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When Regular People Ride in F1 Cars, Funny Things Happen

Japanese site Livedoor News gave us a chuckle earlier this week when they presented a short article detailing how regular, everyday folk like you and me (when I’m not dining on roasted swan with the queen, that is) can take a ride in a Formula One racing car and experience every skeleton-crushing g-force and stomach-wrenching twist and turn for real.

In a video taken at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dabi, United Arab Emirates, we see the unfortunate passenger in the rear of a specially adapted 1999 model Tyrrell F1 car thrown about as the professional driver tears around the track, almost as if he’s trying his hardest to get his passenger to throw up a lung.

All we can say is: thank goodness she’s wearing a helmet.

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Transformers Are Real and You Will Want One

Maker Faire is an event that gives people a chance to showcase their DIY projects and emphasizes the importance of being creators and innovators rather than just consumers.

As you might imagine, when the event came to tech-savvy Japan on Dec 1st and 2nd, there was some serious gadgetry on display, including a fully functional Transformer robot from Brave Robotics. Read More

Your Morning Workout: Japanese Library Staff Show Us How to Strech in Hilarious / Cute Video

Oh, Japan, we love you so much.

Morning stretches, or asa taisou, may look faintly ridiculous to many westerners, but it’s not uncommon for companies both large and small to have their entire staff standing up and performing a daily warmup routine each morning, often to music. Stroll past a construction site at around 8:30 a.m. and you’ll likely see a team of burly men wearing hard hats doing shoulder shrugs in unison or doing hip gyrations chanting one, two, three, four!

Just this morning, however, we at RocketNews24 witnessed perhaps the greatest example of morning stretch routines ever; a spectacle that had us chuckling, scratching out heads and finally nodding in agreement.

Prepare yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for the Michinoku Librarian Union’s daily exercise routine!

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Japanese Husband and Nissan Go All Out to Give Wife Anniversary Surprise of a Lifetime

We all know about wedding anniversaries like the 50th year ‘Golden Anniversary’ and the 25th year ‘Silver Anniversary.’ Some people even may make a point of celebrating every year with something special, others may surprise their partner on an unplanned year.

One Japanese man teamed up with Nissan (yes, the car company) to give his wife the surprise of a lifetime for their 11th anniversary.

Check the video below!

 

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“Aaaaargh!!!” Baby Red Panda Makes his Dramatic Screen Debut

We’ve all seen those popular internet videos like the sneezing baby panda and dramatic look gopher, but in Hokkaido today a new internet phenomenon may have been born.

While filming at Murayama Zoo in Sapporo, visitors watched as a baby red panda, known as Gin, received a shock when his caretaker entered their pen to check if they had enough food left in their dish.

What might have caused most animals to simply jump a little, however, caused little Gin to fall over backwards, mouth open and limbs flailing like Sarah Connor when Arnold Schwarzeneggar comes out of the elevator in James Cameron’s Terminator 2

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【Fixed】 Collection of Ingenious Short Skits From the Japanese Program That Brought Us “Matrix Ping Pong” Now on YouTube

Kasou Taisho, or All Japan Kasoh (Costume) Grand Prix, is a semi-annual televised contest in which amateur groups or individuals perform short skits which are rated by a panel of judges.

Many of the skits make extensive use of kurogo: stagehands dressed in all black to imply they are “invisible” to the audience while they move around props or actors on stage. This allows performers to create clever illusions and “fake” special effects, such as in the classic “Matrix Ping Pong” skit, which you can see above.

Having been on the air for more than 30 years, the show no doubt has an extensive library of short, funny video clips—or as we call it these days, internet crack. And finally figuring out that crack sells, Kasou Taisho has posted nearly 100 of their finest skits from over the years for your viewing pleasure on YouTube.

We hope you weren’t planning on doing anything productive over the next half hour…

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【Video Magic】 Hatsune Miku in 3-D, Minus Glasses or Fancy Screens!!!

