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

IT Company’s Recruitment Ad Offers Sexual Healing to Unemployment

Anyone who’s ever clicked through corporate recruitment pages is well accustomed to the stock photo montages of multicultural, gender neutral, in colorful-but-not-too-colorful blue shirt business people shaking hands with unrealistically large smiles on their faces.

They’re so bland and innocuous that they become the visual equivalent to white noise.  That’s why when a company tries something different, they stand out big time, and the reason why I now know who Telecom Support Inc. of Tokyo is.

Their recent recruitment ad posted on a website for job hunters, displays an employee seemingly reaching the height of sexual ecstasy over how awesome his job is.  Intrigued? Me too.

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Is Fizz Saver the True Savior of Cola Fizz or Does It Fall Flat?

Now that it seems spring has slowly arrived and summer is around the corner, cold drinks are on everyone’s minds.  It’s especially hard to resist all the dirt cheap soft drinks that can be found in convenient 1.5L bottles.

But for most of us, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and what’s left of the massive bottle gets stored in the fridge.  Here it inevitably falls victim to the scourge of carbonated beverages everywhere – flatness – and ultimately is poured down the drain.

A new product called “Fizz Saver” has arrived on the scene to help keep your large bottles of cola alive a little longer.  I decided to try one out and see in the hopes of a bubblier tomorrow.

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Amazon Buys Robot Company for $755M Reducing Warehouse Staff’s Duties to Standing Still and Pushing Pretty Red Buttons

Kiva Systems is a company that found some success selling their warehouse robots to many major retailers looking to keep up with the juggernaut that is Amazon.com notable clients of their included the GAP and Toys “R” Us.

However, just recently Amazon responded with a big capitalistic FU to their competitors by buying Kiva Systems. This means that Amazon now kind of owns the distribution systems of many of their rivals.  The price of $755 million doesn’t sound too crazy now, does it?

But as we shall see, the real loser in this deal is the human race.  This is because along with this acquisition, Amazon is now the proud father of Kiva’s army of tiny orange warehouse robots.  Kiva’s promotion video gives us a bleak view of how the world will look when the robots take over.

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Algae Found Capable of Removing Radioactive Matter from Water

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the damaged created by the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi disaster has created an urgent need for solutions to the environmental problems Japan faces.

Working with various universities across Japan, the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, better known as RIKEN have developed a new method of decontaminating water containing radioactive materials.  It uses a type of algae that has been shown to “eat” radioactive cesium.

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An In-Depth Look At Japan’s Premier Horror Idol Group, Alice Juban, Sinister Sisters Who Enslave Salivating Supporters

It’s a hard road to become a successful pop idol group these days, especially in Japan where the AKB48 divisions have a stranglehold on the market.  What’s left of it generally goes to the Korean invasion.  When the pop scene reaches a peak like it is at now, it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish one act from the other.

Every day when you flip on the TV or thumb through a magazine there are gaggles upon gaggles of young girls and guys with almost identical clothes, hairstyles, songs, and dances all vying for your attention.

Applying the Tony Montana formula of success to idol groups; you got to get the attention first.  Then when you get the attention, you get the fans.  Then when you get the fans, you get the money.  The girls in Alice Juban (Alice Number 10) are doing just that in a way that would make Scarface proud – with chainsaws and hockey masks.

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Help the Police Find Grenades and Land Yourself  $1250 – Per Grenade!

In these hard economic times there aren’t many ways to make a buck.  The Fukuoka Prefectural Police are pitching in during these cash strapped times.  All you have to do is help them locate some deadly unexploded ordnance.

Yes, on 30 March, Fukuoka Prefectural Police announced that they will be giving cash rewards to anyone who can provide tips leading to an arrest of anyone in possession of grenades.  And I’m announcing that I’m cancelling my trip to Fukuoka.

In what’s called the Grenade 110 Incentive Program (110 is the emergency number for police in Japan) you can receive a whopping $1250 (100,000 yen) per grenade that they find on a suspect. It starts on 2 April and is open to anyone in the country.

