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

Sushi is arguably Japan’s most famous gift to the world.  Loved for its uniqueness and delicate design, sushi should only be crafted by skilled hands developed over years of training and apprenticeship.

But with global demand for Japan’s signature dish rising every day it’s getting more and more difficult to produce enough skilled labor to meet it.  It’s during exactly these moments of weakness when the robots like to make their next move towards global domination.

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Back in 2008, at an Osaka elementary school there was an incident involving a 3rd grade student who smashed two bottles of milk together during lunch time.  As a result, the bottles shattered sending a shard of glass into the child’s eye and leaving him disabled. It’s certainly a terrible accident but what followed had turned the public’s sympathy into outrage.

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Japanese Foam Jockey Gives Drinkers Beer Heads That Cause Westerners to Froth at the Mouth

Recently we ran a report on how Japanese netizens expressed their outrage over the way a Korean pop star chooses to eat her instant noodles.  Now it seems that the international outrage shoe is on the other foot as Japan has drawn the western stink eye over how they like to enjoy their beer.

At the center of this controversy is an innocent advert for Jokki Hour (a punny mistranslation of “Foam Jockey”).  Jokki Hour is actually a cleverly designed beer mug that has a lever attatched.  When you push the lever the cup creates a head on the beer.  Not a bad idea in itself, but I think it’s the advertisement that turns westerners off.  Let’s take a look.

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Oh La La! McDonald’s Looks to Add a Touch of Class with Professional Baristas Brewing Custom Cups of Joe

Having recently opened a location in the ultra-trendy Harajuku-Omotesando shopping area of Tokyo, McDonald’s Japan is brewing a new strategy with an extra shot of sophistication.

Don’t worry; it’s not the rebirth of that lame Mac Tonight moon man who played cheesy lounge music on the piano in the 80’s.  This time McDonald’s will be serving up freshly made custom cups of coffee by real baristas.

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ZecOO Glimpses a Brighter Future of Killer Akira-Style Electric Bikes Rather than the Wussy Ones We Have to Choose From Now

Few can disagree that electric scooters are a sensible way to get around.  They’re convenient, clean, cheaper, and above all else mercifully more quiet than their gas guzzling counterparts.

However these bikes always seem to fall short in the testosterone department.  Even though I realize an electric bike would make my life 1000% easier I could never reconcile that with the fact that I’d look like the foppish lead in some lame European romantic comedy.

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It’s hard making it as an idol group in Japan.  In this business thousands of girls and boys are struggling to find their niche be it with snaggleteeth, clean towels, or chainsaws.

This time RocketNews would like to present a girl group who have taken a more fishy road to success, by pitching in at their local sushi shop.  Every Sunday you can catch up-and-coming Idol Class do a free concert then sell you some octopus after the show, in what they call Sushidols.

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【Brain Teaser Time】  Can You Guess What These Cute Little Guys Are Used For?

**SPOILER ALERT**
If you are not ready to see the answer then scroll gently, the answer is at the bottom.

Our modern world is so full of useful products that we are often very cynical of new inventions. In simpler times, when whoopee cushions, pogo sticks, and pet rocks could be considered “cool” much maligned developments like spray-on hair and Mr. T’s Flavor Wave Turbo Oven may have found their place.

However now they are simply lost amidst a sea of gadgets that never took off.  As Ron Popiel might say; they were set, and they were forgotten.  Such is the case of these little items in the photo above.  Though they’ve been around for over a decade we at RocketNews dare you to guess what they do.

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Custom-Made Canine “Cake Meals” Abandon Milk and Eggs for Chicken and Peas and Feature Your Dog’s Likeness

What do you get for that dog in your life that has everything?  Dog Diner has the answer with custom made cakes featuring your prized pooch’s puss.  And beyond just a special treat these cakes will help keep your pet healthy.

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The Ultimate Camping Chair Capable of Holding Over 700 Times Its Own Weight

As the warm weather has finally started to kick in, most of us are looking to get reacquainted with the great outdoors.  But for many camping is a new experience and getting the right equipment can make or break their overall enjoyment.  Sure you can buy a bulky trailer full of equipment but who want to use the time, money, and muscle power for all that.

Camping equipment brand Doppelganger Outdoor has released a series of lightweight chairs and tables ideally portable and durable for outdoor use.  The pièce de résistance of this collection is the Ultra Light Micro Chair, more affectionately known as C1-54.

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McDonald’s Lures Country’s Best and Brightest By Offering a Free Small Fries for Job Applicants

Good news for anyone who’s out of money and food!  From now until May 13th anyone in Japan who applies for a job and gets an interview at McDonalds will receive a complimentary small order of fries…

Okay, by now you’ve probably recovered from the shock of this amazing news.  According to their recent banner ad which reads “Let’s get started. McCrew: Until 5/13 all interviewees will receive a present of a free small fries.” this is no joke.

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What Ever Happened to the Shower? One-Person Karaoke Booths Are a Huge Success

Last November we reported on a karaoke booth for one to three people in Akihabara called Choi Kara, which was becoming a big hit in game centers.  Around the same time, another company opened One Kara, “the one-person private karaoke room.”  Similar to the Choi Kara in many ways One Kara also lets anyone sing their hearts out without fear of judgment.

