Nissan’s New Safety Technology Wrestles Control of the Wheel from Drivers Facing Doom

As the world inches closer and closer to driverless cars, Nissan released a video demonstration of their newest precrash system, the Autonomous Emergency Steering System.  It utilizes an arrangement of camera, laser, and radar sensors to detect objects around your car and avoid potential collisions by commandeering the steering wheel.

In other words, if your car thinks it can drive better than you then it takes control of the wheel.

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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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Knife Resistant Shirt Presented at Anti-Terrorist Convention

As a high ranking anti-terrorist agent in my fantasies off-time I’m often attacked by knife wielding maniacs.  This is why when I read Gigazine’s coverage of the recent Special Equipment Exhibition & Conference for Anti-Terrorism (SEECAT) 2012 in Tokyo I saw something that really piqued my interest.

On display at the Tanizawa Corp. booth was a sporty looking sweater that also prevents damage from knife slashes.  It could be the most comfy looking piece of armor I’ve seen.

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Ladies Beware! 9 Things Men Don’t Want to Find in a Girl’s Room

We all try to make good impressions when we have people over, don’t we? Especially when it’s a special someone. Well, if the person you’re inviting over is a Japanese man, there are some things ladies should beware of, according to Yahoo! Japan. Apparently, Japanese men (and perhaps it’s not just Japanese men) sometimes harbor “illusions” about what girls’ rooms are like — you know, always smelling sweet, with maybe lots of pink and lace and fluff. Well, sorry to have to break it to you guys, but these are “illusions” that exist mainly in movies or glossy magazines.

Putting male hypocrisy aside, I think we ladies can agree that no one has their room in picture-perfect condition all the time. But just to make sure you don’t plunge your male visitors into shock, the writers at Yahoo! Japan offer the following advice on 9 items that Japanese men say they definitely don’t want to see in a girl’s roomRead More

Why Are More Young Japanese Women Showing Nationalistic Tendencies? (It’s the internet, stupid)

Ultra-rightist movements in Japan are visible through men who cover their faces with black bandannas, sun glasses and helmets.  They drive around in what is as close to an armored van as a Japanese civilian can get and spew military music and political rhetoric from loudhailers fixed to the top of the vehicle.  You can hear them coming from miles away and are reminded that the nationalism that led Japan into World War II is still alive to some extent, albeit among a small minority of people.

It is hard to believe, quite shocking in fact, that young Japanese women who don’t appear to have a provocative thought in their head are becoming politically active on the rightist’s side. Read More

The Problem With Everyone Knowing Where We Live【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

My husband and I live on a five square mile island with less than 600 inhabitants. To make matters even cozier, most of our island is mountainous so the houses are clustered together on the coasts where any flat land is available. As a result of our close proximity to our neighbors and the fact that we are the only two foreigners on the island, everyone knows where we live.

This is a great thing most of the time. People often come to our door to give us extra vegetables from their garden or fish they caught. When Khoa and I stayed on the island during New Year’s, the principal of the elementary school saw the light on at our house, figured we were home, and invited us over for a big New Year’s feast.

However, there is a downside to the entire island knowing our whereabouts.

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[Perfect for Halloween] Make Your Own Gaping Flesh Wound Without Wounding Yourself!

With Halloween just around the corner many people are looking around for those finishing touches on their costumes.  And what better accoutrement to your costume is there than an open sore or gaping wound?

However, store bought injuries can be cumbersome and might not look the way you want.  And while injuring yourself with a butcher’s knife is an economically sound idea it could seriously hamper your day to day activities.

So let us show you a safe way to make your own realistic wounds using ordinary household items! Just follow our multimedia guide on wounding yourself and get yourself some markers and glue.

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Food Fight: We Compare Yoshinoya and Sukiya’s Pricey New Dishes

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Times are tough in Japan, and, as reported here on RocketNews24 earlier this week, the country’s two biggest gyūdon chains, Sukiya and Yoshinoya, are tightening their belts after seeing financial losses in the first half of the tax year.

The restaurants’ response to the decrease in profits? Stop cutting costs, end the focus on dirt-cheap dishes and instead launch new, fancier menus in the hope of enticing new customers and squeezing a few extra yen out of regular patrons.

Both Yoshinoya and Sukiya’s new dishes that are more than twice the price of their regular gyūdon staples, but the restaurants claim that they are a cut above the rest as a result. But will the average salary-man, with just 500 yen per day to spend on lunch, want to pay extra for a fancier menu? And if they do, which dish should they choose?

