weird

“Eiffel Tower nose” cosmetic surgery inexplicably trending in China

“Eiffel Tower nose” cosmetic surgery inexplicably trending in China

This sentence is a mouthful: According to Japanese media, Chinese media is reporting that, according to German media, Chinese kids are getting a strange cosmetic surgery known as “Eiffel Tower nose” in record numbers in order to get ahead in their careers.

Despite the fact that we have no idea what “Eiffel Tower nose” is, it is apparently a surgery so extreme that some Chinese college graduates feel it helps set them apart visually from others in the job race.

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Jesus joins Japanese and African distance runners in Tokyo Marathon

Jesus joins Japanese and African distance runners in Tokyo Marathon

Last Sunday, the eighth iteration of the Tokyo Marathon was held, with Kenyan Dickson Chumba and Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye setting new men’s and women’s course records, respectively. In fact, the two African nations dominated the race, with citizens accounting for the top seven male finishers as well as the first five women to cross the finish line.

However, somewhere farther back in the pack plenty of attention was given to a Japanese runner dressed as one of history’s most famous natives of the Middle East: Jesus.

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Tokyo hamburger vending machine has a human touch

Tokyo hamburger vending machine has a human touch

Japan is a wonderland of vending machines, and in many ways they’re great. They’re well-maintained, almost always take bills on the first try, and never judge you as pay for a bottle of hard liquor entirely in 10 yen coins.

Sometimes, though, doing a complete end run around human contact can make the purchasing process feel a little lonely. So when we heard about a restaurant where the vending machines had a human element, as well as delicious yet cheap hamburgers, we knew we had to check it out.

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Japanese zipper maker and British artist team up to create futuristic headwear/terror

Japanese zipper maker and British artist team up to create futuristic headwear/terror

On the surface, Japanese zipper manufacturer YKK occupies an enviable position. The company’s global market share is estimated at as high as 90 percent, and until technology finally makes good on Back to the Future II’s promise of self-attaching apparel, future demand for the company’s products is likely to remain strong.

That said, zippers aren’t the most glamorous field to work in. As with any manufactured good, there’s obviously a tremendous amount of engineering and logistics talent at YKK, but it’s not hard to imagine the company wanting a moment in the limelight, something that demands a little more attention.

Well, YKK’s collaboration with British designer Ava Rajcevic is sure to get plenty of attention, at least for as long as people can look at it without the horror warping their minds.

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It’s high time for a knee-high sock smartphone game

It’s high time for a knee-high sock smartphone game

Japan’s got a somewhat unusual obsession with knee-high socks, with enthusiasts having come up with no fewer than two days a year to celebrate their love of thin-covering legwear. Of course, the country has the other, less unusual fetish of exposed skin.

But what about smartphone users who can’t pick between the two? Isn’t there a way to satisfy both their cravings at once?

Why yes there is, with a new app that lets users swipe the screen to make a model raise or lower her socks.

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6 strange laws to take note of before embarking on your worldly travels

6 strange laws to take note of before embarking on your worldly travels

Who doesn’t love a good vacation? Particularly for working adults, it’s the only time we can take a step back from our hectic work lives, unleash the wild-child within us, and perhaps do something silly without worrying about (too many) repercussions since we’ll be jetting off in a couple of days.

But wait, hold your horses! The last thing you would want to do on an overseas vacation is to unknowingly breach the law, right? Some of the things that we normally do in our homeland might be illegal in other parts of the world. Things as normal as ladies wearing pants. Strange, huh? There’s more coming up!

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Chocolate kakigori may be delicious, but looks like flaming pile of poo

Chocolate kakigori may be delicious, but looks like flaming pile of poo

A restaurant in the trendy Shimokitazawa neighborhood of Tokyo thought they would get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day by offering a limited edition chocolate kakigori, a traditional Japanese snack that involves putting toppings on shaved ice. There was only one small problem…

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Anything is fair game for advertisement trucks in Tokyo

Anything is fair game for advertisement trucks in Tokyo

If you spend some time walking around the Shibuya, Shinjuku, or Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo, at some point you’re bound to spot a lavishly decorated truck blasting music from its speakers. These “ad trucks” as they’re known in Japanese are just what they sound  like - gigantic, mobile billboards with no purpose other than to drive around promoting the latest music and products. While these trucks do raise some legitimate environmental concerns, there’s no denying that this eye-catching (and deafening) marketing strategy is an effective way to grab everyone’s attention. Keep reading after the jump to view some photographic examples of ad trucks in action. You might be surprised by some of the wacky and suggestive things they can get away with!

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Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

I’ve never been bothered by being asked for proof of age when buying beer. Maybe it’s because even when I was 16 I apparently already looked old enough that strangers in convenience store parking lots would ask me to buy a six pack for them, but I never took a clerk asking to see my ID as an insult. I simply accepted it as part of the societal dance necessary to procure my beloved barley juice.

Some drinkers in Japan, though, take offense at being asked for proof that they’re not minors. The Aeon Group, one of Japan’s largest retailers, has responded with a generous change in policy, and will no longer ask certain customers for confirmation of age, despite the fact that Japan’s underage drinking prevention is already ridiculously easy to circumvent.

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Japanese dentistry student makes chocolate teeth for Valentine’s Day

Japanese dentistry student makes chocolate teeth for Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day in Japan, and as the tradition goes, women and young ladies across the country have been busy preparing homemade chocolates to give out to male friends, colleagues, and that special someone. But we’re not quite sure the recipients of these grotesquely accurate chocolate teeth will be too thrilled. Uh…do you eat it one tooth at a time?

