Industriously cute kitty in Japan training hard to become real-life beckoning cat 【Video】

In Japan, you’ll often find a statue of a cat with a single upraised paw in front of or inside places of business. Called a maneki neko, or “beckoning cat,” the manner in which it’s posed is the traditional way to call someone over to you in Japan, and the statues are said to help draw customers, and their money, into your shop or restaurant.

That’s not to say that anyone takes the superstition that seriously, though. It’s sort of a cuter, feline version of hanging a horseshoe on the wall for good luck. And besides, it’s not like we’ve ever seen a cat actually beckoning someone like that, anyway.

At least, we hadn’t until now.

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McDonald’s France serving up a McFlurry mess, Japanese customer not impressed

McDonald’s Japan has seen its profits tumble over the last year especially, mostly due to safety concerns after tainted meat was found to be have been used in some of its products. The situation is not nearly as dire over in Europe, but if the following tweet is to believed, it seems McDonald’s staff in France could work on their food presentation skills.

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Japan is bracing itself against the typhoon, finding strange underwear on their porches

Those in the Kyushu and Shikoku regions of Japan have already been hit with the brunt of Typhoon 11, and the rest of us in western Japan are sitting out the torrential rains and winds inside. Typhoons are a yearly happening here, and bring with them flooded streets, mudslides, toppled street signs, and apparently very interesting underwear

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You can take this 33,000-pound robot for a virtual test drive, watch it dance to J-pop 【Video】

Now that we’re living in the age of giant fighting robots, it’s time to update the list of things a fully capable member of society needs to be able to do. And while many anime make piloting a huge mecha as simple as falling into the cockpit and learning as you go, it’d be irresponsible to assume things are so easy in the real world.

That’s why we sent one of our reporters to check out a 15,000-kilogram (33,000-pound) giant robot that’s on display in Tokyo right now. Not only is it awesome to look at, its creators will even let you take it for a virtual test drive.

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Sushi dreamer now hankering for hamburger – Most nonsensical gacha toy yet?

Back in January, we introduced you to a series of gachapon toys that featured a young lady so smitten with sushi she wanted to be completely wrapped up in it. It seems she has moved on from that culinary fixation. Now she wants to soak in a carbonated beverage jacuzzi and be slathered in catsup at a fast food burger joint.

Allow me to present Moso Oneesan Hamburger Shop, or The Daydreaming Girl’s Hamburger Shop.

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What is the sound of 10 cats eating? 【Video】

There’s a Zen thought exercise that asks, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Contrary to what that old Simpsons episode might argue, it’s supposed to be a question without a definite answer.

On the other hand, we do know exactly what the sound of 10 cats eating is, and it’s an amazing mix of adorable and entrancing.

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Five things that were once taboo in Japan but are now (mostly) okay

Japan has gone through a lot of changes in the past half-century. It emerged from the end of World War II willing to become a part of the international community, but not willing to give up some of its stranger quirks, some of which are part of the reason that we love it for today.

But some of those quirks are more annoying than others, and they’ve slowly faded away as people have realized they’re not really necessary. So with that in mind here’s the list of five things that were once taboo in Japan, but are now (mostly) okay today. Read on and find out if something you do would have once been frowned upon!

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Japanese mental clinic’s hiragana alphabet chart is as humorous as it is educational

If you’ve ever entertained the notion of studying Japanese, at some point you’ll find yourself faced with the task of learning the language’s intricate writing system. The good news is that as long as you can write the strictly phonetic script sets, hiragana and katakana, and don’t mind everything you write looking like it was written by a first grader, you don’t necessarily have to know kanji.

But whether you go on to become a kanji master or not, most beginners usually start out learning hiragana first. In the past we introduced a number of handy Japanese study resources, but unfortunately we didn’t include anything for basic hiragana writing skills. So today we’d like to make-up for that by introducing this humorous hiragana study chart that has Japanese users on Twitter chuckling and doing some serious self-reflection.

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Japanese woman arrested after drugging dates with chocolate, robbing them blind

Although online dating services allow you to peruse profiles of potential paramours from the comfort of your home, they can also be a prime opportunity for fraudsters who pray on the lonely. Last month, for example, we took a look at a ring of dating sites which claimed 2.7 million “users,” only one of whom turned out to be an actual female.

Thankfully, a man from northeastern Japan who joined a dating site actually got to go out with a real girl, and probably thought she was quite the catch, seeing as how she’s decades younger than him and a medical student. Regardless of whether he was looking for something serious or just a fun dinner out, we imagine he was having a great time right up until she drugged him right there in the restaurant and robbed him blind.

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Watch this man break the Guinness World Record for kicking himself in the head 【Video】

What began as a simple list compiled to settle bar bets has snowballed into an international organization that documents the best of the best of the weirdest records you can possibly imagine. Just thumbing through a copy of Guinness World Records will give you more useless trivia knowledge than anyone could possibly want in a lifetime. Some of these records are so bizarre that once you discover them, it’s hard to ever forget that fact again.

Never mind important information like the 35th President of the United States, do you know what the world record is for the number of times someone can kick themselves in the head? Keep on reading to find out.

