Internet

Twitter users display their unusual, enchanting family chopsticks

Whether it’s a ragged, lovingly stitched kitchen towel inherited from a grandparent, a banged-up knicknack collecting dust on a shelf, or a pair of old baby shoes, the seemingly mundane objects scattered around a house serve as a window into their owners’ hearts and minds. In the case of a family, any given eating utensil might go through the hands of children, siblings, parents, and even guests, collecting a little more history with every pass.

Japanese netizens recently charmed us all with a nostalgic glimpse of their family chopsticks, with designs ranging from Sailor Moon to Star Wars that positively ooze character. We take a look at the highlights below.

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Japanese government to recruit “white hat” hackers for landmark cybersecurity initiative

The word “hacker” might bring to mind the motley crew of the 1995 film Hackers, or else a number of high-profile cyberattacks resulting in everything from compromised email addresses to a massive Sony data leak. Recently, however, cybersecurity measures are proving that not all hackers are created equal.

Starting in early 2015, the Japanese government will begin recruiting personnel for a fledgling team of “white hat” hackers. Unlike their counterparts on the other side of the law, these computer experts will bring their skills to bear in identifying and protecting against potential security threats.

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Avocados and ice cream: the newest gross food trend hitting Twitter in Japan

A while back we reported that Japan’s Twitter users couldn’t stop eating peaches with mozzarella cheese. We were creeped out at first, but the flavour combo even made its way into the legitimate snack companies’ repertoire, so there must have been something in it. This time, however, it seems the crazy tastebud thrillseekers out there have gone a step further by combining vanilla ice cream with avocado (and occasionally, even soy sauce).

But why would any sane person do this, and what does it taste like?

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【Monday Kickstart】Silly kitty versus windshield wipers will rid you of your case of the Mondays

It’s Monday morning–the sky is overcast and a chilly rain is falling. You somehow manage to drag yourself out of bed, but now you just need that little motivational push to be able to tackle the new week head-on. So allow us to introduce you to this kitty, whose adorable antics playing with a car’s windshield wipers are sure to tickle your heart when everything else about Monday morning can’t!

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Of umbrellas and back scratchers… DIY selfie sticks that don’t cost a penny!

All right hands up, how many of you own selfie sticks? And how many of you ever entertained the idea of getting one of those sticks-of-the-moment, but eventually decided that you would rather spend ten dollars on a meal than a stick that enables you to take self-portraits from a distance greater than the length of your own arm?

If you fall into the latter group, here are some fantastic examples of budget DIY selfie sticks that would set you back just two dollars or less!

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Attack on Titan fan entertains Twitter users with too-tiny-to-use Jean note tags

Characters from the hit anime and manga series Attack on Titan are here to stick around! In a recent collaboration with one of Japan’s major stationery makers, Pilot, nine popular characters made an appearance on adhesive note tags that come along with the purchase of the brand’s Neox Graphite mechanical pencil lead.

Fans of the franchise are no doubt happy to get their hands on Attack on Titan freebies, but there was one thing that bothered them slightly… the creators put so much attention on the characters that they left barely enough space on the adhesive notes to write a decent message. However, one creative fan found some entertaining ways to make use of the not-so-useful sticky notes!

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Website makes list of “10 Most Bizarre” fighting game characters, Japanese fans beg to differ

About a month ago, video game website Arcade Sushi released a list of the “10 Most Bizarre Fighting Game Characters.” After a while it circulated around to the shores of Japan where it was translated and submitted to the fighting gamers here for consideration.

In true fighting game fashion, we thought it would be fun to pit Arcade Sushi’s 10 fighters against suggestions made by gamers in Japan. So put your quarters up and let’s see who emerges the King of Weird Characters.

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Japan’s Twitter users weigh in on the question: “Whose pet looks cutest on the scales?”

A weight-check is a routine part of many vet examinations, themselves something that can be traumatic enough for the average pooch or kitty without the added pressure of finding out they’ve put on a few extra grams. But it turns out that plopping your pet down on the scales is actually the perfect opportunity for an adorable photo op, as these Twitter users found recently. Let’s check out some pets at the vet’s!

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Artist helps “entrepreneurial” Pokemon with clever business logos and concepts

Have you ever wondered what comes next for Pokémon after they’ve evolved to their final stage? Some of them, according to one graphic designer, have ventured away from their Poké-world and entered the small business world.

Pictogram, a graphic design company headed by Sebastiaan de With, created business logos for a variety of Pokémon. Each Pokémon’s “company” is also somehow related to its abilities and comes with a back story. Aside from the amusing concept, the logos themselves are top-notch, so along with us and check them out!.

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Masked drummer brings the heat to our favorite video game music

His hair is a shock of red flame. His face is hidden behind a black-and-white wrestling mask. The mystery drummer, godly skills at his command. Final Fantasy. Romancing SaGa. Dragon Quest. He plays them all. Who is he?

Why, he’s drum virtuoso and YouTube regular, dainashi! Since his first video almost a year ago, the masked drummer has set jaws dropping with his incredible renditions of popular video game background music. We take a look at some of his uploads.

