’s absolutely amazing — but not for the reason you think.

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How to eat sushi like a sensei 【Video】

How to eat sushi like a sensei 【Video】

Our hungry friends over at Foodbeast have just unleashed a great new how-to video that outlines a number of errors both Japanese and non-Japanese alike often make when eating sushi. Not only that, but it teaches us the correct way to eat the stuff, introducing one piece of dining etiquette in particular that even regular sushi eaters often forget. Be sure to check this one out!

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Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earns US$306,000 on opening weekend

Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earns US$306,000 on opening weekend

The Box Office Mojo website reports that Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises opened in limited release this weekend in 21 theaters with an estimated US$306,000. Those box office receipts gave the film a per-screen average of US$14,571, the second highest among all films in the United States this weekend (after Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me‘s US$15,000 average on two screens).

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18 people who know how to squeeze in a nap

18 people who know how to squeeze in a nap

In this busy world, it’s hard to find time to take a nap. Sure, Spain has their siestas, but what about the rest of the world? If you’re in need of some shut eye, just take a cue from these 18 people who know how to get some much needed (or an entirely excessive amount of) sleep.

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New Godzilla towers over San Francisco in poster

New Godzilla towers over San Francisco in poster

The Yahoo! Movies website posted a new American poster for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla film remake. The poster features the King of the Monsters towering over the San Francisco skyline. (The Transamerica Pyramid to the right is 48 stories tall, although the poster is not necessarily to scale.)

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Happy Cat Day! (=^・^=)

Happy Cat Day! (=^・^=)

February 22, aside from looking really cool with triple twos, is officially known as Cat Day (Neko no Hi) in Japan. The Japanese word for “two” (ni) sounds similar to the word for “meow” (nyan), and so a day commemorating Japan’s favorite felines was born. It’s well known that Japan is home to cat cafés and a cat island, and almost everyone has seen at least one of Maru’s videos, so it’s no surprise Neko no Hi exists. So in honor of Cat Day in Japan, let’s celebrate by watching adorable videos of Japanese cats.

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Quiz of the Week: Round 8 (More fun than a swift kick in the nuts)

Quiz of the Week: Round 8 (More fun than a swift kick in the nuts)

Happy Friday, everyone! We trust you’ve all had a fun week and, if you happen to be one of the poor souls stuck in the snow in Kanto and Northeastern Japan this past seven days, that you’re gradually thawing yourselves out.

We have 10 more Asian news-based multiple-choice questions for you this week, touching on everything from nipple chafing to popular TV drama. So let’s not waste any time; let’s get right into it!

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Mao Asada’s flawed program met with support from fellow skaters, criticized by Japanese official

Mao Asada’s flawed program met with support from fellow skaters, criticized by Japanese official

Silver medalist, Mao Asada, is the ice skating sweetheart of Japan. Loved by millions across the tiny island nation, she was expected to do great things at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. However, an unfortunate fall during her triple axel took Mao out of the running for the podium and the skating beauty finished 16th in the ladies short program. Witnessing a world-class skater make a huge mistake at such a crucial moment on the world stage was nothing short of heartbreaking. But Mao’s fellow skaters, including Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi, took to Twitter to show their support of the young skater. Unfortunately, Mao didn’t receive the same outpouring of sympathy from one prominent Japanese official.

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Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya is a firecracker both on and off the ice

Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya is a firecracker both on and off the ice

Earlier this week, 19-year-old Sendai-native Yuzuru Hanyu overcame a slightly flawed program to grab the first-ever men’s Olympic gold medal in figure skating for Japan. Japanese fans celebrated the victory with a plethora of fanart dedicated to Yuzuru by both professional manga artists and amateurs.

At the time of this writing, the ladies short program is just underway in Sochi. Japan’s Mao Asada is back, and looks to claim gold after falling short to her longtime rival, reigning “Queen” Yuna Kim of South Korea, in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Although the field is filled with several seasoned veterans, 15-year old overnight celebrity Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia in particular promises to put up a good fight. Yulia dominated the competition last week, helping her country claim gold in the new Olympic team figure skating event held for the first time at these games. If you recall, Tara Lipinski was only 15 when she won the 1998 Nagano Olympics…

One thing that sets Yulia apart is her incredible composure and focus despite participating on the world stage at such a young age. And she’s certainly not afraid to speak her mind, as some reporters recently found out the hard way…

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Everyone wants to know who this beautiful Japanese actress in new hit music video is

Everyone wants to know who this beautiful Japanese actress in new hit music video is

Being a music video director must be a pretty cool job. You don’t have to worry so much about narrative structure like film directors do, and you’re free to just make a mish-mash of concepts that – if you’re talented – form a vaguely recognizable story. The only requirements are liberal use of bullet time and at least one physically attractive woman.

Case in point: This hit British music video from electropop band Clean Bandit, which appears to tell the story of a cute Japanese girl who is being haunted by white people.

But, apparently, many YouTube viewers were too distracted by the beauty of the video’s token hot girl/lead actress to notice the Shakespearean tale unfolding before their eyes. These viewers, instead of asking why a bunch of Caucasian apparitions were bullying this poor Asian girl, were more concerned with finding out who the actress is, the better to Google search for pictures of her boobs.

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Werewolf cat! Spooky new feline equal parts cute and creepy 【Photos】

Werewolf cat! Spooky new feline equal parts cute and creepy 【Photos】

You might have seen something—or someone?!—like the guy above prowling in the moonlight, but I’m afraid he’s not proof of the supernatural, he’s just a new breed of cat called a Lykoi, or “wolf” in Greek. Of course, most people are just calling the breed what it looks like: a werewolf cat!

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6 strange laws to take note of before embarking on your worldly travels

6 strange laws to take note of before embarking on your worldly travels

Who doesn’t love a good vacation? Particularly for working adults, it’s the only time we can take a step back from our hectic work lives, unleash the wild-child within us, and perhaps do something silly without worrying about (too many) repercussions since we’ll be jetting off in a couple of days.

But wait, hold your horses! The last thing you would want to do on an overseas vacation is to unknowingly breach the law, right? Some of the things that we normally do in our homeland might be illegal in other parts of the world. Things as normal as ladies wearing pants. Strange, huh? There’s more coming up!

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We order awesome Baguette Bag from Ukraine! Now we can have French bread anytime, anywhere

We order awesome Baguette Bag from Ukraine! Now we can have French bread anytime, anywhere

Do you like French bread? We certainly do! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they’re great for making sandwiches or tasty canapé-type appetizers like bruschettas. But have you ever felt that the long distinctive shape of French bread sometimes makes it hard to carry around? Well, if you have, we’ve found the perfect item to solve that problem. It’s a bag made specifically for French bread, and it’s called the Baguette Bag!

When we saw a picture of this unique bag, we knew we just had to have one, but after we did a bit of searching, we found out that the bag was a product of Ukraine. Hmm… was it really wise trying to purchase an item from a country that was so far away and the language was completely foreign? We’ll just have to try and find out, won’t we?

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