Global

The Slow Rise to Success of the Stapleless Stapler, Japan’s Latest Office Trend Poised to Take the World

Get ready to say goodbye to staples.  Not the office supply chain, those little metal pins we’ve relied on for so long to fasten papers together.  Japan is currently undergoing the no-staple revolution thanks to some innovative new products that have surprisingly been around for a long time – stapleless staplers!

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What if Totoro were Real? US Artist Brings Studio Ghibli Characters to Life in Shocking Detail

From Totoro to Ponyo, Studio Ghibli’s characters are adored by millions of people the world over. But if those cute and cuddly creations were given a more realistic makeover would be still be quite so fond of them? If Totoro went from “Aaaaw” to “Arrrgh!” would quite so many kids insist on being tucked into a Ghibli bed-spread each night?

US artist and owner of one of the best names ever Andrew Michael Golden may be familiar to some readers for his “Videogame Characters in Real Life” series which went viral back in September this year. Well, since then he’s been hard at work bringing all of your Studio Ghibli favourites into our world.

And, goodness me, they’re eye-catching…

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Make Citrus Your Bitch With the Citrus Sprayer

Nothing livens up a salad or a roast chicken breast like a bit of fresh lemon, but isn’t it a pain to have to do all that cutting and squeezing? Don’t you just wish you could grab a lemon off the tree and pump it dry on the spot?

Well, now you can with Citrus Sprayer, a clever little utensil that turns fresh citrus fruit into a natural spray bottle!

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【RocketRoundup】 Facewear, Germs and Shinjuku Zombies

Happy Sunday, boys and girls!

We trust you had a pleasant week?

We’ve been busy as ever here at RocketNews24 and, as well as enjoying the Halloween festivities, we’ve seen everything from black Big Macs and cross-dressing confessions to old-school Super Mario and genital pixelization. Not all together, of course; that would be horrific…

Despite the mercilessly hot Japanese summer seemingly having ended just a few weeks ago, the temperature has suddenly dropped here in Tokyo and everyone is already starting to wrap up warm and flip their air conditioning from chill to toasty. And no sooner had those coats and jackets come out of the closet than those nasty old cold germs came back to bite us.

Which can only mean one thing: face masks are back!

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How’s It Hangin’ Japan? “To the Left,” Say About 40% of Guys

Here’s your Japanese vocabulary lesson for the day:

   Chinpoji   –    Cheenpojee   –   [noun]
The perfect position for a man’s junk to rest in his underwear, pants, etc.

For men worldwide, to function normally we have to have our gear oriented in the correct position.  If through moving or sitting we fall out of chinpoji, then our minds become clouded with neuroses.

According to a survey by Japanese underwear maker Wacoal, 75% of men “are anxious about the positioning of their ‘front parts.’”  Not just the discomfort going on inside the pants; many men feel that their packages can be seen by people on the outside too when they’re out of place. This causes us to perform emergency public adjustments, which makes any woman within eyeshot go “ugghhh.”  In the end no one wins.

Yahoo Japan’s R25 explored this issue deeper, seeking to discover if all men’s chinpoji are the same and, if so, ask a medical professional why.  Here’s what they found.

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Incredible Flip-Book Animation Adopted by English Band Muse as Official Music Video

Regular RocketNews24 readers may recall an article we did back in March this year that introduced us to Furiko (Pendulum), the flip-book animation hand-drawn by eccentric Japanese comedian Tekken that had us all welling up with tears.

The video, set to English band Muse’s symphonic track Exogenesis, told the story of a young couple’s life together, following them from the moment that they first met through middle-aged marital hiccups before they meet their inevitable mortal end. The video received deservedly high praise, not just because every one of the 1,038 pages that make up the animation were hand-drawn, but because the video managed to pack as much genuine feeling and emotion into three minutes as most hollywood blockbusters in two hours.

Months later, Furiko has caught the attention of none other than Muse themselves, who were so moved that they decided to make it the official music video for their beautiful track.

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【RocketRoundup】 Burgers, Bouquets, Beauties and Breasts

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve survived another week.

And what a week it’s been!

We’ve seen the arrival of a device that lets us share smells via mobile phone, members of the public quite literally caught with their hands down their pants, an invaluable list of turn-offs for girls to watch out for, and photos that reveal smoking-hot Japanese porn stars to be perfectly ordinary women and not from space after all.

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Revolutionary Speakers Made Entirely of Rubber, All the Bass without those Pesky Magnets

At this year’s CEATEC Japan, Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. unveiled the first ever speaker made entirely of rubber – or should I say “smart rubber.”  With this technology what appears to be an ordinary strip of latex can be wired into a speaker.

There already is a range of modern products such smartphones using miniature speakers to produce decent quality sound. However, smart rubber speakers stand above with one thing they don’t have – good bass.

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Incredible New Animated Music Video “Transfer” Wins Fans the World Over

You know something’s a hit when people all over the world are taking to their keyboards to express their amazement and tweeting the links like the internet’s about to be switched off.

Created by music group Ongaku Unit and featuring the vocal talents of hugely-popular voice actor and singer Megumi Nakajima, the video, titled “Transfer”, has already found much love abroad, with many claiming that the video is nothing short of “a revolution” and “the future of music videos”.