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Take Your Relationship With Your iPhone To Strange New Levels With Bandai’s Smartpet App and Robot Dog Body

They say that dog is man’s best friend. However, as the number of smartphone users continues to grow that title may soon be challenged, especially if you consider Bandai’s newest iPhone development, Smartpet.

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Lil’ Miss Environmentally Friendly Can Wash Away All Your Unwanted Toilet Sounds

Let’s face it; using public toilets is never a pleasant experience.  Putting aside all the legendary messes you have encountered, even if the restroom is immaculate you still have to worry about yourself.  As stealthily ninja-like you try to be on the can it is virtually impossible to do it without making any embarrassing sounds.

This is especially true of the fairer sex who often do a courtesy flush but in these ecologically sensitive times it’s hardly a sensible use of a gallon of water.

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Do These 25 iPhones Make Me Look Fat? Yes, According to Customs Officers Who Discovered Teen Girl Mule

Most people casually think of China and Hong Kong as basically the same place since Britain’s lease on it expired in 1997.  However, Hong Kong and mainland China coexist with extremely different lifestyles and governments.

For example, a 16GB iPhone4S costs about US$145 less in Hong Kong than just across the border in Shenzen City.  Naturally duties are set up to avoid people taking advantage of this price gap with cross border shopping. Nevertheless, when this situation arises you are bound to see a lot of smuggling going down.

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Daiwa House To Sell “Vegetable Factory” Capable of Growing 10,000 Heads of Lettuce Per Year

Produce prices are almost impossible to predict, mostly because of crops ruined by El Nino, global warming, or whatever cause de jour we hear about in the news. The rest of the time we’re hit with stories about E. coli in our spinach or other edible plants being the subjects of genetic manipulation.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to avoid all of these problems?

Japan’s largest homebuilder, Daiwa House has come up with a solution to all of these produce related problems wrapped up in a 30 cubic-meter wonder box.  Dubbed the “agri-cube”, this little veggie factory lets you grow 23 different varieties of edible plants from lettuce to basil.

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Japanese City on the Verge of Bankruptcy Puts Name Up For Sale

They say the only thing you have after losing everything is your name.  Not so, says the Izumisano City officials who in the dying moments of their failing economy are considering a plan to sell their naming rights off amongst other ideas.

Residents of the Osaka Prefecture city will be pleased to know that they wouldn’t be selling it to just anyone with money, so the threat of the name becoming Poopiehead City is minimal. From June till the end of November they will be accepting proposals from both foreign and domestic businesses interested in unique ways to advertise using their city’s government and resources.

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Hello Katie the Triumphant Fruit Stem Cat!  Hello Kitty’s Life on the World Stage Sometimes Gets Confused in Translation

Most of the world is familiar with Hello Kitty as she puts her stamp of cuteness on backpacks, shirts, posters, and the occasional jumbo jet or hotel room.  But how much do people outside of Japan know about her personal life.

As the Japanese lovingly refer to her as Kitty-chan she is also occasionally known by the name she uses on her British passport, Kitty White.  This info is provided by her owners at the Japanese company Sanrio.

However, when we look at Hello Kitty’s bio on Sanrio’s Taiwan website, we discover that Japan may have been wrong all this time.  Their translation of the infamous cat’s real British name is not Kitty but in fact Katie.

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Get a Complete Psych Profile in a Few Minutes Using Only a Pen and Paper

The internet is home to thousands of thousands of tests and quizzes each promising everything from your IQ to the Glee character that most resembles you.  Now we bring you a new test that really kinda probably doesn’t work, but it’s fun to try.

Using just a pen and paper you can get a snapshot of your current mental state. But to get a super-duper accurate reading you CANNOT scroll down to until you complete each step, OK?

