Tag Archives | Japan

Wearable Eyes Turn You Into Emotional Cyborg

Check out this very obtuse video for wearable cyborg eyes.

via Gizmodo

Invented by Dr. Hirotaka Osawa at Japan’s Tsukuba University, AgencyGlass takes the load off your facial muscles and the emotional centers of your brain with a Bluetooth computer and a pair of OLED displays. The built-in gyroscopes steer your fake eyes to coincide with your real head’s position (for instance, looking up with a thoughtful expression when you tilt your head back), and a shirt-pocket camera tracks the faces of the people around you to maintain polite, piercing (fake) eye contact.

 

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Japanese Revelers Celebrate the Penis This Month

Pic: CC

Pic: CC

It’s Kanamara Matsuri time in Japan – Huffington Post has a gallery of photos for your perusal… Via HuffPo:

Held this year on April 6, the festival is a celebration of the penis and fertility. People parade gigantic phallic-shaped mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) down the streets during the event, as revelers suck on penis lollipops, buy penis-themed memorabilia and pose with sculptures in the shape of — you guessed it — penises.

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Nuisance Cat Guilty of Shoplifting and “Walking in an Aloof Manner’

1394321881-0If only those were the only things my irritable old tomcat were guilty of…

Via Neatorama

A 7-11 store in Kanto, Japan, has reached its limit over a known shoplifter. The store posted a sign with a picture of the perpetrator, a cat described as “three-apples-tall, black, and walks in an aloof manner.” The cat has been helping himself to cat food from the store for some time. The sign reads, in part:

We need your help
Please do not feed this cat.
It enters the store and shoplifts cat food.
We told the cat that it was banned from the store but it didn’t listen.
Thank you for your cooperation

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What Has Happened to the Tsunami Debris from Japan?

Pic: US NAVY (PD)

Pic: US NAVY (PD)

Via ScienceDaily:

The amount of debris in the ocean is growing exponentially, becoming more and more hazardous and harmful to marine life and therefore also to our ocean food source. Measuring and tracking the movements of such debris are still in their infancy. The driftage generated by the tragic 2011 tsunami in Japan gave scientists Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner a unique chance to learn about the effects of the ocean and wind on floating materials as they move across the North Pacific Ocean.

Shortly after the tsunami struck, Maximenko and Hafner used the IPRC Ocean Drift Model to predict where the debris from the tsunami would go. Their computer model is based on trajectories of real satellite-tracked drifting buoys and satellite-measured winds.

The model has now been charting the possible paths of the tsunami driftage for nearly 3 years. The scientists have made a major improvement to the initial model: it now accommodates objects of different shapes and buoyancies that expose different amounts of surface to the wind and travel at different speeds and different trajectories.

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US Navy Official Says China Is Preparing for War With Japan

240px-Kitakojima_and_Minamikojima_of_Senkaku_Islands

Pic: “National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism”. (PD)

Well. This isn’t good. Needless to say, the Pentagon isn’t happy about the Captain’s public remarks, but that doesn’t make them any less likely to be true. China and Japan have been squabbling over the islands for over a hundred years now.

Via NPR:

China is stepping up war games in preparation for a possible conflict with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, a tiny island chain in the East China Sea claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo, a senior U.S. Navy official says.

Captain James Fanell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, made the remark in San Diego last week.

Fanell said that after witnessing China’s Mission Action 2013, a “massive amphibious and cross military” exercise that included ground and naval forces of the People’s Liberation Army, U.S.

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Redistribute Wealth? No, Redistribute Respect.

Some_respect_please

Some respect please (CC)

Could a shift in perception heal the divide between the haves and the have nots in western society? What say you, Disinfonauts?

via The Week

What happened to America’s sense of egalitarianism?

“It is said that heaven does not create one man above or below another man.”
— Yukichi Fukuzawa

I’ve always been a communist revolutionary at heart. Inequalities between human beings have always annoyed me, and I have the strong desire to see them eliminated. In American society, we generally discuss three kinds of “equality”: 1) “equality of outcome”, usually meaning equality of wealth or income, 2) “equality of opportunity”, and 3) “equal rights” under the law. The first is typically supported by true communists and socialists, and some liberals; the second by centrist liberals; and the third by libertarians and conservatives. The arguments between proponents of the three types of equality are voluminous and endless.

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Japanese Scientist Float And Move Objects Mid-Air With Sound

Levitating objects with sound has been done before, but these scientists have taken it to a new level.

Via NPR:

Researchers in Tokyo have put a new twist on the use of sound to suspend objects in air. They’ve used ultrasonic standing waves to trap pieces of wood, metal, and water – and even move them around.

Researchers have used sound to levitate objects in previous experiments, dating back decades. But that work has largely relied on speakers that were set up in a line to bounce sound waves off a hard surface.

The new experiment uses four speakers to surround an open square area that’s about 21 inches wide. Four phased arrays use standing waves to create an ultrasonic focal point in that space, as the researchers explain in a video about their work.

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Japanese Gangsters Hiring Homeless To Clean Up Fukushima Disaster Area

447px-Yakuza_sign_near_Sento

Pic: Sean Wilson (PD)

Organized crime controlling construction and waste disposal? That sounds familiar. Crime bosses in Japan are recruiting the nation’s homeless and paying them next to nothing to clean up the deadly remains of the Fukushima disaster.

Japan’s three biggest crime syndicates have established illegal recruitment under construction powerhouse Obayashi, a top contractor. Reuters speaks to one man paid by a gangster to collect potential homeless workers: Seiji Sasa would find men at a local train station and get them work through a number of smaller contractors that eventually reported to Obayashi (which has not been fingered in the scheme). The workers would be paid less than minimum wage after middlemen skimmed some and deductions were taken for food and housing; in other cases, those deductions were taken from their scant pay, leaving the workers with no money, or even in debt.

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‘Japanese Pickle’ Can Prevent The Flu

450px-Japanese_pickle_stall

Pic: Schellack (PD)

DOCTORS HATE THIS PICKLE! LEARN HOW TO PREVENT THE FLU WITH THIS ONE WEIRD OLD TRICK!

Via Eureka Alert:

Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu. Could this be the next superfood?

The research, which assesses the immune-boosting powers of Lactobacillus brevis from Suguki – a pickled turnip, popular in Japan – in mice that have been exposed to a flu virus, is published today (06 November) in the SfAM journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Lead researcher, Ms Naoko Waki of KAGOME CO., LTD. in Japan said: “Our results show that when a particular strain of Lactobacillus brevis is eaten by mice, it has protective effects against influenza virus infection.”

Suguki enthusiasts have often cited its protective powers but it is not known yet whether the same effects will be seen in humans. Human clinical trials using a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus brevis KB290 bacteria are underway and scientists are hopeful that, given a suitable quantity of bacteria, foods containing them may turn out to be the next superfood.

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