dateURLjapan stuffother
05.12.00 running salariman gif
the classic running salariman is not running anymore.

[thanks to alice, who, even in semi-retirement, is keeping up-to-date on the salariman's activities.]

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also no.gif

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"Britain's newest theme park gives children as young as five the chance to drive massive dump trucks and operate 10-ton digging equipment."

Plus...ladies and gentlemen, The Dancing Diggers.

[thank you, Patrick.]

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Potty Training Kelly
Potty Training Kelly apparently makes you SO UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY!! AHAHAHA! LOOK HOW HAPPY!!! OH MY GOD!!! ECSTATIC!!!

you can set any of these as your desktop background and make your coworkers worry a little. if they ask why, say "these pictures remind me to feel happy!" even more here. freaking me out so bad. in fact, all of is pretty freaky.

bonus: (sobbing) AAGGH! HELP!! GET IT OFF ME!!!! GET IT OFF ME-E-E!!!!!

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tv test patterns from around the world

plus lots of other cool mostly-UK TV stuff.

[thanks, evg.]
final answer desu.
Japan now has its own version of that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire show that everyone talks about. It was on last night. It's pretty great. I've never seen the American one, but I'm told it's exactly like this one.

They even got the Japanese celebrity who looks and acts the most like Regis Philbin to host it. And he even says, "Final answer?" To which contestants reply, "Final answer desu."

Oh, but the big prize is less money. It's ¥10,000,000 which is about $100,000. (On the other hand, more millionaires walk off the show here because in Yen, if you have $10,000 you're a millionaire.)

One of the questions last night was:

"What manga is Charlie Brown from?
A) Peanuts
B) Biscuits
C) Popcorn
D) Potato Fries"

05.11.00 The Icehotel
A hotel made of ice. Pretty!

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The Beautiful Fukushima Future Expo
is tripping me out.

especially the mascots:

"Father Kibitan was the mascot of the National Games held in Fukushima in 1995. He now lives with his wife and two children."

they go on to explain that these mascots are derived from the prefectural bird, which, unlike the mascots, does not wear shoes. (or maybe wears a different type of shoes. it's not totally clear.)

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interesting Philip K. Dick biography
(with mostly broken links) from Fringeware. Fringeware, gone but not forgotten.

oh and hey, look, here's another interesting Philip K. Dick biography from hermenaut.

PKD = best misunderstood paranoid schizophrenic drug-addict science fiction writer ever. EVER!

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Tamayo Otsuki
so weird.

"These pictures appeared in Japanese Playboy when a Japanese law was changed and they were allowed to show pubic hair for the first time..."

way sillier than it is naughty.

Otsuki, according to this page, is a comedienne.

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where has eggplant man gone?
this is an old shockwave game that i lost a long time ago and then found again just now and that made me happy.

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boy george interview
short and pretty good. in the brand new issue of buddyhead, which has more good stuff. like interview with a punk as well as...

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how to steal fast food
so smart. so simple. wish i'd thought of it. (you can skip down to the dialogue and read from there. that's where it gets good.)

[credit for reminding me to go check out the latest buddyhead should be given to the good old wiremommy half-hearted weblog.]

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totally weird-ass variant on that punch the monkey banner ad

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is being awesome right now. featuring photos of lots of different people in the back of a taxi. dunno why that's so good, but it is.

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redsmoke CD
you've visited the site. you've seen platters. maybe you've even vegged out to the auto-refresh show. now you can buy the cd. Pupil of Infofoam is such a great album title too.

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pizza-la menu
click around to see their different pizza offerings. some unusual stuff (seafood, curry, curried seafood), but none of that totally wacked-out Japanese pizza that everyone always talks about.

Pizza-La cooks for me about as often as i cook for myself. sad but true.

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big long crazy page
with a funny buddhist joke at the very bottom. and also a kind of funny thing about a prison planet. (i skipped all the lyrics.)

but, best of all... a link to The Official Alan Thicke website.

[segue to...]

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The official Alan Thicke website
The ragin' Canadian.

Here are some photos. Including one of Mr. Thicke leaning on a tiger. Which is dangerous.
surgical masks
before i came to japan, i thought people here wore those surgical masks to not catch a cold. but now i realize, people wear them in order to not give other people the cold they've already caught. so considerate!

and lots of people do it too. like during flu season, i'd sometimes be in a train car with like 4 or 5 different people in masks. and all kinds of people: young, old , male, female. (not just surgeons that forgot to take them off, like in america.)

the weird thing is that just as commonly, people without masks will sit on the train and just hack and cough open-mouthed without covering their mouths at all.

what's up with that?!

this is where i'm supposed to write something like, "It's true what they say; Japan really is a country of contradictions." but i refuse.

if the guy next to me does the nasty open-mouth cough thing, i scooch away real obvious-like. that'll show him, my big blatant scooch. but usually it doesn't stop the guy. so then i figure, maybe he doesn't know exactly why i'm scooching! then i try to time the scooches right after the coughs, so it's obvious--tightly pairing the stimulus and response like you're supposed to do. but still, never works.

leftover line about toilets and bottoms
i was just thinking of this line on my way back from lunch. (i don't know why.) i've already written way too much about toilets, but i wanted to throw this here in the 'other' column as is, because i don't really have a place to use it and i think it has a sort of subtle beauty to it:

Japan's high-tech toilets offer an unforgettable experience for the traveler with an adventurous bottom.

just the last 2 words, really, the rest don't even matter. 'adventurous bottom' sounds so filthy and terrible.
05.10.00 Yakisoban!
Japanese ad/movie starring a superhero with a bowl instant noodles on his head. He drives an instant-noodle-mobile.