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Much A-Blue About Strawberries, Hypothetical Question Gets Everyone in a Tizzy

About 30 years ago, the late great George Carlin asked the famous question; “Where’s the blue food?”  In this routine he’s quick to point out that many foods with “blue” in the name aren’t really blue.  Blueberries are so dark they barely register as blue.  Blue cheese is just white cheese with blue mold in it.  And if anyone on the internet refers you to a “blue waffle” please forget you read it and move on with your life.

This culinary curiosity appears to have everyone mystified as proved by the recent landslide of attention that has befallen a website called strawberryblu.com.  A cute little article attempting to answer the question “Do blue strawberries exist?” which was written about a year ago has just recently been a magnet of attention in the middle of a fierce debate over genetically modified food.

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The End of Barcodes? Toshiba Unveils Register Scanners that Can See Rather than Scan

I remember on my first day of computer programming class the first thing the teacher said was, “Computers are stupid.”  It was a valuable fact that has served me well in my relationships with these ubiquitous machines.

For instance, if I show a four year old a can of Coke, they can quickly tell me what it is. Whereas for a computer, we have to print a series of lines and numbers on it just so the dumbass box can get up to speed.

It makes you wonder why we have to go through all the trouble of making up barcodes just so a machine can understand what you and I plainly see.  It’s enough to make you think the barcode industry is some sort of insidious freemason plot.  Recently, though, Toshiba has announced a scanner for supermarkets and other shops that will bring this evil syndicate of barcode charlatans to their knees.

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Time-Lapse Film Shot In Fukushima Ghost Town Shows Amazingly Beautiful Starry Skies

Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster left multiple cities completely deserted, a number of videographers have ventured into the 20km “exclusion zone” either to find some dark secret or simply show people the situation. A recent video uploaded to YouTube takes more artistic angle in filming the disaster-affected areas.

The video, titled Time Lapse #053 Fukushima Hamadori 2012-03, uses time-lapse and the natural darkness produced by a town devoid of human inhabitants, the video captures stunning images of star-filled skies..

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Celebration of Pakistani Music, Food, Fashion, and More to be Held in Tokyo

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan began.  Since then the two countries have maintained a very strong diplomatic and economic relationship.  However, culturally the two countries haven’t gotten as close as they could have.

Thankfully the Pakistan Embassy in Japan along with members of the Pakistani community in Japan have organized the Pakistan Bazaar in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.  Anyone in the Tokyo area on 24-25 March is welcome to experience the historical and cultural beauty that fills Pakistan with free admission.

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What’s tacook? Rice and Anything Else at the Same Time

We here at RocketNews24 have a soft spot for rice cooker innovations, as can be seen with our own Big Mac Rice and Oreo Rice.

It seems Tiger Corporation has made their contribution to our favorite field of science with their new rice cooker, tacook.

With tacook, you can cook your rice and pretty much anything else you want to go with it at the same time in the same machine.

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Earlier this month in Kanagawa Prefecture, a high ranking government official was arrested for allegedly assaulting  his wife’s “male acquaintance.”  The attack took place when Mr. Noda (47) discovered his wife entering a hotel with another man (44) after following her when she left home late in the evening.  In the heat of the moment, Mr. Noda confronted them and allegedly ended up severely beating the man in the face and chest, breaking several ribs.

A few days after the confrontation, the alleged victim filed a complaint with the authorities.  After Mr. Noda was arrested, the story hit blogs across the internet and triggered a landslide of support for him.

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The Heartwarming Story of a Nepali Curry Shop That Won Over the Hearts and Twitter Followers of Japan

Arguably the most famous Nepali curry shop in Japan is Daisuki Nippon (I Love Japan) in Itabashi-ku, Tokyo.  Since its opening in 2010, this tiny, independently-run restaurant has managed to get attention from all corners of the country in a story that plays out eerily similar to the plot of a Seinfeld episode.

The story begins with shop owner Pradahan Vikas struggling to get anyone to come to his store.  Sometimes he would go the entire day without serving a meal.  Faced with such hard times, Mr. Vikas turned to Twitter to chronicle his worries, unbeknownst to him that they would be the key to his success.

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