Master Blaster

Writer / Translator

Master Blaster is the two-man translating team of Canada’s Steven Le Blanc and Japan’s Masami M, a pair who in addition to writing work are in English education and created the StudyNow app for Japanese students of English.

Together they have written somewhere around 1,500 articles for RocketNews24 covering such diverse topics as Chinese men selling sanitary napkins to each other and a Japanese guy dragging an ear of corn around the Tokyo train system. A few of these were actually good, but don’t take our word for it! Here’s what our beloved readers had to say:

“One isn't always in the mood for bold tastes. But when I'm in the mood for bold flavor I turn to you.”
“Stupid article. Who cares what the Japanese think it's cool. You don't call a monkey, "gorilla".”
“You know, this is about the most cogent explanation of how a turbocharger works that I have ever seen in the non-motorsports world.”
“Thanks for the article peter!”
“It's people like you who make exploitation possible.”
“It looks yummy and the story was great. Thank you for the smile.”

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All Stories by Master Blaster

There’s a Camel that Drinks Coca-Cola? RocketNews24 is There!

Tunisia as we recently discovered by their beautiful can designs, seems to be a loadstone of Coca-Cola related paranormal activity.  For now our intrepid reporter has found a camel renowned for its love of Coke.  It chugs the stuff down in one swig!

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Can’t see the picture? Give your head a shake

Seriously, try shaking your head and if you don’t easily get dizzy, you should be able to see John Lennon’s face emerge among the black and white lines. Even after you stop shaking the image should linger for a moment.

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Smarter, Better, Faster, Stronger: Roachbot 2.0

The hottest toy of 2012, Roachbot, was released earlier this year amid great fanfare with its eerie resemblance everyone’s favorite kitchen guest, the cockroach.  But as Japan enters the middle of cockroach season, we find ourselves casting aside our robotic roaches to play with the real ones.

Sensing this, Japan Trust Technologies have given it a severe amping up, including support for the iPhone and iPad.

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Your Favorite Nintendo Games As You’ve Never Seen Them Before, As Traditional Japanese Prints

Ukiyo-e Heroes are a group of artists who work in the medium of tradional Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e), a style most strongly associated with Japanese culture.  This group has turned their facebook page into a virtual gallery displaying their favorite muse: video games.

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Take the “Public” Out of Public Bathing and Make a Natural Hot Spring in the Comfort of Your Own Home

One of Japan’s greatest features is its many natural hot springs called onsens. Thanks to its highly volcanic location, Japan’s countryside is dotted with resorts welcoming tourists all year round.

For some foreigners visiting or living in Japan, public bathing isn’t a very appealing recreation.  Reasons for this include tattoos which are considered verboten in many onsens, and the fact that foreigners tend to stick out like a sore thumb and might draw uncomfortable stares while bathing.

Now there’s another way to enjoy the relaxing and curative properties of a natural hot spring in the comfort of your own bathroom.  If you want to know how, then give our easy manual “How to Set Up an Onsen in Your Own Home” a quick read.

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Mankind Dealt Further Blow As Robot Which Never Loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors Is Developed

Rock-Paper-Scissors, the longstanding arbitrator of riding shotgun or eating the last slice of pizza has been celebrated for hundreds of years for its simple yet elegant balance of psychology and chance.

It’s such a part of the human experience that a robot could never out match the human mind in the RPS arena.  Until now that is, as Engineers from the University of Tokyo decided to stick their noses in and build a robot that never ever loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors – ever! So how does it do it?

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A Couple of Train Stations Create Their Own Cutie Gods in an Effort to Boost Tourism

Sadly with Japan’s many recent economic woes, visitation to the remote stations of Kofuku and Aikoku has been low.  So in an effort to drum up some visitors, the local communities did what anyone would do in this situation.  They made some gods.

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Omiya Station’s Platform 8 Becomes the Scene for a Rare Mass Influx of Train Enthusiasts, Things Get Ugly

23 June, 2012, marked the 30th anniversary of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Its original first stop, Omiya Station, acted as a lightning rod for Japanese railfans called toritetsu (lit. Photographers of Iron). A normally peaceful trainspotter, when packed into small spaces the toritetsu can become noisy and obnoxious to those around it.

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New Glasses Designed Exclusively for Hackers

Glasses maker JINS have announced that on 2 July they will sell a limited release of 1,500 pairs of their confusingly named JINS PC for Hackers, which are glasses tailored to meet the needs of hackers.

JINS makes it clear on their website that they are referring to hackers in the traditional sense of someone with a lot of experience and skill using computers and networks, rather than the criminal sense often used in the media.

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Tsukuba University Claims New Method for Artificial Rain Is a Success

Although we are currently going through our rainy season here in Japan, other parts of the world face sever threats from drought, and desertification.  Luckily, Tsukuba University research team has announced the on 23 June their attempt at making rain was successful.  All they had to do was use an ingredient found in a can of Coke.

