New Fad, “Frog Mouthing” Popular Among Young Caterpillars Results in One Death

Caterpillars around the world are joining the newest trend of frog mouthing, in which caterpillars film or photograph themselves near frog’s mouths.  Posting the video or picture on YouTube or SNS is an integral part of the game.

However, this fad turned tragic when one year-old caterpillar, Josh Ketzlwyck of Indiana was fatally eaten while frog mouthing.  The incident was caught on tape by friend, 10 month-old Chip “Skeeter” Wendel and uploaded to YouTube.

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Man Frames Octopus for Murder or Vice-Versa, Trial Ongoing in South Korea

In Incheon, South Korea, a bizarre murder trial is taking place surrounding the 2010 death of a 22 year-old woman, referred to as Ms. Y.  The defendant is her boyfriend, 31 year-old Mr. K.  Prosecutors are demanding that Mr. K be sentenced to death for her murder.

With a key piece of evidence missing, he must convince the court of his side of the story: an octopus did it.

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When Goombas Just Won’t Die: East Indian Trade Expo Borrows Super Mario Bros.

You know when you have one of those dreams in which everything seems perfectly normal at first, but then you notice that something isn’t quite right? A tiny little hole in your otherwise immaculately woven subconscious tapestry opens up, and within seconds you realise that none of it is real. The image unravels like a fake Burberry cardigan thrown to a litter of kittens, and before you know it you’re wondering how you ever fell for it in the first place.

Techno-management festival Concetto’s Super Mario Bros. themed website had exactly the same effect on me the first time I saw it. As a man who, since the age of 7, has probably finished the original game about a hundred times, the effect of seeing much-loved videogame imagery used as a third party website is at once captivating and unsettling. Read More

Mother Unable to Tell her Quadruplets Apart, Shaves Numbers into Their Heads…Well That’ll Solve the Problem…

They say a mother is always able to recognize her children even if her offspring are genetically identical.  Surely even Nadya Suleman, the infamous Octomom, is able to tell the difference between each child in her artificially created brood.

But what about the rest of us?  Without a maternal connection to sets of identical siblings, how are we supposed to tell them apart?

Enter one mother in China who had a low-cost solution to this problem: shave numbers into their heads.  Why hasn’t anyone done this before?  Taking a cue from The Island is a brilliant idea, nothing could ever go wrong.

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Bull Sumo in the Oki Islands 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

Starting this week, RocketNews24 will feature blogs written by people living in Asia who we hope can offer a unique glimpse at the country they call home. The first of these is You, Me, And a Tanuki by one of our own writers, Michelle. Originally from California, Michille is currently one of only two foreigners living in a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan.  We’re still looking for more unique and interesting stories from Asia to share with the world, so drop us a line if you’d like to have your own blog featured on RocketNews24.

The Oki Islands, nestled in the Sea of Japan, have a tumultuous history.  Once used as a place of exile for fallen emperors, the islands have been shaped by its unique past and transformed into an area rich in traditional culture and events.  One such event is ushi-tsuki, or bull sumo.  Used as a form of entertainment for the exiled Emperor Gotoba and dating back to 1221, the tradition of bull sumo is still proudly preserved by the local people of Oki.       

Unlike the famous “man vs. beast” bull fighting of Spain, Oki’s bull fighting pits bull against bull in a fair battle of brute bovine strength.  The match is over when one bull gives up and runs away and neither bull is injured in the ring.  There are even weight classes and bulls of comparable weight fight against each other.  Humans are present in the ring, but only play a supporting role facilitating the fight. 

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Namba Parks Gets Rave Reviews from Overseas

Some photos recently posted on reddit of a shopping mall in central Osaka surprised those not living Japan some of whom wanted to live in the mall. This, in turn, surprised Japanese people who didn’t know it was that amazing to others.

The mall, aptly named Namba Parks certainly looks beautiful from this angle but there is actually function as well as form at work here.

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Polar Bear Arrested in Russia for Holding Unlawful Protest, Writes Catchy Slogans

Russian law and order has been getting a fair bit of heat over their “excessive” sentences of 2 years in prison for an anti-Putin protest in front of a cathedral in Moscow.

Now it appears Moscow police aren’t winning over the hearts of the global community again by apprehending mankind’s most favorite animal, the polar bear.

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Starbucks & ANA Bring You a Coffee Tumbler So Cute, You’ll Forget About the Price…Oh Wait, It’s 50 Bucks…

ANA (All Nippon Airlines), Japan’s largest airline, has teamed up with Starbucks to release a limited edition stainless steel coffee tumbler.

With it’s clean white color and charming little whale/rainbow combo, you can’t help but scream, “IT’S SO CUTE!!!”  One of our reporters was so enthralled with the cuteness of this limited edition tumbler, that she stopped an unsuspecting bystander and demanded to know where she procured such an adorable item.

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“Breaking Up with a Social Network” or “When Computers Get Needy”

Breaking up is hard to do at the best of times, but when one half of the couple is still head-over-heels in love, it’s even harder. As much as we’d all like to think of ourselves as decent human beings who step up and address situations like these with the haste and sincerity they deserve, more-often-than-not we take the coward’s way out: we drop as many subtle hints as we can and draw the break-up out like an awkward teen melodrama. We call less often; we glaze over when the conversation turns to ‘us’; we switch from Corn Flakes to Alpha-Bits cereal and routinely leave phrases like ‘it’s over’ and ‘go away’ on the counter-top….

Thank goodness leaving social network services is so much less awkward. Click, click; done. Computers don’t have feelings, right?

