Japanese internet user’s amusing interpretation of a sculpture in San Francisco

Japanese internet user’s amusing interpretation of a sculpture in San Francisco

We’ve all seen a strange work of public art at some point while traveling–you know, that piece that makes you scratch your head and look at it upside-down to try to figure out just what the heck is going on. Fortunately for the residents of San Francisco, they have their very own bizarre–and ginormous–piece of public art to contemplate whenever they feel like it.

Japanese internet users recently stumbled across photos of this particular sculpture created by Chinese artist Zhang Huan and were quick to comment on its unique appearance. One fan even decided that it resembled nothing other than the final boss of a video game. While we’re pretty sure that’s not the interpretation that the artist was going for, the fan’s cleverly manipulated photo still gave us a chuckle.

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Apple fans so eager for an iPhone 6 they’re lining up before it’s even announced

Apple fans so eager for an iPhone 6 they’re lining up before it’s even announced

About this time last year, we brought the story of a group of fans who spent over a week camped out on the sidewalk, just so they could be first in line to snag an iPhone 5S on launch day at the Apple Store in Tokyo’s Ginza. But while we can understand the appeal of the fun and comradery that comes from braving the elements with your fellow technophiles, we were a little shocked when we recently strolled by the same store in the swanky neighborhood and saw there’s already a line forming for the iPhone 6, which Apple hasn’t even announced yet.

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Japan-made printer briefly impresses the Internet by catching its own paper

Japan-made printer briefly impresses the Internet by catching its own paper

Working hard every day in offices all over the world, the humble printer rarely gets its due. While the flashier (and sometimes more scandalous) 3-D printers tend to capture most of the attention, everyday office printers continue their humdrum existence just under the radar of most of the world.

But that all changed the other week when the Internet caught a glimpse of a printer seemingly catching its own paper as the sheets were about to fall to the ground. The printer, made by the Japanese company Kyocera, awed netizens worldwide and made them wonder if the Kyoto-based electronics manufacturer had other secret printer features.

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Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady

Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady

We get that the whole point of cosmetic surgery is often to dramatically change one’s appearance, beyond what’s possible through ordinary means. Likewise, if someone’s had a sex change operation, we don’t really expect the before and after pics to show a strong resemblance.

Even still, those procedures don’t automatically change your skin tone or cut your body fat percentage in half, which is why the Internet is taking notice of this slim transgender woman from Thailand who used to be a pudgy boy.

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It’s time to vote, vote, vote for your favourite photo!

It’s time to vote, vote, vote for your favourite photo!

It’s that time again, folks: the polls are now open for this week’s Pic of the Week!

Join us after the jump to see our 10 favourite photos and to choose the one that you think most deserves to win.

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“Hate summer homework, kids? We’ll do it for you!” A disturbingly booming business in Japan

“Hate summer homework, kids? We’ll do it for you!” A disturbingly booming business in Japan

The following is a typical scene that many families in Japan will have recently experienced, and probably not for the first time: It’s August 31, the last day of summer vacation and the fall semester is starting in less than 24 hours. The kids who played all month suddenly realize that they have to do 40 pages of kanji and math drills, write a book report for a book they haven’t read, and fill in 30 days’ worth of journal entries–an assignment that they dutifully kept up with for all of the first week of summer break. They clamor for help, and despite the scoldings and I-told-you-so’s, “nice” parents and the more responsible siblings reluctantly pitch in.

Sure, the above isn’t an exemplary approach to avoiding bad grades, but recently an even more dubious method has been getting a lot of attention: online businesses have been offering to do your child’s homework and school projects for a fee! While the homework-by-proxy racket is nothing new, recent media coverage of the growing enterprise has brought to light this questionable practice and its appalling popularity among elementary and junior high school students.

What does this teach, and not teach, future adults? Why are parents taking advantage of these services for their young children? One twisted reason will probably surprise you.

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Stray dogs head to convenience stores in Thailand, receive free rabies shots and flea care

Stray dogs head to convenience stores in Thailand, receive free rabies shots and flea care

If you’ve ever experienced an Asian summer, you’ll know how unbearably hot and humid it can be. In Thailand, where summer temperatures often stay above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees F) and can reach 100% humidity, keeping body temperatures down becomes a priority not only for people, but for our furry friends as well.

