weird

What’s the best way to market sea food? Why, dress a mannequin in it, of course!

Advertising is a big part of any business. In order to sell your product, you have to make it look appealing to customers in order to tempt them into making a purchase, and thinking of new, creative ways to advertise your goods can get pretty tricky.

However, we’re quite torn over whether this Seaweed Mandiscovered at a grocery store in China – is a stroke of advertising genius, or just a creepy, half-assed attempt at it.

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China’s ‘Rent-a-Foreigner’ industry is booming

Foreigners are being hired to pose as celebrities by Chinese real estate developers to help agents sell property in “ghost towns” by making them appear more animated and worldly, according to a new mini-documentary released by the New York Times.

Thanks to China’s overzealous property development, the supply of luxury apartment complexes in some of China’s most rural areas has far exceeded demand. But that doesn’t stop the sales pitches.

The Times’ David Borenstein traveled to provincial West China where he found firms that specialized in recruiting groups of expatriates who they would then rent out to attend events, the majority of which are hosted by real estate companies.

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Island village in Japan will pay for your dates, give you a cow if you moo-ve there

Earlier this month, a realtor in Kumamoto Prefecture had us all day-dreaming about living the rural lifestyle by offering a house by the sea, absolutely free. But while the promise of complimentary shelter is tempting, another small town in the Japanese countryside is trying to attract new residents by offering another popular survival requirement: food.

So if you’re craving some tasty Japanese beef, you might want to pack your bags and move to this tiny island community in Kyushu that’s welcoming newcomers by giving them their very own cow, and also paying for singles’ dates.

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Android app allegedly allows users to find and hire muscle to beat up whomever they want

One thing that Apple fans tend to bring out during the enormous Android vs iPhone flame wars is apps. While both systems have a huge number of applications, people often claim that those on iOS are either better or cover a broader range. We won’t even pretend to have an opinion on whether or not this is true, but it looks like Android may have Apple beat in at least one area! Though we’re not so sure Google will be proud of this accomplishment.

It looks like there might be an Android app in China that you can use to find some tough guys to rough people up for you!

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Possibly the most considerate pedestrian crossing button ever installed

Push-buttons at a pedestrian crossing are a pretty standard safety feature at most intersections.

But how long does a push button need to be? And we’re not talking about the length of time waiting once you press the push button, but the length of the actual push button…

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Japan’s awesome, eco-friendly, old-school water heaters (and how to use them)

Japan may seem like a futuristic wonderland, what with its high-tech toilets and their array of functions that clean your bottom, heat your cheeks, and even provide sound effects to cover the natural ones that accompany your bathroom business. But technology is constantly evolving at a rapid rate, and each new innovation replaces something that used to be cutting-edge.

Case in point; every spring, thousands of young Japanese people leave home and move into their first, low-rent apartment to start school or a new job, and you can expect at least a couple will be shocked when they go to take a shower, discover this giant contraption next to the tub, and have no idea what it does.

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Foreign tourist in Japan snaps a photo of the sea, his daughter, and maybe a ghost

Kanagawa Prefecture has some of the most popular beaches in Japan, especially along the section of the coast known as Shonan. A magnet for both locals and day trippers from Tokyo, when the sun is shining you’ll find a cross section of Japanese society in and around the water, including surfers, partying college students, couples, and families,

And, some claim, a ghost that was captured in the background of this photo a foreign traveler took of his daughter.

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Beautiful hotel on the Shikoku coast will make you feel like you’ve warped from Japan to Greece

Japan is an island nation. That means that wherever you go, you’re never all that far from good seafood, but also that you can’t get to any other countries without hopping on a plane or ocean liner.

So you might find yourself doing a double take when, while driving down the road in Kochi Prefecture, you come across a hotel that looks more like it belongs on the coast of Greece than Japan.

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Revealed! Japanese companies are putting hidden messages in their packaging!

You may have noticed that Japanese product packaging tends to be completely covered with text in a variety of fonts and styles. If you’ve ever taken the time to read any of it, you’ve probably realised that quite a bit of it seems to be particularly chatty, going beyond the usual product description in order to occasionally impart some philosophical wisdom or advice.

Some companies even go as far as to include hidden messages to communicate directly with the consumer. Check out this gallery of some of the best.

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10 of the craziest complaints Japanese people have heard from customers

Anyone who’s worked in a store, restaurant, or pretty much anywhere in the service industry knows the joy of interacting with customers. And it’s not just your country that has crazy customers, it’s a fact of humanity that transcends culture and language, Japan included.

So with that we bring you the top 10 tweets made with a hashtag that’s recently been getting very popular with Japanese twitter users: #ActualCustomerComplaints. We’re not 100-percent sure how true the “actual” part is, but they’re all so hilarious and painfully familiar that you’ll be too busy laughing and commiserating to mind.

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New recipe for BBQ Bacon Sushi may taste like happiness, but is it really sushi?

As you may have already guessed, the RocketNews24 office is pretty well stocked with adventurous eaters. Over the years, our staff have chowed down on deep-fried axolotl, chicken ramen ice cream, chocolate noodles, and more, but we’re always up for a new challenge to tantalize our (now mostly deadened) taste buds.

