“Would you like a fork or chopsticks with your drink?”

Convenience stores have gotten a bit of a bad name recently thanks to impetuous freezer divers the world over. But this might be the final…straw.

The above picture (sans pixelization) is blowing up on Twitter, having been retweeted over 4,000 times. But what’s wrong with a little chocolate milk tea??

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Top secret! This peep-preventing film will keep all eyes off your phone screen

Whether it’s people worrying about the NSA stealing all the cookies from their cookie jars or a generous gent hiding his identity, it seems that privacy is all over the news these days. And while we could argue the merits and demerits of living in a surveillance society, we can probably all agree that there’s nothing more annoying than people looking at your phone screen over your shoulder!

Of course, privacy-protecting films for phones have been around almost as long as cell phones have, but this one takes your privacy to heart and makes sure no one sees your business…

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Need a little help with your bags or the housework? Rent a middle-aged man for $10 an hour!

Japan is well known for its vast array of escort services that cater to every societal niche. You can find flashy girls and guys at hostess bars and host clubs who pose as your conversation and drinking partners for however long your money lasts. Butler and maid cafes have also found a market with the slightly less seedy (but no less obsessed) crowd who are willing to pay money to be served tea by snappily dressed attendants as they chat you up.

But what about the people that aren’t interested in the overly fashionable, intimidating bar workers? What if you don’t want some cute maid young enough to be your daughter, or a stoic butler the same age as your little brother at your beck and call?

Japan has got just the thing for you! Introducing rent-able middle-aged dudes!

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Sky cycling: The newest way to relieve constipation

Japan loves amusement parks. And who can blame anyone for that? The rides, the food, the long lines of screaming children. Okay, nothing’s perfect, but amusement parks certainly are a great way to spend the weekend, right? And the best part, of course, is the rides!

But not all rides are created equal. Just look at this photo of the “Sky Cycle” ride at Washuzan Highland, a Brazilian-themed amusement park in Okayama Prefecture. Doesn’t really seem very thrilling, does it? But wait…

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“Study Cube” combines prison cell and latrine… for kids!

Everyone hated studying when they were kids. Hell, everyone hated studying in college. That’s why you sat up on the top floor of the dorm with both a textbook and a beer open and somehow convinced yourself that studying drunk was totally cool as long as you were also drunk while taking the test.

But now a South Korean company has made it possible for kids and college students alike to get some hardcore studying done by creating a study prison that you may also be able to poop in because it totally looks like an old-timey latrine.

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Japan’s shopkeepers get tough with petty thieves, threaten death, man-on-man action

Be it a show of bravado, the result of peer pressure, or a misguided act of teenage rebellion, shoplifting – or manbiki as it is known – is a crime that thousands of kids across Japan commit each year. Most, no sooner have they pocketed some trinket or other, regret their actions immediately and are terrified to return to the scene of the crime lest they be apprehended by the store owner or a SWAT team lying in wait. A few, though, make a habit of stealing little odds and ends from stores, and before long it becomes a serious problem.

Rest assured, though, that Japan’s shopkeepers are on the lookout for sticky-fingered school kids, and are giving them fair warning of the terrible things that will happen should they be caught pilfering, with promises to hunt down, and in some cases physically violate, petty thieves.

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“Clever weather company!” Japan chuckles at garbled kanji on popular British clothing brand

SuperDry, the hugely popular brand from UK-based clothing company SuperGroup plc, has become the subject of great amusement here in Japan this week as photos showing numerous articles of clothing branded with nonsensical Japanese phrases show that it’s not just garbled English that exists in the world of fashion.

From sweatshirts pairing the words “Track & Field” with the Japanese characters for “Clever Weather Company” to shirts that randomly scream “Do iiit!” there’s plenty to keep Japanese speakers smiling, and for Westerners to beware of.

Welcome to the other side of the coin!

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The good, the bad and the “Burn it! Burn it!” – More awesome lunch boxes from Japan

Regular readers will no doubt know that we at RocketNews24 love few things more than a good character design bento lunchbox, or kyaraben for short. There are whole sections in book shops and libraries here in Japan dedicated to the art of crafting beautiful packed lunches using an array of techniques to transform something as plain as rice and a handful of toppings into characters and objects that will make their diner grin from ear to ear. And this new batch, published earlier today by Japan’s Naver Matome, shows us just how far creative cooks, mothers, husbands and wives are prepared to go to spruce up what can often be the day’s least exciting meal. Put down your Lunchables and check these out.

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These misshapen breads have questionable “character” 【Photos】

Whether it’s a ploy to improve sales figures or a means to satisfy their own creative urges, these Japanese bakeries have a thing for character-inspired breads. They’ll produce pastries of any given shape, from Pokemon to pandas and even the famous Mt. Fuji! However, some shops exhibit a bit more skill than others. Here’s a look at some of Japan’s more unfortunate attempts at baking character bread. Read More

Man in Taiwan arrested for… polishing other people’s cars

Recently in Taiwan, authorities finally apprehended a man who had been terrorizing a Taipei community for an untold stretch of time. This possible terrorist had been brazenly walking from car to a car with a cloth and wiping them down until they sparkled. The fiend!