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In Kyoto, a tragic and fatal incident unfolded involving an unlicensed driver who ran their car into a crowd of people consisting of elementary school children and a pregnant woman.  It’s one of those horrible accidents that bring out the deepest hurt, shock and anger in all of us.

So it’s no surprise to hear people lash out at whomever or whatever is responsible but an especially scathing commentary has sprung from a surprising source.  Tajima Emergency & Critical Care Medical Center (TECCMC) who had sent an air ambulance to the accident scene, released an uncharacteristically harsh attack not on the driver of the vehicle but on the mass media outlets for their intrusive reporting on the premises in an article titled; Do people in the media have hearts?

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Learn How to Sleep in a Toilet Stall Like a Pro

With the warmer weather coming we are bound to have those days where a particularly heavy lunch or wild night before turns us into zombies by 1:45pm. The question is what do you do?

Many of us plug through the rest of the afternoon for fear that dozing at our desks would land us out of a job. Some among us have pondered the idea of catching some sleep atop the toilet; the only place you’re guaranteed some privacy in an office environment.  However, many are turned off by fears or stigmas that might be associated with sleeping in the crapper.

Then there are a select few – 30% according to a recent survey of middle-aged businessmen – who have the guts to go that extra mile and take a nap sitting on the can so that they can return to work refreshed. RocketNews24 would like to now share some of their various tactics, so that you too can embark on the noble art of “toilet napping.”

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Veggie Sushi Will Win Over All Your Senses in the End

For many vegetarians and vegans, Japan can be a difficult place to get something to eat.  Sushi is nearly completely off limits for those who forego meat, and very few Japanese people would consider California rolls real sushi, especially the chef of Vegetable Sushi Potager.

Vegetable Sushi Potager is a restaurant located in the glitzy Roppongi Hills Area of Tokyo is serving up a full course meal based entirely on vegetables.  I was told that although its presentation is high quality, like a lot of vegetarian cooking the deliciousness of it doesn’t hit you over the head right away. It takes time to build bit by bit from the bottom of your heart as go through each course culminating in a new understanding of the word “delight”.  That’s some big praise so I was understandably skeptical.

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Make Music Come Out of Any Solid Object Using a New Miracle Device that Looks Like a Sex Toy

There have been a lot of developments with speakers recently and Sanyo Transport, the company who brought you the cutting edge iPhone phonograph tube speaker, has come up with something a little more 21st century.

Not a speaker in itself, this device actually transforms everyday objects like a table or chair into speakers that emit sounds.  Demonstrating again Sanyo Transport’s god-awful product naming skills, the Change Anything You Have Into A Speaker USB Vibration Speaker (CAYHIASUSBVS) uses technology similar to the earless headphones we featured a short time ago.

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A serious issue of contention between the countries of China, Taiwan and Japan was further fueled by banners held up during an AFC Champions League soccer game between the Guangzhou Evergrande and the Kashiwa Reysol.

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Why is Japan Turning Blue at Night? More and More Streets Being Draped in Peacefully Bizarre Azure Lights

A growing number of people all across Japan have been noticing their neighborhoods getting a little jazzier these days.  If you live in Japan and haven’t seen them yet then just wait.  But why have cities all over the country been trading in their traditional yellowish lights for the blue light special?

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How to Commit Seppuku, Now Available in English!

Samurais are one of those Japanese cultural exports that foreigners can’t get enough of.  The hair style, swords, and that bad-ass armor that makes a European knight look like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.

Samurais are also responsible with that Japanese form of ritual suicide that equally fascinates and horrifies people around the world, seppuku.  Equally well-known as Harakiri (but often horribly mispronounced to sound like MLB sportscaster Harry Caray) it evokes darkly romantic images of opting for gory self-disembowelment over losing one’s honor.

A recent posting of an instructional diagram teaching how to perform seppuku has caught further caught the attention of people in countries around the world.  Even on the internet, home of some of the most disturbing sights imaginable this age-old ritual retains its shock value.

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Visit the US Navy Ship Held Prisoner for Over 30 Years in North Korea

In 2012, a Japanese man was allowed to take a supervised tour of the secretive country of North Korea, we’ve reported some of his observations about their fine dining, public transportation, and more.  And now we bring you coverage of one of the most unique tourist spots in the world: the only currently captured United States Navy Ship, the USS Pueblo.

Our correspondent’s tour guide and government appointed escort took him to the ship moored in Pyongyang where the guide told him “even today, America continues to beg the ship be returned.”

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Welcome to the Crappiest Toy Store in Thailand

Disclaimer:  This article contains some graphic depictions of doo-doo and is not  for the faint of stomach.

One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that everything is so cheap.  Especially if you want to buy souvenirs for a lot of people, it’s a very shopping friendly country.  However, even with these low prices, travelers are still faced with the dilemma of what to get loved ones.

You don’t want to spend your whole vacation picking out the perfect gifts but you also don’t want to be like your aunt Grace who gave you a lame souvenir spoon from her trip to the Grand Canyon last year.

Luckily we stumbled upon a toy store in Thailand that lets you confront your fear of buying a crappy present by selling literal pieces of crap.  Small coilers will run you about 50 baht (US$1.60) but a larger log will cost 150 baht ($4.80).

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