dateURLjapan stuffother
05.24.00 Rare person who nibbles glass
"It's hard to believe when you hear
It's unimaginable when you see
Rare! Rare! Rare! The genius in the world
Best! Best! Best! The Best in the world"

Lin Yin Cai is a glass-eater.

here's his glass-eating resume. and his "open challenges to all the people who could eat glasses worldwide" as well as a pitch for "putting part of Lin's stomach up for auction worldwide in due course."

[thanks Sarah M.]

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Diane Sawyer's Live Interview with Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson (1995)
they were married. remember that? it all seems like a weird dream now.

"[Michael makes Rabbit's ears behind Lisa Marie's head]

Michael: What? Heh heh.

[Lisa Marie pinches him]

Michael: Stop! [giggling]

Lisa Marie: Um, grrr"

aw, cut it out, you two lovebirds.

I was interested in hearing what MJ had to say about his HIStory trailer that references Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film, "Triumph of the Will." He says it has nothing to do with that (so he's a big liar) and that despite what the critics say, it's not actually "the most ... baudy, vein, glorious, self-deification a pop singer ever undertook with a straight face."

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propaganda gallery
triumph of the will, daffy goes to war, and other classics of propaganda cinema.

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hitler's airwaves
review of a book, called Hitler's Airwaves.

so interesting. i found this after napstering some mp3s of Charlie Schwedler and his Orchestra's propaganda swing. WW2-era German made-to-sound American swing. Schwendler sings in a German accent about why America shouldn't go to war. another review is here.

[thanks, Scout.]

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Axis Sally
more WW2 propaganda. audio files, including the above-mentioned Charlie Schwendler as well as Axis Sally. interesting creepy Nazi voices from the past, in English.

i'm out.

05.22.00 Pink Lady singles
it's a testament to how awesome this 45 cover art is that its beauty still shines through these grimy little jpegs
Japanese Cannonball Run 45
new artifact. makes me so unreasonably happy. would only be cooler if it was sung in Japanese. or if it came with the Japanese Cannonball Run poster. Can you imagine? Man, that'd be awesome.

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baby soap
another artifact. kewpie has managed to maintain a larger presence in japan than in the states. here he is representing for soap with baby oil in it.

05.20.00 Anabukin-chan quicktime ads
Anabuki Construction introduces us to Anabukin-chan and her forest friends.

these ads are so great. you should download them. they feature a raccoon with enormous testicles. (oh yeah, i should mention--not really a raccoon, per se, but a tanuki. which there's no word for in english--dictionaries say "raccoon dog".)
  • 30-second spot: Anabukin-chan and her forest friends are surprised to meet the raccoon. (2.1Mb)
  • 15-second spot: the raccoon is reluctant to run because of his condition. (1.1Mb)
if you don't check out the ads, at the very least, meet the characters involved.

[thanks, Xina. apparently this is via stileproject which you know not to visit from work, right? and for me, usually when i'm not at work i don't visit it just because i'm a-scared.]

05.19.00 What's Happening!!
(from yesterday, basically, but i'm still mulling it over. i can do that.)

not a great page. but some great pictures from the show. Especially Rerun, however they don't get any points for that because with Rerun, you can't go wrong.

also: you can download the theme song (long or short version) which everyone knows is so wicked good with that "mowm mowm mowm" noise and the keyboards and just everything. hot damn.

i'm gonna put it on continuous loop and see how long i can handle it like i did several days in a row with Journey's 'Any Way You Want It'. (that was a couple weeks ago. i didn't tell you about it, dear reader. i was embarassed.)

hey, Rerun reminds me that it's just about time for a suspenders comeback. I'll work on getting it started here, and if you can do your part wherever you are, together we can be the suspender vanguard.

[from Ian H., who notes, quite correctly, that suspenders are, in fact, still popular with skinheads and Larry King.]
i accidentally found myself teaching a japanese coworker the English word, "slut."

i forget what i misheard but i misheard something she said as the word "slut." So I was like, "did you just say slut?"

"no. i said [whatever it was]. What's slut?"

at that point, i couldn't really back out or say never mind, so i explained what it meant.