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From hot spring to hot pot: One restaurant in Tokyo is actually serving wild monkey

From hot spring to hot pot: One restaurant in Tokyo is actually serving wild monkey

Imagine yourself sitting down to a delicious warming winter meal. There’s nothing like nabe (Japanese hot pot) on a dark, cold evening. And there are so many choices! Pork, chicken, fish, seafood, monkey… Hang on a second … MONKEY?!

As soon as they heard that monkey hot-pot was on the menu at the Sakagura Niigata restaurant in Tokyo, a reporter from our Japanese sister site headed out to find out if it could possibly be true. Here’s what they found.

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Mint chocolate beer sounds great, but how does it taste? We find out

Mint chocolate beer sounds great, but how does it taste? We find out

Every year at Valentine’s Day, a slew of limited-edition chocolates are rolled out in Japan, where following the local custom, women give gifts to men. Unfortunately, while there are indeed plenty of guys with a sweet tooth, few of them really want candies shaped like butterflies and rosebuds.

Thankfully, there are a handful of more masculine alternatives, such as the Final Fantasy chocolates we recently introduced you to. But you know what’s even more manly than a video game about a dude killing monsters with a giant sword while his hot martial artist girlfriend cheers him on? Booze. Which is why today we’re knocking back a mint chocolate beer.

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I wanna have your baby! Japanese women rank nationalities by desirablity of their baby batter

I wanna have your baby! Japanese women rank nationalities by desirablity of their baby batter

Recently, 30-something Japanese women actively seeking a marriage partner were interviewed to see what nationality they would most like to father their children. Did your country make the list? Read on to find out!

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Do try this at home! 5 foods that you can recreate in taste by combining other foods

Do try this at home! 5 foods that you can recreate in taste by combining other foods

Have you ever had an experience when you ate two different foods at once, and the resulting flavor tasted like a completely different food? If yes, then don’t worry, because apparently your taste buds aren’t going crazy. Kyushu University in Japan recently publicized a list of different food combinations that mirror this phenomenon based on actual scientific research. Some of them are so outrageous that you won’t believe it until you actually try making them yourself!

Here’s a little question to get you started: What two food items should you combine in order to produce the flavor of corn soup? The answer and four more recipes after the jump.

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Insult or homage? Lady (Taking a) Liberty toys have us scratching our heads

Insult or homage? Lady (Taking a) Liberty toys have us scratching our heads

We’ve covered the strange world of gachapon toys on this site before. They are those vending machines that spit out an item in a plastic egg, and any bank of gachapon machines in Japan is sure to have a few bizarre offerings. Twitter user @dradon3 recently spotted this mystifying toy depicting the Statue of Liberty feeling free enough to let it all hang out. Says the ad copy, “Be free from all restraints that bind you.”

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3D animated gifs will take your brain to another dimension

3D animated gifs will take your brain to another dimension

Animated gifs have been knocking around on the Internet since the early ’90s; it’s about time they had an update, really. Well as luck would have it, these gifs have gone 3D! The effect is achieved by the simple addition of two vertical white lines, meaning you don’t even need your 3D glasses to enjoy them! We take a look at six of the best, as animated gifs leap into the 21st century.

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Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Back in the early heyday of the iPod, its distinctive white in-ear headphones were blamed for a sharp rise in street robbery in London because they identified the wearer as having a fancy music player valuable enough to be worth stealing. If the newest product released by Shanghai-based company King Jim takes off, though, the next zombie-like commuter you see wearing headphones might not be able to listen to any music at all thanks to Digital Earplugs (Dijitaru Mimisen in Japanese). The new device looks just like regular white headphones, but they’re not for playing your favourite tunes. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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Quiz of the Week: Round 6 (Now made with the tears of sad children*)

Quiz of the Week: Round 6 (Now made with the tears of sad children*)

*made from concentrate

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to round 6 of our weekly multiple choice quiz! We hope you’ve all had a great week and enjoyed the news we’ve had to offer, and of course that you’ve been paying close attention, because as you should probably know by now, this quiz is by no means a walk in the park–it takes years of repeated head trauma to get into this kind of mindset.

So step inside and let’s see how much of newshound you are!

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Glowing man spotted on the last train home in Tokyo

Glowing man spotted on the last train home in Tokyo

Early this morning, a peculiar fellow was spotted riding the rails in Tokyo. Wrapped in layers of lights and adorned in pink pinwheels, he didn’t even bother sitting in the half-empty carriage. Just what was this glowing man doing on the last train home? The answer may surprise you.

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Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

As completely fictitious forms of media, we usually don’t see the characters in anime and manga suffering the physical ill effects of their action-packed lifestyles. Shouldn’t Evangelion’s Shinji have severe whiplash from all the times his scrawny frame gets tossed around while piloting his giant robot? How does Kenshiro, hero of post-apocalyptic epic Fist of the North Star, not get a wicked eye infection after spending the whole of his adult life wandering a desert wasteland without so much as bottle of eye drops?

The answer, of course, is that those aren’t what Evangelion and Fist of the North Star are about (they’re about turning humanity into delicious Tang and making dudes’ heads explode, respectively). But by skipping over these real world problems, are creators missing an opportunity to make their characters more nuanced, relatable, and ultimately, attractive?

At least one artist seems to think so, as a new manga series has just begun featuring a cast of handsome men all suffering from physical ailments such as hay fever and stiff shoulders.

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