Clever canines know to beat the heat by hanging outside local convenience stores, where there’s shade, a cold surface to lie on, and best of all, a steady flow of traffic to open the automatic doors, releasing precious, steady gusts of cool, conditioned air. But there’s more…

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Doraemon wants to play games, and he’s even bringing his own board!

Doraemon wants to play games, and he’s even bringing his own board!

The classical Japanese board game Go is deeply strategic. A single match can last hours, and in the case of top-ranking professionals, days, or even months. But while this complexity makes the game all the more intriguing for adult players, it can also make it intimidating and inaccessible for kids, who often start off playing simplified versions such as Gomoku Narabe or Reversi.

Similarly, Go’s aesthetics of stark black and white stones on a plain wooden board are often seen as pleasingly elegant by adults, but don’t really do much to excite children. So in order to provide a little more visual stimulation, there’s now a Gomoku Narabe set featuring anime’s most famous robot cat, Doraemon.

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Japanese celebricat Maru gets a pushcart, gets to work pushing 【Video】

Japanese celebricat Maru gets a pushcart, gets to work pushing 【Video】

Okay, confession time. I am a little bitsigh, A LOTobsessed with internet cats. From Lil Bub to Little P and with a lot of Princess Monster Truck in between, I follow them all. But perhaps the cutest and most consistently entertaining is chubby, lazy Maru, who happens to live in Japan with his owner known by YouTube handle mugumogu.

Maru is so famous he has his own book and has appeared in both print and TV ads for major brands like Uniqlo. Mostly he likes hanging out at home trying to fit into various boxes, but if the latest video is any indication, he may have a new hobby: pushing a pushcart around the house.

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Before anyone freaks out, no, Kirby isn’t human

Before anyone freaks out, no, Kirby isn’t human

It’s been a couple of weeks now since Kitty-gate, or “that time when someone at Sanrio said Hello Kitty wasn’t a cat and the world went nuts”. The issue has now, hopefully, been laid to rest, and we can all get back to watching videos of chubby cats pushing toy wagons around and debating things like which flavour of Pringles is best (answer: Sour Creme and Onion).

But a line in a recently published Japanese gaming guide has now suggested that yet another much-loved character is not what he first seemed. Rather than simply being the giant pink blob that we always thought him to be, it would seem that Nintendo’s marshmallow-faced mascot Kirby is actually “a person” – something that has greatly amused the internet-using public here in Japan.

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Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!

Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!

When I was a high school student, I used to find it both ironic and a little bit silly that some of my schoolmates would spend close to a hundred dollars on a wallet, but when you took a peek inside said cash keepers, they would have at most 10 dollars in them. I mean, I could have 50 dollars in my pocket and that would make me richer than them even though they had a snazzy wallet that was the latest trend in town. I never believed in buying things for the sake of trends or status.

If you’re a student who only has 10 dollars to your name, here’s what you should do instead of splurging on a branded or “in-trend” wallet. Buy yourself a drink at Starbucks, to go, get your hands on one of their paper bags, and use that paper bag to make your very own, surprisingly awesome wallet. Instructions after the break!

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China’s Baidu announces high-tech chopsticks that will keep you safe, skinny and healthy

China’s Baidu announces high-tech chopsticks that will keep you safe, skinny and healthy

Ever sit down to eat a meal and wish you knew how many calories or salt were in your food? Ever cooked a piece of meat or fish only to later wonder whether it might have gone bad? Last week, Chinese Internet giant Baidu announced that it has been working on a pair of wi-fi-enabled high-tech chopsticks that will be able to detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches as well as warning consumers of any safety issues such as contaminants or expired food.

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These posters from the Taisho and Showa Eras are simply gorgeous!

These posters from the Taisho and Showa Eras are simply gorgeous!

If we could have a genie grant only one wish, it would likely be for a time machine. Even going back a mere 100 years would be fascinating, but, alas, genies aren’t real. Or, if they are, the world governments are keeping them tightly under wraps.