"in america, it's a term of endearment someone uses with an elderly person--one's grandfather or grandmother."

no, no. really, i just told her what it meant and that it wasn't a polite word, etc.

she figured it was good to know, just in case. so, to help herself memorize it, she wrote it on a post-it note and stuck it on her calendar. she wrote it huge.

now the calendar over her desk has a yellow post-it note on it that says: "SLUT."

05.18.00 jonnycat gif
from within i don't know which is more alarming: the bad pun, or that they bothered to trademark the phrase "Get Kitty Litterate."

if you want, the history of kitty litter is here.

[from Jose.]

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Wisdom Tree
bible-based video games for Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega, Mac, and PC.

Wisdom Tree started out as Color Dreams, a game company producing games so poor no one would buy them. Instead of calling it quits, or trying to make play-able games, they decided to corner the market for Christian games. Thestly just slightly altered Color Dream games--interrupting the gameplay with Bible questions.

so awesome.

Here's a nice little write-up about Wisdom Tree from Atari HQ.

And here's an interesting, self-deprecating interview with Vance Kozik, Wisdom Tree's main programmer.

also, their Bible Adventures game has the distinction of being included in this guy's list of the 20 worst NES games of all time: "Bible Adventures. A game mixing all the fun of learning about God with all the excitement of wandering around aimlessly."

Oh, and this is really good. They put the King James Bible on a Gameboy cartridge. bigtime fun.

The best part is that it seems like the Wisdom Tree folks aren't particularly religious.

[thanks Andrew, who (a) introduced me to the world of Christian gaming, (b) rules, and (c) has an awesome hamster link on his pitas page right now.]

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bootleg famicom system in Arabic
and Super Joy--also a bootleg. Super Joy is especially cool because the controller has all the electronics inside, so no box on the floor. woo. (located within atari hq's pirate page.)

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Michael Jackson American Master
new age quasi-religious self-empowerment crap which is totally indistinguishable from all that stuff except that, in this case, the focus of it is Michael Jackson.

"...he teaches us through his manifestations that each of us has the potential and the power to effect peace and harmony."

site also includes: The whole site is an ad for a book which is a "guide for finding and enhancing mastership quality in one's life, and is worthy of prominent placement in one's home."

"There has never been a literary work like it, in design nor content. In addition to its innovations, you will find, within its 272 pages, 37 full size color photos..."

so, no. never. nothing like that ever.

[thanks much, human torch.]

how to tell What's Happenin's Roj from Fat Albert

RojFat Albert
hey HEY heyhey hey HEY

[wait. that wasn't Roj, but Dwayne. hey HEY hey. Dwayne. Thanks, Dodai and Ian, for noticing and informing. I'm like one of those sloppy journalists I hate, not fact-checking the most basic What's Happenin' info.]
05.17.00 Deng-Hsiao Ping and the Harlem Globetrotters (1979)

05.16.00 susunu denpa shonen
lots of video stills from this brilliant bit of NTV programming. Japanese television producers are entertainment geniuses.

if you start at the bottom of the links on the left and work your way up, you can see the relatively short-haired, normal-looking guy who gradually transforms into the hairy howard-hughes-esque nut at the end of his 15-month stint.

ok, super brief synopsis:
  • reality tv
  • unemployed comedian
  • isolation
  • naked
  • eggplant
  • entering 1000 contests a day
  • 15 months (Salon says 18 months, but Salon is wrong. Salon is, by the way, riddled with factual errors. Did you know?)
  • surprise ending
i won't explain it in detail because you can read a salon article about it or one from Time (which is lame and terrible because it's Time). Plus here's one from the Sydney Herald about how the whole thing ended.

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Real People
still no video. no pictures either. but good, mean, and catty comments. it's so easy--kicking them when they're down like that, isn't it?

regardless, let's all put on our favorite kicking boots and show those washed-up celebs who's boss.

[thanks Jessamyn! Librarians find things I can't. It's true.]

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80s nielson ratings
(especially as these ratings pertain to 'Real People' in 1979-1980 and 1980-1981.)

well, the good news is we're one of the 20 highest-rated shows this year. The bad news is we ranked 8 places behind 'Flo!'

[again, thanks Jessamyn.]

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Real People: increasing women's breast sizes through hypnosis
"Skip Stephenson, interviewed women ... who showed a marked but gradual improvement."

