Mac Denny

Writer / Translator

Mac Denny is a freelance Japanese-English translator and interpreter. Mac enjoys writing/translating for RocketNews24 because it gives him a chance to turn Japanese media writing on its head and use puns, sarcasm and double entendre in English at will.

Mac evaluated baseball players throughout Japan for Major League Baseball organizations for several years from a base in Kochi Prefecture and later from Tokyo. He specializes in translating and interpreting involving sports, tourism, transportation and environmental issues. He currently resides in California.

All Stories by Mac Denny

Demand for “Mini-Dam” Rain Barrels Triples in Year-Plus Since 3/11, Municipal Subsidies Available

A movement toward storing rainwater for emergency use seems to be afoot throughout Japan. Sanei Build System has reported threefold demand for its user-friendly “Mini-Dam” rain barrels in the wake of the March 11 disasters. 

The manufacturer has suggested retail prices of 50,000 yen for the 200-liter model and 120,000 yen for the 1,000-liter model, but it adds that certain municipalities will subsidize as much as half the retail price. Read More

TripAdvisor Ranks Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations For Foreign Visitors, Hiroshima Edges Kyoto For Top Spot

The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture maintained its popularity with two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Read More

Pack Your Boxes With Style: X Tape Gussies Up Plain Cardboard

In a world where all that existed to hold cardboard boxes together was normal brown packaging tape and cloth tapes, Korean designer Jeong-Min Lee saw a need and taped it up.

Lee’s snazzy “X Tape” spruces up spring cleaning and storage with eccentric designs printed on rolls of clear tape. Designs featuring metal hinges or leather straps can turn a plain cardboard box into a steamer trunk, and metal bolt and spiral notebook designs can add some fun to a gift or package. Read More

Lame Applicant Pool Plagues Don Quijote, Discount Superstore Posts Recruiting Fails

Part of the fun of visiting Don Quijote discount superstores is the vastly diverse clientele swarming the narrow aisles. People from all walks of life sort through the unique, chintzy merchandise and add a distinct flavor to the atmosphere inside the gaudy stores.

An atmosphere that Don Quijote apparently does not want to see behind the counter. The retail giant has put out an urgent call for “plain, normal people” on its online job postings after struggling to find even these very average folks in their latest round of recruiting in the Tokyo Metropolis.

In a frustrated cry for help, Don Quijote posted reasons why previous applicants had failed to measure up to its expectations on FromAnavi (the post has since been removed). Read More

New iPhone App Lets Users Throw Darts at Expensive, High-Tech Equipment

Want to let off some steam by throwing dangerous sporting equipment at expensive entertainment devices? Want to indulge your destructive, decadent side while testing your fine motor skills and depth perception? “Play Darts!” is the perfect iPhone app for you.

Play Darts! (“Daatsu Ni Shiyagare!”) is a new kind of game application that links iPhones to Smart TVs or computers. The user “throws” a dart shown on his iPhone to a target displayed on a distant Smart TV or PC by moving the iPhone through the air the same way he would throw an actual dart. The game is available for free on iTunes for users with iOS 4.3 or newer.

Read More

A&G Diner’s “Best Burger in Tokyo” Hijacks Taste Buds, Takes Them for a Wild Ride

Everyone seems to agree that the best burger joint in Tokyo is A&G Diner in fancy-schmancy Jingumae. It tops the lists on Gourmet and B Gourmet blogs and gossip sites and is the first name out of the mouths of my restaurant critic friends.

I decided to check it out for myself to see if the taste lived up to the hype and glam of Jingumae. I went in to attack an A&G Diner burger with abandon, but, as it turns out, the burger attacked me . . .

Read More

Breakthrough Dieting Technology Puts Virtual Nutritionist In Your Smartphone

You’re on a diet, and you’re watching calories like a hawk. You check every label at the supermarket and stay away from fast food, but what do you do at restaurants that don’t offer detailed nutritional information on their menus?

It seems like your only two options are to put your diet in jeopardy and take a leap of faith, or avoid the restaurant and miss out on a delicious meal.