We’re also big sushi fans of course, so when we heard that there’s a new recipe out there for BBQ Bacon Sushi, we immediately started drooling over our keyboards like a bunch of Pavlovian puppies.

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This bananas Japanese commercial series is concentrated visual madness

If you were to listen only to the ramblings of Internet users, you might think that Japanese TV is a nonstop procession of bonkers commercials, ridiculous pornographic game shows and people in little windows reacting to other people reacting to delicious food.

Of course, that’s not entirely true. There are actually a fair few TV shows that cover serious subject matter, there are perfectly normal commercials that don’t induce madness and/or seizures, and sometimes there are actually shows not related at all to food (actually, that last bit may be a lie).

So where does Japan’s reputation for crazy television entertainment come from? Why, from the rare but totally bananas stuff that somehow actually finds its way on air from time to time, like this ludicrous television commercial series that makes absolutely no sense at all.

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Red skies and mud rain in China as apocalypse begins earlier than expected

Listen guys. I have some bad news. You might want to sit down for this.

The apocalypse is clearly happening right now, and if you’re in China, Mongolia or that general region, you may want to go ahead and kiss your loved ones goodbye, because Cthulhu himself, or some other terrible dark deity, is already sending warning of the end times in the form of blood-red skies and freaking black stuff raining from the heavens. Sorry, guys, but we’re clearly all doomed.

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Apple would rather you not blow up teen couples on your iPhone, asks developer to edit video game

In a lot of ways, digital distribution of video games is a great thing, as it allows developers to easily add new content to a title after its release. It’s a double-edged sword, though, and that same streamlined pathway from programmer to player can also be used to quickly make changes that take things away.

A few weeks ago, we took a look at a smartphone game whose lonely, jaded protagonist and his mystical, jaded companion use their powers to make affectionate couples meet with a host of calamities, including straight blowing them up. Apple, however, is not cool with this sort of vengeful fantasy, and so the iOS version of the game is being toned down and given a new name since the original title, Explode, Real Types! no longer describes the game’s contents.

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(Not so) cool beans! Watch these horrified US kids try natto for the first time!

Despite being slimy and smelly and stringy, fermented soybeans, or natto, are actually really good for you. We’ve spoken before about how even lots of Japanese people have to resort to special measures in order to stomach swallowing down a bowl of these stinky beans. So it’s no surprise that these US kids have such a hard time when they were presented with a bowl of natto for the first time.

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Lonely kids at all-boys school in Kyoto create giant bra out of curtains for invisible breasts

The logic behind single-gender schools is keep the pupils focused on their studies, and not the growing allure the opposite sex holds for them. Of course, it’s not so easy to make the adolescent male mind forget about the female form. As we’ve seen before, in the absence of real girls, sometimes boys will start making their own, maybe even out of thin air.

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TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO (Asakusa) will hold their second free gallery event, “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit,” for artists from April 29 until May 10. If you’re in Tokyo and into cool, sexy, and unusual art, you won’t want to miss it.

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“Sexy” Taiwanese cheerleading routines don’t seem to have much to do with sports 【Videos】

Not that Western cheerleading really has all that much to do with football or anything, and – last I checked – baseball in the US didn’t even have cheerleaders at all, but the logic goes that cheerleaders are there to get the crowd pumped up and into the competitive spirit. At least on paper, anyway.

In Taiwan, on the other hand, the cheerleaders at baseball games just kind of dance around in skimpy outfits like booth babes that got lost on their way to the auto show or something. It almost looks like they’re doing the exact opposite of what cheerleading is (ostensibly) all about, actually diverting spectators’ attention away from the game and pretty much guaranteeing that the men in the audience will need to remain seated (that’s a boner joke, you guys).

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Japanese Twitter user attempts British cuisine, ends up with monstrous fish dish from hell

As a British person living overseas, you get to hear a lot of negative stereotypes about your country’s cuisine. Generally, people think that we eat nothing but fish and chips, washed down by copious amounts of tea, and that the rest of our food is bland, unappetizing and poorly presented. But this couldn’t be further from the truth – British people are actually crazy about food and cooking, we’re obsessed with celebrity chefs and cooking shows, and Britain has plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants to be proud of.

Still, there’s certain aspects of British cuisine that are hard to defend, like the disgusting fish dish known as Stargazy Pie, which one Japanese Twitter user recently attempted, to horrifying results and plenty of ridicule…

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Ultra-Sushi-Go-Round is a thrilling, mouth-watering VR tour of the Tokyo skyline

As the development of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset continues, software developers are experimenting with ways to utilize the new piece of video gaming hardware. Given Japan’s well-known accepting attitude towards dating simulators and other, more adult forms of electronic entertainment, it wasn’t such a huge shock that the country is already hard at work on Oculus Rift games that allow you to date, peep at, at straight-up paw anime-style virtual girlfriends.

But how about a VR application that feels incredibly Japanese without simultaneously being incredibly pervy? In that case, perhaps this simulated roller coaster ride on a revolving sushi conveyor belt through the Tokyo skyline is more your style.

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