A video released on NicoNico Video by a group going by the name of Shichoukaku iinkai “The Audiovisual committee” has wowed Japanese internet users this week by managing to create a pseudo 3-D effect on 2-D monitors.

The video has since gone viral and, as of this afternoon, has reached more than 100,000 views.

Of course, it probably helps that digital idol Hatsune Miku is the star of the video, which sees the character dancing around while surrounded by thousands of (3-D!) shards of glass.

With a little concentration, the video’s 3-D effect actually works, even if it does require the user to look faintly ridiculous to see it…

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Chinese Railway Worker Suspended for “F**k’em Gangnam Style” Song Parody

Boy that Gangnam Style is one catchy tune.  The Korean smash hit has transcended international boundaries like few others before it.  When I fry my eggs in the morning I “flip’em Gangnam style” and when I’m retiling the bathroom I can’t help but “grout’em Gangnam style.”

One day, a railway worker in China was feeling down about his job and needed to let out some emotions about it.  Unfortunately, he decided to “vent’em Gangnam style” and record it… and upload it to a popular Chinese video sharing site.  You can probably imagine what happened from there – imagine it Gangnam style.

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Flip-Book Animator Strikes Again with Emotional New Music Video

Just last week we featured the work of Japanese comedian and animator Tekken when British band Muse adopted his heart-rending flip-book animation Pendulum as the official video for one of their tracks.

So imagine our surprise when Warner Music Japan unveiled the artist’s latest animation as the music video for Toshihide Baba’s inspiring track “Yowai Mushi” earlier this week.

The track’s title literally translates as “weak insect”, but we could perhaps better interpret it as “weakling” or “wimp”. Although it’s perhaps not quite as tear-jerking as Pendulum, Yowa Mushi still manages to touch even our cold, unfeeling hearts…

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Rip-off or Coincidence? Tokyo University Students Win Prize for Video Remarkably Similar to Well-Known 2010 Creation

If no-one ever copied anyone else, fire would have died along with the first humans to create it. Social creatures that we are, human beings copy, modify and improve what has gone before in order to succeed; it’s just a part of life.

But when it comes to artistic creation, borrowing ideas from another person’s work isn’t usually looked on quite so favourably.

In September this year, a group of students from a Tokyo university received the first prize in the Shinjuku Creators Festa 2012 for a short film that shares more than a passing resemblance to Pixels, a video created by French film creator Patrick Jean in 2010.

Whether intentional or not, the similarities between the two creations are startling, land have led to an online debate, with many calling the young team’s work “a simple rip-off”…

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Sh*t Japanese Girls Say and Other Hilarious Truths From an American Living in Japan

Shit Girls Say is a comedy web series that pokes fun at the cliches and stereotypes associated with young female speech.

Of course, there’s a good chance you probably knew this; the videos have racked up more than 32 million combined views to date and spawned countless parodies exploring the quirky verbal mannerisms of black girls, single girls, Asian moms and more.

Well now Japan is finally in on the joke with “Sh*t Japanese Girls Say.”

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Japanese Man Perfects, Battles Most Useless Machine 【Video】

In the early 1950s, American mathematician and engineer Claude Shannon built a device that looked like a simple wooden casket with a single switch on the side. When the switch was thrown, the lid would rise slowly and a mechanical hand would emerge from beneath. The hand would slowly reach over to the side of the box, flip the switch off and retreat back into the box, whereupon the lid would snap shut.

Shannon called the device the “Ultimate Machine,” and since its invention, it has been reconstructed and revised under a number of different names, such as the “Useless Box” or “Leave Me Alone Box.” While all of these iterations are entertaining in their own right, a recent video by a Japanese university student has the internet buzzing that, more than 50 years later, Shannon’s Ultimate Machine may have finally been perfected.

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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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Towel Jenga: Super Patient Pooch Lets Owners Stack Towels on His Head

Before I was five years old, I’d been chased, bitten and cornered by dogs no fewer than three times.

From then on, whenever we went on to the park or were out for a family stroll, the mere sight of a dog– be it leashed, unleashed, right in front of me or 100 metres away– would have me clinging to my parents’ legs, begging them to turn back.

