Andrew Miller

Andrew, who is from London, England, first came to Japan in late 2006 where he worked as an English teacher in the Tochigi prefecture. After becoming a little more accustomed to the culture and the language, he moved to Tokyo in 2009 where he has been residing since. He has a passion for the Japanese language and has even created himself an “unofficial” Japanese name(安努龍). In addition, Andrew has an interest in a wide genre of news and as a freelance translator is keen to relay the subtle differences between cultures to readers around the world.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Measure Asia’s Air Pollution with a Map Based on the Length of Your Nasal Hair!

In recent years along with many other developing Asian nations, China has been increasing its level of industrial manufacturing as it readies itself for remarkable industrial growth. However, neglecting its environment for the sake of industry has brought with it the problem of dense smog pollution, with microscopic smog particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less having been detected in overwhelming large amounts in China’s air in recent days.

The smog is the same as that found in factory exhausts, car fumes and the like. Measured per cubic meter, at one instance the observed value of pollution in Beijing reached levels 10 times the Chinese government’s recommended safety level. If one were to go by the Wealth Health Organization (WHO)’s recommended value, the figure rises to 40 times greater than normal. When it comes to pollution, it is thought that of the asian nations undergoing remarkable growth, 70% of nations are reaching a critical level. The toxic substances that seep out into the environment cause asthma, pneumonia and even in some cases death.

Of course, those living in highly polluted areas will surely want to know how their air compares, but measuring the levels each time can prove tiresome and expensive. With this in mind, one innovative company called Clean Air Asia has stumbled upon a way determine just how polluted your air is, and has designed an interactive map based on – wait for it – nostil hair.

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Japanese Researchers Unravel the Mechanism Behind the Cause of Depression.

A research team from universities in Nagoya, Japan, has come one step further in developing an effective medicine against the debilitating disorder that is depression.

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North Korea’s High Class International Hotel! Our Reporter Mustered Up His Courage and Checked it Out First Hand.

In recent years, North Korea has received attention for its provocative behavior towards neighboring countries and its desire to prove itself on the technologically and militarily scale, increasingly pushing itself ‘emerging nation’. Last year’s infamous set of failed Windows XP-powered missile launches didn’t help.

More recently, there has been a clear shift towards North Korea presenting itself not as a country of restriction and famine, but one of rising social and cultural prosperity. A prime example of this would be the public release of pictures of fully-fledged amusement parks and public amenities. Just what North Korea’s intentions behind all of this are remain a bit of a mystery, but one cannot help wonder exactly what type of facilities are on offer and how they compare to the rest of the world in terms of quality and convenience.

In 2012 our reporter, Kuzo, stayed in North Korea’s Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyan. Read about his impressions of the hotel and the room he stayed in below!

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‘”Married Men Don’t Look Happy!” “Wives Unnecessary!”: An Increasing Number of Japanese Men Opting for Bachelorhood

In Japan, the number of men and women choosing to marry later in life is on the increase and has reached a figure that can no longer be ignored. When it comes to the Japanese male demography, just why are so many choosing the single life? My Navi News asked 300 of its male readers the following question:

“Have you ever thought ‘Marriage isn’t for me’ or ‘I prefer the life of bachelorhood’?”

The results obtained were a little on the unexpected side:

Yes: 39.7%
No: 60.3%

The men who replied ‘yes’ were asked their reasons for snubbing a life of marital bliss. Their answers in full after the break.

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Ipad Users ‘Left in the Cold’ as Changes in Temperature Affect the Unit’s Rechargeable Battery.

Mainland China has recently been having some of the coldest weather on record in the past thirty years. When it comes to protecting yourself from the severity of the winter season, wrapping up in something warm goes without saying. However if someone were to tell you that they treated their electrical appliances in the same way, I’m sure you’d think they need their head examining. At least this was the traditional line of thought up until now.

iPad users from China are reporting that the extreme cold is preventing their unit’s battery from charging. As a quick fix, many are recommending that you treat it like your very own flesh and blood — by wrapping it up in something warm!

Chinese users seem to be adopting several methods to bring their device back to a healthy temperature. Some are making use of halogen heaters; others are using air conditioners. The method attracting the most attention, and dare we say the most endearing of all, is that which involves wrapping your iPad up in a warm garment as though it were a little baby! Some are even going so far as to thrust their device in between their clothes.

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Real Life Gold Skulltula? Yellow Spider with Human Face Spotted in Hong Kong.

Recently a bizarre eight legged creature bearing striking resemblance to gold skultullas — the special from gold-backed spiders from the Legend of Zelda series — has been spotted in Hong Kong.

At first glance,you might be inclined to think that you’ve been playing too much Nintendo, but this spider with a seemingly human face is an actual image taken by an eyewitness.

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The King of Pizzas? We Sample Domino’s Pricey New Luxury Pizza 【Food Review】

Domino’s Pizza, one of the world’s most well-known home delivery pizza services, has recently released a new luxury pizza in Japan– an exclusive to the pizza fast food market.

