SE Asia

No more fuel! Young entrepreneur creates lantern that runs on ocean water

Aisa Mijeno, a young Filipino engineer and environmental advocate, has conceptualized a product that is not only environmentally friendly, but will provide basic lighting  to the less-privileged: a lamp that runs on salt water!

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Colorized photos of old-timey Philippines bring the past to life

Black and white photos of the Philippines from as far back as the late 1800s look shockingly modern with just a splash of color.

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Kindergartener brings a surprise guest to school for the best show and tell ever

Young children are full of surprises, but sometimes the biggest surprise comes out of their backpacks. Meet Zen and the newest “student” at a Thai kindergarten, his cat.

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Final Fantasy fan art with a Western touch creates illustrations just right for any Disney fan

Just as languages around the world are each unique yet beautiful, art has also developed its own flavor depending on where you are from. When comparing Western and Asian animation, there is a distinct style difference when it comes to the shape of faces, size of facial features, and the overall aesthetic. Both styles are very appealing, but when push comes to shove, all of us probably have a preference between the two.

Art is also a conversation though, and it can be transposed between two different worlds, such as Western art with an Asian flair or vice versa. One artist’s rendition of Final Fantasy characters drawn with a Western touch is making us super-excited because they look like they are ready for their Disney close-ups.

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Talented Thai artist provides peek inside the secret world of miniature people【Photos】

We never stop talking about the different ways that people pay tribute to Studio Ghibli. Artists and designers create some amazing work that stems from the themes and ideas that the famous Japanese animation studio put on the silver screen.

One photographer from Thailand was struck with Ghibli-fluence after watching The Secret World of Arrietty and wondered, “What would life be like from the perspective of miniature people?” Take a look after the jump to see the secret world of tiny people not named Arrietty.

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Thai university trials “mobile phone lane” in effort to increase student safety

I’m sure you’ve all been there: you’re walking behind someone who’s engrossed by their smartphone, constantly jabbing at its screen while strolling along, when suddenly they stop dead right in front of you and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid crashing into them.

You’d think that, as a country known for its impeccable manners, Japan would be immune to such inconsiderate behavior, but smartphone zombies are just as common here as anywhere else in the world. It really is a global epidemic.

One university in Thailand is taking steps to remedy the problem, however, introducing the first ever “mobile phone lane” for pedestrians who can’t seem to take their eyes off their cellphones while walking to and across campus.

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Thai commercial tugs at our heartstrings, reminds us to call our parents more often【Video】

We don’t know what it is about huge companies these days, but they really like to make us feel the feels recently. When did they all have a financial meeting and decide to spend money on making us cry? These commercials are emotional, beautiful and give us hope that even with all the bad in the world, moments of undeniable good can still be found and cherished.

Inspired by true events, this commercial really gives off a “Humans of New York” vibe even though it’s an advertisement for life insurance. Get your tissues ready because, when children show how much they care about their parents, it really warms the cockles of our hearts.

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Breakfast never looked cuter! Character toast, pancakes, doughnuts, burgers and more!【Pics】

If you’re not much of a morning person breakfast can be tricky. Sure, it’s the most important meal of the day and heading out on an empty stomach is never a good idea, but at the same time the temptation of an extra 10, 15, 20 minutes in bed is often too much to resist.

If that’s the dilemma you face every morning, these plates of edible cuteness might just be motivation enough for you to haul your ass out of bed and sit down to a proper breakfast. Generous servings of cute after the break!

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Sawai: the “budget Maldives” where you can sleep above a reef【Photos】

One of the great things about travel is that sometimes the best laid plans completely fall apart and then you discover something unexpected and even more amazing than the thing or place you originally intended to visit.

That was the case on a recent trip to Indonesia when our plans to go to the Banda Islands, some of the famed spice islands, fell through and instead we found ourselves sleeping above a coral reef, hanging out with sea turtles and stuffing ourselves silly on fish and spicy chollo chollo in the tiny town of Sawai.

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Thai fans approve of Miss Universe contestant’s tuk tuk-themed costume

Tuk tuks aren’t the cheapest or the safest way to get around Thailand, but as one of the more iconic local and tourist symbols of the country, they’re worth taking for a ride around town at least once.

Decked out with flashing lights and homages to the Thai flag and royal family, they’ve even recently become a fashion icon in the least likeliest of places, like the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant.

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Bali style: Is that a penjor or are you just happy to see me?

Penjor were pretty much the first thing I noticed about Bali. As soon as we left the airport, they began towering over our car from both sides of the street: long-necked, graceful swoops of bamboo arching and bobbing over the road, their strips of paper and coconut leaves fluttering in the air.

But what were these charming decorations? What was their significance? That took a little longer to find out. And to be honest, I’m still not sure I know.