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Is That a Banana in Your Parfait or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

The image you see above is that of a standard banana parfait in Japan. Pleasing to the eye and undoubtedly delicious.

The image that comes after the break in this article, which was retweeted over 13,000 times after going viral in Japan earlier this week, is that of a banana parfait arranged to like a giant…you know…

Just check the image below.

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Telling Cell Phone Wallpaper: What NOT to use!

Are you curious about people’s wallpaper?  Have you ever found a colleague or acquaintance looking over your shoulder at your wallpaper?  Are you dying to know the wallpaper of the person sitting next to you at work?  Well don’t worry, other people’s wallpaper is a natural curiosity, and according to Irorio, a popular Japanese news blog,  the wallpaper you choose is very telling of what kind of person you are!

With that in mind, a survey was conducted  of  362 males and 506 females to find out the major turn offs for men and women concerning wallpaper choices.

The results are ranked according to gender, in order of distastefulness along with the percentage of men and women who picked them.  The wallpapers most likely to lose you the respect of your friends and colleagues are ranked as follows: Read More

The Beautiful Paper Lanterns of Akita’s Tanabata Edoro Festival

For the nights of August 5-7, the streets of Yuzawa, Akita prefecture, are illuminated with the soft glow of ukiyo-e-esque paintings on paper lanterns for the Tanabata Edoro (Picture Lantern) Festival, a 300-year-old festival that takes place near JR Yuzawa station during Tanabata every year.

Akita is known for having some of the most beautiful women in Japan and the hand-painted paper lanterns do the prefecture justice, portraying illustrations of beautiful Japanese women, often in seductive poses.

Take a look at some of the lanterns from previous years below:

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Biohazard Teaser Site Hints at an Ambiguous “New Terror” Coming September 14

There’s a lot of cool stuff going on for Resident Evil fans recently. You’ve got the S.T.A.R.S. restaurant in Tokyo, the Resident Evil attraction at Universal Studios Japan, Resident Evil: Retribution movie coming to the big screen this September and of course the OH MY GOD ZOMBIE RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!

…sorry, what we were saying is: and of course, the October 2 release of Resident Evil 6, which will undoubtedly be less scary than the zombie attack text adventure above, if more recent titles are anything to judge by.

But hey, Capcom hasn’t lost it yet! Just check out their new teaser webpage, titled “Biohazard Hisotry.”

But be sure to turn the volume down and scroll down slowly, otherwise you might GAHHH HEADCRAB RIGHT ABOVE YOU!!!

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A Candy Store Variety ‘Cream of Corn Soup’ Flavored Ice Cream Bar Fit for a Fancy Restaurant

If you give a kid a hundred yen to buy a treat on a hot summer’s day, he’ll most likely skip off to the candy store to buy himself a Gari Gari Kun, a very popular ice cream bar sold just about anywhere. It is also the preference of many dark jedi. The standard Gari Gari Kun (gari gari is the sound of ice being crunched or scratched, and kun is an informal address aking to ‘boy’) comes in blue packaging and is cream-soda flavored. When it comes to ice cream bars, why give up a good thing?

Because right now, there is a limited-edition cream of corn soup flavored Gari Gari Kun! Gari Gari Kun comes up with different flavored ice cream bars all the time, though they’re usually a special seasonal flavor, like grape or melon. Although there is no season to cream of corn soup, it would be safe to say that cream of corn soup is a standard ‘soup of the day’ for many fancy European restaurants.

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Ballet Shoes- check, Sports Drink- check, Squid in a Bag- check

Summers in Japan are unbearably long, hot and humid affairs that many of us would happily trade in for a couple more weeks of winter. But, sweaty or not, life goes on, so we do what we can to stay cool. Some invest in portable fans; some buy high-tech, sweat-wicking underwear; some make the fatal error of freezing a can of soda and seriously injuring themselves in the process.

Throwing a damp towel or facecloth into the freezer to use later as a frosty pick-me-up is a common method of beating the heat here in Japan, which is exactly what one young lady decided to do before heading off to ballet practice. Or so she thought… Read More

Elementary School Child’s Design Chosen For Japanese Commemorative Coin, “Unsophisticated” Drawing Shown No Mercy

Japan’s Ministry of Finance has just announced the chosen designs for coins commemorating the reconstruction efforts for the Great East Japan Earthquake that rocked the northern area of Tohoku on March 11, 2011. 

A premium gold coin with a face value of 10,000 yen (US $127) and a premium silver coin with a face value of 1,000 yen (US $12.75) are schedule to be produced in 2015.  Most are engraved with beautiful symbols of Japan, but does one of them look a little funny to you? Read More

Is Mt. Fuji About to Blow Its Top?

According to researchers, Japan might be about the add volcanic eruptions to the list of catastrophes that have dogged it over the past year, and the volcano in question is none other than the iconic Mt. Fuji. Read More

US University Admits it Used Chinese Children in GM Rice Testing, Chinese Government Denies Involvement

On August 31, Greenpeace uncovered a study backed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) involving feeding genetically modified (GM) rice to children in Hunan province, China.

Chinese officials in Hunan immediately denied that the study had taken place but a few days later, a representative from Tufts University in the United States confirmed that they had indeed tested a new strain of GM rice on Chinese children in rural areas of Hunan.

Whoops! Looks like someone’s a tattletale.

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Man Offers to Cover His Body in Advertisements, Rides Japan’s Busiest Train All Day

Would you buy a product that was advertised on a man’s crotch?

A few companies in Japan think you would.  Currently on Yahoo Japan’s auction site, a man is offering to ride the Yamanote line, one of Japan’s busiest train routes, decked out in advertisements for an entire day.  His unique service has already received 20 bids.

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