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【RocketRoundup】 This Week’s Best Bits

Hello and good morning/afternoon/evening to you!

Welcome to the very first Rocket Roundup; your guide to the biggest stories of the week here at RocketNews24, all in one snug little post.

I don’t know about you good people, but it’s been a pretty busy week here at RocketNews24– I can’t remember the last time I saw as many crazy stories go up in the space of seven short days. That said, I think I speak for the entire team when I say that it’s been a pleasure as always, and we love discrovering new, fun, quirky and downright weird news stories almost as much as we do sharing it with you guys.

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Turn the Ocean into a Pool: 12 Products That Are Perfect for Opposite Day

A collection of 12 products from around the world that were created by reversing the product’s original concept.  From an upside-down phone to a jacket to chill your wine, all twelve items are available for purchase, but many will make you wonder, do I really need that?

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Cassette to iPod Converter Helps ‘80s Kids Keep Their Tape Collection Alive

We all love new technology, but when the arrival of a new generation of hardware signals the end of another, it can be kind of sad.

Vinyl will always be considered classic, but VHS and audio cassettes have sadly gone the way of the dinosaurs, with MiniDiscs (remember them?), and maybe one day CDs, soon to follow.

While CD quality sound is universally recognised as being superior to MP3 music, and despite MiniDiscs still hanging on in Japan years after the west turned its back on them, highly compressed MP3 is fast becoming the format of choice for millions of people, meaning that more and more of our once-loved possessions are relegated to sitting on the shelf or in a desk drawer somewhere.

So what are we to do with those Backstreet Boys cassettes? What fate awaits forgotten Bon Jovi tapes that rattle around the glove-box of a car whose stereo no longer has a tape deck? Are we destined never again to hear their muffled warbles and grainy beats?

Help is at hand!

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While Exports of Bonsai Increased 10 Fold Around the World, a Revival in Bonsai is Hoped for in Japan.

Bonsai Farmer Mr. Yamachi explains the art of bonsai to eager listener Mr. Remo a Swiss man and his family in Takamatsu’s Kokubunji cho.

The word “Bonsai” needs no translation. It is renowned internationally as a beautiful form of art which condenses nature into enjoyable little plants.

Recently, exports around the world of these little trees have increased by leaps and bounds. Hugely popular across Asia, Europe, and America, Bonsai exports to these areas have hit a record high, 10 times what they were only ten years ago.  With the onset of autumn, as exports reach full-scale, people who work in the bonsai business hope that bonsai can regain some of its popularity domestically as well.

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Why Japanese Girls Are a Better Catch Than Japanese Men: The Thoughts of a Japanese Cabin Attendant

In this age of global travel and internet communication, meeting and even getting seriously involved with someone from outside your country is a very real possibility. For that matter, how do Japanese women and men rate as romantic interests? Takako Matsushita, a Japanese cabin attendant who has also appeared on T.V. and in magazines, offers her perspective on how Japanese women may get higher marks than Japanese men in the international dating market. And her message? Japanese men need to watch out, or all the nice ladies in Japan may be snatched up by foreign men! Read More

Japanese Tourists Ill-Mannered? A Simple Request to Japanese Travelers that May Do Wonders for Their Reputation

Those of you familiar with our Japanese site are probably aware that our reporters often travel overseas to bring interesting stories from around the world to our Japanese readers. Recently, one reporter shared with us an eye-opening realization he had while traveling, one that could have serious bearing on the reputation of Japanese tourists abroad.

Being Japanese and also very fond of traveling myself, this was a story I couldn’t take lightly! Read More

Chinese Super Mario: Wonderful Things Can Happen When Martial Arts Meet Mushrooms

OK, Rocketeers, the first person who can count the number of times I’ve mentioned Super Mario in my articles since joining the RocketNews24 crew gets a prize!*

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the games; maybe it’s because I wanted an NES for so, so long but had to be content with occasional two-minute stints on my friend’s console until my parents finally caved in and bought me one years later…

Whatever the reason, Super Mario is kinda my thing. So when my editor mentioned that someone had made “a Chinese Mario movie”, I was on it in a flash.

This movie is immensely silly, and it’s not Super Mario Bros. But even so, it is kind of wonderful…

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Hitachi’s New Quartz Storage Technology Lets You Keep Your Data Safe for a Long, Long Time

At the recent International Symposium on Optical Memory in Tokyo, Hitachi, working with Kyoto University, presented their new type of digital storage.  It works on a principle similar to CDs but with a few added benefits like withstanding over 1000℃ temperatures.

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Kiss Scarecrow Found In Japan, Next Step for the Kings of Merchanidse?

Legendary rock band Kiss has been enjoying decades of success both with their infamous live shows and their unbelievably prolific line of merchandise.  Sure you have your Kiss Army badge and Love Gun belt buckle (for the ladies *wink*), but where’s your Kiss Mini Cooper?

If you’re a true Kiss fan do you only play bingo using the official Kiss Bingo set? When you go to Sotheby’s do you take your Kiss auction paddle?  Is your last will and testament set up to have you spend eternity in your very own Kiss coffin or urn?

At this point a Kiss scarecrow doesn’t seem so wild an idea does it?

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