Before departing on his trip to the United States, our Japanese reporter Yoshio told us that he was looking forward to eating a real American burger. What that meant to him, apparently, was a 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon patty wedged between two glazed donuts and skewered on a steak knife.
Are you happy now, America? Japan associates you with bacon and glazed donuts. Actually, that sounds about right…
A while back we brought you some techniques on dealing with people who sleep on your shoulder during train, bus, or plane rides. However, the problem wouldn’t exist if many of us weren’t train sleepers ourselves. In Japan, you’re guaranteed to see at least one person sleeping if you ride the train after 6pm.
Even if a sleeper could avoid their fellow commuters they still run a high risk of hurting their own necks by sleeping upright. Luckily an American company has come to everyone’s rescue with the UpRight Sleeper. Now, if they can just convince people to wear the thing…
Strong opposition to the use of nuclear reactors has put pressure on scientists to find a replacement for atomic energy. In the past, scientists attempted to harness the energy generated by rush hour traffic, pedaling a bicycle, and many other creative sources. In our never-ending quest for power, a bicycle that charges your smartphone was even developed, allowing consumers to charge their phone while they pedal.
A new innovation in energy generation is here. BioLite Camp Stove is a biomass burning stove that can cook food while charging small electronic devices.
It’s easy to understand why residents of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa would be upset with the deployment of twelve new Osprey hybrid aircraft to the Futenma U.S. military base.
While the U.S. assures the Japanese government that the aircraft are safe, an accident in Morocco that killed two U.S. Marines in April and then another in Florida in June make them a hard sell for Okinawans, especially since the Futenma base is surrounded by crowded residential areas.
So it wasn’t surprising when hundreds of protesters raised banners and chanted outside Futenma on Monday to show their concern over the safety of the aircraft, the first six of which arrived at the base that morning.
It was surprising, however, when, the next day, two groups of Okinawans gathered at a park near Futenma to protest the arrival of three new Osprey by flying kites near the aircraft as they attempted to land.
If the cosplay typically seen at anime conventions is a little too extreme for you, take a look at these toned down cosplay alternates. The clothing and style of beloved anime and cartoon characters from all over the world have been transformed into fashionable clothing for everyday wear. Who knew Lisa Simpson’s orange paper bag dress could look sexy and that taking a fashion cue from Papa Smurf would result in a decent getup?
Robotics Company Boston Dynamics has recently uploaded a video their Legged Squad Support System (LS3) being tested in rugged outdoor terrain. The robot is designed to carry equipment for soldier over uneven landscapes.
It’s a pretty incredible feat of engineering with only one apparent flaw: It reminds Japanese Twitter users of Homo, a recent meme that has swept the nation.
It appears that the fastest growing field of robotics is cockroaches. Once thought to be the domain of Roachbot and Roachbot 2.0, researchers from the university of North Carolina have raised the bar further with what has got to be the first functioning cyborg cockroach.
On August 31, Greenpeace uncovered a study backed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) involving feeding genetically modified (GM) rice to children in Hunan province, China.
Chinese officials in Hunan immediately denied that the study had taken place but a few days later, a representative from Tufts University in the United States confirmed that they had indeed tested a new strain of GM rice on Chinese children in rural areas of Hunan.
The fast food experience in Japan is much different that it is in America.
In Japan, step into any fast food restaurant and you are treated with the kind of service you see in commercials. Polite and attentive staff work in seemingly perfect unison to get customers their meal as quickly as possible, all while maintaining a smile on their face.
In America, the reality isn’t so golden. Fast food staff are often uninspired and lack enthusiasm and, perhaps as one reason for that, the customers can be loud, obtrusive and sometimes even violent.
At least, this is the image people are getting from two YouTube videos that have been making the rounds in the Japanese net since this weekend.
You think mugshot, you probably think of some haggard, seedy character looking back at you. It just goes to show, even cute girls end up in jail sometimes. Below are an assortment pretty faces and some not-so-tasteful comments from the peanut gallery in Japan.
And just because we know you’re wondering, apparently none of them were arrested for prostitution. Those gems are saved for the end.
With mobile phones steadily evolving into smart phones the days of prepaid units may one day slip away from us. However, a new app called Burner keeps the tradition of making and receiving anonymous phone calls alive on your regular smart phone.
