Two Japanese high school kids arrested in “really bad” attempt at cash fraud

Two Japanese high school kids arrested in “really bad” attempt at cash fraud

On 4 November Osaka Prefectural Police announced the arrest of two teenagers aged 15 and 16 for fraud. The two boys are accused of trying to pass off a fake one million yen (US$10,000) bank note at a small cigarette stand in Suita City.

Although, passing off counterfeit money is usually considered “uttering” and may be punishable by jail time, the pair were given a reduced charge of fraud because, according to police, “the fake money used was really bad.”

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What’s better than sweet and tasty treats? Cute, sweet and tasty treats, of course! 【Videos】

What’s better than sweet and tasty treats? Cute, sweet and tasty treats, of course! 【Videos】

While eating sweets is always a pleasure, at least for this writer, making them yourself can be quite a tricky matter, can’t it? But if you’re one of the people with skills in the kitchen who enjoys making desserts, you may want to check these videos out. They show you how to create sweet snacks that look so adorable, you’ll almost feel bad eating them! Read More

Thai commercial hopes you get aroused by their fertilizer

Thai commercial hopes you get aroused by their fertilizer

With the success of the romantic saga of the spirit of mushrooms and his muse underway in Japan, it’s now time to see what’s going on in Thailand.

The following commercial from earlier this year shows us how loose broadcast regulations appear to be in some Southeast Asian countries. It’s chocked full of  sexual innuendo which is interesting considering it’s essentially an ad for a big bag of crap.

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Sci-fi tech you wish was real… and actually is!

Sci-fi tech you wish was real… and actually is!

Man, wouldn’t life be a whole lot easier if, say, when you dropped your phone, it landed predictably on its strongest edge, preventing breakage? Or how about a system that automatically mutes your annoying boss, not by making you deaf to him, but by making it physically impossible for him to talk? Oh! Or, what if there were money printers that printed as much money as we wanted?

It turns out all of those things actually exist, albeit one of them isn’t available for personal use because it would cause the world’s currencies to become wildly inflated and ultimately lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it.

There are, in fact, a lot of awesome hi-tech inventions you probably wish for on a regular basis without even knowing that they actually already exist. Here are just a few we’ve picked out:

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Toyota’s new vehicle changes colour and suggests destinations according to your mood

Toyota’s new vehicle changes colour and suggests destinations according to your mood

Toyota Motor plans to unveil a new vision of an astounding future reality at the Tokyo Motor Show (23 November to 1 December): the Toyota FV-2, a vehicle that can read its driver’s mood and changes colour accordingly. Imagine how this could work—you’re cruising down the road in a great mood, with your car a friendly, sunny yellow. Suddenly, you spot another vehicle in a messed-up shade of dark red. Uh-oh, road rage alert, better give that one a wide berth. You start to feel nervous, so your car turns a sickly green. Then you notice a hottie in the car next to you as you pull up at the lights, and your car blushes bright pink.

For people like me who distinguish cars mainly based on their colour—”uh, it’s a blue one”— this chameleon trick opens up a whole new world of confusion. How are you supposed to spot your friend’s car if it’s constantly changing colour? Oh right, he’s always in a bad mood, so it’s probably the black one. Anyway, I’m sure they’ve already thought of this!

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How good is your Japanese accent? Maybe this video can help you improve

How good is your Japanese accent? Maybe this video can help you improve

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve studied Japanese or how many kanji you can successfully identify, if you still sound like you’re speaking English when you are in fact speaking Japanese, you’re going to look like a dumb gaijin.

But it’s hard to identify your level of fluency when it comes to pronunciation and we’re hoping the following video can help. This is hands down the best side-by-side comparison of an excellent and…shall we say “authentic American” Japanese accent executed by “twin brothers” David Ury and Ken Tanaka.

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Shut up mom, scientists proved playing video games is actually good for your brain!

Shut up mom, scientists proved playing video games is actually good for your brain!