Yakisoban also has a videogame.

[from Hwan H. thanks.]
how to deal with someone who barely speaks any japanese if you're working the counter at a japanese fast food establishment.
  • probably you should giggle. giggling is good.
  • Stick to the script no matter what. If you're supposed to ask if they wanna try the new curried egg burger or whatever, keep asking over and over, even if they obviously don't understand.
  • if it gets too overwhelming, just walk away. disappear. whoosh, i'm outta here.
nerd joke
this is a nerd joke i made up a while ago. i'm not proud of it, but i made it and i can't unmake it, so I'd like to offer it to the nerd community.

Hello nerds, thanks for reading misterpants; please feel free to use this on your next nerd outing--while you're taking apart an old computer, or calculating complex algorithms, or doing whatever it is you people do. Okay, here goes:

AskJeeves to stop Googling my Hotbot.

And like it says in the GNU General Public License, everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this joke.

Hey, that's another nerd joke. I keep making with the nerd funnies.
05.04.00 twirling hippie gif
you can practically smell the patchouli.
Golden Week
it's Golden Week here--a bunch of holidays in a row.

so, Golden Week + nice spring weather = no updates for a week or so.

but first...

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a cultural misunderstanding involving a thermometer
this didn't happen to me, but to a friend. here's the short bulleted version (as if i'm giving a powerpoint presentation on this to a group of bored but politely attentive salarimen):

  • at doctors office.
  • nurse hands friend a thermometer.
  • friend puts thermometer in mouth.
  • nurse gasps.
  • nurse takes the thermometer back.
because in japan, apparently, you don't put the thermometer in your mouth.


you put it under your arm.

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gala trout apple sticker
new artifact. it's not like "wow that's totally crazy" but more like "huh, kind of weird."

If you kicked someone just right with these, you could leave the word "Jesus" imprinted on them somewhere.

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proposal to construct a bottomless pit on the Hampshire College campus

[from Patrick B.]

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friends without faces
this song, it's a tearjerker. if you can listen without dabbing the corners of your eyes with a hanky, well, friend, you either have a cold cold heart or a tear duct disorder.

[from Sarah M.]

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the shrine to Don Knotts
really good Don Knotts tribute site.

includes some photos.

i'm nuts for Knotts.
(alternate: i'm knutts for Knotts.)

[from Mako M. Hey, did you notice I started using last initials? That's my new thing!]

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don knotts
analysis of Mr. Knotts, what he means, from

bonus: The Love God? amazing, great, terrible.

and the rest of the Knotts filmography.
tomato juice
the makers of Japanese tomato juice don't know me. If they did, they would know that when i buy tomato juice--i want plain old tomato juice or maybe tomato juice plus vegetables (a la V-8) and maybe a little salt. (maybe a lot of salt!)

and what i don't want is tomato juice with apple juice and/or pear juice and/or sugar. i pretty much never want that.

i have to stop short of saying that it's "weird" to put (non-tomato) fruit juice in tomato juice because America is responsible for Clamato. no American is allowed to make fun of any other culture's juice ever.
monkey beauty update!!!
(i imagine the deet dee-deet-deet noises from the sesame street news flash should go here.)

apparently the monkeys getting groomed by a human beautician thing has actually been done, filmed, and broadcast on television--according to Dan F.

so now i can't get this out of my head. i have to see this. monkeys getting a make-over. gotta see it. monkeys getting make-over. gotta see it. monkeys getting. gotta. monkeys. gotta. MONKEYS! GOTTA! MONKEYSGOTTA!!! MONKEYSGOTTA!!! MGAMGMGMGAGMGAMGA!!!!!
05.01.00 eboy cards
newest part of the eboy wondersite.

how do you like your pixels? aliased? then you're in luck.

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how gameboys are made
in japanese, but with pictures of very serious people in lab coats and even some cool movies of people assembling those little gameboy fellers.

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3nd Amateur Gameboy Format Games Coding Competition Results

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Angelgotchi characters
with interesting secret characters--especially Unchi Kun, a.k.a. Lucky Poop.

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unofficial Unchi Kun homepage
in japanese. with home-made Unchi Kun comics (not so good). also hamster letters (good).

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this is all so weird. so so so weird.

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unchi kun's bio
"Rivals: No one, really, but he has lots of friends. Soft-cream Kun is one of them, but it is probably a platonic relationship."

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hot space relax: the illustration of shiro taniguchi
another japanese illustrator doing nice bizarre stuff. he's got some good commercial work, some interesting characters (which some are weirdly scatalogical but pretty tame stuff), some fine art, and some of the silliest erotica ever.

does everyone know about unchikun already? I figure most everyone does. (Salon had an article about him last December.)
monkeys with chainsaws
i know i had something really pressing and important to write about monkeys and chainsaws but now i totally can't remember what it was.

maybe just that it would make things interesting to teach some monkeys how to operate them. (wild monkeys, not caged. or either, really.)
  1. get a manufacturer to make little monkey-sized chainsaws. so cute!
  2. show monkeys how to use them.
  3. see what happens.
  4. ?????.
i'm actually thinking of chimpanzees for this. or perhaps spider monkeys. (spider monkeys are mischievious, and they have very nimble fingers!)

also, i was thinking it would be funny to have a monkey beauty parlor, where professional (licensed? you need a license, right?) beauticians would do their hair, give them manicures, apply make-up. etc. Monkeys might like it. I think, yeah, they probably would. They'd love it! Why not? It's like that grooming thing they do already where they pick bugs off each others backs, just abstracted.

oh oh oh! or the best would be if the beauticians themselves were monkeys! so perfect. and adorable! even if they were in a bad mood and hissing and swatting, i think it would be really adorable.