funny

We desperately want to hire these adorable Indian freelance “idols”

We’ve already seen a lot of “boyfriend for hire” stuff around Asia, which seems to be really into the idea of paying for romantic encounters, but until now we’ve never seen someone offering their boyish good looks and charming company for free.

Meet Dev and San, two kindhearted Indian models working as freelance “idols” – a popular term in Asia for models you can hire for a variety of situations – for the low, low price of absolutely nothing.

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How to make a Whack-a-Mole game your cat will love in just 60 seconds【Video】

Part of the appeal of cats is their air of sophistication. Compared to dogs, their simple-minded and eternal rivals, felines seem to exhibit a deeper appreciation of the finer things in life. Just like humans, they appear to understand the intrinsic value of gourmet food, luxurious surroundings, and, as this video shows, the most cultured pastime of all, whack-a-mole.

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Boob shirt comedy is off to the races, creativity is overflowing【Photos】

The other day, we brought you a new shirt that took Twitter by storm. Is this the peak of high fashion in Japan? Or just a shirt that reveals a couple of peaks? It didn’t take long for Internet users to take this shirt aimed at those well endowed and find more creative uses for it. And it’s not only women who are clamoring for the turtleneck this holiday season. Check out the pictures to see who else will be buying one and what they’ll be using it for!

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Skinny dude tries to prank chubby girl, gets owned instead 【Video】

This video of a skinny guy trying to push a chubbier woman into water has been going viral online this week. The girl, donning a jersey with the name ‘Satan’ written on it, was ambushed from behind, but just when you thought she was about to fall into the water…

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Fashion gone wrong? Boob shirts take Twitter by storm

Fashion can be a bit bewildering at times–we’re still not sure if we can wear Lady Gaga’s meat dress after Labor Day or not. So we’re don’t really want to start criticizing anyone’s fashion choices, even if we do have some serious questions. Like the “boob shirt” above that, for some inexplicable reason, went viral last week here in Japan.

Our guess is that Japanese Twitter users were applauding the economic use of fabric. Saving fabric is an essential part of reducing global warming, right?

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Famous Japanese television personality mimics what foreign languages sound like to non-speakers

Kazuyoshi Morita – better known as Tamori-san, the pet name that a loving Japanese public has addressed him by for decades – is one of the longest-running comedians to appear on Japanese TV. He’s been around so long, we assume he got his start doing stand-up before TVs were even invented.

In addition to being the longest-running host of a live television program, having hosted the widely beloved morning variety show Waratteii Tomou, Tamori-san is also famous for his talent in mono mane (doing impressions). While this is common knowledge in Japan, it apparently took a decade-or-so-old clip of a (still very old-looking) younger Tamori-chan doing spot-on impressions of what foreign languages sound like to non-speakers to wake the rest of the world up to his unique skill set.

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These “Engrish” T-shirts are kinda lame, compared to what we’re used to

Call us cynical, but we find that our standards over what constitutes funny Engrish have been changing.  Unless it’s something really hilarious, perhaps involving naughty words or references to embarrassing body parts, we just can’t muster up the same kind of enthusiasm we once had. When it comes to English that’s just a little bit off in certain ways, it’s sometimes just not that funny, especially when you understand the number of reasons why Engrish happens in the first place. However, visitors to Japan will always remember that first taste of Engrish fondly, even if the same example might fail to raise an eyebrow after a few years of acclimatizing. The last piece of Engrish I felt was worthy of documenting can be seen above – it’s a T-shirt from a store in Osaka and several years later it still blows my mind. However, there’s also plenty of pretty mediocre Engrish to be found, as we’ll demonstrate after the jump.

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Cute dog turns traditional fish pond into personal swimming pool【Photos】

If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you know that it can get really hot. It’s enough to make anyone look longingly at the nearest fountain, pond or puddle. Well, add a fur coat to that equation and I get why this Thai dog decided he wasn’t going to let a few guppies get in the way of a quick, cooling dip!

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Strange English signs in China and Japan really hate vegetables, sometimes threaten to kill you

We’ve talked before about some of the reasons why bizarre English signage pops up in Asia. One of the most common causes is a fundamental difference in the way sentences are structured between English and other languages. Automated translations programs, which aren’t nearly as well sorted out as many monolingual users believe, are also among the usual suspects.

That said, looking at a flawed translation is sort of like performing an autopsy, in that sometimes there’s a limit in what it can tell you. Just like the medical examiner might say, “Well, all the baby spiders hatching inside the subject’s eyeball definitely killed him, but I’ve got no idea how the eggs got in there,” there are times like these when we look at some garbled English, and, just like we can’t stifle our chuckles, we can’t imagine why the translation went flying off the rails, or if it was even on them to begin with.

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Policewoman’s posterior produces poetic justice as she arrests man she says groped her on train

Police in Hyogo Prefecture are reporting the arrest of a man suspected of being a chikan, Japan’s embarrassing subclass of perverts that grope unsuspecting women on crowded trains. The suspect’s capture wasn’t the result of a sophisticated sting or surveillance operation, though. As a matter of fact, the arresting officer didn’t even have to chase the man down, as the police claim he was caught red, and butt, handed when he grabbed the behind of a fellow passenger who’s also a policewoman.

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Most popular pet names in Japan for 2014 suggest owners obsessed with food

Earlier this week, we looked at popular baby names making the rounds this year in Japan and now we’ve discovered some data on what Japanese named their pets in 2014. The little guy above may be right to look concerned because almost every name on the list is food-related

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10 girls, 10 wall-pounds – Female kabe-don is here!

One of the biggest buzzwords of the year in Japan has been kabe-don. A staple of girls’ comics in Japan for years, kabe-don, literally “wall-pound,” has traditionally been the domain of guys clumsily expressing their feelings while leaning against the wall and fencing in the object of their amour with their outstretched arm.

