The future is finally here. Hollywood told us that by the time the year 20XX arrived we’d all be living in sky bubbles, getting our meals in pill form and having our bodily waste carry itself out of us in the form of perfumed butterflies that then explode into dollar bills (or was that just a dream I had?), and as the years ticked by we were becoming increasingly tetchy that none of this was becoming a reality. But now, the Japanese government has announced plans to roll out special “nursing robots” that will assist care givers and help prepare the country for the inevitable time when almost 40 percent of the population will be aged 65 or older.
An article published in a special edition of Japanese weekly Shukan Bunshu has suggested that potentially hazardous chicken sourced from China may be finding its way into fast food in Japan. The article, composed by writer Shuuji Okuno, begins by posing the following question:
“Would you still be willing to put a chicken nugget in your mouth if you knew the real story? The hazards of China’s domestic chicken meat!”
Our attention well and truly grabbed, we delved inside. Read More
It was revealed on April 20 that millions of condoms that had been freely distributed in the Republic of Ghana, West Africa, are being recalled after they were found to contain holes or susceptible to tears and bursting.
In the past decade or so, the widespread use of computers in both the public and private sphere has seen the personal computer become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Whether it be creating a chart of company expenditures or simply recording important appointments in a software-based diary, almost all of our work has been a layer of digital varnish. The birth of the laptop computer has meant that work can be done virtually anywhere, with a wealth of information available in a few clicks and taps of the keyboard. As wonderful as all this is, it’s easy to overlook some of the problems that arise from a computer-centric life. Here we’ll take a good, hard look at the downside to spending the vast majority of our day plugging in and screen-facing.
Have you ever had one of those nights when you’re starving but had no food in the house? Struggling for ideas you scrounge up two slices of bread and a tube of toothpaste- it almost looks like a marshmallow fluff sandwich. For those daring enough to try it, chances of cramping and diarrhea await due to the various additives such as fluoride.
It’s the eternal dilemma: toothpaste tastes great, and yet if we eat it we’re told that we can get sick or in the case of copious amounts even die. Why do we torture ourselves by keeping little tasty tubes of poison around the house?
Soon we may not have to anymore thanks to Neonisin, an all-natural and completely edible toothpaste that is just as efficient against germs as regular chemical-laden brands.
Kao Japan is preparing to release the newest addition to their line of Healthya brand health drinks. In addition to their existing collection of waters and teas, things are getting a little more flavorful with fat-burning “Healthya Coffee.”
A Taiwanese couple, a 55-year old man and 52-year old woman, have divorced after four years living in separate apartments following the woman’s wedding night discovery that her new husband’s member appeared to have a severe case of dwarfism.
Despite being famous for producing the heated, buttock-massaging, water-spraying robotic toilets of the future, Japan is also home to a surprising number of old-school “washiki” (Japanese style) squat toilets. Especially outside of the city, these toilets can still be found in many homes, public buildings and schools, despite the vast majority of the younger generation positively recoiling whenever they open a stall door to find one of these things waiting to humbly accept their waste.
According to Internet chatter this week, though, there may actually be more benefits to using Japanese-style toilets than simply good posture, with “hygienic”, “time-saving” and “strengthening” just some of the words being used to describe these classic ceramics.
Fujitsu Labs recently announced it is finalizing technology which lets you check and monitor your pulse just by pointing a camera at your face. The company claims results can be achieved in as little as five seconds and doesn’t require complicated procedures or extra equipment.
The technology is compatible with ordinary smartphones as well as tablets, laptops, or desktops as long as they’re equipped with a camera.
As part of its ongoing efforts to bring peace of mind to city residents following the accident at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Tokyo’s Komae City will meticulously measure airborne radiation levels along all roadways within city limits and provide citizens with easy-to-understand information regarding the readings. Additionally, having only inspected radiation levels of school lunch ingredients once before, the city announced on Feb. 21 that it would reintroduce such checks on the foodstuffs comprising the noontime meals.
Suspiciously, less than a week after the announcement of the checks, Kenji Matsuyama, president of Mitaka Food Services Center, told the city his firm would not renew its contract to provide the city’s junior high schools with lunches.
Kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish from Korea that is often referred to as “Korea’s national dish.” It’s so pungent that those who enjoy eating copious amounts of kimchi have been known to purchase a separate fridge dedicated to storing it. For decades, Korean mothers have sworn by the health benefits of adding kimchi to one’s diet, but now it seems scientists agree as well. New research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that eating even a small amount of kimchi every day may help lower cholesterol, LDL (“bad cholesterol”), and fasting blood glucose levels.
