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Pic of the Week: Hey you, it’s time to vote! 【Update: Poll now closed】

Pic of the Week: Hey you, it’s time to vote! 【Update: Poll now closed】

As mentioned at the end of last week’s Pic of the Week, we’ve decided to open the contest up and make it as fair as possible by asking you, the good-looking, intelligent, art-appreciating people that you are, to decide this week’s overall winner.

So join us after the jump to see this week’s photos and vote on which you think deserves to win the right to be called Pic of the Week.

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Explosions in the kitchen: This is why you don’t heat canned coffee directly on the stove…

Explosions in the kitchen: This is why you don’t heat canned coffee directly on the stove…

One of our favorite things about Japan is the convenience of just about everything, especially the vending machines. Wherever you are, there’s at least one machine just waiting to quench your thirst–and all of them have any tired writer’s favorite drink: Coffee!

Even more conveniently, though, most machines offer a choice of hot or cold cans–but, of course, the cans will cool down if you don’t drink them right away. In which case you might be tempted to try heating your can up on the stove, like this Japanese Twitter user. That would be a bad idea.

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Pic of the Week, Round 1: WINNER!

Pic of the Week, Round 1: WINNER!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you have done us proud. Last week we asked you for your funny, cute, beautiful and inspiring photos from Japan and Asia, and by the beard of Mr. Sato did you provide!

Join us after the jump for our pic of the week, plus three honorable mentions!

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First Santa, now this?! Heartbreaking photo of garbage truck debunks “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” myth

First Santa, now this?! Heartbreaking photo of garbage truck debunks “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” myth

“Every time a child throws away a teddy bear, an angel molests a kitten.” Ok, I don’t know if there’s any truth to that, but we do know one dismal fact: reliable sources confirmed, once and for all, that not every bear that ever there was gets to gather for their picnic. On the bright and cruelly sunny morning of June 24, a vigilant Twitterer in Japan happened to take this arresting photo of a dejected teddy bear, being carried away to its fate by a waste management truck.

But dry your eyes, gentle readers, because a fellow Twitterer’s comment may offer a glimmer of hope!

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Chinese Air Force chasing UFO believed to have been caught on Google Maps

Chinese Air Force chasing UFO believed to have been caught on Google Maps

Back in September 2011, there were widespread flight cancellations across China that were blamed on inclement weather. It was an unusually large disruption to the air traffic across a large country, so some took to the net to ask “What was really going on?” One theory that arose was that the nation’s airspace had been shut down because the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force was engaging UFOs.

Over time, however, the rumors subsided and became the stuff that urban legends are made of. Until now, that is, as a discovery on Google Map’s satellite images has turned up what appears to be two planes following a rapidly moving, blurry white object. It’s an image that many are theorizing to be that legendary close encounter.

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“Umm… a little help?” Japanese Twitter user’s cat misjudges the size of potential new hangout

“Umm… a little help?” Japanese Twitter user’s cat misjudges the size of potential new hangout

Cats are odd creatures. On the one hand, they exert their power over their owners humans on a near daily basis, ignoring us when we call them despite their ears clearly twitching in our direction, pestering us with such skill that it’s almost like they get a kick out of it, and making us fall for that “come, tickle my belly, human… Now, feel my CLAWS!!!” ruse every single time. And yet they occasionally do things that are so incredibly stupid that we wonder how they survived this long as a species.

Case in point, this Twitter user’s cat, who, being fond of tight spaces, climbed into a shrink-wrapped case of mineral water bottles and proceeded to get itself well and truly stuck, looking mightily uncomfortable with its little face pressed up against the plastic and wearing an expression of “this is really not going as I had planned…”

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Buy it…or don’t, this cat doesn’t really care what you do

Buy it…or don’t, this cat doesn’t really care what you do

If you were a cat in a pet shop, wouldn’t you try your hardest to get someone to buy you? You know, stand up close to the glass and give ‘em your best purr, maybe playfully bat at a toy that has hopefully been provided for you. Anything’s better than sitting in a tiny box all day, right?

And then there’s this cat who doesn’t really care what you do. She’s just going to lounge around while you make up your mind.

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Forgetting to turn off flash on his phone camera got this Peeping Tom arrested【TomoNews Video】

Forgetting to turn off flash on his phone camera got this Peeping Tom arrested【TomoNews Video】

A voyeur was arrested by police in China’s southern Fujian province earlier this week after a neighbor caught him taking naked photos of her while she was in the shower.

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Delicious fried chicken or adorable puppies? You decide

Delicious fried chicken or adorable puppies? You decide

Take a quick look at the picture above. Does it make you hungry? Or did you uncontrollably scream out “cuuute!”? One Twitter user has been gaining a lot of attention for getting a bit of a grumble in his stomach at the sight of this image. But we really can’t blame him…they look so delicious!