We live in an age of increasing gender equality, though. Today, woman govern nations, helm corporations, and are highly capable of wreaking terrible violence upon their targets with their bare hands. As such, it’s only natural to assume that women are gradually shattering the barriers that have made the world of kabe-don practitioners a boys’ club until now, and as proof, we present these 10 videos of women flipping the script and showing off their kabe-don skills.

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No time to cook? Here’s how to make fried shrimp in just three seconds (with the right equipment)

One of Japan’s most popular cooking shows is Three-Minute Cooking. Broadcast by Nippon TV and sponsored by condiment maker Kewpie, the program does exactly what it promises, teaching people to make quick, tasty meals that take just three minutes of cooking.

Three-Minute Cooking started in 1963, though. In the busy 21st century, who can afford the luxury of spending that much time in the kitchen? It’s time for a faster, more modern way to cook dinner, which is where this video comes in with its demonstration of how to cook fried shrimp in just three seconds.

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Google’s English translation for short Japanese phrase hints at huge, TV-series-length backstory

As handy as online Japanese-to-English dictionaries are for looking up individual vocabulary words, automated translation programs tend to spit out much spottier results. A big part of the problem is how much more Japanese relies on context for meaning, which in turn means speakers can, and often do, abbreviate and omit whole words and phrases which human listeners can easily understand implicitly.

Automated programs, though, lack this ability, which means their translations are often missing vital elements needed for the sentence to make sense in English. It’s a problem software engineers and linguists are trying to address, but adding such soft logic to machines is a difficult endeavor.

In at least one case, though, the Google Translate team seems to have been too effective, as trying to convert a Japanese phrase meaning, “Goodbye, my beloved” into English produces a result that seems to have roughly 38 hours of backstory behind it.

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Japanese Twitter users celebrate Knee-High Socks Day with flirty and freaky snapshots

Since Japan is on the other side of the International Date Line from the U.S., while American families were sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, it was already Friday, November 28 in Japan. Even still, there were celebrations going on simultaneously in the two countries, as November 28 is also known in some circles in Japan as Knee-High Socks Day.

We feel it’s important to spread the word about this unofficial holiday, so just as we did 12 months ago, we’re back again with the Japanese Internet’s best contributions to the day’s festivities. This year, though, Knee-High Socks Day is about more than just appreciating female thighs, as Twitter users are putting their own weird and humorous spin on just who or what can participate.

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What do AV star Sola Aoi and Monkey King Sun Wukong have in common? Cheeky netizens explain

Journey to the West, which many in the West may have first encountered as Japanese TV series Monkey, is one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, read and loved by Chinese and international readers alike for its exciting storyline and charismatic characters, among which Sun Wukong–otherwise known as the Monkey King–is probably the most famed and adored.

But how could there possibly be any similarity between Sun Wukong (孙悟空) and one of Japan’s most popular adult video actresses, Sola Aoi (苍井空)? Apart from the obvious fact that they both have the Chinese character for sky (空) in their names, we didn’t think they had anything in common whatsoever, but Chinese fans had a clearer idea. The similarities pointed out were peppered puns and with innuendo, but they were so well-played that we couldn’t help but smile at some of them.

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In Japan, nothing says “Merry Christmas, Baby” like greasy convenience store chicken

We all know that KFC is a big, big deal in Japan around Christmas-time. Families order huge Christmas platters for the holiday and singles celebrate by inviting friends over and bringing home a bucket of Special Recipe.

While it may strike Westerners as a delightfully quirky example of holidays getting lost in translation this side of the Pacific, to the Japanese, it’s a cherished tradition. And, of course, a multi-million dollar cash cow for KFC; one that convenience store chains are always eager to get a piece of.

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Timpani drummer’s crazy finale is startling, funny, more metal than you’d expect from a symphony

There’s not a whole lot of crossover between the worlds of sports and classical music. Concert pianists generally don’t play the piano with one hand while dribbling a basketball with the other, and I can’t recall the last time I saw a proper squad of cheerleaders accompanying an orchestra.

Likewise, even though “Get your head in the game!” is one of the most commonly shouted phrases in sports, I don’t think you have concert-goers yelling “Get your head in the symphony!” Not that this drummer needed to be told that, though, as shown by the startling flourish he put on the end of his performance.

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Got a beef with Japan’s Christmas shortcakes? Then try one made out of chicken

I like Christmas. I get that some people feel it’s over-commercialized, but for me, I’m happy to see some nice decorations and have an excuse to get together with family and friends. Really, the only complaint I’ve got is the cake.

See, in Japan, you can’t celebrate Christmas without a cake. Ordinarily, adding cake to just about anything makes it better, with “a mug of beer” being the sole exception I’ve found so far. But almost every Christmas party here features the exact same “Christmas cake.” It’s basically a strawberry shortcake, which, by my criteria, is sorely lacking in the three most important ingredients of a really good cake, which are, in no particular order, chocolate frosting, chocolate sponge, and chocolate filling.

So if you’ve also got a beef with the standard Christmas cake, maybe you’d prefer one that’s made out of chicken.

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Unsettling softball-playing scarecrows keep Japanese town entertained, creeped out

Living in the Japanese countryside has many advantages, from access to the freshest produce to breathing clean air, but for many who love the big city, the slow-paced lifestyle and lack of attractions can make rural life quite boring.

But one Japanese man living in a town outside of Fukuoka in southern Japan is showing us life doesn’t have to be boring when you have access to several dozen scarecrows, old softball uniforms and an open rice field. Every November after the rice is harvested, he dresses scarecrows up as softball players and has them “play” a month-long game, keeping score the entire time.

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