In just 10 days’ time, two years will have passed since the magnitude-9.03 earthquake off the coast of Northeastern Japan shook the country to its core. The resulting tsunami killed thousands of people living in coastal areas and knocked out power to cooling systems at the now infamous Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which ultimately led to the incident that has been cited by many as the worse nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. People living nearby were ordered to evacuate, and thousands more from surrounding areas fled for fear of being exposed to radiation. Many have never returned.
Despite some areas of Fukushima remaining unsafe to enter, with a population of nearly 2 million, life goes on in the troubled prefecture. Kids go to school; parents go to work; people are doing their best to get back to normal.
According to one former Fukushima resident, however, there is something very much amiss in the prefecture. An uncomfortable air of forced self-assurance pervades many towns, and the general message of “all is well” is repeated ad nauseam, with those who go against the grain met with disdain and reproach.
Anyone with allergies can tell you that they suck pretty hard. Particularly in Japan, the high density of cedar trees has hay fever sufferers throwing on masks for several months of the year starting about now.
To our rescue comes Koji Kawahara, Professor of Cellular Engineering at Kitakyushu National College of Technology who last year found a component in strawberries which eases allergic reactions.
Professor Kawahara presented his findings at an international biology expo and filed for an international patent. He will likely synthesize the active ingredient into pill form, but can simply adding strawberries to our diet do the trick too?
As regular readers may recall, despite being a big hairy beast of an Englishman, this writer has kind of a soft spot for head spa treatments. Although I used to abhor the very thought of entering a salon and allowing a stranger to wash and massage my scalp while being surrounded by guys with floppy fringes and women having their hair dyed orange, I have become such a fan of Japanese head spas since my wife first dragged me along to try one that I now make a point of getting one every month without fail. It probably helps that it’s usually a pretty girl who’s cradling my lumpy Shrek head and running her fingernails through my hair, but it’s nothing short of bliss.
So when I caught sight of the new Mondaile Head Spa iD3 headset from Breo I was genuinely intrigued. It certainly looked futuristic enough to have the potential, but surely a pile of plastic and wires couldn’t really come close to my living, breathing masseuse’s skilled fingertips? The tech lovers over at Japan’s Web R25 put the unit through its paces and proclaimed it “a must” for gadget lovers, but judging from the reactions of at least one everyday user, the device is not without its quirks.
Men and women have been known to do some extreme things in the name of health and beauty. Spas and salons around the world have attempted to sell all types of tonics and creams to relax muscles and make skin smoother for generations, but none of them can even come close to the beauty treatment depicted in a photo posted to Chinese message board tt.mop late last week.
Along with the caption, “My mom went to get her face done at the beauty salon so I went with her. What I saw… instantly shocked me… I couldn’t look,” this photo blew our minds. Although the daughter claims that she wasn’t able to look, she was seemingly able to take a pretty clear picture for us all to see.
This type of treatment is actually not as unique as you might think. Called Huǒ liáo (fire treatment) it is a widely practiced form of alternative therapy. Nevertheless it’s still pretty terrifying to look at.
Research teams at McGill University in Canada and Japanese scientific institute RIKEN have successfully zoned in on the region of the brain connected to smokers’ urge to light up.
On top of that, they found that by manipulating the brain’s electric activity around that region they could reduce a person’s desire to smoke. While this is great news for addiction treatment, the idea of noninvasively controlling people’s wants is a troubling concept.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) during the period of 14-20 January, the number of influenza cases in the country has exceeded 110,000.
Schools and facilities for the elderly across Japan have been pushing a traditional three pronged attack against the flu virus. First, hand washing is a no-brainer (or at least it out to be). Also, anyone who has been to Japan has probably experienced the country’s love of surgical masks.
The third line of defense, however, is rather unique to Japan: gargling. Although gargling is embraced worldwide as a soothing massage for throats sore from overuse or illness, in Japan it has been widely regarded for generations as a preventative measure against cold or flu viruses.
Some foods are so spicy that consuming them can leave the more intolerant of us with an upset stomach. It was once believed that eating lots of spicy food could even cause gastric ulcers—a break in the tissue lining of the stomach—but this has since been proven false, the credit stolen by a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. If you find yourself retching with pain after lunch at an Indian food buffet, you’ve likely aggravated an existing condition and should probably have it checked out.
So as colorful as the expression is, eating spicy food can’t actually “burn a hole in your stomach”. At least, it shouldn’t be able to, which is why doctors at a hospital in Wuhan, China, were scratching their heads when a 26-year-old man with no history of gastrointestinal disorders was brought in after eating soup so spicy that it opened a hole in the wall of his stomach.
Hmmm, I’m getting notes of sandalwood, rosemary and a hint of boiled cabbage…
We kid you not; there are people out there being paid to smell others’ farts and diagnose physical health based on their various odours. And not only that, it pays well, with reports of professional fart smellers in China being paid up to US$50,000 per year.
Think you’ve got what it takes to hone your hooter and examine anal emissions? Read on.
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