Thankfully, a brave citizen saw their own car being shined by the man and reported him to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, the people of Taipei only had a brief respite from the horrors he unleashed as police released him shortly afterwards.

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Twisted Japanese: It’s not what you say, but how you say it!

As any Japanese speaker will no doubt tell you, the Japanese language, although tricky to master, is incredibly convenient. Not only can we entirely omit words such as “I” or “you” and simply say things like “taberu?” (“eat?”) or “iku?” (“go?”) and it still be perfectly acceptable, but there are also set phrases for use in a multitude of situations, the like of which simply do not exist in many other languages.

But even something as simple as the phrase yoroshiku onegaishimasu (lit. “Please do good (for me),” and used when asking for something or beginning a meeting, class, or even a work or training session) can be quite a mouthful at first. Thankfully though, a recent post made by a Japanese net user suggests that so long as you mutter something that sounds like the actual phrase, you’ll probably get by just fine.

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Scowling mascot brings a little fame to Japan’s least popular prefecture

Shimane Prefecture, ever heard of it? If your answer is a resounding “no,” you’re not alone. The oddly shaped prefecture stretching along the western coast of Japan is barely known within its own country, let alone abroad. But one disgruntled mascot is out to bring Shimane’s shortcomings to light, making fun of the prefecture’s lack of popularity and population, and giving the area a little boost in positive publicity online.

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Russian President Putin’s whiteboard doodle defies explanation

We’re often treated to videos of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin doing something ultra-macho, be it piloting jets and submarines, shooting large animals with tranquilizer darts, or fighting forest fires.

However, the leader of the largest country in the world also has a sensitive side. He just doesn’t let it show very often. When you give him the opportunity, though, just watch as he marvels you with his talent.

For example, while attending a demonstration for an interactive projection whiteboard, inspiration struck President Putin and he knew exactly how to visually express what was on his mind.

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Could this be the one thing you never want to find in your parents’ possession?

There are a number of things you would never want to find hidden in amongst your parents belongings, but this one might just take the top spot.

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Earlier this month, the Katamachi branch of the Chinese food restaurant Gyoza no Osho (King of Gyoza) in Kanazawa City, Japan, shut down after a group of men decided to drop in on the royal dumpling restaurant dressed in nothing but their birthday suits.

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That’s a nice mouse you have there. Be a shame for something to…happen to it…

The best and worst part about having siblings is the practical jokes. Or, to put it another way, the best thing about having siblings is getting revenge! Judging from the blurred picture above, can you guess what sort of fun an older brother had at his younger sibling’s expense?

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Osaka city worker busted for playing obscene amounts of solitaire on the clock

The Secretary General of the Osaka Board of Elections saw his annual pay docked two full months after it was discovered he’d spent 281 hours playing solitaire on the clock over a yearlong period ending in July.

What’s most amazing is that he got away with it all year until – and this is not a joke – a whistleblower finally had to come forward and turn the guy in. That kind of information leak certainly isn’t on the same level as the Bradley Mannings of the world, but it must have taken some guts for the guy to speak out about his boss’s solitaire addiction.

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Hot new item for habitual nose pickers

The feeling of wanting to pick one’s nose is something that every boy and girl can relate to. Unfortunately, society frowns upon people who blatantly go on a booger hunt. In Japan, even blowing your nose in public can be considered bad manners! We’re not sure how sniffling up your snot for hours is better than dispelling it all in one go, but that’s beside the point.

Bandai has a brand new product to ease that natural urge. When your nose has an itch that you’re just twitching to pick, here’s a prosthetic nose that you can pick even in public!

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Emo kitty haz a sad, needs your hugs

Life, as they say, is not fair. Sometimes it rains on your birthday. Sometimes your boss yells at your for jamming the printer when you haven’t used it in weeks. Sometimes your boyfriend/girlfriend decides your clothes would look better strewn across the front lawn. And, sometimes, you just have a sad face.

We’re not sure which of these problems is afflicting this poor emo kitty from Japan, but he clearly needs a hug.

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Need eye drops? There’s an unnecessarily complicated machine for that!

So let’s say you spend all day staring at a screen–computer screen, TV screen, smartphone screen, Death Star targeting screen. It doesn’t really matter what screen, since they all emit a lot of blue light–which can be hard on your eyes. So, you want to protect your vision, but what do you do? You should get some eye drops!

Unfortunately, as you probably know, getting the eye drops from the bottle into your eyeballs is one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Almost as difficult as getting Comiket attendees to bathe. But have no fear! Omocoro, the Photoshop wizards, are here to save the day with a Pythagorean device!

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