A third option is in the works. In the near future, you will be able to take a picture of the food with your smartphone and consult your virtual nutritionist.

Nutritional information web service Asken is using the latest Sony technology to give dieters a handy tool for managing caloric intake. The technology analyzes images of full meals and picks apart the various components, displaying the name and caloric value of each part as well as the total nutritional value of the entire meal. Read More

Pop Star’s First Pitch Induces Laughter, Ignites Shameful Flame War

Korean pop group Girls’ Generation’s Jessica had everything going for her as she stepped to the mound last week at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. She went into a semi-accurate windup with her white glove, pink shoes, form-fitting jeans and perfect smile aaaaaaand . . . she spiked the ball into the ground three feet in front of her.

Big deal, right? Lieutenant Dan did basically the same thing in Texas a couple nights ago, proving to us that a ceremonial first pitch is like a box of chocolates – you never know what kind you’re gonna get.

And what’s better, throwing like a T-baller or collapsing in a heap a la Sadako last month in the Tokyo Dome?

None of it should come as a surprise; Jessica showed us the extent of her athletic prowess at 0:20 with that strong, convincing fist pump. What is surprising is the harsh criticism piled on poor Jessica by the peanut gallery.
Read More

Glass Gem Corn Craze Hits Japan

Corn ain’t supposed to be this pretty. Corn doesn’t normally sparkle like jewels or reflect every color of the rainbow. But when it does, the world sits up and pays attention.

Glass Gem corn lives up to its name with white, pink, blue, purple, green and gold kernels distributed randomly and beautifully across each cob. The magnificent maize is an other-worldly sight at first glance to the extent that Discover Magazine went so far as to inform readers that pictures of the corn had not been edited.

Seeds Trust, a small, family-run American company, introduced the glittering corn to the world via Facebook last year, and it went viral earlier this month. Read More

Sneak Peek Into Japanese All-Boys High Schools: 50 Surprising and Unsurprising Things You’d See

It’s hard to imagine what goes on inside Japanese high schools without setting foot inside of one, and even if you’re able to do that, sometimes it’s hard to decipher what’s happening in front of your eyes.

Nonetheless, high school is high school, right? Playing with abandon on the field or court with your sports team, teen romances that run hot and cold, and a host of other universal events unfold at your typical co-ed secondary school.

Within the gates of the Japanese all-boys high school, however, lies a world beyond comprehension. It can be both humorous and painful, proper and vulgar. Let’s take a look at 50 things you would find in the typical Japanese all-boys high school. Read More

Cat Massage Techniques Promise Happy Endings

How tough is it to be a pet animal?  Free shelter, free food at dependable intervals, an abundance of toys and attention, nudity encouraged in most cases . . . what are they lacking, and which of us wouldn’t sign up for that kind of life?

Pet massages have become a hot topic, and it appears that Fido and Fluffy enjoy muscle stimulation and relaxation at the end of a long day just as much as their pet owners do.

Dr. Takashi Ishino combines the latest approaches of Western and Eastern medicine to stimulate feline pressure points with gentle massages at the Kamakura Genki Animal Hospital in the Tebiro neighborhood of Kamakura City. Here are three easy cat massages from Dr. Ishino’s repertoire: Read More

Bus Button Lovers Get Off at Tokyu Hands During Golden Week

“Next stop, Shibuya Tokyu Hands!”

That’s what one might have expected to hear at the department store that hosted the quirky Tsugi Tomarimasu Bus Button Exhibit on May 3 and 4. A private collector put his collection of over 100 bus signal buttons on display for the Golden Week shopping crowds.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bus is familiar with the buttons you push to signal that you want to disembark, and we all have a relationship with these buttons. Aggressive people want to initiate action and get where they’re going. Passive people want someone to push the button and take care of their needs. Kids just want to be big enough to reach the buttons! Read More

Gnarly Eraser Shavings Ball Rubs Some the Wrong Way

Imagine the number of mistakes you’d have to make to amass a pile of eraser shavings big enough to make a sphere as big as a softball.

