safety

“Daaangerrrr!” Fukuoka town experiments with new road markings

“Daaangerrrr!” Fukuoka town experiments with new road markings

Road signs are a dime a dozen out there. The typical driver usually only focuses on what is directly in front of their car, oblivious to almost everything else. Advertisers know though, that it is possible to catch the eye of the driver. They choose strange images or bold words to catch their attention. It really works! How many times can you remember looking at a sign because it was abnormal?

A small town in Fukuoka Prefecture has been taking notes and have come up with their own unusual traffic signs to help slow down cars on some of their dangerous roads.

Read More

South Korea establishes special task force to combat escalators and elevators

South Korea establishes special task force to combat escalators and elevators

They kill scores of people annually around the world. They have no motive or ideology and can’t be reasoned with, and yet we rely on them every day because stairs are a real pain.

I’m talking of course about escalators and elevators which caused nearly 300 deaths in the USA in the 90s and injured over 700 Koreans in the past five years leaving 50 for dead. Still with all this carnage the human race continues to embrace these death traps simply because they can get us to other floors quickly.

Not any more, says South Korea’s Ministry of Security and Public Administration (MOSPA), which has created the Elevator and Escalator Safety Division.

Read More

Tsunami survival by the numbers, it doesn’t take much

Tsunami survival by the numbers, it doesn’t take much

It shouldn’t be hard to remember the sheer force that a tsunami can unleash on land. And with the recent quakes in Chile, many parts of the world wonder if another is not too far away.  But there’s an important thing about a tsunami that is not often discussed, and that’s how big it has to be to jeopardize your life.

Recently a Twitter user posted a photo of this safety poster which has caused those who saw it to wish it was seen all over the country. You might be able to understand this graphic which shows the water level versus the probability of death without understanding the Japanese, but let’s look at it a little more closely.

Read More

Simulation shows the chaotic consequences of walking in Shibuya while staring at your phone

Simulation shows the chaotic consequences of walking in Shibuya while staring at your phone

In recent years, Shibuya’s scramble intersection has shot to international fame as a symbol of the sheer energy and extreme congestion that can be found in downtown Tokyo. The five-road nexus is one of the busiest crossings in the world, and it’s not unusual to see as many as 1,500 people making their way across it – usually in opposite directions – when traffic in all directions stops.

With such a massive amount of pedestrians trying to get to the other side, navigating the scramble intersection without careening into anyone can be a tricky affair, especially with three giant video screens and several times as many mini-skirted legs pulling your attention away. But what if we added yet another distraction, in the form of every single person staring at their smartphone as they crossed? How many collisions would we see then? 10? 20? 50?

Try hundreds.

Read More

Cover up out there! 21 dead in Japan from virus spread by mites

Cover up out there! 21 dead in Japan from virus spread by mites

In general, Japan has very few animals that’ll kill you, as most local wildlife falls outside the three danger areas that trained zoologists refer to technically as poisonous, gigantic, and fangy.

However, you only need to kill a man once to show him you mean business. A check mark in any one of those boxes is cause for concern, which is why authorities in Japan are warning people about deadly poisonous mites that’ve been found in the country.

Read More

Cyclist in Tokyo ordered to pay $459,000 after collision leaves 74-year-old woman dead

Cyclist in Tokyo ordered to pay $459,000 after collision leaves 74-year-old woman dead

A Tokyo court has ruled that a cyclist must pay 47 million yen (US$459,000) to the family of a 75-year-old women he collided with and killed in 2010.

The pensioner, one Mrs. Mitsuhiro Azuma, was struck by the cyclist on a pedestrian crossing in Tokyo’s Ota Ward after he ignored a red light. The court heard that Mrs. Azuma suffered a head wound when she was knocked to the ground, from which she died five days later.

Read More

More than two years on, many in Japan still uncertain about food from around Fukushima

More than two years on, many in Japan still uncertain about food from around Fukushima

When the announcement was made that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympic Games, there was much reason for celebration in Japan. Leading up to the decision, the Japanese leader for the Olympic bid emphatically stressed that the Fukushima disaster would have no impact on life in Tokyo–a claim that was reiterated after the bid was won.

Around that time, a cartoon appeared in a French newspaper depicting mutating sumo wrestlers in front of radiation suit wearing spectators. The Japanese government took issue with it and angrily reaffirmed the safety of the rest of Japan. Still, among many of the citizens, there is sneaking yet widespread suspicion over how safe the Tohoku and Kanto regions actually are, especially with regards to their food products.