Ladies and gentlemen of the gaming world, those entire summer breaks spent parked in front of that hulking box of a rear-projection TV (but it was 60-inches!) with your N64 controller in hand were actually productive despite what your mother said. Thanks to the hard work of researchers in Berlin, we now know that playing Super Mario 64 is scientifically proven to increase your brain size. Which goes to show that a lot of things your mother told you as a kid were probably false. So go ahead, stop listening to your mom, your brain is probably bigger than hers now anyway.

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Do you have the guts for sushi?

Do you have the guts for sushi?

Ask a Westerner what their favorite Japanese food is and there’s a high chance that the answer will be sushi. The widespread popularity of the delicately crafted delicacy has made it almost synonymous with the word “Japan”, even though there now exist dozens of different varieties made by people from all over the world.

Many of you reading this will have had sushi, some of you might even love it more than your mom’s cooking, but even so, that doesn’t guarantee that you have the guts for sushi. We’re not talking about the courage needed to put raw fish in your mouth, but rather, the genes required to properly digest seaweed.

Confused? Here’s the science behind it.

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Who’s up for 2.4 kilograms of free noodles?

Who’s up for 2.4 kilograms of free noodles?

Despite its well-earned reputation as a society where meals are generally sensibly-sized and low calorie, Japan isn’t above the occasional burst of gastronomic decadence, and we’ve mentioned the jumbo-sized portions known as dekamori before.

Of course, it’s not easy to finance such a big appetite. Thankfully, if you’re craving a dekamori of the stir-fried noodle dish known as yakisoba, there’s a place where you won’t have to pay a single yen, as long as you can polish off 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) of it ,that is…

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Some Japanese school regulations don’t make any sense!

Some Japanese school regulations don’t make any sense!

Stereotypically, Japan really loves their sense of social conformity and the comfort of their unchanging rules. The socialization of Japanese children into upstanding and unobtrusive citizens starts young and is encouraged by the country’s educational system. Rules regarding clothing and classroom behaviors are necessary in any nation’s school setting, but the institutions’ attempts to control their students seem particularly far-reaching in Japan.

Still, there are some rules that even the people who grew up within the Japanese system find particularly confusing, if not downright misinformed. When asked in an online survey how many people felt that their school had some weird sorts of rules, 12.5 percent of respondents answered, “yes.” That may not seem like a very high number, but when asked to go into detail about these unconventional guidelines, the results were still rather surprising. Here’s a short list of weird guidelines upheld by some of Japan’s schools.

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China’s “Program Goddess” shatters image of IT professionals

China’s “Program Goddess” shatters image of IT professionals

So let’s imagine you had horrible parents. They never told you to eat your vegetables or wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, and you grew up without being warned about judging people based solely on their appearance.

One day you’re walking along the beach, winded from your lack of nutrients and itchy because of your filthy hands, when you come across the woman pictured above. What do you think she does for a living? She’s got a model-quality beauty, the lithe build of a yoga instructor, and the easy grace of a singer/songwriter. It’s got to be one of those three, right?

Don’t let the lack of a neckbeard fool you. Jin Ying Gang, the woman you see here, puts food on the table working as a programmer in China.

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Thousands of marathon runners empty their bladders against Chinese government compound

Thousands of marathon runners empty their bladders against Chinese government compound

China’s Communist Party keeps a pretty close eye on the information to which the enormous nation is privy, as well as the attitude with which it spreads. But, in this modern age of technology, it seems that the government is struggling to silence all of the dissent, and issues such as air pollution and ineffective sewage systems are tainting public opinion of the communists. The nation’s self-sanctioned Twitter equivalent, Weibo, is one of the main contributors to this rapid spread of unsavory information and opinions, and while the most inflaming comments are inevitably erased from the site, by then the damage is already done.

Late last month, Beijing held its annual marathon, and observers using Weibo offered us some interesting insights into the actions and opinions of the participants. Apparently, an unfortunate lack of bathrooms led to thousands of marathon runners relieving themselves against the wall of the Zhongnanhai, a central government compound adjacent to the Forbidden City!

