"Highly radioactive water overflowed barriers into Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its operating utility said on Monday, after it underestimated how much rain would fall at the plant and failed to pump it out quickly enough." —That… can't be good.
"A Japanese research agency has dropped a controversial public relations campaign aimed at educating women about nuclear safety that compared radiation to the screaming voice of an angry wife." [Illustration here]
"Essentially, the SEGA Toirettsu uses the man’s pee trajectory and strength to play games that are displayed at eye level. These games include putting out fires and erasing graffiti with a hose."
"Kirin is selling 12 cocktails featuring its Ichiban Shibori beer leavened with mixers like pineapple, grapefruit or tomato juice, as well as cassis or lemon liqueur. The company calls them Ichiban Shibori Two-Tone Drafts, for the layers of color created in the glass before the beer and mixer are stirred. Even more unusual is Ichiban Shibori Frozen Draft, which is beer topped with frozen foam dispensed like soft-serve ice cream from a special tap. Asahi's new offering combines premium Asahi Super Dry beer and Calpis, a syrupy Japanese concoction inspired by a fermented-milk drink from Inner Mongolia and known in the U.S. as Calpico."
As far as occupational hazards go there are far worse ones than my personal burden of being the guy who sees a news item about a Sega videogame for the bathroom that is operated by the force of one's micturition and shaking his head in the knowledge that the story is over a year old. So I won't be so quick to dismiss it, especially when one of the games is described thus:
'Battle! Milk From Nose' is a multiplayer game where you compete against the person who last used the urinal. The strength of your urine streams are compared, and translated into milk spraying out [...]
"According to the story, he apparently lived to the ripe old age of 106 in Japan, where he was buried in what is now modern-day Shingo. He changed his name to Daitenku Taro Jurai, married a Japanese woman, Miyuki, and had three daughters, according to an English-language pamphlet offered in a small chapel on a forested hill in the village." —Take a visit to the town where Jesus Christ, after escaping his crucifixion by boat, lived out the rest of his days.
Here is a much more effective and fun way to donate to the Japan earthquake relief cause than sending a bunch of text messages: a series of upcoming benefits organized by John Zorn. The first has sold out, it looks like (on Sunday March 27 at Columbia's Miller Theater), where Sonic Youth, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, Marc Ribot and a bunch more are performing. At that benefit and at least three more to follow, 100% of the money will be going to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund. For-real charity + free radical music = good deal all around, right? Last night, The Awl emailed back and forth [...]
Livestream news from Hawaii seem to show non-devastating waves and pullbacks as the tsunami spreads out from its source in Japan, but at "fairly significant numbers," according to the islands' tsunami guy. Japan is still reporting a shockingly low death toll from such a significant event; but that toll is expected to rise. In Hawaii, people seem nervous but assured: "I've cut my feet on this reef a few times but nothing like this," said the KHNL newscaster a few minutes ago, looking at the exposed Diamondhead reef, which is now getting some water again. So far they've seen surge of about six feet; it's now expected [...]
"When Tokyo Hooters finally launched at the end of October, an entirely male line of customers waited outside for hours before the 5 p.m. opening. As they filed inside one by one (after a ribbon cutting presided over by Miss Hooters International, LeAngela Davis), we lined up and cheered them to their tables. The inaugural customers weren't backslapping, beer-guzzling foreigners, or even raucous office workers out for a laugh. They were exceedingly polite young men, some of whom blushed at the big welcome. Many had an endearingly nerdy familiarity with the restaurant. 'We've been waiting,' a spectacled Japanese man told me in English, then unrolled a signed Hooters T-shirt [...]
"Ten years ago Florida-resident Allen Rout posted a picture of his newborn son, Stephen, on the Internet. Then just two month ago, while googling his own name, he was shocked to discover that his son's picture had become a sensation in Japan. It was on dolls, in game shows, and even in video games. It was essentially being used as an 'open-source stock image.'"
Koh Masaki was Japan's foremost gay porn star when he died one month ago today. "It must have taken him a lot of courage to decide to live in Japan. I've realized that recently," Masaki said, about his partner, Tenten, a model and Chinese expatriate that he met on a train home from a Lady Gaga concert. They were talking to the photographer Keiichi Nitta for a recent video series profiling gay couples for Vice Japan. In the video, Masaki, soft-spoken and with a close-cropped beard circling his angular face, never talks explicitly about his work in adult film, but his many fans would have had no trouble recognizing [...]
"This bear may be soft and pillow-shaped, but you might want to think twice before curling up for a nap on Jukusui-kun. If you snore, it will stroke your face with its furry paw…. Jukusui-kun, which does not yet appear to be on the market, monitors snoring through a microphone and a matching fuzzy bear oxygen meter that the sleeper attaches to his or her hand. To avoid using chords that could interfere with sleep, Japan Trends says the creators developed a mat of sensors to be placed under the sheets instead of using chords. When oxygen and decibel levels signal loud snoring, the pillow takes action."
Also happening in Japan: "Following Friday's megaquake and resulting tsunami which took the lives of thousands along the east coast, the Shinmoedake volcano in the Kirishima range in south-western Japan erupted yesterday, sending ash and rock over two miles into the air…. It is not yet known if the eruption 950 miles from the epicentre of Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake was triggered by the resulting seismic activity."
"A marauding monkey that terrorized resort towns in central Japan last year by biting nearly 120 people has escaped captivity. Officials in Mishima City said the monkey slipped out of the government-run nature park it had been kept at since its capture last October when a keeper was cleaning its cage. The city published an emergency notice urging residents to lock their doors, though no new attacks have been reported." The monkey is named "Lucky."