USA

J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at US performance creates worldwide buzz

Perfume, the three-member electro-pop group from Hiroshima, Japan, took to the stage for a special performance at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The annual event, held this year from March 13-22, always includes a unique lineup of musical artists, independent films, conference panels, and technological exhibitions, all carefully selected to showcase the highest levels of creativity in the current industry.

Even in that environment, Perfume’s musical and dance performance seems to have blown away the crowd with its ground-breaking use of projected visuals. Is their performance really happening in the physical world? Folks from around the world who’ve seen the video online say it’s enough to give them goosebumps!

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New Sizzler will first remove your beer cap…and then become the cap!

Here’s a situation that I’m sure all of our readers can relate to. You’ve just finished a hard day’s work and sit down for a nice cold bottle of beer. You pop off the cap to release its sweet aroma.

However, just then you realize it’s actually 5:00am and you’ve completely lost track of the time and day. This happened because you’re a part of an elite team of scientists investigating a UFO crash deep in Antarctica where the sun never sets.

With only 90 minutes until the alien autopsy there’s no way you can properly enjoy the beer, but you can’t close the metal cap properly anymore without the drink losing precious carbonation. What a waste!

I believe it’s exactly these kinds of mishaps that the makers of the New Sizzler had in mind when they developed a bottle opener that’s also a bottle closer.

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Enjoy your sushi with a dash of Star Trek flare with a U.S.S. Enterprise sushi set!

With the recent and unfortunate passing of the wonderful Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett (rest in peace you two), I’m sure Star Trek fans out there could use a lift right about now. So, we’d like to introduce to you this awesome sushi set designed after the U.S.S Enterprise, complete with warp-trail chopsticks!

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Japanese Netizens (and the rest of the world) confused by America’s imperial measurement system

Last year, one of our Japanese reporters went on an extended visit to the United States. While he had plenty of nice things to say about the country, he also had some complaints, and, as an American myself, I can’t really say that I blame the guy. Having to drive literally everywhere unless you live in one of maybe three specific cities is a major hassle and a huge drain on your budget, certain services seem staffed entirely by people who are barely even aware of your existence or what’s going on more than a few inches on either side of their smartphone, and yes, the police are a little on the brutal side and drunk on their own power a lot of the time no matter how you slice it (annnnnd… now I’m on an NSA watchlist. Hi, guys!).

But, there’s one complaint our reporter had that I just can’t relate to: how crazy America’s systems of measurement are.

I mean, I grew up with feet, inches, pounds and whatnot, so I can’t really speak to our reporter’s profound confusion. Is it really so bad? We had to find out, so we donned our troll-proof vests and dove deep into the smelly, dark recesses of 2chan to see what other Japanese Netizens thought of America’s wacky measurement systems:

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Food over Flowers! Magnolia Bakery’s cherry blossom cupcakes have arrived in time for spring!

Cherry blossom time in Japan is all about appreciating nature and the transitive beauty of life, right? Wrong. It’s totally an excuse to stuff your face with delicious food during “cherry blossom viewing parties”, aka Japan’s über-picnics! Onigiri are usually a popular food to consume under those canopies of candy-pink petals, but cherry blossom-flavoured food and drinks are also unsurprisingly popular around this time of year.

Luckily, mega-popular chain Magnolia Bakery has a store in Japan, and they’re rolling out special cherry blossom cupcakes for spring!

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Four Los Angeles “schools” closed for fraud, arranged visas for fake exchange students

It’s no joke that living and studying in the US costs a pretty penny. So, instead of paying the hefty tuitions of universities on top of living expenses, some young foreigners have been taking a sneakier route to staying in the States.

Recently some “students” have been opting for “institutions” like the four schools recently closed down for fraud in Los Angeles, which function under a “pay-to-stay” program, where the “students” basically pay for a student visa with no expectations of attending classes, wishing only to stay and work in the U.S.

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University students perform 8-minute dance medley of the ‘Evolution of K-Pop’ [Video]

Believe it or not, Korean music hasn’t always been as upbeat, stylish and danceable as the K-Pop we now know so well. It wasn’t until after a revolutionary artist brought R&B and hip-hop to Korea in the early 1990s, K-Pop became the wildly popular world-wide sensation it is today.

With the desire to share their culture with their non-Korean peers, a group of students from American university Wheaton College put together a dance medley showcasing the “Evolution of K-Pop” spanning the years 1994-2014.

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Kiss-signed Japanese calligraphy works on sale, get the paperwork for a second mortgage ready

As you may have noticed, KISS have recently made their way back to Japan and it’s always a treat when they do. This year we’ve already seen them make a well-received cross-genre music video with Momoiro Clover Z and release a line of skin smoothing facepacks with the Japanese cosmetic brand Isshin.

If those weren’t surprising enough, now KISS has collaborated with shodo calligrapher Ryugen Sobukawa for a limited collection of KISS-themed works each autographed by a member of the band.

Oh, and they cost a small fortune…

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Blue Bottle Coffee opening [Round 2]: We wait an hour and a half, but this time we get in!!

Last month, we brought to you the story of how our very own Mr. Sato went to the opening of the very first Blue Bottle Coffee shop in Japan … only to give up on the idea of having coffee there as the huge crowd turnout meant a two-hour wait, which was just too long for our busy reporter. Well, we weren’t about to give up on trying the coffee from the popular American coffee roaster and cafe chain that easily! As it happens, Blue Bottle Coffee opened their second shop in Aoyama this past Saturday, and this time, we were determined to get a taste of their famous coffee, even if it meant waiting outside for an hour and a half in freezing weather!