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The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

Located right in the middle of Seoul’s central Jung District, the grassy lawns of Seoul Plaza provide residents and visitors alike with a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Korean capital.

Of course, the tranquility of your surroundings is heavily influenced by which way you’re facing, so if you’re really looking to relax, you might want to take a seat on the grass with your back to the building that looks like a colossal, deadly tidal wave about to crash down on you.

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Japanese otter full of personality winning hearts over Twitter

Japanese otter full of personality winning hearts over Twitter

This little otter from Hiroshima is only four months old, but has already enamored Twitter users across Japan with its photogenic human-like expression.

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Here’s your heart-breaking short story of the day, written on a 1,000 yen bill

Here’s your heart-breaking short story of the day, written on a 1,000 yen bill

Perhaps one of the saddest things ever written is Hemingway’s famous six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Though short in the extreme, it’s amazing how much emotion and information can be packed into six small words. Of course, Hemingway isn’t the only writer known for brevity, and the last 1,300 years of Japanese poetry have been full of brief but beautiful and poignant verses. But when it comes to terse (some might say inelegant) narrative, Hemingway was certainly a master.

However, we may have found someone who’s outdone the old drunkard! Too bad this one seems inspired by utterly real events…

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Internet Explorer looks to win back fans with new moe/anime mascot Inori Aizawa

Internet Explorer looks to win back fans with new moe/anime mascot Inori Aizawa

About a year ago, Microsoft learned the power of moe mascots when their Windows 8 platform sold in record numbers in Japan. This was largely credited with the addition of the Madobe Sisters, Yuu and Ai.

Now they’re hoping lightning will strike twice and jolt some new life into their web browser Internet Explorer. As more and more people have flocked to browsers like Chrome and Firefox over the years, IE looked as though it was heading the way of Netscape thanks to sluggish speeds and compatibility problems.

However, IE’s newest mascot, Inori Aizawa promises and end to these design flaws along with some lasers and high speed robot battles.

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Two middle-aged men use 3DS to meet, assault 12 year-old girl, Ibaraki police say

Two middle-aged men use 3DS to meet, assault 12 year-old girl, Ibaraki police say

Japan’s Yomiuri Newspaper reported on Tuesday that Ibaraki Prefectural Police had arrested two men on suspicions that they abused a 12 year-old girl they had met using Nintendo’s Internet-connected 3DS portable gaming system. Even though the girl’s parents had used parental controls to disable the Internet access on the 3DS, she found a way to reconnect the device and go online, which led her to the two middle-aged men.

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Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f coming to a PlayStation Vita near you

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f coming to a PlayStation Vita near you

Heads up, Vocaloid fans, the fifth entry in the “DIVA” rhythm music game series is heading to Sony’s sexy portable. More info and in-game footage after the jump.

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You might not be in a real Japanese restaurant when…

You might not be in a real Japanese restaurant when…

In many countries around the world, Japanese cuisine has found a home. However, when one nation’s food culture lands in another’s backyard, things tend to get lost in translation. Deliciousness is always in the mouth of the beholder but Japanese people can often take issue with the way their food is prepared overseas.

For example, the website Madame Riri lays out their take of faux Japanese restaurants in Paris, a majority of which she claims is run by Chinese management. While we all might not share their hardline view of how Japanese food is prepared, they do have an interesting list of ways they believe can tell if a Japanese restaurant is truly run by Japanese people or not.

So without further ado: You might not be in a real Japanese restaurant when…

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When demon cats attack… cotton buds!

When demon cats attack… cotton buds!

What could possibly go wrong here? Here is an cat, innocently reaching for a cotton bud, probably to attend to his personal hygiene. Sure, he looks a little evil, a tad malicious. But who wouldn’t, faced with a stubborn ear wax infestation?

The drama which ensued in the moments after this cat moved toward the cotton bud was captured in a terrifying series of photos posted on Japan’s Hamster Sokuhou which cracked up some Japanese netizens. We think the evidence really speaks for itself.

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