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Civilian home struck by bullet fired at nearby Japan Self-Defense Forces training ground

No matter what your job is, it’s important to be skilled with the tools of your particular trade. That’s especially true if those tools happen to be firearms, which is why being part of Japan’s police or Self-Defense Forces means you’re in for a lot of time on the firing range.

It seems at least one member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force needs a little more practice, though, since one of his shots missed the target he was aiming for and hit a civilian home instead.

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Sayonara, stadium! Tokyo tosses out design for 252 billion-yen Olympic site, starts from scratch

I’ve got nothing but love for Tokyo, and I’ve spent a good chunk of my adult life working and playing in Japan’s city of cities. Still, I remember having mixed emotions when it was announced as the site of the 2020 Olympics.

Like everyone at RocketNews24, I truly believe Japan is an awesome place, and I’m happy whenever something happens that gets people to take a peek at what’s going on here. But I was worried that in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, Japan would embark on a glut of overly extravagant construction projects, building needlessly expensive stadiums that would fall into disuse or disrepair soon after the Games ended, as has happened in so many other host cities.

That certainly seemed to be what was happening with Tokyo’s New National Stadium. Every few months came a new report that cost estimates had been revised up yet again, and the expected price tag recently soared to 252 billion yen (US$2.02 billion). Finally, though, the Tokyo Olympics organizers have said enough is enough, and they’ve decided to toss out the existing design completely and start over from scratch.

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New video shows professional skateboarder waxing poetic about the Lexus Hoverboard, not riding it

Last year’s battery-powered hoverboard definitely got people’s attention online, with images of Marty McFly dancing in their heads. A guest appearance by Tony Hawk certainly didn’t hurt public awareness either. Still, with a battery life of only seven minutes and the need for special flooring to actually hover, the board wasn’t likely to fill our futuristic dreams.

But then last month Lexus decided to steal some of that public awareness thunder for themselves with a video showing off their hoverboard, which apparently floats thanks to liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets. But Lexus’s last video didn’t show anyone even riding it! How about this new teaser?

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“Wait for the locksmith” – Woman refuses help from fire department as kid roasts inside luxury car

A woman in China is being skewered on the Interwebs worldwide for her decision to refuse help from the fire department in rescuing her three-year-old child, who was trapped inside her luxury BMW on an exceptionally hot summer’s day.

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Grab your trunks! Adorable videos of Japanese safari park’s elephants swimming in their new pool

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice swim? Whether you’re a fitness buff swimming laps for exercise, a little kid splashing around in the shallow end, or simply floating about and relaxing, spending some time in the pool is always fun and refreshing, especially on a warm summer day.

It’s not just humans who feel this way, though. The elephants at Japan’s Fuji Safari Park like going for a dip too, and thanks to the clear walls on their brand-new pool, we can all see their gigantic smiles as they paddle through the water.

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Young people around Beijing have suddenly begun taking selfies in front of a Uniqlo shop as a part of a recent trend that started online. Many of the photographs depict a man standing behind his girlfriend, occasionally in provocative poses.

The reason for these peculiar pics is a graphic sex tape that went viral in China showing a man and women having intercourse inside a Uniqlo dressing room. The video has become a hit in a country that strictly prohibits such material from being available to the population.

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Pro: Six idols fighting over you! Con: They’re all super-powered and violent!! Soda ad: Crazy!!!

There’s a pretty common male fantasy in Japan that goes like this: You’re sitting alone in your classroom at lunchtime, when suddenly, a cute female classmate walks up to you. With your heart fluttering and your stomach growling, you find out she’s ready to satisfy both, as she pulls out a bento lunch box filled with homemade goodies and, while smiling sweetly, asks if you’d eat lunch with her.

Now take that same scenario, but expand the cast from one girl to six. Even better, right?

Sure, at least until you find out that all six of your lady suitors have superpowers and violent streaks, like what happens to this unsuspecting guy in the craziest soda ad we’ve seen in quite a while.

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“This will go down in history”: Cat displays unusual, impressive talent 【Video】

If you watch only one cat video today, make sure it’s this one. That might sound like an exaggeration, I know, but when you see what this little guy can do, you’ll thank me.

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What happens when two men walk around Russia holding hands【Video】

Gay rights have made huge steps these last few years with the latest win coming in the form of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage throughout the country. However, the fight for equal rights is still long from over in the rest of the world as many countries don’t recognize gay marriage or even open displays of homosexuality.

While parts of Japan are supporting equal rights, Russia, one of its neighbors to the northwest, has traditionally been against homosexuality since its days as the Soviet Union. And what about today? How do Russians feel about two men just walking down the street, holding hands? A Russian YouTube video seeks to answer these questions with a social experiment.

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Website lets you make yourself into a Sanrio character for a virtual parade with Hello Kitty!

Do you love Hello Kitty? Of course, you do! Everybody does! But have you ever wanted to be as cute and adorable as Hello Kitty? If so, we have some excellent news for you: Sanrio recently unveiled a website that you can use to automatically make yourself a Sanrio character! It’s cute and easy, our two favorite things.

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