The app is named after a slang term for a cheap prepaid mobile phone that could be untraceably used in illegal dealings. Once the job is done, you can just toss the burner in a dumpster severing all connection with that number. This app saves the trouble of getting and disposing of a handset by putting the burner inside your iPhone side by side with your regular service. Yet this app surely can be used for legal purposes too… right?
Sunday afternoon, Seattle Mariners shortstop Munenori Kawasaki was on first base and showed off a sweet little fake steal move before pedaling back to first. It got not only the commentators but team members on both sides chuckling a bit. Read More
A common addition to many Japanese dishes is a substance called Konjac (Konnyaku in Japanese which may sound confusingly like Cognac). It’s a peculiar, virtually tasteless gelatinous mass that admittedly has an excellent texture to it.
What may come as a shock to millions of Japanese people is that America is beginning to embrace this garnish not as the Japanese have, but as a replacement for conventional pasta.
Thanks to the West’s keen marketing sense, Japan’s often underappreciated purplish-grey slab gelatin has been reborn there as Miracle Noodles!
Who doesn’t love a good fireworks display? It’s a great way to relax on a warm summer evening with a BBQ and some beers. However, with a stagnating economy and tightening safety regulations these majestic works of gunpowder art seem to be slowly fading away.
Light-based toymaker Uncle Milton has tapped into this by combining people’s innate love of fireworks and bazookas with Fireworks Lightshow (called Anywhere Fireworks Bazooka in Japan). But can they really pack the beauty of a fireworks show into a plastic gun wieldable by a child? Let’s start by watching the advertisement for it.
Not everyone is born into their ideal body—that’s why people get cosmetic surgery, right?
But imagine if you were born into a body of the opposite gender, or transgender. If you thought being born with a flat chest or a crooked nose was bad, try dealing with a whole collection of unneeded parts, not to mention the stress of everyone telling you you’re a gender that you know you’re not.
Luckily, just as regular people can get plastic surgery, transgender people can physically change their bodies to match their gender by taking hormones in a process known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Wonder how much the human body can change just by rebalancing some chemicals? A series of photographs documenting the physical transformation of a transgender female (chick born into a dude’s body) as she goes through HRT has been dropping jaws across the internet.
Fans of Japanese anime may be familiar with the popular animated film “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (Kaze No Tani No Naushika), created by successful anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Since its initial release in 1984 (gosh, has it really been 28 years?), the film has been much loved by the Japanese public, both the young and old alike. The anime, which touches on timeless topics such as non-violence and humanity’s struggle to coexist with nature, has become a Japanese classic, and even today, it holds strong appeal and is broadcast in Japan from time to time on prime-time television. Read More
One of the most popular anime and mangas around the world in recent times has got to be Naruto. With such fame often comes fan fiction, and thanks to the development of easily available production equipment, fan movies are an ever improving art form.
The fledgling American production team Thousand Pounds Action Company has put together a YouTube movie with an original story based on the Naruto universe. A follow-up to their celebrated Street Fighter X Tekken video, the Naruto movie has been getting an equally good reception and then some.
However, would Naruto fans be offending with their handling of the source material, and could this tiny movie company grab the attention of non-fans with their talents? We take a look at it from both sides to see.
The other day, I was walking through sunny Hollywood on my way to a job when, right before my eyes, I spotted everyone’s favorite rodent, Mickey Mouse. I had met Mickey once before in New York, but now he looked different – a little gaunter.
Thinking, “something’s not right” I approached him to ask for a photo like I did in NYC.
Still making the re-post rounds on the internet is this sweet, heartwarming and funny musical marriage proposal, “Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal“. Isaac Lamb got together over 60 friends and family, most certainly planned and rehearsed, and on the day of reckoning, invited his unsuspecting fiancee, Amy, over to be met by his brother …
You might think natural rubber only comes from rubber trees, but that’s not the case! Bridgestone announced that it has been able to get viable, useable, tire-grade rubber from Russian Dandelions! Bridgestone is part of a collaborative research group that has been trying to find alternative sources of rubber, with Bridgestone focusing specifically on Russian dandelions. The collaboration is named Program for Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives, and aims to find alternative sustainable and renewable sources of rubber. PENRA is based at the Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. They discovered that they can extract rubber from the fleshy roots of Russian Dandelion.