03.08.00 monkey steals raybans
a classic 'monkey makes trouble' story from the monkey forest in Ubud, Bali.

elements contributing to the overall goodness of this story: [from chisato.]
job choosing
If you're trying to decide which of two jobs to take, and you make your decision based on which employer is going to pay you more, that's thought of here as 'the American way' to do that.

The Japanese way is more like: well, I've known this person longer, so I'll work for them. So it's based on relationships more than $$$ (or even ¥¥¥).

But I don't think many Japanese people are in the situation where they need to choose between 2 jobs very often. For most, maybe once in their life, if that.

03.06.00 kung fu animations

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Lice Rid Man
the crappiest, least-enviable superhero ever.

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ohio bigfoot trackers in action
and the Monthly Bigfoot Report with stunning bigfoot illustrations. (of bigfoot, not by bigfoot. Unfortunately.) from the author of The Buckeye Bigfoot.

i'll bet it's lonely being a bigfoot tracker. but much much lonelier being bigfoot.

03.04.00 Platters 3
Part 3 in Redsmoke's Platters series has just been released. It's so great. I think it's seriously probably the best Flash thing done to date.

Man, I swear, amazing. Robots, blood, cops, guns, an evil scientist. Also great music.

I can't think of much else that's worth waiting for a 700k download, but this is for sure.

If you feel a little lost, you can watch Platters 1 and 2. But you'll still feel lost.
doll day
Yesterday was Doll Day. Beforehand, girls can put this one really fancy ornate doll on display. Then they have to put it away on doll day. If they're late in putting it away, tradition says, they will be late in getting married.

Somehow, even the holidays here that are especially for girls manage to be disempowering.

03.03.00 space robot bonanza
awesome icq prank from something awful.

Lowtax - Venus power = radiation = the Devil! My robots will turn this and make our space program work this time! My pusher robot will shove the space shuttle, and my shover robot will push the astronauts out of harm's way. Do you understand?

Corn_Boy - not really, you must be alot smarter than me

also good--Nate:

Lowtax - Oh, I've got the dream! I dream of the day when I can escape to Southern Florida and sit in my house, surrounded by my many, many cats, and just work on a laptop computer all day, reaping the profits from the Internet! I've got the dream and the drive, my friend! I am ready to learn the secrets of this Internet and perhaps, one day, buy one myself!

there are other pranks which are mostly not as good. as a rule, it's hard to top space robots.

[via apathy.]

03.02.00 yesterday was pig day
[via weblogger.nl.]

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Gunther von Hagens, medical doctor, corpse artist
German guy makes controversial art out of plasticized corpses.

also, here's a Time article and one from ABC.

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Uncle Al! Look out!
that little feller with the saw is eyeing your neck, Uncle Al.

Cincinow has more uncle al, including some awesome realaudio clips.

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tvparty's gigglesnort hotel support group
i hated this show. so did everyone, apparently.
here's a cultural difference that caught me off guard. a japanese workplace can provide medicine for its employees that don't feel well.

i mean... OF COURSE!!!

sounds so obvious. so this is one where (all cultural relativism aside) americans are freaks. that is to say, the american behavior in this arena is clearly stupid.

employee: "i feel woozy and achey."

american company: "i'm sorry. we'd rather you feel bad and be sick and achey and have a sore throat than risk our own necks, in a legal sense, by providing medicine, any medicine, even medicine as basic as aspirin for you. so, in short, if you die, we'll replace you."

japanese company: "hmmm, woozy, eh? it must be difficult for you. there are various medicines in the cabinet, including aspirin."
Dear Team Members,
We have positioned a dry trailer outside the Corporate office in the west employee parking lot so everyone can stop by and see the fresh new look of our trailer decals. The decal is reflective, so it lights up at night when your headlights shine on the side or back of the trailer. Stop out before or after work, on your break or during lunch. It is a fresh new look.
02.29.00 top 10 chakumero songs
here's where you can upload popular new ringer tunes into your japanese cell phone.

I love that the #4 song is actually the theme from the JR Yamanote subway line in Tokyo. (Some subway lines in Tokyo have themesongs. And some in Osaka and Kyoto play these really odd bird noises at the entrances.)

also, check out #6, "Love Machine," a nice vacant pop song sung by a bunch of girls in cowboy hats. "Love Machine" was all the rage around Christmas. Now, it's pretty much gone. And in its place there's a new song sung by a bunch of girls in saris.

02.27.00 liberty bell home decorations
cookie jars, lamps, and decanters. The Liberty Bell KICKS ASS!!!

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spoon USA
America is a nation of spoons.