Armed with a camera and grumbling stomachs, we headed out to both restaurants on two seperate days to try the new dishes for ourselves.

Let the New Gyūdon Wars begin!

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New Vocaloid Mayu Gets December 5 Release Date, Bundled with 2-disk CD Compilation

Vocaloid producer Exit Tunes announced today that the newest Vocaloid, Mayu, will make her debut on December 5 along with the release of VOCALOID3 Library MAYU, a special package containing the Vocaloid3 software with Mayu’s voice library installed and a 2-CD compilation of Mayu tracks produced by over 30 different artists.

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Pretty White Soba Flowers Making Fukui Locals Want to Vomit

For those of us living in cities, the idea of moving away to a country home surrounded by vast meadows of these pretty white autumn flowers sounds nice doesn’t it? However, this year, in Fukui Prefecture, where crops of thousands of these soba (buckwheat) flowers are grown, residents are perplexed that all these little blossoms literally smell like an ocean of sh*t.

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“Spare Some Change, Guvnor?” Photo of Distinctly Impious Monks Causes Outrage Online

In pretty much any major city around the world, you’re bound to run in to a person collecting money for some cause or other. It could be in aid of curing a deadly disease, cutting world hunger, protecting the environment or even animal rights activists PETA asking for donations when they’re not making online videogames

In Japan, it’s not uncommon to encounter Buddhist monks, standing still in the street with a bowl in hand, asking for donations. This is a tradition that has existed in Japan for centuries, and, while few busy city-dwellers stop to drop a few yen in the bowl, even fewer would begrudge the monks for doing it since they have scant income and bring a lot of comfort to many people.

A photo that appeared online earlier this week, however, showing what appears to be two monks sitting in a side-street laughing and smoking while counting their takings for the day, has caused quite a stir among Japan’s internet users…

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Japanese Juggler Elevates the Art, Superhuman Performance Caught on Tape

Most people think the art of juggling is played out.  We think we’ve seen it all from balls to batons to even the point that flaming chainsaws gets yawns from spectators.  But a performance at the 2012 Japan Juggling Festival by a mysterious juggler called Yanazo drew gasps and a standing ovation from the crowd.

Even only using a single ball he is captivating to watch.  If you can catch a ball with the outside of your elbow then congratulations: You can do about a half a second of this six minute act.

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Singapore to Fine Spammers $8,000 per E-mail Sent

Singapore, a country famous for its strict punishments for even minor crimes, again lived up to its reputation with a new law threatening a fine of 10,000 Singaporean Dollars (US$8,000) for every single unwanted e-mail sent for the purposes of solicitation otherwise known as spam.

What this will mean for the generic medicine and penis enhancement industries in Singapore remains to be seen.

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How would you like to spend the golden years of your life? Join a volunteer group? Or perhaps travel the world?

This 84-year-old man in China has decided that he would do something that most of us would probably never find the courage to do in our life: he poses nude in front of strangers.

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Pokémaniacs, ready your credit cards because Amazon Japan launched their Pokémon Store, a special page dedicated to the sale of all things Pokémon, on October 17.

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French Commentator’s “Radiation” Joke Angers Japanese Government

Following Japan’s 1-0 victory over France in the friendly football (soccer to our North American readers) match last week, a French variety show host made a joke that has touched a nerve here in Japan.

Alluding to Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima’s impressive skills on the field, the show presented an edited image of the player, showing him with four arms.

The show’s presenter then suggested that Kawashima’s additional limbs might be the result of “the Fukushima effect” and that they had grown after exposure to radiation leaked from the nuclear plant damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. While the joke went down well during the show, many Japanese are understandably very upset…

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Japan’s Armed Forces Show Their Playful Side: Moé-Style Attack Helicopter Wows Crowds

“It just goes to show that we really do live in a peaceful country.”

A quote from an internet user sums up the mood perfectly after Japan’s Self Defence Forces unveil a unique attack helicopter covered with manga-influenced designs and colours.

Presented as part of an air show in Chiba prefecture last weekend, the quirky new helicopter quickly stole the show, with hundreds of people taking photos and video to share on the internet.

Whether we’d ever see a helicopter like this fly into battle or not, there’s no denying that it has an awful lot of charm.

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