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TOYOTA Shows Off the Ultimate Family Car, Even the Kids Can Drive it!

At a recent auto show Toyota had unveiled its latest concept car, the Camatte (pronounced like latte), which they boast as the first ever true family car.  Not only can mom and dad use it for their daily transportation needs, but little Susie can get a kick out of playing dress-up with it and little Johnny can practice driving it himself in the back yard.

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Restaurant Found In Tokyo Serving Dog Meat, We Investigate

It’s certainly become a widespread belief that dog is eaten in some Asian countries, most notably China and Korea.  However, it never caught on in Japan, which is why we were blown away to learn that there’s a restaurant in Ikebukuro, Tokyo that offers a selection of dog meat dishes.

The name of the restaurant is Fun Fun Shop and despite the signboard that reads “Chinese Cooking” they actually offer a range of dishes into Korean and Japanese as well.  Having none of us ever eaten dog before, we sent our most iron-gutted reporters to see if the taste could possibly justify the unpleasant act of eating man’s best friend.  And we answered your three most likely questions, before you ask them!

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Thousands are Buying Up a Toy Fan That Pumps Out Some Serious Wind Power On The Cheap

Since its release on April 28th people have been flocking to toy stores across Japan to get their hands on toymaker Takara Tomy’s Kuru Kuuuuru Eco-Fan (Round and Rooooouuund Eco-Fan), so much so that their original 60,000 units had to be upped to an additional shipment of 120,000 to meet the demand.

It seems since abandoning much of the nuclear power in Japan, people’s minds are set on alternative means of keeping cool while saving electric costs or during potential black outs.  The reason everyone wants this particular toy fan is because of the sheer wind power it has.  For every one turn of the hand, the fan blade spins 100 times.

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Karaoke’s Not Just For Singing Any More, Guitars Now Welcome at Joysound f1

Anyone who’s played one of those music based games, be it Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or even Donkey Konga, surely enjoyed it but also felt that mild pang of guilt.  The reality that if we spend the same time and effort learning a real instrument we could actually have a skill we would be proud of.

But learning a musical instrument is a long hard practice that often lacks the pizzazz and gratification the games offer.  Perhaps, karaoke company Xing’s new Joysound f1 can help in that area, as their new karaoke system offers support for guitars and bass guitars.

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Like Spicy Food but Bummed by the Summer Heat? Try Some Frozen Kimchi

Summer seems to get hotter every year. For those of us who like spicy food it can be too burdensome to eat after working up enough of a sweat from the cooking alone.

To help this dilemma, a popular Korean Barbeque restaurant, Gyukaku, has announced that it will start selling a new style of frozen kimchi from 20 June.

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Microbes Were Through with the Internet Before We Knew What to Do With It According to Researchers at Tokyo University

We humans tend to get a little full of ourselves at the top of the food chain.  Sitting at our computers or flinging angry birds around with the flick of a finger, we tend to forget the powerful creatures that escape our sight.

For example, under our feet live two microorganisms that have been sending emails for millions of years before we could wrap our primate brains around the concept.  In fact Tokyo University researchers have only recently discovered these things named Geobacter and Thiobacillus.

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Get Ready for the Olympics by Revisiting Current World Records

One of the best parts of the Olympics is when a world record is broken, but with the 4 year gap between Olympic summer games it’s easy to forget what has happened before.  So RocketNews24 would like to offer you a quick recap of the greatest achievements from the best of the best athletes from around the world in Olympic events and beyond.

To make these statistics more accessible we compared some of them to various zoo animals and everyday objects.

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Check Out a Topless Pic of This Top Model!

The model pictured here has appeared in numerous catwalk shows, including some for top designers like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs; ranked number 18 on models.com’s Top 50; and was also ranked 98th in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World for 2011.

Normally we at RocketNews24 don’t display topless pictures in an effort to be all inclusive in our hard hitting reporting.  But for a new model of this caliber, we just have to throw half our readership a bone.

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HP Japan Develops Computerless Computer

Meet the HP t410 All-In-One Smart Zero Client. It’s a computer you don’t even have to plug into an electrical socket. It gets all the juice it needs from the LAN cable it uses, but how does it do it?

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New Cyber-Attack Warning System Makes Cyber-Warfare Look as Cool as It Does in the Movies

Have you ever watched a movie where a group of unbelievably attractive looking hackers broke into some government organization by constantly typing on their keyboard like they were typing an essay? Yet according to the display they were opening and closing executable files.

Sadly when alleged cyber-attacks occured during the South Ossetia War there were probably no fancy CGI effects showing neon blue wires interacting with each other while Scarlet Johansson with a poor Slavic accent convinces a Putin-looking Sean Penn to move all the nuclear data to a back-up server – constantly typing all the while.

No, the reality is probably just a bunch of sweaty Russians crowded around a blinking DOS prompt. That is, until now, as Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have developed a new cyber-attack alert system called Daedalus.  And let me tell you, cyber warfare has never been sexier!

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