Read More

Harley Davidson Restore Project Stirs Respect, Admiration in Japanese Internet Community

The heartwarming, true story about a disaster-stricken man being reunited with his long lost Harley Davidson has made the rounds on the Internet and tugged at the heartstrings of Japanese Internet users in particular.

“They’ve started writing the movie already,” posted one enthusiastic reader on the Topsy.com comments section.

Man loses three family members and nearly all of his possessions in a horrific earthquake and tsunami and spends over a year in temporary housing before hearing one day that someone found his treasured motorcycle 4,000 miles across the ocean, reasonably intact considering the beating it took at the hands of the Pacific Ocean?  We may have something here, Mr. DeMille. Read More

KDDI Releases First Iridium Satellite Phone with GPS Capability

On April 13, KDDI will begin selling “Extreme,” the newest Iridium satellite phone model and the first equipped with a GPS function.

With the GPS function, Extreme users can periodically update people in their address book on their location via email. In case of emergency, they can push the SOS Button on top of the unit to send an automatic message containing their GPS position.

At 10% thinner and 7% lighter than 9555, the previous model, it is now the thinnest, lightest Iridium satphone, and it also features better resistance to water and dust. Read More

Spa Staff Pop Group OFR48 Warms Hearts With Song and Dance, Naked Bodies With Daily Work

You may have raised an eyebrow the first time a fully clothed spa staff member ambled into the sauna and whistled while she worked in front of you and the other sweaty, naked dudes.

You’re a pro by now, though, and you hardly bat an eyelash while the spa staff simply blend into the background.

A new Japanese female idol group is out to change the status quo. OFR48 is comprised of women who actually work at hot springs resorts, saunas and other public bathing facilities throughout Japan. The women sing and dance on stage at spa facilities, entertaining customers and fostering deeper communication and familiarity with them. Read More

Japan-Korea Tensions Boil Over Sea of Japan Name, Korea Calling for “East Sea” Inclusion

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is holding general meetings in Monaco starting on April 23, and on the agenda is the hot debate over the name of the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on April 10 that the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was feeling doubtful of global support for its request that “East Sea” appear alongside the current “Sea of Japan” name. The ministry is said to be making special arrangements for the IHO meetings, including ramping up the urgency of its requests for support from IHO member nations. Read More

HEMORRHOIDS! The Best of Comically Bad Japanese T-Shirts on Non-Japanese Torsos

Everyone loves Engrish, and everyone enjoys lampooning the machines that create it and the silly humans who wear it.

Is it as funny when the tables are turned? What happens when non-Japanese deck themselves out in clothing with unintelligible characters on it, only to have the true meaning outed on the web for all to see? Read More

Forget Surgical Masks and Fake Glasses, Wear Your Allergy Remedy Around Your Neck With the Virus Blocker!

Spring brings new life, new love, warmer weather and so many other great things. It also brings with it heaps of pollen, and we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of pollen season. While it’s been a pretty easy year in terms of pollen, many of us are still shut indoors and suffering. I may have stumbled upon an easy, cost-effective way to take care of that, though.
Read More

Gifu, Kyoto Rack Up Highest Averages in Japanese Boob Size Survey, Saitama Falls Flat

Cosmetics website “LC love cosmetic” (www.lovecosmetic.jp)  shared the results of a quick-and-dirty survey it conducted about women’s bust sizes, and the surprising facts are certain to titillate men (and women) with certain – ahem – outsized preferences.

The website, which bills itself as being “for two persons who love,” posted a list of Japan’s 47 prefectures arranged by average cup size, and for persons who love two large, shining orbs, there are no better places in Japan than Gifu and Kyoto Prefectures, where E is the norm.

For those who don’t like speed bumps between themselves and their lovers, Saitama Prefecture and its A-cup average beckon. The national average fell between B- and C-cups, with a majority of prefectures in East Japan at B and a majority of those in West Japan at C. Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4