Priced at 5,800 yen (about US$66), however, you’d be right to think twice before parting with your cash; after all, this is essentially just a circle of baked dough with fancy toppings. Sure, after piling all of your favourite toppings onto a pizza pie, one might hit the 5,000 yen mark, but a large-sized pizza starting at 5,800 yen?!

This had better be something very special…

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Father Attempts to Solve his Son’s Online Addiction by Hiring a ‘Hunter’ to Shoot his Boy Down

Co-operative online gaming is defined by the sense of mutual indispensability it brings; regardless of the age, nationality or sex of the player you are teaming up with, taking on a particular role as a team is what makes it so fascinating — and addicting. If you suddenly pull out, your allied team mate is left to settle the dilemma first hand. Vise versa, if you’re left to tackle the enemy yourself, you feel equally betrayed. It is this unspoken agreement of “I’ll watch your back if you watch mine” that compounds the feeling of seeing the game through to the end.

On this is note, let me introduce an episode involving a twenty-three year old social recluse’s online gaming antics that has recently been making the news in China. The father of this twenty-three year old gamer grew concerned that his son was becoming too obsessed with the gaming world; not having any interest in finding a job or placing his efforts into anything but gaming, the son’s father resorted to a rather unique measure in attempt to stop his son in his tracks.

Most fathers, when confronted with a similar problem, would tell their son to get his act together or even go so far as to confiscate his gaming equipment. What this father did however was hire an ‘online hunter’ or, in other words, a ‘gaming pro’, to shoot down his son inside the game itself and thus destroys his son’s ‘online gaming morale’.

Some will undoubtedly be exclaiming “that’s pure ingenuity” others, “isn’t that going a little bit too far?!”

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Man Tries his Attempts at Evading Excess Luggage Charges at the Airport by Wearing Over 60 Layers of Clothing!

As with many trips abroad, the purchasing of souvenirs for your friends and family and admittedly, the occasional gift for yourself is a routine common to most. The time and effort invested in making sure you have something for everyone can take its toll not only mentally, but also on the weight of your luggage upon arrival at the airport. “Just how can I get all this stuff through without being charged a fortune?” is I’m sure a fear that goes through the minds of many. When it comes to airport excess luggage costs, the excess cost itself can sometimes even exceed the actual value of the goods being brought back. Whatever is the case, nobody wants be charged excessively for something they’ve already paid for. Whether it be disposing of the gift’s packaging and then diligently placing it in your hand luggage, or if it happen to be a fashion accessory or item of clothing, wearing it as if it were your own, having some form of strategy is arguably better than being completely defenseless against the wrath that is the custom and excise department.

The other day, a man passing though China’s Kantan airport took this idea of ‘wearing your luggage’ to the extreme. Admittedly wrapping yourself in a couple of extra layers isn’t really any reason to warrant criticism and I’m sure it’s something many of us have considered at some point. What we’re talking about here is the act of piling on countless number of layers of clothing at once! Without question, such outrageousness cannot help but raise the suspicion of the airport staff.

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Sony Warns Not to Put Your Gaming Console in the Microwave, Leaves Online Community Dumbfounded

Sony’s recent publicly-announced warning not to put your gaming console in the microwave, has left most of the online community completely lost for words. If you happen to be the owner of a Sony gaming console, placing it in the microwave only to fry the hell of it is surely the last thing on your agenda. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that such reports have recently been doing the rounds on the net. Frying your treasured gaming console obviously defies all forms of common sense and I’m sure most of you will be racking your brains as to whom and under what circumstances would do such a thing.

So just why would Sony issue such a bizarre warning? In short, Sony appears only to be going by the facts, or should we say the evidence that remains resident on the game console after being submitted for repair:

“Of the defective products received by Sony, we have detected on some rate occasions evident changes in the shape of the unit and even burn marks that can only be assumed to have been brought about by the use of an electrical appliance such as a hairdryer or microwave”.

Sony adds, “Heating up your game console leads not only to a defective unit but also creates the risk of a fire or even serious injury”.

Whilst there is much speculation and even theories out there as to why game users would resort to such an act, hard evidence is much lacking.

So just what are some of these theories?

Forget about sending your broken game console to Sony: if you have a hairdryer at hand, repair it yourself the D.I.Y way! – Or so the ‘hairdryer method’ would have you believe!

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Don’t Forget Your ‘Wrap Towel’! Our Female Reporter Experiences Japanese Mixed Public Bathing for the First Time

When it comes to mixed bathing in public, it is an experience that perhaps most of us are unfamiliar with. In many respects the aspect of unfamiliarity is only just the beginning; acting naturally around not only strangers, but those of the opposite-sex — whilst baring all, no less — is undeniably something that requires great courage! It is with such bravery that our female reporter, Tomoe, entered into a Japanese “konyoku” to experience what all the fuss was about first hand!

“Admittedly, the male bathers’ glances were something that played on my mind a little, however this in itself had its own element of fascination,” admits Tomoe.

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