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Emoji break out of their chat boxes to tell story of Disney’s Frozen

With the upcoming Disney animated short Frozen Fever set to debut in theatres on March 13, you might be in need of a recap of the original film, so check out this two-and-a-half-minute video of Frozen as told through emoji.

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This promotional speaker lets you play music out of a Pringles can

It sometimes seems like every cereal box, candy bar, or soft drink is promising some fabulous reward to a few lucky people. “Find the specially marked label and win a million dollars!” “Look under the cap to win a lifetime supply of our product!” With so many contests going on at once, you might even begin to ask yourself, “Does anyone actually win these things?”

Fortunately, one recent promotion from Pringles seems to be the real deal. From now until June 30, Pringles Japan is offering a specially designed speaker that attaches to the inside of an empty can of their chips. How to obtain this worthy prize? Just collect 10 marked lids!

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In Neo Tokyo this weekend? Check out the bizarre “Bartkira” project exhibition

Think of the two greatest animation achievements in history least likely to go together, and you might come up with an incongruous mishmash of The Simpsons and Akira.

Perhaps precisely because of the way these two animated works (with the exception of “Treehouse of Horror”) couldn’t be further apart from each other in style and execution, the “Bartkira” project – which mixes characters from the series and anime film into each others’ universes and animation styles – has been a huge success.

And it’s coming to Tokyo’s Gallery Hakusen on March 7 and 8; this very weekend at time of writing.

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Don’t forget: Yahoo! Japan to make disaster relief donation for every person who searches for “3.11” today

Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.

But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.

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Japanese netizens rediscover “Full Armor Game Boy,” question how the ’90s defined portability

Despite the Game Boy’s revolutionary specs for its time, the small screen, the lack of a backlight and minuscule speaker left much to be desired for gamers in the 1990s. And although many just considered the Game Boy’s limitations a minor price to pay to take the fun of Nintendo anywhere they wanted, some accessory makers brought a few products to market to jazz it up a bit.

Recently Japanese netizens came across a picture of one such accessory that tripled the size of the Game Boy, calling to question just how “portable” this gaming option was.

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Everyone’s favorite blue-black-white-gold dress, now available in fanart!

The blue and black (or white and gold to some) dress took the Internet by storm recently, splitting netizens into two major factions: team blue-and-black and team white-and-gold. I, for one, thought it looked somewhat like discolored blue and gold.

While most people were still busy debating with friends over the color of the dress (which has already been revealed, by the way) or getting creeped out by how the dress “changed colors” right in front of their eyes, some creative netizens basically went all “Who cares what color that dress really is, let’s just create a fandom for it!” and created these blue-black-white-gold inspired illustrations!

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Korean MMORPG redefines character customization with adjustable wrinkles, bone structure

MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) immerse players in virtual worlds, places where thousands or millions are simultaneously engaged in forging new equipment, embarking on quests, or even just fooling around. Given the sheer number of users, players want to feel that their individual game experience is somehow unique. Character customization offers one such avenue.

While many games provide detailed character customization, allowing players to choose from any number of races and classes while also altering build and appearance to their liking, a new Korean MMORPG is blowing the whole system out of the water. With controls for everything from iris size to bone structure, the upcoming game Black Desert all but ensures that no two characters will ever look the same.

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After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols

Late last month, we got indisputable visual evidence (which is by no means to be confused with humorous photoshopped evidence) of something we’ve been suspecting for the last several years: U.S. President Barack Obama is a huge fan of cute girl anime.

Politics being what they are, the vice president tends to follow the president’s lead on major issues such as foreign affairs, economic policy, and what gets watched on the federal property DVD players after all those press conferences are over. So it’s only natural that images, every bit as convincing as those of President Obama, have now surfaced showing Vice President Joe Biden to be passionately infatuated with the teenaged idols of anime Love Live!

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Now you can experience getting stopped by the Japanese police on Google Streetview

Google Maps has been a great boon to me in my time in Japan. In fact, GPS maps were the biggest reason I got my first smartphone in 2009, followed closely by the ability to write unfamiliar kanji by hand into a dictionary I’d always have with me. But Google Maps was definitely the biggest draw.

In the interceding six years, Google Maps has grown from something useful to something indispensable to many people. It’s not just good for helping you find a tiny store in Shibuya, either, since the maps can open up a whole world of digital sightseeing for people. And where there are bored people on computers, there are also bound to be Easter Eggs and creepy pranks to be discovered.

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American man’s dramatic nine-second snow struggle captivates Japanese netizens 【GIFs】

Have you ever laughed at someone falling or giggled uncontrollably when your server dropped those plates all over the restaurant floor? Then you my friend, have experienced the untranslatable German word schadenfreude: taking pleasure in others’ misfortune. And there has been a whole lot of schadenfreude going around the Internet in Japan the past few days after netizens discovered a hilarious video of a poor winter-weary guy in America falling in the snow for a solid nine seconds.

Click below to see more the man’s struggle and how the Internet has made him surf, play hockey and even dodge Darth Maul’s light saber in Star Wars Episode I.

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