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Yo-kai Watch’s Jibanyan meets the governor of Hawaii, global domination imminent

We’ve talked a lot before about how Yo-kai Watch has overtaken Pokémon as the phenomenally popular kids’ franchise of choice, and a lot of it is down to its loveable orange ghost-kitty mascot, Jibanyan. With the people behind Yo-kai Watch gearing up to bring the insanely popular series to the West (and believe us, there will be no escape), Jibanyan’s starting to get even busier lately.

Recently, he met up with the governor of Hawaii for a promotional campaign to get Japanese kids excited about having a holiday in Hawaii (as if that wasn’t exciting enough!). But we suspect that Jeeby’s trying to get in with the right people in order to satisfy his plans for complete global domination!

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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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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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D Free: a new wearable device that gives you a 10-minute warning to find a toilet 【Video】

After inventing the printing press, mastering the power of flight, and connecting the world through the power of the Internet, it’s inspiring to know there is still more human ingenuity out there innovating and giving us life-changing products like a USB-powered rice ball warmer. But our species is a bright bunch and we continue to find new ways to harness technology, like a Japanese startup that has announced a new wearable device that predicts bowel movements and gives the user a 10-minute heads-up before needing to find a toilet.

It may not be as trendy of a wearable as the upcoming Apple Watch, but it could be a life-changing device for people who suffer from incontinence or those working in the nursing home industry.

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10 things you probably didn’t know about Pearl Harbor

The surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 marked the day the United States entered World War II. Over three thousand Americans lost their lives in the attack and in 1962 the USS Arizona Memorial was constructed over the sunken battle ship USS Arizona to remember those who lost their lives that day.

But you already know that. This article will tell you some other things about Pearl Harbor that you may not know.

Join us after the jump as RocketNews24 visits Pearl Harbor and helps you bone up on your WWII trivia.

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North Korean officials, Gaddafi and more get the heavy metal treatment from talented guitarist

A while back, Japanese politician Ryutaro Nonomura captured the world’s attention after a surreal outburst at a press conference regarding his alleged misuse of taxpayers’ money. No doubt seeing fertile ground for comedy, one creative musician then made Nonomura the stuff of Internet legend by setting the man’s sobs to a guitar track.

Guitarist Felix Martin and his talented collaborators operate under a similar concept, setting guitar, drums, and bass to speeches from North Korean officials, Hugo Chavez, and others. This project isn’t for laughs, though. With an ear for the rhythm and pitch of the spoken word, not to mention masterful heavy metal stylings, Martin and company elevate the aptly named Human Transcription project to the realm of art. Politics and propaganda have never sounded so good.

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Radiant photos of Audrey Hepburn, legendary singer wearing kimono surface online

Oftentimes, foreign celebrities visiting Japan will don a kimono or hakama to take commemorative photos of their trip. While they can sometimes appear incredibly awkward or constricted while dressed in the traditional clothing, a photo of silver screen darling Audrey Hepburn reveals that she looks right at home in the beautiful garb. Furthermore, the picture wasn’t even taken in Japan!

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She likes cooking and Final Fantasy; web series brings young woman the gift to end all gifts

Harry’s wand; Luke’s lightsaber; Eren’s 3D maneuver gear. Surely more than a few fans have at some point pictured themselves wielding one of these iconic objects. While some must be content with imagining, others may find themselves the happy owners of something straight out of the realm of fantasy.

Such was the case with one Final Fantasy super-fan named Brittany Walloch. Unbeknownst to her, Brittany’s fiancé got in touch with the minds behind Super-Fan Builds, a popular web series that creates custom items for die-hard film and video game fans. The crafting wizards at Tim Baker Productions then went to work designing a one-of-a-kind gift. Let’s just say chopping vegetables will never be the same.

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Taking a page from Japan, Meow Parlour, KittyKind team up for NYC’s first cat cafe

Cat lovers in New York City have rejoiced since mid-December, when Meow Parlour, the city’s first cat cafe, opened its doors.

For the uninitiated, lets explain what a cat cafe is. It’s not a place where you take your own cat to hang out and have coffee. It’s not a restaurant that has cats on the menu. It is a place where you can enjoy the companionship of cats while sipping on coffee and munching on a cat-shaped macaron.

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Idol group’s collaboration with blackfaced performers sparks controversy in America

J-pop-cum-doo-wop group Rats & Star have been active for decades in Japan singing soul tunes and doing the occasional electric slide. It’s a style of music that they have embraced whole-heartedly. In fact they are so into the sound that they paint themselves black during shows to look the part.

Their act had continued without major incident for quite some time until one of their singers Yoshio Sato posted a promotional image of them with idol unit Momoiro Clover Z on Twitter for an upcoming TV appearance, nearly all with faces painted black.

As you might expect, many Americans are up in arms over the image, but what do Japanese people have to say about this?

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“The bills! The bills!”: A Japanese woman’s experience giving birth in the United States

Receiving any kind of medical treatment in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. And when one of the writers from our sister site Pouch gave birth to her second child in the United States, where she was living at the time, she was naturally expecting the procedures to be different from her native Japan. But there were a number of things that shocked, amazed and downright confused her about giving birth in the US – not least the incredible cost incurred.

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