If only we’d had a dog like this loveable little Shiba-inu, who lies patiently while his master rests towel after towel on top of his head, I’m sure it would have taken me far less time to get over my fear of dogs.

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Your Japanese TV Commercial Favourites, All Under One Funky Beat

I think I’ve just found my new favourite YouTube channel.

Thanks to a tip-off from an awesome RocketNews24 reader, I’ve discovered Eclectic Method; audio-visual remix masters and providers of horribly funky beats, whether the sampled videos were intended for musical enjoyment or not.

The video that pulled me in, however, was the group’s fantastic Japanese TV commercial remix…

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When Idol Meets Dog: Intricately Detailed Dog-Sized Hatsune Miku Outfit Wows Internet Users

Electronic idol Hatsune Miku’s popularity seemingly knows no bounds.

If we’re not seeing stories of catastrophic cakes being made in her image, we’re hearing reports that one of her uber fans has spent an exorbitant amount of money acquiring the last Hatsune Miku edition Sony MP3 player ever made.

Clearly Ms. Miku has her share of fans, but when you come to think about it, is dropping a ton of cash really equate the greatest measure of fandom? Surely just about anyone with a computer and some spending can bid on an MP3 player!?

But hand-crafting a tiny, intricately-detailed Hatsune Miku outfit for your pet dog? Now that’s what we call a fan!

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Tokyo Electric Couldn’t Get Battery during Fukushima Meltdown, Made Trip to Hardware Store the Next Day

Recent tapes released have sent ripples across Japan’s news programs showing first-hand Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) handling of the Fukushima Disaster.  Many were outraged over TEPCO management’s muddled communications with plant director, an increasingly frustrated Masao Yoshida.

Among the hours and hours of footage there’s one particularly odd incident in which one of the largest electric companies in Japan couldn’t seem to get their hands on a battery.  In fact, it took about a 24 hours and trip to the hardware store to buy it while on the brink of meltdown.

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This Video is 96.2% Guaranteed to Stop Your Baby From Crying

What mother wouldn’t be overjoyed with a video that has a 96.2% success rate of stopping an otherwise well-cared for baby from crying?

Lotte, a major sweets producing company in Japan has created just this by coming up with a  promotion for Cafuca, their “extremely delicious milk candy”.  Since September 19th Lotte has been running this ingenious marketing strategy targeted towards mothers in their thirties.In the video, cute little animated “cafuca” creatures eat cafuca after cafuca to a tune which is guaranteed to stop a baby from cafuca, er, crying.

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From Utter Chaos to Perfect Order: 32 Metronomes Magically Come Together in Sync

If you’re the kind of person who likes to arrange your Skittles candy by colour, or who refuses to get out of bed until the clock displays a round number, the start of this video might be tough to watch. But stick with it- everything falls into nice, neat, regulated order soon enough!

In a recently-released video from Saitama University’s Ikeguchi laboratories, 32 metronomes are placed in even (phew!) rows and set off one by one, creating a horrendous cacophony of clicks and whirrs.

At first, there’s nothing but visual and audio chaos as the pendulums swing back and forth at their own pace. Although the human brain naturally searches for patterns and rhythms, there are none to be found here, which is perhaps what makes it so uncomfortable for the more OCD-oriented of us to watch.

But then… Read More

Fast Food Customer Service in Japan Vs. Fast Food Customers in America: Two Videos Spark Discussion on Japanese Net

The fast food experience in Japan is much different that it is in America.

In Japan, step into any fast food restaurant and you are treated with the kind of service you see in commercials. Polite and attentive staff work in seemingly perfect unison to get customers their meal as quickly as possible, all while maintaining a smile on their face.

In America, the reality isn’t so golden. Fast food staff are often uninspired and lack enthusiasm and, perhaps as one reason for that, the customers can be loud, obtrusive and sometimes even violent.

At least, this is the image people are getting from two YouTube videos that have been making the rounds in the Japanese net since this weekend.

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