Surprisingly, Skip Stephenson's Real People breast-size hypnotist segment went for "cheap laughs and exploitation."

okay, so still we're looking for this show's obsessive fan. the one big Real People-oid out there with the video library and the autographed Skip Stephenson photo and maybe even ticket stubs from seeing the show live. All that. Someone sharing the Real People love online. hello? where are you? i mean what's the point of this internet thing if lone nut fanatics aren't finding their voice through it? hello?

if someone wants to start a Real People fan site, clearly there's a void. you could "own" this demographic sweet spot.

[once again, thanks Jessamyn, who would probably rather not even be associated with this.]

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whoa. hey. back up a minute. that last Real People find was on so weird. take a second to check it out. the list of hypnosis clichés are pretty good. (oh, but i've actually read in a more reliable source than this website, that people CAN be hypnotized to do things "against their nature" so maybe that's a true cliché. hmm.)

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furi furi logos
very, very cool.

[via gmt+9]

eating lots of carrots
that's my new thing.
05.14.00 Who's Alive and Who's Dead
"This page lists some famous people who are alive and other famous people who are dead....often the name of a famous person will come to mind and then I will wonder, 'is so-and-so still alive,' and it bothers me when I don't know."

so pragmatic.

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Skip Stephenson
wins the unfortunate distinction of most pathetic imdb bio.

by the way, Skip Stephenson: dead.

also by the way, i had zero luck finding much info online at all about the 1979-1984 TV show, Real People. There's a small blurb in ben is dead, plus a few other tiny write-ups, but not much at all. What I'd really love are some videos of the show or a nice screen capture of the logo at least. But I found nada. (Any leads would be appreciated. God bless you, internet people.)

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Me Human, You Alien: How to Talk to an Extraterrestrial
This huge page is excerpted from a book called, Making Contact: A Serious Handbook for Locating and Communicating with Extraterrestrials.

and i found it just in time.

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Emperor Norton I
and Norton's notes.

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Why Babe Ruth is Greatest Home-Run Hitter
pretty interesting. A Popular Science article from 1921 wherein Psychologists at Columbia test Babe Ruth to see if there's a scientific reason why he's the home run king. Turns out there is: he's superhuman.
Japanese beer ad as revisionist history or possibly as a metaphor for a fat, lazy America losing the economic ballgame against Japan in the indeterminate future
this is my favorite ad on japanese TV right now. it's for Kirin Lager.

it's set around 1920. It's all old-timey looking. It's in color mixed with a sort of burnt-brownish sepia-tone, because that's the convention used to show us it's a long time ago.

The setting is a baseball park. Everyone's wearing clothing from the period--kimonos and straw hats, tiny glasses, those old baseball uniforms.

We're shown several shots of the crowd; everyone's covering their mouths, nervous, concentrating, but also they're calling out, and waving banners, as they crane their necks to see what's happening on the field. A teenage girl with her mother looks as if she might faint from the intensity of it all.

We see the scoreboard; it's just about the end of the game--the ninth inning. The home team is doing modestly better than the visitors and it's the visitors' final at-bat.

2 strikes, 2 outs. The next pitch will decide the game.

The batter's up. He's not Japanese. Probably he's American. He's huge--really fat. Maybe he's supposed to be Babe Ruth, but he has enormous sideburns and really he looks more like Meatloaf. His number is "3" which was Ruth's number.

He's gritting his teeth and growling and grunting like an animal--a big fat hairy beast.

His uniform says "North America."

The pitcher is a very clean-cut and sharp-looking Japanese man in an all-white uniform--contrasted sharply with the overweight, and unkempt American at bat. In fact, all of the pitcher's teammates are sharp-looking Japanese men. They're who the crowd is cheering for.

In case we haven't gotten it yet, and because there's no need for subtlety here, the Japanese team's uniforms say "Nippon."

In slow-mo now...the wind-up. The pitch. We all know what happens: the bulky North American swings and misses. He swings so hard, he misses so badly that he spins all the way around and falls down on his big fat ass.

Nippon has won! The crowd is ecstatic.

Now it's time for some Kirin!!!

We end with the standard Japanese beer ad ending--a shot of someone glug-glugging a beer with those glug-glug noises even. In this case it's the pitcher, drinking it down and, hey! Hey look, chubby North American is there too, happy and completely understanding about being a loser. He's a better sport than I would have guessed, that North American fatty.