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Computer equipment: the new way to keep your pet birds warm and happy?

Computer equipment: the new way to keep your pet birds warm and happy?

When you think about all the power our modern devices burn through each day, particularly when some of us leave our gear switched on when it really needn’t be, it seems like a tremendous waste. So why not put some of that lost heat energy to good use and keep your pets warm?*

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Kind-hearted yet cautious driver takes photo of fallen motorist before helping her up

Kind-hearted yet cautious driver takes photo of fallen motorist before helping her up

In recent years, the things to watch out for while driving on the road aren’t just green and red lights, reckless drivers in the next lane, or traffic police on your tail. Drivers now have to look out for con men who stage fraud accidents in order to rip a few big bucks off of you. Thankfully, we have technology on our side! In-vehicle cameras and the cameras on our mobile phones are great tools that could protect us from such “accidents”. A Chinese driver shows us how!

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Perfectly timed photo reminds us that life’s not all bad

Perfectly timed photo reminds us that life’s not all bad

Yes, it’s still only Wednesday, and that means we’re only half way through the week. But if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person like the little guy pictured above, that means we’re now half way through the week, and the weekend is in sight!

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Perfectly timed photo at sumo match captures moment of surprising beauty, sumo super powers

Perfectly timed photo at sumo match captures moment of surprising beauty, sumo super powers

Its popularity may be dwindling in today’s world of ultra-rich football and baseball teams and their players, but there’s something wonderfully dignified, almost majestic, about sumo. And as one photograph shared last weekend by the Japan Sumo Association shows, there is perhaps even more magic to be seen if only we could all just slow down and open our eyes a little more often.

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Girl builds herself a boyfriend out of soap bubbles

Girl builds herself a boyfriend out of soap bubbles

“I’m taking a bath with my boyfriend,” tweeted one Japanese netizen going by the name of Machiko, uploading a photo with her message. Despite the suggestion of sauciness, however, rather than being something that moderators would quickly remove or fellow users would tag as inappropriate, the image was retweeted and favourited thousands of times in just a few short minutes.

After all, it’s not every day you see a life-sized boyfriend made entirely out of soap bubbles…

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Blood money: Yesterday’s typhoon leaves one man in an awkward predicament

Blood money: Yesterday’s typhoon leaves one man in an awkward predicament

Tokyo may have escaped with only minor damage compared to poor old Kyoto during yesterday’s powerful typhoon, but it would appear that there is at least one Twitter user who suffered losses of a truly horrific nature.

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Summer of stupid 2013: a look back at some of Japan’s most obnoxious tweeted photos

Summer of stupid 2013: a look back at some of Japan’s most obnoxious tweeted photos

Summer vacation in Japan is quite short compared to other countries running only for around a month and a half. On top of that, with extra-curricular activities and homework to do during that time children still have limited freedom to enjoy themselves. When there’s some time to let loose, you bet they’re going to take it.

Combine that with the social phenomena of Middle Seconditis (Chu Ni Byo) wherein students in the second year of middle school undergo an unusually self-centered or rebellious phase. However, contrary to the name, Middle Seconditis can affect anyone at any time – especially if a freezer is nearby.

Thanks to the advent of social networks such as Twitter, we can now monitor the behavior of Middle Seconditis sufferers and try to find a cure for this dreaded disease. Let us examine some specimens.

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How has your city changed in 26 years?

How has your city changed in 26 years?

People change and places change given enough time, but have you ever seen a revolution of a skyline like this? China’s growth in the world stage can’t be ignored, and this simple photo comparison  says it all.

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The ultimate in bicycle security, and it doesn’t cost a penny!

The ultimate in bicycle security, and it doesn’t cost a penny!

Bicycle theft is no laughing matter, especially in Japan where bikes are widely relied upon for daily transportation. Luckily, a cheap and effective means of protecting your ride has surfaced on the internet, and it’s sure to send any would-be thieves packing.

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Old-timey Japanese women are not ones to be messed with

Old-timey Japanese women are not ones to be messed with

A photo surfaced on the internet recently which shows us a typical day at the office for a couple of ladies a long time ago in Japan. They look almost bored as they unload 300 kg (661 lbs) of rice each on their backs.

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Underwater snap will remove any fears you ever had about crocodiles

Underwater snap will remove any fears you ever had about crocodiles

If you were asked to imagine the behavioral traits of your average crocodile, surely the first thing that would come to mind is a creature floating on the surface of the water with a fixed look as it lies in wait for its prey. However, it may well be time to put such thoughts behind you. The following image of a crocodile swimming in its enclosure at a crocodile farm, which is currently doing the rounds online, is winning the hearts of thousands of Japanese.

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