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We try civet poop coffee【Taste Test】

Human beings are endlessly inventive when it comes to food. From curried cicadas to snake soup to lemon and mint Pepsi, we never stop inventing new ways to follow the evolutionary imperative to stuff our faces with calories. And while I’m generally a cultural relativist when it comes to “weird” foods, sometimes there is a concept so out-there, you can’t help but say it’s bizarre.

Like kopi luwak, coffee made from beans that have been through the poop shoot of a tree cat. We’ve all heard of it, and it sounds revolting, but have any of us ever actually tried it? Why, yes, actually…

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Ready for a dose of feels? Grab the tissues because this daughter’s love is beautiful【Video】

We here at RocketNews are a soft bunch at heart. We’ve been affected by tear-inducing, feel-good videos from countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, and now it’s Singapore that’s got us by the feels with a touching new clip.

Based on a true story, this commercial plays more like a short art film, with atmospheric shots and superb acting that seems too real to be rehearsed. Come with us as we take a peek into the life of a graduating high school girl who looks after two younger siblings and her widowed, wheelchair-bound father, as she sacrifices her education and future for her family. Oh, and bring that box of tissues with you – you’ll be needing it!

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A tongue-in-cheek way to pick up the guy of your dreams 【Video】

Dating is hard. No, let’s back that up. Meeting people is hard. We can even go a little further and say talking to someone for the first time is hard. Some of us lack the courage and confidence to approach someone who we like and start talking to them.

It’s a problem that has plagued humanity for centuries, and even though human civilization has shown, through constant population growth, that people are getting things done, it’s always nice to have a little bit of help. While there are plenty of websites and books that offer you tips on how to present yourself, this handy video is much more suited for our busy modern lives, since in just four minutes it tells you how to pick up all the guys.

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Poignant video about inner beauty is an unlikely ad for a beauty clinic 【Video】

At first glance, it looks like a trailer for a new movie or even a documentary about the pressures of beauty, popularity and social media. But in what is one of the most elaborate video commercials we’ve come across in a while, one beauty clinic in Thailand has gone to extreme lengths to advertise its services. Playing on the vulnerability of today’s millennials and modern societal pressures of beauty, they have produced a 14-minute short film which is as compelling as it is a disturbing.
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Strange Indian airport sign cautions visitors not to consume carpet

Every country has its own set of rules and customs that visitors may not initially be aware of. To meet the demands of the growing tourism industry, many governments have opted to implement multi-lingual signs and websites. Sometimes, however, the translations cause much more confusion than they prevent, like with this list of jobs foreigners aren’t allowed to do in Thailand.

Recently a similar goof occurred in India, this time due to some curiously mistranslated signage posted inside the Chennai International Airport, leaving visitors both amused and confused.

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Clip of Thai woman slapping her attacker inspires the internet to create diverse parodies【Videos】

A video of a female victim slapping the man who assaulted her has blown up over Thai social media, inspiring endlessly creative video parodies in its wake. From Star Wars to Doraemon-themed interpretations, Thai net users are having a field day giving the man a taste of his own medicine!

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Soaking in the sun: the latest diet craze in Hong Kong

Fad diets are a dime a dozen, and some people will go to extreme lengths to lose weight, but would you ever consider turning to the sun for help losing weight?

Apparently, some women in Hong Kong have recently taken to standing and staring at the sun for about half an hour a day in an effort to shed the pounds. We have to admit, as far as weight-loss methods go, it’s definitely a cheaper option. But are followers of this latest diet trend working their way towards blindness rather than thinness?

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Shooting star shakes up the Monday blues in Thailand【Video】

Many people that work a weekday 9-5 job consider Mondays to be the bane of their existence. Unsurprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love for that first day back to the office after a fun weekend.

But for those caught in rush hour traffic this past Monday in Thailand, it was anything but dull and monotonous thanks to a shooting star sighting caught on camera by a number of drivers on their way to work.

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Thai anti-drinking PSA is surprisingly compelling 【Video】

As a child I distinctly remember anti-drug campaigns telling me to “Just say no!” and how narcotics would turn my brain into a fried egg rather than a raw one, which I guess meant that cold, transparent and runny is the optimum condition for one’s gray matter.

And after I was released from rehab for the third time, I realized that those messages were largely ineffective. This was because rather than educate about the way drugs work both chemically and socially, they simply resorted to speaking down to the viewer and giving us simple commands that we were expected to blindly obey for some reason.

Looking at the above image to an alcohol abuse PSA from Thailand, you might expect more of the same dogmatic obscurity of days past. However, this ad—as bizarre as it is—is a very persuasive and inspiring message regarding knocking off the booze and getting your life together.

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