Japanese Schoolgirl Ninjas are real!

The best thing you’ll see online all week. This amazing POV video of two Japanese schoolgirls involved in an epic chase around their school and town, is death defying, dizzying, and one of the most badass things I’ve seen in a long time. Going the “found footage” route by just using a GoPro, this awesome action chase scene is the production of Bijin Tokei, which is a modeling agency, best known for their digital clock where cute photos of Japanese girls cycle every minute (the girls pose as if they’re holding a clock that displays the time).

Has Anyone Seen a 1 Ton Rubber Duck?

Some of you may have heard that a giant 59-foot rubber duck weighing 1 ton created by Dutch artist Florentijin Hofman has been floating around the globe this past year. Despite hitting some snags, including mysteriously exploding during a visit to a Taiwanese port last December, the rubber duck has been holding up pretty well considering it’s a friggin’ rubber duck.

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But all that changed last week as the duck was making its way down China’s Nanming River and a torrential flood washed it away. As of today, the duck has yet to be found so if anyone in southwest China comes upon an 18 meter tall giant duck, please let the local authorities know, won’t you? Do it for the children or at least…uh…whatever Ernie is supposed to be:

Why Japan is Awesome #73: A Shrine for Hemorrhoids

Japan already has a festival honoring the penis and a temple devoted to the worship of boobs so why not a shrine for hemorrhoids?

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The Kunigami Shrine in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture recently hosted a festival that was all about the hemorrhoids. According to tradition, those who washed their backsides and ate egg offerings would be cured of hemorrhoids. So to honor the tradition, the shrine provided a “butt washing stone”.

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Hellen Keller Sunglasses?

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Check out this billboard advertising Helen Keller brand sunglasses (somewhere in Asia). Yes, there is a line of designer sunglasses named after the famous blind and deaf mute who overcame her disabilities to become an iconic figure and hero to millions. They even made a movie about her.

It’s like manufacturing a new line of running shoes and branded as Oscar Pistorius. OK, kind of a bad comparision, considering that the dude is on trial for the shooting murder of his girlfriend, but still, you get the gist….

(Via Crazy Rich Asians)

Check out these viral photos from Japan

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Now, these photos don’t all originate from Japan, but they’ve gone viral on many Japanese social media sites. Some of these photos are actually quite old and have been floating around the ‘Net for years, but there’s a a revolving cycle for many things in the Internet nowadays (the GAME OF THRONES VHS intro, for example, has been getting major traction this past week, but it popped up on the Internet months ago as the 1995 intro).

Anyhoo, here’s what’s popping up in other social media feeds from the Land of the Rising Sun:

Awkwardly Posing Models

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Ah, the internet continues to be a gaping black hole of the jetsam and flotsam of pure drivel. Case-in-point, this photo collection of “Awkwardly posing models.” These are obviously either amateur models, perhaps from some Eastern European region, or these poor souls were bamboozled by some hackneyed photographer. Either way, it’s interesting to see that a great number of them are Asian “models.”

To see the rest of the collection, head over to the Sad and Useless blog. In the meantime, here are some of my personal favorites:

Hero or Traitor?

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Recently tech pioneer Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape and board member of Facebook, eBay and HP), in an interview with CNBC, called NSA leaker Edward Snowden a “traitor.”

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Many of his colleagues in the high tech world, whose technologies have been used by the NSA, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps not, to spy on, well, just about everybody, have generally taken a more favorable view of Snowden.  He was warmly received – via his lawyer, via satellite video – at the South by Southwest tech conference earlier this year, when his lawyer read a statement from Tim Berners-Lee, a respected computer scientist and internet pioneer who wrote that Snowden’s leaks were “profoundly in the public interest.”

Self-congratulatory applause all around.

Andreessen said he wasn’t surprised by the NSA spying.  “I just thought that’s what they were doing.  I thought everybody knew that.”

Well, if they did, they certainly had no shame in playing the fake righteous indignation card.

So who’s right?

I’d Like To Buy A Vowel, And Maybe Some Meds, For The Guy

Wow!  Who knew affable “Wheel Of Fortune” host Pat Sajak was 13 kinds of crazy?

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On Monday he tweeted, “I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends.  Good night.”

I have to say, I didn’t see this coming.  I expect half baked mini-rants from Tea Party politicians, wayward celebs…

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…and people with Twitter handles like “@hateeveryonee” (looks like someone already grabbed “@hateeveryone” with just one “e,” forcing poor @hateeveryonee to buy an extra vowel!)

This is Why Asian American Students do Better than White Students

If it seems like Asian American students outperform their white counterparts, a new study released today in the journal PNAS offers an explanation of why that might be.

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According to the study conducted by two sociology professors: “Asian and Asian American youth are harder working because of cultural beliefs that emphasize the strong connection between effort and achievement. Studies show that Asian and Asian American students tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that can be developed through effort, whereas white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that are inborn.”

But it’s not all a bed of roses for the Asian American students: “Studies show that Asian American youth are less psychologically adjusted and socially engaged in school than their white peers. They may experience more conflict in relationships with parents because of the high educational expectations their parents place on them.”

The Money Curse

Did you know that CNN host Anderson Cooper never had to work a day in his life?

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Well, technically that’s not true, but, theoretically?  Theoretically, it is very very possible.

His mother is Gloria Vanderbilt.  She is worth $200 million dollars, and when she dies, according to the New York Post, he will be getting none of it.

So, is mommy incredibly wise, or just a tightwad?

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Stand Up Comedy, Flight Attendant Edition

I’ve been on more Air Greyhound (Southwest Airlines) flights than I care to count, and I’ve seen flight attendants take every approach when it comes to pointing out the rules and regs and safety features of the plane. Some play it straight, some pantomime it, some can’t conceal their boredom, but I have noticed that Southwest in particular allows its employees to joke around. It’s usually corny, but charming stuff, and it breaks up everyone’s monotony.

This woman takes it to another level.

The opening line: “Can I pretend to have your attention…” did just that – got my attention.