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Pinky's Floaty Pens - Float, Tilt, Floating Action, Photoramic, Floaties
lots of crazy floaty pens, including some weird religious ones like jesus walking on the water and the last supper.

church is for suckers; floaty pens are where the real action is.

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pinky's souvenir land home of the above two entries plus salt and pepper shakers and more "Tacky Tourist Trinkets for the Discerning Collector".

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Madonna Inn
if you've driven down 101, you've at least thought about stopping there. well, now thanks to the internet, i guess you don't have to. but really you still should.

on their site you can supposedly look at all 109 rooms, but their server's pooping out on me. at least you can admire the steakhouse which is simply fabulous.

it hadn't occured to me before, but i guess it's the American equivalent of a Japanese Love Hotel.

soooo tacky
The Webbys sent this thing out. It's really tacky and gross.

It starts out lamenting the death of Charles Schulz and then mentions that he was an artist and uses that as a lead-in to their attention-getting $50,000 internet art prize thing they're doing with SFMOMA.

"Schulz was a true master, and only by harnessing the same level of skill that he displayed in his work will online artists be able to win a very special new honor: The SFMOMA Webby Prize."

I can't believe that no one at the Webbys read this before it went out and said, "this is really cheap and disgusting to use this guy's death to promote our stupid publicity stunt contest; hey guys, let's not do this, okay?"

So tacky.
02.25.00 i dunno
the first and last photo are pretty good though.

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booska web
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tsubaraya productions
home of ultraman and a ton of ultraman variants, plus booska, and some other colorful goodies. yeah.

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this is the only place where i've found booska on video. (Even the Booska shop in Tokyo didn't sell Booska tapes.)

and when i'm back in the states, i know i'm going to waste a ton of money here on crazy-bad tv from the 70s and 80s like 85-minute tapes of 70s McDonald's commercials and episodes of The Shazam and Isis Power Hour. oh man, so much seriously good stuff here.

Dr. Shrinker! Kikaida! Lancelot Link!

02.24.00 marshmallow peeps gallery
peeps peeps peeps peeps peeps.

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my little pony pics
if they danced, this page would be the pony dance.

they don't dance.

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porky in wackyland

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looks like a pretty awesome show. very ultraman-ish, but with slightly more tripped-out villains. yep. mm-hmm.

great show titles too (scroll down), like:
  • The Bizarre Green Mantis Is A Killer,
  • The Death Beast Helmet Crab Rouge Pays A Visit!, and
  • The Great Demon Silver Tortoise Summons Three Monsters

oh, here are some kikaida-multimedia files. the opening credits movie is awesome: nice bad-guy evading, there Kikaida. and really great music.

Obviously Kikaida is Japanese, but what's kind of cool is that he was also big in hawaii.

[my kikaida web hunt started from a mention on dirtynerdluv which this was my first visit to. there's some other fun stuff there. yeah? yeah, like more David Sedaris and the adorable April doll.]

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playmobil avengers

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shoutcast broadcast of pretty good background music for work--high calibre and also usually no lyrics, which can be handy when you're trying to work, y'know? it's a mix of trip-hop and ambient that's pretty decent, although sometimes it drifts into the boring kind of ambient stuff.

The guy who does it also has a second broadcast, called The Dividend that sounds promising, but I can't get it to load just now.
this was in the frozen foods section. It's short for "omelette spaghetti" i think. Because that's pretty much what it is. Heat and eat spaghetti with red sauce conveniently wrapped in an omelet. so it looks like a burrito.

even looking at the picture on the box it was hard for me to imagine.

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coffee corn flakes
also at the grocery store. i guess the idea here is to make breakfast more efficient by combining 2 different flavors: golden flakes of corn sprinkled with decaffeinated coffee.

also strange because it's the only place in japan that i've ever seen decaffeinated coffee. if you want decaf, you have to scrape it off the corn flakes, i guess.

02.23.00 aaaahaha
i found this linked from running tally. and i wasn't going to link to it myself, but i keep going back to look at it over and over. i even snagged this little guy from it because i love it so much. i mean, i wish i could dream up something more perfectly awful. save it so you have something to point to when your grandkids ask about the depravity of the late-90s/early-00s web boom. see! see! this is why the bubble had to burst! we brought it on ourselves.

also note:
  1. the happiest whitest khaki-clad people ever.
  2. the usual obvious flash-isms: spinning, zooming text, etc.
  3. that rad 80s color-chunk logo.
"nail remover"
A product labeled "nail remover" was spotted in Daiei's cosmetics section by Chisato.

Just one word is missing. Had the missing word been "nail" instead of "polish" this product wouldn't be so alarming.