Fortunately, we don’t need time machines to sneak peeks back in time–all we need are some awesome, full-color posters. And these 17 posters are the next best thing to finding Doc Brown waiting outside with a revving DeLorean!

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Anna and Elsa come to life: The best Halloween costumes of the year?【Photos】

Anna and Elsa come to life: The best Halloween costumes of the year?【Photos】

Halloween is now less than two months away, so it’s time to start planning your costume. There are a wealth of options to choose from, of course, but this year we probably wouldn’t recommend going as Anna or Elsa from Frozen. Not because they aren’t awesome, but because we’re fairly certain that no one will be able to compete with the awesomeness of these hand-crafted costumes.

We’ve seen fans make some pretty amazing things in the past, but this very well might take the royal cake.

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New world record set for highest score in arcade classic Donkey Kong

New world record set for highest score in arcade classic Donkey Kong

Ever since the 2007 documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, the world record score for 1980s arcade hit Donkey Kong has been kind of a big deal. For years, the existing record seemed nigh-on unbeatable, with players pouring their hearts, souls, and stacks of quarters into ageing arcade machines in the name of claiming the title for themselves.

But now there’s a new score to beat, and it comes from a relative newcomer, no less.

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LA hotel gets ready for Hello Kitty expo with themed hotel rooms, food

LA hotel gets ready for Hello Kitty expo with themed hotel rooms, food

Now that the whole debacle over Hello Kitty’s identity is settled, fans can get back to other things, like preparing for the first ever Hello Kitty convention, set to take place from October 30 to November 2 in Los Angeles.

And, at least in that small corner of town, everyone is ready. The Line, the official hotel of the convention, is trotting out special Hello Kitty-themed rooms, and a Hello Kitty Spam musubi by chef Roy Choi.

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New toy from Takara Tomy transforms eggs into custard pudding in just a few cranks of a handle

New toy from Takara Tomy transforms eggs into custard pudding in just a few cranks of a handle

Although Japan’s purin (crème caramel/flan) differs somewhat from other countries’, everyone has those days where you just want to down a cup or two of the stuff due to some inexplicable craving. Other times you’re sitting there with a regular old cup of instant ramen and want to liven things up with that great custard taste mixed in.

The problem is that purin usually isn’t always at hand, so these cravings require a trip to the corner store or supermarket. But what if you could make your own custard pudding with minimal effort and using only a single egg? And what if you didn’t even have to break that egg to make it?

This dream may become a reality if an upcoming toy from Japan’s Takara Tomy Arts does what its amazing ad claims.

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Man gets rude awakening as 40kg lump of iron blasts through wall, lands just feet from his pillow

Man gets rude awakening as 40kg lump of iron blasts through wall, lands just feet from his pillow

One of the great things about living in this modern society, apart from all the creature comforts like smartphones and underpants for said smartphone, is that we no longer have to live in fear of being struck down by cannonballs hurtling through the air around us.

At least for the most part we don’t. But every once in a blue moon someone might just find a 40kg (88lbs) lump of iron blasting through the wall of their home and landing right next to where they are sleeping. This time that unlucky person was one Keiya Yamamoto of Kawasaki City.

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Tenga for trash: Adults-only event offering masturbatory toys in return for spotless beaches

Tenga for trash: Adults-only event offering masturbatory toys in return for spotless beaches

As we’ve seen before, many beaches across Japan are in dire need of a clean-up. It’s a major problem that requires a lot of time and effort to remedy. Of course it’s at times like these that we usually look to the adult entertainment industry for solutions.

Sure enough, like the social crusaders they are, the major masturbation aid brand Tenga has stepped up and is cooperating with environmental group Umi Sakura on the Umi Sakura Over-18 Trash Pick-Up.

The reason this event is restricted to adults is that for every bag of trash collected, volunteers are rewarded with a free Tenga pleasure device.

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Yahoo! Japan’s “50%-off” campaign isn’t quite what it seems

Yahoo! Japan’s “50%-off” campaign isn’t quite what it seems

When Japan’s Yahoo! Shopping introduced their 15-year anniversary sale with the promise of ‘50% off’, people were of course looking forward to getting their hands on some half-price bargains. However, the products on offer turned out to be nothing like anyone was expecting…

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