Read More

How to survive an earthquake (or zombie outbreak): Expert advice and items to prepare

How to survive an earthquake (or zombie outbreak): Expert advice and items to prepare

Being the most earthquake-prone country in the world, earthquake drills are as common in schools in Japan as fire drills are in the West. Knowledge of what to do and how to prepare for big quakes is essential, but many foreigners visiting or living in Japan are simply not used to larger tremors and have little or no idea how to respond should the earth start to rumble. Thankfully, even in Japan the chances of being hurt or killed in an earthquake are relatively slim, but it’s important to know what you can do to prepare. Combining our own first-hand experience with the expert advice of a seismologist from the California Institute of Technology, the following article not only discusses how best to respond in the event of an earthquake, but also lists the essential items that anyone living in Japan or any other earthquake-prone country should have stowed away in their earthquake preparedness kit.

Talking safety is never the most exciting subject, and no one’s asking you to go all Dwight Schrute and build a nuclear fallout shelter here, but it pays to be ready. And if the thought of tooling up in the name of earthquake preparedness fails to get your heart pumping, simply substitute the word “earthquake” for “zombie outbreak” and the process will become infinitely more fun.

Read More

Tokyo police issue advice to women on safe use of elevators, includes button mashing

Tokyo police issue advice to women on safe use of elevators, includes button mashing

Which of the above locations, from A to E, would you consider the safest when riding an elevator with a person you don’t know or are suspicious of? Chances are you’ve never really thought about it, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department recently published the following safety information intended to educate women about riding elevators alone with men, advising them of what to do should they feel uncomfortable.

Read More

Time to Get Rid of Those Ugly Radiation Suits, Teijin to Unveil Radiation-Proof Fabric

Time to Get Rid of Those Ugly Radiation Suits, Teijin to Unveil Radiation-Proof Fabric

It’s often sad to see the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant or any other radioactive site around the world. It’s a dangerous job that requires brave workers, and brave workers deserve a cool looking uniform. Firefighters get those axes and huge trench coats, police often have cool looking bulletproof vests, but workers in areas of high radiation have to wear those white or yellow suits that look like trash bags.

Thankfully, this sad state of affairs may soon change with the development of a fabric which blocks x-ray and gamma-ray radiation.

Read More

One Shanghai Building’s Answer to Disaster Preparedness: Wacky Fun Slide!

One Shanghai Building’s Answer to Disaster Preparedness: Wacky Fun Slide!

East Asia is an especially disaster-prone part of the world. Threats of earthquakes, flooding and typhoons, just to name a few are always lingering. In these instances it may be important to evacuate a building as quickly as possible.

One building in Shanghai seems to have engineered an elegant solution to this which they say can evacuate a fifth floor tenant in 14 seconds: a wacky fun slide.

Read More

SRF’s Earthquake Protection Strips Give New Meaning to “Band-Aid Solution”

SRF’s Earthquake Protection Strips Give New Meaning to “Band-Aid Solution”

Dr. Shunichi Igarashi has surprised even himself with his line of Super Reinforcement with Flexibility (SRF) technology. SRF basically involves wrapping the columns and walls of building in adhesive strips.

The idea of gluing fabric on a building to protect it from the sheer force of an earthquake doesn’t sound very comforting. However, when Dr. Igarashi’s SRF was put to the test in the Great Tohoku Earthquake on 11 March, 2011, it passed with flying colors.

Read More

Bad at Reverse Parking? Would a Back Seat that Vanishes at the Touch of a Button Help?

Bad at Reverse Parking? Would a Back Seat that Vanishes at the Touch of a Button Help?

The clever minds at prestigious Keio University in Tokyo have created a new device that makes the rear seat “disappear” when reversing, and have released a new video demonstrating how, with its help, the sometimes arduous task of reversing into a space could soon become a breeze.

Tinkering around with a modified Toyota Prius, the university’s graduate research team have been putting their latest technology through its paces by having a driver with a particular fear of reverse parking give the maneuver a shot both with and without the device installed…

Read More

Nissan’s New Safety Technology Wrestles Control of the Wheel from Drivers Facing Doom

Nissan’s New Safety Technology Wrestles Control of the Wheel from Drivers Facing Doom

As the world inches closer and closer to driverless cars, Nissan released a video demonstration of their newest precrash system, the Autonomous Emergency Steering System.  It utilizes an arrangement of camera, laser, and radar sensors to detect objects around your car and avoid potential collisions by commandeering the steering wheel.

In other words, if your car thinks it can drive better than you then it takes control of the wheel.

Read More

Seat Belt T-Shirt Pleases Lazy Chinese Drivers, Worries Police

Seat Belt T-Shirt Pleases Lazy Chinese Drivers, Worries Police

Some people seem intent on not fastening their seat belt while driving. You would think significantly increased risk of injury and death would be enough to pursued people to buckle up, especially when doing so only takes a few seconds.

Yet this is apparently too much hassle for some people in China, where a T-shirt designed to make it look like the wearer is wearing a seat belt has been selling faster than a driver throw out the front window shield during a head-on collision.

Read More